Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hodgepodging the Woolly Bear Desert

 I wonder if the caterpillar thinks he's crossing a desert.
Any way you look at it, it's going to be a long winter ahead.

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1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-

Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

I did live near the desert at one time, and thought it wasn't a good place to be 9 months pregnant in the summertime.

Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to visit?

I would rather visit a dessert town. Recipes for cheesecakes below.

2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year? 
I've deserted housekeeping, gardening, travel plans, and most of my friends.

3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  
I used to spell 'occasionally' incorrectly, but now my spelling is absolutily impeckible.
 Rudbeckia & Purple Asters

4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain. 
'Like watching paint dry,' and anyone who has followed this blog at all will know what I mean, so I'm not going into further explanation.

Happy watching paint dry
(photo from the www)

5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?  
Infrequently. I don't buy anything that has to be drycleaned. 
 Coyote hat, dryclean only.
6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place? 
Chicken stirfry, evidently named after Chicken, Alaska.
7. Do you need solitude? 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last year's photo, but Mr. C. and same grandson went to the woods yesterday also, to mark the trees with yellow paint, so that when all the leaves fall to the ground, he's able to easily distinguish the dead from the living, when taking trees out for firewood. It looks like he marked it with hazardous materials tape last year. Oh that Mr. C.


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Blueberry Lavender Scones Recipe

 Blueberry/Lavender Scone
and London souvenir mug

As some of you may remember, Mr. C. and our oldest son recently took a whirlwind trip to England. While there, he bought me a few souvenirs, the kind of thing I like, one of which was this pretty phone box coffee cup. (You can't go wrong with a red phone box, in my opinion.)

While they were gone, my granddaughter stayed with me, and one of the things we did was to go to the local coffee shop where they have the most delicious blueberry/lavender scones with a lemon/lavender glaze. So after we got home, I decided to try to replicate them. In case you're interested, here's the recipe:


2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter
1/2+ c. dried blueberries, tossed in a bit of flour, just to coat them.
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 t. almond extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 T. fresh lavender (leaves or leaves and flowers) extremely finely chopped (E. did this job and got it just perfect) Next time I would use 2 T. lavender because I want the lavender flavor to be more predominant, but you can decide whether you want the lavender to whisper, speak loudly, or shout.

Juice of 1 large lemon
Whisk in enough confectioner's sugar to give it the right consistency,
Finely chopped fresh lavender (leaves and flowers), maybe about 1 T.
1/2 t. almond extract (optional)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter. (I use my food processor to do this, after mixing all but the butter, I then add the butter and pulse it about 20 times. It works great for this (and also pie crusts, by the way.)

In a small bowl, beat the egg, heavy whipping cream, and extract. Now mix all ingredients (including the floured blueberries) together, stirring just until the mixture is evenly moistened. It will be very sticky. Drop by 2 1/2 to 3"  glumps onto greased jelly roll pan. I think we got 8 on one jelly roll pan, the number made by this recipe. Baked, they're about 3 inches by 3/4 or 1 inch. And they're delicious!

Bake at 375 for about 15-18 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool before drizzling the glaze over the tops.

Serve with strong, black coffee.

 My ancient coffee grinder

If you want to make this recipe gluten free, you can try substituting the following flour types and amounts for the flour in the recipe above:
3/4 c. white rice flour
3/4 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. tapioca flour

I'm not making any guarantees on the flour substitute, but next time I make this, I will try the gluten-free flours and see how it works out. It would be nice if I'd tried it ahead of time, wouldn't it. But the substitute above is pretty standard, so it should work fine.

NOTE: Your coffee will taste better in a London mug.

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