Monday, June 27, 2011

Yard Workin' and Puppy Watchin'

Summer seems to have finally arrived here in Oregon. I had every intention of launching Phase 2 of my back patio project (the only thing out there when I moved in was a concrete pad and a whole lot of weeds), but life has intervened, and I’ve decided to keep it very simple.  So, I've put in a small garden and am just generally trying to maintain what was put in last summer.

I suppose I would have been wise to put together a hearty breakfast before sweating over yard and garden work for several hours, but breakfast just really isn’t my thing. So I made scones instead. I happened to still have a few cans of organic pumpkin in the pantry, and before long I had a spice-scented house that even got O2 out of bed before 10 am.

Spiced Glazed Pumpkin Scones

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp ginger
6 Tbs cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tbs milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 Tbs melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 - 2 Tbs milk
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 425º.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly.

Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the pumpkin, milk and egg. Gently whisk the wet ingredients with a fork, then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Use hands to form the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface, forming it into a 1-inch thick circle. Use a large knife to cut into 12 wedges of equal size. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Allow to cool.

To make glaze, combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, adding the milk last (start out with 1 Tbs and add more until it is of the desired consistency). Drizzle over scones.

* * *

G & C have welcomed a new member into their family. It’s this precious girl, Josie…

In addition to two full-time jobs and their new sleep-stealer (house training a puppy is not for the faint of heart), they are also remodeling their kitchen AND Carley has just started rehearsal for a new show.

Crazy, crazy people. I think that’s why I love them so much. We suffer from the same form of insanity.

Anyway, O2 and I offered to hang out for the afternoon to keep an eye on Puppy and make sure she got her potty breaks, and I offered to put together dinner, thus freeing them up a bit to work on staining the 40 cabinet pieces they have in their garage.

Did I use the word crazy???

I’m not sure we gave them a lot of bang for their buck in the puppy-sitting department since shortly after we arrived, Miss Josie passed out near the dining table and only woke briefly… once. G & C assured me this was NOT the norm.

Always eager to experiment on my friends (heh heh), I put together some new dishes, as well as a few standbys. We had barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, an Asian savoy cabbage slaw, some roasted baby potatoes and a new cornbread recipe I was auditioning.

You’ll have to excuse the rather boring photo, but there wasn’t a lot of time between the cutting of the bread and the devouring of said bread (mostly by O2) to warrant a photo shoot.

Don’t let the rather thick batter make you nervous. I almost added more buttermilk to it, but it turned out just fine as is.

Jalapeno Zucchini Cornbread

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup buttermilk
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 medium jalapeno, finely minced
1 cup flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup cornmeal

Heat oven to 350 º. Use the butter wrapper to lightly grease a 8” square glass baking dish.

Combine melted butter, eggs and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Mix in zucchini and jalapeno. On a sheet of waxed paper, or in another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and stir together, just until blended (remember, the mixture will be thick). Pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake in center of oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 - 60 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment