Handy Kitchen Tip

Here’s a little kitchen tip for you: When removing the tops of strawberries, try using a grapefruit spoon. Less of the strawberry is wasted than if you use a knife.  :)

Valentine’s Day Scones

image Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I found this fabulous recipe for Cranberry-Orange Scones at Epicurious (my FAVORITE recipe site) and just had to make them for Valentine’s Day! My daughter and I took them to a Valentine’s tea at a nearby friend’s house. They actually have more of a sweet biscuit texture than a traditional scone. I can’t say these are especially healthy but boy are they scrumptious!

Here’s the recipe with a few adaptations:

Cranberry-Orange Scones

3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. grated orange peel
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 c. halved fresh cranberries
1 c. buttermilk (or regular milk soured with 1 T. vinegar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl.
Mix in orange peel.
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Mix in cranberries.
Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface.
Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns.
Form dough into two 1-inch-thick rounds.
Cut each round into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter or do shapes with a cookie cutter.
Transfer wedges/shapes to prepared baking sheet, spacig 2 inches apart. Bake until tops of scones are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Let stand on baking sheet 10 minutes.
If desired, drip glaze (made of confectioner’s sugar, milk & almond flavoring) over scones.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cheese-Stuffed Collard Rolls

imageToday at the CSA farm I picked up some collard greens. I’ve never eaten collard greens much less prepared them. Thankfully Epicurious came to my rescue! They are an excellent source for finding quality recipes that use whole ingredients. So, for supper I prepared Vegetable-and-Ricotta-Stuffed Collard Rolls with Tomato Sauce. I had to make a few substitutions though to include the ingredients I had on hand. It was SO good! It ended up taking more time to prepare than I hoped but was definitely worth it. Try it out!

Stuffed Collard Rolls (the altered recipe)
Serves 4-6

For the sauce:
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons white cooking wine
1 very large orange (or whatever color) tomato, cut into chunks
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon powdered rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

For the rolls:
20 large collard leaves, washed well
a 15-ounce container of cottage cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 small green pepper, chopped
a 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (I forgot to include this but I’m sure it would be quite tasty)

Make the sauce:
In a saucepan cook the onion in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is softened, add the wine, and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, the rosemary, the oregano, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste, simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it is very thick and the liquid is almost evaporated, and spread it in the bottom of a large shallow casserole or baking dish.

Make the rolls:
In a kettle of boiling water boil the collards for 10 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender, drain them, and refresh them in a large bowl of cold water. In another large bowl combine well the ricotta, the mozzarella, the egg, the bell peppers, the corn, the scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut out the tough center rib and stem one third of the way up one of the collard leaves and pat the leaf dry. Mound 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture at the top end of the leaf and roll up the leaf, tucking in the ends to form a roll. Make rolls with the remaining collard leaves and cheese mixture in the same manner.

Arrange the rolls in one layer on the sauce in the casserole and bake the rolls, covered, in the middle of a preheated 375 degrees oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the rolls are cooked through. Transfer the rolls carefully with tongs to a platter and keep them warm, covered. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and boil it until it is thickened. Stir in the parsley and pour the sauce over the rolls.

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