Tag Archives: scones

In the Dark

Yesterday, the day I usually photograph my What I Ate Wednesday eats, my house lost power. It was a complete shock because the weather was not very hot (which is usually the cause of power outages thanks to the numerous air conditions running). Consequently, I was unable to document my eats as usual. No power meant no oven, no microwave, no lights. It was time to get creative.

I must have been wearing a pair of crabby pants because the minor inconvenience made me quite irritable and grouchy. I was a complete grump—I’ll own up to it. Fortunately, I used it as a learning experience. Instead of giving into myself and just going to sleep early, I stayed up late (as usual) and tried to find things to do. Sure, cooking was a challenge by candle light and flashlight, but reading was actually enjoyable. I very rarely read without any other stimulation (music, lights, tv, etc.), and by the end I found myself more relaxed than ever. Surprisingly, all my anxieties were gone.

Once I realized that I really had no immediate need for electricity and could get along just fine, I wondered what was really bothering me. It came down to this:

  1. Fear. I am very routien-oriented and fear any kind of deviation. Although I did not need power to survive, not having it made me feel off balance and fear the unknown. Ultimately, I was afraid that a bigger problem was at hand. I felt unsafe and powerless.
  2. Hunger. Truth be told, my blood sugar was low, and I needed food FAST. Usually I can keep my hunger-induced grouchiness under control (relatively), but not yesterday.
The first reason, fear, was difficult to remedy. By reading quietly, I finally relaxed. However, I know that the problem is much deeper. I’m a work in progress! Luckily, the second problem was much easier to solve. Here’s some of the eats that the camera caught before the power went out:

Vegan + Gluten-Free Strawberry Scones (made with avocado instead of butter/earth balance)

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Chickpeas, Basil, and Tomato Sauce (Nooch sprinkles on top!)

Vegan Ceasar Salad (Made with Raw Avocado Dressing)

Blacked Tofu with Crispy Kale, Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus, and Eggplant Fries

In the end, I’m almost glad the power went out. It gave me a chance to relax completely and served as a learning experience. In the end, I’m just thankful to have power in the first place. I now realize that I often take this precious gift for granted.

What do you like to cook when the power’s out? What’s one thing you’re thankful for today?

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

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Free At Last

Well, hello there! How are you on this beautiful Monday? It’s been much too long since we last chatted!

Now that senior testing week and AP exams are over, I’m finally free. I still have one month of school left before I graduate, but it is going to be pretty chill. Instead of going to classes like usual, I am doing an internship at my school’s early childhood center. I look forward to waking up each morning, knowing that I get to play with 16 loveable, sweet, energetic 4-and-5-year-olds all day long.

This weekend was devoted to recovering lost sleep (I’m still greatly in debt!), college shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the smile beauty of summer. Because of that, I haven’t been concocting anything too blog worthy lately. However, I would still like to share a few things I have been enjoying amidst studying.

Now that summer is here to stay, my salad cravings have been out of control. I enjoyed both of these salads (one with roasted asparagus, the other with roasted broccoli and carrots) right before AP exams.

There were the perfect light, fresh foods to keep me fueled through 6 (yes, SIX!) grueling hours of testing.

I was also lucky enough to enjoy big, succulent long-stem strawberries from my great uncle. For Christmas, he gave my grandmother a subscription to Harry and David’s fruit of the month club. Her and I look forward to sharing the box every month. It is honestly some of the freshest, juiciest fruit I’ve ever tasted!

We’ve had quite an abundance of strawberries in my house lately, so I decided to make showcase them in homemade scones.

I made these scones super healthy by using whole grain (gluten-free) flour, stevia instead of sugar, and even avocado instead of butter! These scones were definitely not the butter-and-sugar-laden bricks my great-grandmother used to enjoy with tea, but I’m sure she would have enjoyed them just the same.

 

What foods are you enjoying with the increase in temperature? Have you ever tried to health-ify one of your family’s recipes? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Scones

Hey there, beautiful people! How was your weekend? I hope you enjoyed some yummy treats!

I had a pretty relaxing but busy weekend. My favorite part was definitely hanging out with my mom! I often don’t get to see her very much—she works a lot—so quality time is always a treat.

I also babysat a 10-year-old girl. We always have a great time together! This time we took to the kitchen and made chocolate-covered pretzels with carmel twists. (More info to come; I have lots of photos to sort through since she was my little photography helper.)

It was so much fun! I also brought raspberry white chocolate chip scones for her family to enjoy. Bringing a treat with me is definitely becoming a tradition. I’ve already brought donuts and cookies, so this time I wanted to try something a little bit different.

Well, these were exactly what I was looking for. I often forget about scones since they’re not the usual cookie-brownie-cupcake-donut thing, but they’re always a crowd pleaser regardless. My family is especially in love with them because of our British roots.

Since these scones are vegan and refined-sugar free, they’re not exactly traditional, but I think my British great-grandmother would be proud anyway. On the scone spectrum, these are more doughy and moist rather than hard and dry. Perfect for serving with afternoon tea!

However, I admit I’m a little bit early with the berry inspiration; the warm weather is upon us but the fresh raspberry crop is not. Fortunately, you can easily use frozen raspberries (which is what I did) to enjoy these berry-filled treats all year round.

As my official taste-tester, my uncle, would say, “These should go on the ‘If you own a bakery someday’ list.” Maybe I should start considering this possibility more seriously? Who knows!

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Scones 

Makes about 11-12 scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup  agave
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • For the glaze: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips + 1/2 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper/silicon baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add in oil, agave, and vanilla extract. Mix until a thick, dry batter starts to form.
  4. Stir in hot water until wetter batter comes together.
  5. Gently stir in white chocolate chips and raspberries. Mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Use an ice-cream scoop with a spring (or just a measuring cup) to drop ~1/3 cup of the batter on the cookie sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with a little extra oil, if desired.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, flipping the cookie sheet half-way through.
  8. Remove scones from the oven and let stand on cookie sheet for at least 10-15 minutes to set.
  9. Drizzle with white chocolate chip glaze. To make: melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave or on a double boiler. Stir in coconut oil, if using. Use a fork to drizzle over scones.

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Notes: this recipe is completely adaptable. For the flour, you can make it gluten-free by using Bob’s Red Mill AP gluten-free flour, or simply make the scones a little more nutritious with whole wheat pastry or spelt flour. For the oil, use canola oil or another light oil (like safflower), or add an extra depth of flavor with coconut oil. For the agave, you can also try honey or maple syrup (though it will change the flavor). And, finally, you can use commercial or vegan white chocolate chips (which you can order online). The vegan white chocolate chips are hard to find, so just make sure to check the ingredients of the ones you use if remaining completely dairy-free is a concern.

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What nationality is your family? What are your favorite traditional ethnic desserts? 

 

Have a lovely day!

Mandiee

 

Holding the Sun in My Hands

Okay, I have another confession to make.

Fact: I’ve had absolutely no clue what to do with all my new-found summer free-time. I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed stopping to smell the flowers, though. No complaints, no complaints.

Does anyone else fall head over heels for flowers? Sunflowers drive me the absolute craziest. Just look at how beautiful they are! I don’t usually talk about faith, but seeing beauty like this always prompts me to thank God for the beauty He has bestowed upon the Earth. If Heaven is full of sunflowers, I don’t think it’d be half bad.

Anyway, back to the free-time thing. It’s been so nice to just de-stress and relax, but all this time has let my mind be free to wander a little too much. As in I can’t get my mind off of someone special.

I’ve mentioned M a few times on the blog already, and as you probably expect, things between us are getting quite close. I won’t go into great detail because 1. this is a food/healthy living blog, and 2. my family reads my blog (hi Nan!), but I will tell you that we both admitted we like each other.

I’ve never dated/had a real boyfriend before, so I’m not really sure where things are going to go from here. M was sweet in saying that it can go wherever I want it to go, and that he will respect that. Sweet, but not helpful in the slightest. I’m not a huge fan of labels, but sometimes it’s just nice to be on the same page, you know?

Anyway, I find it interesting that different schools, age groups, and even generations have different classifications. For example, people at my school don’t “date,” but they do consider themselves “dating” or “boyfriend/girlfriend.” However, at a nearby school school, the teens “go on dates” with different people but don’t always consider themselves “dating” or give labels to the person of the night. SO confusing!

Now I’m sure you understand why my head’s felt a little dizzied. To compensate and try to keep my mind from spinning, I’ve been occupying my time with anything I can.

I cleaned my room (still in process—oof!).

I made strawberry coconut pancakes.

Truth: Cinnamon > syrup. Anyone agree?

I painted my nails.

I baked homemade vegan donuts (recipe to come)…

A LOT of donuts actually. I even brought some to my yoga friends! (Note: my uncle likes these sprinkles the best!)

…Which brings me to my next point: I practiced yoga (naturally!). What a glorious hour of moving meditation! (Note: I own a Jade yoga mat and I couldn’t be happier. I highly recommend Jade!)

And at midnight, when I had nothing but silence and darkness surrounding me (AKA the perfect companions of thought-wandering), I decided to bake scones. Cinnamon raisin scones actually.

There’s nothing like the beautiful aroma of cinnamon wafting through the house to warm your heart. The scones were easy enough to bake in the middle of the night (my favorite time anyway), but they also required enough concentration (cutting in the butter ugh!) to keep my mind from wandering too much. Perfect! Oh, and did I mention they’re delicious, too? They’re wonderfully soft and flakey, but not terribly dry—just like scones should be (and I should know; I’m British, after all.)

Cinnamon Raisin Scones 

vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free optional (use GF flour and Ener-G Egg Replacer)

Makes 8-10 scones 

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend, or organic sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon (or 1 tsp if you’re a cinnamon fiend like me)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips, if you prefer)
  • 1 TBS Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 3 TBS water, or 1-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 TBS water (equivalent to 1 egg), whipped with a fork
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • additional almond milk for brushing (<–vegan egg-wash!)
  • turbinado sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. In a a large bowl, combine flour, Stevia Baking Blend (or sugar), cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in butter. (Here’s an example of what to do.) For flaky scones, some pieces can be left no larger than peas.
  4. Stir in raisins.
  5. In a small bowl, combine egg replacer mixture and almond milk.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing until just combined. (Make sure not to mix too much as to develop the gluten. If you’re working with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour, you’re good to go.) I recommend using your hands to do this.
  7. Form the dough into a ball, adding just a small amount of water or almond milk, if needed.
  8. Place dough ball on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch thick round. Cut it into 8-10 triangular pieces.
  9. Put pieces on a greased baking sheet or Silpat about 1/2-inch apart. Brush tops with almond milk and lightly sprinkle with turbinado sugar and cinnamon.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  11. Cool on a rack or serve warm.

Questions: What is something that has made you smile today? Do you have a favorite flower? And how do relationships go for you?

Have a lovely day!
Mandiee