Friday, April 5, 2013

Orange Spiced Scones...or What Have You

I've got a confession to make, here, folks.  I have always wanted to like scones.  I really have.  I load them up with jam and whipped cream and tell myself I like them, but usually they are just too dry for me.  Then I tried this recipe out for St. Patrick's day and it was scone redemption.  I guess to some purists these may not technically be scones.  Their texture is closer to coffee cake than it is to the dry biscuit texture that I'm used to in scones, but whatever they are--scones, slices of coffee cake, or something else entirely, this won our family over.

Orange Spiced Scones

3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. cold unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 c. heavy cream
zest of two oranges

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and orange zest.  Using a cheese grater, grate 1/2 c. butter into bowl and toss lightly until mixed evenly (be careful not to over-mix--you want the mixture to be crumbly).  In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add them to the flour and butter mixture until evenly absorbed.  Add cream and mix until combined.  Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide in two and shape each into a round "loaf."  Place on cookie sheet. 
Mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon for topping.  Grate 4 Tbsp. butter into this mixture and mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle over both scone rounds.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Cut rounds into wedges and serve.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cabbage and Beef Soup

Now, I'll admit that when people hear the words "cabbage soup," shivers of excitement don't start running up and down their spine.  I'm posting this recipe anyway because, folks, I love this soup.  It's hands down my favorite way to eat cabbage.  It is packed with flavor and is such a nice way to warm up on a chilly spring evening.  Try it with soda bread and it's the perfect easy meal for St. Patrick's day season.  Try it and you may really, really like it.  Try it and you may, I say.

Cabbage and Beef Soup
Printable Recipe

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans (undrained)
1/2 medium head cabbage, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can water
4 beef bouillon cubes

Brown beef; add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Soup can be frozen in serving size portions.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Irish Soda Bread

I hope your March was lovely, everyone!  I've been baking and cooking up a storm this month, and here's the first recipe I want to share with you:  Irish Soda Bread.  I love this bread because you can make it in under an hour, start to finish, which is great if you're like me and forget that you wanted homemade bread for dinner until it's about an hour till you eat.  Ahem.  Also, you can get in touch with your Irish roots while you make it, or just pretend to be Irish if you don't have any Irish roots.
The key to successful soda bread is to not knead it too much.  Knead it just long enough to get everything to stick together and then call it good.  This is known as having a "soft hand" and will result in the best soda bread.
Irish Soda Bread
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine the dry ingredients and add buttermilk to make a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until it just sticks together.  Form into a thick round loaf (about as thick as your fist).  Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal and place loaf on sheet.  Cut an "x" into the top of the loaf and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  When done, remove loaf from oven and wrap in a dishtowel to soften the crust.  Serve warm, dipped in a good bowl of soup (recipe to come).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hello Again!

Hello, my friends, hello. Once upon a time I decided to combine my two blogs--one a baking blog, one a family blog, into one. I tried that for a while, but I've come to realize I kind of miss having one blog designated to my baking adventures. Also, my Google stats tell me that Baking Becca has continued to get consistent traffic despite not being updated in so long. So, I've decided to resurrect Baking Becca and once more use it as my designated baking blog. For those of you (mostly family) who have been following my combined blog, I'm still going to be posting there too, this one will just be the one I post the most food on. I hope you visit frequently and leave comments. I've got some fun stuff planned in the not-too-distant future!