Monday, January 9, 2017

Sunday Morning Scones

When TT and I sleep in Scarsdale, we almost always cook breakfast for the fam the next morning. It's like an unwritten agreement. "Thank you for providing us with free jars of Rao's and unsalted mixed nuts. Here is your breakfast to pay you back."

Usually we make a big batch of scrambled eggs, cook up some sausage or bacon, and make some fancy pancakes (fancy ie blueberry/banana/strawberry/chocolate). My parents always seem to have tins of pancake mix lining the pantry so it's simple but comes out looking pretttttty impressive.

One time we even put bacon IN the pancakes. More on that later.

This past Sunday, I woke up ready to tackle the usual breakfast menu. TT was still snuggling with the cats upstairs so I headed to the kitchen when I realized how much I love scones.

I LOVE scones. I love every type of scone. I've never had a scone I didn't love. Give me a sweet, airy one with whipped cream and raspberry sauce. Or maybe an eggs and chive option when I'm not leaning sweet (when does that ever happen, though?). Honestly, I just love them all. And how can they not be healthy?? They taste like 80% air and 100% delicious.

So back to the story - I was coming down the stairs thinking about how much I love scones when I figured hey, maybe I could sub in scones for pancakes and chalk breakfast up to an immediate win! I opened Pinterest and started browsing recipes and came to this one for Glazed Lemon Blueberry Scones from The Love Nerds. I tweaked it a bit but the foundations of the recipe were perfect!

Bake for 17 minutes? DEF IN! These would be done before my parents rolled out of bed.


1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk (+4 tablespoons)
juice of 2 lemons or 1/4 cup lemon juice (or a mix of both!)
generous handful of blueberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Everything was already in my kitchen. It was like the scone gods were looking down on me, cheering on my morning, urging me to attempt my first #sconehustle.

I secured my paddle attachment to my KitchenAid mixer as instructed and mixed up the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. I cut up the butter into small, cold, pieces, sprinkled it on top of the flour mixture, and slowly mixed at medium speed until the butter had broken down a bit and was mostly incorporated into the flour.

** I added a bit more butter than the original recipe calls for to make them more flaky!

Once incorporated, I took the mixing bowl out of the KitchenAid and stirred in the wet ingredients (milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest) with a wooden spoon. I finished by stirring the blueberries into the mixture slowly.

I ended up adding about 4 tablespoons more milk to the recipe than originally outlined. The dough was too dry and wouldn't stick together otherwise. While it is definitely a "dry dough," it needs to be moist enough to hold its form so you can cut it into triangles to bake.

I turned the dough out onto a floured cutting board, smooshed it down a bit into a rectangle, and cut it into triangles. I arranged these about 2 inches apart on parchment paper (they definitely expand so give them room!) and brushed them each with some melted butter and sugar.

Popped them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 17 minutes and VOILA - scone heaven! I turned the oven light on but couldn't resist taking a peek to see how they were browning.

While they bake, I mixed together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to form the glaze which I then drizzled all over the scones once they were out of the oven.

My guests (parents and boyfriend) who have to support me no matter what I do could barely hold back their WOWs and OMGs. The scones were light and not too sweet. The lemon drizzle was divine and between the four of us we finished the entire batch in less than one sitting.

I truly couldn't believe how easy they were to make. Thank you, Maggie (aka Love Nerd) for introducing this super simple, amazing recipe. I can't wait to keep making them and tweaking the recipe to get them to be even fluffier, and filled with even more amazing things!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Apple Picking!

It's so nice to have the option of leaving the city.

The hustle and bustle can get to be a little bit much sometimes and I feel so lucky all the time that TT and I both have family so close that will take us in when we want to see a tree or sit on a couch not from IKEA.

Wednesday marked the first day of Fall so last weekend, true to form, we left the city to go start our fall activities. We drove upstate to Albany and went apple picking!

We pulled up to Indian Ladder Farms at around noon. It was an absolutely gorgeous day - no hint of fall in sight, really.

The farm was split across the main road. On the one side you could pay $11 for a 12 lb bag to fill with apples of your choice. On the other side, you were invited to stuff 25 lbs of hand-picked apples into a bag all your own for just $17.

Can you guess which one we chose?

Armed with 25 lb dreams, we set off into the wood.

There were three fields open to us. The Macoun, a cross between a Macintosh and Jersey Black, is enjoyed throughout its October/November season as a naturally sweet un-sweetened applesauce or the perfect accompaniment to a cheese and cracker tray. They were in the fields closest to the car park.

The Cortlandt, a few twists and turns away, were boasted to be your best bet for baking. I made a bee-line to stash a few of my own pretty quickly!

And "for the adventurous souls" who weren't afraid of going off for a bit of a search, the Gala apples awaited us in the far field. Gala apples are sometimes called "lunchbox apples" because they are small and sweet - a perfect snack for a kid (or adult!).

Also the perfect pick for a gala gehl such as myself.

We were also told they were best enjoyed fresh...

Don't have to tell him twice!

We picked and snacked our way through the three fields, tasting different trees to make sure we weren't missing out on the best ones.

After about an hour we were thoroughly exhausted. Can you tell?

Stuffed with apples, we tossed our bag into the car and headed over to the farmhouse to check out the cider donuts

Obviously making some new friends along the way!

What a day! Fall, I'm ready for ya.

Indian Ladder Farms is a bit of a trek but well worth the trip! They're about 3 hours north of the city and are open everyday, 9-5pm until October 26! Find directions here and any other info you might need here!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

How does that tune go again?

Row, row, row your boat gently past the skylineeeeeee...

No, no, that isn't it.

Ah well - I'm sure it will come to me.

Sometimes you forget Manhattan is an island. With all the skyscrapers and cars, it's hard to imagine beaches, and sand, and water sports. But they exist!!!!!

Well, not so much the beaches and sand part. But the water sports are here! and they are FREE!

The Downtown Boathouse is run entirely by volunteers committed to promoting public access to the water for all. They are best known for their incredibly popular Free Kayaking program on the Hudson River.

Given 80 degrees and a free Sunday, the crew headed west to Pier 26 to check kayaking the Hudson off our collective bucket list.

The lovely folks at the Downtown Boathouse provide sunscreen and safety guidelines to anyone who happens to stumble into a kayak.

We suited up, confirmed that we could all swim, promised to stay within the buoy perimeter, and jumped in line to wait our turn!

You can choose between a 1-person or a 2-person kayak...

But of course we all love each other so opted to share.

Guests can take kayaks out for 30 minutes at a time and test their skills against the waves of the Hudson.

Just be careful not to play bumper cars with any of the other paddlers!

Tip: Sitting in the front seat of the boat means you can sit back and relax, while the kaboose does most of the leg work....

A great time to gather your thoughts while floating past the Freedom Tower.

And a GREAT time to ponder your next meal!

There's no official whistle to bring you back in but after a while we slowly trudged back to the dock to surrender our boats.

Teamwork makes the dream work, #amirite???

We left with big smiles and wet butts and went off to stuff ourselves with pasta for a job well done.

And what better restaurant to reward ourselves than Frank in the East Village? Frank is a teensy little restaurant that you might miss if it weren't for the seating spilling out into the sidewalk. The restaurant buzzes to life in the nighttime but we snagged an open table and were the only ones there at 5pm! Frank is known for the homemade pastas so we checked the specials and ordered away!

Starting with the largest, creamiest burrata I've ever been privileged enough to lay eyes on

Followed by handmade tortelloni

and an incredible Squid Ink Linguine with Frutti di Mare.

A great day had by all.

Let's try that tune again...
Row, row, row your boat gently past the skylineeeee
Merrily merrily merrily merrily NY life is so divineeeee