Monday, February 28, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Nine

South Africa.
Take me there.
Baby elephants might just be the cutest thing on the planet.
(...told you I like big babies.)

This was sort of an uncomfortable, sad episode...what with the Ashley issue.
But I shall get to that later.
What was a bit of comic relief was this...


What in the world?
He looked like a complete nerd.


Chantal was first on her fabulous Safari date.

Daggonit if he doesn't look like a moron wearing that hat w/ his jaw on the floor.
: )
An African safari has always been on the bucket list for me (Brawny Man too) so watching this was totally fun and making me terribly envious at the same time.
Chantal and Brad had that obvious connection. It was refreshing not to have her crying in this episode.
I really do think its just the addition of the other girls making her feel jealous and insecure that brings out the tears.
This is good to know.
I think they're a good match.
For the record: the treehouse is a nice idea but where was the bathroom?
And the A/C.
And the door.
And the walls.
Not for me.


Emily.
"Oh my goodness gracious."
How cute was that?
She said it about 1,000 times while she was riding all queen-of-the-jungle like on that big ol' elephant.

Last week's notorious kiss.

 Brad dropped the hat for Emily's date.
(But lets see it again just for a laugh.)

But how perfect was Emily in her denim top, shorty-shorts and leather boots?
And then her evening get-up.
Any girl who can carry off black sequins in the middle of Africa gets an A+ in my book.
She looked flawless.

The big news: She dropped the "L" and he said it back.
I mean, whoa.
Isn't that against Bachelor protocol?


And then there was poor Ashley.
Poor Ashley and poor Brad, actually.
I have views on this whole issue and you bet your safari boots I'll be discussing them here.
Ashley's not ready.
Or...maybe she's just not ready for Brad.
She wanted to have fun.
She was having a grande old time with fabulous dates and a fun connection with a handsome guy;
but I'm not convinced she was ready to make life work with him.
When he started questioning her about their future and if he fit into her life, she didn't want to think about it.
I don't think the fault should have been placed on Brad (though he took the fault, like a man,) it was Ashley not quite sure if she wanted to try to figure out logistics - she even said that what she knew is they had chemistry and a connection, beyond that she wasn't sure.
(I do think Brad said a few things that probably hurt her. The whole bit about "I think I was in the exact same place you are ten years ago." I wouldn't have liked hearing that.)

So that was hard to watch.
They fell apart right before our eyes.
Awkward silences, small talk, avoidance of eye-contact, the whole bit.

I wasn't a bit surprised he sent her home.
It was a good move.
She was ready to be a girlfriend...not a wife.
I genuinely believe he's ready for a wife.


The two girls left are ready to be wives.
I'm pretty convinced.
You?

Another thing I'm convinced of:
We need to see this hat again.
You know you love me.
: )
He looks ready to hunt some crocs.


So now you need to pick your girl.
Who do you think gets the final rose?
Chantal - whose hair was pretty fabulous on this episode, which almost made up for the hideous clothes last week.
or
Emily - who I'm secretly hoping doesn't get the proposal so she can be the next Bachelorette.

I just can't get over how romantic that whole South Africa thing was.
I mean...making out to the soothing sound of hippos snorting in the background...how do you not fall in love?

And then there's this...

 
**I have another fuuuun giveaway event.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to enter.
You know you wanna.**

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tomato Obsession

We have a full-blown tomato obsession at our house.

If you ask either of the big piggies what their favorite vegetable is you are met with huge grins and an enthusiastic, "Tomatoes!"

Ask what they're excited to plant in the garden this year and get a convincing: "Tomatoes!"

Anything red that makes its way to their plates inevitably earn a couple of inquiries,
"Are these tomatoes?"
"Is this made of tomatoes?"
If you say "yes" you get, you guessed it, "YUM!"

Some of last year's tomato & basil crop.

Isn't that sweet?
Isn't that darling?
Isn't that strange?

Strange...because...
Invariably, if a tomato makes it off the plate and anywhere near the mouth of these silly little people it induces a tear-filled gagging episode that is so convincing you are hopping to their side with the barf-bucket.
They will puke if a tomato crosses the lip threshold.

But, my goodness, in theory you'd think tomatoes were God's gift to the piglets.

I don't blame the sweet little things though, I didn't like tomatoes growing up either.
Although their glowing flesh was quite gorgeous to ponder...the taste sent me into fits.
I could not handle the break of the skin and the burst of seedy juice - both salty and sweet and...tomatoey.
I once threw up (barely making it from the dinner table to the bathroom) at my best friend's house when her dad made me eat a heaping pile of stewed tomatoes.
I could gag thinking about it.
So, I have sympathy for the piggies and exempt them from tomato eating.

I have faith that they'll grow into their professed adoration of the vegetable-that-is-a-fruit.
If they're anything like their mama they'll be dreaming of sweet cherry 'maters straight off the vine...
just give them a few seasons.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Misc.


Big news:
I now have a button for my blog.
What do I think I am, a real blogger or something?
Here it is:











Grab it if you wish and display your loooove for Star-Crossed.
{Thanks to Andrea for surprising me with it!}
: )


***

In other blog news:
I did a minor overhaul on my blog layout.
The links on my sidebar are different...prettier.
I updated my blogroll, too.
Go there for some fab inspiration.
{link to the right}


***

And...
So excited!
I ordered the seeds for my garden.
Ahhh!
This is totally giddy, beginner gardener's enthusiasm, I assure you.
Amish snap peas, blonde cucumbers, Parisian carrots, spicy arugula, multicolored cherry tomatoes, Italian romas.
Fragrant lavender, edible nasturtiums, purple-headed chives.
Oh...we'll be eating well this summer!

Here's where I ordered from:
{tried to stay local-ish and heirloom/organic}
Annie's Heirloom Seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Heirloom Acres Seeds


I have visions of fresh salads dancing in my head.

***

Britt has two teeth.
On the bottom.
One. Two.
Right smack in the middle.
He's cute.




***

Nursing school starts this Monday.
15 credits.
I might crawl into a study-cave and emerge to feed my children lunch and clean behind their ears...the rest of the time it's fend-for-yourself.
No...it wont be as bad as that.
{I don't think...}


***

I love love love the response I got from my weight loss post.
I have never. ever. had so many comments on a post.
{other than my giveaway, which doesn't count because you were commenting to WIN something adorable.}
Here's the deal. You are inspiring me.
Today I wanted a piece of cake after lunch, but I didn't have it...wanna know why?
I thought of all the "I'm with you!" comments from you guys and said, "No."
I told myself, "no." About chocolate.
This is monumental.
We shall build an altar here at this place and call it "Shedidnoteatthechocolatecake."
And we will always remember.
{Do you like that Old Testament reference?}

Anyway...this weekend I will do a post dedicated to the parameters for our little support group.
It will be simple and it will benefit YOU (and me).
Because I've learned if it's not simple, we wont do it.
I have some plans up my sleeve...
: )

But your job now is to weigh yourself.
Today or tomorrow morning.
This is your starting weight.
If you don't have a scale get one or get access to one.
Get it ASAP so you can document your incredible loss starting now.



And that sums it up.
Happy Weekend!
What are YOU up to?

A Note

I worked out yesterday for the first time in months.

My abs hurt while I was cutting the kids' waffles this morning.
It's that good.

Go do it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Post About Weight-Loss

Oh boy...
Here I am, doing something I always said I'd never do.
Get accountable to you people who read my blog.
Accountable about what?
Dun dun dun...
Weight.

Here's the thing about weight:
there's too much of it.
On me.

Body hasn't quite been the same since I began having babies.
Beck and Evie came in rapid succession so I barely had the time to come back down to my normal weight between them.
I got to a good, comfortable place about one year after Evie was born but a medication I was on snatched that good footing right out from under me and I put on 15 lbs in a blindingly fast amount of time.
I kept that on for the years in between Evie and Britt, though I had gone off the medication.
And then there was Britt.
Oy.
That pregnancy wracked my body.
I gained close to 60 lbs.
B I G.

Gloriously, I've taken off those pregnancy pounds and I'm back to hovering in this uncomfortable space between 15 - 20 lbs over my goal weight.
Here's what I can promise you:
My goal weight is not unhealthy.
So (as there seems to be in any weight-loss venture) I'm not interested in hearing the opinions of the nay-sayers {enablers} that say, "You don't need to lose weight. It won't be healthy."
Shush.
Take your plushy, fat-person comments to another blog.

I have lots of reasons for wanting to lose this last bit of weight.
I'm not going to list them here because they're probably the same reasons you have had at one time or another for losing a chunk of weight.

I'm not going to disclose my weight here.
No ma'am.
That is very unFrench...in fact this whole thing is unFrench.
French women don't talk about weight...it's a secret thing they manage on their own.
(Things you can learn from French Women Don't Get Fat.)
And, while I'm not French, I like to pretend I am from time to time...
which is what got me in this predicament in the first place.
Eating too many croissants.
Croissants = French.
The amount I ate = Very, very American.
Not a good combo.

So...on to the weight loss.
I want to lose 2 lbs a week.
(This is healthy. To the naysayers: Be quiet.)
And I want to lose 20 pounds.
That gives me a ten-week period of hard work and then the lovely state of maintenance.
Oh, how I love maintenance.

Giving me the name for this set of weight-loss posts:
20 in 10.
Isn't that pure genius?
; )

I'll post a bit more about what I'm going to do to lose the unsightly 20 in future posts.
But first I wanted to extend and invitation:
Do you wish to join me?
You don't have to aim to lose 20, but you can set out on a 10-week push with me with the goal of giving your body a little spring cleaning.

Comment here if you have encouragement or if you're going to hop on the 20 in 10 boat.
(There will be weekly weigh-ins {mandatory} and the opportunity to share encouragement with one another.)

My skinny jeans are calling!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Eight

Hometown week!
Such a satisfying television experience for a nosey-nancy like myself.
Just to see how others live...
pure delight on a Monday night.

I can't say I'm surprised that Shawntel was sent home.
Something wasn't right that she was totally unaware of Brad's complete state of "creep out" while she was giving him the interactive tour of the mausoleum.
Really?
"This is the scalpel I use to slice dead-people's throats and here's how I drain the blood..."
Really?
Her dad was right on when he said, "No rose for you!"

Ashley
 Let's just face it...they were adorable together last night.
(And how perfect is that SI pic from the ultra-awkward photo shoot last week?)
Her teaching him some Canadian french in the down home cafe was funny.
It made me like her even more.
And, somewhere along the line I forgot that she has plans of becoming a dentist.
I love it...there's some substance behind all that fun.


Chantal
 Her parents...
Oh man, I was cracking up and just wondering how in the world Brad was taking these two people seriously.
It was like Donny and Marie Osmond playing house.
(Was it just me or were they total look-alikes?)
He did seem to connect with Daddy though.
One question: How high do your ceilings have to be to prove you have money?


Emily
Emily's date was just...off.
Brad is not used to kids - that much is clear.
I just wanted to jump through the screen and tell them, "Stop staring at that little girl! Give her some space...let her warm up in her own time."
He just sat there oggling little Ricky while Emily twanged awkward things like,
"Don't you like your new kite, baby?"
and
"This is mah new friend."
Gosh...I'd be running away too.
And the whole issue of him not wanting to kiss Emily with a child upstairs.
A dead give away that he has no idea how to live with children around.
I loved what Emily said, "Brad, if we are together she is always going to be right upstairs."
So true.
His reaction was painfully awkward to me.
Makes me think he's not quite ready for the kid dimension in a relationship.


I know quite a few of you really liked Shawntel...how do you feel?
Surprised at her departure?
Did you think Chantal looked as hideous at the rose ceremony as I think she did?
Do you think Brad is ready to be a step dad?
Could Chantal's mom have possibly had any more plastic surgery?
Did you think Ashley's sister was totally adorable with her tattoos?
Are you completely and utterly jealous of next week's trip to South Africa?!
Do tell...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Channelling Spring & Eating Dirt

Today it was over 70 degrees.
Sun peeking from behind clouds; wind tossing last fall's leaves about the brown grass...
A little oasis in the middle of winter.

Britt and I decided a little thaw out on the deck was in order.


He fiddled with bumpy, brown acorn tops and crunched leaves in his chubby fingers.
He ate dirt.
Of course he ate dirt.
None of my other kids put dirt in their mouths...it stayed safely on the knees and palms of their hands.
But not Britt, I tell ya, this boy will be giving me lots of firsts.
Like any good mom, I took a picture. There was really no other choice.



Gosh, he's cute.
With his baby blues and his B'goshs' and his platypus lips.

When I wasn't all wrapped up in baby cuteness and spring revelry, I was all wrapped up in this business...


Garden planning.

Oh yes, my dears, there is a big, fat garden in my future.
Multiple raised beds of heirloom, organic vegetables.
Gnarled little carrots, sun-warmed tomatoes, glowing eggplant, heavy pumpkins...
It's gonna be dreamy.
I hope...
I have one small problem.
My thumb.
It's not very green.
It's...well...
it's sort of brown.
I wrote about it HERE.

No matter, I am trying to teach myself the art of gardening.
With a little help from her and her Potager 101 classes.
And lots of other sources.

Here's the deal:
Brawny Man has agreed to build me some gorgeous raised beds on our brick patio right outside the back door.
I don't do weeds.
No, I don't.

Here is my drawing...

Artistic, no?
: )

I am going to document this brown thumbed venture.
We shall see how my new kitchen garden fares in my hands.


Tonight I started our compost bin. Am I serious?!  Who AM I?
Composting. Gardening.
I'm afraid my carefully constructed "City Girl" persona is developing some cracks... 

Some posts about my little 2010 herb/vegetable garden:

Do you have any grand garden plans for the Spring?

Friday, February 18, 2011

At A Loss...

There has been a startling lack of posting here on this blog...
in comparison to my regular fast and furious post production.
I'm just sort of at a loss for words.
Not because of some huge, life-changing event.
No massive sadness or otherworldly joy.
No huge life decisions or "ah-ha moments."
Just...quietness.
Not much to say.
And, believe it or not, if I don't have anything worthwhile to say, I prefer to keep my mouth shut.
Well...usually.
: )

So.
Hum.
...crickets...
See?
Not much to say.

I know!
I'll post a picture from one of my very favorite date nights.
Our Valentine's date from this year.
A cute LBD, dinner reservations at - not one, but two - local eateries, a clean, quiet hotel room, flowers and new perfume.
Plus, my dreamy husband.
It was fun...
I was sassy.

See there?
It's bad.
I am so at a loss about what to write that I'm posting solo pictures of myself.
My self.
My. Self.

Make this madness stop.

A humble plea from me to you...
what would you like to read about on Star-Crossed?
Ideas?
Thoughts?
Comment with suggestions, please.
Or else I shall continue posting second-rate model-wannabe pictures of moi.
This is bad for me and it's bad for you too.

Ciao.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Seven

Oh my...that was awkward.
But you know what?
Kind of satisfying too.

Brad totally, totally deserves to have the "date from hell."
He's all excited to go on this Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot.
All of his creepy-man-dreams are about to come true:
Watching the girls he's dating roll around in the sand in tiny red bikinis...
And it turns so sour.
So incredibly, terribly sour.

And all the girls out in the real-world grin with delicious vindication.
The creepy-man-dream will not be fulfilled. Instead he will deal with three jealous, weepy women.
And God said, "it is good."

: )

Okay, so maybe God didn't bestow His stamp of approval on last night's escapades
But...
I'm pretty sure God was talking about Anguilla when He said, "It is good." all those years ago.
That place was awesome.
1,000 shades of blue.


I bid a fond farewell to the 30-year-old-baby and please-eat-a-sandwich-Britt.
It was inevitable.

The girls we have left (only four!) are great.

Emily
I really like her.
Except...there's a little something lacking.
Personality, maybe?
I just don't hear much from her. I have no idea what she really thinks.
Maybe it's because she's too classy to let it all hang out there.
I'm going to go with that theory. It makes me like her even more.
Another thing I love: her protective nature over her daughter.
That's right, Mama, if you don't protect her, no one will.
(For the record, I totally wouldn't let Brad meet my kid(s) if I were in this situation. He is dating three other women. Can't he get that in his head? There is a very real chance that they will not end up together. She doesn't want him to meet the little one until it's a sure thing. Give her a break, she's a good mom.)


Ashley H.
She's cute. I totally want to go shopping with her and then to a lounge for drinks.
A girls-girl.
But maybe a bit too immature for Brad?
He is 49, after all.
(give or take a few years.)

 (disregard the strange, floating roses in these pics...what in the world?)


Chantal
First of all: Thank you for having a normal body.
If I had the choice between having Chantal's body or Britt's body, I would go Chantal; hands-down.
She gave Brad quite the run for his money.
The girl's got emotions.
I would too after seeing him get all sandy and squishy with another girl on the beach.
(Nausea!)
Glad she didn't just let him "kiss and make up."


Shawntel
Mmmm kay.
That date she had?
Perfection.
I think this girl has gotten the best dates of the bunch.
She got to see the real culture of the place, which I would take over fakey palm trees and cabanas on the resort grounds any day.
The reggae dancing scene followed by a midnight dip in the ocean...
Dreamy.
I was ready to hop a plane and go back to Jamaica after that one.
But her clothes...oh my.
She has about as much style-sense as one of her corpses.
...did I just say that?


Now it's your turn to weigh in.
I know you've got thoughts.
Let me know...don't pull an Emily on me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

S.W.A.K.

Baking.
It's an obsession.

It goes really well with a new fixation I have...


 Cookie cutters.
Every shape and theme imaginable.

Irresistible when they're arranged in great, heaping bins in shoppes.
 

The cookie cutter & baking adoration does nothing for the thighs.
But that is neither here nor there.
The weight issue will be broached in a different post.
Oh yes...I'm going to go there.
But not until after I eat my cookies...


I told you about this book that I read;
one of my new favorites.
So many fabulous recipes to try out...
Jimmy's Pink Cookies was one that I've had my cookie-craving heart set upon since I read about it.
I made them this past weekend and they were...
D I V I N E.
New cookie love.


The shortbread cookie was tender with just the right amount of flake and crisp.
The frosting...oh...the frosting.
Cream cheese with a hit of cherry;
"to make them taste pink."
it said in the book.
(I love that book...did I mention that I love it?)







So, here's the recipe from Molly's book.
If you don't have heart cookie cutters (or cute little lips, like I have), don't let that stop you!
Use the mouth of a 3-inch round glass and cut out round cookies.


Jimmy's Pink Cookies
from Molly Wizenberg

For the cookies:
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
 kirsch or cherry extract to taste
red or rose food coloring

To make cookies, combine the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and beat, first on low speed, and then slowly increasing to medium, until light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt, and whisk well. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until the flour is just absorbed. Add the vanilla and beat well to incorporate. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a large clean surface and turn the dough out onto it. Shape into a disk, wrap well, and refrigerate for one hour.

On a clean, floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 inch (or a bit thicker). Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into whatever shapes you would like.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake them one sheet at a time, keeping the second sheet in the refrigerator until the first one is done, for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are pale golden at the edges. Do not allow them to brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely on the pan.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to fully incorporate, then raise the speed to medium/medium high and beat until there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the flavoring and a few drops of food coloring and beat well. The frosting should be a pretty shade of pink. Taste, if it needs more “pink” flavor, go ahead and add more. Generously spread onto the fully cooled cookies.

Stored in an airtight container, pink cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days–and they are delicious cold–or you can freeze them indefinitely.

Yeild: 20-24 (3 inch) cookies


Give these to your Sweetheart(s).
They will be Yours forever.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bachelor Brad 2.0 - Episode Six

Tonight it's late and I'm tired...
and, quite frankly I'm in the middle of reading some really good books and I'd like to get to those before the night is over.
: )
Bachelor blogging is taking a back seat to my first love.
Surprise surprise.

This will be a short one.

Chantal and Brad have an undeniable chemistry.
She's dropped the "L" bomb quite a few times.
Girl knows what she wants.
Can't help but respect her for that.

The group date was annoying mainly because of you-know-who and her 30-year-old-baby ways.
Here's what I think about "her:"
She has two tactics for when she gets herself in a sticky situation that she doesn't know how to talk her way out of.
One - kiss him or Two - cry.
That's it. All she's got.
She goes next week.
I'm almost sure of it.

Emily is still the awesom-est.

Shawntel was pretty darn cute with her "quiet game."
Points to her.

Alli and Jackie were the obvious ones to go home.
I say Britt is next along w/ Crazy Pants.

An interesting theory was brought up by Alicia in the comments last week.
(Actually, it was her husband - who watches the show!! Wooooo!!! - that thought of it.)
He thinks Brad is just doing the show to become the next action hero.
And really...if you think about it that is quite a feasible scenario.
If this weren't enough...


...he had to be sure to do a little cliff repelling, cave exploring and ziplining just to seal the deal.

Thanks to Alicia's hubby, Ryan,  for the food for thought!
: )
He's probably very sad that I outed him and his Bachelor-loving ways...

And now, I bid you goodnight.

John 3:16 and a Winner!

The big piggies have been working hard to memorize their first chunk of scripture.
I figured John 3:16, 17 was a good place to start.


It's unfortunate that Beck has been hiding God's word in his throat instead of his heart...
the throat doesn't appear to be the most effective of hiding spots for quick recall of Bible verses.
Oh, that boy.
: )
The hoodies that the boys have on are from here.
Love them.
* * *

And the winner of my 1,000th Post Giveaway is...
(as determined by random number generator)

KAYLA!

She said:

"Oh man! I love all the cute beanie hats for a little girl and the owl or puppy hat for a boy. I don't know that I can pick just one :-)

Congratulations on your 1000 post! I absolutely love reading the variety here - your family, your amazing cooking, your creativity, your homeschooling posts, your book posts, your party posts, of course the bachelor posts, but what I think I need the most is the little inserts about your faith. Thank you for being you!"

Congrats, Kayla!
Thank you for reading all of my silly thoughts and ideas these past three-plus years.
I love having you as a part of our life...as much as the miles between us will allow.
: )
email me to order your hat from Marci and let me know which book you'd prefer.

Now, to all of you girls who entered the giveaway hoping to win.
All hope is not lost...
you can take matters into your own hands and go to Marci's etsy shop and order a hat for your little one.


I will have this graphic on my sidebar so you can find Marci easily if you want to get your own hand knit creation.
They're just too adorable.
I'm off to order my own, in fact!


That giveaway was so much fun that I'd like to do it again!
If you have a handmade product that you sell and would like to promote on my little blog, let me know.
I will host a giveaway of your product in exchange for a bit of advertising.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cutest Superbowl

Serious football fans probably cringe at the title of this post.
But, from a girl that normally picks "her team" based on how cute the team's mascot or uniforms are
- I mean, really, some of these teams with their color combos, ugh! -
it's not that far of a stretch.


 Admittedly, I got to the Superbowl parties for the food.
My diet starts tomorrow...no, it really does.

I found the cutest little football helmet cookie cutter at this place and couldn't resist.
Thus, the cookies...
(using THIS recipe.)


And the birth of the Cutest Superbowl.

: )

(I really like the green/yellow color combination. I guess that means...GO PACK, GO!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Last Call

Just a little reminder...
a gentle nudge.



Today and tomorrow are the last days to enter my {very first, very exciting...if only to me} giveaway.

You could win a hat from Marci's shop.
Cute cute cute.

And one of my favorite reads.

To win, enter HERE.
Winner announced Monday.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rosemary and Strawberry Scones - Recipe of the Month



Rosemary and Strawberry as a flavor combination...
such a beautiful marriage.
And, when joined asunder in the form of a heart-shaped scone, they get the "Cutest Couple" award from me too.
These scones are so. good.



I wont take the credit for this recipe.
It's Giada DeLaurentiis from her book, Giada at Home.

I wrote on twitter yesterday that if there was one herb I was required to always smell like it would be rosemary.
It's earthy spice is enough to pick you up and take you away.
I don't know where...but somewhere good.
Really good.



One small word of warning about these jam laden beauties...
They're addictive.
(I may have had somewhere around three yesterday and two already this morning.)
Yeah...its bad.
Be sure you're making them to share with friends so you don't feel obliged to eat the whole batch.
My excuse? I'm snowed/iced in...I can't get anywhere to share even if I wanted to!



 Oh...one more thing. They are best with a warm cup of tea and a dallop of something creamy.
I've been pairing them with one of my favorite (easy) scone toppers.
Mascarpone w/ honey (or Agave nectar).
I think Giada, in her Italian Cooking Princess glory, would approve.





Rosemary and Strawberry Scones
from Giada DeLaurentiis

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry jam

Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Special equipment: a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter

For the scones: Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart-shaped pieces of dough and put on the prepared baking sheet. Gently knead together any leftover pieces of dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into more heart shapes and add to the baking sheet. Using an index finger or a small, round measuring spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each pastry heart. Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add the water until the mixture is thin enough to spread. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight plastic container for 2 days.

Cook's Note: The dough can also be made by hand by stirring together the flour, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture forms a dough.


I'll have you know that this is not just an adult combination for only the sophisticated of taste palates.
My children have been eating as many of these as I have.

One favor I ask of you, if you make these, let me know how you liked them.
Enjoy, my dears!


Past Recipes of the Month:
Corn Chowder