Paper and Ink Imaginings

just playing with paper and ink


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Irish Scones – Third Try

I am back with my third try at scones. This week, I really just tweaked the recipe from last week – changes are indicated in blue. I did not knead the dough this time, just pressed it out to the thickness I wanted.

Traditional Irish Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (cake flour)
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • For egg wash:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add egg, buttermilk and heavy cream, and combine until dough forms.  On a  floured surface, pat out into rectangle that is 1/2 inch tall. Cut with biscuit cutter, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops of unbaked scones with egg wash. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  (Mine took 19 minutes. FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.)

The verdict:  PERFECT!! The right flavor, the right texture, the right crust.

Shout out to my family for being the quality control team – they liked all 3 versions. Offspring3 did agree that version 3 was what we had in Killarney, Ireland.


Irish Scones – Second Recipe

Since I still had heavy cream and buttermilk in the fridge, I tried another traditional Irish scone recipe over the weekend. (This one is a combination of 3 recipes I found online.)

This recipe contains an egg, and I used a combination of cake flour and all purpose flour (trying for the soft texture, didn’t have enough cake flour for the entire recipe – oops!).

Traditional Irish Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I used equal parts cake flour and all purpose flour)
  • 10 tablespoons cold butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in butter with a pastry blender. Add the remaining ingredients and combine until dough forms.  On a floured surface, knead dough a few times, adding flour if dough is still wet. Pat out into rectangle that is 1/2 inch tall. Cut with biscuit cutter, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops of unbaked scones with heavy cream. Bake 15 to 20 minutes.  (Mine took 18 minutes. FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.)

The family reviews were great. The taste and texture were almost identical to the ones Offspring3 and I had at The International Hotel in Killarney. They are beautiful, but they still look more like a Southern buttermilk biscuit than a scone. I finally went and watched a few YouTube videos to see what I am missing. I have been working my dough more than I should for scones. (too much pressing and folding!)

the brushing of cream made the tops nice and shiny

I think I will make this recipe once more while I still have heavy cream and buttermilk on hand, but I will use all cake flour (not a mix of cake and all purpose), add maybe 1 teaspoon more of sugar, not work the dough much at all after I have dumped it from the bowl, and use an egg wash to brush the tops before baking. I promise to post the results.


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My First Try at Irish Scones

While in Ireland, Offspring3 and I had some lovely scones (specifically, International Hotel in Killarney, and a larger version at The Cliffs of Moher snack bar). I have been googling recipes, and this is my first try. I combined 2 of the recipes to make these, and these do not contain egg. The dough handled very much like the buttermilk biscuits that I make.

They stayed nice and lofty when they came out of the oven! The taste was very similar to the ones we liked in Killarney (but mine were much taller!). And next time I use this recipe, I am going to try an egg wash (instead of melted butter) on the dough before it goes into the oven.

Irish Scones

  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk (might need extra – I did)
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (brush tops before baking)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (sprinkle on tops before baking)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Add buttermilk and cream, stir into stiff dough. Add extra milk here if necessary (I still had dry ingredients not mixed into the dough.).

Dump dough onto floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes, adding extra flour if too wet.

Roll out to 1/2 inch thick, cut with glass or biscuit cutter. Place on parchment covered baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter, sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.  (The tops of mine looked great at 15 minutes, but the bottoms needed more browning – I moved them to the bottom rack for another 4 minutes. Total bake time for me – 19 minutes.)  FYI:  I used a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.

HUGE scone and chocolate muffin @ The Cliffs of Moher

I have several other recipes that I will try (need to use up the buttermilk and heavy cream that I bought!) soon.

Sláinte!

 


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Potato Salad

potato salad

I had to make some potato salad this past weekend. Just felt the need! My Mom gave me this recipe when I got home from Germany (not a family recipe, not sure where she found it). I was pregnant with Offspring2, and this was all I wanted to eat. Cravings are funny things! (With Offspring1, I craved Doritos, with Offspring3, it was Olive Garden all you can eat salad with house dressing.)

Originally, I liked that the recipe was for a small batch of potato salad. Now, I figure I am making the mess, I might as well make a big batch (and 2 of the 3 offspring give it a thumbs up). I used a 5 pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, and tripled the list of other ingredients.

Potato Salad

  • 4 cups of diced cooked potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • black pepper to taste

Have a great day!


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Macaroni Shrimp Salad – #lunch

shrimp salad

I am in the midst of emptying/cleaning/painting the master bedroom walk-in closet while hubby is on business travel.

I made this Macaroni Shrimp Salad two weekends ago. It is not my lunch today.

Offspring3 was watching YouTube clips of Jimmy Fallon as I went upstairs to take this photo…this one with Jonah Hill:

#IloveJimmyFallon

OK…back to #lunch above…

Husband requested a batch of Macaroni Shrimp Salad. He brought home some beautiful shrimp from our local Green Valley. I was not really feelin’ it, but I made it. Even without a gallbladder, the mayonnaise in this bothers me, so I was not planning on consuming much after the tasting to see if there was enough Old Bay Seasoning. But guess what?? The Old Bay was exactly what I needed to get me out of the mid-winter food blahs!

old bay canIn my recipe binder, this is labeled as “Aunt June’s Macaroni Shrimp Salad”, but Aunt June claims that Aunt Linda found the recipe on a box of macaroni way back in the dark ages (1960’s). It will always be Aunt June’s recipe to me! (right, cousin Pati??)

Here is the recipe that I found came the closest to what we make. It is not exact, but I am not giving away this family recipe! (sorry!) I will say, our version contains no onion, dill or chives. And I used a lot more Old Bay.  😉

Welcome Home Blog’s Macaroni Shrimp Salad

Thanks for stopping by!


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Homemade Pizza

homemade pizza

I started making homemade pizza 20 years ago when we lived in Germany. The pizza in town was fine, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t American (sometimes you want things that taste like home!). And this was cheaper than going out to eat. I use a recipe that was printed on a  Fleishmann’s Yeast envelope, Master Pizza Dough Recipe.

I get 2 14 inch crusts out of the recipe. I skip the cornmeal step – a little messy, and I don’t find it necessary. I also don’t oil the pans (I have non-stick pizza pans). I pre-bake the crusts for about 5 minutes at 450 degrees F.

When we moved back to the States, I found Don Pepino pizza sauce in our local grocery store, and that is all I use now. The 15 ounce can is plenty for 2 pizzas.

don-pepino-pizza-sauce 1(photo credit – www.donpepino.com)

I usually use about 3 1/2 cups of cheese between the 2 pizzas. As you can see, I added Italian sausage (about 1/2 pound, cooked, mild) the night I took the photo. From starting the dough to putting the pizza on the table takes me an hour. I find it is time well spent!

Enjoy!


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Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

So, Friday was a really busy day for me – nothing wrong this week (no ER visit!), just errands to run, laundry to do, Offspring1 to fetch from college (spring break begins). I didn’t get to my craft table at all. SIGH.

While I was prepping dinner (Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry), I thought ahead enough to take photos along the way. How about a recipe today?

Last year at college, Offspring1 discovered tofu. I had never served tofu at home, it is not my favorite thing (texture issue for me). Offspring2 and Offspring3 agreed to give it a try if I would add it to some stir fried vegetables.

The first time I made it, I sliced a block of tofu and marinated it in Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce and tried to cook it in the wok. It fell apart in the heat. Still edible, but messy to look at. Everyone liked it enough for me to try again. The next time I made it, I baked the tofu after the marination step, and served it side by side with the vegetables at the table. Prettier than the first time, but still lacking. The third time I made it, I baked the tofu, and added it to the vegetables in the wok at the very end, after the sauce had thickened a little. BINGO – a hit!

stirfry condiments

stirfry veggies

I used 2 pounds of cubed extra firm tofu. I drained the tofu in a colander, put it in a ziploc bag with some Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce (maybe 3/4 cup – I didn’t measure), and left it in the fridge for about 4 hours. I baked it in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

baked tofu

(I had 2 9×13 inch baking dishes with a single layer of tofu cubes)

I stir fried the vegetables individually, frying a little ginger before each vegetable (remove the ginger from the wok before adding the vegetable). When done with the vegetables, I reheated the wok, added 1/2 cup of water and 1 can of chicken broth. (put water in first, so you don’t vaporize the broth!) As it started to boil, I added a little roux (butter/flour mix) to thicken the liquid. Then I dumped the cooked veggies back in, and added the baked tofu.

stirfry in wok

There is a pot of white rice just off camera. Five of us (all adult size) ate from this, and there is about one serving left for someone to heat up for lunch tomorrow. And, yes, I know, between the chicken broth and the Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce, the meal is a sodium nightmare. We don’t eat it weekly.

stirfry on table

Have a great Saturday!