delicious discourse

a fish out of water

Posted in recipe, whim by delicious:discourse on February 5, 2010

Hawaii is good for many, many things, one of which is inspiring me to eat and cook fish. Hawaii is obviously an island surrounded by an ocean full of fish, both large and small. The funny thing is that growing up I don’t remember eating all that much fish (my family was largely vegetarian except for the occasional chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, and of course seafood) – and for quite some time my favorite fish was salmon; I think it still might be, unless there is poke on the table.

Yes, poke. It is one of my must-eats for every visit home. Poke in Hawaiian means section or to slice and cut. Poke as a dish, as I buy it from the Kahuku Superette, is cubes of raw ahi tuna, tossed with chopped onions, soy sauce; a little wasabi can be added for some kick. It is eaten with chopsticks and it goes nicely with a really cold beer after a long day at the beach. The Kahuku Superette is located right across the street from my high school. If it has been raining, the huge potholes of its parking lot will be filled with water. In high school we treated it as a convenient store for cold drinks, snacks before soccer games and what have you. I’m not sure when someone realized they have some of the best poke on the island and now no one can get enough. A family friend, a young Australian surfer, staying with my family while I was home, after being introduced to poke by my dad, consumed so much over a period of three days he became jokingly concerned about his mercury intake. (For pictures on Wikipedia, click here).

Landlocked in Austin (an acquaintance in Hawaii pointed out to me that the only thing wrong with Austin is that it is surrounded by Texas), I’ve always felt weird about eating fish. It certainly has never been first to come to mind when contemplating what to cook for dinner. Yet when eating out, I’ve always preferred fish to the pork, beef, venison, and other wild game. My Hawaii trip could not have come at a more perfect time. I occupied the nine hours of flight time from Austin to Honolulu (through IAH) with dozing and Jonathan Safron Foer’s Eating Animals, an eye-opening book (confirming much of what I already new) that I do not recommend for the weak-stomached or for those who think ignorance is bliss. Now seemed like the perfect time to eat locally, sustainably caught, fresh fish because I was, and am not, going to be eating any factory-farmed meat, if I can help it, ever again. Some of the most revelatory information Foer provides is regarding the environmental destruction of commercial fishing practices and the factory farming of fish. If you are going to eat fish, I beg of you to take a look at the Monteray Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (they also have an easy-to-consult iPhone application, Seafood Watch).

Southwestern Red Snapper salad

I’ve come across some really great recipes for fish over the last month – Thai fish curry, a Southwestern red snapper salad from Stop and Smell the Rosemary (after cooking this dish I found out red snapper is in decline worldwide and fishing pressure on it is extensive), macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi, soy-and-ginger-glazed salmon with udon noodles – and two really great great places to buy fish in Austin – Quality Seafood and San Miguel Seafood at the Austin Farmers’ Market. I may not be in Hawaii again for awhile, but now I know where to go for my fish fix and have found local and online sources for inspiration.

But, please, whether you are eating fish at restaurants or cooking it in the comfort of your own home, you make sure you are eating quality and sustainably caught fish. My rules of thumb: always avoid farm-raised fish, and always consult Seafood Watch. Do not be embarrassed to ask the fishmonger or your waiter questions – that is what they are there for and remember, knowledge is power.

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honoring each year

Posted in whim by delicious:discourse on January 29, 2010

As Matt was cutting his 31st birthday cake last night, I began to think about birthday cakes and how fabulous they have been in the last couple of years. Birthday cakes are kind of my “thing.” No one should let a birthday pass without one and I love nothing more than to make – or give – someone a cake on their birthday. If you have to be a year older, at least you can mark it with cake – good cake, made specifically for you, either given or made with love.

cutting the cake, 2010

In turn, it seems I have found the perfect man because – he may not bake – but Matt gives truly great cakes. You can tell he grants the matter thought and he isn’t afraid to go different or quirky. And they are always surprises. Every birthday – you could say – is an adventure in cake.

Italian cream cake, Lucy's Cakes 2008

Italian cream cake, Lucy's Cakes 2008

Two years ago, I came home from work and opened the refrigerator to a huge, bright pink smiley face and couldn’t help but return the smile. Underneath the shocking exterior was a flavorful Italian cream cake from Lucy’s Cakes. Matt’s parents had sent him a few while he was living alone in graduate school and he has fond memories of savoring every last crumb, by himself. I’d never really explored Italian cream cake before this one; my birthdays have always been celebrated with carrot cake, a continuing tradition from childhood.

Bee Cake, Walton's Fancy & Staple 2009

Last year, for my quarter-century birthday, I came home from work (this year my birthday will finally be on a Saturday) to find a gorgeous Bee Cake from Walton’s Fancy & Staple. Almond cake, buttercream filling, and chocolate ganache cake with a halo of confection bees with sliced almonds for wings – amazing. This past summer was the summer of Walton’s, stopping in for a sweet treat after hours at Barton Springs and I’d remarked on how cute the 4-inch Bee Cakes were. Remembering that, Matt ordered the very first 10-inch Bee Cake Walton’s had ever made. To go along with this large cake, I got a surprise party that was truly a surprise. What cake was leftover from the party was enjoyed crumb by crumb over the following week, not a bite wasted.

carrot cake, 2008

As for Matt’s birthday cakes, history tends to repeat itself. He always requests my carrot cake claiming it is simply the best. Three birthdays ago, I made him a full-size cake, which was just too much. Last year, he settled for a 30th-birthday trip with friends to San Francisco and Big Sur and a slice of pecan pie served with smoky ice cream and a single candle at NOPA in SF.

pecan tart with smoky ice cream, NOPA in san francisco 2009

This year, I thought maybe he would want a coconut cake with cream cheese frosting like I’d made for my Dad for his birthday dinner while we were in Hawaii recently. Or something evoking our longing to be back on the island, like a haupia  something or other. Nope. He wanted carrot cake, definitely. I decided to scale down the size and purchased two 5-inch cake pans at Sur La Table. Served on a yellow plate, with green candles, the cake could not have been more perfect for an intimate dinner of two (it was preceded by an eclectic offering of macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, fettucine alfredo, and a salad of orange, avocado, and greens). We have enough left over to share generous slices with a few friends as well as personally revisit the sweet carrot, spiced cake and creamy frosting scattered with pecans (local, organic carrots are so much sweeter than ones you will find in the grocery store.)

mini carrot cake, 2010

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ahh, the sweet elixir of life

Posted in whim by delicious:discourse on January 24, 2010

Cappuccino, Cafe Medici, Austin

I like Bon Appetit. And for the most part, I trust in their recommendations. When roadtripping to Seattle last September for a solitary night, I consulted their Top 10 archive on bonappetit.com for recommendations on where to eat. We, my fellow travelers and I, decided on Boom Noodle for our one shot at dinner (“Top 10 New Asian Noodle Bars”), Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream for an after dinner treat (“Top 10 Ice Cream Shops”), and Baguette Box for sandwiches to take on the road (“Top 10 Sandwich Shops”). All were spectacularly delicious, had clarity, were unpretentious, and had a great vibe. The trip proved incredibly successful: great food, gorgeous weather (it rains in Seattle, really?), and I found my wedding dress – first shop, first dress – check, check, check.

Eating Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle.

Yes, Seattle was like this both days we were there. Magical.

So, when BA’s “Top 10 Best Boutique Coffee Shops” came out in their January 2010 issue, I was eager to try their one Austin recommendation – Progress Coffee. Mid-morning the weekend after Christmas, Matt and headed over to Progress Coffee to see what the BA buzz was all about. I’m not going to elaborate of the experience, but it was not any better or unique that my usual, sometimes daily, trips to my favorite coffee shops in Austin – Cafe Medici, Bennu, Walton’s Fancy & Staple, Dominican Joe’s, and wherever else a good cappuccino might fall into my lap (recently the Driskill Bakery and 24 Diner). This brings me to my point, what is the BA selection process for their Top 10 lists? I know restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton does not teleport all across the country dining at every new asian noodle bar or boutique ice cream shop. Do they rely on public relation professionals (let’s hope not), word on the street, their own intuition? What?

This is an important question, because similar to yoga – there is nothing worse than a really bad yoga class –  people who really enjoy coffee and take it seriously know that there really are few things worse than a really bad cup of joe. Take this Sunday morning for example, sitting at Cafe Medici before 9 a.m., Matt takes a sip of his impeccably-made cappuccino and croons, “Ahhh, the sweet elixir of life.”

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a belated happy new year

Posted in Uncategorized by delicious:discourse on January 21, 2010

Wow. It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last entry. As a feeble excuse, this summer, fall, and winter have been insanely busy with travel, unfortunately drama, and just LIFE. And with the explosion of food bloggers in Austin – and the egos that occasionally accompany blogs – disenchantment took its toll. But, 2010 – after 10 days in Hawaii – has started off fresh and slow and I’ve decided to pick up where I left off, blogging for me. And for you, if you’re reading. d:d was started as a tribute to my thoughts, values, and adventures in the kitchen and with food -a personal journal of sorts – simply because I enjoy writing. Such as it has been, such as it will remain.

One thought to leave you with. A friend of mine started a tradition last year – as a substitute for New Year’s resolutions – of sending a quote to each of her friends for the coming year. This year she picked one for all of us,

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, ‘Always do what you are afraid to do.’ ( Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Happy 2010. Go big.

It’s good to be back.

simply hummus

Posted in Uncategorized by delicious:discourse on April 1, 2009
simply hummus

simply hummus

I have wanted to make hummus for quite some time, but somehow I never got around to it. It wasn’t until this past Saturday when I was browsing recipes to find ways to highlight the wonderful feta cheese I bought at the Austin Farmer’s Market that I decided this weekend would be the weekend I finally made hummus. I know it sounds like a small feat, but as a “foodie,” you really can get excited about the smallest, simplest things. Being a foodie is like the adult version of the discarded card board box that becomes a fort after two windows are cut for doors, and two for windows, and provides for hours upon hours of play. I get excited about a new ingredient, the first strawberries of spring, the beautiful yellow yolks of happy chickens, a new restaurant, a new technique, a new combination of flavors, a new book, old recipes revisited—the possibilities and joy are endless. Like the cardboard box, the only limitation is your imagination.

Now back to hummus. I stumbled across a recipe for feta hummus sandwiches and that combination sounded fresh, easy, and right up my alley. With only 6 ingredients, making the hummus could not have been easier. And the result? Was delicious. With flavor from the garlic and tahini, creaminess from the olive oil, spice from the jalapeño, and a grainy texture from the chickpeas, this hummus is not wanting. And if it was? It is completely customizable. For my next batch I was thinking of adding some chipotle pepper …  Oh, and the hummus-feta combination? You must try it.
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Simply Hummus
Yields about 2 cups.

1 15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño chile

Finely chop garbanzo beans and garlic in processor using the on/off buttons. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining ingredients; process to a coarse puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if you like.

Transfer to an airtight container and chill if you are not using right away.

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what i wish for you: real ice cream

Posted in Uncategorized by delicious:discourse on March 27, 2009

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On Monday, I entered every Texan ice cream lover’s dream land – the Blue Bell Creamery headquarters in Brenham, Texas. Since I was on a press tour, we got the royal treatment: greeted before we even entered the building by the Public Relations Manager, ushered into the board room for a special chat and Q & A with Paul Kruse, CEO, a VIP tour of the production facilities, and our very own exclusive ice cream tasting from 3 flavors that had just come off the production line. Life was good. Or so I thought.

Having inherited the ice cream gene (my grandfather is a notorious ice cream eater, known for satisfying late-night cravings sitting in a dark kitchen with a long-handled spoon, eating straight from the carton), I know a thing or two about ice cream. And ever since the ice cream attachment to my KitchenAid mixer came as a birthday gift last year, I have been a sort of home made ice cream connoisseur.

Now, home made ice cream has very few ingredients – the number really depends on the flavor pursuit as well as whether you are making French or American-style ice cream. French-style ice cream involves using yolks and cooking a custard that you eventually freeze. It is known for its silkiness and smoothness due to the emulsifying properties of yolks. American-style ice cream, better known as Philadelphia-style, is made with cream, or a combination of cream and milk, and no eggs. It tends to freeze a little harder and is said to have a chewier texture, but believe me it is good and so very easy to make.

Back to Blue Bell. I was pleased to hear Paul Kruse, whose family started Blue Bell (named after a long-stemmed flower that appears in July and August—peak ice cream eating season), talk about quality and authenticity. Three things he said come to mind. The first, “Ice cream can’t get any better than what you start with,” the second: “It is about making ice cream the way it should be,” and the third: “When people think of Blue Bell, they think of real ice cream.”

You can imagine my surprise when up in our private tasting room, where we were sampling fresh, not yet blast-frozen ice cream, I glanced at the ingredient list on the Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla container I was spooning Pralines & Sweet Cream out of and there, the second or third ingredient was HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP a.k.a. one of the most processed forms on sugar known to man. There is nothing about high-fructose corn syrup that is “quality, real, or as it should be.” If ice cream cannot get any better than the ingredients you put into it, Blue Bell has a serious problem and I highly doubt years ago when grandma was hand cranking ice cream on the front porch, she was using high-fructose corn syrup.

My suggestion to you? Invest in an ice cream maker. I really think the ice cream tastes better when you make it and you know that you started with REAL ingredients and that in every bite there is quality, authenticity, and craftsmanship.

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The recipe below is one of my favorites. And yes, it is this easy. I must tell you, this recipe comes with a warning – ignorance can be bliss – once you go homemade, you never go back.

You can’t say you weren’t warned. Now, get to work. And once you have some ice cream, take those strawberries you bought at the farmer’s market and slice them over a scoop and enjoy the teat on your front porch. I can’t wait for peach season … REAL homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches, peach ice cream, peach cobbler with homemade vanilla … the possibilities are endless.
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Vanilla Ice Cream, Philly Style
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

by David Lebovitz (a.k.a. my ice cream bible)

3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pour one cup of cream into a medium saucepan. Add sugar and salt. Warm over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add remaining two cups of cream and vanilla extract. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready, freeze the mixture in the ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: This post was written as part of Fight Back Fridays with Food Renegade.

what i wish for you – real milk

Posted in whim by delicious:discourse on March 13, 2009

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Nina Planck’s Real Food was recommended to me by a woman I know with the introduction of, “She will make you feel great about drinking whole milk.” Of course, I was intrigued. I knew the importance of eating milk products and meat from grassfed cows having already read Omnivore’s Dilemma and was well-versed in the concept and philosophy of eating locally as well as organically. But I did not know the benefits of drinking whole milk (and whole milk products), which in a nutshell, is milk as nature intends it to be.

Humans have consumed the milk of animals for over 11,000 years, which was when sheep and goats were domesticated in the Near East. It is believed that animals were first domesticated for their milk, not for their meat. Animal husbandry started with sheep and goats because they were small, easy to handle, and rugged – they could handle rough terrain. Think salty, crumbling feta from sheep’s milk in Greece and creamy chevre from goat’s milk in Provence – both cheese have been around since ancient times. Even then the French and the Greek new how to eat well. People began to milk the larger, more productive cow about 8,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq. Even though cows are more delicate than sheep and goats, they are the creme de la creme (no pun intended) when it comes to milk.

Interestingly enough, and it makes sense, historically milk was never a luxury. It was seen as an important source of essential nutrients and could enrich the poorest diet. “For peasants, the cow kept the grocery bill down and the doctor away,” says Planck. No matter how poor you were, if you had a cow and some grass, you would always be rich in milk that could be used to make cream, butter, cheese, and yogurt. Milk is a very important source of protein, fat, calcium, and vitamin B. The irony of milk today, is it is a luxury to drink milk from grassfed cows, and even more of a luxury to find raw milk. And by luxury I mean extremely hard to find and most likely more expensive, gallon for gallon, than what you will pay for industrial milk.

Critics of milk and dairy say that it has powerful growth hormones, cholesterol, lots of fat, allergenic bovine proteins, insecticides, antibiotics, viruses, and bacteria. What the critics fail to say is that almost all their grievances against dairy are found only in industrial, milk, not real milk that is raw and from cows that feed on grass not treated with chemicals. Real milk is from happy cows that are not given growth hormones to increase their milk production or from cows that are fed corn that makes them sick (because they are ruminants and are meant to eat grass) and have to be given antibiotics.

As for cholesterol in milk, what you want to avoid is oxidized or damaged cholesterol (oxidized low-density lipoprotein), which causes heart disease. Industrial powdered milk is created by spray-drying, a process that creates oxidized and damaged cholesterol. Powdered milk is commonly found in processed foods and nonfat dried milk is added to industrial skim and low-fat milk. The better dairies will not use powdered milk to make lowfat milk, they will simply take whole fresh milk and skim the cream off the top, but your best bet is just to drink whole milk, it tastes better too.

As for the fats that are in milk, the fats are good fats. Our bodies need fats. Our brains are mostly fats, and fat adds flavor. The butterfat in milk helps the body digest the protein in milk and saturated fats are necessary for bones to absorb the calcium in milk. The cream in milk contains the essential vitamin A and D that are fat-soluble (are absorbed by the intestinal tract with the aid of fats). Only 10% of the valuable calcium in milk can be absorbed without vitamin D. That being said, it is required by law that synthetic vitamin A and D be added to skim and low-fat milk. And if that wasn’t enough, you will want the glycosphingolipids, fats that protect from gastrointestinal infection, that are in whole milk.

Traditional, real milk is better for the you and for the cows it comes from and it tastes infinitely better. Happy, healthy cows, means a happier, healthier, more satisfied you. It is a direct example of good karma. And I don’t know about you, but there is so much bad energy in the world, I am going to take the good and cherish it wherever it may be found.

Organic milk is better than industrial milk. It means the cows have not been fed synthetic growth hormones and that they have been fed organic grain, corn, and soybeans. Organic milk is still pasteurized (Heating raw milk to a certain temperature in order to kill bacteria, but it also makes the milk more travel-friendly and extends its shelf life 2 to 3 weeks. However, pasteurization does not kill all bacteria and it kills good bacteria too.) and most of it is homogenized (A process that uniformly blends the cream throughout the milk, which would normally rise to the top. Homogenization has made milk more travel-friendly as well because the cream and milk do not separate intransit. It also evenly spread the sludge of dead white blood cells and bacteria that form after pasteurization that would otherwise form at the botton of the bottle.), but it is definitely a better option than cows fed corn, grain, and soybeans grown with chemicals and that have been pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics. However, the best option is traditional, real milk from grassfed cows that is nonhomogenized. Raw milk (unpasteurized) is ideal, but there are strict rules when it comes to farmers selling raw milk.

However, if you live in Texas, you are in luck because we have Remember When Dairy. Located in Yantis, Texas, Remember When’s cows are grassfed and given grain just when they are being milked. They offer skim, low-fat, and whole milk that are only lightly pasteurized. Both their low-fat and whole milk are nonhomogenized, meaning the cream is on top and the bottle needs good shake before you pour yourself a glass or take a swig. In Austin, their milk and butter can be found at Central Market and the Whole Foods on South Lamar. They are also have a booth at the Downtown Austin Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a selection of yogurt, ice cream, buttermilk, butter (which has the most unbelievable smell), cream, and milk. Last week they had chocolate milk. Recently after sending an email inquiry to the owners, who responded by the end of the day, I found out that you can buy raw milk directly from the farm. In my 24 years, I have never had raw milk and I can’t wait to try it. My only wish is that it wasn’t such a luxury and more people could enjoy it. I know it will be wonderful, tasty, and nourishing.

Saving the world one blog entry at a time. Check out more  entries from Fight-Back-Fridays with Food Renegade. Click here.

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strawberries of spring

Posted in whim by delicious:discourse on March 10, 2009
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Strawberries of Spring

Saturday morning at the Austin Farmer’s Market in Downtown, I was surprised to see baskets of deep red strawberries among the greens, spring onions, carrots, and various bounty. I had been so focused on life and where I want to go, I had forgotten the natural rhythm of the world and the beauty of the changing of seasons. Unlike one might think, winter, filled with travels, milestones, and days, flew by. And now an early spring has descended on Austin, first indicated by consistently warm weather, then strawberries, and confirmed by daylight savings lengthening the days that will eventually turn into summer.

I never can resist spring and I am always ready for it to come, just like I could not resist these wonderful berries bursting with the freshness and sweetness that is spring. What could be a better sign? These berries, which started the day at some Hill Country farm, ended the day on the dinner table sprinkled among spinach, walnuts, and goat cheese and tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple. From farm to table and shared with friends. Even though I lost track, things are as they should be. I look forward to much, much more of spring.

books to devour

Posted in Uncategorized by delicious:discourse on March 4, 2009

I read today on Orangette that the official release of her book, A Homemade Life, was yesterday. I look forward to curling up with a copy soon. If it is anything like her blog and columns for Bon Appetit, I am sure it will be wonderful, fresh, and intimate. Ever since I devoured A Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee, I have been looking for another sort of soul-searching memoir that reflects my own pursuit of focus and direction – something I like to call my mid-twenties-crisis that never seems to end. But as Rumi so wisely wrote, “Remember the looking itself is a trace of what we’re looking for…” Nicely said.

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scones of simplicity

Posted in recipe by delicious:discourse on March 2, 2009

Dried Fruit Cream Scones

Dried Fruit Cream Scones

I had a realization this weekend after my Sunday yoga class: In the kitchen and on the mat, are two places I feel really good about myself. On the mat I am able to just let things go and concentrate on the task at hand, and still the voices and waves in my head and body. Similarly, in the kitchen, the task at hand requires focus, and if done carefully, consciously, and creatively, it guarantees results, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always an adventure, and always a lesson. Not to mention, I love the anticipation of that first bite and recognizing something you made with your own to hands is really, really good. So, maybe this is why when things are troubling me or maybe not going my way, or I’m feeling creative, I am seek these two very different, yet very similar places.

Drawn to the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon, maybe because the gusty wind outside was mirroring what I was feeling inside, I knew I would bake scones because I had just the recipe I wanted to try. I love all things breakfast. Muffins, pancakes, eggs, french toast, granola, yogurt, omelettes, lattes, orange juice, oatmeal—these are all things I could eat all day long, and often do. It has long been drilled into my head that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—you would never start a road trip on empty (you wouldn’t get very far), why would you do that to your body at the start of every day? I honestly have never really ever considered not eating breakfast, it just isn’t an option. To this day, my sister and I both start the day off with some sort of sustenance.

When Gourmet in their March 2009 issue reviewed Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book for their Cookbook Club review, I knew the book was for me. The recipe featured in the magazine, was Cunningham’s famed Raised Waffles, and this Dried Fruit Cream Scones one was available only to the members of the Cookbook Club on Gourmet’s web site (You can easily become a member, by registering at gourmet.com. By joining, you will be able to view additional recipes from the current and past Cookbook Club selections.) Long wanting to try by hand at scones, this recipe struck me as perfectly simple and easy. I also noticed cream was used in the batter instead of butter, which was only used in the glaze. Interesting. I was intrigued.

Dough formed into a disk, awaiting its glaze of butter and sprinkle of sugar.

Dough formed into a disk, awaiting its glaze of butter and sprinkle of sugar.

The batter whipped together in no time and with such ease I was sure I had missed something. Once the dough is formed into a round disk, brushed with butter, and sprinkled with sugar, all that is left to do is cut slices and bake for 15 minutes and voila, you have gorgeous scones.

Cut into wedges and ready for the oven.

Cut into wedges and ready for the oven.

Buttery and crispy on the outside and dense and creamy (you can really taste the thick cream) on the inside, these scones are not only perfect for the taste buds, but they are great for the soul.

Crispy, yet creamy & dense, with bits of sweet fruit.

Crispy, yet creamy & dense, with bits of sweet fruit.

Dried Fruit Cream Scones
Yields a dozen scones
From Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use an ungreased baking sheet.

Combine:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar

Stir with a fork to mix well.

Add:

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (apricots, prunes, or figs)*
1/4 cup golden raisins

Still using a fork, stir in 1 1/4 cups heavy cream and mix until the dough holds together in a rough mass (the dough will be quite sticky).

Lightly flour a board and transfer the dough to it. Knead the dough 8 or 9 times. Pat into a circle about 10 inches round.

For the glaze, 3 tablespoons melted butter over the top and side of the circle of dough and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on top. Cut the circle into 12 wedges** and place each piece on the baking sheet, allowing about an inch between pieces.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

* I used unsulphured turkish apricots, which is why they are orange-brown.

** I halved the recipe, which is why my batch yielded only six scones.

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