Recipe: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Scones

just going into the oven

I had one of those epiphanies this week, where I thought to myself…Am I insane? Why have I never done this before? There must be some reason. Do I not bake with strawberries for a reason?… Honestly, the entire recipe I kept thinking, these aren’t going to turn out because there must be some reason to not bake with strawberries. But nope, they turned out great and I’m still a bit confused why there don’t seem to be more chocolate strawberry recipes. I always go for raspberries and chocolate! So anyway, these were on the somewhat not-too-guilty-pleasure side of baked goods. They were easy and decadent. My little people gave me dramatic ooos and ahhs and the house smelled too good for words!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Scones

Makes 12

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

6 tbs unsalted butter cut into small pieces

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 egg

1/2 cup strawberries, finely chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper. Place wax paper on a counter. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, place all ingredients, wet stuff on the bottom, dry stuff on top. Mix on low until dough JUST comes together. Do not overmix or scones will be tough(this is always a rule for scones or muffins). When dough is coming together, and mine felt quite wet, put onto wax paper and press into a 9 inch disk. Cut into 12 pieces and place on parchment lined baking sheet. (you can always flour a countertop and put the dough there, but I find it’s easy to over flour and then you have scones that are a bit too dry). Bake for about 20-25 minutes until turning golden. Serve warm. These scones are definitely best the day they are made, but sufficed for breakfast the next morning too! Enjoy!

dough disk

Recipe: Fudge Monkey Cookies

fudge monkey cookies

I really like to create my own recipes, for a number of reasons. But high on the list of reasons is that then I get to name them anything I want! Isn’t that fun? These cookies are both delicious and my new fave, simply because they are named Fudge Monkey Cookies. They are a cross between banana bread and brownies. Seriously, who doesn’t want to eat a Fudge Monkey Cookie? I do!

Blog posts have been few and far between these last couple of weeks. Why? Because I’m madly working on the cookbook! Stay tuned!

Fudge Monkey Cookies

makes approx 2 dozen

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup raw sugar(or brown sugar)

2 bananas

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbs cocoa

1/2 cup oats

handful of chopped pecans

handful of dark chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add bananas, vanilla and egg and beat until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. In a small bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Drop tbs full onto parchment and bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe: Vanilla Pancakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

vanilla pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote

I love rhubarb. I  know it’s a bit of a bizarre thing to love, but it’s such a pretty color, and I love it’s tang. I bought some at the Farmers Market last week because my regular supplier(hi Denis!) told me things are a bit behind in his garden(obviously, winter ended here 5 minutes ago). So today for lunch I made vanilla pancakes with strawberry rhubarb compote. They were perfectly sweet and delicious. A happy lunch on a beautiful day!

Vanilla Pancakes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Makes about 15 medium pancakes

2 cups spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs cane sugar (or brown sugar)

3 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tbs vanilla

4 tbs butter, melted

1 cup or so of rinsed and finely chopped rhubarb

1 cup or so of chopped fresh or frozen strawberries

honey

Directions:

Make the compote: In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb and strawberries and drizzle generously with honey. Heat on medium low and simmer until fruit softens and releases it’s juices. Turn heat to low until ready to serve.

Preheat a pancake griddle to 375 and lightly butter it.  In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add in all wet ingredients and mix.  Let sit for 3 minutes. Scoop small amounts onto griddle, they really expand and puff up. Wait a couple of minutes until bottom is turning golden and flip. When they are done, put them in an oven safe dish and keep in the oven on low heat just to stay warm.

Serve them with a generous spoonful of compote. Enjoy!

*** tip *** the key to fluffy pancakes is to mix them as little as possible. You do not have make the batter smooth, it can be a bit lumpy.

Recipe: Roasted Carrots, Leeks and Fennel

roasted carrots, fennel and leeks

I am beyond happy to report that the Calgary Farmers Market has reopened!!! It actually opened three weeks ago. We stopped by on opening day, but after a 40 minute wait to get into the parking lot, I was a bit frazzled and it was a bit too busy to enjoy. We were back there this weekend and it really is beautiful and amazing. There was something about the old farmers market that was so charming. Perhaps it was the familiarity of the faces and routine that we had, or perhaps I, like many, cling a bit too tightly to things I love. I’m sure the new market will grow to have charm for me like the old one. It is however, beautiful and spacious and there are some incredible new vendors, and so many yummy food choices. Highlights: Fratello Analog serves a ridiculously good traditional cap, Silk Road Spice Merchants have a great little location in the market and I’ve heard rumors that the Vietnamese Subs are the best in the city! I bought a ridiculous amount of produce at the Cherry Pit, mostly because I was just excited about all the options. Interestingly, we are almost out of produce, which proves my theory that shopping at the Market makes us eat better.

Anyway…I whipped this up for dinner last night, to use up some of the vegetables I picked up. It was delicious and super easy(but takes a while in the oven, so plan ahead!) Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Carrots, Leeks and Fennel

In a large glass baking dish, place 1 fennel bulb, thinly chopped, 4 leeks(pale and white parts) thinly sliced, about 10 large carrots, sliced into 1 inch thick rounds, and 4 garlic cloves(peeled). Drizzle with olive oil, honey, and a generous amount of balsamic vinegar. Roast at 375 for about 1 hr. Remove from oven. Add half a loaf of sourdough bread chopped into 2 inch cubes, a handful of fresh rosemary, a handful of chopped walnuts and some sea salt. Stir to coat bread with oil and vinegar. Put back in the oven for about another 20-30 minutes, until bread crumbs are toasted, and everything is golden and delicious. This serves about 4 as a side dish.

Thoughts On: Motherhood

face to the sun, baby.

It’s Mother’s Day. Sexy Husband spoiled me because he’s that kind of guy. Little Girls were sweet as pie because they’re those kind of girls. And Sundays at our house are busy busy days, church, lessons, rehearsals…but I didn’t want to miss a chance to reflect, even briefly on how much of an honor it is to be somebody’s Mommy. It is the greatest honor of my life.

The challenges of motherhood, of which there are many, are rewarded with the most important of lessons learned. As I hold my breath watching my 2 year old run faster than her little legs are ready for, I learn to let go and trust that small things can be strong things. As I listen to my 5 year old tell me about her elaborate plans for the future, I am reminded myself to dream, and that no dreams are unreasonable. In fact, when dreaming, reason means nothing. Mostly I have learned to trust. To trust that skinned knees heal. That hurt feelings disappear when you bake cookies. That the love of other people in a Village is essential to raise a child. That my gut instinct is almost always right.

That we can love so deeply is no small miracle.

So I am grateful. Grateful for a Beautiful Mom. Grateful for Beautiful Babies. Grateful that Motherhood can make a Beautiful Soul.

boots and tutu

Think Fresh: Raw

Arugula Pesto

The raw food movement is a big deal. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I’m also sure you’ve thought the exact same thing as me: that’s for crazy vegan hippies who like to eat dirt. But you know, there are some incredible benefits of incorporating more raw food into your diet and it really is not all that difficult! You don’t have to be a raw-foodist to eat a little(or a lot) more raw food and reap the benefits.

Benefits(in a nutshell)(literally) – Healthy fresh food, raw nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, sprouted grains, have enzymes that are alive. Putting living food into your body allows your body to reap the benefits of these enzymes dramatically increasing the nutritional intake. Once food is heated to a certain point, the enzyme dies. So eating steamed broccoli is still healthy for you because there are still vitamins and minerals, but the enzyme is no longer living.

Obviously the easiest way to eat more raw food, is to eat more fruits and vegetables in general, and cook less of them. You don’t need to overcook or even cook most vegetables to enjoy them. Here are some ways you can eat more raw without going all hardcore:

Make some healthy dip and eat crudites(raw veggies)

When making stir frys or one dish meals, saute the veggies you don’t like raw(mushrooms and onions maybe), but top with other veggies you don’t mind raw, finely chopped(celery, carrots, spinach etc).

Commit to one raw meal a day. We usually do this at lunch, and honestly it seems to come with having kids. Lunch at our house is things like, sliced fruit, nuts(not roasted or they’re not raw), veggies, crackers(which you can buy or make raw), and cheese(which we always buy raw). So I don’t have to think too hard about getting raw lunches in.

PESTO! I know you’ve all heard me rant about my love for pesto. If you want some other great pesto ideas, check out THIS post. But for dinner tonight I tried something new and it was really delicious and super easy! Give it a try!

Arugula Pesto

In a food processor, place 4 cups of arugula, 1/2 cup crumbled feta, 1 garlic clove, juice of half a lemon, 3 tbs olive oil, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup walnut pieces. Pulse to combine and until finely chopped. I then placed it over rice pasta, stirred to combine and it was a completely raw pasta sauce, that was warm because of the pasta, but not cooked enough to kill the enzymes. So healthy and so delicious!

The bottom line is this: like all things health related, it can seem completely overwhelming to live a healthy life and follow all the rules we hear about. Realistically our lives are an accumulation of all the little decisions and choices we make. So you don’t have to do radical things to greatly improve your health. Start with something little. Make little decisions that will benefit you as often as you can. Have an extra glass of water. Eat your carrots raw. Eat one donut instead of two. One day you will see that all your healthy choices have added up to a healthy life. Yay You!

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