Snow Days

So this morning it snowed some again and then I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. (Anyone noticing a trend?) It also reminded me that I didn’t post the pictures of the snow from two weeks ago (which finally melted this week!).

This is a dog who does not normally like to play in the yard. I’ve never seen her so excited to go outside! It was hard to get a good picture since she was busy running laps out there.

20130131-224046.jpgGarlic isn’t scared of a little snow. Nor was it phased by being encased in ice with the freezing rain last week.

20130131-224444.jpgOur backyard looked like the Family Circus after Story was done playing in it.

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Although I did spend a good part of today in the kitchen, not all of it was cooking. Because the gardening season has officially begun! I don’t exactly have a potting bench or anything, so I use the kitchen counter as my planting station. Today I sowed the first set of onion seeds (yellow, red, and green bunching). I haven’t had good luck with onions yet, but I’ve also always direct sown them. Hopefully starting them inside will work out better this year.

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Do you have any onion-growing tips…?

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Maple-Oatmeal Scones

Last night we got together with some friends from church choir (who I hear read my blog – hi guys!) for a Downton Abbey inspired dinner. Matt and I haven’t watched the show, but I’m sure it will be stashed away in our Netflix queue waiting for us to get around to it. For a while I couldn’t think of anything good to take, since vegetarian dishes don’t exactly spring to mind when thinking of British cuisine. But then I remembered that I had a great recipe for scones! And happened to have all the ingredients on hand – a sign that they were meant to be. So here they are: the best (and only) scones I know how to make.

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First, mix up all the dry ingredients. Then add the butter. If you’ve got a mixer for that, lucky you. I hate getting butter and flour underneath my fingernails. Meanwhile, soak the dried currants in boiling water to rehydrate.

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Whisk together the milk and maple syrup and stir those and the currants into the dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. Then roll the dough out and cut into whatever shape you want.

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Put them in the oven at 425 degrees until light brown (or until your house smells like a British bakery). Eat immediately with a glass of milk.

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Maple-Oatmeal Scones from Vegetarian Times

Makes 16 scones

¾ cup currants (you could also use dried blueberries if you can’t find currants)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 Tbs. sugar (I like to use a heaping tablespoon.)
¼ tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup low-fat milk
¼ cup maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place currants in bowl, and cover with boiling water.

2. Whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add butter pieces, and rub into flour mixture with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. Whisk together milk and maple syrup. Stir into flour mixture just until dough comes together. Drain currants, and stir into dough.

4. Transfer dough to well-floured work surface, and knead 2 to 3 times, or until smooth. Pat into 1/2-inch-thick square. Cut 16 scones with 2-inch round cutter, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until light brown on top.