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This Earth Day REUSE! on LaughingLemonPie.com

April 21, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
1 Comment

REUSE!: How (and why) I’ve Banished Plastic Storage Bags.

This Earth Day REUSE! on LaughingLemonPie.comIf you were to look in my freezer you’d think I have a problem. A yogurt problem. A frozen yogurt problem. Or, if you were more generous, you might think “well…maybe there was a big sale???”

No, no – What looks like a freezer full of frozen yogurt is actually choc-a-block full of extra servings of Texas Red Chili, Gumbo Z’Herbes, and everything I’ve made in the slow cooker lately. Reusing yogurt containers is my salute to the every-day-is-Earth-Day idea, and key to how I’ve banished plastic storage bags from our grocery list, kitchen, and landfills.

We all know the 3 Rs of Recycling, right?: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. (Tune in around 1:30 in this video to hear/see Jack Johnson’s 3 Rs song.) For us babes of the 80s, recycling was a moral imperative drilled into us at school along with Just Say No and Don’t Even Think About Smoking!

But the emphasis as I recall it was primarily on the 3rd R: Recycling. Unless I missed a week of school, we kind of glossed over reduce and reuse. But did you know the 3 Rs are listed IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE? Yup. That’s the order you’re supposed to think about them in – FIRST, Reduce. Failing that, SECOND, Reuse. And only as a very last resort do we get to the THIRD R: Recycle.

As speculated by Jaymi Heimbuch over at TreeHugger, recycling might get all the attention because “it doesn’t require us to change the important habits, like shifting what items we buy in the first place so we avoid excessive packaging and disposable items.” Ahhhh…perceptive. We all know how hard habits are to break, right? When I think back on how many times I wrapped an unused 1/2 an onion in a plastic baggie…well, I can only groan inwardly and shake my head at former myself. Using plastic storage bags was something I had gotten in the habit of, and disposing of them was something I accepted as OK.

For me then, swapping out disposable plastic storage bags in favor of reusable plastic yogurt containers was a two-fer – saving used plastic bags from the landfill, and keeping yogurt containers from being downcycled in the recycling process.

Glass, metal, and paper recycling is a fairly well-done process which consumes a relatively reasonable amount of energy and results in a comparable if not good-as-new product. But plastic? Oh, how I wish the same were true. Plastic recycling is fraught – requiring a staggering amount of energy and resulting in a product inferior to the original. More on the plastic recycling process as well as a video tour of a plastic bottle recycling facility can be found at TreeHugger.

Not only are plastic storage bags just landfill filler-uppers, but looking back on it I don’t even think they’re really that great at food storage! There are many things I didn’t like about using ziptop bags to store extra servings of food bound for the freezer: finding a way to fill them without the bag tipping over and spilling out the contents; figuring out how to freeze them flat; and then having a freezer full of sharp, hard, and slippery stacked hazards. Of course, the plastic would tear easily onOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAce frozen and jostled around with all the other contents of the freezer as I dug around and tried not to get stabbed by one of these dinners in a bag or bludgeoned in a cascade if they all turned mutinous. I’d also forgotten how fun it was to thaw these frozen dinners out – leaving a bag of soup to thaw in the fridge all day only to find at dinnertime that half the contents are coating the interior and various recesses of said fridge because of an invisible hole or tear. Wow. Add to that my opinion that the darn things are expensive too, and it becomes pretty clear that what was meant to be a kitchen solution turned into a problem for me.

And so they’ve been banished – for the future they are banned from my grocery list, and for the now they’re gone from the kitchen. The boxes I already own have been banished to the basement pantry room for thoughtful, selective, and infrequent use. The former plastic bag drawer gets is now freed up for something more in-demand: yogurt container lids. ;)

Whether storing in plastic bags or in plastic containers,  let’s ignore the whole BPA argument for the moment. Please? Thanks. Cuz honestly I don’t know what to think about that anymore. You can find plenty of people saying The War on Science March 2015 National Geographicthat BPA is the worst thing ever, while the FDA and others assure the public that this ubiquitous type of plastic is safe. What really is the worst thing ever is that BPA is so pervasive, AND that the substitute used in the “BPA Free!” items now for sale was actually found to be more harmful than BPA! ARG. “We face risks we can’t easily analyze” says Joel Achenback (National Geographic March 2015: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?), and I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t want to contribute to The War on Science, so the plastic compromise I’ve made in our house is that we don’t heat-n-eat out of plastic anymore. I have a small collection of glass containers for reheating, or I use our regular plates and bowls with either a plate or bowl on top as a cover.

I’ve found so many uses for yogurt containers, not just freezer food storage. Around here you’ll see them as marker, crayon, bead, etc. storage, we use them as planters, for dry goods storage (for pancake mix, graham crackers, wasa, etc.), and as palettes for painting projects. I even use empty yogurt containers as mini compost bins – a nice and lidded container I keep near the trash so OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit’s easy to take out to the compost bin later.

Lest you confuse me for a paragon of Earth Day perfectionism, I’ll confess two things: I use baby wipes (a lot more than the mother of a 4 year old needs to), and I take nice long hot showers. On the one hand, I’m working on those things. On the other hand, I’ve had to cut myself some slack.

I was really getting into the waste-free thing there for a while, and putting a lot of pressure on myself about it. In the end though, as the pendulum found its way back to center we’ve adopted cloth napkins, cut an ancient towel into 8 pieces as a sometimes paper towel substitute, and stopped using plastic wrap and plastic storage bags. If I was really serious about no-impact living, you know I’d make my own yogurt every week and use glass canning jars to store it. ;)

Plastic yogurt containers are what I reuse cuz that’s what we have a steady stream and supply of around here. But look around your house and fridge – what is coming in that you could re-purpose before sending back out as waste? Remember the 3 steps – if you couldn’t find a way to reduce or refuse the packaging, think momentarily and creatively about reusing it before sending it into the recycling stream.

Service Review: Hello Fresh Delivery on LaughingLemonPie.com

April 15, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
0 comments

Service Review: Hello Fresh Delivery

Do you dread grocery shopping and/or meal planning? Even if you don’t actively haaaate it, everyone hits a rut sometimes, needs a break, or gets overwhelmed with other priorities. Service Review: Hello Fresh Delivery on LaughingLemonPie.com

There are a whole host of services that aim to make getting a healthy home-cooked dinner on the table a whole lot easier. I recently tried Hello Fresh which takes meal planning and grocery shopping off your to-do list with a simple subscription and delivery service.

Ingredients for 3 meals arrived on my doorstep carefully preserved in a sturdy and insulated box, along with a beautiful brochure-like mini-cookbook of the 3 recipes all laid out with photos and easy-to-follow directions.

My Hello Fresh box came packed with absolutely every ingredient needed to make 3 dinners: Spicy Poblano Chili, Hearty Winter Soup with Cannellini Beans, and Mustard Crusted Chicken with Roasted Veggies. They even sent mini-packs of shredded cheddar and sour cream for the chili!

I served the chicken with Trader Joe’s harvest grains warm side salad, served the chili with cornbread, and the soup with store-bought french bread. The chicken was by far our favorite – really really nice. One of those meals that is just so simple yet so satisfying. And it was an all-in-one-pan dish, which was great for clean up. The chili was good also (I’m crazy about chili!). The soup was pretty plain – good enough, very nutritious and healthy, but no ‘wow’ factor.

Hello Fresh selects the menu, portions and packages all the raw ingredients (for either 2 or 4 servings), and provides clear instructions on how to complete the recipe at home. They plan, shop, portion, collate, instruct, and ship – you prep, cook, and handle waste and clean-up. Hello Fresh subscribers can choose between meals for a vegetarian or omnivorous lifestyle. Their website features an excellent selection of recipes that give a broader idea of their meals, the variety, and style.

This particular service is ideal for those who don’t feel confident or capable of meal-planning, it makes cooking very easy – the ingredients are all there with clear instructions on how to prepare and cook them. This would make a great gift for a someone who hadn’t mastered cooking for themselves, just starting out living on their own, or the (stereotypical) newlyweds. Hello Fresh would give a great education and easy foundation from which they could do dinner on their own once they felt more confident or capable.

Service Review: Hello Fresh Delivery on LaughingLemonPie.comFor me, it was hard to get over the amount of waste a service like this generates. Each 2-serving ingredient was individually wrapped, so there was a lot of plastic and packaging going to waste. Hello Fresh has a few recycling options via their Go Green initiative. That takes care of the big items, but this particular service model is not for the zero-impact, zero-landfill, zero-waste, No Impact (Wo)Men among us.

Another way this service wasn’t for me was the wasted opportunities I felt during prep. 2/3 of the recipes I sampled were the kind of thing I would normally make in bulk and freeze to save time/money. That’s where I’m just not the ideal customer for this service – I know too much and am a bit too clever in the kitchen. ;) I kept thinking about ways to make it all more efficiently, but had to remind myself to just follow the instructions. Hello Fresh really provides an easy to follow plan for getting great food on the table, but in a very one-night-at-a-time and step-by-step way that is ideal for kitchen/dinner novices.

Alternately, it occurred to me that we all have seasons where we just aren’t feeling inspired about dinner at all. And/or seasons where getting to the store is just one thing too many on the old to-do list – like tax season for a CPA, or soccer season for a soccer family. 3 nights of Hello Fresh could be a way to achieve the ultimate goal of a fresh home-cooked dinner without resorting to Chipotle or pizza every night. You’ve got those other 4 nights of the week for Chipotle! ;) A service like Hello Fresh does seem expensive, but thinking about it in comparison to eating out at Chipotle gives some perspective. With the subscription service you can easily opt-in and opt-out each week as needed.

As it turned out, Hello Fresh wasn’t right for me and my style, but it would definitely be right for someone! Well packaged, well organized, thoughtful meals ready to prepare, cook, and enjoy.

Does Hello Fresh sound like something that would help you out? They’ve offered us a discount code for 25% off! Enter code LEMONPIE – give it a try and let us know what YOU think!

Creamy Toasted Red Chile Soup from LaughingLemonPie.com

April 6, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
1 Comment

Creamy Toasted Red Chile Soup

Nearly a year ago now I stumbled upon the tortilla soup that changed everything – Rick Bayless’ version of Tortilla Soup with Swiss Chard. It was and still is unlike any tortilla soup I’d had before.

You’ve tasted the insipid can-see-clear-to-the-bottom-of-the-bowl versions of tortilla soup, I’m sure. This recipe is based on a very opaque foundation of red chile – that was a big ah-ha moment for me, and one of many I’m ever grateful to Bayless for.

Since first finding and trying it, I’ve made and remade this recipe a few times, further simplifying and modifying as I go. Last May, my initial thoughts about this soup were: “such a revelation! Thanks to Food52 for bringing this into my life and mouth. Not your run of the mill tortilla soup. Wonderful depth of flavor from a meatless soup. I added a can of black beans just to bulk it out a bit, tripled the amount of tomato, skipped the chard, and uh…needless to say I did not make my own tortilla chips.”

Anyone know if quotes are appropriate when quoting oneself? Or ones former self – so much changes in a year around here, I’m hardly that same person anymore! ;)

Anyhow – I was definitely on the right track with adding the beans. AND with skipping making my own chips! (Sheesh! As if.) My latest and favoritest iteration involves the addition of just a touch of cream, putting this soup well into the Party in My Tummy category of things.

Creamy Toasted Red Chile Soup from LaughingLemonPie.com

Creamy Toasted Red Chile Soup

Serving Size: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons oil, divided
  • 4-5 dried pasilla chiles (or sub another mild, fruity dried red chile)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cream (add more or less to your taste)
  • salt to taste (depends on the saltiness of the broth)
  • optional toppings:
  • tortilla chips (this is a great way to use up the broken chip bits in the bottom of the bag)
  • queso fresco crumbles
  • ribbon-cut chard leaves
  • sliced or diced avocado

Instructions

  1. Use kitchen scissors to cut the pasillas into roughly 1" squares. Discard the stems, remove as many seeds as you like (more seeds = more heat).
  2. Toast the chile pieces carefully in small pan with about 1 T oil over moderate heat until they change to a very brown-red, almost black (but not blackened!) - like dark mahogany.
  3. Place the toasted chile squares in a bowl, and add hot water just to cover. Place a second, smaller bowl onto and within that bowl to submerge the chiles. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to that same pan and lightly fry the onion and garlic. You don't want them overly soft, just want to get a bit of color on them but not all the way to sweet and caramelized.
  5. Once the 30 minutes is up, place the re-hydrated chiles & their soaking water, onions & garlic, canned tomatoes, and 1 cup chicken broth in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the blender contents through a sieve (to catch any big chile pieces) and into a soup pot or dutch oven.
  7. Add the rest of the chicken broth, black beans, and cream. Stir, warm, and salt to taste.
  8. Serve with optional toppings.

Notes

* If you're into doing less dishes, all the steps can be accomplished in one single pot - a dutch oven would work nicely, or any pot you usually use for soup.

* In the summer you could use fresh tomatoes for this recipe - place the tomatoes, garlic, and onion under the broiler for about 10 minutes until they get a good bit of color.

http://laughinglemonpie.com/creamy-toasted-red-chile-soup/

Do you have a favorite tortilla soup recipe or memory? We’d love to hear about it!

raw_spice_bar3

April 1, 2015
by Lacy
1 Comment

Spice up Your Dinner with Raw Spice Bar

Braised lamb shanks with advieh on a bed of sabzi polo with dill and saffron and mast-o-khiar with rose and mint.

That’s what we had for dinner tonight. How about you?

Ok, so this isn’t a post just to brag — I certainly would never have cooked this without the prompting of Raw Spice Bar, a company that wants to send you a set of small batch, handcrafted spice blends each month, along with recipes to use them.

Kind of a cool idea, right? I thought so, so when they contacted me and asked me if I wanted to try it, I was all for it.

Continue Reading →

March 23, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
1 Comment

Veggie Love with #LoveHealthy

We’re always glad to partner with Don’t Panic Mom, and her new #LoveHealthy campaign is just tops. You can find #LoveHealthy ideas via Facebook or Pinterest – It’s all about making vegetables accessible, fun, and delicious for any and every family.

love healthy

We’re no strangers to Veggie Love here at Laughing Lemon Pie – check out any (or all!) of these ideas and get more veg in your life!77 ways to eat veggies for breakfast from laughinglemonpie.com

77 Ways to Eat Veggies for Breakfast

 8 Ways to Eat More Vegetables and Fruit in the Fall and Winter

50 Ways to Cook Potatoes

10 Ideas for 5 pounds of Carrots

7 Ways to Easily Eat Raw on the Cheap

84 Healthy Snack Ideas

“The notion that healthy fruits and vegetables are expensive and that packaged snacks are cheaper is an urban myth that deserves to be put out to pasture once and for all.”

– Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Breaking News: Veggies are Better AND CHEAPER than Other Snacks

VEGGIE LOVIN’ RECIPES:

Orange Carrot Cream Scones

Balsamic Honey-Glazed Roasted Vegetables

Watercress Yogurt Potato Salad

Watercress Salad with Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Orange Honey Vinaigrette

Spicy Carrot Dressing

Apricot & Carrot Oatmeal Cookies Apricot & Carrot Oatmeal Cookies from LaughingLemonPie.com

Greens, Beans, & Sausage soup

Warm Sweet Potato Spinach Salad

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Spaghetti Carbonara with Wild Asparagus

Low-Sugar Carrot Cupcakes

Pasta with Spinach, Lemon Cream, and Capers

Dock au Gratinsalsa verde

Wild Mushroom Bolognese

The Best Salsa Verde Recipe EVER

Artichoke Dip Casserole

Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower

Roast Beets Recipe from Cafe Aion

Spinach Gratin

NEED VEGGIE TIPS? OH YEAH, WE’VE GOT THOSE TOO:

Tips for Eating Locally — Even in the Winter!

 12 Creative Ways to Use Up Vegetable Scraps {Budget Organic No. 1}

Start Planning Your Garden with These Tools5 ways to make a DIY root cellar

Tips on Small-Space Organic Gardening from Personal Family Farmers

5 Ways to Make a DIY Root Cellar

Put Up or Shut Up: 5 Preserving Myths Debunked

7 Ways to Be a Farmer’s Market Pro

Wash Your Own Damned Lettuce

Lentils in the Rice Cooker!

Eat More Corn

Use a Grapefruit Spoon to Scoop Out Roast Squash

This post is part of the #LoveHealthy Veggie Campaign, which is all about tips, recipes, and strategies for getting more veggies into your family’s day.

Follow these other #LoveHealthy bloggers:veggie love

We’re posting #LoveHealthy ideas and resources all month. Don’t miss out! “Like” our Facebook page to see all the posts and enter giveaways. Follow our Pinterest Board, which is loaded with ideas and recipes for veggies that will knock everyone’s socks off.

 

March 17, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
1 Comment

The GBBO-Sized Hole in My Life

Sniff sniff. Do you ever get that vacuum feeling of total emptiness when you’ve finished a great book or a great TV series/season? The Wire. Waaahhh. House of Cards. Nooooo. Homeland. Oooo, eeee, aaarrrggghhh, aaahhhhh (that’s the sound of me staggering around alternately clutching my chest and tearing out my hair, shaking my fists at the TV/universe).

If you were lucky enough to catch the Great British Baking Show on PBS (via the BBC) this winter, then you know the feeling for sure. It settles on me every Sunday evening now, and I’m kinda pretty sure life will never be the same.

The GBBS Sized Hole in My Life on LaughingLemonPie.comKnown as the Great British Bake Off (or GBBO) on the BBC, the show has aired since 2010 in the UK and won huge popularity and awards there. In the US, PBS recently aired the show’s fifth season as the Great British Baking Show. The show itself or a recreation is shown in 15 different countries. And apparently I need to pay more attention to network TV – there was an American attempt on CBS in 2013 called The American Baking Competition.

What’s so great about this show? Ah, that is well covered territory. My favorite of which is from Buzzfeed, and therefore hard cultural evidence of the show’s awesomeness and not just the ranting of myself and other PBS-ophiles.

So, I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will goooooo…to scones of course – that’s where my mind generally goes. Watching all that baking has renewed my quest for the perfect scone recipe, and I’m filling the GBBS-sized hole in my life with those warm pillowy nuggets of yum. Now they know how many scones it takes to fill the…Albert Hall? Oh well, you get the idea, right?The GBBS Sized Hole in My Life on LaughingLemonPie.com

Immediately after the finale I had to try the GBBO Tea Time Scones Recipe. In my humble opinion: Meh. I’m on a cream scone run lately – cream and no butter, that is. And that one last (for now) attempt at a butter/milk scone further solidified my re-dedication to the glory of cream scones.

Orange Carrot Cream Scones on LaughingLemonPie.comMy latest/greatest recreation and appreciation of the cream scone?: The doubly orange doubly delicious and totally original Orange Carrot Cream Scone. Right, right, I know – carrots? In a scone? Well, we here at Laughing Lemon Pie are ever-searching for more ways to fit vegetables into our breakfast routine so why not? Carrots are a certified anytime-food, though scones may be relegated to just an any-morning food (at least that’s how it goes in our house). Without wading into the debate over hidden vegetables, I will say you don’t hardly taste the carrots. The orange flavor is predominant.

Give them a try yourself and let me what you think – Do they pass muster? Would Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood approve? Any tips for new TV shows are welcome too!

And in case you forgot, or haven’t heard: Luis rules!

luis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.pbs.org/food/features/explaining-bingate-controversy-america/

Meme credit: http://ww2.daily-random.com/?folio=435329566&bkt=10280

Orange Carrot Cream Scones on LaughingLemonPie.com

March 16, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
2 Comments

Orange Carrot Cream Scones

Cream scones are my new go-to. I’m over cutting butter into flour (at least for now). Doubly orange Orange Carrot Cream Scones (dream scones?) are one more excellent way to get more vegetables onto your breakfast table.

Cream scones are so simple and delightful. The only forethought they require is having cream on hand. But, here’s a tip – did you know cream can be frozen? Yep, totally. Next time cream is on sale or manager’s special, or if you have a half used carton – freeze it. It doesn’t thaw in a way that you’d want to use it in a drink or a complex sauce, but it’s still perfectly good for baking.

The germ of this recipe came from surprising place: Green Onion Biscuits. Yep. At it’s heart this recipe is just 4 ingredients. And it works just fine if you remove the savory elements – you can follow the Green Onion Biscuit recipe using just the flour, baking powder, salt, and cream and make yourself a very nice standard cream scone. It won’t be sweet on its own, but just fine for adding chocolate chips, or a sweet icing – those things balance out the lack of sugar in the recipe. It’s a wonderful basic recipe for spring-boarding your own ideas for add-ins.

My riff on this cream scone recipe came out light, fluffy, and delicate with great flavor – much more orange in flavor than carrot. Mincing the carrots in a food processor keeps them from getting too wet, and keeps their size just right. The amount of sugar you add is up to you – I put 2-4T as a guideline in the recipe. 4T (1/4 cup) makes them decidedly sweet. 2T of added sugar would be enough if you were planning to add an icing, or if your taste buds enjoy the not-so-sweet side of life. I love the flavor of brown sugar, adding it to the cream helps it get evenly distributed throughout the dough.

I found this recipe a bit too sticky to do cut outs, but it’s certainly possible. The hand-rolled scone came out looking divine if you ask me. Put down some flour on your work surface – that bit of flour has a wonderful effect on your scone’s bottom. Yeah, that’s a thing – delectable scone bottoms. [Insert food porn drool here…]

Orange Carrot Cream Scones on LaughingLemonPie.com

Orange Carrot Cream Scones

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-4T brown sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup minced carrot (1-2 carrots, your call)
  • 1 small mandarin orange - zest and juice
  • 1T cream & Turbinado or sanding sugar for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix cream and brown sugar together.
  4. Zest orange into the cream/sugar, and squeeze the orange's juice in as well (probably about 2T).
  5. Add the minced carrot to the liquid ingredients.
  6. Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
  7. Toss a bit of flour on your work surface, and flop out your dough.
  8. Pat it into a disc to cut out scones, or roll them by hand into 9-10 nice little balls. Alternately you could score the disc into triangles (add about 5 minutes to the baking time if doing so).
  9. Brush the scones with cream or milk, and sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar.
  10. Bake 14 minutes.
http://laughinglemonpie.com/orange-carrot-cream-scones/

Like all scones, these are best eaten the day they’re made. This recipe is nice since it makes just about 9 scones, not too many. To store for next day I’d recommend putting them on a plate covered with a large bowl, inside a cake dome, or in a covered 9×13 type baking pan. Storing in plastic tupperware is fine, it just makes them super duper soft the next day – treading a bit too close to cookie-like for my taste.

What are your favorite scone add-ins? What vegetable should I add to scones next time? :)

The GBBS Sized Hole in My Life on LaughingLemonPie.com

March 15, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
2 Comments

Great British Tea Time Scone (translated for American bakers)

The GBBS Sized Hole in My Life on LaughingLemonPie.comThe Great British Baking Show aired on PBS (via BBC) this winter and alas, is now a thing of the past. Those Brits did leave us with a trove of great recipes though – Including the Tea Time Scone, 1 of 3 classics featured for the technical challenge in the finale show.

Day after the finale, I of course needed to try this recipe for myself. The results: meh, in my opinion. But then, I’m nearly as critical as Paul Hollywood. The recipe as posted is in British, that is grams and ounces. Here I’ve translated it into plain English…oh, or maybe just plain American.

This is a very plain and basic scone – definitely the kind that benefits from jam & clotted cream. I added currants and topped with sanding sugar, though that is wholly uncalled for by the recipe.The GBBS Sized Hole in My Life on LaughingLemonPie.com

The scones in the photo are on the brownish side – I used King Arthur Unbleached Flour but it looked nearly whole wheat in color. Twas fine with me, but it did take them another degree further from their true Britishness.

Great British Tea Time Scone (translated for American bakers)

Ingredients

  • *this is the American version of a recipe featured on the Great British Baking Show
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3T butter
  • 2T sugar
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1/2 cup milk (recipe calls for 3.5 oz, 1/2 cup is 4 oz) - reserve 1-2 T to glaze scones before baking

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers.
  4. Stir the sugar into the sandy flour/butter mixture.
  5. Beat egg and not-quite 1/2 cup milk (reserving 1-2T to glaze the scones with).
  6. Add egg/milk to bowl and stir just enough to bring it together.
  7. Flop the dough out and pat it together into a 3/4" tall disc.
  8. Stamp out scone shapes with a biscuit cutter (fluted or otherwise).
  9. Brush the tops with milk to glaze.
  10. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
http://laughinglemonpie.com/great-british-tea-time-scone-translated-for-american-bakers/

Book Review: Easy Everyday Slow Cooker on LaughingLemonPie.com

March 11, 2015
by Emily Klopstein
2 Comments

Book Review: Easy Everyday Slow Cooker

Laughing Lemon Pie was recently offered the chance to review Easy Everyday Slow Cooker Recipes by Donna-Marie Pye. This book features 200 recipes! Including several in the breakfast and dessert category…a place I had not yet been in the realm of slow cookery.

I tried 4 recipes: Beer-Braised Beef, Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Vegetables, 10-Alarm Turkey Chili, and Blueberry Orange Coffee Cake. All were very successful and now my freezer is happily stocked! These recipes kept my family going through many a ski-weekend this winter, and probably/hopefully some will come camping with us this summer as well.

Book Review: Easy Everyday Slow Cooker on LaughingLemonPie.com Beer-Braised Beef had a perfectly unctuous and crave-able gravy – I used Left Hand Milk Stout for the beer…so it was basically divine. This is a new favorite. I added a on-its-last-legs red pepper from the crisper too which dissolved into the sum greater than its parts.

Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Vegetables – I got a great cut of meat from Whole Foods Bradburn, so it was a good and good for you situation which is generally the goal around here. This was perfect over Creamy Quick Maple Polenta, what with all thOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAose juices swimming around begging to be sopped up. I also added a few oops-I-forgot-about-these potatoes that were attempting to take root in the bottom of my pantry. For me, polenta and potatoes is too much starch but I live with a neglected starchivore whose eyes lit up at the thought of potatoes AND polenta, and I generously transferred my potatoes over to his plate.

10-Alarm Turkey Chili – There were lots of great recipes in this book starring turkey, and this was one of them. A VERY family-friendly meal that elicited smiles all around the table. And as you can imagine, when they smile, I smile! This one was so good I kept forgetting to take photos of it! How’s that? By the time I’d remember to take a pic we were all staring at empty bowls!

Blueberry Orange Coffee Cake – When I run across recipes for breakfast or dBook Review: Easy Everyday Slow Cooker on LaughingLemonPie.comessert that employ the slow cooker I usually scratch my head. I get the idea of loading up the slow cooker in the morning, working all day, and then returning home to find dinner both delicious and done. I’m there. But breakfast? Dessert? That took some pondering. I’m guessing slow cooker desserts are ideal in the case of you having too much going on in your oven? And breakfast slow cooker treats would be neat if you were going to church on Sunday morning and wanted something tasty to be done when you got home. Or in either case if you were having people over after going somewhere like church or a play or concert – you could get it all going before you left, then you and your guests would come back to a ready-made wonder!

If you like slow cookery, be sure to check out Lacy’s Budget Organic Meal Plan No. 2: Slow Cooker Pork which features not only the recipe for Easiest Slow Cooker Pork, but also 3 ideas of what to do with the lovely stuff! And Lacy’s coverage of NYT Magazine’s Mark Bittman Summertime Slow Cooker rubric is similarly awesome and inspiring.

So…What’s your favorite recipe or cookbook for this ab fab kitchen tool? What situations do you find slow cooker desserts or breakfast items ideal for? Let us know!

60F

March 2, 2015
by Lacy
1 Comment

60 Fruit Dessert Recipes

There is still a LOT of snow on the ground here in Colorado, but I’m dreaming of peaches.  Plums. Strawberries picked from the field. Tart red cherries and rhubarb. Basically, summer.

In service o60Ff my everlasting goal to make eating healthier a little easier, I thought I’d round up a list of recipes that make fruit the star for dessert.  You won’t find any crisps or crumbles, buckles or brown bettys here. These recipes rely on the fruit and some strategic application of heat, herbs and spices, and creamy things to make them a little more amazing than they already were.

Many of these recipes have syrups and sauces that go with them, but you don’t necessarily need them. Use these as a jumping off place for creating your own recipes. Add the ice cream or don’t. Serve with a cookie on the side or don’t. Whatever your healthy eating goals, these recipes can be a great starting place to help you get there — without giving up dessert.

 

  1. Grapefruit Tarragon Popsicles
  2. Broiled Mangos
  3. Poached Apricots with Vanilla and Cardamom
  4. Melon with Lime-Chile Syrup
  5. Bourbon Cherries
  6. Saucy and Sweet Grilled Pineapple
  7. Broiled Pineapple with Ice Cream
  8. Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Syrup
  9. Mixed Berry Salad with Mint
  10. Roasted Grapes
  11. Vanilla-Roasted Peaches with Raspberries
  12. Roasted Cherries2627979684_dcf65e9ef4
  13. Chocolate Coconut Dipped Satsumas
  14. Easy Glazed Bananas
  15. Broiled Plums with Mascarpone Cream
  16. Baked Persimmons
  17. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples
  18. Poached Whole Plums with Brown Sugar Syrup
  19. Honey and Spice Poached Pears
  20. Summer Fruit with Honey Velvet Sauce
  21. Roasted Peaches with Dessert Wine
  22. Baked Apples with Mexican Chocolate
  23. Oatmeal-Brown Sugar Baked Apples
  24. Vegan Papaya Mousse
  25. Mango Dessert with Clotted Cream
  26. Bananas Foster
  27. Brie with Roasted Cinnamon Plums
  28. Cherry Ice
  29. Tropical Fruit Salad With Creamy Lime Sauce
  30. Mint-Melon Pops
  31. Broiled Apricots with Ginger Whipped Cream
  32. Mango Gratin
  33. Baked Pears with Raspberry Sauce
  34. Tropical Fruits with Pistachios & Coconut
  35. Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges
  36. Citrus-Infused Strawberries
  37. Berries with Warm Sherry Sabayon
  38. Rhubarb-Vanilla Compote
  39. Roasted Pears and Dried Fruit
  40. Berries and Coconut Cream
  41. Watermelon Salad with Rum and Mint
  42. Strawberry-Mango Parfaits With Ginger Topping.
  43. Apricot-Fig Compote
  44. Raspberry Pops
  45. Caramelized Pears
  46. Strawberries and Syrup
  47. Grilled Peaches with Sweetened Sour Cream
  48. Roasted Apricots With Sugared Pecans and Dulce de Leche
  49. Cinnamon-Roasted Apples with Pecans and Ice Cream
  50. Honey-Broiled Nectarines
  51. Caramelized Apples with Fresh Rosemary
  52. Ice Cream With Honey-Poached Apricots
  53. Roasted Fruit
  54. Peach Surprise
  55. Sauteed Peaches
  56. Poached Nectarines
  57. Blueberries with Maple Whipped Cream
  58. Warm Peaches With Whipped Cream
  59. Honeydew With Mint
  60. Rainbow Fruit Salad with Lemonbalm Syrup and Whipped Coconut Cream

Photo Credit: Magda’70 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc