A Fresh Start!

I’m featured, again! Sweet and Sage has graciously asked me to write for her blog. Check me out!

20130813-113541.jpg never give up, never say uncle!!

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Pom-Walnut Chicken

Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken

Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken

Those of you who guessed Pomegranate from yesterday’s post, were right!

I adapted this recipe  for our daily lunches.  Every week, I come up with a few recipes and make a Cosco sized portion, so my evening is freed up for hanging out and doing whatever I want.  I love cooking, but I don’t make quick meals.  All dishes are thought out, made with fresh ingredients and plus, I’m no thirty-minute-rachel-ray.

I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used a little coconut oil spray instead of any butter or oil.  In keeping with our Paleo-ish lifestyle we went sans rice and placed the dish on a bed of spinach.  Spinach has become a staple in our house; between daily smoothies and usual meals, we plow through about 2-3 bags a week…here’s to being strong like Pop-eye!

Toasted, then crushed walnuts

Toasted, then crushed walnuts

Sauteing all the ingredients

Sauteing all the ingredients

The red stuff

Red seeds, from what fruit?

Red seeds, from what fruit?

Ok, all, I’m going to have you guess which ingredient I have here.  I love this game, even for myself, it’s so much fun trying new things (although this one is an oldie for me) and having to scour the cities grocery stores to find the right ingredient.  Can you guess what this is?

 

Red seeds, from what fruit?

Red seeds, from what fruit?

They are usually encapsulated within a larger red skin, these are the seeds.  They are juicy and almost “pop” when you bite in.

List your guesses in the comment section, below.  I’ll cough up the answer and feature my recipe on the blog tomorrow!

Angels Camp

Welcome to Glory Hole!

Water Selfie

Water Selfie

This past weekend I was able to experience all that was east of San Francisco, or some of what was east.  East of San Francisco consists of actual heat and nature, not something that I get too much of.  We headed to Angels Camp where there are campsites galore…

Angel's Camp

Angel’s Camp

and awesome fishing (or unsuccessful for us) at the New Melones Reservoir:

First fishing attempt

First fishing attempt

Pontoon backseat

Pontoon backseat

Bridge over New Melones Reservoir

Bridge over New Melones Reservoir

Although fishing was a wash, we ate plenty of good food (pesto portobello mushrooms, anyone?) and plenty of college-rate beer.  I love the weekends for doing the unexpected.  Now, back to the real world.

Scones: Cherry and Walnut

mmm...all those cherries and walnuts

mmm…all those cherries and walnuts

Weekend plans?

Mine consist of “car camping” at a place called Glory Hole.  [insert snarky wussy camping or sexual joke, here]  Yea, so that’s how my 31st birthday is going down.  The upside of this unfortunate situation is that I’ll be “sipping” on some beers, enjoying heat and sun and hanging with a super fun group of people on a 3-day weekend!

 

The positives totally outweigh the negatives.

So, last weekend, I did a double whammy of scone baking.  I made some normal so-so scones and then I made these Cherry and Walnut scones, which put the grapefruit and cardamom scones to shame.  The beautiful part is they are gluten-free and dairy-free.

Consisting of oat flour, coconut oil, dried cherries and raw walnuts made them fluffy and crumbly.

cherry walnut scone 2

cherry walnut scone 3

Scones with Grapefruit and Cardamom

Grapefruit and Cardamom Scones

Grapefruit and Cardamom Scones

I got a little creative this past weekend and decided that Grapefruit and Cardamom would be a great combination, well, I wasn’t too far off.  Although the grapefruit out-flavored the cardamom, which if you’ve had cardamom know that’s kind of hard to do, it was still a refreshing taste.  It wasn’t too savory or too sweet.

I’m still in the process of figuring out the perfect scone recipe, so these were all-purpose flour and heavy whipping cream scones = full of gluten and full of dairy.  Did you know that between 65% and 75% of the human population is lactose intolerant?  So, I’m working on dairy free options, for the majority of the population (stay tuned on Friday).

On top of all-purpose flour, heavy whipping cream, I zested the whole grapefruit (potential reason why said scones have a stronger grapefruit flavor, but once you get zesting how do you stop when the kitchen smells so nice!), busted open 11 cardamom pods (next time I’m shooting for 15, to balance out flavor), and of course coconut oil.

I’m a big fan of coconut oil, it’s dairy free, stores well and for the sake of Skipping Scones, will package well.  I found this article about coconut oil vs. butter, very interesting.  Check it out.  This does give the scone a more crumbly texture opposed to a flaky texture, but I’ll take it if it means I can ship my product and the consumer has one less item to buy at the store.

Enjoy these:

Grapefruit and Cardamom Scones

Grapefruit and Cardamom Scones

Cardamom, no, yo momma!

You guys guessed it: Cardamom!

Cardamom Pods and Seeds

Cardamom Pods and Seeds

Being the third most expensive spice by weight and produced mainly in Guatemala, followed by India, Trader Joe’s sells it at a surprisingly affordable price!  Trader Joe’s also has an awesome cheese selection, just saying (I’m not paid for this advertisement).

Tomorrow: Grapefruit and Cardamom Scones

The spice of your life!

Today, I’m going to have you guess a spice!

What is this?

What is this?

I usually enjoy this in coffee and baked goods (as for the reason that I’m bringing it up), I baked with this over the weekend.  I guess I’ve never broken open the shell to see with the actual spice looks like.  I was surprised!

cardamom 2

Like hamster turds?  ew. no.

Has anyone else cooked with this?  Here’s a better picture:

What the shell? (spongebob, anyone?)

What the shell? (spongebob, anyone?)

I want to know if anyone can guess what it is, leave your answer below and I’ll give you the answer on Wednesday, along with my featured scone.