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Vanilla Bean Scones

This is a variation of the simple scone recipe that I recently shared.

I wanted to make scones one weekend morning I wondered how I could make everyone happy since not everyone has the same likes, so I came up with these…

 (Vanilla bean scones with a simple vanilla icing)

I used the same simple base that I used in my other scones with a few small changes.

(makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 400g flour, plus more for handling the dough
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold or frozen butter
  • 280g-300g milk (I used coconut almond milk)
  • 1 Vanilla bean, split and scraped

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp butter (room temp)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla (I make my own)
  • milk
(Vanilla bean)
vanilla goodness

Directions:

  •  Preheat oven to 425° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

With a food processor:

  • First pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt a few times until well mixed.
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add them to the dry ingredients and pulse four or five times until the butter is mixed in and the largest pieces you can see resemble small peas.
  • Mix the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean into the milk and stir so that it there are no clumps of vanilla and then slowly add the cold milk to the dry/butter mixture and pulse again just until the dough comes together. There should be no longer spots of flour and the dough should not be too wet.

By hand:

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar (if using) and the salt.
  • Get your cheese grater out and grate the butter into the flour and just mix. You could also go the longer way and cut the cold butter into small cubes use a pastry cutter or two forks as you would with pie dough. The important thing is to not handle the dough too much and to not smoosh the butter into the flour too much.
  • Mix the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean into the milk and stir so that it there are no clumps of vanilla, Add the milk and stir in quickly just until the dough comes together and doesn’t show big spots of dry flour anymore.

Dump onto a well floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead just 2-3 times if needed. If the dough looks good already, just pat it out on the floured surface. Over-kneading the dough will make the texture tough and they will not rise right, so you want to be very gentle with the dough!

When you pat the dough out you want it to be about 3cm thick (about an inch) and then using a round cookie/biscuit cutter, or a glass or any other round object, cut out the scones. Make sure you don’t twist your cutter but use a simple up/down motion. Twisting the cutter will fuse the sides a bit and they may not rise.

Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 13-15 min until the are golden in colour. Let them cool a bit.

While the Scones are baking, you can make the Icing.

Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the tsp of butter and mix the butter in with a fork until there are no clumps of butter left, add the tsp of vanilla and mix well. Slowly add the milk about 1/2 tsp at a time and mix until smooth. I don’t give a quantity of milk because it depends on how thin you want it but however you want it takes a very small amount of milk.

Spoon the icing over the scones and serve.

 

Vanilla scones with Vanilla icing

Meal plan for the Week

This week is not exactly the same as most weeks so our meal plan is a bit off.

What is different about this week? Khéna is turning 6! Can you believe it?!

I usually do my grocery shopping on Saturday, but I was out yesterday so there is one meal less because of that. We are also going out for Khéna’s birthday so we will be eating out that day and Simon will be home on Friday so I haven’t planned a meal for then either.

So the plan for the week is pretty simple:

  • Submarine sandwiches (beef strips, pepperoni, mozzarella, grilled onions and mushrooms, lettuce and Italian style  dressing)
  • Perogies and Salad
  • Stuffed Buns
  • Meat and Sweet Potato Pie
  • Roasted Veggies, Salad and Garlic Bread
Some Ideas for breakfast and lunch: Oatmeal Smoothie, Toast, English Muffin with Eggs, Family Apple Pancake, Yogourt with Granola, Leftovers etc…
I will also be making bread for the week and then Baba Ganoush, Pizza dough, Black Magic Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream icing and a few other things for Khéna’s party.

 

Beef and Udon Noodles

This is a very easy and quick meal that can be made in about 15 min which is great for a midweek meal on our house when I don’t feel like cooking that much.

You need to start with a good cut of beef that will be tender without being cooked long.. Sometimes I will use tenderloin (Filet Minion) or sirloin, but this time I asked my butcher for what was best and he gave me a great 2 pound roast that I was able to slice up when I was ready to use it and it was absolutely perfect. Talking to the butcher is always a good idea.

 

 

Ingredients:

For the Beef:

  • 2 lbs of sliced beef
  • 2 tsp of Tamari (or dark soy sauce)
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin
For the rest of the meal:
  • 2 Sweet Red Peppers sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger chopped
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp Tamari
  • 800g of Udon Noodles
  • bunch of green onions (roughly chopped)
Start by Marinating your beef… Just throw the ingredients together and massage it into the beef a bit. You can marinate the meat for a few hours or a few minutes, it is up to you and how much time you have…
Heat up a skillet to a high heat and add a tsp of oil and stir fry your beef. Don’t overlook it, you want it still a bit red as it will continue cook after it is out of the pan and will be added back and will cook a bit more after. You do want to get nice brownish bits on it though.
Take the meat out of the skillet and set aside.
In the same hot pan, add a bit of oil if there is none left.
Add most of the green onion to the pan (reserve some for garnish), add the garlic and the ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add the red peppers and cook until soft but still slightly crisp.
Add the Udon noodles. I couldn’t Udon noodles before unless I went to a grocery store closer to Montreal, but now I can easily find them at most of the grocery stores around me now. They come packaged like this and  are pretty cheap and are delicious. And this comes from someone who does not like pasta.
So add the noodles and then add the Hoisin, Oyster sauce and the Tamari. Stir around quickly and lower the heat and add the beef.
Let it all cook together for another minute or two and it is done.
That is all…
Doesn’t it look delicious?
 it is… it really is…

 

 

 

Baba Ganoush

If you have never had it or you are wondering what Baba Ganoush is, it is really not as strange as it sounds.



Baba Ganoush is made from smoky roasted eggplant, Tahini (Sesame paste) lemon juice, garlic and a few herbs and spices. It is creamy and has a subtle smoky flavour that is greatly paired with crisp tortilla chips straight out of the oven or next to fresh-cut veggies. Though the traditional spread is not made with chickpeas, I add them in to add a bit of bulk and make it more of a complete meal, yet I don’t add enough to change the taste. So maybe this is more a Baba Ganoush style humus if you were really getting technical.

It had been quite a while since I had made it and I kept on forgetting until I found some eggplants in the discount section at the grocery store. A little bruised but perfect for roasting. Wilhelmina fell in love with it and ate it with tortilla chips the night I made it and then ate more for various snacks and even breakfast in the days after with carrot sticks and sliced red peppers. I bought more eggplants this weekend because she was asking for more once it was gone.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher or coarse Sea Salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • a half bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 can of Chickpeas (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika (or)
    • a few dashes of liquid smoke*

* The smoked paprika or the liquid smoke add an amazing depth to the Baba Ganoush. You don’t want to overdo either though, especially the liquid smoke, so use sparingly and adjust at the end as needed.

 

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Prick each eggplant a few times, then broil in the oven until the skin blackens turning over a few times. Keep a close eye on them to not overdo it.
  • Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft. You will able to prick them easily without resistance.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Place the pulp in the blender or food processor with the other ingredients and process until smooth.
  • Taste, and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of chile powder or smoked paprika

For the Chips:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Combine a tsp of garlic powder, a tsp of chile powder, 1/4 tsp cumin and  1/2 tsp of salt to a few tbsp of olive oil.
  • Cut some tortillas into wedges and place on a baking sheet.
  • Brush the wedges with the seasoned oil and bake a few min until crisp. They will cook fast so keep an eye on them and take them out when golden.

Meals for the week…

Over the years I have tried to start this as a weekly thing but I only do a few weeks and then I forget.

So here is to another try… and as a bonus I will add last week’s meals also.

Last week we had an all vegetarian week which is something I love to do because I feel so much better eating vegetarian meals, however, my family is not as much on board. We have figured out that pork and chicken just doesn’t agree with any of us much anymore, so we will not be making many meals with those ingredients except for a few exceptions. However, we do enjoy beef, and I have a good butcher, so this week I am adding back a bit of meat so that the rest of the family is happier.

Last week:

  • Homemade Baba Ganoush (or hummus as I made it with eggplant and chickpeas) with homemade pita chips
  • General Tso Tofu  (using this recipe but with Tofu)
  • Spinach Salad with Roasted Veggies and Garlic Bread
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Spinach Salad and Perogies
  • Snack for supper (bread, cheese and other snack things)

This week:

Do you plan your meals in advance? If you are interested in knowing more about my menu planning, check out this post. 
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