Happy Saturday, my friends! The weather is just beautiful here this week: ~70s during the day and 40s at night. I believe our frost risks may be over so next week will be lots of gardening. Thank you for joining me today for another edition of Saturday Meanderings and all good things this week.
Valentine’s Day ideas
Do you have Valentine’s Day plans? We are planning a very small dinner party~outside, of course. In 1998, we had our first formal sit-down dinner party for this holiday. We have missed a few years over the last 23, but this is one of our favorite events. More pictures next week.
If you like to make special meals, I highly recommend the Heart-Shaped Ravioli recipe. I am making this meal for our college daughter and her roommates. See blog post here.
If you are looking for a quick gift for Valentine’s Day, check out these very pretty and affordable 13 oz. 3-wick candles from Target. Designed by Studio McGee, the quality is excellent and the price even better at $15.00 each. The ribbed glass container has a lovely wooden top with a gold handle. The scent is Mandarin Orange Blossom with notes of jasmine and blonde woods (what are blonde woods?). Other scents are available. If you don’t follow Studio McGee, here is their website. Great ideas for inspiration.
January is a big pruning month here. The roses get whacked down to the ground and the stone fruit trees get a significant haircut. But Mother Nature is so generous and quickly rewards my efforts with these beautiful blooms!
Remember the bulb garden I planted last year? And the mystery of the stolen plants? If not, see post here. Last October I re-planted 50 hyacinths and 100 tulip bulbs. The new growth is just now emerging from the dirt and I am so excited! Maybe I need to post security cameras out there to see who the culprit is….
In my attempts to be healthier, I do try to exercise frequently. But on those chilly mornings where I am nestled under my down comforter, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed and work up a sweat. My dear friend Barbara and I now text each other when we complete a workout. I can honestly say this is such a motivation: “If Barbara can do this, so can I!” Such a simple way of keeping each other on track. If you need some encouragement to move, link up with a friend.
White linen tablecloths are a classic, but sometimes it’s refreshing to branch out. Darviny @dayswithdarviny sent me these two fabulous tablecloths. I love the look of Indian block patterns. Though she doesn’t have an online shop just yet, she has a well-cultivated colorful style. Please make sure to follow her on Instagram.
In making lemon curd and Meyer Lemon Marmalade this week, I obviously need something to spread these luscious lemon toppings. Referring to the book, Dessert University, by Roland Meisnier (the former White House pastry chef), I make dried cherry scones. Some scones tend to taste like baking powder, so I’m a bit picky on scone flavor. But this recipe is truly delicious. I find it a bit odd to use a hard boiled egg, but it goes unnoticed.
Also, I greatly alter the recipe. Instead of making them into quarters, I just shape the dough and use a biscuit cutter. See recipe below and my notes.
Our Maine Coon, Donovan, recently darted outside. Now that he has a taste of the great outdoors, he is very keen on escaping once the back door is open. I love this photo as he has his “hunting” eyes on while he nibbles on the greens.
Meanwhile, Cooper and Sox love staying inside and napping on their comfy blankets.
Have a warm and loving weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!
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Dried Fruit Scones
- 1/2 recipe Cobbler Dough
- 2 TBSP butter melted, for brushing
- 1 cup raisins, dried blueberries or dried cherries
- 3 TBSP cinnamon sugar
- Confectioners' sugar
- 2 large eggs, hard-boiled and cooked
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 TBSP sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 TBSP cream of tartar
- pinch salt
- 8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter chilled and cut into 8 pieces
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 TBSP ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 4 pieces. Shape each peice into a 6-inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Brush 2 of the disks with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, and sprinkle with the dried fruit. Place the remaining disks on the top of the fruit and press lightly. With a sharp chef's knife, cut each disk into 4 wedges. Place the wedges 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased and unlined baking sheet. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with the Cinnamon Sugar. Bake the scones until they are light golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the broiler on high. Sift confections' sugar heavily over the scones and place them under the broiler. Broil for just a few seconds, unti the sugar is melted and golden. Watch the scones carefully, because the sugar will begin to burn quickly.
- Cool the scones on a wire rack. Dried Fruit Scones will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Wrapped in plastic wrap and then fiol, they can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. Defrost them on a counter and then reheat in a 325 degree oven for 7 to 8 minutes before serving.
Cobbler, Scone, Shortcake or Turnover Dough
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set the whites aside for another use. Push the yolks through a fine-mesh sieve strainer into a small bowl, and set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolks and the heavy cream, and mix until the dough just comes together. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel until ready to use, up to 1 day.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and ix thoroughly. Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 6 months.
- I do not divide the dough in #1. I add all the dried fruit into the mixture while still in the the mixer.
- I do not divide the dough, but instead, use a biscuit cutter and make individual scones.
- I did not use any cinnamon sugar, but just brushed the scones with a bit of the heavy cream. But you could use the melted butter too.
- Baking the individual scones (the recipe made 8), took approximately 12 minutes in my convection oven.
- I did not add the confectioners’ sugar nor broil them (step #2)