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secret life of scones.

history tells us that scones originate from Scotland, Ireland and England – tastebuds tell us they are a fantastic way to spend a chilly night at home. unfortunately, in my quest to find more info about these delicate little beauties, i learned more about the coronation of Scottish Kings…fyi – Scone Palace is not a bakery.

tonight’s plan…mini lemon-blueberry scones and man-sized vanilla cream scones (and a teensy batch of tiny cookies).

Mini Lemon-Blueberry Scones

2 cups, all purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup cold butter (cut into small peices), 1/2 cup dried blueberries, 1 egg, 1/2 cup heavy cream, zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit. 

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix in dried blueberries until they are coated in flour – this will prevent them from dropping to the bottom of your scones. Drop in the peices of butter and toss until covered in flour. Work in the flour by pinching the butter peices until the mixture looks like little peas. Beat the egg and whipping cream together with lemon zest and juice.

Make a small well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix gentley until a rough ball forms. Empty the dough onto your counter and knead gentley until the dough forms a smooth ball – try to limit the kneading for a flakier scone.

Split the dough into two peices and form into two discs, each about an inch thick. Cut the discs into six or eight peices – depending on how big you want your minis 😉

Arrange the scones on a baking sheet and brush with more cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake until golden on the bottom and there is a light sugary crust on top.

Enjoy these minis with butter, jam or lucious devonshire cream (found at most Canadian grocery stores near the yogurt).

glam girl…you only turn 4 once.

pink. purple. sparkly. feathers. pearls. fancy nancy.

i have the honour of creating a glam little cake for a glam little girl’s 4th birthday; and MAN! am i glad that as different kids are now, compared to when i was a kid (cliche alert!) at least the little ones are still into the same things i was when i was knee-high.

i’ve got some super cute ideas, but i’m having a hard time fighting an urge to pull my hair into pigtails and put on JEM and the holograms!

fun fact: my sister and i are 14 months apart and grew up with the nicknames PINK & PURPLE or WHIRL & TWIRL ❤

~sneak peek~ robyn & warren’s cake

Warren & Roben – October 2, 2010

Airdrie, Alberta

we’re still waiting on pictures from the big day, but here’s a quick peek at r&w’s cake.

14 for thanks and giving them dessert :)

my mom has invited the closest members of our family to Thanksgiving dinner this year — 14 people. this may not be a big number to some people, but when you’re contributing to the table, it can certainly be daunting.

a really easy way to handle this, and not always the first thought for most — make more than one dessert!!

after everyone stuffs themselves with turkey dinner, the last thing there’s room for is dessert!

serving a variety of desserts will let my family choose a sliver of one, a big hunk of another or a little of each 🙂

the beauty of variety as well, is just that — VARIETY — you don’t have to get hung-up on making your choices based on the seasonal flavours. a selection of anything should include something for everyone: traditional pumpkin pie, something tart, something sweet, or maybe some chocolate??

whatever you do, don’t make it too complicated. the best part about the holidays is getting the chance to relax with family and enjoy some good food.

this year i’ll be making a pumpkin pie (with shortbread crust), an orange-cranberry cheesecake and dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganche filling. YUM!

basic instincts – loving nature themed cakes!!

 

man – am i loving the nature themed cakes i’ve come across while developing my concept for r&w’s cake!

neutral and subdued tones bring a classic feel back to a GROUP of cakes that has more recently LEANED towards being more FANTASTICAL without losing their contemporary style.

sweetness & spice

my good friends warren & robyn are getting married at a pretty country-club in Airdrie, Alberta in just a week and a half — i’m making their cake 🙂

after some serious brainstorming, the bride and groom settled on three teirs of cascading sweetness.

each layer is going to be a different flavour: white chocolate cake with lemon curd, spice cake with blackberry preserve and blackout cake with dark chocolate ganache.

All of the layers will be draped in white fondant and decorated with a nature-theme — not quite sure how that will happen just yet, but i’m starting to feel inspired… 

bring some Frosted Joy to your life

sweet megpies: Frosted Joy menu is now available! Check out the new page dedicated to delicious holiday treats.

for the past few years now, sweet megpies has offered clients a selection of treats and sweets to take some of the pressure off during the hectic holiday season.

treats are available by half or full dozen, and can be ordered well in advance and frozen to you’re all ready for your guests!

as always, Desserts on Demand are available throughout the year – contact sweet megpies to create something special to serve with coffee or digestif.

happy birthday susanna!

a good friend of mine turns ** years old today (censored for her feelings and my safety).

susanna is one of those enviable women who is able to balance all aspects of life with very little effort. she is a super-hero. at the moment, she is super-wife, super-mom, super-friend and super-healthy.

how can this be?  all of these things AND healthy?? i have lately determined that much of her awesomeness comes from her ability to seamlessly plan…including planning to do the wild rose cleanse through her birthday. silly girl. for those unfamiliar with this cleanse, it had a fairly strict diet that comes from a long list of “acceptable” foods. birthday cake is NOT acceptable.

a few short and saucy comments on her facebook page has now lead to the ultimate challenge: make a wild-rose friendly birthday cake.

after some googling, i have a rough idea of what might make a cake using only “acceptable” ingredients. and so, i am off to the store!!

early morning cookery

new bulb in place – went with the energy efficient variety so now i have interestingly created a low-light sort of mood in my kitchen. i was inspired to cook myself something in this new atmosphere.

early morning cookery often leads to baked indulgence.

in the post holiday fall-out, i have several residual pounds of butter remaining in my freezer. and following the heaps french toast made with egg nog (lovingly referred to as frog-nog toast), homemade croissants and cinnamon buns this morning i opted for something simple – biscuits. big ones.

with my granny’s recipe for biscuits (which consistantly produces biscuits that taste straight from the canadian prairies – buttery, soft, and flakey) i have dabbled in both the sweet and savoury. some successes have resulted from dried blueberries, any of the aromatic spices (but particularily cardamom and apple), cheeses (hard ones turn out better than the soft), roasted garlic and anything herb-ish. only thing you should really keep in mind when experimenting with added goodness is that you don’t make the dough too wet…so unfortunately fresh fruit tends to turn them more into little muffin tops instead of biscuits.

this morning i hit the flavour jackpot with a combo of  mozzarella and about 3 Tbsp of a strong garlic and herb dip mix. they baked up HUGE and alternated between finishing them with egg-wash or a pile of mozza.

i ate one, then decided i should make a sandwich with the next and use up some leftover ham (good excuse to have a second biscuit i say!). spread some dijon, piled the ham, topped with some baby romaine leaves and inserted my mouth-widening instrument.

mood lighting + delicious garlic, herb and cheese biscuit + ham sandwich = satisfaction with a over-extended jaw and a full belly.

GRANNY’S BISCUITS:

2 cups… flour

1/4 tsp… salt

4 tsp… baking powder

1/8 tsp… cream of tartar

1/2 cup… butter

1 cup… milk

Egg-wash (one egg + 2 Tbsp milk) 

mix dry ingredients in large bowl. cut in butter with finger tips until it you get pea-sized bits – try to do this quickly to avoid the butter getting too warm. stir in milk until just combined. turn out onto your counter and bring together. i don’t use a rolling pin, so just press the dough lightly with your palms until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. cut out biscuits and brush with egg-wash. bake at 350 F until brown on the tops and bottoms (15-20 min).

chicken wings

one bulb lights my entire kitchen and today, this bulb burnt out.

generally, i don’t let something as trivial as a burnt-out bulb get in the way of my appetite but today it did. it wasn’t the pile of dishes waiting to be washed, nor my empty refrigerator either…it was the light bulb. at any rate, i ended up at two different pubs, one for lunch the other dinner, where i ordered the same pub-food staple – chicken wings.

i subscribe to the philosophy that one can never have chicken wings too often, and that they should always be joined by a deliciously frothy beer. having dined on chicken wings weekly for most of the past decade, i have come to understand that there are TWO factors that will determine the worth of a chicken wing: 1) crispness of the skin – crisp-fried wings are just about the most perfect vessel for catching and retaining flavour, and 2) the dressing. most people who haved delved even into the shallow end of the chicken wing pool know that there are a range of flavours to choose, some dry and some wet.

today’s experience started out at a pub up the street. it is nothing spectacular, except for the close proximity to my home so i’m not sure why i expected anything more than fairly prepared wings. the next pub, the dinner pub, is a considerable distance from the other but leap and bounds better. they came not piled up in a basket, but stacked on a plate. they were delectable. the perfect combination of crispy and saucy.

they can’t be particularily difficult to make. fry the wings, sauce them up. probably time i should try making my own.

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