Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring edible WOW

Happy Friday! I hope you have some spring time fun planned for the weekend. If you haven't seen it yet, I wanted to let you know that the latest issue of EdibleWOW is available now. I had a great time writing articles about goat cheese and potato chips for this one. Intrigued? Pick up a copy and read all about. There's also a ridiculously delicious sounding recipe for breakfast pierogis that's on the slate in this house for Sunday — with a possible afternoon side dish of Marche du Nain Rouge. What are your  plans?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy birthday, Blue House!

Have you heard the news? Blue House has a new blog! Siobhan and the BH are just about to celebrate one year of Blue House crafty goodness and now there's even more reason to celebrate — especially for those of you not in the area! Contributors far and near have already started a slew of posts: DIY projects, crafty book recommendations and more. Today, I posted what I hope to be the beginning of a series called Eye Candy that I hope you will want to participate in. It starts with some inspiration… have a look and play along, won't you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grapefruit, Honey and Yogurt Scones

On a day that certainly has hints of spring to it, it seems right to post a recipe with a fresh citrusy flavor. Oranges and grapefruits bridge that line between winter and spring with their bright flavor that on a cold, grey day tastes like pure sunshine — or on a sunny day reminds that there is  plenty more to come. These scones are such a surprising combination of fresh flavors — just right for this in between season. And the pink is just so darn purdy. Enjoy!

Grapefruit, Honey, and Yogurt Scones
Makes: 6 scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 Ruby Red grapefruit, zested and segmented
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

Zest the grapefruit and combine zest and granulated sugar on a clean cutting board.  Rub together the zest and sugar with the back of a spoon or a plastic bench knife. The sugar will be tinted a pale orange color and smell of grapefruit. Measure 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit sugar and whisk into the dry ingredients. Save the remaining grapefruit sugar for topping the scones just before baking.

Segment the grapefruit next.  Slice off the bottom and top of the grapefruit, exposing the wheel of grapefruit flesh inside.  Use a sharp knife to cut away the peel and pith of the grapefruit, exposing the pink grapefruit flesh.  Slice in between the white skin segments to the center of the fruit, at a slight angel, circling the grapefruit.  Little grapefruit segments should fall from the fruit as you slice.  Set segments aside.

Dice cold butter into 1/2-inch chunks and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, and working quickly, break the butter down into the flour mixture until butter chunks are the size of oat flakes or small peas and resembles coarse meal. Add the honey, plain yogurt and grapefruit segments. Toss together with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the yogurt and  honey. 

Turn the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface. It will be very wet. With floured hands, form into an 8-inch circle as best you can, about 1 inch thick. Use a knife or a bench scraper to cut the dough into six scone triangles. Place on the prepared baking sheet. It was so wet that I used the bench scraper to scoop each scone onto the baking sheet.

Lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk or buttermilk, and sprinkle generously with grapefruit sugar. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm but soft in the center.  Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with butter and jam. These scones are definitely best served the day they’re made.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Support great food in your community!

Those sweet smiling faces up there are Joel and Phillis from The Lunch Room and they could use a helping hand. As neighbors and friends, the two discovered a mutual love for cooking and feeding people. They started out hosting dinner parties for friends and serving up scrumptious vegan meals. Just last fall they started hosting a variety of larger "pop-up" restaurant style meals — each served up on their signature retro lunchroom trays in a full array of colors.

And now Phillis and Joel are getting ready for an exciting new venture coming to Ann Arbor this spring — a food cart! You may have heard by now that Mark's Carts is opening behind Downtown Home and Garden in May and will host eight to ten food carts, including one for The Lunch Room. I am so excited for food carts — and especially knowing Phillis and Joel's incredible vegan offerings will be among them.

They have a Kickstarter campaign going to raise the $8,000 they need to get the cart up and running. In return for your support, you could have a menu item named after you, sport an extremely fashionable Lunch Room tee, or grab a free sandwich and a magnet. The most important part is that you'll be supporting two people following their passion and contributing to the community — and food scene — in tremendous ways. And, to top it all off, they've made a really great video to tell their story! 

Before I had been to any of their meals, I discovered Phillis' blog, Making Life Real, about choosing to take a year of "purposeful unemployment" to explore and rediscover her life's passions. I have so much respect for someone involved in such a mindful journey and it's been a pleasure to read along with her adventures. Her enthusiasm and energy level are almost enough to convince me to convert to a vegan lifestyle — almost. 

In the meantime, I've had the pleasure of attending two of their pop-up meals at Pot and Box and both were so delicious and perfect that I forgot to take my camera out of my bag on both occasions. But let me tell you, each little lunch tray portion was filled with a delectable item — highlights for me include the homemade coconut yogurt with granola, a tortilla filled with the most insanely delicious curried potato, carrot chickpea filling from heaven — oh yea, and then there were the Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes! Mmmmmm… I can't wait to be able to get a taste of these treats any time I want at the food cart court!