Oh, the shame! I am so late posting. I had every intention of posting last week, but time got away from me, as it always does. Here’s a little more insight into my life and what I do in the time we are ‘apart’. More specifically, this is part of the 100 Happy Days challenge I took right after the first of the year to see my world in a more positive light. I won’t speak now of its impact, instead I’ll wait until I finish the 100 days. But I must say: it’s amazing how much happiness and love and good I have around me at any given time. I just didn’t realize it until I made myself see it through a different lens. Literally.
Happiness is…Day 21:..hot apple pie fresh out of the oven. And the smell of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples baked together. And not tasting it but giving the pie away as a little gift of gratitude./Day 22:..finally crossing ‘Take a pottery class’ off your to-do list. And making your first piece that resembles a dish you’d eat out of. And the excited frustration of learning something new./Day 23:..fresh herbs in the dead of winter./Day 24:..this mural./Day 25:..being this loving, wicked intelligent, hilarious, encouraging, talented writer’s partner. Happy birthday, babe! I celebrate this day with all the joy and happiness I can muster because your introduction to the world was the first day our paths started wandering in the same direction./Day 26:..Maine seafood. Particularly Maine mussels that cost 99 cents for a 2 lb bag. And the garlic, wine, and butter juiciness in the bottom of the bowl. And the bread to sop it up with./Day 27:..looking out the window at birds on the feeder/ Day 28:..crawling into a squishy bed, snuggling up under soft, snuggly blankets, and reading a really good book at the end of a long, not so stellar day. And staying up a little later to see what happens next. And forgetting all about your bad day because the book you’re reading is so good./Day 29:..blogging. Most of the time. And appreciating the growth from the seed that was planted years ago as a hobby to get me through the long Arctic winter.
Last week, one of my ‘happies’ was a picture of a product I received in the mail to test and use in a recipe. Healthy Solutions Spice Blends is a spice company from neighboring New Hampshire whose goal is to provide healthy, flavorful spice blends at an affordable price. Healthy, flavorful, and affordable?! Count. Me. In. This particular company is one I love because they don’t use MSG. I get migraines and MSG is one of my triggers, so I tend to avoid anything and everything on the bottom shelves of the spice aisle at the grocery store. To Shelly from Healthy Solutions: thank you for bringing convenience and good taste back into my life!
For this particular challenge (from a long list of spice blends that looked wonderful), I requested the Encrusted Haddock spice blend to work with. It’s a medley of dried cranberries, garlic, celery, and onions. I was intrigued by the combination of flavors and I must say, this blend ‘has it all’, in terms of a flavorful punch, but ‘all’ doesn’t include salt, sugar, and other bad-for-you additives like you find in other flavorings and spice blends.
I reserved half the packet to prepare in the way it was intended, and it is REALLY good on white fish. With the other half, I made these sweet and savory whole wheat scones. These are chock-full with kale, dried cranberries, and green onions and are topped with nutty parmesan and toasted pine nuts. The spices within give the scones a depth of flavor that leaves whoever’s eating them wondering, ‘I don’t know what’s in this, but I love it!’
The goal of this recipe was in keeping with the company’s mission: I wanted to create something healthy and flavorful without a lot of added salt or sugar. A savory whole wheat scone, sweetened with a touch of honey and dried cranberries came to mind right off the bat.
I think feta cheese (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup–omit parmesan) would be amazing folded into this batter. I didn’t test it for this recipe because I was keeping an eye out on the fat content. If you end up trying it and use feta, let me know it turns out. It’s just a hunch, and usually my hunches are pretty good!
- 1 cup self rising flour (plus more for rolling)
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cubed
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. Healthy Solutions Encrusted Haddock Spice Blend
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- ½ cup cranberries, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- For the top:
- 1-2 egg yolks, diluted with 1 tsp water
- ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup parmesan, finely shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine flours, salt, and cubed butter in the bowl of a food processor. Using the dough blade, pulse 10-12 times or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Empty into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, sour cream (or plain yogurt), honey, and egg whites.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until slightly combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in spice blend, kale, cranberries, and green onions until the dough is just sticking together. Be careful not to over mix here--the less you mix, the less dense the scone will be.
- Using your hands, scoop the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Coat both side of the dough ball with flour and mold into a circle, about 8 inches in diameter. Using a pizza cutter, ulu, or large knife, cut dough into 8 triangles, as if you were slicing a pizza.
- Separate scones and place on a prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash. Top with whole, lightly toasted pine nuts and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until scones are nice and brown.