Thursday, February 11, 2016

Popovers: from the Kitchen of Patty

I’ve had a popover pan for years. Literally years.


I received the pan as a gift from one of our favorite people after he’d spent a summer “nannying” his niece and nephew on the East Coast. They’d made a trip to Acadia National Park where they supposedly serve world-famous popovers - or at least make some extra cash selling popover pans as the perfect souvenir. Of course, I LOVED the gift (if I recall, this particular friend also brought some high-quality, uber crafty beer, a gift we were pleased to receive, yet an area of indulgence we’d yet to foster - a foreshadow of beer love to come I suppose). I was certain I’d be busting out the best popovers in a matter of weeks.


However, as time often does, time for my goals/plans/desires eluded me. I found a home for the pan, read over the attached recipe and then forgot all about them or relegated them to the “some-day” pile.


Before “some-day” arrived, life was calling us overseas, implying that many of our beloved belongings were to be boxed up, stored and saved for another, yet undetermined life. Fast forward through the Korea years and the settling into business owning life as a Burlington-ites, where this ever-present popover pan sits in my awkward pantry, reminding me of the things I once planned to conquer in the culinary world.


A little pantry re-organizing brought the Popover pan back to the forefront of my mind and soon the Popover pan weaseled it’s way into the Culinary Goals of year 2016.


I did a bit of Pinterest searching and read up on Popovers. But THEN, I was on the hunt for a recipe box recipe to prepare in January and came across of recipe for Popovers from the kitchen of my dear mother-in-law. I eventually learned that Mike would frequently request Popovers as a reward for good grades, important moments, etc. Thus, with great anticipation I set about preparing the Popovers of Mike’s youth.


Fortunately, I’d read up on enough recipes to realize that the recipe, as recorded on the recipe card I had on hand, was short on ingredients and could surely not produce the fluffy, airy, custard-y cup I desired. I compared the recipe card to the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and quickly realized the missing ingredient was milk, an easy add-in and an easy enough ingredient to add to the recipe card. With ingredients and motivation confirmed, I set about making popovers for the first time.


The results were simply perfect. Served hot with melty butter, boysenberry jam and hard chai lattes I understood completely the perks and allure of this simple breakfast item and will not hesitate to throw a batch of these together on future brunch occasions.




2 Eggs

1 C. Flour

1 C. Milk

½ tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Oil




Preheat oven to 450* F. Generally grease a popover pan or 8-tins of a muffin pan. Beat eggs slightly - add in flour, milk, salt and oil. Fill cups ¾ full and bake for 20 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 350* F and bake an additional 20 minutes until the custard pops over the tin. Serve warm with butter, jam and/or honey (or plain, because they are simply delicious no matter what!)


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

White Chocolate Lemon Scones

I always schedule doctor appointments on Tuesdays. Even if I could work half a day, I enjoy the opportunity of lounging around my house and pretending it’s a weekend. So, when I had a late, Tuesday afternoon eye appointment, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to pretend like it was a Saturday. I woke up early enough to indulge in coffee and the joy of baking with fresh lemon juice and zest.

Side note: since living in Laramie and attending the Farmer’s Market there every late spring and summer, I grew a strong affinity for the combination of Lemon and White Chocolate, particularly in bread (if I can throw in a bit of mint, all the better!). One of my favorite indulgences of the Farmer's Market and an eating experience that made my heart do a double heel click was an Artisan Loaf of bread studded with white chocolate chunks, lemon zest and fresh mint. Bread, to me, is the body of Jesus, and White Chocolate Mint bread is nothing short of heavenly.

Thus, when the opportunity to combine these flavors presents itself, I answer with enthusiasm and anticipate the joy that will soon be mine and that of my tastebuds.

My only regret in putting these scones together was the lack of fresh mint I had on hand (I’d recently trimmed off some dead leaves and was awaiting regrowth from my window sill “garden”) Thus, I shall have to schedule yet another doctor's appointment so that I can pack these already delicious morsels with even more delicious goodness.

Recipe adapted from: Ashlee Marie


4 ½ C. Flour

⅔ C. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

Finely grated zest of 2 Lemons (I LOVE using my Pampered Chef Microplane for this!)

6 Tbsp cold Butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces

1 ½ C. Heavy Cream

1 Egg Yolk, beaten slightly

10 Tbsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice


Preheat oven to 400* F. Sift/Mix together Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the Lemon Zest and mix again. Cut in the Butter until mix resembles fine crumbs. Pour in cream, yolk and lemon juice; blend together until the dough holds together. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, knead gently three-to-four times. Create four equal sized balls. Flatten each ball into a disk about ¾ inches thick, then cut into 6 wedges (24 scones in total). Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, fluffy and delicious, about 16-18 minutes. Enjoy!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Grocery Aisle Challenge: Canned Kadota Figs

I'm not sure if it's fair for my first Grocery Aisle Challenge to make use of an item I definitely purchased in 2015, however, it was an item I'd never used but for which I was forming big plans.

I love figs. Or, everytime I've had something with figs, I've enjoyed it - Newton's, fancy pizza, appetizers, etc. But, truth be told, Wyoming is not a bustling environment for fresh figs - neither the climate nor the population lend themselves to the availability of such delicacies. Thus, the local Albertson's provides them in canned form. I imagine there are some strong opinions on this front, but I'm just here, working with what I've got...

I didn't know that canned figs were an option, but I'm not going to kid you, I was excited to see that I could play around with this seemingly exotic fruit at my own convenience. I conducted numerous searches on Pinterest and Allrecipes until I had determined some of the best foods to pair with these sweet little morsels. Since I had originally purchased the canned figs in hopes of using them on a pizza I continued forth on that path of thinking and opted to create a pizza special which would feature what I had deemed would be the perfect combination of flavors to compliment these Kadota Figs canned in light syrup.


The result? The Perfect FIGure. A pizza built on our signature garlic olive oil topped with a five-cheese blend, bacon, caramelized onion, feta cheese, sliced kadota fig and finished with a rich drizzle of balsamic glaze. As we served this particular pizza for a week, I found myself comparing the creation to a super-gussied up version of the beloved Hawaiian style pizza - the sweetness of fruit, saltiness of cured meat and then all the gussiness of deep, rich, classy flavors - for me, it was absolutely impossible to go wrong!

I've never been afraid to experiment with new recipes or ingredients, but it is definitely fun to go to the store with the distinct task of seeking out a new item to be used in a new recipe or a play on a classic recipe. My most recent trip had me gazing at the fresh herb section and lighting up upon seeing lemongrass in a convenient squeeze container...right in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming!


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