Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Come Preview my January Newsletter

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A Harmony of Flavors January 2017 Newsletter
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Happy New Year.

After over four years, I am finally learning how to compose a newsletter. Better late than never. For these past 4+ years I have had "A Harmony of Flavors" website filled with recipes and a "A Harmony of Flavors" blog site continually being updated with new recipes. There is a lot to choose from!
CLICK HERE for a Bonus Recipe!
Most Recently,
"Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake . . ." is what popped in my mind as I was patting and forming my scones for the oven this morning.

Perusing Facebook early this AM, I got a reminder of a post I had shared one year ago, for Red Berry and White Chocolate Scones. The recipe was found on a site called www.orgasmicchef.com, though the recipe itself was from a guest poster - another blogger whose site is called www.notquitenigella.com. The recipe had things I just love: raspberries, fresh cranberries and white chocolate. The fact that these things were made into scones
was a no-brainer. So last year I shared the recipe on Facebook when it came around, and then managed to forget all about it. (Read More)
A Cheesecake Worth Trying!

Chestnut Cheesecake is a wonderful holiday treat, but great at any time. I found a recipe for a Chestnut Cheesecake many years ago, and promptly made it with a lot of revisions. The recipe as it stood seemed to be clumsy, and with far
too many steps. To me, superfluous steps are anathema. I am not saying I don't make complex recipes; I have created many of my own. I always try to make them in the least steps possible to accomplish my ends. (Read more)
If You Like Indian Food, Try this Lamb Korma!
There is a recipe that is in all of my Indian cookbooks (about 6 or so), called Korma. Usually made with lamb (though it can be made with chicken or beef), this dish has a very pale sauce and in some cases, bland. Surprising, when you think about Indian cooking to have a recipe come out so bland. I have tried various iterations of the recipe from many of these books and have never been quite satisfied.

It is one thing to have a nice, light sauce with lots of flavor. I love my Chicken and Dumplings with its creamy-white sauce and great flavor. The Korma has mostly been, well, meh. I sat down yesterday with
all my books opened to the page with this recipe, to try and piece together what, exactly makes Korma. I created a recipe based on my findings. I am not Indian, though I just love all the flavors and spices. How much of what I did is genuinely authentic, I have no clue. All I can say for sure is that the result was most excellent. (Read more)
Tej Patta Leaves or Indian Bay Leaves

I love finding new spices or herbs to work with, eagerly searching out anything new (to me).

So imagine my surprise when not too long ago, I heard about "Indian Bay Leaf". I found that this is not a bay leaf as we know it at all, but something that looks similar, and has been called bay leaf, sometimes Indian bay leaf. In fact it is a closer relation to cinnamon.

If you find an Indian recipe calling for "Bay Leaf," it means Indian Bay Leaf, or tej patta (among other names). And, they are not interchangeable! (Read more)
I hope this Newsletter finds everyone well this new year of 2017. I hope you will visit all my sites and try some new (or old) recipes, learn something new about an herb or spice or other subject, or maybe just daydream. However it is accomplished, I endeavor to provide articles of interest. Not everyone cooks these days, due to time constraints it seems. I did manage to cook meals for my family back when I had 4 youngsters and worked 2 jobs, so I know it can be done, though it requires some real attention to detail in getting it done. Many of my recipes are created now that I am retired and have extra time on my hands, but many are easy and quick.
Please forward this newsletter to any friends who may find my stories , articles and recipes of interest. Subscribe to this Newsletter by hitting the Subscribe Button below. Follow me on Facebook, check out my A Harmony of Flavors website, and A Harmony of Flavors blog. Find all my food (and lots of other) photos on Pinterest at AHOFpin.
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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Wonderful Cran Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

"Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake . . ." is what popped in my mind as I was readying my scones for the oven this morning.
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones


Happy New Year's Everyone! Perusing Facebook early this AM, I got a reminder of a post I had shared one year ago for Red Berry and White Chocolate Scones. The recipe was found on a site called www.orgasmicchef.com, though the recipe itself was from a guest poster - another blogger whose site is called www.notquitenigella.com. The recipe had things I just love: raspberries, fresh cranberries and white chocolate. The fact that these things were made into scones was a no-brainer. So last year I shared the recipe on FB when it came around, and then managed to forget all about it. 

Till this morning. When I shared the recipe again. But this time the difference was that I actually had fresh cranberries in the fridge, frozen whole raspberries in the freezer and white "chocolate" baking chips in the pantry!

Just because I find a recipe that sounds amazing, does not mean I follow the recipe. I seem to have a built-in need to tinker. Tweak. The only part of the recipe that I followed (sort of) is with the amounts for the three ingredients   already mentioned. Even those were altered a tiny bit. When the first issue of BAKE from scratch magazine came out and it featured scones (which I just love), I was hooked. Their method was quite different from what I had done previously in my recipes for scones, and I liked the way they came out. And yes, I actually did follow (some of) the recipes in that magazine - just to see how they came out. They sort of have a basic main ingredient list and then flavors are added. There is some variation in the basic ingredients, mainly if there is a need to compensate for a moist addition or dry addition. And then there is method . . . . . !

The magazine calls for:
  • starting in a food processor
  • then moving the mixture to a bowl to add in the add-ins, 
  • and then to a cake tin to form the circle, 
  • then they are turned out onto the counter to cut them apart. 

=:-O

I mean, really??? 

Pat out then cut and bake
Pat out then cut and onto pan to bake
I once remarked to my sister-in-law that you can always tell when a person has "staff" to help out with washing the pots, pans, bowls and things. They will tend to use every piece of equipment in the kitchen, just because they can - and then the "help" will clean up afterwards. I am a "one-woman-show" here, and I try to utilize the least amount of things I would otherwise have to wash afterwards. I mix my scones up in a bowl, cut the butter in with a pastry blender. I pat it out on the counter top [at this point is where the "Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake . . ." popped into my head] to form the round 8-inch circle. In the end I have one bowl, a pastry blender and a knife to clean. Oh, and maybe a measuring cup and spoon. 
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

Anyway, back to making these scones. I opted to use the basics from the "BAKE from scratch" magazine, mainly:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt (which I find way too much, personally)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
A friend had given me some fresh raspberries over the summer, which she had frozen individually on a sheet, then packaged. I'd not yet gotten around to using them, so today was the day. I had some fresh cranberries in the fridge, also which I had not gotten around to using. I had no actual white chocolate, but I had white baking chips, so those would have to do for now. And all I can say is Wow! The scones were fantastic. That said, they were still a little soft in the middles even after the 15 minutes at 425 degrees. I might have to lower the temp and let them go a little longer next time - but for now I have absolutely no problem with how they came out.

Here is my recipe:


Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones


Makes 8 scones 
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
Cran-Raspberry White Chocolate Scones


3/4 cup individually frozen raspberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate in small chunks (or white baking chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup + 1 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Measure out the chopped cranberries and set aside. Measure out the frozen raspberries. Cut them in half if preferred. Set aside. Measure out the white chocolate and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to combine. With a heavy pastry cutter, or two knives or fingers, cut in the cold butter. If doing this with fingers, cut the butter into little cubes, then work quickly so as not to heat the butter too much. 

Mix in the reserved cranberries, raspberries and white chocolate. Stir to distribute. Do not mix too much. With a fork, toss the mixture lightly while drizzling in the heavy cream. Once the cream is all added, continue tossing and scraping sides until most of the mixture is moistened. Do not beat. Spray a clean counter top with cooking spray and turn out the scone mixture. Press and pat the mixture together ["Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake . . ."] to form an 8-inch circle. Use a long knife and cut across the circle four times, creating 8 scones. Using the knife, separate and lift each scone to the parchment lined baking sheet, setting them at least 1-inch apart.

Bake the scones for 15 minutes, until browned and set. 


My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (AHOFpin). I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies  


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