Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blueberry Scones


These last few days, I've been busy with conferences in Atlanta, which has left me little time to do much of anything in the kitchen. Luckily last weekend I took advantage of the cooler weather out here in Georgia, since I was afraid the summer heat was coming back and I needed to make something with all the blueberries I just bought.


So I made these delicious blueberry scones. I made these a little differently than my first batch of scones by playing with the main ingredients. I used coconut milk instead of yogurt and coconut oil along with the butter, so I could still have that buttery flavor. I think it really made a difference!

Plus I realized I wanted my scones a little thicker. To achieve that, I didn't roll these out as much as my first batch. Actually I just placed the rolling pin over the top of the dough and went over it once, tidied up the edges with my hands, sliced the dough like a pizza, and that was it.


I'm happy with how thick they turned out, yet light and fluffy with a mildly sweet blueberry taste, and the scraggly texture which is so reminiscent of scones.


I think I have this scone thing figured out! Which is a good thing because like I said before, this ain't gonna be my last scone recipe!

Blueberry Scones

Recipe by Julie Murphy
Delicious blueberry scones that are fluffy and light in texture. Perfect for breakfast or snacking.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups + 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, frozen
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, canned
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup blueberries
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. Prepare cookie sheet by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray. Wipe off any excess with a dry paper towel. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients. Blend together with a fork.
  4. Using your mixer with correct attachment for dough making, pastry fork, or your fingers, work in frozen coconut oil and frozen butter with the dry ingredients until crumbly.
  5. Mix in vanilla, coconut milk, egg, and honey.
  6. Knead dough for about 5 to 10 minutes using your KitchenAid mixer.
  7. After kneading dough, remove from bowl, and place on a flour dusted surface. (Yes, you're about to get messy here! If you're anything like me, change into an old shirt, preferably NOT a black shirt).
  8. Work the dough with your hands for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. If dough is too sticky to work with your hands, add more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time. Dough should be a little sticky, not smooth like an ordinary bread dough.
  10. Gently fold in blueberries, blending throughout dough mixture.
  11. Shape dough into a round shape with your hands. Lightly roll the dough mixture with a floured rolling pin, sprinkling on more flour if needed to prevent sticking. You want dough to be at the least 1/2 inch thick. The thicker the dough, the larger your scones. But remember, you want them to cook all the way through so not too thick here.
  12. Tidy up the outside edges with your fingers, keeping in mind that you want the dough to look rough, since that is the beauty of a scone.
  13. Cut your circle into pieces, similar to a round pizza.
  14. Gently transfer each piece of dough (a spatula works great for this) onto your prepared cookie sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each piece of dough.
  15. Place into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown.
  16. Remove from the oven.
  17. Scones can be served fresh out of the oven, warm, or room temperature.
  18. Best served with butter, mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese and coffee or tea.

All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

No-Churn Peach Hibiscus Ice Cream


Before we get to my recipe today, I just want to let y'all know that you can follow me on Yummly. Yes, I finally joined! Ooh, I feel like such a social media maven now!

Anyways, you can follow me here so you can save my recipes to your recipe box, making it easier to shop for the ingredients because they even have a shopping list section. How cool is that?

I know it helps me because I'm usually trying to scroll through Pinterest just to find the recipe and then have to search the site for the ingredients, using up more data.

But lucky for me and you, Yummly now makes it easier. I'm still in the process of moving my recipes to my Yummly page. So if you don't see it there and there's a recipe you want to save, just click on the Yummly button on the upper right hand side of my page here, and it will save it to your Yummly recipe box. And I thought Pinterest was awesome! You rock Yummly!

With that being said, now we can talk food!

August is National Peach month. Yes, a whole month dedicated to the fuzzy yellow stone fruit that reminds so many people of summer. There's nothing like biting into the soft, juicy flesh of a peach and having the sweet juice run down your chin.


I don't know if you remember from last year in my Peaches and Cream recipe post , I mentioned Zeeny Cobb, or better known in these parts as "the Peach man." He sells peaches at a road stand I pass by on the way home and they are some of the juiciest peaches I've ever tasted.

If you’re near the Georgia-South Carolina border within the next 2 weeks, be sure to exit at mm177 at Dad’s cafe. Hopefully, he will still be there selling some of the best peaches you’ve ever had!


Lucky for you, I picked some up this past weekend. Now I couldn't let National Peach month slip by without a peach recipe to share with y'all. And this isn't just a recipe with peaches, as I've added hibiscus flowers. This tropical flower is not only beautiful, but dried hibiscus flowers are popular for use in teas and foods throughout Mexico, Latin America, and North Africa.

So I thought, "why not combine dried hibiscus flowers with peaches for a deliciously sweet ice cream?” With their beautiful red coloring and the sweet peach taste, what better way to enjoy the last days of summer.


*Disclaimer ~ As with any food, herb, or plant, please use dried hibiscus flowers with caution. Dried hibiscus flowers are NOT recommended for pregnant or nursing women due to adverse effects.*

No-Churn Peach Hibiscus Ice Cream

Recipe by Julie Murphy
A sweet combination of fruit and floral, Peach and Hibiscus ice cream.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 4 large peaches
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 wedge lime juice
  • 6 Tablespoons organic dried hibiscus flowers
Directions
  1. Peel peaches, cut in half, remove the pits. Cut peaches into small chunks.
  2. Place peach chunks and dried hibiscus into a medium sauce pan with water and cook over low to medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in sugar and continue to cook for another 2 minutes or until peaches become soft.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. After peaches have cooled, place 1/2 of cooked hibiscus peach mix into a blender with remaining ingredients.
  6. Pulse 1 to 2 times at high speed until mixture becomes smooth in texture, yet still chunky.
  7. Pour into a large bowl and mix in other half of cooked hibiscus peach mix.
  8. Pour into a freezer proof container and place in freezer for at least 6 hours before serving. Overnight is best.
  9. If leaving ice cream overnight in a freezer, let ice cream sit out for at least 20 to 30 minutes before attempting to scoop it out. As ice cream becomes frozen and is very difficult to scoop out right from the freezer.
  10. Best served with fresh peaches and hibiscus syrup over the top.

Inspired by ~ Peach Ice Cream by David Lebovitz, from his book, 'The Perfect Scoop'.
 
All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sausage, Cheese, and Apple Scones


I've always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know, new studies came out last week stating that it might not be as important as we all once thought. Pppfffff, I don't believe them!

For one, everybody has a study about something from how slow ketchup drips to how many hiccups a toddler can have. Yes, they really do have studies for these things.

And two, these so called "studies" have reported coffee is bad for you. Then five years later, state coffee is good for you, only to turn around the following year and state coffee is bad for you...again. I think right now we're in the coffee is good for you stage.

So you see why I don't believe what these "studies" say. I KNOW breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 'Nuff said.

With that, I'm sharing a breakfast recipe that is sure to get you out of bed. My sausage, apple, and cheese scones. Yes, they are as good as they sound!


I was asked by my friends over at The Daily Meal to come up with a recipe for Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage (they must know my stand on breakfast!).

Creating a recipe with sausage presented somewhat of a challenge for me since I don't eat pork. Luckily, I'm surrounded by people who do! I know guys at work who stuff a pork loin with sausage, wrap it with bacon, and call it a meal! So finding someone to taste test my recipe was no problem and they were more than happy to oblige.


Since I’ve been wanting to make scones (they've been on my bucket list. Yes, I have a bucket list for making certain foods!), I decided to incorporate the two together. Sausage and scones. But I didn’t stop there, I added gruyere cheese and apples to my scones.


These scones remind me of cool Fall mornings, where you can sit out on the porch, eating scones for breakfast and enjoying your morning coffee.

Scones are such a versatile breakfast choice for anyone and they can be savory or sweet. You can add just about anything to flavor them. Plus, they're easy to make.


Those times where you have to grab breakfast on the go is a great time to choose one of these scones. Especially with back to school breakfasts, when you and the kids are running late. Or they can be something you sit down to eat with your coffee or tea while going through your emails and social media.

Why I've never made them is beyond me, other than I've never had a scone before. Yes, it's true, ...er....29some years without a delicious food like a scone! Shame on you Mom for not introducing me to these when I was growing up!


With another food crossed off my bucket list, I'm going to enjoy my coffee because tomorrow another "study" might discover coffee is not good for you!

By the way, it was after I had already made this recipe that I found out Johnsonville now makes a chicken sausage and a turkey sausage. It looks like I will be making these again soon, so I can try some of their deliciousness with my coffee.


Sausage, Cheese, and Apple Scones

Recipe by Julie Murphy
A savory breakfast scone with sausage, gruyere cheese, and apple pieces.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dalmatian sage
  • 6 to 8 Tablespoons butter, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Johnsonville Original Recipe Breakfast Sausage Patties, cooked and cut into small pieces
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. Prepare cookie sheet by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray. Wipe off any excess with a dry paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Cook sausage as directed on package. Let cool and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients. Blend together with a fork.
  5. Using your mixer with correct attachment for dough making, pastry fork, or your fingers, work in butter with the dry ingredients until crumbly.
  6. Add in cheese and apple pieces, mixing well.
  7. Mix in yogurt and egg.
  8. Combine sausage pieces, blending throughout dough mixture.
  9. Knead dough for about 5 to 10 minutes using your KitchenAid mixer.
  10. After kneading dough, remove from bowl, and place on a flour dusted surface. (Yes, you're about to get messy here! If you're anything like me, change into an old shirt, preferably NOT a black shirt).
  11. Work the dough with your hands for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. If dough is too sticky to work with your hands, add more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time. Dough should be a little sticky, not smooth like an ordinary bread dough.
  13. Shape dough into a round shape with your hands. Roll the dough mixture with a floured rolling pin, sprinkling on more flour if needed to prevent sticking. You want dough to be at the least 1/2 inch thick. The thicker the dough, the larger your scones. But remember, you want them to cook all the way through so not too thick here.
  14. Tidy up the outside edges with your fingers, keeping in mind that you want the dough to look rough, since that is the beauty of a scone.
  15. Cut your circle into pieces, similar to a round pizza.
  16. Gently transfer each piece of dough (a spatula works great for this) onto your prepared cookie sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each piece of dough.
  17. Place into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are a light golden brown.
  18. Remove from the oven.
  19. Scones can be served fresh out of the oven, warm, or room temperature.
  20. Best served with butter, mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese and coffee or tea.

*Helpful Hints*
 
- When cutting your pieces of dough to create your scone, press into the dough quickly with a sharp knife, trying not to twist or shear the dough. This helps your scones rise higher.
 
- I put 6 to 8 Tablespoons of butter because you can add to your taste. The more butter, the more buttery flavor your scones will have. I added 6 Tablespoons and they were just right for me. If you want less butter taste, add 4 Tablespoons instead. I live in the South and out here they always say, "the more butter, the better."
 
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Can also be stored in the freezer for later use.
 
Disclaimer - I received no monies for this post. I only received one coupon to purchase Johnsonville Breakfast sausages. Recipe and opinions are all my own.
 
All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Macaroni Salad


It's still summer and y'all know what that means? There’s still time for some outdoor get-togethers and Bar-B-Q's with some good old fashioned foods.

One of my favorite foods for these type of things is macaroni salad. I love the creaminess and sweet tangy taste of this stuff. Even more so than potato salad, and I love me some tater salad!

Funny thing is, I've never made macaroni salad until a couple weeks ago. Sad but true. I always bought my macaroni salad at the store (Gasp!).

Now the first time I made my mom's macaroni salad, I used Miracle Whip, even though the recipe calls for mayonnaise. Yes, I'm one of "those" people who prefer Miracle Whip over mayonnaise because of the tanginess it brings to foods.

However, that batch of macaroni salad I made with my all-time favorite Miracle Whip was watery after a few days in the fridge. Plus, I felt like it needed a creamier mayonnaise. Yes, I hate to admit it, but Miracle Whip failed me on this recipe.

Needless to say, I opted for Dukes mayonnaise on my second batch of macaroni salad. And the results were just what I was looking for! A thick and ultra-creamy mayonnaise that didn't get all watered down on me after a couple days in the fridge. As you can see from the photos, Dukes mayonnaise made my macaroni salad creamy and Oh so good!


By the way, since living out here in Georgia, I've noticed some products are named differently than on the West coast. Like Hellman's mayonnaise out here is known as Best Foods mayonnaise in California. So if you don't have Dukes mayonnaise where you live, see if it's known by another name. Because Dukes is a must ingredient for this macaroni salad!

Food for fun, just how many times did I say macaroni salad? Were you paying attention? Count them and let me know how many “macaroni salads” there are in this post in the comments below.


Macaroni Salad

Recipe by My mom
Macaroni Salad, a classic summer salad.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes + chilling time
Yield: a whole lotta macaroni salad
Ingredients
  • 1 box (16 ounces) Elbow macaroni
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 12 to 20 (add to taste) sweet gherkins (pickles), diced
  • 3 teaspoons sweet pickle juice
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (can add more if needed to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Dukes mayonnaise
Directions
  1. Prepare macaroni noodles as directed on box. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. As noodles drain, prepare other ingredients by dicing and measuring out.
  3. After noodles have drained and cooled, place all ingredients into a large serving bowl and mix together well.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with diced gherkins.
  6. Cover and place in refrigerator to let chill or serve immediately.
  7. Best served chilled and after ingredients have "married".

*Helpful Hints*
 
- Prepare eggs ahead of time so they are cooled by the time you add them into the macaroni salad.
 
Disclaimer ~ This is not a paid post by Dukes mayonnaise. I have no affiliation with them. I just found their mayonnaise to be the best. Sorry Miracle Whip!
 
All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
Follow Julie's board Sweet and Spicy Monkey on Pinterest.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Banana Pudding - GF, Dairy-free, Soy-free


I have been obsessed this past week with banana pudding. And not just your ordinary banana pudding, but a dairy free banana pudding.

It just so happens as I was putting my carton of Silk coconut milk in the fridge the other day, I saw a recipe on the back for banana pudding. This is what started my crazy banana pudding search. I decided to try the recipe and I opted for Splenda instead of sugar, because I wanted a refined sugar- free pudding.

Now I don't know if it was the Splenda, or if I stirred it too long or at too high a temperature, or maybe this is what it's supposed to look and taste like. But according to the reviews it got, I think either I messed up somewhere along the way or those reviews are all falsified! Because my coconut milk banana pudding didn't look anything like the photo! Gasp!

While their coconut banana pudding looked fluffy and creamy and Oh So delicious, mine was clumpy, not at all fluffy cloud-like, and had a very mild vanilla taste, even after I added more vanilla than the recipe called for.

Now don't get me wrong, for a sugar-free alternative, it was edible (but I threw out the rest), but nothing like the creamy vanilla pudding I remember as a kid.

Needless to say, I started looking at ways to improve my dairy free pudding. I wanted a creamy pudding that tasted like bananas. After all, there’s a reason they don't call banana pudding vanilla pudding. It's supposed to be banana pudding with sliced bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream.

Banana. Mania!


So off I went to search for the ultimate dairy free banana pudding recipe. It wasn't easy and I don't recommend it to anyone. Long sleepless nights, weary, tired eyes, endless cups of coffee, after searching endless hours, maybe even days, on Pinterest.

Did you know you there are lots of recipes for banana pudding on Pinterest? And I love how they put pins on your search page that don't even have the ingredient you're searching for. Somehow I got lost in the chocolate and peanut butter search. I didn't even know I was looking for a chocolate and peanut butter recipe!

They must know I have a short attention span. Oh look butterflies.....
squirrel....oooh, pretty red bird!

Hello, I'm back!

So after my search, I finally found this dairy free pudding recipe using coconut milk and honey. I love how it uses honey and not refined sugar.

I tweaked it a bit and came up with my own version of dairy free banana pudding. A rich and creamy, banana-ey pudding that has no refined sugar and is dairy free. I hope you like it as much as I do. (Pssst, I even tried it with vanilla wafers and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!).

If you don't like this version, you can always try the recipe on the back of the Silk coconut milk carton. But if you do, please let me know how yours turned out, clumpy like mine or like a whipped cloud of vanilla yumminess as pictured on the carton.

Oh, look at the shiny spoon....

Banana Pudding - GF, Dairy-free, Soy free

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, pureed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Banana Royale Fountain Flavor
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk, full fat
  • extra bananas for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Puree 2 bananas in a blender.
  2. Pour bananas into a small bowl and add salt, vanilla, and banana flavoring. Mix together and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, honey, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  4. In a medium sauce pan, heat coconut milk over medium heat for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Do not let it boil.
  5. Remove coconut milk from heat.
  6. Using a ladle, pour about 1 cup of warmed coconut milk into egg yolk mix. Making sure you stir constantly as you do this so you don't end up with scrambled eggs. Stir in another small ladle of coconut milk into egg yolk mixture.
  7. Add egg yolk mixture back into sauce pan and stir together.
  8. Place pan back over medium heat and continue to stir while cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes. Mixture will become thicker the longer you cook it. Continue to stir while not letting it boil. If it starts to boil, turn down heat or remove pan from heat and then replace back on burner and continue cooking until it reaches desired thickness. Keep in mind, it will be less thick after adding banana mixture.
  9. After mixture thickens, remove from heat and stir in banana mixture, mixing well.
  10. Transfer into a large bowl. Cover top with wax paper. Place into refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  11. After pudding chills, serve in small bowls or cups.
  12. Garnish with fresh, sliced bananas, whipped cream (dairy-free, of course), and/or granola.

*Helpful Hints*
 
- I purchased Banana Royale Flavor Fountain online at Olive Nation. It's Kosher, sugar free, gluten-free, calorie free, and water soluble.

- If you don't have a blender, you can mash the bananas by hand with a fork. But they will make your pudding clumpy instead of smooth.

- Depending how ripe your bananas are, pudding might turn out tan in color. It's perfectly ok like this as it does not affect the taste. Also pudding will darken during storage in refrigerator due to bananas.

- If you want to make this Paleo friendly, use arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch. However, measurements might not be the same for arrowroot as  they are for the cornstarch. This recipe was made for using cornstarch.
 
Inspired by ~ Rebecca at Paleo Grubs.

Disclaimer ~ I was not paid for this post to endorse Olive Nation. I just purchased their product and thought I would share it with you, as its an excellent flavoring for many things.
 
All content and images are property of Sweet and Spicy Monkey. Please do not reprint this content without my permission. If you wish to include this recipe on your site, please re-write in your own words and use your own photographs and link back to this post for original recipe.
Follow Julie's board Sweet and Spicy Monkey on Pinterest.

Shared with: Savoring Saturdays