Cheddar and Green Chili Scones

Brunch - Cheddar Chili SconesI am behind on my posting – however, this recipe is too good not to share.  I made cheddar and green chili scones last weekend for brunch with Jonathan.  Oatmeal, scones, fried eggs, and hot tea all combined for a perfect brunch.  We had lovely conversation and enjoyed a perfect morning waking up slowly.  There is nothing better than waking up to the smell of freshly baked scones.  The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen but I substituted green chillies for the jalapeno peppers.

Brunch - Cheddar Chili SconesIngredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, cut
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons green chili (mine were from a can)

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Then mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2.  Cut cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.

3.  In a small separate bowl lightly beat eggs.

4.  Mix in heavy cream and eggs with a wooden spoon until dough forms.

5.  Add in 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and green chili to the dough.  Then knead in the cheese and green chilis.

6.  Cut dough into the desired shapes and place onto baking pan.  Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.

7.  Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden on top and cooked in the centre.

Note: Scones are always best enjoyed the first day.

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Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese

I was trying to brainstorm new ideas for my blog yesterday and my friend Emily suggested a spicy version of mac and cheese.  Jonathan is always asking me to add more spice to things, so I thought I would give it a try.  I added 8 strips of bacon, a teaspoon of crushed chili flakes and 8 drops of Louisiana hot sauce to my tradition mac and cheese recipe.  Well, the flavour was perfect!  It was very easy to add variation to my mac and cheese recipe.  Through adding spices, different ingredients – I made an already amazing recipe, even better!

I made this mac and cheese recipe all the way through university.  I love cooking and baking and it was an easy thing to make.  In second year my roommates Emily, Laura & I had some good times in that little kitchen.  We made cookies, lasagna, mac and cheese and random experiments.  We even managed to clean up – most of the time!  My sister Sarah is going into her second year of university this fall, so hopefully she’ll make a few family favourites such as mac and cheese in her new off-campus apartment.  She will be considered very gourmet, making mac and cheese that is NOT from the box!

Ingredients:

2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni

¼ cups of butter or margarine

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoons of pepper

1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes

8 drops of Louisiana hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)

¼ cup of flour

2 cups of milk

2 cups of cheddar cheese

8 strips of bacon cooked, then torn into bite sized pieces

 Instructions:

Cook bacon and crumble into bite sized pieces.  Blend melted margarine, salt, pepper, crushed chili flakes and flour.  Add milk and stir till bubbling.  Add in cheese and stir.  Add in bacon bits, hot sauce and stir thoroughly.  Cook in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

The peonies in the backyard are in bloom, so here are a few pictures I took.  Enjoy!

Cheddar Cheese Scones

I made these lovely cheddar cheese scones yesterday for breakfast and they were phenomenal.  The warmth and perfect flaky texture was absolutely everything a scone should be.

The recipe is from Canadian Living – my Mom told me that their recipes are thoroughly tested, so it’s really no surprise that they turned out so well!  The changes I made to the recipe were to use buttermilk instead of Balkan-style yogurt and I didn’t have whole wheat flour in the cupboard.  (The recipe says to use one cup whole wheat flour and one cup all-purpose flour, but that is optional.)

If you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast or snack – this recipe is awesome! Even my sister Sarah – who is a picky eater – loved them.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in margarine into the dry ingredients until a nice crumbly texture is created. Mix in grated cheese. Mix in the buttermilk and egg. You should have a nice firm dough. If it seems too dry, add a little bit more milk.

Roll out dough, or pat it out with your hand. Use a measuring cup to cut out 12 circles. Preheat oven to 400ºC. When oven is warm put scones in, and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Savory Bacon and Cheddar Muffins

My wonderful fiancé Jonathan is usually on the ball when it comes to food trends.  So when he asked for savory bacon muffins, I had to oblige.  Together we searched around the internet for a recipe and then I modified it to what you will see below.

Further enhancing the savory flavour of the bacon is delicious sharp Balderson aged cheddar cheese.  The regular orange cheddar is also used for colour and flavour.  Instead of using sugar in this recipe I decided to use buckwheat honey that comes from a farm near Peterborough, Ontario.  Buckwheat honey has a richer darker colour and slightly more molasses like flavour.  It was also less sweet than regular sugar, which is perfect for savory muffins.

While making these muffins Jonathan showed me the blog Freezer Burns.  This is a blog devoted to reviewing frozen foods from the grocery store.  After watching some videos from this food enthusiast, I am extremely happy that I make homemade treats such as savory bacon and cheddar muffins.  No Bagel Bites or Pizza Pockets for you, Jonathan!

The end result was a tasty treat.  Muffins are best enjoyed the day they are made for optimal freshness, but they also freeze well.  If you like bacon, you will love these muffins!

Ingredients

  • 7 strips of bacon
  • ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup of grated Balderson aged white cheddar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat honey
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs

*Buttermilk can be made at home.  Mix one tsp of lemon juice with one cup of milk.  Once the lemon juice is added, stir!

Instructions:

1.  Cook bacon over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towels; let cool and crumble or slice.

2.  In a bowl or measuring cup grate the cheeses.  Set aside enough cheese for garnishing the muffins.

3.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper and salt; stir in remaining bacon and Cheddar.

4.  Whisk together in a separate bowl the milk, buttermilk, oil, and eggs.  Then pour over dry ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon until moistened. (Don’t over stir muffin batter) Spoon the muffin batter into greased or paper-lined muffin cups.

5.  Garnish the muffins with extra cheese and bacon bits.  If you need more cheese that is okay too (the more the merrier).

6.  Bake in centre of 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch and muffins are golden.

7.  Store in an airtight container for two days.  Or freeze the extra muffins for up to three weeks.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of my favourite recipes.  If you have only ever had macaroni and cheese from the box, you are missing out.  This recipe is always satisfying and easy to make.  I feel better knowing that vibrant orange food colouring and unnecessary preservatives are not added.  Modifications to this recipe could be other cheeses – cheddar, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gouda – the list goes on.

The macaroni and cheese at Oliver and Bonacini’s Cafe Grill offers add on options: aged white cheddar and goat cheese, bacon, or roasted chicken and sweet garden peas.  Oliver and Bonacini’s Cafe Grill makes my favourite restaurant version of what I make at home. Jonathan and I have visited the Oliver and Bonacini restaurant locations in Toronto and Waterloo – easily one of our favourite restaurants.  I am in love with Italian food and it is a nice treat on occasion to have someone else cook for you and clean up the mess.

My version usually has old cheddar and a little mozzarella.  I made this for Jonathan with asparagus on the side and it was a tasty meal.  Jonathan wanted to add crushed chili peppers, but I insisted that he try it without for the first time. Throughout our life together I am sure I will make this recipe many times.

Ingredients:

2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni

¼ cups of butter or margarine

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoons of pepper

¼ cup of flour

2 cups of milk

2 cups of cheese

Instructions:

Blend melted margarine, salt, pepper and flour in saucepan over medium heat.  Add milk and stir till bubbling.  Add in cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.  Cook pasta and then place in a casserole dish and pour cheese mixture onto of the pasta.  Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.