Ode to Tea Scones

Ode to Tea Scones

Lately, I’ve had a craving for tea scones. I suppose it has something to do with that wacky weather we’ve had in Stockholm. One day freezing cold, the next day spring-like. It makes me want comfort food. And sometimes the only thing that will do is a plate of scones with cream cheese or whipped cream (since it’s not very easy to find clotted cream in Stockholm) and strawberry preserves. Last week I baked twelve scones. They were quick to whip together and were so fluffy and yummy-crummy. And now I want to bake more.

Not my scones, but don't they look yummy? (Photo credit: BBC Food)

Not my scones, but don’t they look yummy? (Photo credit: BBC Food)

Now, tea scones don’t taste much different from the buttermilk biscuits my grandmother used to make. And probably they’re the same thing, just with different names on either side of the pond. The first time I had scones was in London. In fact it was during my very first trip to London. The hubster and I went to Fortnum & Mason’s to pick up marmalade and tea (we were addicted to them even though we were pretty broke back then) , and then we saw their café and we knew we had to try their scones. So we splurged and had afternoon tea. It was wonderful. We were both in heaven. We didn’t really care about the sandwiches…we only wanted scones. And we gobbled them down with plenty of clotted cream (sheer bliss!) and strawberry jam.

And soon they became our obsession.

We tried to make our own. Sometimes they came out perfectly…other times, not so great. I experimented with them–baking them with dried cranberries or saffron or blueberries. They didn’t really do it for me. Eventually we realised we were over-complicating the recipe and found a very simple one that always delivered great results. You see, I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t need fancy scones. I don’t need them with white chocolate or orange zest or whatever other things some people like in their scones. I am a bit of a traditionalist. I just want plain ol’ scones with lots of cream and jam.

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Still not mine, but doesn’t it make you hungry? Mmm….scones! (Photo credit: unknown)

Now that I am talking about scones, I am craving them again. I think I will have to bake another tray. A girl needs scones. Especially when she is trying to finish her novel. 😉

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Stop and Eat the Roses

Stop and Eat the Roses

by Xio Axelrod

When I first saw these apple roses pop up on my Pinterest feed, I assumed they were just carved from fruit. Beautiful, healthy and not at all decadent.

Man, was I wrong.

apple rose [Read more…]

Jamie Oliver has helped me reach pie nirvana!

Jamie Oliver has helped me reach pie nirvana!

When I was a kid, all my mother had to do was say “pot pie” and I was absolutely ecstatic. I loved pot pies—chicken, beef, lamb, fish—if it was a pot pie, then I wanted it. Especially on chilly days when the warming goodness of a pot pie was like a slice of heaven in my belly. My mother only made pot pies during the autumn and the winter. Once spring came—even if it was still cold, pot pie season was over.

Now that I am an adult, I can eat pot pies whenever I want (and I do). But it took a while to find just the right recipe. The one my mom used, which was from an old Betty Crocker cookbook, was good, but it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes the filling felt too heavy and my attempts at finding the right blend of herbs didn’t always work.

Jamie Oliver, the man with the near-perfect pie.

Jamie Oliver, the man with the near-perfect pie.

Then one winter evening, I happened to be flipping through the channels and stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s Christmas preparation program. The episode in question just happened to feature suggestions on what to do with leftover turkey. Which was perfect! We’d just celebrated Thanksgiving and we had two kilos of leftover turkey meat in our freezer. And what did he suggest?

Jamie's turkey & sweet leek pie. Photo credit: jamieoliver.com

Jamie’s turkey & sweet leek pie. Photo credit: jamieoliver.com

A pot pie!

Oh my heart soared. Turkey and sweet leek pie…I memorised everything!  His recipe called for leeks, which I also had at home. It also called for crème fraîche, which I didn’t have but I figured I could pick up the next day.

While I was at the grocery store, I decided to change the recipe a bit. I couldn’t find chestnuts, so I decided to leave them out. It’s not easy to find chestnuts here in Sweden–people don’t really seem to know what to do with them so stores only carry them for a very short period of time. And I thought adding bacon felt a little like overkill–I know, how could I say this? I love bacon! But it just didn’t feel like it would add much, so I skipped it. Instead, I added white wine, wild mushrooms and chopped kale to the pie filling. Tord made the pie crust and added sage and grated parmesan cheese to the dough.

We popped the pie in the oven and waited anxiously for it to finally be done. The pie needed around 40-45 minutes to get the perfect golden crust. And when it was ready….oh…that pie was wonderful.

My heavenly pie! Photo credit: Me!

My heavenly pie! Photo credit: Me!

I think I’ll be making this pie no matter the weather (well, maybe not during the summer–all I want to do then is barbecue chicken and beef). But I tell you–this pie is truly heavenly. And if you want to make your own version of it–just take Jamie’s recipe and–at the same time as you sauté the leeks–sauté the veggies you love and then add the turkey or chicken. Once you do that, add the white wine…don’t skip that step. So follow, Jamie’s recipe and tweak it  with your favourite little tidbits. You will reach pie nirvana too. 🙂