Cherry Vanilla Scones

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and one taste of these and I knew they would make a perfect addition to a romantic breakfast in bed. We loved them! I made them with a couple of other dishes for Sunday brunch and the meal was proclaimed a big success by all four of my critics. I’m planning to post two additional recipes to add to your Valentine’s breakfast. Hope you enjoy!

These are best the first day but you can definitely enjoy them the next morning.

CHERRY VANILLA SCONES
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3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. cold butter
1 c. vanilla yogurt or plain yogurt with 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 Tb. of agave nectar
1/4 c. milk
1 c. tart dried cherries, roughly chopped
2/3 c. vanilla chips or white chocolate chips

milk for brushing the top
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Combine yogurt and milk. Stir into the flour mixture until moistened. Gently knead in the cherries and vanilla chips.

Pat the dough about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. Cut into desired shaped and place on a baking sheet. Brush tops with additional milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm!

 

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My Kitchen View

This weekend we enjoyed the great outdoors! We camped at McCormick’s Creek State Park and thoroughly enjoyed it. We made the traditional hotdogs and s’mores of my childhood – no camping trip would be complete without them! We also had pies made in our pie irons. We made burrito pies – tortillas, refried beans, cheese, and salsa cooked over the fire and peach pies – buttered bread, peach pie filling, and a couple of marshmallows cooked. Delicious! I wish I had pictures but keeping three young boys safe around the fire and just getting dinner completed took quite a bit of effort. 🙂

On the cherry front, I must share that I invested in a cherry pitter and haven’t looked back. If you like cherries, go buy one…you will not regret it. It makes cherry dishes so much easier and we all enjoy eating them pit-free – it’s not only more polite but it’s less messy!

We’ve been enjoying things from our garden! Recently I made a garden-fresh pasta that included summer squash, basil and fresh tomatoes! We all loved the vegetables, parmesan garlic cream sauce, onion, and bacon over the sun-dried tomato pasta. It was a use-what-we have kind of night and it worked!

What’s been happening in your kitchens and gardens?

Market Fresh: Cherries

Cherries are perhaps one of my very favorite fruits. I like them sweet or tart and I am hard-pressed to pass up a piece of cherry pie or a jar of preserves. The flavor and texture of this wonderful fruit amaze me every summer. I’m content enough to just sit with a bowl of cherries and eat them by themselves but I wanted to share some different uses for them. And yes, there is a cherry salsa – I thought it only fitting after the yummy blueberry salsa Heather posted a couple of weeks ago! My two-year-old gobbled it down though we all liked it!

I found and adapted these recipes from a couple of cherry grower websites. They were all delicious and showcase cherries in some different ways. It was fun using them in a couple of more savory dishes and the honeydew and cherry salad was very refreshing! Hope you enjoy!

CHERRY ROMAINE SALAD w/SMOKED TURKEY
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1 head Romaine lettuce, medium-chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup diced green onion or chives
1 can (11-ounce) mandarin oranges
1 cup smoked turkey, diced
2/3 cup sweet cherries, washed, pitted and halved (I used Ranier)
balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to tasteToss all salad ingredients together except cherries in a large bowl.Whisk all Balsamic Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad, reserving 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette, and toss salad. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over cherries and toss to coat. Arrange salad on individual plates and sprinkle with cherries.Serves 4

MINTY CHERRY & HONEYDEW SALAD
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1/4 honeydew melon, seeds and skin removed, and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup minced fresh mint plus mint sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons light honey
1 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries
lemon juice
juice of 2 limes

Put the cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and minced fresh mint in a bowl and turn several times. Put the honey in a bowl with the lemon juice and stir until the honey dissolves, a minute or two. Pour this over the melons and turn several times. Add the cherries, turning them in as well. Pour the lime juice over all, garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Serves 6

FRESH CHERRY SALSA
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1 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries (I used a combination of bing & ranier cherries)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped green peppers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash bottled hot pepper sauce

Chop cherries in food processor or manually. Combine all ingredients; mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 2 servings.