Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cranberry Scones

With their tart red berries and sparkling sugar on top, to me these look like Christmas as much as they taste like it. We like that these are just sweet enough.

Cranberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for topping
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup halved cranberries, drained on paper towels

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2/3 cup buttermilk until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently, 5 to 10 times. Pat into a 1-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 wedges; place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush tops with remaining tablespoon half-and-half; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Delicious Reads

Cooking was not my highest priority in 2008. I do make most meals from scratch but, working more, this year my motto has been "the meal that makes itself." We've stuck to what's simple and old favorites.

Now I'm sick of eating the same things and craving something new. So lately I've been thumbing my way through old cookbooks and some new ones too. I have these two checked out from the library and am reluctant to return them, they're so good.
I'm finding the Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper a reading pleasure, as much as a culinary one. It's chock full of facts and quotes. The book's typography is a treat, too.
Grow It Cook It is deceptively in the children's section of the library. Ha––this is one I want for myself. Each recipe shows how to grow something in the garden and then make something from it. The recipes are amazing. We tried the carrot muffins. They were fairly time-intensive but may have been the best muffins I have ever eaten. The book's illustrations and photography is well-done, with easy-to-understand recipes for kids (and grownups, too).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Middle Street

In Chicago we complained about living next to a crazy lady who had 50-some lawn ornaments at Christmas. My years as a Hoosier must've changed me––I now seek out such low-brow delights. One place we visit each year is "Middle Street." Several farm houses go crazy with literally hundreds of glowing pieces. Tonight Santa was even present. All of it was tasty, even the candy canes we took home with us.

This girl believes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Go See

I am taking a break from the blog for a while. This should tide you over until I return. Have fun exploring!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cafe´ Aprons

I love how Christmas gives me a good excuse to thank people who mean so much to me––especially the folks who have no idea that they do. These cafe´ aprons are on their way to three who have enriched our family in ways they can't imagine. I love the way the aprons look bundled up. I hope they will, too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Day of Christmas

For my husband, who rekindles Christmas joy in me each and every year. Thank you.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Sometimes family conversation sounds bizarre, even in context. Here's a sampling (out of context) from the last few days. [Don't ask...]

"Did a monster fall in the toilet?"

"Peeing is good, but pooping is better."

"Do not poop in your bed."

"Don't yell at my poop!"

"I've seen bigger nipples on a cat."

"Is it Christmastime? Now? Now? Now?"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Pears have recently become the kids' favorite fruit (no small feat). These beauties are spending their days ripening, waiting for the moment I bake them into a pear crisp with spiced struedel.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Going to Kansas City

Actually we've come and gone.

I fared better on the killer drive this time, sandwiched between a Julia Glass novel and issues of the New Yorker. We put Sarah on dramamine this time––without going into details, that worked out much better, too.

Each time we visit Kansas City, we think of moving back. After living in Chicago and Indianapolis, we discuss whether we still consider KC "home." What would it be like to move back? Would we feel like we'd gone "full circle"? Or, would it feel like a completely different place, like an awkward meeting with an old friend who had changed?

Anyway...here are pics from one of my favorite places in KC, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. My mom, sister and I took the kids Friday.