Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones

TGIF, people!!

Did anyone else have a weird, stressful week? I am headed home this afternoon for my first wedding dress fitting this weekend and am so glad for a weekend full of things like best friends, no-chip manicures and Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones after a week like this one. Can I get an “amen”? (Hashtag: Priorities.)

Freaky Friday Blog Hop

In case you are looking for a little bit of an internet-retreat from the “real world” this weekend, I’ve got an extra surprise for you: Today I am joining several of my blogging friends for a fun “Freaky Friday” blog hop. Each of us made a recipe from another blogger in the group and are sharing that recipe on our sites today. Visit each of the blogs to learn more about all of us and snag some really great recipes!

Today’s recipe for Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones is a variation on a Cream Scones recipe from Debi over at Life Currents. Much like myself, Debi is an advocate for “getting back to real foods and methods.” Many of her recipes are healthy, but even those that are more indulgent – like these scones – are made with real ingredients. She is a big believer in home cooking, hates celery (preach, sister!), and loves using seasonal, local produce as much as possible. I’m definitely going to have to try her Smoky Cheese Chowder recipe soon (because cheese), as well as this super easy Pizza Tarts recipe (pizza.tarts, people!).

Cream Scones

So now, let’s chat about these Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones. I have shared some scone recipes with you before – Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Scones was one of the very first recipes on my site, and Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Scones are, frankly, pretty hard to beat – all of which used butter in addition to your liquid (usually buttermilk). While I will always love this method (because butter), cream scones are even easier to make, as the heavy cream provides both the fat and the liquid for the recipe. Seriously, these scones couldn’t be easier and yet the light, airy texture and indulgent taste are sure to fool your family and friends into thinking you spend hours slaving away to make them. They’re the perfect weekend brunch treat!

Head on over to Life Currents to see what recipe Debi made, and be sure to check out everyone else’s sites as well! You’ve got a lot of great recipes in your future.

A Dish Of Daily Life 
An Affair from the Heart 
Aunt Bee’s Recipes 
Big Rigs ‘n Lil Cookies 
Café Terra Blog 
Full Belly Sisters 
Honey & Birch
Life Currents
Pic Nic
Simply Sated 
The Foodie Affair 
Who Needs A Cape?

Cream Scones with Dried Cranberries

5.0 from 4 reviews

Cranberry Ginger Cream Scones
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Cream scones studded with dried cranberries and candied ginger are simple to make with an impressive taste.
Yield: 8 scones

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • Additional cream + turbinado sugar, for topping

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the dried cranberries, candied ginger and orange zest. Gently stir in the cream, mixing until just combined.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 5-10 times, until the dough just comes together and loses some of its stickiness. Gently pat the dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and ¾ inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
  4. Place wedges on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Brush the tops lightly with additional cream and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Move to a wire rack to cool or serve warm.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

Granola Cookies

Granola Cookies

Stuff your healthy granola into a perfectly chewy Granola Cookie. You can thank me later.

Granola Cookies

I mean, c’mon.

Do I really need to go into a long description about these cookies? Do I need to write you paragraphs about how chewy they are? Must I tell you that the brown sugar and butter do magical things to the already-magical granola? Is it necessary to tell you that a smidgen of almond extract take these beauties over the top?

The name really says it for itself, doesn’t it?

Granola. Cookies.

If you think you like oatmeal cookies – which I do – then you simply must try making Granola Cookies. They are everything an oatmeal cookie should be, taken to the next level.

It truly is one of my greatest gifts to be able to take something perfectly healthy for you, such as last week’s Coconut Ginger Almond Granola, and turn it into something…well, significantly less healthy.

But sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. And some days, you just need a cookie.

Granola Cookies

5.0 from 1 reviews

Granola Cookies
 
Yield: 18 giant cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups granola

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until lightened in color and creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the granola and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop about ¼ cup of dough at a time onto the prepared cookie sheet. These make very large cookies, so leave at least 2 inches of space between them – you will likely be able to fit no more than 6 cookies per sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are golden and the centers are set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up a week – if they last that long.

 

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Kick your granola game up a notch with Coconut Ginger Almond Granola-goodness. 

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California but, as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make this site possible. 

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola

Two very bizarre things happened this weekend:

1.) I came perilously close to adopting another cat. Guys, we already have two. In case you were bad at math in grade school, another would have made three. I’ve officially lost my marbles just considering it – and yet, there I was, looking at the one poor little cat who hadn’t been adopted at Petco on Saturday (as I was running in for cat food for the existing two) and wanting to adopt take home all the animals.

There surely must be some sort of rehab/recovery program for people like me.

2.) Alex and I watched Gone Girl. My brain still hurts from it. What the actual eff? I can’t even form intelligent sentences about it yet. To be fair, I haven’t read the book – I usually read the book first, but that just didn’t happen this time. I really must do that. Please tell me my brain won’t hurt so much from the book.

Coconut and Ginger Granola with Almonds

I feel like making granola is the perfect activity for someone whose brain hurts too much from intense movies and trying to avoid becoming a crazy cat lady. If you think that making granola is hard, think again. Throw some dry ingredients (oats and nuts are a good baseline – coconut, flax and spices are icing on the cake) in a bowl, stir ‘em up with some wet ingredients (oil and sweetener), and bake. 30-40 minutes later, you’ll be in granola heaven.

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola uses unsweetened coconut and coconut oil, ground ginger and candied ginger, and sliced almonds for a crunchy, slightly sweet, gingery-spiced granola that is perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Spoiler alert: Wait until you see what I did with this granola next week.

Spoiler alert 2.0: There were cookies involved.

You’re welcome.

Granola with Coconut, Ginger and Almonds

 

5.0 from 2 reviews

Coconut Ginger Almond Granola
 
Yield: Approximately 6 cups granola

Ingredients
  • 4 cups oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup Diamond of California Sliced Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup agave syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup finely diced candied ginger

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the first 7 ingredients.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together the applesauce, agave and coconut oil over medium heat until coconut oil is melted. Whisk in the vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Stir well to combine.
  4. Spread granola onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown, fragrant, and slightly dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and stir in the candied ginger. Allow to cool on the baking sheet completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Spike your hot chocolate with some tequila, cayenne pepper and agave and hunker down with your sweetie. Use your favorite single serve coffee maker to make this drink super quick and easy!

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

I’m writing this in the middle of the Super Bowl because:

1.) I don’t care about football under even the best of circumstances, and

2.) I live with a Packers fan. I’m pretty sure he’s rooting for both teams to miraculously lose right now.

So let’s move from one food holiday right on to the next, shall we? Valentine’s Day!

In the past I have made you sugar cookies, cherry pie and homemade “Be My Valentine” cakes for Valentine’s Day. This year, I’m boozing you up. Whether you are like Alex and I and prefer to skip the overly-crowded restaurants on Valentine’s Day, or enjoy being surrounded by a thousand other couples, I figure everyone needs something warm and boozy to drink with your sweetie later in the evening. This Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate ought to add the perfect amount of heat to the evening. (See what I did there?)

To make this drink super quick and easy, use a single-serve coffee maker to whip it up. I used our iCoffee Opus for this because it makes the best drinks from a single-serve brewer – even Alex will drink coffee from it, which is a bonafide miracle. He was especially a fan of this Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate – a shot of tequila, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a drizzle of agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon are all you need to spruce up your favorite hot chocolate k-cup. I gave him the drink to taste test (since we all know my personal aversion to chocolate), and a few minutes later he came back to the kitchen with an empty mug…at 11 in the morning. Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Make this boozy hot chocolate for your sweetheart this winter and add a little spice to your life.

Mexican Style Hot Chocolate with Tequila and Cayenne Pepper

5.0 from 2 reviews

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
 
Prep time

Total time

 

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot chocolate single-serve pod
  • Whipped cream
  • Additional ground cinnamon and/or cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a 10-ounce mug, add the tequila, agave, and a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon.
  2. Using a single-serve brewer, brew 8 ounces of hot chocolate into the mug. Stir to combine.
  3. Top with whipped cream and garnish with additional ground cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.

Notes
Add additional cayenne for a spicier hot chocolate.

 

Banana Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal

Banana Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe

Healthy steel cut oats loaded with the flavors of banana bread? Say it isn’t so! (It totally is.)

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this site possible.

Banana Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe

This past weekend was full of many lovely moments. The best was holding my best friend’s baby boy just hours after he was born. I can’t even describe to you the emotions I felt in that moment – so much love for the tiniest little human, and so much pride for the woman my best friend has grown to be and the mom she has become.

Seeing our two-year-old niece snuggle the crap out of Alex while watching The Goonies (my first viewing, by the way – the to-be in-laws couldn’t believe it) was a close second.

And, finally, scrolling through our engagement photos by the lovely Julie at Jared and Julie Photography. Taking them was so much fun and made me so excited for our wedding day in just a few short months. (Eep!) If you’re a weirdo like me who likes to look at photos of strangers, you can check out several of our favorites on Julie’s blog. Here’s a sneak peek:

DSC_6872

Aren’t we cute? Seriously, Julie’s a genius.

Alright, enough of that. Thanks you for letting me ramble for a bit before getting to the point: A good-for-you breakfast that tastes bad for you.

Banana Walnut Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Thaaat’s right, guys. Banana Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal! Totally my new favorite thing. Healthy steel cut oats flavored with banana, a bit of maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla to make them taste like your favorite banana bread. And don’t forget your Diamond of California Walnuts, guys. A little crunch and healthy fat add that extra bit of banana bread oomph for your morning oats. As for the milk, choose your own adventure there – use soy, almond or coconut milk for a super-healthy bowl of porridge, or whole milk for a rich bowl of oatmeal to share with your family on the weekend.

Make a batch for a lazy weekend breakfast, or make them up on Sunday night and divide into half-pint jars for good-for-you morning fuel throughout the week. Your future self will certainly thank me.

Banana Steel Cut Oatmeal with Walnuts

5.0 from 2 reviews

Banana Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal
 
Yield: About 5 cups of cooked oatmeal

Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ cup Diamond of California Chopped Walnuts

Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the oats and the salt. Allow to simmer until about 80% of the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the milk, mashed bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon, whisking to combine if needed. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency, about another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts and vanilla.
  4. Serve with additional banana slices, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, maple syrup, or honey as desired.

Notes
Use any kind of milk you like – almond, soy, or coconut milk for a healthier, non-dairy option, or whole milk for a richer oatmeal.

 

Pomegranate Mango Smoothie

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Tart pomegranate, sweet mango and creamy banana make for a smoothie that will get you ready for the day.

Pomegranate Mango Smoothie
I need to explain something to you.

I might be straying ever so slightly from my typical carb-laden, sugary, cheesy recipes on occasion over the next few months. This is not because I am suddenly interested in becoming a healthy recipe blogger, nor have I become obsessed with a “new year, new you” mindset.

No, I simply have come to the realization that I am getting married in just over 3 months and can no longer continue carrying on as though eating cheese is an Olympic sport and I am going for the gold. At least, not if I want to fit into my wedding dress.

Although, someone puh-leeease alert me if eating cheese ever does make the Olympics, because I could seriously succeed at that ish.

So maybe you’re looking for a healthy breakfast recipe? I’ll have that for you. A quick and easy weeknight dinner? That’s in the forecast, too. And probably a dessert or two, because I am still me, after all.

But for now? More smoothies.

Yes, another smoothie. Why? Because I love them. They’re quick, easy, require so few ingredients, taste great, and function as either breakfast or snack. Oh, and seriously easy clean-up. Can’t forget that. Getting engaged didn’t make me a perfect future housewife overnight – I still seriously hate to do the dishes.

This one contrasts the wintery flavor of pomegranate with summery mango, which I pick up frozen at Trader Joe’s. The pomegranate feels seasonal while the mango lets me dream of living somewhere – anywhere – warm.

Pick up the ingredients for this smoothie next time you’re at the store. I’ll just be over here sipping mine through a colorful straw and pretending that I am on a beach somewhere instead of in the arctic tundra that is Chicago.

Pomegranate Smoothie

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pomegranate Mango Smoothie
 
Yield: 1 smoothie

Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen, diced mango
  • ¾ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.