oh my heavens. home from vacation, and first-day-back i thought it would be fun to work 11 hours at the office, go to the gym, have dinner and shower, make bread dough and prep the crock pot for tomorrow’s dinner, pack tomorrow’s lunch, finish laundry and read some blogs. what? is this my normal?
and our poor dog probably thought we gifted him to our bffs Joel and Molly while we were away for eight days. psych, Wallace! you are still our stinky puppy.
we had the best time in New York, visiting my sister Celeste, and her boyfriend Luis. Brooklyn is wonderful, the weather was delightful (sunny, but chilly), our Thanksgiving dinner party was a huge success! Celeste and I cooked for two days: mushroom stuffing; kale and brussels sprout salad; potato and fennel gratin; roasted sweet potatoes with coffee-bourbon-caramel drizzle (you HAVE to try making that beauty yourself!); Celeste made an incredible pork roast wrapped with prosciutto, kale, apples and mushrooms; she also made parker house rolls from scratch and i ate six million of them!! i made white bean dip and ginger-pomegranate champagne punch for the pre-dinner cocktail hour; and for dessert there were pumpkin panna cotta with candied hazelnuts and brown-butter apple pie. some of our guests brought delights such as Tibetan dumplings and seaweed salad, which were so good! (the amount of dumplings i consumed while in new york city numbers in the hundreds.. i’m positive.) we played catch phrase with our friends til 3am, and i ate more rolls and dumplings!
we also saw some sights, shopped some stuff, and ate a lottt. as far as celeb-sighting in The City (cause i know you care!), Jesse Eisenberg was totally on our flight over to NYC, and we spotted Katie Holmes both in Central Park and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we saw the Warhol exhibit. which was incredible! my favorite part: seeing the Avedon portrait of Truman Capote IN PERSON, like, i stuck my face right in front of it. since studying photography in college and shooting portraiture for a living, it was breataking to see Avedon’s beautiful work, up close. just absolutely astounding… Avedeon was really the master. i’m still dreaming about it.
we had a wonderful time.
as we’re trying to keep up with catching-up, these days i am drinking large, large amounts of coffee. which i think deserve a sweet treat alongside, don’t you agree? i bring you homemade oat-nut scones — easy enough for ME to bake! i’m not that great at baking (though i land griddle scones in the winning column every time), i’ll admit. and scones, especially the store-baked type, can be a dry disappointment, filling me with simple carbs and regret. i know! combine those symptoms with the $4 i have to spend on a coffee-shop scone?….
these are so easy and just as delightful as a scone should be — soft, a hearty crumb, not too sweet and not too large (go ahead and eat a whole one!) oh yeah, and coffee’s best friend. we’re enjoying these as an afternoon treat when the fifth cup of coffee for the day sounds really perfect. i really like the chopped pecans, and the nuttiness brought by toasting the oatmeal. a maple glaze gives a simple, cozy sweetness.
i hope you had a wonderful holiday, and if you’re still being stared at by leftover turkey, may i suggest my favorite part of post-Thanksgiving? turkey pot pie!
maple-oat sconesadapted from America’s Test Kitchen makes 8
- 1 1/2 cups oats (Old-Fashioned rolled or quick oats will work)
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (pure or homemade)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces and chilled well)
toast the oats and pecans in a 375-degree oven (or if you’re me, in a dry skillet on medium heat, walking away just long enough for them to nearly over-toast — so keep your eye on ‘em) until browned and fragrant, and set aside to cool. if you’re smart and used the oven method, increase oven temp to 450 for baking scones.
whisk cream, egg and maple syrup together, pouring just about a tablespoon of the mixture into a small bowl for brushing tops later.
in a food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder and salt until combined. add butter pieces and pulse 12 – 14 times; look for pea-sized butter in the mixture, or thereabouts. add this mixture to oats/pecans, then fold in milk mixture, just until dough comes together. (here i became worried that the dough seemed much too wet — i was imagining a dry biscuit dough — but don’t fret! press on.) turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a large circle about an inch thick.
cut into 8 wedges and brush tops with remaining tablespoon of milk mixture. set at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 450 for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown.
devour while warm with a big cup of coffee, or cool for glazing.
for glaze, stir 2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup into 1/2 cup powdered sugar and drizzle over scones.