Try This— Scone for One + Clotted Cream

One of the many things I miss about vacationing in London is afternoon tea. One of the many things I miss about afternoon tea is a warm scone with clotted cream. I’m ashamed to admit that before I went to London, I’d only had scones a handful of times, plucked from a display case, out of pure desperation while ordering some overly sweet latte from Starbuck$$$. But in London, scones with clotted cream is totally a thing, and from what I experienced, it’s such a thing that you don’t have to go out of your way to a specialty bakery to find it. I found myself stopping by Waitrose (a grocery store chain) every couple of days to get a package of scones and a tub of clotted cream. This was my go to breakfast, tea time treat, and occasional midnight snack the entire time I was across the pond.

When I got home I fell back into my regular breakfast routine of yogurt with toppings. Delicious and satisfying, I know, but I have craved scones and clotted cream consistently since my return. Alas, my fear of commitment wouldn’t allow me to just go ahead and bake a batch of scones for myself. Plus, the fact that clotted cream isn’t readily available here in the States (a fact that I lament on nearly a daily basis) had me questioning the meaning of life.

The answer to this and pretty much any other existential crisis, is to find some method of instant gratification like a cinnamon roll in a mug. Totally quick, totally easy, and deliciously noncommittal. Amiright? So, I found this amazing recipe for a scone for one! Yes! Talk about living the dream. I can now have a different flavor of scone every morning if I want to and I don’t have to fly all the way to the UK to do it. You must try this!

Simple Scone Recipe for One

ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp mix-in of choice

Directions

  • In a small food processor or blender combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  • Pulse the butter into the dry ingredients until it breaks up and resembles crumbs.
  • Next add in the mix-ins and milk and pulse until the dough pulls away from the side of the mixer, which should only take a moment.
  • Carefully pull the dough away from the blade and shape into a circle, patting it to about 1/2 inch in thickness.
  • Bake at 450 on a piece of parchment paper for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly.

Possible Mix-ins

  • cherry + walnut
  • blueberry
  • cranberry + walnut
  • lemon + poppy seed

Simple Clotted Cream

ingredients

  • 2 pints heavy cream (be sure that it isn’t ultra pasteurized0
  • heavy casserole dish

directions

  • set your oven to 180F
  • Pour the cream into the casserole dish. It should come up about 1-3 inches on the side.
  • Set the dish, uncovered, in the oven and leave undisturbed for 10-12 hours. Be sure to leave the oven on the whole time. For me, it’s easiest to do this overnight.

  • When it’s done, you’ll notice a thick golden crust has formed on top. This is the “clotted” part
  • Remove the dish from the oven and set to cool (I usually set it out to cool for at least a couple of hours).
  • Then cover and refrigerate for a couple more hours.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and scoop the thickened cream (top layer) into a jar or jars, and cover and put back in the refrigerator.
  • Clotted cream will last for 4-5 days

Scone Recipe Source: Heather Disarro

Clotted Cream Recipe Source: Farmette

Countdown to Christmas + Cyber Monday Deals

Hey, you guys!!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, or at least one that wasn’t filled with too many awkward family moments and unwanted house guests. We did alright over here. There were only a couple of cringe-worthy moments, but we managed to balance it out with liqu— er, I mean, laughter. Anyway, this time of year, this countdown to Christmas time, is pretty much my fave. I love the planning, I love the decor, I love the lights, I love the shopping, and I love the eating.

So to help you along with your countdown to Christmas, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites

For the Beauty Obsessed

Whip up this quick and easy eggnog hair mask to save your tresses from the winter blues, or try one of these soothing Winter skin treats.

For the Fragrance Obsessed

Homemade Winter Potpourri (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Almost nothing is more inviting and cozy than the sweet smells of the holiday season. Fill your home with the soothing aromas of this DIY stovetop potpourri or try one of these ideas to make your home smell like Christmas.

For the Checklist obsessed

You can download and print some pretty useful checklists here. And for a super cute Advent calendar DIY project, you can find the tutorial here.

For the Decoration Obsessed

There are tons of ways to add holiday flair to your home. Even in the tiniest spaces, on the most meager of budgets you can add a little something festive and transform your home for the holidays. Check out some amazing Christmas tree ideas here, and some even more amazing style tips for small spaces here.

For the Brunch Obsessed

Try This---Eggnog French Toast

Add this amazing eggnog french toast recipe to your holiday brunch menu. While you’re at it, check out these 46 Christmas brunch ideas that are all just perfect for your holiday gathering.

For the Drink obsessed

Whether you’re in the mood for a cocktail or a hot winter treat, you’ll find the perfect drink recipe here.

For the Wrapping Paper obsessed

Take your gift wrap to the next level with these 21 ways to upgrade your butcher paper gift wrap.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only got 4 weeks left until Christmas! Hopefully, I’ve given you some helpful tips. There’s certainly more where this came from. Stay tuned throughout the month of December for some cool ideas to get you into the holiday mood!

Also, as promised, you should check out these links to my fave Cyber Monday Deals from Houzz and Overstock!

Overstock Cyber Monday Sale – Valid through – 12.7.17 @ 11:59 PM MST

Houzz—Up to 80% off highest-rated home products

Try This—Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

So I broke my Huel diet last night on the most divine sandwich I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t feel much like cooking some elaborate meal so I opted for the tried and true grilled cheese sandwich. I usually put sliced tomato directly on a grilled cheese instead of making a side of tomato soup. Two birds, one stone. But alas, I had no tomato. I had no tomato soup. I didn’t even have any cheddar cheese. So as it goes with most tasty new recipes, last night’s sandwich was born of a combination of desire and improvisation. I bring to you the Spanakopita Grilled Cheese. You must try this!!!

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 4 slices good-quality bread
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • One 10-ounce bag baby spinach, or 2 big handfuls
  • Pinch salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 4 thin slices provolone cheese

Directions

  • Preheat your panini press (you can make this on the stove top, but for next level sandwiches you really should invest in a panini press).
  • Divide butter evenly between the four slices of bread, spread thinly on one side of each slice.
  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add the garlic and shallot, and cook about 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden-brown. Add spinach and salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes, until the spinach is wilted and most of the moisture is cooked out. Add dill and feta, turn off heat, and mix.
  • Assemble the sandwiches by placing two slices of bread butter side-down on your press or pan, add one slice of provolone to each, then divide the spinach mixture in half and place half on each slice. Top with the remaining 2 slices of cheese and slices of bread, butter side-up.
  • If using a panini press, put the lid down and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. If using a pan, flip after about 5 minutes, then cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: Alexandra V. Jones

I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

Try This—The Mozzacado: A Next Level Caprese Sandwich

There’s really no way for me to be modest about this, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I am a sandwich aficionado. Like seriously a sandwich making guru. There’s really no challenge too great when it comes to making a vegetarian version of a classic sandwich. Still don’t believe me? Try this incredible vegetarian take on a Vietnamese favorite or this amazing vegetarian halloumi burger or any of these. I’ll wait.

Yup. When I’m right, I’m right. But maybe the biggest challenge for a guru like me, is to bring you a knock-your-socks-off recipe for an already vegetarian friendly sandwich. I’m up to the task though. I think I might have a slight advantage here, because who doesn’t love a caprese? Mozzarella. Tomato. Basil. Mmmm. Nuff said. But I, for real, just took my caprese to the next level. Sky high with avocado. Mozzacado! Yaaaaassssss!

This is a super easy recipe, but the payoff is like hitting the lotto. Full disclosure: I ate two of these sandwiches on football Sunday. Whatever. It’s more than a little delicious and it didn’t leave me feeling guilty at all. Fuller disclosure: The second time around, I put that Mozzacado on a panini press. I have transcended. Seriously, if you love sandwiches as much as I do, get your hands on the Cuisinart panini press that I use. Your sandwich game will never be the same. Anyway, the name says it all. The Mozzacado. You must try this!

Mozzacado Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small ripe tomato
  • 4 slices whole milk mozzarella, sliced thick
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Lightly toast the bread
  • Smash the pitted avocado with a little salt and pepper
  • Spread a thick layer of smashed avocado on the warm bread
  • Layer the cheese with the basil and tomato over the avocado