Cherry Scones

June 12, 2013

Cherries 2Cherry Scones

My Cherry Scones will make your kitchen smell of summer.  Make sure to eat these scones warm and with a good butter.  Using cream instead of shortening makes the scones extra-tender and flaky.


2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

4 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/3 Cup Butter (Cut Up)

2 Beaten Eggs

3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

1 Cup Dried Cherries

1/4 Cup Milk (For Brushing Tops)

1/4 Cups Sugar (For Sprinkling Tops)

Preheat your oven to 400º F.  In a small size bowl add the dried cherries and enough boiling water over the cherries to cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, sugar, kosher salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center of the flour and set aside.  In a medium size bowl combine the eggs and whipping cream.  Drain the cherries.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once.  Add the cherries.  Use a fork to stir just until moistened.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough by folding and pressing it until the dough is almost smooth (about 10 times).  Divide the dough in half and roll out each dough half into a circle.  Cut each circle into six wedges.  Place the dough wedges 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Brush the wedges with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.  Remove and transfer to a serving plate.  Serve warm.  Makes about 12 scones.

Cherry Scones

Yorkshire Puddings

April 23, 2013

Yorkshire PuddingYorkshire Puddings


2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 1/4 Cups Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil

2 Room Temperature Large Eggs

In a large size bowl combine the flour, milk, kosher salt, vegetable oil and eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium.  You will want the batter to be smooth.  Let the batter stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  When the roast is done spoon two tablespoons of the fat off of the roast and put into each hole of a 12 hold muffin tin.  Divide the batter between the muffin cups.  Be careful not to overfill.  Preheat your oven to 425º F.  Place the filled muffin tin into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the well has risen and golden brown.  Makes 12

Prime Rib

April 23, 2013

Prime RibPrime Rib

Prime Rib Roast or Standing Rip Roast is a cut of beef from the rib section.  The entire rib section comprises ribs six through twelve of the cow, but can comprise anywhere from two to seven ribs.  A slice of Prime Rib will include portions of the “eye” of the rib as well as the outer, fat marbled muscle known as the “lip” or “cap.”  The traditional preparation for this roast is to rub the outside with salt and seasonings and slow roast it with dry heat.  In the U.S., it is common for barbeque purists to apply smoke to the uncooked rib roast at a low heat for 2 to 3 hours before dry roasting.  In England, Yorkshire Pudding is often served as a side dish with Prime Rib.


3 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 Cloves Roasted Garlic

4 Tablespoons Softened Butter

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves

1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary

1 Prime Rib Roast of Beef (4 to 6 Ribs)

2 1/2 Cups Red Wine

2 1/2 Cups Beef Stock

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the garlic cloves in a small bowl and mash with the back of a fork until mostly smooth. Add softened butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the rosemary and thyme, and stir to blend. Pat the mixture evenly over the top and sides of the roast. Season the roast all over with the remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the roast in a roasting pan and add 1 1/2 cups red wine and 1/2 cup beef stock to the bottom of the pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° F and continue to roast to the desired degree of doneness. Roast 18 minutes per pound for rare and 22 minutes per pound for medium. Let stand at least 10 minutes before carving.

To make the au jus, place the roasting pan on the stove burners over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of the red wine and scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add 2 cups beef stock and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. Strain the sauce through a sieve to remove the solids before serving. Degrease if necessary. Servings 4 to 8 depending on how hungry you are!


Easter Hot Cross Buns

March 29, 2013

Hot Cross BunsEaster Hot Cross Buns

As a child I used to sing the song, “Hot Cross Buns” while jumping rope or skipping around the block.  “Hot cross buns!  Hot cross buns! One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny, hot cross buns!  If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.  One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny, hot cross buns.”

Today is Good Friday and on this day the bells are silenced.  In France the children are told that the bells have flown to Rome to return only on Holy Saturday.  In Italy on Good Friday children are even warned not to laugh while playing, because of the solemnity of the day.  In certain places this day is observed by so strict a fast that it is often called the Black Fast, because many do not eat at all until sundown.  However, one article of food is intimately associated with and eaten on this day, and that is the Hot Cross Bun.

Hot Cross Buns originated in England, and more than one nursery rhyme and ballad contain references to them.  Saffron plays a part in the better-class English Hot Cross Bun, but as a rule they are small and plain, well browned and with icing on top in the form of a cross.


1 Package Active Dry Yeast

1 Cup Warm Milk

5 Tablespoons Softened Butter

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Large Beaten Eggs

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

3/4 Cup Dried Currants

3 Tablespoons Milk Mixed With 3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Cold Milk

1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

In a small size bowl mix the yeast with 4 tablespoons of the warm milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  In a medium size bowl combine 4 tablespoons of the softened butter and brown sugar.  When the yeast looks frothy stir it into the butter and brown sugar mixture. Add the beaten eggs.  Add the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and salt.  Add the remaining warm milk and mix well.  Beat in the flour one cup at a time until a soft ball of dough can be gathered together.  Place the dough on a floured work surface and lightly knead in the currants, adding more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking.  Kneading should take no more than a few minutes.  Grease a large size bowl with the remaining butter.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough to butter all sides.  Cover and let sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.  The dough should be doubled.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Punch the dough down and then divide it in half.  Next divide each piece in half again.  Divide each portion of the dough into six equal pieces and shape each into a ball.  Place the balls of dough onto the parchment lined baking sheets leaving 2 inches between them.  Set aside and cover lightly with tea towels or waxed paper for 1 hour.  The dough should double in size.  Preheat your oven to 400º F.  Carefully slash a cross into the top of each bun using a sharp knife.  Cut through the skin of the dough at least 1/4 inch deep.  Try not to compress the bun as you cut.  Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until they are lightly browned.  Just before they come out of the oven bring the milk and sugar mixture to a boil in a small saucepan.  As soon as the buns are done brush them with the milk and sugar glaze.  Allow the buns to cool for 30 minutes and then serve them while they are still warm.  If you have not cut the cross into the tops of the buns the cross can be applied with the icing.  The buns must be completely cooled before the icing is applied.  To make the icing: mix the powdered sugar with the cold milk and lemon juice.  Using the handle of a spoon or chopstick spread the icing to form a cross on top or to fill the cross shape cut.  Makes 24

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

March 9, 2013

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

The custom of afternoon teas is thought to have been introduced in England in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford.  Lunch was eaten earlier then and dinner was not served until later in the evening.  The Duchess became hungry during the afternoon and requested tea, bread, butter and cake to be brought to her room.  This quickly became a habit and she began asking friends to join her. 


1/4 Pound Boneless Cooked Chicken

2 Teaspoons Mango Chutney

2 1/2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Softened Butter

4 Slices Either Whole Wheat or White Bread

Chop the chicken into small pieces and place into a small size bowl.  If the chutney has any large pieces of fruit make sure to chop them into smaller pieces.  In a medium size bowl combine the chutney, mayonnaise, curry powder, lime juice and kosher salt.  Mix well and then add the chopped chicken.  Butter the bread slices.  Place the chicken mixture on the buttered side of two pieces of bread. Put the tops on and press together.  Cut off the crusts from the bread and cut each sandwich into four horizontal pieces.  Arrange on a serving plate and serve with tea.  Makes 8



Afternoon Peach Cake

March 8, 2013

Afternoon Peach Cake

It’s about that time of year when I start posting “Tea Time” recipes.  My mother-in-law was from England and always liked to have her cup of tea around 4pm accompanied by some sweets.  My children grew up having their grandmother’s tea time and the black tea they drank was always served with milk and loads of sugar.  You can imagine what I thought of that!


1/2 Cup Canned Peach Slices

3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

1 1/4 Cups Sugar

Grated Zest of 1 Orange

4 Room Temperature Eggs

2/3 Cup Sour Cream

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Powdered Sugar for Garnish

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Drain the peach slices and chop them into coarse pieces.  In a large size bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the orange zest and beat in the eggs one at a time.  Fold in the sour cream and the peaches.  Combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt in a medium size bowl.  Gradually add the flour mixture into the batter.  Pour into your prepared bundt pan and place into the oven.  Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.  You may need to add 5 more minutes depending on your oven.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Turn the cake out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Sift the powdered sugar over the cake and serve.  Serves 8

Victoria’s Baked Sticky Toffee Pudding

December 24, 2012

Victoria’s “Baked” Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you’re looking for a stunningly delicious Christmas dessert this is the one for you.  No need to steam in a water bath, but just pour the batter into ramekins and bake. 


8 Ounces Pitted & Chopped Dates

6 Ounces Boiling Water

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

6 Ounces Self-Rising Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3 Large Eggs

3 Ounces Softened Butter

5 Ounces Demerara Sugar

1 Tablespoon English Golden Syrup (Lyle’s Is Good)

2 Tablespoons Unsulphured Molasses

3 1/2 Ounces Milk


6 Ounces Muscovado Sugar

2 Ounces Softened Butter

8 Ounces Heavy Cream

1 Tablespoon English Golden Syrup

1 Tablespoon Unsulphured Molasses

Preheat your oven to 325º F.  Grease 6 individual ramekins and set aside.  Place the chopped dates into a large size glass bowl and fill with boiling water.  Soak the dates for 20 minutes.  When the dates are soft add the vanilla extract. In a separate large bowl cream the butter and Demerara sugar together.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.  Add the golden syrup and molasses.  Beat well.  In a large size bowl combine the self-rising flour and baking soda.  Add a bit of the flour combination to the sugar mixture alternating with the milk until both are completely added.  Add the chopped dates including the liquid in the bowl and stir gently.  The mixture should resemble a thick batter.  Divide the batter between the ramekins and place on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Remember that all ovens bake differently so make sure to test to determine doneness.  The cakes should be raised and firm to the tough.  Make sure not to over bake.  Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before tuning out. 


To make the sauce:  In a large saucepan melt the butter, Muscovado sugar and half of the cream over a medium heat.  Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil while stirring constantly until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Add the golden syrup and molasses and allow the sauce to bubble for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1 minute.  Now stir in the remaining cream. 


For serving place and individual pudding onto a warm individual dessert plate.  Drizzle a generous amount of sauce over the pudding.  Serve and listen for your guests’ applause!  Serves 6

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

November 30, 2012

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

I had a ton of vegetables in my fridge that were close to expiring so I decided to make Shepherd's Pie vegetarian style! To make this a vegan dish swap out the butter for a non-dairy butter.


3 Diced Parsnips

1 Chopped Onion

2 Cups Mixed Vegetables (Chopped Carrots, Corn & Peas)

2 Pounds Potatoes

1 Stick Salted Butter

1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Boil in water until tender.  While the potatoes are cooking, melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large frying pan.  Sauté the onions in butter until tender over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time.  Put the parsnips and carrots in with the onions.  Add corn or peas at the end of the cooking of the onions.  Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Add half a cup of the vegetable broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Add more vegetable broth as necessary to keep moist.  Mash potatoes in a bowl with remainder of the butter.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Place the vegetables and onions in baking dish.  Distribute mashed potatoes on top.  Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely.  Cook in a preheated 400° F oven about 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown.  Broil for last new minutes if necessary to brown.  Serves 4

Victoria’s Scones

September 30, 2012

Victoria’s Scones

It’s Sunday Morning!  Treat yourself to a great cup of coffee and a couple of scones.  You’ll love my scone recipe and your loved ones will too.


2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Sugar

3 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

5 Tablespoons Butter

2 Beaten Eggs

1/2 Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk

1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 425° F.  In a large size bowl mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.  Cut in the butter with your fingers until the mixture is rather lumpy.  Next add the eggs and buttermilk (or sour milk).  Combine but don’t overdo it.  Turn your mixture onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough for about one minute.  Now pat the dough into a 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut into triangle shapes and put on either a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve these scones warm with blackberry, raspberry or apricot jam.  Makes 12 scones.

Individual Shepherd’s Pies

April 29, 2012

Individual Shepherd’s Pies


In this recipe I use lamb.  Many people use beef, but the shepherds didn’t watch over their cows at night.  Make sure to use quality meat and the mashed potatoes seal the deal. 



1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1 Chopped Medium Onion

2 Pounds Ground Lamb

1/2 Cup Water

4 Cups Beef Stock

2 Large Diced Carrots

1/2 Bunch Finely Chopped Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Pound Mashed Potatoes (Enough to Cover Six Pies)


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large skillet heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion.  Cook for 4 minutes until the onion is tender.  Add the ground lamb and sauté for 3 minutes to break up any large pieces.  Add the water and then transfer to a baking sheet and put into the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  The lamb should be golden brown.  Remove from the oven and drain off the excess fat.  Return to the original skillet and add the beef stock.  Bring to a boil over a medium heat.  Meanwhile, blanch the diced carrots in salted boiling water until they are soft.  You do not want them to be mushy.  Drain the carrots and place them in a cold water bath and set aside.  Turn the skillet with the lamb down to a low heat and add the chopped time, salt, pepper and carrots.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then transfer the meat mixture into individual earthenware pie dishes.  Press the meat mixture down so that you will have a smooth surface onto which the mashed potatoes can be piped.  Using a piping bag with a large nozzle carefully pipe an even layer of potatoes over the surface of the pie. If you do not have a piping bag don’t worry about it.  Just do the best you can to neatly cover the pies. Place the individual pies on a baking sheet and put into the oven for 5 minutes.  The potatoes should begin to turn golden brown and the pies should be piping hot in the center.  Remove from the oven and serve.  Makes 6 individual pies. 


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