Futzing Around with Chocolate and Yarn Hearts

Quiet day — mostly did computer work, but in between, futzed around with little chocolates and yarn hearts for the upper tier treat boxes (“Narnia in love” theme: remember, he’s not a TAME lion…). I was excessively pleased with myself for managing to find a WARDROBE mold.

I mean, come on, people! Those are some serious Etsy shopping skills you’re looking at. Of course, now I need an excuse to throw a Narnia birthday party so I have a reason to use it again…I’m not sure what else you would do with a wardrobe mold!

Jed and I watched a fun rom-com while I was crocheting, Broken Hearts Gallery. Came out in 2020, so it may have skipped theatrical release? It was a little hard for me to empathize with the 20-somethings (they’re SO YOUNG), but there were lots of cute / funny moments, and the lead, Geraldine Vishwanathan (half-Tamil!) was adorable.

I could totally see her as Maya in my Liminal Space novel, if it was ever made into a movie. 🙂 Summer project — seeing if the novel would work as a screenplay…

Fresh Strawberry & Ginger Scones

(30 minutes, plus cooling time, makes 16 mini scones)

In Sri Lanka, strawberries are an introduced horticultural crop, very popular in the hill country. I have fond memories of eating fabulous strawberries from roadside stands near Nuwara Eliya. Sri Lankans enjoy strawberries fresh, in milkshakes, cooked down into jam, whipped into a refreshing fool, or made into ice cream.

A hint of ginger adds subtle complexity to these lovely fresh strawberry scones. Made with plenty of butter and cream, they’re a delectable indulgence.

In many baked goods, you can substitute frozen fruit for fresh successfully, but I wouldn’t recommend that here — frozen strawberries will give off too much liquid. Look for fresh, ripe strawberries — the best for eating will also be the best in your scones. My children don’t like crystallized ginger, so when baking for them, I leave it out.

2 c. flour
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
6 T cold unsalted butter
1 c. heavy cream, plus 1 T for brushing the scones
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped fine, optional

2 T sugar

for glaze (optional):
1 ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
2 T milk

½ t. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray mini scone pan with Baker’s Joy (or butter and flour pan, which will be kind of a pain).

(If you don’t have a mini scone pan, you can cut and shape these by hand, and bake on a regular baking sheet, placing them quite close together. If you pop them in the freezer for 30 minute before baking, they’ll hold shape better.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground ginger.

3. Chop butter in small pieces and cut into flour with a pastry cutter (or with your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse meal. (It’s fine to have small lumps.)

4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 c. heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Pour liquid ingredients over flour mixture; stir with a spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t overmix. Gently stir in chopped crystallized ginger, if using, and chopped fresh strawberries.

5. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Cut into 16 equal pieces and press into the cavities of the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the scones with the additional T of heavy cream. Sprinkle with 2 T sugar.

6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes in pan, then remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

7. I don’t think these scones need a sweet glaze, but some people love a little extra sweetness. And it does look pretty. If you’d like to glaze, make it while the scones are cooling. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle glaze generously over completely cooled scones.

Serve warm or room temperature, with additional fresh strawberries if possible. Can be split and served with butter or clotted cream, and jam, if you like, though when freshly baked, I don’t think these scones need anything else!

Luscious Dreams

I made a decadent Valentine’s rose tea for the winter treat boxes: decaf English breakfast, Guittard cocoa rouge, Penzey’s vanilla (beans for steeping AND double-strength extract), rose petals. Delicious, and since it’s decaf, you can indulge in the evening and still slip into sleep filled with luscious dreams…  

Caramel Loves Passionfruit

“Caramel Loves Passionfruit” — I liked these enough I thought they deserved a name. Passionfruit marshmallows are, I have to say, perfection all on their own. But I wanted to try dressing them up a bit for Valentine’s Day and the winter Patreon treat boxes (details in comments), and I thought the tang of passionfruit …

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Sleepy Slow Morning

Sleepy slow morning, gilding some pomegranate chocolate roses for the Patreon treat boxes, trying to wake up. Teaching day today. I’ve been thinking about how much time I spend on the treat boxes — I think the three times / year schedule is about right for what I can manage without stress right now, especially …

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Gingered Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

More baking for the Winter 2022 Patreon boxes. Kid-approved! Gingered Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies (makes about 60 small cookies) These luscious little bites work equally well for Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Original recipe, modified a bit, from OMG Chocolate Desserts: https://omgchocolatedesserts.com/red-velvet-crinkle-cookies/ 4 T butter, softened 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 egg red food coloring …

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A Genius or a Fool

When your daughter asks if she can go to a friend’s house tonight, and if you can drop her off at 6 and pick her up much later, and you say yes even though it’s been a long workday at the end of a long workweek at the end of two years of miserably long …

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Valentines for the Kids

We are thankfully past the age of needing to find / create Valentines for an entire class of elementary age students at this point, hoorah, but we do still try to do something for the kids on the holiday, when we remember. Kevin made the brownie breakfast bars; I dipped some strawberry marshmallows in milk …

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