Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking


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Making fluffy scones

2016-04-16 18.27.09I’ve been playing around with the recipe for the past couple of months. Lately, what I’m making is more like fluffy biscuits than scones. They’re light, tall, and more like muffins than those hard flat rock-like things. I’ve been adding eggs, fruit and juice, sometimes leftover jam (well I never eat the last third of a jar of jam, so may as well do something with it) and various spices.

Basic recipe

  • 3 cups flour
    (or gluten free substitute – don’t forget to add xanthan gum if you go this route)
  • 2/3 of a cup of sugar-like substance
    (baking sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, xylitol)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • lemon crystals
    (makes all the flavors better)
  • 1/2 cup liquid of some kind
    (milk, juice, rice milk)

Cooking

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Put parchment paper on the cookie tray

Preparation

  • The key is to avoid overworking the dough
    Combine the dry ingredients and any fruit
    Melt the butter, pour it in and squish it around with your hands to coat all the flour and make crumbles
  • Add the eggs and whatever liquid you’re using
  • Add more flour if you need to just adhere all the ingredients into a ball of dough
  • Flatten on a flour coated board
  • Cut out with a cookie cutter
  • Handle as little as possible
  • Arrange on the tray and put in oven on a top shelf for 19 minutes

Variations

  • Blueberry + White Chocolate
    Add a pint of blueberries and a cup of white chocolate chips to the dry mix
  • Peach and Orange/Ginger
    Add a cup of diced peaches + ginger / orange powder (teaspoon)
  • Curry Cheddar
    Add 2 cups shredded cheese + teaspoon curry powder to dry mix
  • Dried Fruit
    Add a cup of dried fruit (diced apricot, raisons, apples etc) to dry mix

2014-10-25 16.39.32.jpg

 


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Scones with spice

My favorite weekly bake is curry scones with shredded cheddar. This has become a staple in our house, substituting for bread in many cases. The spicy scones go well with both sweet and savory toppings.

Recipe

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking flour
  • 1.5 sticks butter
  • 4-6 oz shredded cheese (to taste)
  • one teaspoon curry powder
  • half cup sugar (brown is good)

Method

  • Combine all the dry ingredients, including cheese
  • Melt the butter and rub through the dry mix
  • Add two eggs and half cup juice
  • shape palm sized rounds (or cut out with cookie cutter)
  • Bake for 19 mins at 400 degrees

Enjoy!


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Baking madness

This weekend I’ve made five batches of baking.

  1. CHEESY SCONES
    Two batches of cheesy scones
    Scone recipe (2 cups flour, half cup sugar, one egg, 1ts baking soda, one stick butter, half cup milk)
    Added half a package (1 cup) grated pepper-jack cheese
    Baked at 400 for 18 mins


  1. SULTANA SCONES
    One batch of sultana scones
    Same recipe as above but half a stick more butter for ‘flakiness’
    Used quarter cup regular sugar and quarter cup brown sugar for ‘taste’
    Golden sultana raisons
    Made a dozen 2.5″ scones


  1. SOUTHWESTERN EGG MUFFINS
    Two batches
    A dozen eggs, whipped with cayenne pepper and italian seasoning
    Poured over finely chopped sweet peppers and a large pinch of grated sharp cheddar
    Baked at 375 for 22 minutes in large silicon muffin pan (dozen)
    Delicious with guacamole, served warm



We are set for the week with quick finger food now, savory and sweet.


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Gaussian Blur

I learned this week that I have an occlusion in my vision that will eventually become severe enough to need surgery. It isn’t so bad yet. I learned that the blur I am experiencing is called a cataract, something my grandmother also experienced. At first it freaked me out. Well, I’d be lying if I said I was over that reaction entirely. I shall think of it as having something in common with my Nan; and when she had the surgery it turned out just fine.

For now, the visual blur is the equivalent of a 10% gaussian blur filter applied to a photograph – that’s the designer speaking, when I looked at the pictures of my eyes, that’s just what it looked like. I guess the world will have a soft focus depending on the eye I use to view reality. That could even prove to be a useful metaphor. By which eye am I seeing?

Meantime, I get some smashing new glasses with serious trifocal lenses and a frame in deep metallic purple. Tres chic.

On the positive side, no diabetic retinopathy is present. The blood vessels in my eyes look splendid. Huzzah.


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Tipsy Tarts

TipsyTartsRiaLoader2014

Tipsy Tarts – Photo by Ria Loader 2014

 

Tipsy tarts are a treat for the holidays. Laced with rum and brandy and sweetened with honey, the fruit steeps for a week in the refrigerator.

I tend to avoid cherries and nuts in my holiday fruit mix and instead use a more European combination of raisins, apricots and dates. I start with soaking chopped dates in boiling water with molasses overnight and then add the other fruit until the bowl is half full. Add half a cup each of a decent brandy and a dark rum. This time I included dark agave syrup, and a jar of local honey. Covered with plastic and put it in the fridge, stirring every day for a week. The fruit soaked up the grog and became sticky and delicious.

Spooned the resulting mix into tiny pie tarts (you can make your own or buy them pre-made – there are even gluten free varieties available).

I added a cup of the mix to a date cake and made delicious holiday cake as well.

Enjoy!


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Fall mushroom hot pot

This weekend, we picked up some fresh mushrooms to make a delicious one-pot savory dish to serve with rice.

whiteMushrooms2

Ingredients

3 large cups white mushrooms, sliced
silken tofu, rough chopped
thyme, pepper
garlic, 2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup
lime and lemon juice
coconut milk
olive oil

Cooking

Sautee the mushrooms in olive oil and garlic
Add lemon, lime and Worcestershire sauce
Stir in coconut milk and simmer with thyme
Add chopped tofu
Add pepper to taste
Serve with rice and orange wedges for color