Breakfast in Bed – Lemon Cherry Scones with Lemon Honey Butter

Lemon Cherry Scones 10

Post by Alison Hein.

I’ve been baking a lot this winter. There are a few reasons for this. One is simply, well, because I like to bake. Next, I have been trapped in my home on numerous occasions due to ridiculous and nearly constant cold, ice and snow. Finally, a nice hot oven helps to keep the heat up in the house on these low temperature days. My husband has been enjoying homemade bread hot from the oven, sweet pastries and pies dusted with sugar, and hardy scones laden with pure Irish butter.

The trouble is, with no way to safely get to the grocery store, my pantry has been running low. Inspiration for these scones struck when I glanced at my lemon-filled fruit bowl, and remembered a pack of dried tart cherries tucked in the back of the cabinet.

Lemon Cherry Scones 1

Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Irish Scones are so light and delicate that I used her method here. Adding lemon rind to the batter and swapping cherries for raisins did the trick. One lemon is enough to make both the scones and the butter. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, just add about a tablespoon of cider vinegar to a cup of milk for a great faux substitute.

Warm yourself by the stove, brew a strong cup of black tea, and take your lemony scones off to a cozy spot by the window. Take a good long look at all that ice and snow. Then gratefully feast on a warm and cozy breakfast in bed.

Lemon Cherry Scones

3 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1½ cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing scone after baking
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon oil, or lemon flavoring
½ cup dried tart cherries

Lemon Cherry Scones 2

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and grated lemon rind. Stir baking soda into buttermilk. Pour buttermilk mixture, lightly beaten egg and lemon oil into dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Batter should be thick but spreadable. Stir in dried tart cherries.

Lemon Cherry Scones 7

Grease and flour a 10-inch cast iron frying pan. Spread batter evenly in pan. Place in oven and bake until scone is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in top comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Alternatively, grease and flour two round 8-inch cake pans. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and reduce baking time to about 45 minutes.

Remove scone from pan and brush top with a little buttermilk, if you like. Wrap immediately in a tea towel so scones remain warm and soft. When ready to serve, cut scone in wedges. Serve warm with lemon honey butter.

Lemon Cherry Scones 6

Makes 12 to 14 scones.

Lemon Honey Butter

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preparation

Add softened butter to small bowl. Stir in honey and lemon juice and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Cherry Scones 11

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Bedtime Stories: My Hippo Has the Hiccups and other poems

hippoPost by Mark T. Locker.

The iPads for kids at the library are stationed right next to the juvenile non-fiction. Which is to say, I find myself browsing the juvenile non-fiction quite a bit while waiting for my boy to finish up giving a werewolf a haircut, or cutting candy down for a monster, or helping birds with anger issues. I have a particular fondness for children’s poetry. Shel Silverstein is of course the most widely-known children’s poet, quite possibly in the entire universe. But there are a lot of people writing quite entertaining poems for kids. I grabbed a book off the shelf, thumbed quickly through it, and added it to the pile.

I didn’t think much about it since then but noticed that every time there was an eerie silence from my son’s room, I’d find him quietly reading the book of poems. The book is called My Hippo Has the Hiccups by Kenn Nesbitt. The poems are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein, silly poems with catchy rhyming cadences accompanied by little line drawings. They are funny, and often about animals. Apparently he was also named children’s Poet Laureate in 2013. So clearly I’m not the only one who has discovered him.

My teacher ate my homework,
which I thought was rather odd.
He sniffed at it and smiled
with an approving sort of

He took a little nibble
it’s unusual, but true-
then had a somewhat larger bite
and gave a thoughtful chew.

I think he must have liked it,
for he really went to town.
He gobbled it with gusto
and he wolfed the whole thing down.

He licked off all his fingers,
gave a burp and said, “You pass.”
I guess that’s how they grade you
when you’re in a cooking class.

We just returned My Hippo and picked up another volume, called Tighty Whitey Spider. When I explained what tighty whiteys are, naturally my son was intrigued. These are fun poems with a very low ick factor. Recommended for kids of any age.

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Movies in Bed: Star Trek: into darkness

Post by Mark T. Locker.

star teafPost by Mark T. Locker.

This post is in memory of Leonard Nimoy, AKA Spock. You lived long. You prospered.

This movie has been sitting in my queue for a very long time. So, facing a monster pile of laundry to fold, I decided it was high time to watch it. There are certain movies and TV shows that are the best laundry-folding entertainment. Anything with beautiful cinematography has no place amongst my scattered socks and shirts. One of my favorites was Burn Notice, but I burned through all the seasons of that. This most recent installment in the most recent reboot of the classic sci-fi series is pretty good folding fodder. There are lots of high-action scenes filled with explosions and hand-to-hand combat that you can look away from while pairing socks without losing any crucial plot points.

The story is fun as it touches on characters we met in early movies, namely Khan, the ultimate bad boy whose younger self is played by the dreamy Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame. It also features a moment of young Spock conferring with future Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy for the last time. It’s touching to think of now, of course.

All in all, it’s a solid action movie with all the explosions and edge-of-your-seat excitement you could shake a sock at. Available streaming and surely for purchase.

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Bedroom Design: Should You Have a TV in Your Bedroom?

Post by Tracy Kaler.

Do you watch television in your bedroom? Many sleep experts recommend watching TV in another room and leaving your bedroom for snoozing only. But it’s not uncommon to find televisions in many bedrooms today, especially due to the sleeker wall-mounted flat screen models, which are far less intrusive than the clunky designs from days gone by. Still, there’s more than one reason watching television in your bedroom might not be such a hot idea.

• Stimulation from television keeps your mind active, so you might not be able to fall asleep as easily. That stimulation can also awaken you during the night even if you do get to sleep.

• Blue light emitted from TV suppresses melatonin, which is a necessary hormone so you can fall asleep fast and stay asleep through the night, waking up rested. What’s more, it’s recommended to stop watching television about two hours before bedtime.

• Associating other activities with your bed can make sleep seem less attractive and exclusive to your bedroom. You want to feel that the space is your sanctuary and where you go to turn things off, relax, and rest.

• If watching television does indeed contribute to getting less sleep and fewer hours of deep sleep, chances are you’ll be less productive at work, and your job will suffer.

• Watching television from bed could interfere with your relationship. Couples often use time in bed to catch up with each other and spend some quality time together. If the TV is on, they’re less likely to communicate and fall asleep together.

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Breakfast in Bed – Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs

Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs 9
Post by: Alison Hein

If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But what do you do if life gives you a whole bunch of Thai basil? Make pesto, of course!

Such was my experience recently when I was trimming my sweet little miracle garden. (See the Rolled Omelet with Fresh Herbs post to learn more.) My little patch of herbs is so prolific that I need to trim it every day to prevent delicate chives, cilantro, parsley and basil from singing their tips on the grow lights. During this process, I inadvertently knocked off my entire Thai Basil plant! Sad but inspired, I set to work on salvage and enterprise.

Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs 1

Traditional Italian pesto, which originated in the northern Liguria region, consists of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and local sheep milk cheeses. Tangy, fragrant, and lightly richened with nuts, pesto livens up fresh-cooked pasta, slow-simmered beans, or scrambled eggs.

I’ve substituted walnuts for pine nuts in my version, and have omitted the cheeses for better freezing of any excess pesto. I learned a neat trick many years ago – if you have an old-fashioned ice cube tray, fill it with tablespoon-sized portions of pesto, then freeze for individual servings. One tablespoon is just right for a single serving of pasta, or in this case, scrambled eggs. Add any cheeses later, when you are ready to partake of a candlelit Italian dinner, or a tangy, fragrant breakfast in bed.

Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs 4

Pesto Ingredients

2 cups packed Thai basil (or other basil) leaves, plus additional sprig for garnish
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional 2 teaspoons for cooking eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Clean and dry basil and set aside. Add garlic and walnuts to blender and chop. Add basil, then with blender running on low, pour in olive oil and purée until smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes about ¾ cup pesto.

Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs 7

Thai Basil Pesto Scrambled Eggs

2 eggs
1 tablespoon Thai basil pesto
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Heat olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Break eggs into small bowl and whisk well. Stir in pesto and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Add egg mixture to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir and lift frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.

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