Saturday, January 8

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Cooking is my favorite pastime. Correction: it’s not a pastime; it’s a way of life. I am obsessed with it. It used to be a hobby, back when I was a vocal major and completely focused on music (opera, to be specific). But, when I came to the realization that I wanted to have a life and a family before the age of 45, I made a drastic life change and career shift. Now, music is my hobby and cooking has taken its place as my every day passion.

When I talk to people about cooking, sometimes I just don’t think they get it. I try to explain, but they just smile and nod while scarfing down a mouthful of my latest creation. Friday morning, I woke up with the bright idea of making scones-the anti-croissant (I am angry with croissants right now). After I made them, I felt like I was on Cloud 9. When I spoke to my hubby-to-be, I kept saying over and over how happy I was that I made some awesome scones. Like me, he has an all-consuming passion in his life- his pro soccer career. So, I conjured up the perfect analogy to make him understand the culinary high I was on. 

Here it goes:
I see cooking as a game (a soccer game- duh). I am like the coach, and the ingredients are like my team. When I see a recipe, it’s like the opponent. People might tell me how to choose my team and use my players most effectively, but I am always looking for something new and innovative that hasn’t been done before. When I cook something and it doesn’t turn out (case in point: Pastries from Hell), I feel like I’ve been defeated by the opponent. 

Sometimes, it seems that the recipe might not turn out, I feel like I'm one down at half time. I look in the pantry and see that I am missing an ingredient- one of my players has been injured. Gotta find a substitute, and fast. Sometimes, it's just doesn't measure up to my injured man. But sometimes, my sub is (literally) the secret ingredient I've been looking for to spice up the game. 

When the I look in the oven and see the dough rising or open the lid and see it simmering with a few minutes left on the clock, it's like watching one of my players setting up to take a a penalty. As soon as I take that pan out of the oven and realize I've just kicked the recipe's butt; I feel like my team has just scored the winning goal. Get it guys? Ladies, if you feel the same way I do, let him read this. You can't go wrong with sports analogies.

I plan on cooking every day (or almost) for the rest of my life until I die- and possibly even after that. Making a simple omelet makes me happy. But Friday morning at 6 am, omelets weren't on my mind- these British beauties were.

Almond Raisin Scones
  • 1 ¾ cup GF dough mix (must have XANTHAN GUM)
  • 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar/Xylitol
  • 4 tbsp butter cold
  • ½ cup milk or 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • Rice flour (for dusting)
  • 2 tbsp milk (brushing on top)
  • Powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt,  and sugar. Pulse a few times in food processor. Add butter and pulse 15-20 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and milk and run food processor for about 10 seconds or until it makes a large lump of dough. Transfer dough into bowl and fold in raisins and almonds. 

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface (rice flour) divide into 8 equal parts. 

Roll each part into a ball and press into a round, about ¾ inches thick. 

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook 25-30 min. 

Then, devour! Enjoy.

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