Zingy Lemon Blueberry Scones

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Zingy Lemon Blueberry Scones! Question: What do you get when you cross a cake and a quick bread? Answer: An English Scone, of course! Now here’s an excuse to eat something lightly sweetened in the middle of the day. Scones are popular with brunch or afternoon tea in some countries. They are made in a single-serving size and come in several variations. By adding fresh fruit and a sprinkling of sanding sugar, the results are astounding. Drizzle a lemony glaze on top to transform this beauty into a dessert as well.

ZINGY LEMON BLUEBERRY SCONES

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon granulated lemon citrus peel

1 1/2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup milk

White sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Lemon Glaze Icing Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon granulated lemon citrus peel

1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large with sheet with a Silpat nonstick baking mat. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and lemon citrus peel in a large bowl. Add butter and blend until crumbly. Fold in the blueberries and almonds. Stir in the milk. On a lightly floured surface, transfer dough. Form into two 6-inch disks. Cut each disk into 6 wedges. Gently transfer wedges to the prepared sheet; brush with milk; sprinkle lightly with the sanding sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Cool on the pan. Drizzle with lemon glaze. Serve warm.

Lemon Glaze:

Whisk together powdered sugar, butter, lemon citrus peel, and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over warm scones.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! What I love about this recipe is any type of chicken will do. If you prefer wings, thighs, drumsticks, breasts, or all of the above, it works! The lemony citrus accent is perfect with a side salad and a piece of warm crusty bread. If you can get your hands on a lemon infused olive oil, you may want to take the plunge. It’s also a great way to jazz up an ordinary salad with the bright, tangy flavor of citrus. Balance it out with a pomegranate balsamic vinegar for a winning combination. Who knows, you may have found a new favorite.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

Ingredients:

6 chicken fillets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon granulated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 lemon, sliced and quartered

6 green onions

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Trim and pat dry the chicken fillets. In an iron skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, carefully place chicken in pan. Season with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Sear both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Add lemon slices, wedges, and green onions. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve chicken with roasted lemons and onions.

Iced Sorbet Bombe

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Iced Sorbet Bombe! This dessert is refreshing, cold, and light. It is so versatile, any combination of ice cream, fruit sherbet, frozen yogurt, or gluten-free sorbet can be used. No baking is necessary, assembly is a snap, and the presentation is spot on! Make it as healthy as you choose….or as decadent as you deserve. Everyone wins! Be warned, you may find yourself tip-toeing to the freezer for “just a bite” now and then. It doesn’t take long to disappear until the next one is made. No worries.

ICED SORBET BOMBE

Ingredients:

1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened

1 pint lemon sorbet, softened

1 pint pomegranate açai blueberry sorbet, softened

1/4 cup raspberry jam

1 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur, optional

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

Fresh mint for garnish

Instructions:

Choose a fluted jello mold, small bundt pan, or glass bell jar. Step one: pack the raspberry sorbet into the bottom of the mold. Smooth the top to keep the layer even. Transfer the mold to the freezer for one hour or until sorbet is firm. Step two: pack the lemon sorbet on top of the raspberry layer. Smooth the top to keep the layer even. Freeze again for one hour. Step three: repeat process with the pomegranate açai blueberry sorbet. Make sure the final layer is completely smooth. It is helpful to cover the mold with foil and place a plate on top to double check. Freeze for two hours. Warm the raspberry jam just enough to make it a thick sauce. Add the Amaretto liqueur and stir. Gently fold in frozen raspberries. To un-mold the Bombe, dip the upright container in warm water to the rim only. Invert onto a decorative plate. Tap to release and carefully raise the mold. Garnish with raspberry sauce and fresh mint. Slice to serve.

Oyster Snack Crackers

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Oyster Snack Crackers! When you get that craving for something slightly salty partnered with a crunchy snack, turn to these little gems made from basic oyster crackers. Add seasonings and oil; bake and store in an airtight container. I literally sprinkle them on homemade soups, organic salads, and sometimes the palm of my hand. In a pinch, I’ve crushed them as a coating for baked chicken or fish. It’s all up to you.

OYSTER SNACK CRACKERS

Ingredients:

16-ounce package of oyster crackers

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup olive oil

1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°. Take a one gallon ziplock bag. Pour oyster crackers into bag. In a glass measuring cup, combine butter, olive oil, ranch seasoning mix, dill weed, onion powder, and lemon pepper. Stir well. Pour over crackers. Seal the bag and toss to coat, alternating every 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a baking sheet. Form single layer. Bake 10 minutes; toss and bake 10 minutes longer. Do not burn. Let cool and then store in an airtight container. Will keep for weeks.

Vinaigrette Vendetta

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Food Whisperer: Vinaigrette Vendetta! Every once in awhile it’s nice to step up your game at mealtime. So often we go out to a restaurant and then feel like everything at home is just humdrum and boring. Not true. By changing the ingredients, a completely different flavor is born. Take advantage of the olive oil gourmet shoppes popping up all over. Consultants are eager to have you taste flavored olive oils paired with specialty balsamic vinegars. They will astound you. Flavors like lemon with pomegranate or lime with strawberry are only the beginning. Think about bacon olive oil with maple balsamic. Mmmm. Have I piqued your curiosity?

VINAIGRETTE VENDETTA

Ingredients:

1/4 cup lime olive oil

1/4 cup strawberry balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon red onion, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons wildflower honey

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions:

Combine lime olive oil, strawberry balsamic vinegar, red onion, Dijon mustard, wildflower honey, minced garlic, kosher salt, and white pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together until mixed. Pour into a cruet with a stopper. Store in the refrigerator.

Xtreme Sloppy Joes

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Xtreme Sloppy Joes! Some days you crave a sweet and savory warm sandwich over a lunchbox ham and cheese on wheat. Sure, it can be a little messy, but pile it high anyway and add a mound of shredded cheese. Then watch things melt together.

XTREME SLOPPY JOES

Ingredients:

2 pounds lean ground beef

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons pimento, diced

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

2 cups ketchup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion, and green pepper seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until meat is in crumbles. Reduce heat. Add diced pimento. Stir in vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup. Mix well. Transfer to an ovenproof covered dish and bake in the oven for one hour.

X-quisite Caesar Salad Dressing

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Equal Measures: X-quisite Caesar Salad Dressing! Ever wonder why restaurants add an upcharge when customers order a Caesar Salad? One of the reasons is the time involved. Fine restaurants will have the server make it table-side for presentation. That’s pretty cool. Another reason is the high quality of ingredients required, especially if you don’t cut corners. Romaine is the lettuce of choice, not iceberg. Anchovies are also a key ingredient, not sardines. Do you see a pattern here? Plus olive oil, parmesan cheese, and homemade croutons are in there. I see you nodding your head in agreement. Naturally, this all adds up for the restaurant so they need to pass it along to you. That’s why I’m here to offer you a tasty alternative. Just like cooking at home is less expensive than eating out, every once in awhile you get the urge to satisfy that food craving right where you live. Make sense?

X-QUISITE CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

Ingredients:

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 anchovies

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

Romaine lettuce, gently torn

Buttered croutons*

Parmesan cheese, shaved

Everything But Bagel seasoning, to taste

Instructions:

Combine grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon juice, anchovies, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides. Run on Low speed. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil another 30 seconds until thick and creamy. Divide the torn romaine lettuce between salad plates. Add buttered croutons. Drizzle Caesar Salad Dressing over all. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Garnish with a sprinkling of Everything But Bagel seasoning, to taste. Serve immediately.

*To make buttered croutons, warm 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce in a medium skillet. Add 3 cups of day-old artisan bread cubes or sliced bagel pieces. Cook over medium heat, gently tossing to coat, until croutons are golden brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined platter. Lightly season with Everything But Bagel seasoning.

Quality Lemon Butter

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Equal Measures: Quality Lemon Butter! Is it a thick custard to be eaten plain? Is it creamy butter for freshly baked bread? Or is it frosting for a scone? You decide. I smothered a blueberry muffin with this citrusy spread. But then again, I also topped my morning yogurt with it. Talk about versatility. You can improvise with this luscious lemon butter in just about anything. Well, except broiled lobster or corn on the cob. That might be disappointing simply because this particular lemon butter has a sweetness to it that makes it more like a dessert than a condiment. Think lemon curd and you’ll be on the right track. Now let’s get started.

QUALITY LEMON BUTTER

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 cup sugar

2 lemons, grated peeling and juice

1/2 cup butter, melted

Instructions:

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, combine eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil as it will curdle. When mixture is thick, remove from heat. Add grated lemon peel, lemon juice, and melted butter. Stir well. Pour warm lemon butter into jars. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator.

Xotic Black Raspberry Sauce

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Xotic Black Raspberry Sauce! When my friend, Nancy, gifted me with a pound of wild black raspberries from her woods, I knew had to make something special. I wanted that succulent sweet taste to linger long after the season had exhausted itself. The answer was to transform the berries into an exotic sauce. Now I can enjoy them every morning as a healthy topping spooned over a bowl of calcium-rich Greek yogurt. The combined benefit gives me the effects of a probiotic as well as an antioxidant. Thanks, Nancy!

XOTIC BLACK RASPBERRY SAUCE

Ingredients:

4 cups black raspberries

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions:

In a 2.5 quart pan, add black raspberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes. From time to time, smash some of the berries against the side of the pan. This will help thicken the sauce. Add the lemon extract and continue cooking another ten minutes. Do not let it burn. It should form the consistency of syrup. Remove from heat. As it cools, it will thicken even more. Pour into a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.