Monday, May 18, 2009

From scones to beer floats

Well, once again yesterday was a day that didn't turn out quite as I expected.  Chris and I set our alarm clock for 8 am on a Sunday . . . not typical.  We were going to go to the YMCA as soon as it opened.  But first, I wanted to make a creative breakfast.  So, I found this Cooking Light recipe for scones.  Magnificent!  I don't typically love scones, but these were the perfect blend of crumbly and moist.  Plus, scones are so easy to make!

First, get your dry ingredients: AP flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Pulse ingredients together in a food processor, or just mix them in a bowl.

Cut chilled butter into small pieces.

Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is mealy and coarse (butter pieces the size of small peas).

Pick out your add-ins.  I chose to use dried cranberries, lemon zest, and dried blueberries.  The recipe called for dried apricots, cranberries, and orange zest.

At this point, I had to make my own buttermilk, because we didn't have any.  So, I just used 3/4 Tablespoon vinegar to 3/4 cup soy milk.  It worked like a charm!

I then added in my cranberries and blueberries and pulsed them a couple times with the butter mixture.

After mixing together 1 egg, 1 egg white, the "buttermilk", and lemon zest, the ingredients were added into the rest of the ingredients and pulsed just until combined.

Then, the dough is kneaded about 4 times, shaped into a rectangle, then rolled out into a 12x6 inch rectangle.  After this you cut the rectangle into 8, 3-inch squares, which are then cut into the classic scone shape -- triangles.  If you don't know how to turn squares into triangles, you need more help than I can offer.

Shaped scones, before baking.

Finished scones with a little cherry jam and peonies.

So after making the scones, we headed to the Y as planned and got in a descent work out.  Afterwords, we headed to Old Navy so I could make some long overdue exchanges.  Next the plan was to go to Eckert's Farm to pick fresh strawberries.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time.  I dressed in a strawberry-like shirt, grabbed my camera, and was so ready to pick some strawberries and get some good blog-worthy photos while I was at it!  Of course, we get there and all of the strawberries are picked out for the day.  To make it feel like it wasn't a complete wash, we bought some of their strawberries from the country store.  Boooo!  They were not good!  Fortunately, I have plans for those berries that you will soon find out about . . .

Today I met my friend Katie, and her friend Maria at Square One Brewery for happy hour!  I started out being very in control of my eating (seeing as though they had free appetizers):

Park Ave. Pale Ale for $3.50 = good deal!

Free apps. -- mini egg roll and 2 homemade potato chips (with dips).

And this is where, as Beck Hansen might say, I started "getting crazy with the cheese wiz": 

Yummy sirloin and corn salsa nachos with fresh jalepenos = HOT!

At least they were split three ways!  Katie's my partner-in-crime for nacho devouring.

Everyone else was getting more drinks, so I couldn't resist and ordered a mojito -- yum!  The weather was too nice not to.

Then I made the mistake of bringing up the infamous "beer floats" at Bailey's Chocolate Bar, just down the street.  Maria was sold, and we just had to get one:

These are so delicious: stout beer with cinnamon ice cream, and the ever present free cookie!

Katie was a party pooper and just got two scoops of ice cream . . . and a chocolate cigarette!

It was a beautiful happy hour, thanks to the gorgeous weather, fun friends, and delicious drinkage!

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