husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk cherries. Ground cherries. Husk tomatoes. Ground tomatoes. Cape gooseberries. There are too many names for these lil’ buggers – you can call ’em Physalis if you really want to get scientific about it – but husk cherries is the name I go for.

husk cherry scones

Last summer, I really noticed them for the first time at my local farmers’ market in Inwood – “Everything In Pint Boxes – $5!!!” a bright cardboard sign exclaimed as I looked at hundreds of little husky pods, unsure what the hell they were but eager to try them! I looked up recipes and settled upon a nice Husk Cherry Clafoutis!

That pint of fruit sat in the back of my fridge for many weeks, and I finally discovered it in October, promptly pitching them into the compost bag in my freezer.

Better luck in 2017, eh?

husk cherry scones

Sure enough, come mid-August, I started seeing husk cherries in my local farmers’ market; one day, while on a staycation from work, I took myself to the Union Square Farmers’ Market on a bright Wednesday morning and comparison-shopped pints of them, finally finding a $5 pint in one of the last vendors I looked at – side note, I balked at paying $6 for a pint, but then walked to MatchaBar and spent $6 on a iced matcha latte even though I had matcha and milk at home, because I’m THAT PERSON sometimes.

Moving on…

I attempted to make this Husk Cherry Clafoutis recipe I had saved from the previous August; it called for almond extract, which I didn’t have, but then I thought to myself, “Hey! Maybe I can just grind some almonds into the flour for the flavor!”

What erupted from my oven was an oddly delicious concoction that my roommate Kait and I loved – some sort of hybrid bread pudding with the consistency of a lemon bar – but it was definitely not a clafoutis by any means. Though we loved it, I didn’t think it would translate well to a universally – loved recipe by any means.

husk cherry scones

husk cherry scones

What can you always do a berry or berry-like fruit, though?

Scones! M’er f’in scones!

husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

The fruits, with a slightly pineapple flavor when yellow and a slightly green apple flavor when greener, are perfect for a buttery scone. Plus, I have a basic scone recipe that I’ve been using for a few years now that has served me right. Its base allows you to add to much to it, including – taaa daaa – husk cherries!

husk cherry scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Don’t be afraid of or intimidated by these lil’ guys anymore! You now know at least one thing to do with them.

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk Cherry Scones

Husk Cherry Scones
(Makes 8)

Ingredients:

Scones:

– 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, cubed or shredded while frozen (see Before We Get Started…)
– 3/4 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup husk cherries, removed from husks and halved

Glaze (Optional):

– 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream or liquid of choice
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Before We Get Started…

Refer to this recipe on why shredding frozen butter for scones is pretty much the best idea EVER. (Thanks, Dad!)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

3.) Add butter to dry ingredients; mix with hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and mealy. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and add heavy cream. Use hands to combine mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Add husk cherries and gently combine into the mixture, taking care not to overly squeeze or press the fruit.

4.) Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead for roughly 30 seconds. Form dough into a flat rough circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut into 8 triangular slices.

5.) Place scones on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and slightly cracked.

6.) Place on wire rack to cool slightly before eating.

6a.) If glazing scones, allow scones to cool completely before adding glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl, then drizzle glaze on scones with a large spoon.

7.) Store remaining scones in an airtight container.

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Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcakes

We got those Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries.

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

We’ve got those Buttermilk Biscuits.

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What else is there to do?

FOOD TEAM, ASSEMBLE!!!!

(Please say the proceeding in your best Ron Burgundy voice, preferably aloud.)

Strawberry Shortcakes

All that previous work was leading up to this one glorious moment!

Strawberry Shortcakes are such a wonderful dessert. Light yet hardy, crumbly and a little messy, undeniably sweet yet buttery, and an all-around comfort.

Meet your favorite spring dessert. ✌🏻

Strawberry Shortcakes
(Makes 4)

– 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon sugar (adjust to taste)
– 4 Buttermilk Biscuits (click for recipe)
– 2 cups Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries (click for recipe; see note in Before We Get Started…)

Before We Get Started…

– The original recipe for Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries yields closer to 1 & 1/2 cups of strawberries once cooked down. Increase strawberries in recipe to 8 cups; liquids and sweeteners can remain the same.

Directions:

1.) To make whipped cream, place cream, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large bowl, preferably a chilled metal bowl. Whip with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Set aside.

2.) To assemble strawberry shortcakes, split or cut biscuits in half; a serrated knife works well here!

3.) Place 1/2 cup strawberries on bottom biscuit halves. Top with whipped cream. Place top biscuit halves on top. Pour yourself another glass of rosé. INDULGE.

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries

I am that Millennial that proclaims “Rosé All Day!” Please don’t think any less of me than you already may. It’s simply my favorite kind of wine. It’s not as light as a white, but not as overwhelmingly bold as a red can occasionally be. Do I drink it at bars? At home? On the subway? Well, I do consume it at two out of the three! (I’ll let you draw your own conclusion as to where.)

For the past few weeks, I have been seeing cheap strawberries at my local grocery stores. The other day, I scored two pints for $1.99. I felt like I won the food lottery!

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Then I remembered that I actually had to eat them all before they went bad.

Shoot.

What to do?

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

I rarely roast fruits, saying my oven to roast up Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. I wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out, but decided to get creative. A bit of rosé in my fridge gave me further inspiration.

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

The result was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself!

rosé soaked roasted strawberries

Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries
(Yields roughly 1 & 1/2 cup roasted strawberries)

Ingredients:

– 6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
– 1/4 cup rosé
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar
– One or two cracks of fresh ground sea salt

Before We Get Started…

– I learned a valuable lesson in recipe testing: place strawberries on parchment paper. Otherwise, you’re going to have a gloriously sticky mess to scrape out of your rimmed baking sheet!

– Use maple syrup to keep recipe vegan-friendly.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Place strawberries in large bowl and set aside.

2.) In a small bowl, whisk together rosé, water, honey or maple syrup, vinegar of choice, and sea salt until combined; if using honey, make sure it is completely incorporated. Pour mix over the strawberries and toss until they are evenly coated.

3.) Spread strawberries in an even layer on the parchment paper-lined rimmed backing sheet. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet; if not using immediately, place in airtight container and place in fridge; strawberries should remain good to use for up to five days.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Ugh, I know, this recipe is familiar (I’ve done this…AND this…in the past) and this genre of oat-based creations is a trifle overdone.

Truth: This recipe post was supposed to be my version of Spaghetti al Limone. I was looking through all of the photos I took of it last weekend and shook my head in defeat as I softly muttered, “…nope…nope…nope…nope…” Honestly, not one photo of the bunch was worthy of posting. The lighting on the day I took the photos of the dish was okay, but most photos turned out blurry. In addition, most looked awkward in plating / presentation.

The upside? I guess I’ll have to make…and eat…another batch of Spaghetti al Limone soon! There are certainly worse calamities to deal with in this wacky world of ours.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

So…here’s a filler recipe. My opening sentence may make it seem as though I’m knocking overnight oats on the whole. I’m not. This recipe is my life saver and delicious to boot!  I doubled it last week, brought it to work, and had breakfast for two days!

After years of experimentation, I find that a nice healthy glob of peanut butter is what makes my overnight oats the most palatable and satiating. Yogurt makes them pasty, in my multiple experiences; peanut butter keeps ’em creamy.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

If y’all catch me trying to post another blueberry and oat amalgamation in the future, please stop me from myself. Ha! I think I’ve reached my quota for this blog. 😉

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
– 1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of choice; omit honey if vegan)
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or other nut butter)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 hearty dashes of ground cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– If your peanut butter is too hard or creamy, microwave it until softened.

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Transfer to container of choice and place in refrigerator. Allow to sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Oats will stay edible for up to three days.

apple pear blondies

Apple Pear Blondies

WELL…uhhhhh…it’s been an interesting few days here in the ol’ U.S. of A, hasn’t it?

I’m part of the more than 60+ million folks that are shaking their heads in disbelief in this moment, and I am currently going through my own grieving at this time. There really is no other way to say it. I’m not about to get fully political in this post, as I’m sure you came here for a recipe and not a rant. All I can say is stand up for what you believe in and don’t be afraid to take peaceful action that will move us all forward. Be sure to deal with your emotions in healthy ways. Take time for self care and know that it’s okay to feel emotional right now; if you feel that your emotions are getting the best of you, don’t hesitate to reach out for a helping hand!

Okay, now, shall we move onto some deliciousness?

apple pear blondies

Since the election, my two coping mechanisms have been levity and eating. As Waz from Let’s Nom Nom posted on one of my Instagram photos the other day, to paraphrase, she’s been a carboholic since November 8th. Me too! Ha! Handpulled Chinese noodles, queso fundido, tacos, rice and beans, donuts, you name it! During my lunch break today, I had some zucchini in my Old Beijing Bolognese noodles from The Handpulled Noodle. I thought to myself, “Well, hey now! A vegetable! I’m being healthy again!”

apple pear blondies

This dessert has a good dose of fruits in it, between sweet apples and tender pears. The blondie mix itself lends to a buttery and slightly caramelized flavor to the overall dessert. I can not claim this to be healthy by any means, but you could do worse.

apple pear blondies

Go ahead. Eat a few of your feelings. We’re all allowed! Just continue to stay on that good grind for the most part. 😉

Apple Pear Blondies
(Makes 9 large squares)

Ingredients:

– 1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 1 & 1/4 cups flour
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar can be used)
– 1 egg
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 medium apple, cored and diced into small chunks
– 1 medium pear, peeled and diced into small chunks

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 °F.. Lightly grease and 8″ x 8″ pan and set aside.

2.) Melt butter in microwave or over stove top until melted. Set aside and allow to slightly cool while you mix your other ingredients together.

3.) In a large bowl, combine apples and pears. Toss with lemon juice and set aside.

4.) In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Slowly add melted butter into mixture, whisking continuously to avoid the residual heat from the butter cooking the egg. Add all dry ingredients to wet mixture until combined; the batter may be a little thick and sticky, but that is normal!

5.) Gently fold apples and pears into the mixture until all fruit is combined and coated.

6.) Add mix to prepared baking pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean or with virtually no crumbs.

7.) Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack, in its baking pan, for at least one hour before cutting and removing from pan. Wrap blondies tightly in plastic wrap if not eating immediately.

apple pear blondies