Sunday, May 1, 2011

Royal Scones, Early Birthday and FRANCE!

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? I didn't but since I had the week off I was able to watch all the recaps on The Today Show and The View. I thought Princess Katherine's dress was beautiful. It was graceful and glamorous looking, very Grace Kelly. Since we didn't wake up at 4am to watch the live coverage I thought I would make some scones in honor of the event. I've always loved scones (the English kind not the Utah fried kind). My Dad often made them on Christmas morning for our family. This recipe form Taste of Home is easy to put together on a weekend morning with pantry items you probably have in supply. So, put on a fake tiara, eat a scone, and pretend you are a Princess for a day!


*adapted from Taste of Home 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scrape (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and vanilla bean; add to crumb mixture. Stir in the blueberries, pecans and lemon peel just until moistened.
  • Turn onto a floured surface, knead 6-8 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle; cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.
  • Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm. Yield: 8 scones.

My 28th birthday is coming up on May 7th and the dance company will be in PARIS on that day! Last year I was in New York City performing and this year it's Paris. Very exciting! Since I will be gone I've already had a couple of early b-day celebrations. My parents were here for my show and gave me some great travel/dance clothes! Then my husband was very sneaky and went shopping the other day......
He had my former manager at Sur La Table help him!

He knew I would recognize SLT's gift wrap as soon as I saw it!

He also bought a beautiful wood tray but I forgot to take a picture. 

Isn't this a beautiful color! My first ever Le Creuset!

I am off to France tomorrow for a seven week performing tour! It will be a very busy trip with somewhere like 45 performances. We will be going around the whole country hitting up about 8 cities. I will try to blog a bit if I have time. However, we never know if we will have wi-fi access. I am planning on taking lots of pictures and will definitely share them with you when I return. 

Here is our Tour banner:

Like I said in an earlier post, when I leave on tour I usually cook up a storm before I leave. One, I like to use up ingredients I know my husband won't use up before they go bad, and secondly I like to leave some dishes for my husband to eat while I'm gone. He does cook when I'm gone but I like to do this as my gift to him. Plus, one of the things I don't like about touring is that I can't cook! Except, in Paris we will be at a Citadine hotel and they do have kitchens! I have to get all my good cooking in while I can! The other night I made this healthy spin on a classic already healthy French dish Ratatouille. I found the recipe in Shape magazine and it was quite delicious. Plus, I loved using my new Le Creuset. I think it made the food taste even better!

Ratatouille with Tempeh
*adapted from Shape magazineServes 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (I used dried thyme leaves)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium) or one 15-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (I actually only had fig vinegar to use but it tasted fine!)
1 12-ounce package tempeh, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup basil leaves, shredded (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese

In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion and bell pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add remaining oil, eggplant, and zucchini. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add tomatoes with their juices, honey, vinegar, and tempeh. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Divide among four shallow bowls and top with fresh basil and feta.

I'm really bad at packing for my trips. You would think that by the fifth year in the company I would be more efficient. I had a whole week off to pack and instead I waited until the night before, again!! Oh, well I've had my friend Siena helping me or stopping me from getting inside my suitcase anyways. Somebody doesn't want me to go.....


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