Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now

The Periodista cocktail at Eastern Standard: a luscious blend of rum, lime juice, apricot brandy, and triple sec.

How You Like Me Now by The Heavy. It might just be my new theme song. 

My new Steve Madden Intrude heels. 4 and 1/2 inch heels? Challenge accepted.

(Source: Piperlime)

Apple-cheddar scones. Who doesn't like scones? No one. That's right. Scones are like the popular kid of baked goods... especially when they're this good. These are savory, filling, and just a little sweet from the baked apple chunks and a small sprinkle of sugar. 

Outrageously Good Apple-Cheddar Scones
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 medium apples (I use McIntosh)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt plus a pinch for the egg wash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

Position a rack at the center of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small chunks (I like cutting the apples into halves, then eighths, then cutting each eighth into four small chunks). Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake them until they have a little color and are mostly dry to the touch.

Let them cool completely. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar (1/4 cup), baking powder, and salt. Set the mixture aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter, cooled apple chunks, cheese (3/4 cup), cream, and one egg. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until the dough comes together. Make sure all the butter is fully incorporated. You may need to break up the butter by hand. Be careful not to overmix -- this dough becomes very sticky and unmanageable quickly.

Gather the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for three hours.

When you're ready to roll out the dough, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Flour the counter top, the rolling pin, and your hands. Place the unwrapped dough on the counter top, sprinkle it with flour, and roll it out into a twelve inch circle (1/4 inch thick). Cut the circle into eight wedges and use a spatula to transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper.

Whisk together the remaining egg and the pinch of salt in a small bowl. Brush the wedges with the egg wash, then sprinkle them with the remaining cheese (1/4 cup) and sugar (1 tablespoon). Bake them until the tops are firm and golden and the edges are slightly darker, about twenty-five minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the scones to a wire rack and let them cool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Summer in March

It’s been a string of perfect, sunshine-y, summery days here in Boston. Days when the biggest problem is picking out which sundress to wear. And where to go for outdoor cocktails.

I like these kinds of problems.

All of a sudden, Boston is alive and giddy. Everyone is coming out of hibernation, so it’s been the best kind of busy. Dinners in the North End, tennis games and iced coffee, roof deck brunches, impromptu trips to the beach, birthday parties.

It's much too early for spring to have sprung... much less summer. It might get chilly again. It will probably get chilly again. It is Boston, after all. But, even if it does, we will still have had these perfect days, this perfect March.

So, I will put on my new sundress and my aviators and I'll pretend like this weather will last forever.