Saturday, January 21, 2012

Foodie Post

Around lunchtime today, my daughter hung her head over the railing and hollered, "Is that spaghetti sauce I smell?" Indeed it was.  I had put on a pot of marinara sauce and made linguini (whole wheat to my family's dismay). The sauce was really intended for a beautiful eggplant that soon is to become baked eggplant with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, but I felt like a little pasta also.

Crystallized ginger for the scones.
While the eggplant was draining in the colander, I pulled out a small bag of crystallized ginger that has been taunting me every time I opened the spice cupboard. I'd flagged a recipe for Pumpkin Ginger Scones with Cinnamon Chips, and it was time to try them. I had everything on hand except cinnamon chips, so I made some, using this recipe. I used Spectrum Organic Non-Hydrogenated Shortening in my recipe, and made a double batch, and chopped them after they cooled. They were just perfect for the scones.

I made up a double batch of the scone batter. Half of the batter was made into drop style scones, and the other half I followed instructions. They'd be lovely with a scone pan, but I do not own one.

Taunted by the intoxicating scent of cinnamon wafting up through the center of the house and into her bedroom, DD and Crystal, the latter always hopeful for a treat, appeared in the kitchen as though transported Enterprise style. (I swear they have a hidden transporter.)

"What has gotten into you, Mom?" DD asked, grateful for whatever it was that spurred this cooking spree.

"Just felt like cooking, I guess."

I got got to thinking about the question she'd asked. Deep in the recesses of my brain, I know why I am cooking and baking up a storm. Stress relief. I find in times of stress, I hit the kitchen. Generally I share much of what I make with friends and family, otherwise we would all be very large, and we are big enough as it is.

It's been a rather stressful week! A sick older relative, a needy older relative, and we found DD has fractures in both feet. :( She is bummed, as she was working hard training for a race coming up this spring.  She does not need casting, but will have to lay off the running for now. Mostly I just feel really bad for her, as I know how frustrated she is.

Back to food:  see all those spots on the scones?  Those are the homemade cinnamon chips.  I loaded the scone batter with them, and placed some on top prior to baking.  I skipped the butter brushing as per the recipe.

Drop scone
Triangle shaped scone
In case you were wondering, both shapes are equally delicious.  Ask me how I know.  ;)

If I were going for a little decadence or perhaps if we were serving to company, I'd make a little glaze for the tops, perhaps with a hint of orange rind in the glaze.

Healthier version of eggplant parm.  Before baking.

The eggplant, after baking, will be assembled with fresh mozzarella on top and bathed in marinara sauce, then back in the oven until bubbly hot and cheese melted.  That's what's for dinner in my house!

What do you do when you are stressed? I'm thinking exercising would be a better choice than cooking, but at least it's all fairly healthy. The tomatoes in the marinara are full of good-for-you lycopene, plus the garlic in the sauce is good for something, right? The eggplant is baked, not fried, and the scones are full of good stuff. Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, cinnamon, of which I used a lot, is full of antioxidants, and ginger is supposed to be good for many things, from morning sickness (ain't none of that here, mind you) to migraines to lowering cholesterol. (Purely anecdotal info on the ginger, haven't seen any scientific data on that!)

Now that I've cooked my way to being relaxed, I'm off to do some sewing.

Hope your weekend is going wonderfully!


p.s. if anyone is interested in my Marinara Sauce Recipe, I would be happy to post it - just ask me in the comments. It's quick, easy, and delicious.

P.p.s. If you like cinnamon and ginger, the scones are a must try recipe. Holy smokes are they good, especially with a cup of tea.


  1. OMG! You can make cinnamon chips at home??? I love them, and not only are they expensive, but they are very hard to find around here. I'll definitely be trying this out! I do love me some cinnamon chip scones.

    Cooking relaxes me as well-- though maybe not as well as it used to, as I currently have a 20 month old and a 5 year old constantly clamoring for attention (the older one sometimes likes to help, which is awesome, but then the little one feels left out and you get the idea). :P

    I have been exercising the last few months though and have found that it really does help with stress. I hate doing it sometimes and it can be very hard to get going, but once I actually get out and do it, by the time I'm done I almost always feel awesome (even if sometimes it is only because I actually did it!).

  2. Yes indeed, Robin, and they are pretty yummy! Mmm, cinnamon yumminess.
    Cooking with kids is a lot more work, for sure. I try to give the little ones a bit of their own dough to play with and keep them occupied. ;). Love cooking with my teenager!


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