Thursday, August 7, 2014

Scones! Scones for all!

I've been doing most of my posting over on Instagram lately, which is terrible considering how little I've actually been posting on Instagram lately. But I did receive a request for a recipe I made the other day and figured it would be far easier to post it here and link rather than try to type it out on the iPhone. I'm very kind to myself.

Right, so, back to it.

Scones. I've been baking a lot of scones. Which is to say, my husband has been eating a lot of scones. This all stems from our visit to Minneapolis in May where on our last morning there we walked down to our regular coffee spot to find it closed (Sundays, ya know?) so we continued down the block and stumbled upon a big line forming outside of another bakery/coffee spot and decided to try it. A line means good things, yes? So, we grabbed ourselves a couple baked goods and some drinks and wandered back to our rental to have a bite on the patio. I don't know whether it was the sunlight beaming down on us like a heavenly gift or the fact that I was still half asleep and starving but damn if that strawberry buttermilk scone wasn't the best thing I had ever put in my mouth. When we came back home I began hunting for a recipe that I could use to recreate the magical experience I had in Minneapolis and stumbled across a blog of a wonderful soul who had at one point been employed at the exact bakery we had gone to, Isles Bun & Coffee. After playing around with the Raspberry Orange Drop Scone recipe on that blog, I had my own drop scone recipe. I've made a few variations, mostly dependent on whatever I had kicking around the kitchen, but here is a rather simple recipe for:

Strawberry Drop Scones
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, chilled (I usually wrap mine in wax paper and shove it in the freezer until I'm ready for it)
  • 1 cup milk (skim is fine, it's what I usually use)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 generous cup chopped strawberries
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Try not to toss it all over your kitchen. That is something I have never achieved.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grab a couple baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Things are about to get real sticky up in here.

Mix the milk and vinegar together and let it sit a few minutes (you could use 1 Cup of buttermilk instead of the milk & vinegar combo, I just very rarely have buttermilk in the fridge). Whisk the egg into the milk. Whisk it real nice. At this point I pop this milk/egg mix into the fridge to keep it chilly while we get the dough ready.

Grab your butter from the fridge/freezer/where ever you left it and work it into the dry mixture. This is kind of an important part. You want the butter to be cold but not hard when you're mixing it in. The idea is to get the flour mix to a crumbly stage, not blended. To achieve this I like to grate the butter using a cheese grater and then mix with my hands (being careful not to just let the butter melt against the warmth of your hands). If you have a pastry cutter/blender then use this to mix the butter until only small pea-sized pieces remain. Not big peas, tiny crumbly peas.

Now, add in the fruit stirring gently being careful not to smash the berries to smithereens.

Next, pour in the milk/egg mix a bit at a time while mixing. Don't over mix, just until it's all combined. Please, please don't over mix. If you haven't already dunked your hands into the mix now is the time to get the most sticky all over everything you own. Sure, you could do this with couple spoons or an ice cream scoop but why deny yourself the simple pleasures of gooey hands? Get 'em in there. Scoop up about a quarter cup sized dollops of the mix and drop it on your baking sheet (don't have a visual of what a quarter cup would look like in gooey dough form? Larger than a golf ball, small than a baseball).

Make sure they're well spaced, these things like to spread out in the heat (who doesn't).

Bake these guys for about 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Try to remember to rotate the pan(s) about half way through.

Once they're looking done let them cool for a few minutes before rewarding yourself for all your hard work by flopping on the couch and eating them all in one go while bingeing shows on Netflix and feeling so accomplished.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flat knits and an ice barricade.

It's spring! It's like, really, honestly, and truly spring. I saw the very first buds of leaves today and my heart skipped a beat. It has been so gray and bleh and now there is finally green popping up. Warms my frozen Canadian heart. Here is a grab bag of photos from the past month or so.

The True North - Canadian sidewalks be like...

My nieces tried to "organize" my yarn stash. SOME of my yarn stash.

A needle felted chameleon. Custom orders available through my etsy shop: ThirdSisterVintage

New polymer clay claws for my tiny bendy sloths!

Typography knit print I made for my sister & brother in law who are expecting their first (last name Ball)
Another knit print. Deer heads made from sheep fuzz. Circle of life.

Ready to go for my first time vending at WEST's Handmade & Vintage Sale. Photo cred Caitlin of Decent Photography

The gang from WEST! Lovely group photo also courtesy of Caitlin.

Custom order forms made by my talented designer/cartoonist/writer husband.

I'm gearing up for a bit of time off and a drive down to Minnesota with my better half this coming week. One Story Time at the library, a panel discussion at the Manitoba Libraries Conference, and a little bit of frantic last minute packing. Looking forward to the open road and so many bags of beef jerky. So. Many.

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's supposed to be spring.

It doesn't really feel much like spring around these parts. We've still been having lots of -15C days, also known as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Not too springy. Even the local businesses are getting antsy for warm weather. Our neighbourhood (walk-up service only) ice cream shop will be opening this weekend for the season, even though the forecasted high is only +4C (39F) with snow.

...What? You didn't stop by the blog for Winnipeg weather updates?

Oh, fine. Here are some photos:

We celebrated 4 years in our current condo with a late night instrumental medley.
This is pretty much what I feel like at any given moment.

Getting ready for the WEST Handmade & Vintage Sale V.

Our newest cactus (Irving) takes up residence next to the air plant.
It's all hands on deck here at Third Sister as we prepare for our first in-person sale at the upcoming Winnipeg Etsy Street Team (WEST) Handmade and Vintage Sale V at the end of April. For more information about the sale see the event on facebook here as well as through for more vendor information here.

Make sure to check out the WEST blog for more great posts from the talented makers and curators in Winnipeg & Manitoba.

That's all for now! I'm off to wear overly optimistic outfits and dream about having an ice cream outside without contracting hypothermia.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Looking forward

Happy 2014, friends!

I don't really make a habit of New Year's resolutions but I do enjoy having goals to work toward. Lately these include:

1) furthering my on-going process of learning ukulele,
2) adding on to my musical prowess by learning some accordion basics (my first go was not so successful, but my dad is a very patient man),

My first time attempting to play the accordion

3) getting outside more often, even in the cold weather (and when I say cold, I mean it. The majority of our winter here has been a windchill temperature of -40 degrees celcius which, coincidentally, is the same as -40 degrees fahrenheit)

January 1st, taking a walk in -40 weather

and, 4) getting more active! It's so easy to get lethargic here in the winter, I'm trying to find more ways to be active while waiting for all the snow to melt.
This is what happens when you overdo it at hot yoga...

We're getting real antsy for warm weather 'round these parts and Third Sister is working on a new line of creatures for Spring 2014. I'm taking a cue from the very popular sloth and taking thing s-l-o-w. Time to get crafty, slow and steady style!