English Tea Scones

Surprisingly easy and quick, these scones are a great alternative for breakfast or dessert. And of course there is always afternoon tea. So proper.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup fruit*
1 cup heavy cream

any berry (fresh or frozen, not thawed).
blueberry lemon: add 1 tsp lemon zest with the butter + blueberries.
cranberry orange: add 1 tsp orange zest with the butter + 3/4 cup dried cranberries.
chocolate cherry: 2/3 cup dried cherries, chopped up + 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (my fave).
white chocolate raspberry: 1/3 cup white chocolate chips + raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the butter cubes individually and quickly cut in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Add the fruit and quickly mix in.
2. Stir in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula until the dough begins to form. Transfer the dough and all the dry flour bits to the counter top and knead the dough just until it comes together anto a rough, slightly sticky ball.
3. Press dough out into a rectangle 3/4" thick and about 12" x 5". Cut down the middle then cut each half into seven wedges (see fig. 1).
4. Bake 12- 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. serve warm or room temperature with lemon curd, fruit preserves and whipped cream.


Homemade Stovetop Mac n' Cheese

Mac n' cheese from a box is pretty tasty and very easy. But let's face it, it's not real food. Could it be possible to make your own mac n' cheese from scratch in the same time it takes to make it from the box? The answer is a big, cheesy YES! You will spend the entire cooking time at the stove but when you're through, you'll have real mac n' cheese. Well worth it!

1 lb pasta (macaroni, shells, bow ties, etc.)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups extra sharp cheddar, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare by setting out all ingredients and shredding cheddar first (it's good to have the cheese closer to room temp, than fridge temp). Get water boiling in a large pot for pasta.
2. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until completely incorporated. Cook flour in butter for a couple minutes (it should bubble slightly), whisking constantly. Slowly add milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly to create a smooth mixture. Let the roux cook - whisking frequently - for five or so minutes until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
3. Add shredded cheese to the roux by the finger-full and whisk until melted. Continue until all the cheese is melted into the roux, making your cheese sauce. If needs be, return sauce to low heat to completely melt the cheese. Note: don't let the sauce get too hot... that will make the cheese turn into a chewy glob.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions, drain and return to large pot. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Makes great leftovers!