Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones

I have a bit of an obsession with goat cheese, so when I was looking for another recipe to try from Savory Baking, I chose to make these scones. I loved them – the combination of tangy goat cheese, sweet pears and spicy pepper was awesome!

Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones
Savory Baking, Mary Cech

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into large walnut-size pieces
1/2 cup whole or low-fat (1% or 2%) plain yogurt
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir together. Add the butter and break it into pea-size pieces with your fingertips. Sprinkle the pear pieces and crumbled goat cheese over the top of the flour mixture and gently toss together, being careful not to break the cheese into smaller pieces.

Soften the yogurt by whisking in the milk. Pour the yogurt over the flour mixture and gently blend the ingredients together with a spatula, being careful not to break up the cheese. The dough may look slightly dry, but it will produce a moist scone. Divide the dough into six equal mounds on the baking sheet, leaving about a 1-inch space between each to allow for slight spreading.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake until lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
6 servings

Beer Bread

I love this stuff! I don’t make it very often (because I really can’t eat just one piece of this!), but it is definitely a favorite recipe here. I don’t have a loaf pan, so I baked it in an 8×8-inch baking dish.

I’ve only ever made it plain, but there is a list of mix-ins at the end of the recipe.

Beer Bread
The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer or ale
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pour in the beer and stir until just incorporated. (The dough will be sticky and heavy.) Pour half the melted butter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon in the bread dough and pour the remaining butter on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the bumpy top is golden brown. Remove from the pan.

This bread is best served warm, but it is still good cooled.

10 servings (yeah, right, sure!)
Chopped chives
Chopped chile peppers (such as jalapenos)
Chopped green onions
Any grated cheese

Chili and Cornbread

I’m always up for trying a new chili recipe, and this vegetarian one is great! It comes together in a flash, and has lots of flavor.

Chunky Vegetarian Chili
Cooking Light
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

8 servings

I also tried a new cornbread to have with it:

Double Corn Bread
Cooking Light
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking soda) in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (buttermilk through egg) in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes.

9 servings

Greek-Style Chickpea Salad

This was a great meal for the summer-like weather we’ve been having here in L.A.

Greek-Style Chickpea Salad
Cooks Illustrated: The Best Light Recipe

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons minced Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and ground black pepper

Toss the chickpeas, onion, cucumber, mint, feta, and parsley together in a large bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, olives, mustard oil, and garlic together in a small bowl, then toss with the chickpeas and vegetables until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 servings

Kalamata Olive Bread with Oregano
Cooking light

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Set aside.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, and egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in onion, olives, and oregano.
Spread batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

12 servings