Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quinoa, Squash, and Scones

Dinner tonight was quinoa cooked with Lipton Onion Soup Mix and a butternut squash casserole. The idea for the quinoa came from my friend James who mentioned that he cooked quinoa this way. I boiled the water and then added the quinoa and soup mix. It took longer to cook than I remembered from the first time I made quinoa. I realized after I measured the water into the pan that I didn't have quite a whole cup of quinoa, so I had to scoop out some of the water. I estimated how much based on how much I was short of quinoa, but I think I didn't scoop out quite enough. It took about 30 minutes to cook instead of about 15. I also made a butternut squash casserole from a recipe I found cut out of a magazine in the recipe binder both my mom and I have added to. It was basically caramelized onions and roasted squash with cumin and thyme. Very tasty. The quinoa was good, but I think I needn't have used the entire packet of soup mix as it was pretty intense. I think I'd use a bit less next time.

Yesterday, I suddenly had a yen for baking. I decided to make orange-cranberry scones. As I mentioned in my previous post, I like the ones at Starbucks, but it gets expensive, and lately I've been concerned about what ingredients are going into the things I eat. It's pretty scary reading the ingredients lists on some food packages. Not that there aren't those certain items I purposely turn a blind eye to, but I've been trying to eat those sparingly.

Anyway, I thought I'd try making my own orange-cranberry scones. That way I'll save money, I'll know what's going into them, and I won't have to waste time stopping by Starbucks. I looked up several recipes and ended up using one from the Land-O-Lakes website, but I added a citrus glaze I found in a recipe on another website. Orange zest and dried cranberries went into the dough, and the glaze consisted of a mixture of lemon and orange juice and powdered sugar, which was added after they came out of the oven. They turned out well, I think. The texture was very similar to the Starbucks ones, soft on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside, and there was plenty of orange and cranberry flavor. The recipe didn't call for any salt, and I noticed its absence in the way that salt adds something to the flavor (even though it's not salty). The scones weren't bad by any means, I just think that the addition of a little salt would have punched up the flavor a bit. I think I'll try making some with lemon and currants next time.

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