Chocolate Orange Scones | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate & Orange Scones

One thing I love about Christmas in the UK is how much chocolate is involved. They don’t seem to do a ton of Christmas baking here. There are no giant cookie platters, no homemade fudge, peanut butter buckeyes or other candy. But a very common gift, particularly for co-workers or distant relations, is a giant tub of chocolates. By the time all the gifts are opened on Christmas day, there might be multiple boxes of chocolates to get through. There’s nothing bad about that.

Possibly one of the most coveted types of chocolate I always wished would show up in my stocking as a child was a chocolate orange. There was just something about cracking apart those chocolate segments that felt so magical and tasted even better. Now that I’m grown, I can just buy my own chocolate oranges any time of year, and it’s become a great way to pass the time on a long train journey.

In case you didn’t get a chocolate orange this Christmas, I’ve made you Chocolate Orange Scones. Maybe you still have house guests hanging around or children who are still off school, and this is a beautifully simple and delicious quick breakfast or afternoon nibble with a cup of tea. It’s got classic Christmas flavors with orange zest and plenty of chocolate chips.

I have the worst time making biscuits and scones. I struggle with how wet the dough should be and always end up with a sticky mess. This dough came together beautifully, and I cannot encourage you enough to not skip putting the butter and dry ingredients in the freezer. This can probably be explained by science, but t me, it’s just magic. Whatever. It works.

The days after Christmas might be a bit of a let down, but these Chocolate Orange Scones will make everyone happy in the morning.

Chocolate & Orange Scones

8 Scones

20 minutes

16 Minutes

Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-1/2 ounces cold unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups single cream
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 100 grams dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine.
  • Use the large hole side of your grater to grate the cold butter into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to to gently stir the butter and flour together to disperse evenly.
  • Put the whole bowl of dry ingredients and butter into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • While your butter and flour is chilling, measure out your single cream, and then zest your orange over the cream.
  • Once your mixing bowl is out of the freezer, add your cream and orange zest mixture and the chocolate chips to the bowl, and use your rubber spatula to stir it all together. Try not to overmix. It should be very thick.
  • Turn your dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead it a few times to bring everything together. Pat it out into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Use a bench scraper or a knife to divide rectangle into four smaller rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to form 8 triangles.
  • Transfer your scones to your waiting baking sheet and bake for about 16 minutes or until they just start to turn golden. They will be crusty on the outside but still tender in the middle.
  • Allow them to cool for about five minutes before serving warm. If you’re feeling fancy, you can melt some chocolate, add it to a piping bag, and add some chocolate drizzles on the top first.

Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking

Pancetta & Goat Cheese Quiche

Cheese Quiche | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Christmas break is finally here, and I think I may have been more excited than the kids I work with when the final bell rang. Being an introvert in a noisy, borderline rambunctious workplace, particularly in a week when teenagers are getting a ton of extra chocolate, is so exhausting. I could feel my patience waning fast, and I had to get out of there before I said something I’d regret.

Now I’m home for two weeks, and at the moment, I’m reveling in the peace and quiet. As I write, it’ 8:30 am, and I already have brownie in the oven. I haven’t talked to anyone but the pets since my husband left for work, and I couldn’t be happier. I should have been a librarian. Or a housewife. On day one, it doesn’t seem like I will ever tired of this quiet life.

Pancetta & Goat Cheese Quiche | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But on to what you’re really here for. Quiche! Does quiche have a bad reputation? Is it girl food? 80’s brunch food? I don’t know. It makes me happy when I eat it. Particularly when I eat this Pancetta & Goat Cheese Quiche. Since there’s only two of us, I ate this three days in a row, and I still wished I had more the next day.

This quiche has all the good stuff. There’s salty, crisp pancetta lardons, crunchy green onion, sweet and earthy soft goat cheese, and of course the creamy egg base. This dish is elegant enough to serve your family and friends in the run up to the holidays, and I would happily eat this beyond brunch. I also won’t tell if you cheat and use store-bought pie crust. The holidays are stressful. Take some help where you can get it.

What are you eating this Christmas? More importantly, who are you eating it with? Give them this Pancetta & Goat Cheese Quiche. It’ll be awesome.

Pancetta & Goat Cheese Quiche

8 Servings

20 minutes

35 Minutes

Easy

Ingredients

  • Your favorite pie dough
  • 130 grams pancetta lardons
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams soft goat cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425F (220C).
  • Line a 9-inch pie pan with your pie dough, trim and crimp the edges, and discard any leftover dough. Lightly prick the bottom of your pie dough with a fork, then pre-bake this for 15 minutes. When the time is up, remove your pie crust, and set it aside. Lower your oven temperature to 350F (175C).
  • While your crust is baking, you can get on with the rest of your ingredients. Cook the pancetta in a skillet for about five minutes. Then add the white parts of your sliced green onions to soften up a bit. Cook until the pancetta is crisp and the green onions are soft. Set aside.
  • Add your milk, cream, salt, and pepper to a measuring jug and microwave this for about two minutes until it starts to get steamy.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk up the eggs, then slowly drizzle in the hot milk and cream mixture, whisking all the while so that you don’t raise the temperature of the eggs too quickly and scramble the eggs.
  • Now it’s time to assemble. Scatter the pancetta and onions over the bottom of your pie crust, then carefully pour over the egg and cream mixture. Scatter the goat cheese, in chunks, into the quiche, then finally scatter the green tops of your green onions over the top. Hold a few green onion tops off to the side to scatter fresh before serving.
  • Bake the quiche for about 35 minutes. It should still be slightly wobbly in the center.
  • Allow your quiche to cool for about 15 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit as it rests, so by the time you cut into it, it should be fully set but still tender.

Adapted from I’m Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown

40+ of My All Time Favorite Recipes

It’s my 40th birthday today. I don’t have any words of wisdom about getting older. I’m not sure I’m handling it as gracefully as I should be, to be quite honest. I’m just trying to carry on and stay awesome and look ahead to the adventures that await. And trying to remember to put on eye cream every night. 

I thought I’d share with you some of my all time favorite recipes from the past five and a half years on my site. It was really difficult to pare it down, and I couldn’t quite make it to just 40. These are all things that I get really excited about cooking and eating. I hope enjoy them as much as I do.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Breakfast

Breakfast Pizza is a recipe I learned from a dear friend, and I love it almost as much as I love her.

The first time I made Cheesy Sausage Squares, I knew I had a winner.

Herbed Biscuits and Creamy Sausage Gravy is completely heavenly.

Buttermilk Pancakes have been a lifelong favorite.

You can put this Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup on a car bumper, and it would taste good.

These Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes will definitely brighten up your morning.

This Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit with Apple Butter is a revelation of sweet and savoury.

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Something to Start

Garlic & Thyme Camembert is stupid easy to make and impossible to stop eating.

Swiss & Bacon Dip is the one recipe people ALWAYS ask me for at the end of the party.

Pillow Dogs are supposed to be for the kids, but give me a bottle of mustard and leave them all to me, and I’ll be so happy.

This Holiday Brie never gets boring. 

Mini Cheddar Meatloaves | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For Dinner

Cowboy Spaghetti features hot sauce, bacon and cheddar cheese, and it’s just ridiculous.

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese has so many great flavors and so so so much cheese.

I want to make this Cheesy Potato Soup for everyone ever. You’ll want to lick the bowl.

The sauce on these Mini-Cheddar Meatloaves is like magic, delicious, addicting magic.

Risotto Bolognese is so hearty and satisfying, you’ll wish your bowl would never end.

We just had Spicy Southwest Burgers last week, and I’d have them again next week if I could.

Cornbread-Topped Chili Mac brings so many beautiful things together in one dish.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf has earned its place as the star of our holiday table for good reason.

Put these Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes on your plate and be happy.

Sloppy Joe Casserole is a childhood favorite that I’ve never gotten tired of.

I could eat Bacon Carbonara every day of my life.

Chicken Parmesan is a classic for a reason.

I would not have a problem eating this Lemon Linguine from a bucket.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Have a Drink

This Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail will keep you young and merry.

A pitcher of Poinsettia Champagne Cocktails makes any party perfect.

I’m crazy for Amarula, and this Brown Elephant Cocktail is where it’s at.

Pour me a Pomegranate Margarita any day, please.

Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The Sweet Stuff

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is legit for real the very best.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is a retro classic that should never be forgotten.

Your guests will think you bought this White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake, but you totally made it yourself.

These Giant Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookies you’ve ever eaten.

These Sour Cream Scones are remarkably tender and the perfect vehicle for your favorite jam.

Practically Perfect Chocolate Cake – the name says it all.

These Semi-Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes are unstoppable.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies make a good thing great.

Molten Chocolate Cake is everything.

This Pumpkin Cake is the definition of tender, moist, and flavorful.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies totally surprised me with their awesomeness.

Classic Fudge because there’s never enough chocolate.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes transform possibly my all-time favorite food into a gorgeous dessert.

Triple Lemon Yogurt Cake is perfectly sweet and tart.

I can’t be in the same room as this Peanut Butter Fudge without eating it.

Salted Caramel Pudding features layers of absolute delight.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

How many lists do you have on the go on any given day? More or less than 10? I’m just wondering if I’m insane or not. On my google drive, I have seven different lists. I have another five or six on my phone. Then I have a whole notebook that is devoted solely to keeping lists. Some of them are portable, shortened versions of the google drive lists, but there are about a dozen lists that are constantly being updated in there. And then there’s Pinterest. That’s like crack for list makers. I’m crazy, right? I’m definitely crazy.

There’s just something so calming about making a list. It’s is the very essence of orderliness. When I get really bored, I find myself craving the opportunity to create a list, but I’m running out of things to make lists of. I’ve got lists for movies, books, recipes, restaurants, travel ideas, more recipes… You get the idea. Please tell me I’m not the only person who does this.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This recipe comes to you from my “next recipe” list, but more significantly from Simply Delish by Jessica Merchant. These Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits are made with half white flour and half whole wheat flour, and I love the added texture the whole wheat adds without the biscuits losing their lightness. The brown sugar brings a subtle, deep sweetness without making the biscuits seem like dessert. And then there’s the bacon. Smoky, crispy, heavenly bacon. What’s not to love?

These biscuits are the perfect balance of savoury and sweet. They’re equally suitable for an a fried egg and a thick slice of cheddar cheese as they are to being slathered with salted butter and honey or maple syrup. I haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine they’d be the perfect dunker for something like butternut squash soup. I halved the recipe since it’s just the two of us. It’s basically impossible to stop eating these, so don’t make more than you can handle.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The recipes on this blog are basically just an extension of my list-making obsession, so I hope it’s paid off for you in some way. If nothing else, you can now eat Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits to your heart’s content. That’s pretty awesome.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits
Yields 6
Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits are basically irresistible.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup plain flour
  2. 1/2 cup whole wheat plain flour
  3. 1/6 cup brown sugar
  4. 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 ounce cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  8. 2 slices bacon, cut in small pieces and cooked until crisp
  9. 1/2 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425F (220C) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a mixing bowl, gently whisk together plain flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  3. Use your clean fingers to rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until you have a mixture resembling wet sand.
  4. Stir in your bacon pieces to evenly distribute.
  5. Finally, stir in the buttermilk with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together.
  6. Turn your biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently press and fold it together. Pat your dough out to form a rectangle that's about an inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut your rectangle into six pieces. You'll have square biscuits, but you also won't have any wasted dough.
  7. Transfer your biscuits to your baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. The biscuits should be golden brown on top.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before devouring.
Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
Adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Baci di Ricotta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Baci di Ricotta

Baci di Ricotta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While we’re on the subject of the beauty and terror that is Instagram, can we talk about how Instagram always makes me feel like everyone in the world is eating doughnuts except for me? Pretty sure every time I look at my stories, there’s at least one person showing off a box of gorgeous, giant, creative, frosted yeast doughnuts. It makes me so jealous. I love doughnuts, but there’s really nowhere to get great doughnuts here. 

I experience food envy on a regular basis. I wish I knew how to just be happy for other people’s treats instead of suddenly feeling like I’m starving to death and there’s absolutely nothing to eat anywhere ever. I’m still working on it Life is growth.

Baci di Ricotta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I found a temporary solution to the lack of doughnuts in my life. These Baci di Ricotta are quick and delicious, and the crisp on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, not too sweet with a hint of cinnamon awesomeness will make your morning unbelievable. I know they’re not monstrous maple bacon pillows of dough, but I think you’re gonna love them.

As the name suggests, the fat in these little fried balls of dough is actually ricotta cheese. Before you click away, rolling your eyes and wondering what kind of crazy person would put cheese in a doughnut, just have a little faith. The ricotta keeps the mixture light, and they’re perfectly tender on the inside. They’re also made with baking powder instead of yeast, so you can go from looking at Instagram to eating Baci di Ricotta in like twenty minutes.

Baci di Ricotta | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You never need to have doughnut envy again. Baci di Ricotta will make all your fried dough fantasies come true.

Baci di Ricotta
Yields 15
Baci di Ricotta are crisp on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, and surprisingly simple to make
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup ricotta
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  8. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. Vegetable oil for frying
  10. Powdered sugar to dust
Instructions
  1. Put the oil in a heavy pot to begin heating to about 350 degrees.
  2. Add the ricotta and egg to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract, and whisk until you have a smooth, slightly stiff mixture.
  4. Once your oil has come up to the proper temperature, add the dough to the hot oil about a tablespoon at a time. I use a cookie scoop but only fill it about halfway. I can usually cook four or five little dough balls at a time.
  5. Flip each dough ball a few times as they're cooking until they're deep brown on the outside. Once cooked, remove to a wire rack over a baking sheet to cool and crisp up.
  6. Serve warm dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/



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