August seemed to go by slower than molasses. The heat continued to weigh us down in the afternoon and keep us awake at night, and I worked at the most boring job imaginable. But exciting things are on the frontier. August was a month of waiting, and waiting isn’t fun.
Last Saturday we had a surprise party. Not the kind where you plan for weeks and weeks and everybody hides and then jumps out and shouts things, hopefully “Surprise!” I’m talking about the kind of surprise party where as you’re going to bed on Friday night your husband tells you that you have to host a birthday party tomorrow.” Um.. okay… Anything else I should know?” Nope. That’s it.
So, if you’re short on cash but overrun with eggs, there’s only one logical solution for an absolutely delicious party snack, spicy deviled eggs. I bought a red jalapeno to make them pretty, but everything else I already had in my kitchen. I never think much about deviled eggs until they’re in front of me. Then I can’t stop eating them, and I remember they are completely awesome.
These particular eggs are loaded with flavor and an extra dash of spice. I got a little heavy handed with the cayenne pepper. It happens to the best of us. I also upped the umami factor with a dash of soy sauce since I was all out of Worcestershire. Work with what you got. And make it awesome! Then top it with a bright red slice of jalapeno because you can and you should.
The party was awesome. The food was awesome. The drinks were awesome. And most especially, the people were awesome. Many laughs were had. I think that might be the whole point of life.
- 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dill paste
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 1 red jalapeno, sliced thinly
- Put your eggs into a medium sauce pan and cover them with cold water.
- Bring the water to a boil then turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
- Drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to cool them off. I like to park mine in the fridge for five minutes to help them cool down more quickly.
- Peel your eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Pop the yolks out into a mixing bowl.
- Stir together remaining ingredients, except for the jalapeno, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Put your egg yolk mixture into a zip top bag, then cut off a small corner with scissors. Slightly overfill the cavity on your egg white halves.
- Garnish each egg half with a slice of jalapeno.
- Stash in fridge until you are ready to party.
I had a dream about chocolate orange scones. I should be kidding. I’m not. This is how deep my problem goes. I actually dream about baked goods. What is wrong with me?
Of course, in my subconscious mind, they took a form that isn’t actually physically possible. The warm tender scones had super thin layers of chocolate running throughout. These layers of chocolate sort of resembled the lines formed in sedimentary rock and had a snap to them when you bit into the scone. As far as I can figure, there’s no such thing as a warm scone with snappy chocolate. But in my dream, they tasted so so so good.
In real life, these scones are full of the bright flavor of orange zest and studded with dark chocolate. They’re lovely served warm with a cup of hot tea or coffee. They certainly brightened my morning.
I also loved getting to play Jackson Pollock when I added the chocolate to the top. Just dip a fork into some melted chocolate and shake it quickly over your scones. You’ll have abstract expressionist scones in no time.
I am not an expert scone maker. I can never seem to get them to come out pretty, but they usually come out tasting pretty awesome. I love having an excuse to practice, though. Let’s eat all the scones!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- zest of 2 oranges
- 3 to 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped thin
- A few chocolate chips for topping
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or smear with butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add cold butter and work it into the flour with your clean hands using a pinching motion until you work out all the big chunks. Park your butter and flour mixture in the freezer while you get on with your work.
- Measure out the cream and then zest the oranges over the measuring cup. You don't want to lose those good oils. Chop your chocolate.
- Remove your bowl from the freezer and add the cream and orange zest. Gently stir that in. I found at this point that my dough was still quite wet, so I added another half cup of flour. You want it to just hold together. Fold in the chocolate.
- Turn your dough out onto a well-floured cutting board. Sprinkle plenty of flour over the top and on your hands, then form it into a one inch thick rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut your dough into four squares, then cut the squares into triangles.
- If you're more skilled than me, you'll be able to transfer individual scones to your baking sheet, but this quite frequently ends in disaster for me, so I just gently lay the baking sheet on top of the dough, and invert it. You just have to cut them again right after you take them out of the oven. Baking time may be a bit longer.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they just barely start to brown.
- Let the scones cool for about ten minutes, then melt your handful of chocolate chips and get crazy with your fork. Or you could be nice and neat and pipe on pretty lines of chocolate. Whatever floats your artistic boat.
- Best served warm.