Bacon Cheddar & Chives Scones // Waking Up Early

Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones
Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones

As Bermuda dips further into fall, the days are getting much shorter and the evenings cooler. What used to be a bright and early rise at 6:00 AM is now dark and quiet, even the feral chicken that roams our property is still fast asleep.  I’m generally a morning person. I’m the type that will get up at the crack of dawn, run 3 miles, check all emails and cook an entire breakfast spread before 9am. But now that little Ollie is around, he pretty much dictates when I’m awake with a loving paw in the face at about quarter to 6. I used to welcome his panting cute head in front of my face, but lately it’s been a real drag to get me out of bed. Sometimes my eyes will open slightly and I’ll see him still snoring away peacefully in the crate. I’ll shut them quickly hoping he didn’t hear me stir, but it’s as if he has a sixth sense! In the next blinking second, there he is pawing at my face to wake up!

Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones
Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones
Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones

So for the days that I’m not so chipper in the morning, making a batch of scones and freezing them for later is a great time saver. I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of scones until I tried a savory one from a bakery near my old apartment in Vancouver. The ones I’ve had in the past have been overly sweet, dry and crumbly, but the cheese & green onion scone from Beaucoup Bakery is just divine, moist and full of flavour. And what early meal isn’t complete without some bacon? So here is my go-to recipe for scones: an easy bacon, cheddar and chives recipe that is the perfect pastry for a quick breakfast and those days when you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times.

Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones
Bacon, Cheddar and Chives Scones

Bacon Cheddar and Chives Scones
adapted from King Arthur Flour 

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
4 ounces of grated cheddar cheese
1/2 pound of cooked bacon chopped
1/4 cup of chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
pinch of pepper

Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, and sugar.

Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces.

Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.

beat the egg and milk together in a small bowl and then add to the dry mixture. Squeeze and knead dough until it comes together, adding more flour if too tacky or cream if too dry. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.

Pat the dough into a 7″ disk about ¾” thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.

Use a knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.

Brush the scones with a bit of cream to help brown the crust.

Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool right on the pan before serving warm.

After scones are cool, freeze them in a zip lock bag. To serve, remove and defrost in microwave before slicing and toasting.

 

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola // My Path to Health and Fitness

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola
Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola

A few years ago I wasn’t happy with the way my body looked and how unfit I felt. I barely exercised and I ate whatever I wanted. And like many others on New Year’s Eve, I made my resolution the ever so popular, ‘get fit and be healthy’. I really wanted to stick to this goal, knowing that it takes time to see results and I definitely didn’t want to fall off the New Years resolution bandwagon. I knew that this wasn’t a quick fix; I had to completely adjust my lifestyle if I wanted to feel healthy and strong. So one morning in 2013, with brand new runners on my feet, I stepped out the door of my tiny Vancouver apartment and went for a jog on the False Creek seawall and since then, have never looked back.

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola
Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola

Nowadays, I’m happy, healthy and am in the best shape that I’ve ever been in. It might be hard to believe that I’m a serious advocator for fitness and health when I write a food blog that is full of sugary sweets! Everyone has an opinion on what to eat to stay healthy, and I truly believe in life balance. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine if you want to eat that cookie or cake slice! I think that as long as you try to incorporate whole and fresh ingredients into your meals and keep active you can feel great and still stay sane.

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola
Vanilla Almond Buckwheat GranolaVanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola

As much as I would love to have sausage with a side of bacon every single day for breakfast, I don’t think it’s the best idea if I’d like to continue to fit into tiny swimsuits for the beach. My favourite go-to breakfast that is both delicious and healthy is my homemade granola. Sprinkled onto of some Greek yogurt with a few slices of fresh peaches reminds me of Saturday mornings in Vancouver after a long run around the Seawall. It’s sweetened with honey and made with buckwheat for an extra crunch; I can’t help but grab a handful for a quick snack whenever I walk into my kitchen.

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola

Vanilla Almond Buckwheat Granola 
2.5 cups large flake oats
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
2/3 cup almonds whole or sliced
1/2 cup unseated coconut flakes
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup of coconut or olive oil
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°C

Combine all dry ingredients including spices in a large bowl. Mix together the honey, water, oil and vanilla extract in a small bowl and add to the dry mix, making sure it’s combined well.

Spread granola mixture flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking and flipping granola every 10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to fully cool before storing away in an airtight container.

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

January of last year, I packed my trusted pistachio coloured KitchenAid mixer into a suitcase lined with sweaters that were probably not going to be put to much use anymore. There was no way I was leaving that workhorse behind. I was taking the leap of love, moving 3000 miles away from my family and friends in Vancouver to Bermuda where my boyfriend Dan lived. Probably not the worst of places to move to considering it’s sunny 99% of the time, but there are drawbacks of living on a tropical island…well…you live on a tiny tropical island! While I welcomed with open arms freshly caught Wahoo, beautiful humid sunny weather, and breathtaking turquoise waters…I couldn’t deny that I would miss Vancouver’s rich culinary diversity. However, trading in hunter boots for year-round flip-flops was too good of a deal to pass up.  

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Now here I am, assimilated a year and a half later with great new friends, a healthy tan, and a penchant for baking artisan breads. Much of my free time is now occupied with attempting to master my way through Peter Reinhart ’s books and because of that, I have unassumingly upgraded Dan’s office status by sending him off to work with trays of test run recipes. 

Which brings me to this blog…the first post to have been written months ago. But I dragged my feet and made up excuse after excuse. Starting something new can be so daunting, the fear of complete utter failure can haunt anyone’s mind. But just like taking the leap of love 17 months ago, I’m diving head first into the world of food blogging. And sometimes a little liquid courage can help. 

One of Bermuda’s more known exports is Goslings Black Rum, a rich dark liquor with notes of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Mostly used to mix its famous Dark N’ Stormy cocktails, I decided to add a little bit into the glaze of these rolls. The ginger is a subtle touch in the brioche dough and the Goslings gives it the extra little spice. 

So without further ado, here is my very first recipe post. Bottoms up!

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Makes 12 small or 8 Large rolls

For the Dough:
3/4 cup of milk (185 g)
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one package)
1/4 cup of softened butter (57 grams)
1/3 cup of sugar (67 grams)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
2 teaspoon peeled Grated fresh ginger
4 cups of flour (plus more for dusting) (512 grams)
2 large eggs 

Filling
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons softened butter (85 grams) 

Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 table spoons dark rum
3 table spoons butter melted
a pinch of sea salt 

Heat milk and grated ginger in a microwave safe measuring cup for about 45 seconds. Stir in butter until melted. Cool to lukewarm or until below 115 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together half of the flour, yeast, ginger , sugar and salt. Add the eggs and milk mixture and beat well. or medium-low speed with the hook attachment. Add the other half of the flour gradually 1/2 cup at a time and continue to mix until the dough has pulled together. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead adding more flour as needed for 8 minutes until slightly tacky to the touch or 5 minutes in the mixer.

Cover the dough to let the gluten relax for 10 minutes. While the dough rests, mix the filling ingredients until it forms a paste.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough into a 10×14 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough making sure to reach all sides. Tightly roll the dough from the long side and pinch the seam to seal. Using a sharp knife or unflavoured dental floss, cut the roll into 9 pieces for a 9” pan or pie plate, or 12 rolls for a 9 x 12” pan. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the rolls from the fridge and let the dough rest on the counter to take the chill off for about an hour. When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown.

Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more melted butter (or rum!) to thin. When rolls have cooled to warm, pour glaze over and serve.