The Birdfood Weekend

I’ve been cooking up a storm all weekend. A vegetarian by choice, my dad refers to it as my bird food diet. Recently,I stumbled upon a recipe over at the Daily Garnish that I thought was too bird food even for me.  A lentil loaf made with sunflower seeds, carrots, dried cranberries and quinoa screamed bird food, it even sort of looks like it. Yet, something told me make it.  I did, yesterday to be exact. I used flaxseed instead of chia seeds. I didn’t put in celery because I am picky and celery just doesn’t do much for me. I just used water instead of veggie broth, but it turned out quite well. My favorite part was discovering I can make lentils and quinoa in the rice cooker AT THE SAME TIME. My rice cooker is my favorite appliance behind the coffee maker and coffee grinder. Let’s be serious, caffeine is magical and a necessity. I could live without the rice cooker, but it wouldn’t be as fun.  After I got done with that batch of delicious fun.

I turned my sights on to making scones. Scones along with biscuits I avoid making because there is just something to the process I don’t do just right. This results in the outcome being edible but not the delicious results you expect from say KFC or a bakery. I’ve made both successfully from a mix, but from scratch….ehhh. While reading through my Veganomicon cookbook  a cranberry scone caught my eye. Surely this time I would be successful. I would say I still have room for improvement and patience but they are scrumptious. Once again a few tweaks were made. I used butter instead of well not butter, but it was organic butter. That makes it slightly better right?  I couldn’t justify spending 4 dollars on earth balance fake butter when I had $5 organic butter sitting in my fridge waiting to be used. I also used orange zest instead of lemon zest. I made use of the leftover pumpkin but turning it to a glaze with powder sugar and orange juice.

  • Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour(look in the bulk section of your store)
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar(I reduced to 1 cup)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom(I left this out because it was not in my spice rack)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 ground nutmeg(I also left this out but put a dash of pumpkin pie spice to replace it)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt(I generally hate salt added to things so I just put a sprinkle on top)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine cold(or butter as I did)
  • 3/4 cup soy creamer or rice milk(or coconut milk as I did, I knew this would be sweet which is partly why I knew I could get away with less sugar, use your judgement)
  • 4 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest(or orange)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped (I used dried)

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, chop in the butter/margarine with a pastry cutter or a fork if you don’t have a pc. Chop until it resembles crumbs.

In a separate bowl add the wet ingredients including pumpkin and flaxseed. Fold into dry ingredients, add cranberries. I then scooped piles onto the baking sheet and baked at 350 for 30-34 minutes or longer if you want your scones crispy.

If you are using dried cranberries, you could probably reduce the sugar further. If you can’t find the whole wheat pastry flour, just use all purpose for everything.

I also made millet tonight for the first time every. I didn’t even know this grain or whatever it is existed before reading the Daily Garnish.  However, wikipedia just informed me this is a pretty bad ass crop. Apparently it’s a huge crop in India. Some how I missed that in my tour there. Or I I just was blissfully unaware and distracted by the cows and trash (true story). It is also fitting that I am currently eating it with a curry tomato chickpea dish. Which is rather delicious and if I didn’t fear recipe overkill, I would add it. The other great thing about millet is you can make it in your rice cooker!  The best part of this wikipedia article…learning it’s a key ingredient in BIRD FOOD.  But if you need some b vitamin and are avoiding gluten, it’s got all of that going for you.  I found it in the bulk section of my local co-op. I must admit I really love how I can find almost anything in Minneapolis.

This weekend I fell in love with food. I fell back in love with my ability, trusting myself to follow a recipe and modify as needed. I made scones while listening to Whitney Houston. I still can’t believe she passed away this weekend. I’ve had “I have Nothing” on repeat basically, what a beautiful song. It’s unfortunate that drugs took another iconic star.

Remember birdfood not drugs.

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About Minnehappilos

I am a lot of things. Dog owner, runner, traveler, worrier, feminist, rap enthusiastic, but mostly a contradiction that only a child in born in the 80's could represent. This blog is not a manual, just a funny read.
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