Some music & some scones.

Music is extremely important to me. Almost as important as food & cooking. I believe that music can set the tone for the landscape of our lives. Transforming perfectly simple life moments into extraordinary ones. For instance, when I am in my kitchen whipping up macarons, I love listening to French music. It helps set the tone for the beautiful little items I am creating. It lifts my energy fantastically which I think brings thoughtful warmth to whatever I am making. My favorite is the “Midnight In Paris” soundtrack, an upbeat collection of classic Parisian music. I like to place my apron around my waist, press play and get cooking. And, when hosting my last dinner party, I had this playing when guests arrived on the deck. It helped enhance my outdoor space which was filled with flowers, champagne and delicious tidbits from some of the finest stores in Portland. My musical taste varies widely, depending on what I am actually doing. I have my running list, my cooking list and my writing list. I make it a point to try to not listen to what is played on the radio, as most of it, is garbage. Recently I have turned to Rolling Stone reviews, Pandora and Google to help me find the latest and greatest. Below are some of my favorites. I urge you to try them on for size. Use music as a tool to create a space unlike any other, whether it is when you are all alone or in the company of great people.

  • Midnight in Paris: Music from the motion picture
  • Alex Clare: The lateness of the hour (don’t listen to #4, it’s that crappy song he has on the radio)
  • The Chemical Brothers *any of their albums are GREAT for running
  • Coconut Records: Nighttiming
  • M83: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming & Saturdays=Youth
  • OK Go: Of the blue colour of the sky
  • Phantogram: Eyelid moves
  • Santigold: self titled
  • TV on the Radio: Nine types of light
  • Washed Out: With & Without & Life of Leisure
  • William Fitzsimmons: Derivatives
  • Yeah Yeah Yeah’s: It’s Blitz

Picture this: It’s a serene Sunday morning. You wake up to the sun shining through your windows. There is some coffee. There are some ingredients. There is a newspaper, waiting to be opened up. Mix some stuff together, press play on your own soundtrack, wake up your home with some sounds and some smells. Everyone will love you.

Blueberry Scones

 Blueberry Scones
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, grated
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • extra heavy cream for brushing the tops
  • raw sugar for sprinkling the tops

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, orange zest, and salt. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed. Combine the egg and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy.  Add the blueberries to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Shape the dough into a square. Cut the square into quarters then cut again into eighths, diagonally, making triangles. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy creme, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked.
The scones will be firm to the touch. Serve warm with butter and preserves.

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