Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals, Take Out Favorites From Your Kitchen

Makeover Monday Meal- Turn Takeout into Dine-in

Almost everyone has a go-to place for great takeout. Whether you go on a Friday, Saturday, or even Tuesday night, there’s nothing like ordering your favorites and digging in when you get home.

However, there are times when you just don’t feel like making the drive. Granted, there are a plethora of delivery options available, but many of them require a minimum order to get free delivery, and if you’re in the mood for one thing, it’s just not worth it.

For many people, lo mein with its noodles stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp in a delectable sauce, ticks all the boxes. Thankfully Cooking Professionally has a recipe for Beef Lo Mein that is not only delicious but it can also be prepared for two in twenty minutes. Moreover, by making it at home, you can control the level of sodium and carb intake.

With so many supermarkets and grocery stores offering pre-chopped and julienned vegetables in their produce sections, you can save yourself some more time. This is a great and economical way to enjoy your favorite takeout meal at home.

If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan:

Omit the beef and increase vegetables *

Replace the oyster sauce with an equal amount of low-sodium or regular soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons of white sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Swerve, Splenda, or monk fruit sweetener. *

To make it low-carb instead of Lo Mein noodles or egg noodles, you can use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Instead of blanching in hot water for 2 minutes, blanch the vegetable noodles for 4 minutes and set them aside. *

 

Beef Lo Mein recipe by Cooking Professionally adapted Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

• 14 ounces Lo Mein noodles (or cooked egg noodles) *

9-ounce beef sirloin (tenderloin/rump or any tender meat cut) *
• 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
• 2-3 spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 bell pepper, julienned
• 2-3 cabbage leaves, cut into thin slices
• 5-6 snow peas
• 1 small carrot, julienned
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the sauce:
• 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
• 4 tablespoons oyster sauce *
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or rice vinegar)
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
For the marinade
:• 1 tablespoon sauce mix
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
optional garnishes:• chopped spring onions• chili oil, to taste

Directions

Step 1

To begin, blanch the noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle in a bit of sesame oil, mixing well. Set aside.

Step 2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 3

To prepare the vegetables, wash and slice them. Set aside.

Step 4

Cut the beef steak into thin slices, going against the grain. In a separate bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the beef slices. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Step 5

Heat the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of oil, then add in the beef slices.

Step 6

Flatten the beef, searing for 1-2 minutes, then continue to stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then, follow with the vegetables, adding in the hard ones first. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 7

Make space in the middle of the wok, add in the noodles, and pour in the sauce mixture.

Step 8

Toss all the ingredients and noodles well for 2-3 minutes to combine evenly, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Step 9

If desired, top the dish with extra chopped spring onions and chili oil. Serve immediately.

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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Dinner Edition

A classic update for today’s busy families

Like Beef Stroganoff, Swedish Meatballs reached the height of popularity in the 1950s and 1960s.  The recipe is a mixture of ground beef, ground pork, minced onion, breadcrumbs, seasonings, eggs, and heavy cream. It fell out of popularity for a while but saw a resurgence when Ikea brought it to America.

The original recipe requires time and that’s not something a lot of modern families have while living busy lives. Fortunately, we found a recipe by Inspired Taste that includes instructions to make them in a slow cooker and an Instapot or pressure cooker.

Remember, seasoning can be adjusted to your liking. We adapted the recipe to include vegetarians and vegans, so they can enjoy it too.

We hope you will give this a whirl to perk up your Monday night meal.

 

Crave-Worthy Swedish Meatballs by Inspired Taste. Adapted by Still A Chick Lit

PREP 30mins

COOK 25mins

TOTAL 55mins

This Swedish meatballs recipe makes juicy and flavorful meatballs with a creamy, rich, and crave-worthy sauce. If you prefer, you can serve the meatballs without the gravy. Serve these with mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower), buttered noodles, or roasted vegetables.

For the gravy, Inspired Taste added a few unconventional ingredients. Soy sauce seasons, mustard adds a little zing, and lemon zest brightens up the flavors of the dish.

Makes about 30 meatballs or 6 servings

YOU WILL NEED

FOR THE MEATBALLS

1 pound (450 grams) ground beef (2 packages of vegan ground meat)

8 ounces (225 grams) ground pork

2 ounces (55 grams) fresh bread, crusts removed (about two slices) (Gluten-free bread)

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk (dairy: whole, 2%, or non-fat)  (non-dairy: almond, rice, or soy milk)

2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, plus more as needed (unsalted vegan butter)

1/2 cup (70 grams) finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pinch fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard or a pinch of dry mustard powder

1 large egg (2 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 flaxseed or chia seed egg, or vegan egg replacer)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

FOR THE GRAVY

Butter, as needed (vegan butter or margarine)

3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, sweet rice, or brown rice flour)

3 cups (710 ml) unsalted beef, chicken, or unsalted vegetable stock (you can also use broth)

1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream (Dairy: light cream or whole milk) (non-dairy: full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk)

1 teaspoon light soy sauce (vegan soy sauce)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or a pinch of dry mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Handful fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

PREPARE MEATBALL MIXTURE

In a small bowl, tear or chop the bread into small pieces then cover with the milk. Set aside.

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a wide skillet. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not brown; 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the black pepper, allspice, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and mustard. Cook, stirring everything around the pan for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl to cool, and then wipe the skillet mostly clean with a paper towel so that it is ready for cooking the meatballs.

Combine the beef, pork, bread, and milk mixture, and the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large food processor). When the onions are warm, not hot, add them to the bowl as well.

Evenly sprinkle the salt over the top of the mixture then beat for about 30 seconds, scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat another 30 seconds to a minute until the mixture looks very well blended. (If you are using a food processor, you may need to stop the processor one more time to move the mixture around a bit.)

Form the mixture into meatballs; we like using a medium cookie scoop that holds about 1 1/2 tablespoons — you should get around 30 meatballs. Move onto cooking or cover and refrigerate up to a day or freeze them (see notes section for our tips).

COOK MEATBALLS

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. (It’s likely you will cook the meatballs in batches. A warm oven helps to keep cooked meatballs hot while you finish cooking all of the meatballs.)

Melt half a tablespoon of butter in the pan used to cook the onions over medium-low heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning every few minutes, until brown on all sides and cooked through; 8 to 10 minutes. It’s unlikely all of the meatballs will fit so you will need to do this in batches (or use two pans). Add more butter to the pan as needed.

Transfer cooked meatballs to the baking sheet and place them into the warm oven.

MAKE THE GRAVY

After cooking the meatballs, make the gravy in the same pan. Depending on how much fat is left in the pan after cooking the meatballs, you may need to remove some or add a little bit of butter. You will need about three tablespoons of fat in the pan.

Decrease the heat to low then scatter the flour over the fat in the pan and whisk until medium blonde in color, about 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly add the broth. Continue to whisk until the gravy begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the sauce thickens enough to coat the meatballs, another minute or so.

Whisk in the soy sauce, mustard, and lemon zest. Taste then adjust with salt and pepper, as needed. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the gravy. Serve with parsley scattered on top.

The recipe authors Adam and Joanne prefer the combination of beef and pork, If that doesn’t suit you, use 1  ½ pound of ground beef.

If you don’t want to use beef or pork, the combination of 1 pound of ground chicken breast and ground chicken makes for just the right bite.

You can use 1/3 cup of plain bread crumbs instead of fresh bread.

If you don’t have a stand mixer or food processor, you can mix the meatball mixture by hand. An immersion blender works too. If you use your hands, it will affect the texture of the meatballs.

Make-ahead tips: The meatball mixture can be made and refrigerated one to two days in advance.

Freezing the Meatballs:

To freeze cooked meatballs, let them cool enough so you can handle them then add to freezer-safe bags or containers. To reheat them, bake in the oven until heated through. To freeze uncooked meatballs, place the formed balls onto a baking sheet and then into the freezer. Freeze until hard then transfer to freezer-safe containers or bags. To cook them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then follow the directions for cooking in the recipe above. We do not recommend freezing the gravy, but you can make that in about 5 minutes.

 

Making Them in a Slow Cooker

You can make this recipe in a slow cooker or crockpot. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. Make the meatball mixture as directed and roll it into balls.
  2. Brown the meatballs to add some sturdiness and color, and then add to the slow cooker.
  3. Make the gravy as directed in the recipe below, but leave out the heavy cream. Instead of adding cream at this stage, add it once the meatballs are cooked, which prevents curdling the cream.
  4. Cook the meatballs on LOW for 4 to 5 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.
  5. When cooked, turn the heat setting to WARM. Stir in the cream, taste the gravy, and adjust with additional salt and pepper.

Making Them in a Pressure Cooker (example: Instant Pot)

You can make this recipe in a pressure cooker. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. Make the meatball mixture as directed and roll it into balls.
  2. Brown the meatballs to add some sturdiness and color, and then add to the pressure cooker. Depending on your pressure cooker, this step can be done by using the SAUTE function.
  3. Make the gravy as directed in the recipe below, but leave out the heavy cream. Instead of adding cream at this stage, add it once the meatballs are cooked, which prevents the chance of curdling the cream.
  4. Cook the meatballs on HIGH PRESSURE for 8 minutes, and then let the pressure naturally release.
  5. When cooked, stir in the cream, taste the gravy, and adjust with additional salt and pepper.

 

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For more inspired ideas for meals, check out Adam and Joanne’s site at https://www.inspiredtaste.net/37759/swedish-meatballs-recipe/itr_print/

Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Sunday Special- Biscuits for Brunch

Biscuits made brunch better

 

There is nothing like brunch on a Sunday morning. It’s easy to pull together with fresh fruit, coffee, tea, Mimosas, and Bloody Marys. A trip to your local bakery can round it out with assorted pastries and rolls.

However, there’s no need to rush out to the store for a family brunch with eggs, bacon, sausage, and buttermilk biscuits that are a snap to make with ingredients you likely have on hand.

We like the Gimme Some Oven blog and found this recipe for buttermilk biscuits we think you will enjoy.  We’ve adapted the recipe to accommodate vegan, vegetarian, gluten-sensitivities, and low sugar diets.

Buttermilk Biscuits recipe by Gimme Some Oven adapted by Still A Chick Lit

prep time: 30 MINS

 

cook time: 10 MINS

 

total time: 40 MINS

 

yield: 8 TO 10 BISCUITS

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups (284 grams) (gluten-free all-purpose flour,  1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, sweet rice, or brown rice flour)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon light brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon  baking soda

6 tablespoons (85 grams) very cold unsalted butter*, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (vegan unsalted butter)

1 cup cold buttermilk (dairy: low-fat, light, or whole-fat buttermilk, do not use non-fat buttermilk) (to make non-dairy buttermilk: 1 cup almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixed together. Let sit for five minutes before using)

optional toppings: extra melted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the dry ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.  Stir or whisk briefly to combine.

Cut in the butter. Sprinkle the diced butter over the dry ingredient mixture. Use a pastry cutter, two forks, or the food processor to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is well-mixed and forms pea-sized chunks of butter.

Add the buttermilk. Pour in the cold buttermilk and stir until the dough is just combined.  (Try to avoid over-mixing the dough.)

Form the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Use your hands to quickly shape the dough into a small rectangle.  Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out evenly until it is about 1/2-inch thick.

Fold the dough. Then fold the dough on top of itself into thirds (like you are folding an envelope, see image above). Rotate the dough 90 degrees.  Then repeat the folding process a second time, rotate, repeat the folding process a third time, rotate.

Cut the dough. Roll the dough out once more into a roughly 10 x 5-inch rectangle.  Then use a 2 to 2.5-inch biscuit cutter to firmly cut the dough into 8 circles, taking care not to twist the biscuit cutter at all when cutting the dough, and arrange the biscuits evenly on the prepared baking sheet.*  If you would like, re-roll the remaining dough scraps and cut out 1 or 2 more biscuits. Do your best not to overwork the dough. If it becomes a little sticky, put it in the freezer for five minutes and continue to roll out the dough and cut out biscuits.

IMPORTANT When cutting out the rounds, cut straight down. Do not twist. If you twist the cutter, you will seal the edges and the biscuits won’t rise up. The steam gets trapped and results in a heavier biscuit.

Heat the oven. Heat the oven to 450°F (232°C).  And transfer the biscuits to your freezer or refrigerator for 15 minutes as the oven heats.

Bake. Once the oven is ready to go, bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes, or until they achieve your desired level of browning on top.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack.  Then, if you would like, brush the tops of the biscuits with some melted butter and sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt.

Serve. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Adaptable Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast Edition

It’s hard to believe that August is here. The summertime seems to be flying by much to the dismay of schoolchildren as it will be back to school time soon. There are a number of channels that are devoted to cooking. I recently discovered Recipe TV, and Irish chef, Catherine Fulvio.

Filmed in County Wicklow Ireland, Catherine’s Ballyknocken Cookery School and Bed and Breakfast looks like a slice of heaven straight out of a Hallmark Movie. The surrounding land is lush, green, and full of life and color.  A Taste of Ireland and Catherine’s Farmhouse Kitchen serves up recipes with warmth, charm, and care.  Catherine is a joy to watch, and it’s extra special when she includes her lovely daughter, Charlotte, as well as the many wonderful residents in town.

There’s a recipe that would make for a lovely morning treat for moms and dads alike, whether you’re a coffee or tea lover. The resulting tea cake is perfect to add a little zen to your day. I have yet to perfect making her family recipe for Barm Brack, but I plan to have a tasty time trying, I hope you do too.

I have included the following recipe adaptations in parenthesis for the following dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Low-Sugar
  • Vegan and Vegetarian

If you don’t get Recipe TV in your area, we’ve including the links to Catherine’s Blog and website.

 

Barm Brack recipe by Catherine Fulvio

1 square cake

350ml / 12fl oz cold Irish breakfast tea (1 ½ cups)
540g / 19 ounces/ about 2 cups raisins (golden raisins)
275g / 9 1/2 ounces 1 ¼ cups sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener, coconut, turbinado, or raw can sugar, pulsed fine)
275g / 9½ oz unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) (vegan butter)
400g / 14 oz about 1 1/2 cups* self-rising flour (gluten-free recipe self-rising flour follows)
1 tsp mixed spice (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom)

3 to 4 beaten eggs (1/2 cup Aquafaba, ¾ cup silken tofu pureed with ½ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or egg replacer)
Chopped nuts and glacé cherries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 320°F /160°C/gas 4. Line a 9-inch square cake tin with greased parchment paper. Wrap trinkets such as coins and rings in parchment paper (as tightly and neatly as possible).
Place the tea, fruit, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Sieve the flour and mixed spice into a large bowl.
When the boiled mixture has cooled, pour into the flour, and mix well. Add the beaten eggs and mix well again. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Push the wrapped trinkets into the cake mixture (i.e. below the surface, so there is no trace of them when the cake is cooked).
Bake for approximately 1½ hours.
Insert a skewer into the cake to check that it is cooked – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Leave in the cake tin to cool for 20 minutes before removing it onto a cooling rack.

Notes

  • The measurements for the recipe are metric, if possible, weigh your ingredients. It’s the best way to ensure a good bake.
  • Also, adjust the baking time according to your oven.

This recipe is by the G-Free Foodie

Yield: 1 cup of gluten-free self-rising flour

https://gfreefoodie.com/

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, or 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tsp xanthan gum, only if your blend does not contain it

Instructions

Mix ingredients in a food processor or mixer for at least ten minutes.

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Or proceed with your recipe

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For more about the lovely Catherine Fulvio, visit the following links

 

https://catherinefulvio.com/blog/

 

 

https://ballyknocken.ie/

Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast Edition

 

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. So, instead of grabbing a fast-food breakfast sandwich, why not have a lightly sweet scone to enjoy with your tea or coffee instead.

These recipes come together fairly quickly and you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to two days. These recipes have been adapted for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low sugar diets. The substitutions are in the parenthesis next to each ingredient.

A Taste of Ireland recipe for Irish scones adapted by Chamein Canton

Makes 7 large scones  and 10 small scones

(225gr / 2 cups) plain all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

2 heaped teaspoons (2 ¾ US tsp) baking powder

Large pinch salt

1 US level tablespoon) castor sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed fine)

2oz (50gr / ½ a stick of butter) chilled unsalted butter (vegan butter)

(280ml / 2 fl. oz / ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons US cups) milk approximately” (dairy: whole, 2$) (non-dairy almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)

Beaten egg & sugar to glaze (2 tablespoons Aquafaba or 1 tablespoon soy lecithin)

Preheat the oven to Gas 8 / 450F / 230C

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center and add most of the milk. Mix to a soft dough adding all of the milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about 1 inch (2 ½ cm) thickness. Dip the cutter into flour and cut the dough into rounds of 1 ½ inch (4cm).
Place scones on a floured baking tray, glaze with the beaten egg, and put immediately into the hot oven. In 15 minutes approximately, the scones should have risen and had a golden top. Enjoy with Irish butter and homemade jam!

  • The amount of milk added is determined by where you live and your house. If you’re in a drier area, you may need to add more milk so the dough begins to come together. Be sure not to overwork the dough. If you live in a humid climate, it may take less milk. Use your judgment.

Mini Chocolate Chip scones by Sugar Spun Run adapted by Chamein

2 cups all-purpose flour (465g) gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (100g) (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)
2 teaspoon baking powder (18g)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter frozen is better (226g) (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 cup heavy cream (237ml) (full-fat coconut milk or 3 tablespoons almond milk with 2 tablespoons melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add )
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Glaze
1/2 -1 ½ cups powdered sugar (110g+) (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute, organic or vegan confectioner’s sugar)
1 Tablespoon milk (30ml) (dairy: whole, 2%, fat-free) (non-dairy: almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F (190C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Thoroughly cut in butter (I prefer to freeze the butter, grate it using a box grater, and then cut it in that way. This method yields the flakiest scones, but is not mandatory — you can use cold butter cut in with a pastry cutter).

Measure out the heavy cream in a measuring cup and add vanilla extract. Stir gently.

Carefully stir heavy cream/vanilla mixture into flour mixture. You do not want to over-mix, but due to the number of dry ingredients, it may be tricky to well incorporate the liquid and the dry mixes. You may briefly use a KitchenAid or electric mixer on a low setting to help coax the dough to cling together.

Once the dough is beginning to cling together, add chocolate chips, stir briefly, and then transfer to a very lightly floured surface

lightly knead the dough and chocolate chips together until you are able to form a ball.

Break the dough into 4 even pieces and round each one out into a disk about 5″ wide.

Cut each into 8 wedges and transfer to cookie sheet.

Bake at 375F (190C) for 14-16 minutes.

While the scones cool, prepare your glaze by whisking together milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Start with 1 cup powdered sugar, and if it still seems too runny you may increase the sugar amount.

Once scones are cooled, dip, drizzle, or spoon the glaze lightly over the top of each scone. Allow it to sit and harden before serving.

 

To learn more about Irish Cooking check out A Taste of Ireland on Recipe TV

https://recipe.tv/