Tropical Birthday Scones

It’s my birthday!

I was determined to have scones for breakfast on my birthday.  So I let my kids watch a show pre-breakfast, and whipped up a batch of scones!  Tropical birthday scones. 

I really loved dried fruit in my scones.  Take these Apple Ginger Scones, for example.  They are preeettty dang amazing.  I bought the kids bags of dried fruit for in their Easter baskets this year (an attempt to not have quite so much candy around).  Anyhow, I really love dried papaya and pineapple.  So, of course, those were two types that I bought.  

And when I was contemplating birthday scones, I was also dreaming about warm places.  Tropical places.  Places that people have been going to [without me] for the last few months.  These tropical scones were born of my contemplation and dreams.  

They’re very similar to the Apple Ginger Scones, with only a few, slight changes.  

I hope you get chance to make them, share them, and enjoy them.  With a cup of coffee or tea.  That would be the way to go.  

While I’m here, I guess I should let y’all in on that surprise I said I had in my last post….

We’ll be welcoming baby number four into the family the end of July, Lord willing!

I must say (I reminisce nowadays when I get a year older – a sure sign of age!), I’m not sure I imagined I’d be where I am right now 10 years ago.  But I’m so very thankful for where I am.  I have three great kids, am in my third trimester of my fourth pregnancy, I have a wonderful hubby of almost SEVEN years (HOW on earth did that happen?!), we are blessed with a house and a car, have lots of loving family around us, and live in a wonderful part of the world.  

Yes, there are days I wish things were a bit different.  But I wouldn’t actually change how things have ended up.

Here’s the recipe!

Tropical Birthday Scones
Yields 8
A fruity, sweet, buttery scone. Make those not-so-warm mornings better. Make these.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 2 Tbsp sugar
  5. 3/4 cup butter
  6. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  7. 1/4 + 2 Tbsp evaporated milk
  8. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  9. 2/3 cup chopped, dried fruit (I used papaya and pineapple)
  10. 1 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing)
  11. Sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first four dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the crumbs resemble small peas.
  3. Add in dried fruit.
  4. Pour in milks and vanilla, and stir lightly, until just combined. (Dough will be shaggy, but you can knead it together lightly in the next step.)
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle (about 9-10 inches diameter, 1 inch thick, or so). Cut into 8-10 pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet, leaving at least a 1/4 inch between scones. Brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Let cool on cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and then either EAT or transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. I totally only made 6 scones with my batch. (Have you heard me mention that I love scones?) Do want you want, I won't judge.
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
If you’re looking for some different scones to try your hand at, check out these posts:

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

Lavender Berry Scones

Linked up on Create Link Inspire, Meal Plan Monday

Dear New Moms | Part 1

This is post is going to be a bit different than many of my posts.  I’m going to delve into the topic of Motherhood.

Just a disclaimer that I’m going to be honest and blunt.  If you don’t enjoy bluntness, go back a few posts, and check out the Blueberry Lemon Pie, or Ginger Ice Cream instead (you’ll love both – I promise).  


A few days ago, a friend of mine posted this article on Facebook.  I read it, because it had an honest feel about it.  Tears threaten to spill when I read articles on new motherhood.  Mostly because I can remember it like it’s still happening.  I thought I’d expound on this article, and [hopefully] spread some encouragement at the same time.  

Dear New Moms

If you are anything like me (and I think most of us are pretty similar, whether we like to admit it or not), then parenting had passed through your minds quite a few times before you actually found out you were pregnant.  For me, it started probably around 5.  I knew I wanted to have babies someday.  It continued to grow into a real desire in high school.  A year after I graduated, I married my high school sweetheart.  Months later, we found out we were having a baby.  We had been trying, but it still feels like a surprise when you find out that it has actually happened.  A baby has been conceived.  There’s a living person inside of you.  Wow.  It’s breathtakingly amazing, and completely horrifying at the same time.

From those first thoughts as a 5 year old, and on into pregnancy, I had opinions and ideals about babies, and parenting.  I had voiced some of them out loud.  Others I kept hidden.  Most of them were wrong.  

I went back and forth with, “How can I possibly bear, and then raise a child?”, to “I can do this!  I’ve been waiting for years to do this.  I had 4 younger brothers, I know what I’m doing.  I’ve got it in the bag.”  

We are all insanely naive.  Like it or not. 

None of us have any idea what we’re doing.  Whether we’ve had years of babysitting experience, nieces and nephews to take care of, or taught elementary school.  Nothing prepares you for having a baby.  

I’m not writing this to scare anyone away from having children.  I’ve had three so far.  If it wasn’t worth it, I would have stopped at 1, believe me.  I’m writing this to hopefully open your eyes to what is to come.  

I will glow when I’m pregnant.  I will feel great.  

These were ideas I had prior to getting pregnant.  (Obviously.  If you knew me when I was pregnant with any of my babies, you’ll know this was not true in any way.)  As soon as I got pregnant, I became nauseous.  I felt fat.  I worried that any little thing I did might hurt the precious cargo inside of me.  (Remember, this was baby #1.  Things changed a bit after that first one.  Oh, how that first one teaches you things about yourself!)

But, through the nausea, and the crazy emotional roller-coaster I was putting my poor, new hubby through, I thought that once the baby was here, I’d have it all together.  

I’d have it all together.  Right.  Like I’ve ever had anything all together. EVER.  Just because you’re becoming a mother does not mean you will suddenly be great at everything to do with motherhood.  Please trust me on that.  I thought I’d breastfeed for at least six months, and that it would be easy.  I thought that I’d be able to get enough sleep, so as to not feel like an actual real life zombie.  Those mom’s who couldn’t get enough sleep mustn’t be doing it right.  And nursing, it’s natural, right?  It must be so easy!  There were no thoughts of, “What if my baby doesn’t poop for 9 days?”  or “How will I find time to do anything at all?”.  I figured it would take a few days to get used to, and then we’d be good to go. 

I’d love my baby so much that it wouldn’t matter. 

I’d love him so much ALL THE TIME, that I could deal with things that might not go right. 

I had gotten all of the advice.  Other moms had filled me in with advice like, “Nap when the baby naps”, and “Enjoy every minute, it goes by so fast”.  They left out the hard parts.  It is so easy to do that.  You don’t want new moms to know about all of the hard work that being a new mom is.  The hard parts that they might have shared, I kind of shrugged off.  That doesn’t apply to me, I’m so special.  Right.  

I wasn’t. 

Baby came into the world a day early.  Starting there, I should have seen how naive I was about it all.  I had planned to work that day.  Even after my water broke, I figured it would take forever, so WHY NOT go in for a four hour shift?  (It’s a good thing I didn’t, the baby would have been born on the floor of the grocery store.)  My hubby, however, convinced me that we should go into the hospital.  Delivery was actually okay.  It sucked, but I wasn’t scarred for life.  Delivering the placenta though.  It’s the grossest, most horrible thing ever.  For some reason I hadn’t realized that I’d have to push again, after the baby was already here.  I’ve spoken to other moms who have said the same thing.  They weren’t really expecting that. 

Then we tried to nurse.  

“Your nipples aren’t shaped right.  Hasn’t anyone told you that before?” asks my nurse.  

No.  In fact, they had not.  What does that even mean?!

It means that nursing sucks.  Especially with a tongue-tied newborn.  

We tried every position, got his tongue-tie clipped, pumped until I was raw.  After a few days the breastfeeding expert decided that, yes, maybe we should try a shield (WHY DIDN’T YOU GIVE IT TO ME THE FIRST DAY?!).  For those who don’t know (because seriously, who knows these things until one absolutely has to?), a shield is a rubber cover for your nipple.  To make it ‘right’, if you’re not shaped correctly.  

I also wasn’t informed that my baby might want to feed every time, for an hour at a time.  And will need to be fed (at minimum!) every four hours.  That basically means you feel like you are always feeding your baby.  I felt like a cow, and smelled like sour milk.  

Enough about me.  Let’s talk about you. 

You will love that babe with all your heart when you see them.  Even though they might be covered with blood when they’re first placed on your chest.  Even though your first thought may be, “Ewww, gross!”.  You will love them. 

And it will be hard.  

There are a few mothers I’ve spoken to who are just naturals.  Everything is easy.  But they also question things.  They don’t know all the right answers either.  

It is hard.  

There are no two ways to look at it.  

You will feed your babe, lay them down, and try your best to do as many of the things that might be normal for you, before having to feed your babe again.  You won’t get half of it done.  Baby will wake up earlier than hoped.  You will feel discouraged.  It’s okay. 

It’s okay, because you have just brought a beautiful new life into the world.  You will not enjoy every minute of it.  People advise you to, and when you don’t you will feel like you must be doing something wrong.

It’s okay.  You aren’t.  Not everything about being a parent is enjoyable.  It’s just not. 

You will feel tired.  I found that I was the most tired after the babe was around 6-8 weeks old.  All of those crazy days and not-very-rest-filled-nights caught up to me around then.  I’d find myself nodding off whenever I sat down to nurse.  

You will hurt.  My body hurt so much more the first time. The shock of birth, I guess.  It took so many weeks to stop bleeding.  (Another thing you might not think of right before you’re having a baby – stock up on pads!)  Some people don’t bleed very long.  I wanted so badly to go back to running, and couldn’t.  Discouraged.  Again. 

Give yourself time to heal.  Give yourself time to get used to a completely different lifestyle.  You will never be a childless woman ever again.  You will always have this child to love, to worry about. 

Don’t expect a great many thing to get done for the first few months.  Yes, I said MONTHS.  Those extra things that you thought you might get done on maternity leave, they won’t happen right away.  You might get chance to do them eventually.  Truly.  

You might wish you could be back at work.  Contributing to society.  Contributing to the finances of the family.  Talking to grown adults.  Then you’ll feel bad about wishing that.  But it’s okay.  It’s normal.  This is a huge change!  (Not to mention your hormones are definitely making you crazy at this point.)

You are doing an amazing thing right where you are.  You have borne, and birthed a child.  You are helping the same child, nurturing him, already shaping him into who he’ll grow up to be.  You are contributing to society by giving them a new member.  (And a dang cute one at that!)

You are doing a great job.  

The best job, in fact.

New moms out there, I’d like to say it gets easier.  In some ways, it might seem like it for a season.  I think it stays the same.  Each stage with a child is hard.  Different hard, but all difficult.  

You will learn how to do a zillion things, all while carrying a baby.  Eventually you won’t have to do that anymore.  But then you’ll have to learn how to do anything with a toddler running around, getting into everything.  All of the stages present difficulty.  It is the greatest learning process ever. 

And you will learn more about yourself than you ever could, doing anything else.  Becoming a mother is humbling.  You may have heard this advice pre-baby and not quite understood it.  You do now.  You learn how much you care about how you look.  You learn how selfish you are.  You learn how little you really know about raising a baby, or heck, life for that matter.  You learn how little patience you have. 

All of these things you’ll learn.  They’ll make you feel discouraged.  Everybody else must be doing better than me.  They’re not as selfish, they don’t have as little patience, they don’t care about how they or their houses look (though they both always look fantastic!).  We all have these self-doubting thoughts.  They’re not true.  

You’ll get better.  You’ll learn to have a little bit more patience.  You’ll learn more about how to raise a baby.  You are enough for your babe.  You will continue being enough.  

And you are becoming a better person, a better Mom, in this whole process.  

Dear New Moms

 


I really hope you enjoyed this, and will share it with any new moms in your lives.  

Part two will follow in a week or two (or three?).  

Thanks for enduring – it was a long one.  🙂

 

*Briar as a newborn (only hours old)

*Myself and Briar on the first day.  (Notice I look happy.  This was baby number three.  As much as each babe is a new challenge, and still hard, I found each to also be a little bit easier, knowing what I’m about to come up against.)

Linked up on I Choose Joy, Creative Kids, The Deliberate Mom, and Honest Mum

Knit Headbands

Etc | March 18, 2013 | By

I’m baaaaccckkkk.  And not pregnant anymore!

Knit headbands

I’d like to have some sort of good, quirky, true excuse for not having posted since October.  But the truth is…  I just didn’t.  I wanted to, truly.  It just didn’t happen.  Perhaps it had something to do with being preggers, Christmas, a newborn.  Let’s say it did.  (But honestly, I had lots of time I could have spent doing this instead of the myriads of other things I did.)  I miss this.

So we’re going to try to get back into it.  I have to rely on hubby to remind me to do this.  He’s a pretty good nagger motivator.  Really though, he’s great at getting me into these things.

First off, let’s get an update.  A lot can happen in 5 months.  (Wow, has it really been that long?!)  And a lot DID happen.  Lots of cooking and baking happened.  Quite a bit of knitting, wrapping, eating, decorating…  doing wayy too much…  happened as well.  Oh, and I had a baby.  That was probably the biggest thing that happened.

Jude

{Say hey to my newest, cutest little guy}

January 16, Jude came into the world at a whopping 9lbs 2oz.  I have no idea how he was so big.  It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know how big he was going to be before I went into labour…  He was so worth it though.  Such a good, happy, handsome little man.  I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of him.  (Hope you don’t mind!)

Brothers

{Cael likes his new brother…most of the time.  Typical siblings…}

I thought we’d start off the new year (a few months late) with something different.  Over Christmas, I got a pattern for some knit headbands, that I looooved.  Anyhow, I made three.  One for my friend’s birthday, one for my mom’s birthday, and one for me!  You see, I was out to make 2, but after my mom’s was done, and I had tried it on…  Well, let’s just say she didn’t get that one.  Never try on something you’re supposed to be giving away, if you like it at all, it might just have to stay with you.

Mom's headband

{Mom ended up with this one.  I’ll have to get a picture of her wearing it – she looks super cute!  Most stylish Mom ever}

I got the pattern from a friend, it’s super easy, and mega versatile.  You can really make it with any kind of yard, any size needles, and any thickness.  But I’ll give you the standard to start with.  When it comes to making the flower, just go by the instructions.  It doesn’t sound right, but once you start to cast off, you’ll be amazed at what happens.  It’s really quite neat.

MY headband

{This one was supposed to be for my mom.  She loves pink.  I abhor pink.  I tried it on.  I loved it.  Make sense?}

Knit Headband

Size 8 needles, thick fluffy yarn, tapestry needle

Cast on number of stitches based on thickness of yarn and width of headband you are looking for. **You must make sure to end each row on purl no matter how many stitches you choose or the ribbing will not work.**  (12 for the thinner version and 16 for the thicker version)

Row 1 till end: k2, p2 until desired length is achieved (test on head, should fit snug b/c will most likely stretch a bit)

Cast off and cut yarn leaving a few inches to sew seam.

Flower

Size 8 needles, any yarn (light weight is easier to use for these)

Cast on 10 stitches

Row 1:  Knit

Row 2 (and all even rows): Purl

Row 3: knit into the front and back of each stitch (20 st)

Row 5: knit into the front and back of each stitch (40 st)

Row 7: knit into the front and back of each stitch (80 st)

Row 8: Purl

Cast off, assemble flower, sewing with loose ends.  Attach to the seam of the headband.

Again, I kind of messed around with how many stitches to use for the different widths of headbands and sizes of flowers.  Shout out if you want to know exactly what I did.  They turned out super cute!

Sarah's headband.

{My friend Sarah got this darling.  I’ve also got to get a picture of her with it on, because she looks gorgeous (WITH and without it on)}

Cael update anybody?  He’s getting big!  He says almost everything we say, and is starting to put words together.

Hiding

Smile! Or not.

{Funny, as soon as I told him to smile, he gave me the evil stare}

He is 100% boy.  Cars, trains, animals, guns, fighting noises, fighting, you name it.  If you associate it with the male species, he loves it.  Anyhow.  I hope you guys enjoy the headbands.  Food next time, I promise.  I won’t promise that it will be soon, but hopefully it’ll be before August.  No more 5 month intervals.  Okay?  Peace.

Mommy & baby

{Mommy and baby Jude}

Part of Made by you Mondays, and Craft-O-Maniac Monday Link Party, Create Link Inspire

Hot Cross Biscuits

Three months.  That’s all the time I have left before baby numero dos is due.  (Unless of course, he…  or she, comes early…)  It seems like a long time, but I know it will just fly by.  Especially with Christmas coming.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t even have mentioned the ‘C’ word, but it’s true.  It’s a’comin’.  And personally, I’m pumped for the shopping trips.  Buying things for people, baking = fun, fun, fun.  Busy, but fun.  And our little guy will actually be aware of everything this year.  I’m super excited to see how he reacts to all the hullabaloo.  And that means baby will be along shortly (and I can stop going to work! Not that I’m excited about that, or anything…).

Thanksgiving anybody?  It was great to have a turkey dinner.  I made my first ever yule log thingy (and it was awesome – and I’ll share it with you soon!).  Dark Chocolate Buche de Noel.   Yum.  It was the first dessert gone at our family gathering.

Anybody say cute?

Here he is:

{My cutest little boy ever…  I’ve got to say that as many times as I can in the next three months in case I have another boy!  Isn’t he just great though?}

So I’ve got three words for you.

Joy. the. Baker.

Check her out.  She is an inspirational food blogger.  Just your everyday Joe, but she’s amazing.  I love everything she writes, and cooks, and I don’t know the girl.  But I wish I did.  She recently came out with her first cookbook (SO awesome!). And here was the chain of events that followed:

Got her cookbook.

Loved it.

Wanted to bake everything in it.

So what did I do?  Went to her blog and made something from there instead.  Hot Cross Biscuits, to be exact.  But don’t worry, a few days later I made her Cinnamon Sugar Rice Pudding out of the cookbook.  It rocked world.  But not near as much as these biscuits.  They were awesome.  I would make them again, and again.  And eat them.  All.

Hot Cross Biscuits

These are just slightly adapted from Joy’s recipe:

**I used dried cranberries in half of the recipe, switched orange zest for lemon, and didn’t use icing

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups  flour

2 Tbsp sugar

4 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp orange zest

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease with shortening, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until resembles flakes of oatmeal.

Add cranberries

Whisk together egg and buttermilk.

Slowly fold into butter/flour mixture, just until all the flour is wet.  Place on a floured surface and knead slightly.  Roll out until dough is 1 inch thick, and cut with a biscuit cutter (whatever size pleases you, really).

Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.  Remove from oven and let cool.

These are amazing served with butter and jam.  I omitted the cranberries from half of my recipe, and I loved them both ways.

Bon appetit!

30 Day Challenge

Day 10 – Discuss your first love and first kiss

Well.  That’s [fairly] early.  My first love would be my hubby.  I’ve had a crush (and then wayyy more than a crush) on him since elementary school.  Sure, we’ve had ups and downs.  But I never ever gave a thought to us not being together.  There were scary times, when it came close, but we got through.  He’s handsome, in a rugged (which is my favourite!) way.  Funny, sarcastic, great hubby, wonderful Daddy – these are only a few of the things that I love about him.  I’ve got to mention his little crooked smile, and the mischievous look he gets too.  They’re just too good to pass up.  He is the only guy I’ve ever kissed (other than my daddy, of course).  The first time was, well, messy.  And I thought about it for months…  Okay, maybe years.  Because we really had two first kisses.  The second time was… not so messy.  It made my heart flutter (literally, I think I could have had a heart attack), and I was so nervous both times, I could’ve thrown up.  But it was great.  I’ve kissed him a million times since.  Gets better every time.  So there’s the juice.  Now you know.

(You guys do realize it’s taking me about 30+ weeks to do this challenge instead of 30 days, right?  I’m slower than a tortoise!)

Peace out.

PanCAKE

Cakes | May 26, 2012 | By

So the past weekend was slightly insane (which seems to be the norm around here…).  It seemed like go, go, go.  But I think it was mostly my emotions being taken on a hormonal rollercoaster ride.   (ie.- I found out for sure that I’m having another baby!)  So now you know!  🙂

But truly, it was a busy weekend.  My poor mother fed me and mine 3 times in the run of the weekend, and we had 2 BBQs, so I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking.  I was in charge of dessert for both BBQs, and somehow managed to ruin both of them.  I saved them, but man…  It wasn’t a weekend for baking for me (apparently!).  Other than the meals, we went for a date on Friday, then we made a small [1 hour both ways] road trip to Costco on Sunday.  Yesterday was fairly calm.  We took Cael to the duck pond, which was fun (and sunny, which was wonderful).  And I decided to paint out a closet in our house to convert it to a bookcase.

And then there was this week…  It was just a right off.  Between being tired and nauseous (thanks to pregnancy…) and just getting the regular day-to-day stuff accomplished, let’s just say I didn’t feel overly motivated.  Anyhow!  My motivation has returned (at least for the moment) so here goes!

Found this one on Pinterest.  Loved it.  Who wouldn’t love chocolate pancakes piled on top of each other with whipped cream in between?  It’s a MUST love.  And the chocolate pancakes are great by themselves too…  (I may have possibly messed up the first few and eaten them… may have…)

Chocolate Pancake Cake

Recipe found on ZoomYummy.com  (it has been VERY slightly modified by me)

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 heaping Tbsp cocoa

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup whipping cream

4 Tbsp icing sugar

Chocolate sauce

Sliced orange for garnish (optional)

Combine vegetable oil, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.

Add cocoa, and stir.

Stir in flour and baking powder.  Stir until smooth.

Spray a pan with oil, (or if you don’t use spray oil, just put some oil in…).  Heat it up, and add about 1/2 cup of the batter to the pan.  I found that if you put any less than that, it was a real battle to flip the pancake without a disaster occurring.

Cook until bubbles start to form, then flip.  Once it is done (both sides should be dry, and not look batter-y), continue the same with the rest of the batter.

Let your pancakes cool, completely.

While you’re waiting, beat together whipping cream and icing sugar.  Beat until firm peaks form.

To put the cake together, simply layer pancakes and whipped cream.  If you aren’t serving it right away, keep it in the fridge.  I would wait until right before you serve the cake to drizzle the chocolate syrup and add the garnish.  (That way it looks more fresh, less mess.)

Thanks ZoomYummy for the great recipe!

I would highly advise you make this – it is super yummy.  And not too heavy either.  You could even have it for breakfast!  (Pancakes!!)

Hope you enjoy.  Have a great rest-o-the-weekend!

*Shared on Adventures of Mel

What’s your favourite thing to do when the weather starts to warm up?