Category Archives: IFBC 2013

Want to Share a Cuppa?

Rustic Blueberry Scones

Tea is my caffeinated drink of choice. I drink cups and cups of tea everyday. My favorite is Extra Bergamot Earl Gray from Upton Teas. I’ll have an occasional espresso drink on the run. I don’t really care for plain old coffee, though I’ll sometimes order it in restaurants because the way most restaurants serve tea is abysmal. Don’t even get me started…

In the afternoon (or sometimes mid-morning), a cup of tea wants a little bite to accompany it. I think this is what scones were invented for. I like them just a little bit sweet and crumbly.

I’m constantly trying new scone recipes. My goal is to some day settle on two base recipes, one using cream or milk and the other with buttermilk. That way I can accommodate the current dairy supply in my refrigerator. My choice of mix-ins can always be combined into either dough.

I have a variety of flours in the pantry, most of them from Bob’s Red Mill, leftover from various recipe experiments. A local grocery store (though my least favorite one around) stocks a large inventory his products. I will visit that store for flour.

My recent favorite is buckwheat flour. I’ve been substituting it for some of the regular flour in assorted baked goods. I like the earthy undertone it adds, and the slightly purple color of the end product.

With a recent excess of blueberries, picked next to the dock of our Maine cottage, I had blueberry scones on my mind. Using some buckwheat flour gave my scones the rustic look I had in mind.

When you’re in the neighborhood, you’re always welcome to stop by and join me for a cup of tea, a scone (or two), and a chat!

Cuppa Tea with Scone?

Rustic Blueberry Scones
Makes 15

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
10 Tbsp (1¼ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in to ½-inch pieces
1 large egg
6 Tbsp buttermilk
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp almond extract
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal. (You can process about 10 seconds before starting to pulse, if you’re not that patient.). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add buttermilk and extracts and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until the flour is incorporated. Add the berries and stir gently to combine.

For each scone, scoop about ¼ cup of dough onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. I use an ice cream scoop that’s about this size.

Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Then transfer the scones to a rack to cool further, or just eat them warm!

I find that scones freeze well. If I take one from the freezer in the morning, it’s defrosted and ready for a quick toasting in the oven later in the day.

* Note that Bob’s Red Mill is a sponsor of the International Food Blogger Conference that I am attending later this week. In exchange for a discounted rate, I’ve agreed to write some blog posts about the conference and its sponsors. However, I purchased the flour myself and I’ve expressed my honest opinions in this post.

#IFBC 2013: Seattle, Here I Come!

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In less than two weeks, I’m headed to Seattle. I’ll be attending the 5th Annual International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle, Washington from September 20-22, 2013, organized by Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures.

The theme this year is Food, Writing, and Technology. I can definitely I relate to this theme:

  • Food makes my world go around. Eating, cooking, reading about it, talking about it. You name it, it gives me a thrill. Three days of immersion in the world of food? I know that being among 300 other participants that share my passion will be the experience of a lifetime.
  • Writing is how blog posts get created. Words and pictures allow me to share the creations of my kitchen and maybe tempt you to try them yourself in yours. Writing is how I comment on the blogs I read, which often sparks a conversation. Over time, these conversations build a connection, and friends with common interests are made across states, countries, and continents. Who knew?
  • Technology seems to be the lifeline of the world today. I’ve been accused of being a Luddite, but I have embraced technology in more ways than one. I love learning more about things I’m interested in and exploring new areas. I’ve always been one for paper, things with pages to turn, like books, magazines, and newspapers. The wealth of information available on the Internet blows me away daily. Navigating this technology from my computer, my iPad, and even my phone, is a new way of life.

Though I’ve been blogging for almost four years, this is the first time I’ve ever ventured outside of the comfort of my own home to meet fellow bloggers face-to-face. I’m thrilled and excited, but nervous at the same time.

I’m going on this adventure alone, though I will meet up with a dozen of my “cyberfriends” from French Fridays with Dorie. This group of enthusiastic home cooks has been working their way through Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table, one recipe a week. Along with expanding our cooking skills and taste buds, from afar our group has bonded over successes and failures, in the kitchen and out. I can’t wait to put a face and make a real-life connection with each of the on-line personalities I’ve come to know.

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Exploring the blogs of the conference attendees, I’m look forward to meeting other, as of now unfamiliar, bloggers and making some new friends.

The planned sessions look amazing. I hope to gain some new tips and techniques to improve my writing and photography skills to enhance my blog after I return home.

I leave for Seattle in just 10 days, and, so, the countdown begins… Maybe I’ll see you there!