The Jones’ Scone

The other day I woke up to a text which included a photo sent to me by Kevin, the pastry chef who catered our tea tasting event.  I would show you the photo…however, before downloading it,  I dropped  my phone into a toilet…yuck…and lost several photos…oops.  Wish I had it to show you…it was kind of exciting for me… Kevin had baked my scone recipe and had them for sale in the pastry case of Hidden House Coffee along with my vanilla, cinnamon butter too.   He makes them much larger than mine.  They were beautiful and he sold out that morning.  He had them labeled ” The Jones’ Scone”  (my last name)…I feel almost famous now 🙂

Then, a day later,  a couple of my jazzercize buddies asked me to make that scone to share after class with some of our other classmates…so I whipped up a couple batches…along with fresh lemon curd and vanilla cinnamon butter… while they were not as pretty as Kevin’s…they flew off the plates while we chatted at an outdoor coffee house.

My scones… one with cheese (savory) and one with just a little sugar.

Jones' scones, cut into petite squares...brushed with egg, topped with cheese for the cheesy scone...

Jones’ scones, cut into petite squares…brushed with egg, topped with cheese for the cheesy scone…

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It’s a simple recipe.

BISCUIT SCONE – my absolute favorite scone

This scone is a bit like a biscuit and can be prepared to be slightly sweet or savory with cheese, herbs, or meats.   It’s truly a quick bread, 10 minutes to make, 12 minutes to bake, and delectable.

Makes 12 to 15 scones 1 ½” in diameter and ¾” high.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes TOTAL TIME: 22 minutes

Preheat oven to 425º F.      Just Six Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising or 2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder if using self-rising flour or a total of 3 teaspoons baking powder if using all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons unsalted, chilled butter

5 teaspoons granulated sugar

⅔  cup whole milk

Optional: one egg for brushing tops, recommended

Optional: ¼ cup currants; add to dry mixture before adding milk

Prepare your baking sheet with dusted flour or pan liner, such as a Silpat.

Sift self-rising flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir well to mix the two ingredients.

Break the chilled butter into pieces into the flour mixture and cut in with pastry cutter or two knives.

Stir in the sugar… or if doing a savory recipe, stir in the grated cheese, herbs, or meat.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the milk.

Using a dinner knife, mix the dough together for about 15 seconds. Do not over mix the dough.

The dough will be soft, but not sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a flour dusted board and knead lightly.

Pat the dough out to approximately ¾” thick; use your hands, not a rolling pin.

Cut out 12 to 15 scones using a 1 ½” round cutter.

Arrange the scones onto the baking sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes until a light brown and well risen.  Serve while hot!

Accompaniments:

  • Berry jam. Use a good quality product, preferably without added sugar.
  • Devonshire or clotted cream, Mascarpone cheese, Creme fraiche, Lemon curd, Butter or Whipped Cream
  • Alternatives:  For a savory scone, omit the sugar and stir in ½ cup of shredded cheese.  Aged cheddar is a good choice.  Use a hard cheese.  Or add an herb, such as thyme or chives, approximately 2 teaspoons, minced

I didn’t take the photo quickly enough to show how pretty the plates looked before being consumed…one plate had the cheesy savory scone with vanilla, cinnamon butter… the other had my basic, slightly sweet scone…with lemony lemon curd.  My classmates loved them and liked that they were petite…they could try both without any remorse at eating more than one…plus, as I reminded them, we had just worked out and needed sustenance 🙂

Almost gone…

Petite scones...sweet with lemony lemon curd and cheesy with vanilla, cinnamon butter...both were a hit

Petite scones…sweet with lemony lemon curd and cheesy with vanilla, cinnamon butter…both were a hit

IMG_6103I did enjoy mine with a cup of earl grey tea…

You can’t go wrong serving these any time… enjoy and drink tea!

 

The Foods…Paired With The Mighty Leaf (teas)

EAT . BE . TEA Tasting recap…part II … the food pairings…

The foods served with our teas were wonderful. I can say that, because I had nothing to do with preparing it…that was all on our Chef, Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes. It is an awesome feeling to see your recipes come to life under someone else’s hand. His interpretation was beautiful and tasty.

We retained Kevin to cater our tasting event through a bit of divine providence…I knew when we first started developing the idea of taking my passion for getting great tea in front of the American populous in this tasting format that the teas would benefit from being paired with powerfully, flavorful bites of savory and sweet foods…and I couldn’t cook it myself…we happened to read a wonderful article in our local newspaper about this charitable pastry chef who donates a portion of his earnings to epilepsy research. We also found out on the same day as the article that Kevin worked out of a commercial kitchen less than a half block from our tea tasting venue. We quickly called to see if he was available to cater for us. Obviously, he was. Oh, and did I mention that we have also known Kevin from the day he was born? He happens to have been our next door neighbor for 24 years….the stars aligned all right! I could not have done this event without him. Not exaggerating here at all…not kidding either. Whew. He was professional, offered many ideas on how to improve and present the items, and he was a joy to work with.

Chef Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes

Chef Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes

We served three courses…while my tea makers were steeping away over 150 cups of stunningly flavorful Mighty Leaf pure, organic and single estate grown teas… Chef Kevin and my pretty incredible husband were in the kitchen plating 50 plates times 3…. The savory first course paired with a Mighty Leaf organic Assam (Rani Estate grown) and a rare Jade Oolong.

Plating the savory course --

Plating the savory course —

Polenta topped with roasted oyster, shitake, and crimini mushrooms...ready to warm in the oven

Polenta topped with roasted oyster, shitake, and crimini mushrooms…ready to warm in the oven

Cream goat cheese, drizzled with honey - a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Cream goat cheese, drizzled with honey – a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Roasted tomatoes with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on crostini...ready to plate

Roasted tomatoes with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on crostini…ready to plate

Savory plates...waiting...for the polenta squares to warm...the fourth item is a smoked salmon mousse in a crispy wonton cup...great contrasting textures of crunch and smooooooth.

Savory plates…waiting…for the polenta squares to warm…the fourth item is a smoked salmon mousse in a crispy wonton cup…great contrasting textures of crunch and smooooooth.

Second course…while I demonstrated how to make a quick bread / scone – two fresh scones were coming out of the oven…plated with my startlingly, flavorful vanilla, cinnamon compound butter (for the savory scone) and a seedless blackberry jam.

Vanilla, cinnamon butter - piped and chilled onto parchment paper...ready to pair with warm, savory proscuitto and fontina cheese biscuit....

Vanilla, cinnamon butter – piped and chilled onto parchment paper…ready to pair with warm, savory proscuitto and fontina cheese biscuit….

Two petite scones...savory and sweet...with blackberry jam... paired with spicy Masala chai tea

Two petite scones…savory and sweet…with blackberry jam…
paired with spicy Masala chai tea

Third course… sweets… lemon curd tart with toasted meringue mmmmm and my decadent, dark chocolate, walnut brownie. A perfect finish with a cup of Jasmine Downey Pearl green tea…or an iced organic Ceylon for those preferring iced.

Two tiny sweets to finish... Lemon curd tartlet with toasted meringue (mmm paired with Jasmine Downey Pearl) and Dense dark chocolate walnut brownie..great with the iced Ceylon

Two tiny sweets to finish…
Lemon curd tartlet with toasted meringue (mmm paired with Jasmine Downey Pearl) and Dense dark chocolate walnut brownie..great with the iced Ceylon

Desserts lined up...ready to go

Desserts lined up…ready to go


Leftovers for the kitchen staff...disappeared in a flash :-)

Leftovers for the kitchen staff…disappeared in a flash 🙂

I felt truly lucky to have such a supportive and skilled team put on this event with me. It was invigorating to see our guests enthusiastically taste the teas with the various foods and discuss their preferences. Several have told me that they went home and have “redone” their tea cupboard…going whole leaf and checking freshness dates too. The shelf life for teas is one to two years, if kept stored in an airtight container at room temperatures, out of the sun. How long have you had those tea bags in your cupboard?

Enjoy and drink tea!

Class Is Over! Two Magical Days Of Tea Tasting

What a remarkable couple of days. The weather was delightful for our two day, Eat . Be. Tea Tasting events held at Goin Native in the historic district of San Juan Capistrano, California.

Just enough sun and warmth came out to make for a cheery, comfortable environment. Everyone showed up who was supposed to and who registered. My assistants were remarkable, skilled, and a joy to work with…our site host, Marianne with Goin Native, offers a special environment which was beautifully set up for our guests. Our chef, Kevin Montoya of Carley Cakes was all I had hoped he would be and more. It was magical. In the end…there were scores of tea converts too. I know this to be a fact in that our local tea retail shop was “wiped out” next day of the varieties of teas we tasted and didn’t know why until someone explained to them about our class. They happily have more Jasmine Downey Pearl, Masala Chai, Ceylon, Ti Kuan Yin Oolong and Assam on order.

Set up went smoothly. One little glitch with the electrical for the three hot water kettles was quickly resolved by my able team and Marianne. As we set the tables, the place took on an air of beauty, peace and calm. A perfect environment to experience the “being” part of tea. I will need to share this experience in two posts…this one is about the setting…next will be about the food pairing.

Below are photos of the set up and Goin Native garden ambiance.

Set up...almost ready to go...tasting cups, hand-out reflecting tea info., menu, & recipes...under the shade of umbrellas and old, lovely trees

Set up…almost ready to go…tasting cups, hand-out reflecting tea info., menu, & recipes…under the shade of umbrellas and old, lovely trees – Hils is doing a final inspection before our guests arrive.


Place setting..with yellow Iris grown in Goin Native's back yard...she had a sea of them waving at you ...

Place setting..with yellow Iris grown in Goin Native’s back yard…she had a sea of them waving at you …


Getting ready...table runners were burlap with a lovely sheer overlay...functional, yet elegant

Getting ready…table runners were burlap with a lovely sheer overlay…functional, yet elegant


Comfy chairs...

Comfy chairs…


My

View of all three tables...ready to go... guest's seating, speaker's table, books signing table in way back View of all three tables…ready to go… guest’s seating, speaker’s table, books signing table in way back


I found this vintage Tea Time towel at Sur la table
Tea making station was perched on the porch...overlooking the audience...we made 5 organic, single estate teas from Mighty Leaf teas

Tea making station was perched on the porch…overlooking the audience…we made 5 organic, single estate teas from Mighty Leaf teas

Each tea was prepared with spring water.

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With the aid of three Breville hot water pots with varying temperature settings for tea and five Teavana infusers..the tea making was a breeze 🙂 just kidding as it was my daughter who got in a “zen” mode and delivered wonderful teas (50 cups x 5 types) with the able assistance of my sister and Hils (my editor, agent, and hype girl).

Detailed tea preparation chart posted on the wall behind the table...thanks to my daughter, sister, and Hils (my editor, agent and hype girl)each tea was perfectly prepared...50 cups x 5 times...whew

Detailed tea preparation chart posted on the wall behind the table…thanks to my daughter, sister, and Hils (my editor, agent and hype girl)each tea was perfectly prepared…50 cups x 5 times…whew

The setting at Goin Native is rustic, elegant, cool…there are “vignette” sitting areas all around and the retail is beautifully integrated into the setting.
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The Goin Native property has a special aura to it...rustic, cool, elegant...with vignette sitting areas and retail neatly integrated into the setting

The Goin Native property has a special aura to it…rustic, cool, elegant…with vignette sitting areas and retail neatly integrated into the setting


It was a relaxed, lovely setting where I met guests to sign books and discuss all things tea...what an interesting and engaging group of guests

It was a relaxed, lovely setting where I met guests to sign books and discuss all things tea…what an interesting and engaging group of guests


I couldn't have asked for a more delightful and attentive audience...

I couldn’t have asked for a more delightful and attentive audience…

I am thankful to all who attended. We made new friends, reacquainted with old friends and I even got to meet one of my blog followers (L. and her husband who came from 60 miles away – thank you!)

In the end, it was an inspiring and exhilarating day for us. Each guest left with a “call to action” to drink tea and expect quality, whole leaf, teas which are prepared in pure water that is perfectly heated for your particular leaf. It’s finally time for wonderful tea served in America.

In a few days I will post about the food and pairing. Chef Kevin Montoya was like a “machine” in the kitchen…and had an awesome expediter (my husband)…what a team.

All Set For The Big Day…

I was so rushed getting ready for our tea tasting that I didn’t get this post out before the events…am sharing it with you tonight and will fill you in on how things went over the next few days…am working on the photos now.  I will say that from the wonderful response,  there will be many more tea drinkers after seeing how much the attendees enjoyed the Mighty Leaf whole leaf, single estate and organic teas we consumed during the tasting and pairing with recipes from Tea With Betty.

Going back to the night before the event days…Written Thursday night – May 9:

The car is loaded…and I mean loaded…with a plethora of tea paraphernalia…ready for day one of our two tea tasting events this weekend.   Over 90 guests have registered (45 attendees each day)…we’ll be preparing a lot of tea.

I have …

120 tasting cups, three electric kettles, five infusers, 4 clear glass pots, timers, teaspoons, pounds and pounds of teas, handouts, pitchers, dispensers, dump buckets, 20 gallons of spring water,  even a Kitchen aide stand up mixer with whisk (for our pastry chef catering the event to be able tomake meringue on site for the lemon meringue tarts), my mise en place for demonstrating how to make a biscuit scone, and of course, Tea With Betty books too…whew…I can’t get one more thing into the car.

We are ready to go!  Check out this car…

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The car is loaded, ready to go...my mise en place for scone making in one box

The car is loaded, ready to go…my mise en place for scone making in one box

Car ready and loaded to go to the event site…tea tasting cups, Kitchen aide mixer, bottles of spring water, and more
Box filled with my “miss en place” for demonstrating how to make a quick bread – my favorite biscuit scone – dry ingredients are sealed with plastic wrap and butter and milk are in a cooler container ready for tomorrow

I went by our site to check out the set up with Marianne of Goin Native.  It feels good…cozy for such a big group.  We will put table cloths, table runners, and place settings out the morning of …it will transform the area into one of grace and beauty … 🙂  seriously…it will look beautiful thanks to others (I am not the best at decor…but have enormously talented people around me who are).

Location ready to set up

Location ready to set up

U shape set up for class – located in the unique, relaxing, historic area of San Juan Capistrano…on Los Rios Street at Goin Native garden.
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U shape set up

U shape set up

Set up view from the other direction
This is the table where I will be setting up for signing Tea With Betty books after the class…a lovely location
Marianne / Goin Native has beautiful herbs and succulents for sale displayed in these rustic cabinets…a living keepsake from one’s time in this relaxing historic garden
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Retail area integrated into the setting... lovely Paseolivo Olive Oil on display

Retail area integrated into the setting… lovely Paseolivo Olive Oil on display

I am just about finished with my prep of my presentation…  What a challenge to distill seven years of research about tea and tea time activities and foods into 40 minutes of discussion…but it’s done..”follow the”KISS” method of presenting” is what my good buddy Hils says… (K.I.S.S. stands for keep it simple stupid (or “silly” would be a nicer way to put it I suppose 🙂

Tomorrow morning  my crack team of helpers will meet two hours before the tea tasting starts to help set up.  I am a lucky girl for sure to have family and friends who volunteer to pitch in whenever I need them…it’s wonderful.  I did bribe them with food and drink though 🙂  I will certainly be posting photos when we are done.  It will be interesting to see how day one goes versus day two…a bit like the movie “ground hog’s day” I suppose.

Am off to bed now hoping to get at least 6 hours of good sleep…will update  this weekend as soon as I catch my breath.

Oh, one more thing for those of you who were following my 12 week challenge to lose weight so my blood sugar would drop to a “non-diebetic” level…which was extended for another 12 weeks-so really it was a 24 week challenge…which just ended today…  drum roll please….

Hurray… I did it!  Got those numbers down to a “boring” level as my doctor said today…Yay…I actually feel better…it’s amazing what losing 10 pounds and eating a balanced diet of carbs, proteins and fats will do for you…that along w/ a bit of exercise… and I even had a couple of scones (petite though they were) now and then…thanks for all your support.  Now I am not going to go crazy and ruin this good state I am in…However, I do plan on having one of my scones at the tea tasting tomorrow and the rest of the menu (as it is small plate, small bite oriented…and who can resist a lemon curd tartlet)… this along with a bit of pure healthy tea is a good thing.

Enjoy and I look forward to sharing photos of my first tea and food tasting from Tea With Betty…

Getting Ready For Upcoming Tea Tasting Events…It’s A Party :-)

My life has been consumed with preparation for my first ever “public” tea tasting.  I posted about these May events I was asked to do in my April 9 “Join us” post…

It has been quite a fun journey to get to this point…items on my enormous check list are being accomplished (including a day of shopping with my sister to find something to wear,  a fun trip to the Container Store to find suitable carrier bags for my 144 tasting cups, and an internet search to see if we could get an “actual” Camellia Sinensis tea plant (yay, and yes we did!!!  well, it’s on the way, in the mail).

We sold out the Saturday event weeks in advance and are just about there for the Friday class too…I am so thrilled to be able to introduce this audience to some of my favorite pure, organic and whole leaf teas .. the ones that drive me to be so passionate about the subject…and over a setting that gets at the “being” of tea time…sharing it with friends, family, or as a break for yourself.

Our awesome chef, Kevin Montoya, who owns Carley Cakes has extensive training in New York and San Francisco culinary and baking schools. He did a delightful tasting for us last week.  This so we could tweak the menu and presentation where necessary (which very little was necessary…he prepares my recipes from Tea With Betty so well…how fun to see someone else’s take on recipes you’ve lived with for so long).

Here are some of the photos from that practice set up and tasting morning last week…the setting is outdoors, in Goin Native’s front yard garden.  This is in the historic district of San Juan Capistrano…the Mission church bells will be sounding during the tea tasting, as will a few trains rushing by…creating a unique, rustic, and gorgeous natural setting.  Marianne, Goin Native owner, offers beautiful native plant garden ideas and items.  She is brilliant at potting and planting and heads up our volunteer garden angel group.

Tasting items…on a full sheet pan…

Our rehearsal and tasting items for the EAT BE TEA event...full tray of each item prepared by chef Kevin Montoya (they were spot on delicious), place setting (elegant, rustic) and vanilla, cinnamon butter ready for the scones

Our rehearsal and tasting items for the EAT BE TEA event…full tray of each item prepared by chef Kevin Montoya (they were spot on delicious), place setting (elegant, rustic) and vanilla, cinnamon butter ready for the scones

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More of the setting…

Kevin’s scones and desserts were spot on (actually so much better than I can even make them…)  So…we worked on the rest of the table setting, set up, tea making area, check in and all…gorged ourselves on the samples (as I was ensuring not only quality, but also…was there enough food per person to be a lunch like meal since the event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m…. we all agreed we were fully satiated and hadn’t even had the teas with this tasting…

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Goin Native grounds..getting ready

Goin Native grounds..getting ready

goin native grounds

El Sereno Graphics... picking up my books...our printer has a cool 55 Chevy in the shop

El Sereno Graphics… picking up my books…our printer has a cool 55 Chevy in the shop

Next…my husband and I ran up to East L.A. to my wonderful printer, Rich, owner of El Sereno Graphics, and picked up an order of books to have available for signing at the events… I love going up to his print shop… and popping the top off a box of Tea With Betty books….

I have been sitting on my library floor, wrapping up individual tea gifts we are going to give to guests as they leave … while watching season 3 of Downton Abbey (oh my…have you seen it yet? … )  If watching…
“Don’t you just love how everything happens over having a cup of tea?”

Will let you know how it goes…am practicing making 50 to 100 cups of tea at a time this weekend to get the timing exact…

Life’s short…drink tea…and enjoy

My Mighty Leaf Teas...ready for tasting and wrapping up for gifts

My Mighty Leaf Teas…ready for tasting and wrapping up for gifts