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Spinach Feta Scones with Recipe

spinach feta scone why not pie

Cooking with fresh local ingredients is a true pleasure, so I was especially excited to join The Land Loom’s Spinach Club this winter. Hannah Rose Weber farms at Tilian Farm, an incubator farm on the edge of Ann Arbor where new farmers can grow their farming business while defining and perfecting their farming practices. The Land Loom specializes in salad greens, and this winter, Hannah is growing hoop house spinach– that’s right: growing fresh spinach in winter in Michigan! Not to be hyperbolic– this is the most beautiful spinach I’ve had the privilege of cooking with and eating. When I pick up my weekly spinach share, I find the clear plastic bag of spinach practically glowing with concentrated sunlight, and I can’t wait to eat it!

At Why Not Pie, we frequently use spinach as one of the vegetables in our Breakfast Pies, available every day at Argus Farm Stop cafe. Breakfast Pies are a delicious way to sneak a little vegetable into your morning meal, and this spinach adds color, flavor, vitamins, and beauty to our Breakfast Pies!

Our newest recipe development using this healthy green is Spinach Feta Scones. These tasty scones are also available in the Argus Farm Stop cafe. Contrary to what you might have heard, scones aren’t difficult to make, although like many baked goods, there are a few key techniques which, once mastered, can lead to more frequent baking success. For extra local deliciousness, I use local spinach from the Land Loom and local feta from Fluffy Bottoms Farm.

Feta and Spinach Scones

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
2 cups fresh (or 1 cup frozen) chopped spinach
6 ounces feta, cubed

Method:
1. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Stir in the milk.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Stir in the spinach and feta.

4. Flour your hands and your work surface. Turn out the dough and kneed briefly. Form into a square about 8” by 8”, and then cut into 8 triangles.

5. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with milk or cream.

6. Bake in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

7. Enjoy a toasty scone immediately or cool completely before storing.

Pie Sampling at Argus Farm Stop

Pies on display at Argus Farm Stop
Pies on display at Argus Farm Stop

Did I see you at Argus Farm Stop this morning? I was there with Caramel Apple Pie and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pies for sampling, and I had the chance to meet a lot of pie lovers! Several people from the email list said hello and introduced themselves. It was great to put names and faces together. It was fun to spend some quality time talking about pies! I was asked questions like “What’s your favorite pie?” and “What exactly is in a Michigan Mincemeat Pie?” so I had a wonderful morning!

I’m taking pre-orders for holiday pies through December 20th. I’ll have pies ready for delivery or pickup on December 24, and special delivery or pickup times can also be scheduled. Pies are also available through Argus Farm Stop if you like to order there and coordinate with other pickups for the holiday.

Here are the Holiday 2015 choices:

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie– Delightfully decadent. (Also available without bourbon!)

Midwest Mincemeat Pie– Homemade mincemeat made with raisins, currants, dried cherries, and apples steeped in bourbon and spices.

Cranberry Walnut Pie– A sweet, tart and crunchy combination.

Caramel Apple Pie– Features crunching topping and swirls of homemade caramel.

Pecan Pie– Delicious combination of nuts and sweetness.

Classic Pumpkin Pie– with locally grown pumpkin from Locavorious.

You can use the order link for questions or special requests or email me at janice @whynotpie.com.

I’m sure I’ll be doing another pie sampling event at Argus Farm Stop again soon. Watch for updates in the newsletters and on the Facebook page.

Cheddar Cheese Muffins, with recipe

Cheddar Cheese Muffins

My exploration of the World of Muffins led me to several recipes for Cheddar Cheese Muffins. After some initial research and development, I’m happy to report that I’ve hit on a delicious and satisfying recipe. These muffins have everything I want in a savory muffin:
great flavor, a little spicy kick, and wonderful texture. And cheese.

Cheddar Cheese Muffins

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, melt butter. Add milk, egg and cayenne. Stir to combine.

3. In a second bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

4. Stir the cheese into the dry mixture..

5. Add dry mixture to wet mixture, and stir batter only until it is just combined. The batter will be lumpy.

6. Spoon the batter into muffin tins. Fill each tin about 2/3 full.

7. Bake 20- 25 minutes.

Additional tips:
* Really, stir only until the mixture is combined. That’s the secret to tender muffins and true for most quick breads.

* This recipe can make 12 standard muffins, but I prefer to make 6 extra large muffins.

* Save a bit of cheese to sprinkle on top of the muffins just before baking.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

PB & J Muffins with Gus & Grey Strawberry Jam
I put these muffins on the top of my list of New Favorite Things to Eat.

I liked the idea of muffins that highlighted these comfort food flavors. The more I thought about them, the more I started craving Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins. After some baking R & D, I’ve arrived at a very satisfying recipe. A healthy addition of smooth peanut butter to the batter keeps the muffins moist and flavorful. The muffins fall into the substantial snack muffin category, rather than that of light cake-y muffins.

For the jelly inside, I plan to work my through the awesome offerings of Detroit’s Gus & Grey’s line of jams. I started with their Southern Lovin Blackberry Bourbon Vanilla Jam, which met with rave reviews. This batch has a dollop of Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam baked inside.

Muffins from Why Not Pie are available at Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor.

Fresh Strawberry Glaze Pie

Fresh Strawberry Glaze Pie, photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Fresh Strawberry Glaze Pie, photo by Diane & Doug Russell

What’s the secret to this wonderful strawberry glaze pie?

In addition to being packed with fresh whole strawberries, the pie is filled with luscious homemade strawberry glaze. The glaze is made with crushed fresh strawberries combined with sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, and lemon juice.

It’s a wonderfully refreshing pie that required refrigeration!

Blueberry Pie Madness

It’s that time of year again: Blueberry Time!

Lots of Blueberries

Fresh blueberries make delicious and lovely pies!

Mini Blueberry Pie; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Mini Blueberry Pie; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell

Large pies or small pies– such lovely color!

Blueberry Pie; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Blueberry Pie; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell

Varied with additions like lime and brown sugar, or lavender, or vanilla bean.

Blueberry Pie Yum; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Blueberry Pie Yum; Photo by Diane & Doug Russell

Mmmm, can’t wait!

More Rhubarb Options: Strawberry Rhubarb and Blueberry Rhubarb Pies

Blueberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Blueberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell

A celebration of rhubarb continues with Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Blueberry Rhubarb Pies!

Some people don’t consider it to be summer until they’ve have a rhubarb pie! These are two great ways to enjoy the delight that is rhubarb.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is one of the iconic American pies. While naysayers may scoff at the combination, those in-the-know know this is a great pie!

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie is new combination that I tried for the first time last year. It is elegant and surprising. Even rhubarb doubters found it irresistible.

I will be offering them both this week!

Blueberry Peach Pie

Blueberry Peach Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell
Blueberry Peach Pie, Photo by Diane & Doug Russell

Another great combination of flavors is the Blueberry Peach Pie!

This one surprised me, frankly. I did not anticipate that mixing these two fruits would result in a pie which is so delicious. The sweet and tangy flavors of the two fruits work together to make a sensational pie filling.

As well, the fruits are beautiful together! I like to make this pie with a lattice crust or a scattering of good sized pastry cut-outs to reveal the lovely colors of the inside.

Rhubarb Pie with Recipe

Rhubarb Pie, Photo by Diane and Doug Russell
Rhubarb Pie, Photo by Diane and Doug Russell

Rhubarb Pie made with homegrown rhubarb. Sweet, tangy, unmistakably bold flavor that shouts “Spring!”

I really enjoy baking pies made with the rhubarb we grow in our organic urban garden. Last year, I made my traditional Rhubarb Pie, as well as a Rhubarb Custard Pie, Blueberry Rhubarb Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. This year? Well, we’ll see how far the rhubarb supply goes!

A pie made with rhubarb and sweetened just right is lovely and satisfying. Here’s the extremely simple recipe that transforms rhubarb into a fantastic Rhubarb Pie.

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups of chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:
Mix ingredients well in a large bowl.
Fill a pastry shell, then fit top crust.
Seal and pinch around the edge to form crust.

Bake at 400F for about 50-60 minutes.

Enjoy!