A Vintage(ish) Tablescape

Wowie-Zowie, what a Sunday! Our church has been doing a “Family Sunday Dinner” on the first Sunday of every month for a while. It’s a good, old-fashioned, everybody-bring-a-dish type thing. For this past Sunday someone had beaten me to the “bring a salad” option (I’m looking at *you*, Cassandra) so I volunteered to bring spaghetti for the gluten free table. I made the sauce the night before and started cooking the pasta around 8am. Then we had church, lunch, grocery store and cleaning like mad because we’d invited friends over for the game. I didn’t really clean, I cooked. We had hot wings and curly fries and cookie balls on the menu. None of that is terribly difficult to make but the timing is tough and I didn’t realize how long it takes to fry french fries…forever! I made them with a curly fry maker that my Mom, Brother and I bought for my Dad years ago for Father’s Day and my Mom gave it to me a few years back. I had a ton of fun cooking it all and entertaining (I really love it all) but it was an all day affair. I even decorated for the Super Bowl.

Kidding…

This is about the extent of my Valentine’s Day decorating but I do have a super-yummy Valentine’s Day dessert in mind, gluten free of course. You might recognize these roses from my last post. My sweet hubby made a stop for me at Costco to pick up something, I think it was a loaf of bread, and came home with two dozen of these beautiful roses for me too. Swoon. I already had the scones in mind for a post but I wanted a really pretty tablescape too and put almost effort into that as I did to the scones so that’s what we’re talking about today.

In case you’ve forgotten it looked like this…

I’ve written about the vintage canning jar and while it wasn’t exactly a bargain it was worth it because I love it so much (find that post here). This is what I always intended to use it for regardless of the “kraut canning” advice. Yuck! The table cover (?), cloth (?), I’m not sure what it is exactly,  is one of several things I bought at a garage sale in the fall. It was at a friend’s house and there was a box of antique linens for 25 cents a piece. Hooray! I absolutely love this and another one that I bought but haven’t photographed yet.

I love the stitch work…

It’s also in perfect condition. I don’t know anything about the design or stitches but if anyone does I’d love to hear about it.

I think I love it all so much because it’s not just antique or just vintage but is a nice mix of some really pretty pieces that I have mixed in with a few things from Target’s white aisle and a pretty coffee mug that I bought on clearance for $2 for a pack of four at TJ Maxx. It’s simple and pretty and is a mix of some of my very favorite things.

I was talking with a friend last night and she mentioned how I always have to do everything perfectly. I promise, I don’t really. I mentioned that she makes beautiful, handmade cards and she replied, “That’s just fun”. Well, for me, putting flowers into a vintage canning jar and making things a little bit prettier is just fun.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Scones

I figure that if I’m going to have “Living Gluten Free” in my tagline I should actually post something about living gluten free. I’m not going to write out the “why” here, I’ve done that in another blog and you can find that post here.

When I first started eating gluten free I had no idea what I was doing. I loved to bake but after looking into how many different types of flours you need to blend to have a useable flour I got really overwhelmed. I figured I’d just live without baked goods forever. That was hard to think about considering that I love bread and baked things. I don’t have to have dessert all the  time but I do love pizza and bread and occasionally I really need a muffin or scone with coffee. I get a little pouty watching Travis have a scone and latte at Starbucks. I can have the latte and a raw granola bar which I don’t mind but I’d still like to have a baked good…biscotti, mmmmm. I haven’t had biscotti in about 2 years.

I decided pretty early on that baking from scratch wasn’t going to be something I was going to be able to do anymore (I’ve since changed my mind about that which I’ll write about later) since I’d tried some gluten free all purpose flour and it was like baking with sand. It made baking a chore although the things I made turned out okay. Then I decided I’d try some mixes. I hadn’t used mixes for anything except brownies in years so I wasn’t very optimistic that I’d like them. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. I tried Pamela’s mixes first and I was so happy with the results. I’ve tried the vanilla and chocolate cake and her Baking and Pancake Mix. That’s what I’ll be highlighting today. I figured I’d start out with something easy and yummy.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Start with 2 1/4 cups of Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. To that add 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/3 cup sugar then give it all a little stir. Just make sure that all the ingredients you use in your baking are also gluten free.

Next add 4 tablespoons of butter. The recipe says to cut the butter in using two knives. I’m much too lazy for that so I use a food processor. I cut the butter into smaller pieces first. Why? I either saw it on a cooking show or I dropped in the whole 4 tablespoons and it didn’t distribute evenly. I can’t remember which.

Then pulse several times to cut in the butter. It should look like this:

To that add 2/3 cup milk…

And a beaten egg…

Then give it a whirl until everything is combined. It should look like this:

And then we get to the fun part…chocolate chips! This recipe is on the back of the baking mix package and calls for a half cup of currants. I don’t ever have currants and usually us 1/2 cup of Craisins and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. This morning though I was out of Craisins. Bummer. I’m using a whole cup of chocolate chips because I don’t want to bite into a scone that I’ve taken time to prepare and think, “Did I add chocolate chips to this?”. No, I’m going for seriously yummy chocolate here.

Add them to the bowl and give it 10-15 short pulses. I mean, really short pulses. You don’t want to have chocolate chip shavings in your scones.

If you’ve ever made scones before you’ll notice that this mixture is more wet than a traditional scone. These aren’t meant to be rolled out and cut but rather scooped and plopped (I believe those are the technical terms) onto a cookie sheet. It’s more like a drop biscuit. Have you ever had those? My Mom used to make them a lot. I love them. Anyway, my preferred method for getting these onto the cookie sheet is using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and a scraping spatula.

The directions say to, “Drop large, tall dollops of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.” Make sure they’re spaced nicely because they’ll spread out a bit when they cook.

Then I like to add a sprinkle of raw sugar to the tops, just to make them pretty.

Bake for 15-17 minutes and you’ll have a bit of yumminess to enjoy with the coffee beverage of your choice.

Granted, these aren’t your traditional scones. They’re more moist, like a biscuit. I love that they’re easy to make though and they aren’t remotely grainy which can be a problem with baked gluten free items.

Here’s the recipe:

2-1/4 cups Pamela’s Baking ; Pancake Mix
1/3 cup  white sugar, Plus a little raw sugar for sprinkling on tops
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp butter
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk

I really hope you enjoy these as much as I do.