Whatever Happened To Sunday Dinners? : Chow Baby, Divine Lemon Scones & an Award!

I am once again swooning but for the deliciousness of Ms. Joni’s “food courtesque” Chinese-style recipes! Be still my beating heart (and growling stomach) we have Chow Mein, or Mein Chow if you prefer, action happening here :


The most effortless and versatile vegan chow mein ever! Here we have carrots, onion, green beans, mushrooms, mung bean shoots…but baby corn, broccoli, and faux duck (aka seitan) would also be excellent choices. This was a perfect one-wok meal, and as always, I love you both Celine and Joni, as weekly meal planning is a no-brainer for me, and you all are going to love 500 Vegan Recipes! There are some fabulous photos at the 500 Vegan Recipes Cookbook Flickr group, too. But warning : don’t go on an empty stomach!

But let’s get onto the scones, shall we? As many of you know, since my little accident in November, my Sunday routine has been drastically altered. I loved Sunday mornings because they meant me sneaking out of the apartment before Guppy and Monsieur Fish were awake, greedily soaking up the warm smells of baking croissants and baguettes wafting from the boulangeries as I made my way through the streets of my still-sleeping French city… then on to the forest trails, where the morning mist was still hanging heavy, and save the occasional company of a fox, rabbit or (yikes!) wild boar, I was free to spend one and a half to two glorious hours of me time : the long run.

There was nothing like coming home after my long run, feeling both spent and refreshed at the same time (though not smelling so fresh, gotta admit!). After some stretching and showering, it was time for a decadent Sunday brunch with my little family. While I’m sad (and frustrated) to say my foot/ankle is still not letting me do much other than dream about running, I woke up Sunday morning with that basta! feeling we get when enough really is enough and damn it if I can’t go run at least I’m going to make a fun Sunday brunch treat!

And the Divine Lemon Scones were born. Out of necessity. Because I wanted something citrus, something sweetish (as opposed to Swedish, though, that would have been a good idea, too) and I have a sac of lemons that Monsieur Fish bought last week because they were 1E and he just knew I could use them for something.

divine-lemon-sconeI might have gotten a little carried away with the glaze on this one…what do you think?

These scones have a lovely lemon cakesque groove going on which is perfect for the lemon-lover in me. If, however, you are not as lemon crazy as I am, you may want to use less lemon juice or extract for the glaze, or just skip the glaze all together, though I would think you mad because it’s so good!

Divine Lemon Scones

Because I didn’t feel like washing a million cups, this is a metric measure recipe. Sorry Imperialists Imperial-measure folks. This makes about 12 scones.

  • 300 ml non-dairy milk (I use soy)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 350g AP flour plus 100g AP flour
  • 60g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • pinch salt (but not hard)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • zest from 3 lemons

Preheat your oven to about 200c.

Mix the vinegar and “milk” and set aside. Sift together the 350g flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Now add the oil, zest and curdled soy milk mixture. Stir until just combined, adding flour from the 100g as needed to achieve a powdery, not-even-a-little-bit-sticky dough.

At this point I usually divide the dough into two or three as it’s easier to work with. Knead a piece a few times and flatten it into a bit of a disc-shape. Now cut wedges, about six if you divided the dough in two, and get those babies on a parchment or silplat-lined baking sheet. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes (my oven is psycho, so sometimes it’s more like 10, sometimes 14ish).

While they are on the cooling rack, make your Divine Glaze:

  • about 180g powdered/icing sugar (give or take, depending on the consistency you like)
  • the juice of three lemons (you know, the ones you just scalped for the zest)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, this really gets things lemony)

All you need to do is mix this up until the powdered sugar dissolves. When the scones are mostly-cool just drizzle this all over them. Setting them on parchment paper is a good idea to help with easy clean-up since this glaze could also double as tasty super glue I think. If these don’t float your sconey-boat, you could also try the Rose & Almond Scones I made for BBD last May – delicate rose flavoured almond scones – yum!

Speaking of lemons, look what I got!

lemonade-award2One of my favourite blogger buddies, Jumbleberry Jam, passed along the Lemonade Award which goes to bloggers who show great Attitude and/or Gratitude. My wise and witty Jumblefriend loves gourmet vegan food, wine, dark chocolate…wait a minute, I think that this describes the majority of my readers! Anyway, thank you so much for this much-appreciated distinction. While I’m to pass this on to 10 other bloggers, I am incapable of choosing because there are so many of you that I just LOVE, so consider yourself awarded if you meet at least one of the following criteria :

1. You can’t wait to read your favourite blogs, and are incapable of keeping up with your “Reader” which makes you crazy!

2. You feel a genuine connection to your favourite bloggers and refer to them as “friends you met on the Internet” when talking about them to non-blogging people (as opposed to just calling them “bloggers”).

3. You’re eternally grateful for the fabulous recipes and food ideas you find in blogland and have no idea how you’d plan your weekly meals without them.

There you go! Do let me know if you’ve been tagged!

Scones à l’eau de rose & aux amandes – Rose & Almond Scones – It’s Bread Baking Day N° 10

It is time once again for Bread Baking Day! This month’s theme, breakfast breads, was chosen by the lovely Melissa at Baking A Sweet Life – merci, Melissa! She’ll be putting the round-up of all our entries on June 5th, so go take a peek and be inspired!

I feel as though baking scones is a bit of a rite of passage in vegan culinaria. The vast majority of vegan blogs I love to visit have showcased at one time or another beautifully baked scones, with flavours ranging from peanut butter to pumpkin, even scony breakfast sandwiches – and admittedly they looked rather tempting. It also seems that no vegan cookbook would be complete without at least one (or multiple) scone recipes.

While the photos on the vegan blogosphere seemed enticing, I had scone issues. I’d only ever had scones on two occasions, and they left rather tasteless impressions on me. The first time was in a rather trendy tea room in London about 16 years ago. Everyone had hyped this amazing place with its brilliant scones and the clotted cream is bloody phenomenal! I sat uncomfortably, surrounded by 4 very hip and trendy and (seeming to 17-year-old me) sophisticated 25-year-old Londoners. I wanted to be cool, suave, and as cosmopolitan as they were, and when I bit into what I thought was a mixture of sawdust and cardboard I forced a smile and raising my eyebrows I declared,”It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before!”, which was true. I managed to avoid the clotted cream (because it sounded like something that should be thrown out because it had gone bad), and got about half of the thing they called “scone” into my handbag to be discreetly thrown out later without anyone noticing.

Scone session numéro dos was about 5 years later, with a much older and wiser Shellyfish (irony) surrounded by terribly cool people on a fashionably hip terrace at an over-priced trendy café in the desert Southwest in the U.S. My fellow brunchers were, in my eyes, what I wanted to be when I grew up : young 30-somethings, so for me, grown ups – there was the witty newspaper editor, the bohemian graphic designer, the sullen musician, the dreamy poet, and me, the dancer/student who dabbled a bit in freelance journalism and poetry, but who felt like an insignificant speck of wanna-be talent next to my friends. I came back from the washroom to find scones & coffee on our table, and sullen musician smiled with shocks of hair falling in his eyes and said, “you lived in Europe right, so I thought you would like these. I think they’re European or something.” Trying not to swoon because sullen musician knew something important about me, I forced down what felt like a hockey puck made of baking powder, but smiled through the entire ordeal.

I’m the young 30-something now, and have thankfully re-adjusted my focus a bit (and my friendship criteria). I wanted to move on in the scone department, and thought this BBD was the kick in the pants I needed to make the scones. Hundreds of snappy vegans couldn’t be wrong after all!

I based the following on the Orange Glazed Scone recipe in VWAV, because I am all about eau de rose lately (new and unusual). I wanted to use pistachios rather than almonds, but Mr. Fish depleted our stocks while watching a “Zombie sharks attack the vampire monkeys of New York” type movie the other night. The almonds were great, though. I’m also happy to say that the scones were, too. They were light and flaky and delicate as the rose itself!

  • 350g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 115ml plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinagar
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • pinch or two salt
  • 5 tablespoons veg. oil
  • 3 tablespoons rosewater
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Heat oven to about 200c/400f. Add the vinagar to the milk and set aside. Sift together the flour, meal, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the vinagar mixture and the rosewater & almond extract and stir until just mixed. I needed to add a little flour here because things were still rather wet. Dump out the dough and divide in two, knead a little and form into a bit of a disc and cut into pie-like wedges. Place on baking sheet and in the oven it goes for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned.

For the glaze add about 120g icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted non-hydrogenated margerine and 3 tablespoons eau de rose in a bowl and stir until well combined. You can get festive and add some food coloring if you wish (I did). Drizzle over scones and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

I’d also like to thank Ms. Zorra, the founder of this great event. Helping me to try new things, one bread at a time!