Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oh, Hello Snow

We had our first snow of the season a couple of days ago. Although it melted after a day of below zero temperature, the soft white blanket made me wish for a white Christmas this year.

Oh snow, if you are not so cold, I can have you all the time! You are so beautiful!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Woodland Christmas Centerpiece

Back in August, one of our 8-year old pine trees fell after a freak storm. I felt really bad about it and couldn't bear the thought that the once beautiful tree will rot and will be gone forever. I asked my dear hubby to save the tree trunk for my future projects - that way, the tree will still be with us even in different forms.

Last weekend, an idea popped up in my head when we were blanketed with thick fog surroundings suddenly became an enchanted woodland! 


I requested dear hubby to cut the trunk that the saved for me, I fetched fresh pine branches and rummage through my Christmas ornament boxes and viola ... my Woodland Christmas centerpiece was born!

The left side of my woodland spread highlights my favorite decor ever -  abandoned bird's nest which I collect from our front and and back yards every fall. I also included a scene with reindeer and chipmunks who love to make their summer "houses" near our chicken coop. All the elements are elevated using the cut pine wood trunk in various heights.

The centre of the spread is of course my Nativity Scene which I arranged on a cheese board with glass dome. It is elevated by one of the cut pieces of our fallen pine tree. I also added a vixen and her baby nestled under a wooden tree and created a "bonfire" using twigs and small battery operated candle.

On the right side, I created a scene highlighting my beloved chickens and their coop.

Wherever we are - the woodland, the countryside, the city, dessert or sea, may the true spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Comfort Food @ Home | Cheese, Chive and Cream Scones

Outside, the days are shorter. Gone are the beautiful red-colored leaves that lined our wooden fence. The sunsets are more dramatic and fierce. The geese are flying south - moving away from the expected cold and long Canadian winter.

Inside the Birdsong kitchen, the familiar sound of my pots and pans are undeniable. Now that there is no more vegetable garden to tend and it is too cold to spend afternoons and evenings at the back porch sipping chilled wine, I am back in the kitchen revisiting my recipes under the heading "comfort food". After an hour or so, the delicious smell of these freshly-baked scones from the oven truly evokes wonderful memories of our early days in our old house in Montreal as new immigrants trying to survive our first winter by baking and cooking comfort foods.

I can have these scones from breakfast to dinner - the warm flaky bread slathered with butter is a true comfort food! And oh, the smell of the kitchen after baking a batch of this cheesy treat is heart warming too.

Cheese, Chive and Cream Scones

2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp very cold, unsalted butter 
1 cup mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbsp chive, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream {more for brushing}

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.
Add cheese ans chive and mix thoroughly.
Stir in heavy cream until it comes together in a shaggy ball. It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces. If you the mixture too loose and sandy, you can add a little bit more cream to bind it a bit more — it shouldn’t affect the outcome if a bit more cream is added.
Place batter on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball.
Press the ball down into a rectangular shape.
Fold the dough like you’re folding a business envelope (in thirds, first right fold to center, then left fold to center). Notice that it is still quite shaggy and loose. That’s OK.
Now press the dough down into a disc about 2-3 cm in height. 
With a sharp cookie cutter (I used circle),  cut out scones and place them on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper.
Brush the top of the scones with cream. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on top.
Remove scones from the oven and serve with butter.

Linking with :  THE SCOOP 

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