I think it is important to find inspiration where you can. Our sources of inspiration need not be big or dramatic. Often times, the simplest things or moments can impact us the most. It can be the small indulgences that lift our spirits. During this time of year, when the cold and darkness seem to become just too much, where do you find inspiration? What helps you to lift your spirits when it seems the snow will never end?
My inspiration can come from the simple things:
-rubbing my kitty's belly
-smelling good (perfume, baby!)
-the sun on my face
-a cup of tea
Other times my inspiration comes in a more complex form:
-sitting on the beach, listening to the sounds of the ocean
-seeing the light of discover in the eyes of my students
-good conversation with someone I care for
-other food bloggers (yes, all of you!)
-brainstorming with other fine arts teachers
-witnessing the love between two people
One source of inspiration that I have is my family. Not just my mom, dad, and brother. I come from a large (and usually crazy) extended family. Mom is one of seven kids, Dad is one of six. There are about 25-30 of us in my generation. We are all very different. There are small business owners, teachers, contractors, housewives, office workers, secretaries, retail workers, and everything in between. One person in my family who went down her own, unique path was my aunt. For a number of years, she and my uncle owned a restaurant in Colorado. It was situated half way up on one of the ski slopes in Snowmass. Vacationers and weekend skiers alike would take the lift to the top of the mountain. Half way down they could stop at Sam's Knob, a small plateau upon which their restaurant was located. My aunt and uncle offered healthy, tasty fare, perfect for the Colorado lifestyle. After a while, demand for their recipes became such that, after much work, my aunt released a cookbook full of recipes from their menus.
This was many years ago. I had nearly forgotten all about the cookbook. Around Christmas time, when I was doing some gf holiday baking, I came across a copy of the book at my parents' house. I admit it. I stole it. It is now sitting here next to me. Mom will never know. As I looked through the recipes there is an overall simplicity and healthfulness in the selection. Then I see it, the recipe I must make. Since going gluten free I have desperately missed indulging in a morning scone. Flaky, slightly sweet, with a moist inner crumb. Oh yes, this would be the first one I would try. They were wonderful. Being my aunt, she used a light hand with the sugar, so I may use a bit more next time. Otherwise these lightly sweet biscuits are fantastic.
from Food With a View by Patti Dudley
2 C gf flour mix (I used Kinnikinnick pastry mix)
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt (omit if your gf flour mix contains salt)
6 T cold butter
1/2 C heavy cream
2/3 C fruit or nuts (I used pecans and dried blueberries)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and cream together, and add to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Stir in the fruit and/or nuts of your choice.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, spoon out the mixture, spreading it into a 9-inch circle. Score into 10 wedges. You may also use an ice cream scooper to scoop individual scones directly onto the baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until browned.
Cut into wedges and serve with sweet butter and jam if desired.
For a truly inspiring moment, put your feet up and eat these with a hot cuppa tea. Cozy relaxation. That is the ultimate inspiration.