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Deep Frying a Turkey – Video Revisited

Deep Frying a Turkey - Video RevisitedThis was such a popular video when posted several years ago, and because I have had so many friends ask me, “How do you deep fry a turkey?” I thought this would be a great time to re-publish the original article.

Supplies:

    -Gas heat source.
    -An oversized pot large enough to hold a 10 to 16 pound turkey.
    -Turkey frying tools (see video)
    -3 to 4 Gallons of peanut oil
    -Meat thermometer Continue reading

My Attempt to Make and Can Fig Preserves

My Attempt to Make and Can Figs PreservesSo, I’ve been spending a lot of time at my mother’s recently and she has a big, beautiful fig tree. Actually, she has two different fig trees and they were both bearing fruit so I decided to try my hand at canning fig preserves, or jelly.

First, I had to learn the difference between preserves and jam. Simply enough, preserves refer to a large category of food that is made to last a long time, including jams and jelly. Generally, the preserves have chunks of fruit while the jam is smashed up into a smoother consistency.

I took a large plastic bowl from Mother’s kitchen and headed outside to pick the figs. It was a hot day near the St. John’s River so I took my time: pick three, eat one; pick four, eat one more. By the time I returned to air conditioned comfort I was sticky and stuffed!

As it turns out, it takes a lot of time to make preserves. I wanted to make them without the use of pectin, a thickening agent, so I had to cook the fruit for a long time. In hind sight, this worked well because it gave me time to sterilize the canning jars, too.

Here is my recipe:

I gently washed and rinsed the figs in cold water, cutting off the stems and any ugly or tough skin which left me with about 12 cups of figs.

To me, jams and preserves are very sweet, so I chose to add only six cups of sugar to the figs in a very large, non-stick stock pot. Most recipes call for the use of equal parts sugar to figs, or a 2 to one ratio. I used 1 part sugar to 2 parts fruit and it was perfect for me, but you can always add more sugar if desired.

Adding only enough water to dissolve the sugar, I set the stove to a low setting, giving the mixture a long, slow boil.

I let the figs cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, and mashing up the fruit as it cooked.

After about one hour, I added 1/2 cup of bottled lemon juice, because everything on the internet said it was a good idea to add it – something to do with keeping the canned, end-product safe to eat.

To see if your preserves are ready to can, use a metal spoon and a take a sample of your fruit mixture. If it cools to the consistency you desire after about one minute of cooling, it is ready to can.

When the figs were ready, I poured them in to the sterile jars and and followed the directions to home boiling water processing baths. There were a lot of different directions for this on the internet, so I went with the directions from a reputable university’s website based on the size of my jars and the equipment I had available at the time.

How did they come out? Amazing! i may have a knack for this and I do believe I see more canning in my future… maybe pickles will be next on the list.

Bacon Wrapped Radish Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Radish RecipeMy husband and I love to experiment with recipes and some of the most unusual sounding turn out to be favorites of our friends and family such as Zucchini Cobbler or Eggplant and Turnip Parmesan.

But, when one of the vendors in the farmers market in Fernandina Beach asked us if we had tried making a bacon wrapped radish, honestly, we laughed out loud! Then of course, we set out on a mission to learn more.

We found a variety of recipes and approaches to this promising appetizer, but none were exactly what we were looking for, but with a bit of trial and error, we have perfected the Bacon Wrapped Radish.

Ingredients:
Three dozen fresh-fraom-the-farmers-market radishes.
2 Tablespoons of your favorite bar-b-q sauce, slightly diluted with one tablespoon of water.
1 package (12 slices) of fresh, regular thickness, bacon slices.
1 Box of toothpicks.

bacon-wrapped-raddishDirections:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
-Wash radishes off and pat dry.
-Stab several hole into each radish with a toothpick.
-Wrap 1/3 of a slice of bacon around each radish and secure with a tooth pick.
-Arrange radishes on a broiler pan, about an inch apart.
-Brush gently with the bar-b-q sauce.
-Cook in oven about 45 minutes, or until bacon browns.

These are fabulous, but the heat seems to build up within the radish and they stay hot out of the oven for longer than you would expect.

TIP: Save some leftovers, these Bacon Wrapped Radishes are even BETTER on day two!

Enjoy!

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Restaurant Week 2015 Kicks Off at Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island

Love and foodThe annual Restaurant Week on Amelia Island kicks off at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island next week Thursday, January 15 with a dinner tribute to the Modern Southern Cuisine. The resort’s new Executive Chef Andrew Yeo has gathered a group of local Chefs/Owners of Amelia Island Restaurants to create a Tribute to Modern Southern Cuisine with each chef preparing a personal interpretation to a Southern classic Dish. Looking at the menu I am impressed with the creative potential of this theme.

The selection of Hors d’oeuvres alone shows an unparalleled journey through Southern Cuisine

• Braised Short Rib Stuffed Fingerling Potato with Chive Crème Fraiche (OMG!)

• Fried Green Tomato Panini, stuffed with Vegetables, Wild Mushroom and Spanish Goat Cheese served with Piquillo Pepper Aioli

• Beef Wellington, Blue Cheese, Sea Salt

• Peekytoe Crab Salad on Carolina Gold Hoe Cake

Hold it right here!

I never understood people who aren’t open to food. I used to have a rule: if you made a face of disgust as I described a meal, then you’d be the first that I’d make try it. Eating is key to travel, and if you’re not trying things beyond your comfort zone you’re robbing yourself of the full experience. Food is as central to culture as language or music. And above hors’oeuvres selections are as close to haute cuisine Southern style as I’ve ever seen. Can’t wait to try.

And then on to the Dinner selection.

T.J. Pelletier of the Salty Pelican prepares a Butternut Squash and Shrimp Bisque with a Southern Style Shrimp Po’Boy, while España’s Roberto Pestana is serving Panko encrusted Diver Sea Scallops over Lobster, Bay Scallop and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya.

The Ritz Carlton’s own Andrew Yeo goes all out with a Sherry Glazed Crispy Pork Belly, Tomatillo Relish, Bacon Powder, Collard Greens and Scott Schwartz of famed 29 South creates a Braised Veal Cheek on Congaree and Penn Sweet Corn Middlins, Brown Butter Carrot Mousse and Hickory Smoked Almonds.

In one  (southern) word: Scrumptious

The Desserts come prepared by the Ritz Carlton’s Sheldon Millett and consist of  Key Lime Cream, Strawberry Shortcake and S’more Chocolate Sorbet.

The evening begins with a 6 p.m. wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres and a 6:45 p.m. dinner seating in Café 4750. The cost is $68 per person plus gratuity. For information and reservations please call 904-277-1087
Our advice: Send this to someone who was raised in the South or wish they had a’been! If you’re a Northern transplant or from anywhere for that matter, bless your little heart and fake it. We know you got here as fast as you could. But this is Southern Cooking at its finest. 

Farmers Market Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe [Video]

Farmers Market Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe Your local, Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market has been taste-testing incredible recipes using ingredients sold by the vendors on N. 7th Street.

This week we fired up the family grill and made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches using fresh, organic sourdough bread from Alex’s Bakery Ribault. Then we added pimento cheese spread from Lulu’s at the Thompson House, and then topped the sandwiches with either sweet pickle relish or a tasty pear relish made by Jane from King’s Kountry Produce.

These sandwiches were delicious!

To complete the meal, we also grilled Vegetarian Shish Kabobs and served them up alongside some tangy, homemade Cole slaw, but I’m saving those recipes for another day.

All of of the meal was produced from fresh and delicious ingredients found at the dowtown farmers’ market on Amelia Island, Florida.

Ingredients:
1 Loaf of fresh, sourdough bread from Bakery Ribault
1 Tub of plain (or spicy) pimento cheese spread from Lulu’s at the Thompson House
1 Jar of sweet pickle relish (or pear relish) from King’s Kountry Produce
1 Tablespoon butter per sandwich

Directions:
Fire up your grill on low, with a medium flame.
Slice the bread to 3/4 or one inch pieces and cut in half if needed for a smaller sandwich.
Butter the outside of each piece of bread.
Spread pimento cheese and relish on the unbutter side of the bread.
Assemble the sandwich with buttered sides on the outside and place on the grill.
Carefully, turn entire sandwich over when bread is toasty and cheese begins to melt.
Sandwiches are ready when the 2nd side is toasted, too.

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Pita Bread Pizza Video How-To

Pita Bread Pizza Video How-ToHere is a great recipe for whipping up some personal pita bread pizzas at home using fresh ingredients from the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market. We’ve even put together a 4 1/2 minute video to make it even easier.

Ingredients:
1 Package of Pita’s from Maria’s Bakery
1 Jar of Alla Vodka sauce from Joy of Garlic
1 Jar of Pesto, also from Joy of Garlic
1 Package fresh mozzarella cheese from Blue Moon Creamery
1 Pound of fresh ground beef from JD Beef
1 Fresh onion (diced)
1 Fresh green pepper (diced)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease the bottom of a cookie sheet.
Brown the ground beef (there won’t be much grease to drain.)
Saute’ 1/2 of your veggies in olive oil
Mix three to four tablespoons of Alla Vodka Sauce with one tablespoon of Pesto per pita
Break apart the mozzarella into crumb-like pieces

Assembly:
Spread two to three heaping tablespoons of pesto mixture on pita
Add your favorite ingredients
Top with mozzarella cheese

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes to reach desired browning of bread’s edges.

Bon Appétit!

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After School Snacks from the Farmers Market in Fernandina

After School Snacks from the Farmers Market in FernandinaThe kids are back in school and what better way to plan your breakfasts, sack lunches, and after school snacks than using fresh ingredients from your local farmers’ market? The Fernandina Beach Market Place a/k/a the Amelia Island Market Place, has done just that! We compiled a list of some tasty treats, that are healthy and easy, for you and your family to enjoy.

You will say, “oui, oui” to this French toast twist: take two thick slices of Maria’s Bakery’s cinnamon brioche bread and dredge it in an egg, milk and vanilla bath, then grill to perfection and top with fresh blackberries from King’s Kountry Produce, and blackberry/vanilla bean jam from Shepperd’s Farms.

Another great breakfast would be a slice of Great Harvest Bread Company’s pumpkin chocolate chip tea bread topped with a thin layer of plain goat cheese from Blue Moon Creamery.

Rudy’s oven fresh bagels with Joy of Garlic’s sun dried tomato garlic spread is another great way to start your day.

The American staple for lunch is no longer a plain peanut butter and jelly sandwich. At the farmers’ market you can mix and match Blue Planet Delight’s organic butters like walnut, cashew, almond, pumpkin, peanut and chocolate cashew with a variety of jellies like peach, raspberry, or blueberry combined with jalapeno’s, or a habanero pineapple or orange flavor. Or savor a more simple jam in apple, grape, peach or strawberry.

A common grilled cheese becomes restaurant worthy when you slice up Ribault Bakery’s fresh, organic sourdough bread and include spicy or plain pimento cheese spreads from Lulu’s at the Thompson House. For even more flavor add a spoonful of Jane’s sweet pickle relish from King’s Kountry Produce to the sandwich before you grill it.

After school snacks are delightfully easy when you slice up seasonal favorites like peaches, plums, seedless cucumbers, pears, watermelon, or sweet red frying peppers from any of our four fresh produce vendors. Or for extra convenience pick up a package of Wook’s beef jerky or Olive My Pickle’s stuffed grape leaves to tame those hardy appetites.

Most kids like pizza, and a fresh pita topped with marinara sauce and pesto, then sprinkled with mozzarella cheese is a great way to serve up a quick and easy pizza.

For these and other great recipe ideas, visit with the vendors at the farmers’ market in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. Located on N. 7th Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets on Amelia Island, we are open every Saturday, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Music will be provided by the talented Jennifer Burns, and the Surf Restaurant will be our featured brick and mortar business on August 16, 2014.

For information about our pet and family friendly market or booth space availability, you can learn more by liking us on facebook, visiting our website at FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or calling Joe at (904) 557-8229.

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Easy Microwave Lemon Curd Recipe

Basket full of lemonsManaging the local farmers’ market exposes me to some wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables, and quite often, wonderful new recipes, too.

The gal that sells healthy, homemade dog treats gave me a copy of February 2013’s Southern Living magazine. The issue focused on the Best Spring Recipes including, easy, delicious lemon desserts. Well, with a basket full of Myers lemons I’d just picked from my mother’s tree, the hardest decision to make was, “Which recipe should I try first?”

My daughter, Ally at the Desk, and I decided to make the lemon curd first, since most of the other lemon recipes required this ingredient.

Here is our twist on the recipe that turned out to taste, oh, so good!

Easy Microwave Lemon Curd RecipeIngredients:

    Three large Myers lemons
    1/2 Cup softened butter
    2 Cups sugar
    4 Eggs

Directions:
Grate 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
Juice lemons to make 1 cup (three lemons may be too many)
Blend softened butter and sugar at medium speed until mixed well.
Mix in the eggs, one at a time.
Beat at low speed while gradually adding the lemon juice.
Stir in zest.
(Mixture will look curdled.)
Pour mixture into a microwave safe bowl.

We have a 1200 watt microwave, and microwave times may vary, but the following steps worked perfectly for us:

Microwave on high for five minutes, BUT once per minute, stir the curd. (We set our microwave to one minute intervals, five times, to make it easier.)
Continue to microwave for two more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
The curd will thicken and mound slightly when stirred.
Cover immediately with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about four hours.

(Lemon curd will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.)

Look for our upcoming cooking attempts on recipes for Lemon Cheesecake and Lemon-Yogurt Crumb Cake, too.

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Mom’s Whiskey Cake Recipe

Mom's Whiskey Cake RecipeIf you’ve been reading SearchAmelia, then you have likely read that my mother is not the best cook in the world. However, with that said, she does know her way around the kitchen if she is baking something.

This cake is great for pitch-in suppers, or used for gift giving.

Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 oz. whiskey (2 Tbsps)
4 eggs
1 cup finely chopped nuts
2 Tbsps. flour

Glaze:
3/4 cup sugar
4 ozs. whiskey (1/2 cup)
1/4 pound butter

Directions:
Combine cake mix & pudding mix.
Add milk and oil, then blend well.
Add eggs, one at a time, and again, mix well.
Add whiskey.
Beat with electric mixer at least 5 minutes.
Fold in nuts that have been rolled in the 2 tbsp, of flour. (This keeps them from all sinking to the bottom of the batter.)
Pour into 10 inch tube pan or Bundt pan which has been greased & floured.
Bake at 325 for 55-60 minutes.
Leave cake in pan after removing from the oven.

Prepare glaze:
In small saucepan heat butter whiskey & sugar until bubbly & butter is melted.
Pour over hot cake in pan. (I poke holes in cake with a skewer so the glaze penetrates the cake.)

After 2 hours, remove cake from pan & wrap in foil, and keep the cake refrigerated.

The caked must be made the day before serving, and this delightful dessert freezes well.

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Easy Eggplant Parmasian Recipe

Easy Eggplant ParmasianWorking at the farmers’ market in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach I find myself trying new recipes all of the time. I have made Chicken Parmasian several times over the years, but I couldn’t recall making it with eggplant… so of course, I had to try it.

… and it was awesome!!!

Here is the recipe I started with:

Ingredients

Olive oil, for baking sheets
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
coarse salt
pepper
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (2 1/2 pounds total)
6 cups chunky tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

breading-parmasian

But because I am a fan of working smarter, not harder, here are the ingredients I used:

Olive oil, for baking sheets
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (2 1/2 pounds total)
2 Large jars of store-bought chunky spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

layered-parmasian

*************************************************

Directions

-Preheat oven to 375°F
-Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside.
-In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water.
-In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
-Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets.
-Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes.
-Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more.
-Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400°F.
-Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
-Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella.

finished-eggplant-parmasian

-Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
-Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes.
-Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

You could easily double the recipe and feed a small Army, or put one in the freezer for another day. Either way, this Eggplant Parmesian was a wonderful meal served up with a tossed salad loaded with fresh finds from the farmers’ market in Fernandina Beach.

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Nassau County’s Dutch Chef, Finalist in Seductive Nutrition Challenge

Nassau County's Dutch Chef Finalist in Seductive Nutrition ChallengeNassau County, FL – Chef Robbert Bouman, an instructor at Florida State College at Jacksonville, was selected as one of ten national finalists in the Seductive Nutrition Challenge sponsored by the Culinary Institute of America and Unilever Food Solutions. The challenge was to reduce a top menu item by 100 calories and to enhance the menu description to make it more appealing to guests and inspire them to choose slightly healthier, but still delicious, menu items.

Chef Bouman, who teaches at the Betty P. Cook Nassau Center and North Campus, revised the recipe for Tres Leches cake, a dessert from his American regional class for Southwestern cuisine.

Chef Bouman reduced the calorie count of the dish by 112 calories per serving, without sacrificing flavor or plate appeal. He reinterpreted the classic tres leches cake, replacing the whipped cream topping with vanilla meringue, the cream was replaced by non-fat dairy products and spiced rum. The dessert was accompanied by a spiced pumpkin sorbet, flavored with a touch of ancho chile heat and Mexican vanilla, as well as cardamom and cinnamon. The dessert was finished with pomegranate and pumpkin seed brittle.

Chef-robbert-BoumanAs a finalist, Chef Robbert won an all-expenses paid trip to The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California, to present his winning menu item at an exclusive Unilever Food Solutions Seductive Nutrition event.

Chef Bouman was born and raised in Holland and is a graduate of a Dutch Hotel and Catering College, where he studied under certified Master-chef APC Smith. He has worked in Holland, Great Britain, Germany and the US and is certified by the ACF, the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Society of Wine Educators.

Chef Bouman has been teaching at FSCJ for eight years. He has been in the food and beverage industry for 33 years total, including being an executive chef for 16 years.

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A Savory Taste From a Savory Place

A Savory Taste From a Savory PlaceNassau County, FL Micah’s Place is having an exciting fundraiser called “A Savory Taste from A Savory Place.” We will have Chefs from the Micah’s Place Board Members, Auxiliary and Volunteers, and local civic and church groups participating in a cook-off using recipes from our A Savory Place cookbook. We will have samples of wine and beer as part of the tasting.

This event will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 4-7pm at the Atlantic Rec Center in Fernandina Beach. Tickets are on sale for $35.00/person. We are expecting 300 people to attend our event. There will be a variety of live music for everyone’s listening pleasure.

A tasting sample of each recipe from the cookbook will be given to each guest. Guests will vote for their favorite recipes. A variety of awards will be given to the favorite Chef. Exhibitors will decorate their tables based on a theme that relates to their recipe and/or business or group.

Join us in this fun-filled day by signing up as a Chef with your church group, gardening group, civic group, book club… we welcome everyone! There is no charge to be a Chef.

Entry tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased through the Purple Dove Resale Center, next to Dick’s Wings Restaurant in Yulee or contact Kelly Monti at projectcoordinator@micahsplace.org or 904-491-6364, ext. 102 to sign up to be a Chef or to buy your tickets.

Help us raise much needed funds for Micah’s Place services and programs by participating in this unique and enjoyable event.

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Chateau du Lait Blanc – Got Milk?!!!

Sommeliers are Testing the Harvest milking cow

Sommeliers are Testing the Harvest at the Source

The following review came from Amazon.com and made me chuckle aloud. Having grown up on creamy Dutch milk and eclectic French wines (dad was Dutch and mom was French) I can truly appreciate the passion of this writer in verbalizing the particular blends of the important liquids in our lives. Enjoy this review of Tuscan Whole Milk.

One should not be intimidated by Tuscan Whole Milk. Nor should one prejudge, despite the fact that Tuscan is non-vintage and comes in such large containers. Do not be fooled: this is not a jug milk. I always find it important to taste milk using high-quality stemware – this is milk deserving of something better than a Flintstones plastic tumbler. One should pour just a small dollop and swirl it in the glass – note the coating and look for clots or discoloration.

And the color – it should be opaque, and very, very white.
Now, immerse your nose in the glass and take a whiff. Tuscan transports you instantly to scenic hill towns in central Italy (is that Montepulciano I detect?) – there is the loamy clay, the green grass of summer days, the towering cypress. And those gentle hints of Italian flowers – wild orchids, sunflowers, poppies.

Then, one takes in the thick liquid and lets it roll across and under the tongue – what is that? perhaps a hint of a nutty Edam cheese? With Tusca n, you feel the love of every dairyperson involved – from the somewhat sad and deranged farmhand shovelling steaming cowpies to the bored union milk maiden dreaming of leaving this soul crushing life behind for a job waiting tables for obnoxious American tourists in Sienna.

But not too fast – sip gently, slowly, or one is in danger of not only missing the subtleties of the milk’s texture and its terroir, but – if chilled too long – also of giving oneself a blinding ice cream headache.
Nay, savor the goodness that only dairymen and dairywomen working at the apex of their craft can deliver.

Tuscan is best drunk young – no, no, don’t cellar this gem – I guarantee you’ll be sorry if you do.  Milk Expectorator gives this one a 92. Compare to Friesche Vlag Whole Milk at 99

I recommend pairing with freshly baked pineapple and macadamia nut scones.
Here is the Vegan Recipe.

Vegan Pineapple and Macademia Nut Scones

Vegan Pineapple and Macademia Nut Scones

Makes 8 scones

Ingredients:

• 2 cups white whole wheat flour
• 1 cup coconut flakes
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
• 8 tablespoons vegan margarine, cut into pieces
• 2 ounces Ener-G egg substitute
• 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
• 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
• 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
• 2 tablespoons raw sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.

Add margarine and rub it into the flour mixture.

Add egg substitute and 1/3 cup coconut milk. Mix until ingredients are just combined.

Add pineapple and nuts and mix until a dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into an 8-inch disk. Cut into 8 wedges.

Place scones on a baking sheet. Brush with remaining coconut milk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and firm.

Let cool slightly on the baking sheet then serve warm.

Cook’s note: Canned coconut milk often separates in the can. Before opening, vigorously shake can and, if necessary, whisk coconut milk before using.