Sunday, January 12, 2014

Orange Almond Scones & Beef Wellington

It’s been too much fun giggling with my girlfriends
over the new season of Downton Abbey.
Sharing jokes back and forth.
Making little treats to spoil ourselves.
Like these Orange Almond Scones with a spot of tea (recipe below):

And my lil twist on Beef Wellington (recipe below):

One must dine in style for Masterpiece Classic, dahhhlings.

Likewise, it makes me smile to see my husband get ready for the playoffs.
Setting the stage for maximum comfort...beverage, snacks, & remote in arm’s reach.
Pillows fluffed just right, ottoman in place, pre-game banter.
Today I spoiled him with a quick brunch before kick off:

Baked Croissant Sandwich Casserole
click here for recipe

Sweet Bellas, part of tasting the beauty of life is allowing yourself to fully engage in the moment.
To draw joy out of the experience, and cultivate the kind of atmosphere 
that awakens your sensibilities.

As with anything in life, it’s the little details that make the ordinary special.
My friend Shannon likes to say, 
“Us grown ups need our treats too” ;)

What about you, any pre-show/pre-game/pre-event/ or pre-"get in the zone" rituals?

Enjoy the recipes, and as always:

Keep Shining Sweet Bellas!

Orange Almond Scones

2 1/4 Cups  flour
1/3 Cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
11 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Cup Half and Half
1 tsp of Almond Extract
handful of slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375 F. 
Whisk together flour, granulated sugar and baking powder in a large bowl until well combined.
Add butter.  Using a mixer (or pastry blender), blend butter into dry ingredients until mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. 
Add half and half & almond extract; stir just until blended

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead lightly until a smooth dough is formed.  
Pat into a square about 1-inch thick. 
Cut dough into 16 triangles (cut into 4 squares first, then cut each square into fourths diagonally). 
Arrange 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet
Bake until lightly browened 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly before icing. 

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 Tbsp water

Put the sugar in a bowl, add water a little at a time to achieve drizzle consistency. 
Add orange zest, mix through. 
Drizzle over warm scones. top with slivered almonds.

Quick Beef Wellington
In my quick version, the beef is pre-cooked, combined with cheeses and a type of duxelles
all wrapped in puff pastry, and baked to perfection.

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
6 oz. of cooked beef, shredded or diced
10 cremini mushrooms, rinsed, de-stemmed, and diced
1/2 small yellow onion
1/2 cup white wine
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
6 oz of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 egg
splash of water


1)Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet out to a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Cut into six 4 x 4 inch squares.
2) Spread cream cheese (appx 1 oz.) in the center of each square.
3)Meanwhile, in a small frying pan over medium heat, saute olive oil, garlic clove onion salt and pepper for one minute, add cremini mushrooms and cook until onions are translucent. Add wine, cook down a few minutes. Turn off heat.
4) top each square with 1 oz. of cooked beef.
5)Spoon 1 Tbsp of mushroom/onion saute mixture on top of beef on each square
6) Top each square with a good pinch of pepper jack cheese.
7) Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk to create an egg wash. Brush the edges of the pastry squares with the egg wash. Fold the corners of the pastry squares to the center over the stuffing mixture and press to seal. Place the filled pastries seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastries with the egg wash.
8)Bake @ 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.


  1. Hello, my friend! I don't watch Downtown Abbey (yes, I know I'm the only one in the U.S. that doesn't), but I love, adore and covet every scone I see. These beauties that you made are no different. They look amazing. I DO watch football and am anticipating the next set of games before the Super Bowl. While I figure it will be the Broncos and Patriots, I am hoping for the 49ers.

  2. Hi sweet Bella! It's so refreshing to see you posting your amazing foods the orange almond scones, especially with the yummy glaze...the quick Beef Wellington is truly a classic masterpiece... and a genius idea to wrap it in puff pastry...the Baked Croissant Sandwich is 'to die for' amazing; would not dare to take a bite; back on my diet again!

    I also don't watch Downtown NETFLIX now, where I can see movies, TV shows that I missed, and watching a lot of great stuff on my new large computer monitor screen...trying not to get addicted to all the great stuff to watch. Such a pleasure to connect with you again, starting out the new year. (I'm not much of a facebook. or twitter user) Wishing you and your sweet family all the BEST life has to offer! xoxo

  3. I'm so hungry now ;) I will be trying these scones, what a divine flavor combination. It is such a blessing to have a kindred spirit. I believe God gave us our senses so that they could bring us Joy. God Smiled on me the day he put you into my life sweet Bella <3

  4. Your scones and wellingtons both look amazing! I love that you got so into the premiere of Downton Abbey! I love that show!



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