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October, 2011

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Scones, Red Rocks, Colorado & Usher’s new song!

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

How to make food, How to make desserts soar— vanilla scones

All scrumptious fare affords pleasure! This is particularly true of a  scone with clotted cream, which has been heralded as one of the many time- honored traditions of our friends from across the pond. This delicate confection relies on cold butter for its flakiness whereas most recipes of the American biscuit relies more on vegetable shortening for a crumbly texture. I do not bake with vegetable shortening, however,  I do love crumbly textures and achieve this by adding cream cheese, whenever a recipe calls for vegetable shortening. Whatever, the origin or paradigm of this convivial fare, it is also enjoyed by many all over the world, including my Malaysian elders in South Africa. My mother almost always reverted to preparing it for unexpected company, so without further ado, here is my spin on her recipe.

“French vanilla”  scones

These scones were delicate, flaky & even crumbly, accompanied by a mascarpone mousse, ( tasted almost like French vanilla ice cream).  I also made my strawberry & raspberry preserves from scratch with vanilla beans etc…. These all went to my chiropractor & all the lovely ladies who work at the wellness center at “Arne Chiropractic.” Their remarks….ridiculously decadent!

Tahitian vanilla powder & a little of the white vanilla powder, sifted with the flours, is my little spin on this airy scone! Some of the vanilla powder will be left in the sieve, just dump into the bowl with the rest of the flours

scones-&-homem.-preserves-1 p10

As you can see, lavish amounts of whole sun ripened strawberries & raspberries, not sweet at all, no pectin or sugar needed in my preserves, it’s all about the fruit,  & some surprising ingredients !


I ask this frivolous & not in the least condescending question with the utmost respect of all the ladies out there……Is a woman’s worth really measured by her ability of making a good biscuit? The reason for my question is that I have recently discovered the “Little house on the Prairie” series & now receiving all the episodes from Netflix. Anyway,  there is one episode whereby Carolyn Ingalls is put to the test by making biscuits for a possible position as a cook in a hotel, & ultimately she does land the job for making the best biscuits ever! The former cook who was just lousy at cooking was kicked out!  Hey, during the late 1800’s, if a woman could make a good biscuit and a good pot of stew with potatoes, she was pretty much spoken for! I am transfixed by this era portrayed so beautifully by Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, & the rest of the cast, an American Western drama, I just cannot wait to watch nightly with my husband!

I wonder whether my scones would have landed me an amorous encounter with Mr. Charles Ingalls himself, that is only if my husband was not yet in my life LOL! I hope he does not read this!

scones-preserve573 p12-auto



This fruit fondant Madeira cake, that I developed here,  is featured in this British magazine below, the Fall issue #114 on page 114. Originally, I contacted them to thank them for the safe arrival of my package with the delectable fruit fondant powders, I purchased from them and much to my delight, they emailed me, asking for a head shot of myself  & the pictures of this cake and publishing my little article in the ” forum” section on pg 114-115. Anyway,  this cake was indescribably delicious, this fruit fondant powder turns into a rich  fruit coolie when mixed with water!

This magazine is sold at Barnes & Noble.




Red Rocks Park is a mountain park in Morrison, Colorado & only 10 minutes drive from my home. I often go here,  either to run up & down the many steps,  go and day dream & most importantly, see my favorite rock bands!. I finally decided to take some pictures last week, while there was no scheduled concert, & share them with you!


I am never without my I Pod, & many of you already know that I love vocal trance. I do love rock too! S..t!**!! this is one run where I really need my IPod, because these steps are forever kicking my big b…..!Anything to detract from the pain will keep my booody moving.

Orjan Nielsen ft Arielle Maren–Redemption

Svenstrup & Vendelboe-Nadia malm…….Danish stars, cool euphoric vocal trance

Medina- Gutter—a Svenstrup & Vendelboe remix….I mentioned her before in my last post, but this is also an awesome remix!

David Guetta ft Usher–without you ( okay, this is no vocal trance, but I still like it)

Red Rocks is my escape from this more often than not frenetic world!



Red Rocks Amphitheater, a world famous venue, hosts many concerts, “Film on the Rocks” ( I love watching movies in the open air), & other events during the summer. I think it seats about 10,000, most probably more! I went to see Santana & the rock bands, Godsmack & Nine Inch Nails, over here. Picture this, after the concerts,  confetti cannons shooting blizzards of confetti shapes from above….pure artistry in motion! It turns serious adults into awestruck children & sends children into giddy glee!

Red-Rocks-cTakes us a mere 10 mins drive to Red Rocks mountain park!



Flaky vanilla scones with mascarpone mousse & preserves

As usual, please use organic ingredients when possible, however, I used the King Arthur flours here.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup self rising flour
  • 3 t  “Bob’s Red Mill” double acting baking powder( Aluminum free)
  • 1/2  t Tahitian vanilla powder plus 1 t of the white vanilla powder, just because I have both,  ( optional but not for me! he!he!), Or use whatever one you prefer!….  the Tahitian vanilla powder is finely ground vanilla beans, mine was hardly noticeable in my pictures, because they were dispersed throughout the dough. Trust me when I say that it is potent, but oh so darn delicious!
  • 3 – 4  T organic sugar, I used 3!
  • 6 T cold Plugra ( European, unsalted butter), or any other kind you prefer. I love the richer & creamier taste of Plugra!
  • 1/2 cup of currants
  • 2/3 cup organic milk
  • egg yolk beaten lightly for the glaze


Sift all the flours & the Tahitian & the white vanilla powders together, twice. Some of the Tahitian vanilla powder will be left in the sieve, just dump back into the bowl with the flours.  Remove about a quarter cup of this flour mixture & toss with the currants & set aside, (the reason for this step, so that the currants will not sink to the bottom, but will be evenly distributed throughout the dough). Add the sugar to the flour mixture  & mix with a biscuit cutter. Now cut the cold butter into smaller pieces and cut into the flour mixture with the biscuit cutter. Do me a favor, do not over mix here! It is okay if there are bigger pieces of butter showing! Make a well in the center,  add the currants & then  the cold milk and mix just until incorporated, absolutely no over mixing here either! Always let any dough rest, here for 10 mins. Finally roll out the dough to about 3/4 inch on a lightly floured surface,  stamp out 2 inch heart shape designs, ( please just press firmly down on cutter, no twisting), NB…flip the scones over, so that the bottom of the scone is now on top & then place on the cookie sheet,   about an inch apart, (the cold butter specks will now be on the top & they will rise evenly),  brush with the egg yolk & then let rest again for 12 minutes. N.B. do not let the egg yolk glaze drip over the sides of the scone, this will prohibit the scone from rising! Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. You will really smell the vanilla aroma when these babies are done! Makes about 9 scones.

Mascarpone mousse

Whisk some mascarpone @ rm temp. with cold Horizon, organic whipping cream & some of the white vanilla powder.  Set the bowl over ice when whisking! Serve the scones with a dollop of this mousse & preserves of your liking.

Thanks for your visit, enjoy my version of the scone!

Lots of love,


P/S…..It is so strange, I make these scones only when we have guests staying over or sometimes for my friend’s B&B, but have never blogged about it before. I did not think that the recipe would be important enough to share until now!

The Plugra & the vanilla powder definitely brought some major mojo to this scone party!

A trip to Telluride, Ouray & Durango, the south west of Colorado.

Monday, October 10th, 2011

October, 2,  2011 travel diary

Telluride, Ouray & Durango

Grab a cup of Java, listen to my playlist or yours & come along for the ride! This is a long post, but I can assure you not in the least bit boring!

This mind blowing trip to the south western part of Colorado, a trip, that was promised to me when we moved to Denver, a number of years ago was everything and more, I imagined it to be. It was freakin awesome! My husband went to work in Durango, when we first moved here & ever since then, could not get this beautiful part of Colorado, out of his mind! It only took us about 6 hrs drive to get there and this was really pushing it, stopping only for one bathroom break. We had everything at hand, from a welcome cooler filled with nourishing fare to a jamming playlist that could make you sing like a canary!

You may wonder, why only undertake this trip now?  Well, everything has its time & place, & boy am I glad that the start of  Fall & the  “changing of the leaves,” marked the beginning of this offbeat escapade!

After three & half hours of driving, we reached Grand Junction, guarded by a  surreal mass of grey, brown and  monochromatic cream hues , a mountain known as Mt. Garfield. It looks like a huge desert sand dune, does it not?

I took this shot from the car, as it was difficult to stop here, so it does appear a little fuzzy.

Cool  music from my playlist  DJ Tiesto & Medina (You and I),

Medina (Gutter),   Inna (Amazing),

Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji-(Pressure) ……more below


Climbing in elevation & now only, (20 miles from Telluride & jamming to the beat of Jennifer Lopez…on the floor),  the dwarf-like scrub vegetation,  suddenly gives way to this colorful Alpine scene. There is just nothing to beat these magical Aspen trees during the Fall! Notice the San Juan mountain range in the background? It is dusted with a light layer of snow!  I kid you not this mountain range shoots up to magnificent heights right before your very eyes! It was not coined,  to- hell-you-ride” for nothing, the journey into these mountains are sometimes scary, yet so exciting! I was indeed sitting on the edge of my seat!

What can I tell you, I am a “nervous Nelly,” constantly telling my adrenaline junkie of a husband to turn back, but do you think he even minds me, hell no!



Welcome to Uncompahgre National Forest! (5 miles from Telluride)

I am really ( he! he!) cracking up here as I type “Uncompahgre,”because “spell check” is telling me it is supposed to be  “uncomprehending”..….stupid a..!!


Welcome to Telluride…(To-hell-you-ride he! he!)

We are here guys!!!!The sign also says, “your civil liberties are safe here”…. this even jives for man’s best friend….see picture of  “puppy parking” below!  He! he! Political correctness lurks everywhere, can it just not be on my trip?

Anyway, as we roll into Telluride, just like the miners way back then, I am utterly & completely overwhelmed by the scenery. I had to constantly scoop up my jaw from the ground & move on.  There was no way that my little camera would do it justice!



The New Sheridan, also home of the infamous Sheridan Opera house situated in the back.  Boy, if these old walls could talk about the early 1900’s , about the greedy gold diggers, gun slingers, honky tonk saloons & not forgetting the ladies of the night, we might just have the makings of yet another cheesy western here!

Sheridan-opera-house-&-restTelluride is a little bit quirky, a little bit playful, a “lotta” liberal & a “lotta” expensive…hey! whatever floats your boat, that’s what I always say!

Needless, to say, the price tags on some of these items call for a whole pay check! So forget it, I am not bringing back mindless gifts! he! he! I am a ge nui ne nature girl, so pictures of nature will just have to suffice!

mannekin-in-window-TelluridOkay! I thought this was rather strange…as we were driving down main street, a bevy of cheery folk suddenly appeared . Apparently, it is customary for the wedding party to parade down Main street, even with all that soft pouring rain!

The bride, actually wanted us to turn up the volume…apparently the real party was in our car! She really liked Pitbull ( Calle Ocho), I know you want me, of all songs! There is just something about Miami music that makes any self respecting person want to misbehave! just kidding I love Miami! Heh! I have been placed on that misbehaved list a long time ago!

I love these songs though, “thumbs” up if you are still listening to it in 2011

Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina Stereo Love

also The Underdog project- Summer jam

The Underdog project- Remember



Puppy parking max 30 mins!


A building with no roof, or  back walls.



Manitou Lodge (bed & breakfast)……love this cozy home away from home!

The unit we stayed in had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a little sitting room. There is also a main dining room where one could use the stove and other appliances even though one’s unit has all of those things. These places are packed during ski season. So the question is, would we venture here during the winter ski season…..heck ya!

At night, I would be lulled to sleep by this bubbling brook & to be able to revel in this peace & quiet is all that I ask for!



a-river-runs-through-it-570One morning, very early, I jumped onto the gondola in my PJ’s to go to the market to buy almond milk. The B&B provides everything except milk for the lactose intolerant. On the way I was joined by a guy and his little boy & he very “candidly” remarked that he  thought my fuzzy slippers were “cool” I knew that he was trying to make small talk because really my slippers were not in the least cool!

Later that afternoon,  E & I jumped onto the same gondola to take some pictures, & guess who was on the very gondola, the same guy, this time with his wife… he then remarked Oh! I have already met miss fuzzy slippers very early this morning! Both my husband & his wife looked rather puzzled until I explained!



This is Mountain village ski area, the 2nd stop of the gondola ride. My favorite market was at the end of the gondola ride.




I laughed at the road signs here, they read ” Slow Children here.” I am just being facetious! It is just kind of funny when one is reading it real slowly Lol!


Water remediation project.


Bridal Veil Falls- stunning falls ( 365 ft in length), tallest free falls in Colorado!



Ahhh, At last, Trout Lake was my very favorite place, so peaceful I could just get lost here and never emerge! Ain’t she just beautiful?


This trail was extremely far into the forest, lucky my husband does not heed my cries because we would never be able to “discover” new places! Anyway, a successful trip does mean, hours & hours of driving.


Welcome to Ouray!……..Hooray for Ouray!


Ouray,-Co-bank-570 This place reminds me somewhat of Cape town, where I was born. This quaint little town is nestled between the 2 mountain ranges.



Look no rails! Scary is it not? I suddenly felt one of those loose, liquid bowel movements coming on, but dared not tell the “driver.”


I held my breath and closed my eyes going through the Red Mountain Pass. It is just way to steep for my health! he! he! Not that I am not accustomed to high mountains, but they sneak up on you, some of them as high as 14,000Ft.

The mountains are red here due to the deposits of Iron oxide in the rocks.


Gold & silver mines sprung up in this region, as well as in Telluride, in the 1870’s.

The Idarado mining co. started a water remediation  project here in the 1980’s to improve water quality & to improve the aquatic habitat.



San Juan mountains at its very best! This picture is just unforgettable! You just had to be there to drink in the beauty of these vibrant colors!






Welcome to Durango!

Durango is known for the “Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I think it was $100 a ticket if I’m not mistaken, but then again we had just come from Silverton…..let me guess, Silverton was known for its silver?” I came up with that all by my smart self!

Diamond Belle Saloon

Durango,-Strater-hotel-570Durango-Main-str,-French-re My husband hung out here watching his beloved, Miami Dolphins lose!


Heading home!

I was mesmerized by the cloud  cover just above the Rockies. Here is this huge open space & it only covers the mountain! At this point, my husband was just really flying down 285,  everything and I mean everything had to be bolted down, ( including breakfast),  or God forbid, you would lose it all!

Thumbs up yet again, if listening to these in 2011. Sometimes the oldies just stay with you!

The Sunclub- Fiesta

Afrojack ft Eva Simons take over control

We speak no Americano Yolanda be cool

Armin Van Buuren & Dj Shah feat Chris Jones- Going wrong

285-N-POncha-Springs-570Thank you for riding along with me. Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as we did!



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