Talking Trash: Blackberry and Buckwheat Scones

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Scones are sort of a brunch band-aid for when you and someone in your group has been involved in a shadowy game of throwing shade. A peace offering, of sorts. They're an edible version of, “I’m sorry I called you a dirty hooker behind your back to all of our friends, even though I totally caught you giving head on the stairwell at the club to that Slavic drug dealer. Here’s some scones.”

And, then, peace fell upon the land.

At least, until the hooker leaves the room and you start that slam talk up again.

Ah well… at least these scones should assist in a temporary truce. Just sweet enough with the tart, juicy flavor of fresh blackberries suspended in a nutty buckwheat dough. Utterly irresistible, and if these little flavor bombs don’t help you move forward then simply salt the earth of that former friendship and move on because nothing will.

1 ¼ cups bread flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup blackberries
1 egg, beaten
crystalline or sanding sugar (optional)

1. Whisk together the bread flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a pair of forks, or your fingers until the mixture is sandy with a few pea-sized bits of butter here and there.

3. Add the heavy cream and blackberries. Take off your rings and be prepared to get your hands dirtier that the rumors you’ve heard. Fold the mixture together with your hands until the cream is incorporated. Drizzle in a bit more cream if you need to.

4. Turn the whole mess out onto a lightly floured surface and knead together three or four good turns. You don’t want to overwork it, but buckwheat needs extra attention that wheat flour. Shape the dough into a square and cut into 16 pieces.

5. Preheat oven to 375F. Place the scones on two parchment-lined baking sheets and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Have a shot or two while you wait and ponder the best way to text your frenemy an invite to brunch. Pleasantly tipsy, take the scones out of the fridge and brush them with egg. Give them a bit of sparkle with sanding sugar if using.

6. Bake for 25 minutes, give or take, until lightly golden brown along the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Best served warm or with butter and no drama.

Blueberry Lavender: A teaspoon of culinary lavender and substituting the blackberries for blueberries makes for a fragrant and pleasantly purple scone.

Coconut Macadamia Macaroon Pancakes

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oh yes, that's right. I forgot I had this recipe. It's one that I think you'll enjoy. If you're into coconut macaroons then this should be all up in your business.

It's a recipe I've made a few dozen times before, but somehow never got around to posting. Strange how after 10 years that can still happen.

So what else has been going on? Well, I'm still plugging away at the cocktail cookbook, Stewards of Spirits. I'm also jamming along over at's Fruits and Vegetable channel. I'm keeping it very classy by talking about why coffee makes you poop and why beets turn your pee red. I've also started working for Gallo Family Wineries and all of their various brands, which keeps me pretty darn busy.

Lastly, I completely redesigned the Garrett McCord website; a task that was sorely needed and I'm very pleased with the results.

One more thing to announce among all this craziness is that I will be speaking at IFBC 2016. It'll be hosted in my town of Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork capital. (Or if you're more of a drinker, the #farmtofuckedup capital.) I'll be speaking with some other fine people about freelance blogging and corporate food writing.

So yes. It's been way busy here. Still, I'm never too busy for pancakes as they only require a bit of attention and time, which is a good thing. Pancakes gives you a chance to concentrate on something that isn't work/school/family/relationships/taxes or whatever today's end of the world scenario happens to be. Fuck the Big Bad. Ms. Summers will stop him for you. You just focus on some breakfasty goodness.

So do yourself a favor. Sit down. Turn off the phone. Put on some Netflix. Make pancakes.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts, plus extra for garnish
2 1/2 cups unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
butter or cooking spray for the skillet

Let's do this easy. Mix together the dry ingredients into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and mix together.

Easy so far, right? Okay, now get a skillet or fry pan and heat it up over medium-high heat. Add some butter or cooking spray to grease it up.

Now pour 1/4 cup amounts of the batter into the skillet. Cook on both sides until golden brown. Continue until all the batter is used. Enjoy with a lot of maple syrup and some extra chopped macadamia nuts.

New E-Cookbook Announcement: Stewards of Spirits

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sweet lordy, I've been gone a while. But I have reasons. Good reasons. Swearsies.

I've been working on a cookbook. An e-cookbook. And by "I," I actually mean "we." We is me and my partner-slash-phtographer in this cookbook, Callista Polhemus. She's a food photographer here in Sacramento with a varied background in public relations and marketing for some of the best restaurants ever.

So what is the e-cookbook?

Well, if the image above didn't tip you off, it's on cocktails. However, that would be a bit too narrow, too simple a description.

The e-cookbook is titled, Stewards of Spirits: A Collection of Sacramento Cocktails and the People Who Make Them. So it's not so much an e-cookbook, as a collection of profiles of epic Sacramento bartenders, their stories, and the cocktails that they feel define them best.

You see, the Sacramento cocktail scene is experiencing a homegrown renaissance. Our bartenders are enthusiastic, thoughtful, intelligent, and get along well. Simultaneously, home bars are growing increasingly complex and sophisticated. Even better is that everyone is on board from niche-gin sipping novices to master distillers and champion cocktail crafters.

Sacramento’s welcoming and cheerful cocktail culture is ready to imbibe.

And though it might just be Callista and I who think this (though we doubt it), the home cocktail enthusiast wants to further connect with the craft cocktails and their creators on a more visceral level. They want to engage with bartenders, learn the tricks of their trade, and maybe shake-n-stir their favorites drinks at home. Stewards of Spirits: A Collection of Sacramento Cocktails and the People Who Make Them, will do just that.

Stewards of Spirits will be an e-cookbook collection of Sacramento’s finest cocktails from the region’s top professional bartenders, distillers, and brewers. Each recipe will detail the drink, profile its origins and creators, and provide fascinating information about the spirits and methods used. We plan to include plenty of gorgeous, chic photographs of the bartenders and the drinks.

The best part? The book will be made available for free download. In return, we ask our imbibers to consider making a recommended donation of $10 (the cost of a cocktail!) to the Food Literacy Center, a Sacramento non-profit that focuses on nutrition education throughout California.

The book will be released in August 2016 during Sacramento Cocktail Week and will feature around 25 recipes, and 50 color photographs.

I do hope you're as excited as I am.



P.S., My first cookbook, co-authored with Stephanie Stiavetti, Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, is coming out in paperback on February 9th! Pre-order your copy today!

Burly but Sweet Irish Coffee

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

 -What you need to get through another family holiday.-

We, like any barely functioning individual, like to mix our uppers with our downers. While ice cream sprinkled with a bit of Prozac is keen, an Irish coffee is by and far much more accessible and doesn’t require a prescription.

The key to a really fantastic Irish coffee is brown sugar simple syrup - the musky flavor of the molasses in the brown sugar brings out the burly, peaty flavors of both the coffee and the whiskey. It’s blended in both the barely whipped cream and the coffee itself ensuring a properly stout coffee cocktail. It takes a few extra steps then your everyday Irish coffee, but the results speak for themselves.

A special thanks to Rachel Valley, who took this amazing photograph. If you're in the Sacramento area and need an excellent food photographer, I highly recommend her. 

For the Brown Sugar Simple Syrup Makes
3 cups of syrup 

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water

Place both ingredients in a saucepan and warm over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool before using.

For the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream 
Makes plenty of whipped cream 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup brown sugar simple syrup

Place the whipping cream in a bowl and whisk the utter hell out of it. While you do so, slowly pour in the brown sugar simple syrup in a thin stream. Be careful not to overwhisk. You don’t want a super-thick cream with stiff peaks, but rather a soft cream your can easily spoon out or even pour.

For the Irish Coffee 
Makes 1 Irish Coffee 

6 ounces freshly brewed coffee
1.5 ounces Irish whiskey
.5 ounce of brown sugar simple syrup
 brown sugar whipped cream for topping

Place the coffee, whiskey, and simple syrup in a glass and fill almost to the top, leaving about ½-inch of headspace. Fill the rest of the glass with way too much of the brown sugar whipped cream. Indulge immediately.

Bailey’s Irish Coffee: Use Bailey’s Irish Cream in place of the brown sugar simple syrup for the whipped cream. A bit more liquor with your liquor is never a bad thing.

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