Peanut Butter Cream Scones

Sometimes my cooking adventures turn out to be an object lesson.  To me at least.  A few weeks ago I had the urge to make some peanut butter scones, because they would go so well with jelly, of course.  And, after searching for a recipe, settled on one that sounded pretty yummy.  With oats and chocolate chips, buttermilk, etc.  There were a lot of things I don't usually add to scones.  They inspired me to make even more changes.  Result: not the best.  Crumbly, fiddly to make.

So, this morning I decided to go back to my usual cream scone recipe, and just sub out peanut butter for the butter.  Cut it in as though we were cutting in butter, add the cream, and pat it out.  Yea!  A keeper.  And, because I'm so nice, I'm sharing with you.  And, don't you know, they are totally low calorie?  :)


Stuffed Beef Rolls with Prosciutto and Artichoke

I've just finished another great Donna Leon mystery, A Sea of Troubles, and was inspired to fix one of the tempting dishes that Paola made for her family.  Those lucky folks.

When the series hero, Commissario Brunetti, investigates the murder of two local fishermen on the island of Pellestrina, the small community closes ranks, forcing him to accept Signorina Elettra's (his boss's secretary) offer to visit her relatives there, to search for clues.  No end of clues and life threatening danger, solved nicely by our intrepid investigator.

The dish that caught my fancy was a version of one of my favorites, Involtini Florentine, made with flank steak, and of course with a spinach stuffing.  This one, Involtini di Vitello o Manzo con Carciofi, or Beef Rolls stuffed with artichokes and prosciutto.  I cheated? and used  fancy bottled artichokes, all nicely prepared.  Just had to rinse, quarter and sprinkle them with lemon juice.

Happily, my Italian Slow and Savory cookbook, by Joyce Goldstein, had the recipe, which I followed, for a change, as given.  With the exception of the artichoke shortcut mentioned above.  The filling is so yummy, with tender artichoke hearts, prosciutto, garlic and parsley, not to mention a savory sauce, beef stock reduced, and enhanced with cream at the end, which I served over spiral pasta.  A truly delicious meal.