Every morning for the last two and a half years, I’ve woken up looking at a sign on my dresser that read “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It was my motto, my rallying cry, my daily intention. With that in mind, I’ve taken on new challenges, tried new things and stepped away from the invisible shackles held me back in the past.
Invisible shackles … we all have them at some time or another. Mine were largely centered around a feeling that I was trapped in a life that didn’t suit me. What are yours?
The sentiment that the sign shared was important to me. It was a reminder that I can do anything and be whatever I want. Those shackles? They were merely a detour on the road to a better life. The fact is that we are masters of our future. We all have the power to change, adapt, learn, grow and shift to live better. Today, I am living a happier, bolder, more intentional life — and it’s everything I imagined it could be and more.
This weekend though I realized it was time to readjust. That sign on my dresser was just what I needed at a crucial time in my life. It guided me to a better place, but it also doesn’t reflect where I am now. Living beyond my comfort zone has become just, well, living. I do it naturally, and encourage my kids to do so too. So that motto had served its purpose, and given me everything it could. So it’s gone, replaced with a vintage ad looking for writers that makes me smile.
What’s next? I don’t have a fresh, spiffy motto to replace it with. And maybe I don’t need one. Maybe that’s a benefit of leading a happy life — you don’t need something to remind yourself to live well. You just need to live. So I will.
Of course, my happy life is punctuated with cooking. Food, lovingly prepared, is a joy to share with those you care about and love.
One of my earliest recipes shared on Maine Course was for Mini Blueberry White Chocolate Buttermilk Scones. Those small, sugar-topped, chocolate and blueberry filled scones were and remain a favorite from this column.
Now, I know that at least some of you are thinking one of two things: what is a scone exactly? or ugh — scones. They are so dry.
Before we go any further, you must abandon any preconceived notions you have about scones. It’s crucial.
Homemade scones aren’t dry. Lightly sweetened, they are moist (though not as light or fluffy as muffins) with a crisp exterior. And these delightful ones are dotted with sweet wild blueberries and meaty pecans. They’re a little different from that recipe I shared years ago. Made with milk, instead of buttermilk, and full sized, these are for breakfast, brunch or tea. They are satisfying and right-sized.
Hint: You can find frozen wild blueberries at some Maine farmers markets and also at grocery stores.
With an easy one-bowl preparation and about 20 minutes baking time, these are simple to whip up and tasty with juice or coffee in the morning. Enjoy.
And, on a side note, thank you to all the readers who reached out about my recipe last week. I apologize for omitting the cooking temperature (350 degrees), but was so heartened to hear from so many of you who tried the recipe for Butterscotch Chocolate Bars.
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt (a wire whisk is great for this). Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the ¼ cup of cold butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse crumbs. Fold in the blueberries and pecans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well-combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Fold together until fully incorporated.
- Using a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoon size), drop the dough in rounds on the prepared cookie sheet. This should yield 12 scones.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and cook for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving. These should be consumed within a day or two. Store in an airtight container.