Yep, it’s October! My brain is fried! I’m at a loss for words. I’ve been through two open school nights, and endless trips to Staples and the Dollar Tree for school supplies! It is safe to say that my stress level is on 1000. I always have turned to cooking as a way to relieve my stress. There is something soothing about chopping things up and creating new dishes. Food is love on a plate. I get a certain joy out of cooking and having others enjoy the fruits of my labor.
There have been some recent studies ( I’m too stressed to go look them up right now and quote, LOL) but, they discuss that cooking helps lower cortisol levels and produces chemicals which in turn brings joy.
Meals have always represented joyous times of holidays and family gatherings. Growing up my mom did not care what was going on, we sat down as a family for dinner at least five nights a week. She did not care if we had all of our friends come over (she always said make enough food in case there are guests; explains why I cook for an army). We had to make sure we were home for dinner. So cooking for me represents more than the actual food, but a way to show others that you care and its nourishment outweighs the actual meal.
Cooking is a sensory experience. Cooking incorporates the use of all of your senses. I incorporated my love of cooking into my work as a psychotherapist. I taught cooking lessons to teenage girls at my last place of employment. These girls were all trauma survivors. When we came into the kitchen together, we had very specific ground rules. Due to the high level of violent tendencies amongst them, we really had to plan the lessons accordingly. When we were in the kitchen it was nothing but love. Even for an hour; everyone got along.
It’s Apple 🍏 🍎 season!
I made these amazing scones for the New Year, and I wanted to share the recipe and the pictures of this scrumptious recipe!
Apples represent sweetness. In the Jewish religion, it is a tradition that everyone eats apples with honey on the New Year. It is said that this will ring in a sweet new year filled with only good things.
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 large apple, diced
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks of cold butter ( salted ) cut into chunks
- 2 cup Oikos vanilla yogurt
In the bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add the butter and with your hands, mix until coarse crumbs form (you can also do this step in a food processor). Stir in the yogurt and apples until the dough comes together
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cut in half and form two flattened log. Take a knife to cut triangle-shaped scones (10). Place them on the prepared pans.
ICING: ( you can use pre-made caramel and save yourself some time )
- 1 stick salted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Set oven to 350 degrees line a pan with parchment paper
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the apples- stir and cook until apples are softened. Stir in the cinnamon and set the apples aside to cool
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let the scones cool for a few minutes and then pull apart.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and stir the milk and brown sugar into the melted butter ( you can do this on the stovetop as well in a small pan) Then add the vanilla and a half cup of powdered sugar. Drizzle over the scones.
Deborah Levine-Powell is a psychotherapist in New York, where she works with teenage girls who are victims of abuse and trafficking. She is a wife and a mom to a tween and teenager. When she is not working, you can find her engaged in PTA activities, a leader at Girl Scouts, having fun with her friends and family, while serving up hot soulful dishes in the kitchen.