Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vacation Part 1: Ryan + a recipe

This is my brother Ryan. Things you should know about him:

When forced to choose between a ski trip to the Alps or a Canon 5D camera, he chose the camera. (Seriously).

When he was in 7th grade I tried to get him to smoke a cigarette with me. He told me no. I've looked up to him ever since.

At one point, he was the only brother in a family with 5 sisters.

My first born son's middle name is Ryan.

He is a gourmet chef and I get a new recipe or cooking tip from him every time I visit him.

The best thing about Ryan is his wife Kathryn. Period. (Ultra-organized, unfailingly kind, creative, attentive mother, industrious, former 1st grade teacher, and gorgeous). If she has a flaw I haven't seen it yet. We asked them to take over the care of our children if Don and I die. That's love, Ryan.

Oh, and they are the parents of multiples. Multiple multiples. Once again, it's Ryan and 5 girls. I like to think we trained him well.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving us a calm place to stay on our vacation. While there we went on a photo shoot to the east benches of the Superstition Mountains. I loved watching the colors change as the sun set, looking across the entire valley of the Phoenix area, and spending some quiet moments with Ryan and Angela. And you may not know, but every evening in Arizona has a poster-perfect sunset.

And now a recipe for said brother. This recipe is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe to be easier and better. Enjoy while cranberries and oranges are in season.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
zest of one orange

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Add the cranberries to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Drop the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper with a large muffin-batter-scooper (or about 1/3 cup blobs).

Bake 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the powdered sugar orange juice, and zest. Drizzle over the scones. Makes about 14.

**ETA: photo of Ryan and Kathryn by Darby, and photo of double twins by Ryan


  1. His daughters are so cute! And, those pictures are gorgeous. Did you or Ryan take them? I'm not sure why people say the desert isn't beautiful because I think it is.

  2. What a yummy recipe! My backyard is full of glorious citrus, this recipe is perfect to accompany my baksets for neighbors and friends! Thank you!

  3. I took all the color pictures. Ryan took the one of his daughters and I need to find out who took the one of him and Kathryn. I'll edit my blog with these photo credits!

  4. Ryan always sounds like a stud on all-y'all's blogs. =) Jana agreed to take our children... that was a while ago - I should keep checking with her as we add more! Funny how we all make sure we've asked someone, huh? It's serious business. See ya this afternoon =)

  5. i am so very jealous of your new camera. &...just when i tell myself "no more fatty foods" are cruel. but - in a oh so lovely manner.

  6. I did learn something new by reading this, but I won't say what...

    Yeah, Ryan is pretty cool I guess. :)

  7. What an awesome brother. Those are amazing photos, you have a great eye; and it looks like it runs in the family.

    I thought you were giving up sugar? Maybe that's not until Feb, I can't remember. I can't wait to try those scones.

  8. I am excited to make this with those oranges you gave us...although my kids have been eating them like crazy and there probably won't be any left by tomorrow! Thanks for the oranges, McKenna said they are the best ones she has had in a long time.

  9. Thank you for your kind comments. I would have objected to your comment of me not having faults earlier, but I have not done anything else for the last 3 days but read Daughter of the Forest. Our house exploded, the children survived though. Hopefully I can come back to reality now that I'm finished. We love all the new additions to our library.

    I was happy that you guys stayed with us. You do need to give us a chance to make up the flat beds to you. Thanks again for the recipe. It's what we are having for breakfast tomorrow.

  10. a) I love the devotion/adoration you have towards your brother (and his wife!). It's heartwarming.
    b) I'd choose the camera too but thats mostly because I have never been skiing.
    c) I love your photos. I've been trying to take more scenic photography lately and I'm loving it. Your work is beautiful!