Strawberry Chocolate Scones

Here’s another tasty recipe we tried and loved!  (What is this, a food blog??)

We’ve been making savory scones for a while now, and they turn out fantastic every time. This time, we decided to tweak the base recipe for the savory scones and turn them into a sweet treat. We used freeze dried strawberries, which we picked up at Trader Joe’s but you can get them on Amazon. You could certainly use fresh berries, but they will add a lot of moisture to the dough; to combat this you may consider draining the juice after chopping, using frozen berries (don’t thaw first), or coating the chopped berries in flour or powdered sugar prior to mixing in. As always, we love our sweets with a side of coffee! This time we paired it with a Columbian from La Barba Roasters here in Salt Lake, which has notes of honey, caramel, and chocolate. Yum!

Strawberry chocolate scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, very cold — splash of vinegar in milk
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg for egg wash
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter – cut into
  • 1 T honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 C freeze dried strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into the dry mixture until resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the buttermilk/soured milk and honey into the mixture and mix until it forms a dough. Mix in strawberries and chocolate until well incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice to make sure everything comes together. The mixture should still be very shaggy.

Form the mixture into an 8-inch circle. Cut the circle into 6 even wedges. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Beat one egg and brush the top of each wedge thoroughly. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

The recipe inspiration came from The Hungry Genealogist(??)

Cream cheese glaze

  • 2oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T milk

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until creamy. Add milk to your desired consistency and drizzle over scones.


Check out Matt’s personal site for more coffee insights!

Phoenix Hikes

We unfortunately didn’t get to do a ton of hiking while we were in Phoenix. We had a few days of glorious weather, but most days the sun got so hot by 10am that we couldn’t be out as much or as long as we would have liked. Regardless, we managed to find plenty of trails in the area to get our legs moving and blood pumping.

Petrified Forest National Park


We didn’t actually hike through here, but there are plenty of trails winding through the park. We ended up doing a detour on our way from Albuquerque to Phoenix to drive through the Petrified Forest. Pets are allowed on all trails – a rarity for National Parks and a huge plus for us! The park is filled with petrified wood and colorful badlands providing a very unique and beautiful backdrop. The trees are hundreds of millions of years old and have become fossils from silica deposits. The painted desert area is amazing with it’s stratified layers of different rock – siltstone, shale, and mudstone.

Papago Park

Papago Park is located between Tempe and Scottsdale and has plenty of biking and hiking trails. While none of them are very strenuous, it can’t be beat for a quick outing inside the city. We went to this park a couple of times – once for a short walk and another for a trail run. There’s a short trail to the “Hole in the Rock” (pictured above) that provides a nice vista of Tempe and downtown Phoenix. The park is also scattered with some ponds and backs up to the botanical gardens. For a trail run or a longer walk, there are numerous trails up to and around the buttes that’s an easy way to log a few miles.

Phoenix Mountain Preserve

18-04-20 13-55-36 8754_v1

This park is just north of Phoenix. A popular hike is to Piestewa Peak, but it’s very crowded and dogs aren’t allowed so we bypassed that in favor of the circumference trail. The first time I went with Snickers with the hopes of circumventing the peak, but at 9am the sun was blazing and I barely had enough water for Snickers so we just did a quick 3 miles out and back. The second time, I left the dog at home and did the full 4.5 miles solo. While not an impossible trail, it’s not for the faint of heart. In 4.5 miles, the trail climbs about 1,300 feet, but the views at the top are well worth the effort and the backside is deserted providing a fun, mostly downhill jog.

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant is about 40 miles directly north of Phoenix. We ventured up one weekend with the hopes of doing a 6 mile run, but cut it to a 3 mile walk so we could enjoy the new scenery and conserve water. We walked along a burro trail near a wash surrounded by plenty of cacti and some decent views of the lake. It was a really lightly trafficked trail – we only saw two people! This trail in the Sonoran Desert is littered with saguaro cacti. Fun fact: saguaros only start growing arms when they reach 15ft. in height, which takes about 75 years!!

McDowell Mountain Regional Park

About 40 miles northwest of Phoenix lies McDowell Mountain Regional Park, which is a veritable playground for mountain bikers. We did the Scenic Trail, a relatively mild 4.5 mile trail through quintessential dessert landscape. Just a short climb and we had some great views for miles across the Valley. If we had a little more time, we would’ve loved to go back and log some serious miles on our feet.

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies


This is a bit of a detraction from our usual style, but I came across these cookies and had to share. This is a Nordstrom recipe that a friend sent me and I altered slightly. The cookies have a light, cake-like texture that is brightened by the lemon zest. The frosting adds a sharp, citrusy zing that elevates the cookies to another level. We recommend pairing them with a nice cup of coffee :).


Lemon cream cheese cookies

Note: dough needs to made 1 day ahead of time so it can be frozen prior to baking

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 – 8oz package of cream cheese
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice from 1/2 lemon

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes). Add in the egg and mix until incorporated. On low speed, add in the cream cheese until well mixed. Mix in lemon zest and juice.
  3. Gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Dough will be very soft – almost like a muffin batter.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat and portion out ~12 balls of dough. Freeze until solid, at least 12 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Place dough on prepared sheets spaced roughly 2 inches apart. Let stand at room temperature while oven is preheating (~20-30 mins).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned; rotate pans halfway through baking.
  7. Let cool completely before icing.

Lemon buttercream frosting

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter until light. Add powdered sugar and mix until blended. Add lemon juice and mix until smooth.

Once cookies have cooled, spread icing over the top and sprinkle with lemon zest.



Original recipe for Nordstrom Lemon Ricotta Cookies


We’ve only been in Salt Lake City for a week and a half, but are quickly realizing why so many people love it here. For starters, it is completely surrounded by mountains with no shortage of trails in just a 3 mile radius. Snickers and I snapped this photo on our run this past week, and let’s just say we can’t wait to put some more miles on our paws.


We’re here through the end of August, so if anyone wants to come visit let us know! We got a two bedroom apartment this time so we’re well equipped to host. Did I mention the rooftop pool with 360° mountain views??

And, for kicks, here is a photo from our drive up from Arizona. We took the eastern route around the Grand Canyon and stopped at Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ for a quick stretch of the legs. The views did not disappoint 😊.


Phoenix Eats

A little rundown of places we enjoyed.


Matt here – Added my own Phoenix Coffee post with a bit more detail on my professional blog –


Cartel – coffee roaster in downtown Phoenix. Multiple pour over options to choose from, all with a smooth finish.

Press – local roaster right on Central Ave. They have a handful of pour over options from single-origin growers to fit any flavor profile preferences, and you can choose your brew method (Chemex, Kalita, etc.).

Giant Coffee – dog friendly coffee bar in a large, open space. They roast their own beans and do a pretty solid cup of joe.


Rainbow Donuts

Matt’s Big Breakfast – good breakfast spot downtown. Ample portion sizes and fresh-made food. They make their bread and jam in-house and have fresh-ground coffee brewed locally just for them. Go hungry and early because it can get busy for the brunch crowd.

Rainbow Donuts – we only tried one donut shop, but we didn’t need to try any more! Rainbow has a seemingly endless menu, and they do them all extremely well. We went with our classic order: jelly filled, custard filled, glazed, and apple fritter and they were all perfect.


Kaleidoscope – located downtown next to Cartel, this place is serving up fresh and healthy options. Choose from smoothies, juices, protein bowls, and sandwiches. They don’t skimp on the veggies and protein in the bowls and it’s always nice to have a healthy option when you’re out and about.

Poke Catcher – fast lunch spot in Central Phoenix. Fresh poke and all the toppings make for a quick and healthy lunch option.

Carolina’s – don’t be deterred by the location, Carolina’s is serving up authentic Mexican on the cheap! They make the tortillas in house and the food is a slam-dunk. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and the burros and chimis hit the spot. Don’t forget to get a bag of chips!




St. Francis – a great happy hour option located in Central Phoenix. $5 drink specials and sharable small plates.

Little Cleo’s – located at The Yard, a veritable outdoor adult playground with multiple restaurants and games (cornhole, shuffleboard, etc.). We went for the happy hour special of $1 oysters on the half shell and $2 champagne.

O.H.S.O. Brewing – dog friendly brewery serving up plenty of house-brewed beers. Snickers gives the spent-grain treats four enthusiastic paws up, and we thoroughly enjoyed the brewer’s cheese and charcuterie board with an added smoked sausage made next door. They’ve also got a great happy hour special on beer – $7 for a pitcher (normally $6 for a pint).

Taco Guild – tacos in an old Methodist church. They’ve maintained a lot of the original pieces – including a number of stained glass windows – which makes for a great juxtaposition of old and new. You can’t go wrong with the unique taco offerings on the menu, but be sure to check out the daily taco (it was fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a green chili gravy when we went) and don’t forget to get a margarita to wash it down.

Presidio Cocina – upscale Latin food with good happy hour specials. Food is very fresh and flavorful and you can’t beat a $5 real margarita!

Forno 301 – Italian and pizza. They make the pasta in-house, and serve up wood-fired pizzas. We tried the caprese salad, which included half a plate of prosciutto along with the mozzarella and tomato, arugula salad, and the Forno 301 pizza. Everything was fresh and delicious and paired well with the Italian Moretti beer.


Creamistry – very cool concept! The ice cream is made to order using liquid nitrogen to freeze the milk. Incredibly creamy with lots of unique flavor options and mix-ins.

Nami – vegan soft serve with plenty of fun mix-in options.