Hi! I’m Jane St. Claire and SavorCalifornia.com is my way of letting the whole world know about the fantastic foods and beverages being made in California. On this video blog our group of foodies are going a step further to show you how to use them. Start with the best, and it gets even better!

Pancakes & Scones

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For no-hassle treats at breakfast time, nothing beats these pancake and scone mixes. And the scone mix even comes with a matching tea!

I made a visit to B & R Farms in Hollister when their Blenheim apricot trees were in bloom, and Mari Rossi and I made a scrumptious breakfast in her kitchen.

Bo's Best Pancakes mixes are so easy to make and turn out so perfectly. We used the Buckwheat Buttermilk mix (my fave), and they also make Very Vanilla, Gingerbread, Chocolate Mocha and Chocolate Chip. In addition, Bo's Best makes fun mixes geared towards children (of any age): Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, and Raspberry. The mixes are so easy, the flavors so good and the packaging so fun, that kids will actually help make them and relish eating them. They come with ideas for decorating the pancakes with fruit that will bring out the edible artist in your child.

All we needed to make these pancakes was a cup and a half of water, 2 eggs, and a quarter cup of oil. We used grapeseed oil from Salute Santé! in the Napa Valley, both in the mix and in the pan to cook the pancakes. Cooking with grapeseed oil is healthy, and the oil has a high smoke point, so you can take it to a high heat without scorching it. Nice fresh taste.

The scone and tea pairing we used was from Tuscan Heights Lavender Garden up in Shasta County. You can visit this lovely garden on weekends during the summer. They sell lavender plants, bath and body items, and culinary lavender products. We were focusing on their Golden Apricot Lavender Scone mix and Golden Apricot Lavender Tea. The aroma was just fantastic.

The only ingredient that the scone mix requires is whipping cream, and it's important to use exactly that. We used 3/4 cup at first, mixing it in as we added it. The dough just needs to come together in a ball. It will be sticky, that's fine. If it's needed to make the dough adhere, you can add up to another quarter cup of whipping cream; I added probably an extra tablespoon. On a greased baking sheet, they baked at 350 for 20-24 minutes and turned out beautifully.

We had some delicious goodies to top our pancakes and scones with, starting with Meyenberg Goat Milk Butter. This butter has a beautiful color and an almost European taste. Many folks who are lactose intolerant can use this butter, and so can the rest of us!

I love applesauce on pancakes, and Nana Mae's Blackberry Applesauce is a standout. Nana Mae's is helping to keep the apple farming tradition alive in Sonoma County, making a variety of apple products, including apple sauces, apple juices, and apple cider vinegar.

Of course, since we were at Mari and Jim Rossi's B & R Farms, we were treated to their Dried Apricot Preserves and Dried Apricot Topping. Their products are made from the Blenheim apricots that they grow, and the Blenheim is the queen. Using the dried fruit in their preserves and toppings gives them an authentic, intense apricot flavor. Yum! If you're in the Monterey-Hollister area, you should stop at their ranch store at 5280 Fairview Road, Hollister.

Once upon a time, there were cherry orchards where Silicon Valley is now. The Olson family is still keeping that tradition alive. On our pancakes we used C. j. Olson Cherries' Bing Cherry Jam and Cherry Blossom Honey.

They'll ship you fresh cherries, cherry pie, dried cherries, cherry juice, or you can shop at the Cherry Stand at the corner of El Camino and Mathilda in Sunnyvale. Open from 9 am to 6 pm. Any fan of cherries will be in heaven.

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