Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

Ever have one of those meals where you are running around like proverbial headless chicken, trying to make a nice dinner, and yet still, you do 456 things incorrectly while cooking? Please tell me you have evenings like that. If nothing else, lie to me. I’m cool with that.

I made fried chicken for dinner tonight. Ultimately, it was fine, but the burner I prefer to use seems to be having hissy fits lately and has no medium temp. It’s either high enough that the food (in this case, the fried chicken) is somewhat burned on the outside and half raw inside or the oil temp is too low and the chicken ends up greasy. Yes, yes, I know, I could just move to another burner, but one, I LIKE the left hand side and two, that seems defeatist. Please don’t ask me why I stick with it and have food come out poorly, because I have no answer for that other than orneriness.

Then, the socket that I plugged the rice cooker into decided to go on the fritz and it wasn’t until the rest of dinner was done that I realized that the rice had never cooked. I had to plug it in elsewhere and try again. So, now we have 3 cups of cooked rice because no one wanted any by the time they finished the rest of dinner.

One part that turned out wonderfully was these biscuits. I have a lot of friends who aren’t comfortable using yeast and if you fall into that category yourself, these are the biscuits you want to try. They use both yeast and baking powder, so are virtually foolproof, and are so light and fluffy. These come together so easily; you don’t need a mixer of any kind. A couple hours chilling time, bake, and you have a pan or two of amazingly delicious biscuits. These are fantastic plain, or with butter and jam.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Angel Biscuits

  • 1/2 cup warm water (between 105 and 112 degrees)
  • 1 envelope yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (just plain old salt; nothing fancy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cold shortening, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced thin
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and one teaspoon sugar. Stir and let sit for five minutes. it should get foamy and bubbly. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead; use a different pack.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  3. Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold shortening and butter until the mixture is crumbly with pieces of butter ranging from pea to nickel sized. Pour in the yeast mix and the buttermilk, all at once. then stir until the dough is thoroughly moistened and you can mash it together into a ball.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 and lightly butter two 10 inch cast iron skillets (or a buttered baking dish). Dump dough out onto a lightly floured board. Pat into a 1 inch thick circle; fold in half; repeat process twice.
  6. Finally, pat or roll the dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut the dough with 2 inch biscuit cutters. You can use smaller or larger cutters, but adjust your cooking time to suit.
  7. Place the biscuits, sides touching, in the prepared pans. Brush with half the melted butter.
  8. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking, until the tops are golden brown. Brush with the rest of the melted butter and serve.

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Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings



I was never a fan of chicken and dumplings growing up. It was a very heavy dish the way my mom made it. As southerners would say, “Bless her heart… she was a lovely woman, but she might could do something other than cook”.

I’ve said before, my mom made good lasagna considering she was a depression era southern woman. She also made excellent lemon meringue pie. And her fried chicken is something I still haven’t been able to match. But she had her flops too. Say “Garbage Soup” in my or my brothers presence and we’re likely to recoil away and gag. As for her chicken and dumplings, looking back, I can see why it turned out greasy and heavy. Mom just boiled up that chicken until it was tender and then made her Bisquick dumplings right on top, without getting rid of the grease.

While I’d give my right arm to eat her cooking again, I do make most things differently than she did. I used to make chicken and dumplings for the family her way and I could never eat it. So I started cheating. I had some leftover chicken and just started tossing things in a pot with it, then topped it with, yep, Bisquick dumplings. I love those far more than I do the rolled out ones. Over the years, it’s morphed into this dish and I finally can eat chicken and dumplings again. Plus… it’s so darn quick because you use either leftover chicken or a store bought rotisserie one!

You know the drill…

Cheaters Easy & Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, chopped into bite sized pieces (or about 4 cups of leftover chicken, chopped up)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 14 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 10.75 ounce cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 cups biscuit mix (Bisquick)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, saute the chopped onion and celery in the 3 tablespoons butter until they are soft and limp, about 7 minutes. Pour the chicken broth and soup in with the veggies. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add in the chicken and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for ten minutes or so; long enough to heat everything up nicely. Stir in the cream and turn the heat up enough to bring the soup to a boil.
  3. Combine the biscuit mix and milk in a medium bowl. You’ll have a thick pasty sort of mixture. Use a large spoon to drop large balls of dumpling dough onto the hot soup. You should get about 8 to 10 dumplings. Snuggle them all in there right next to each other.
  4. Cover the pot and cook until the dumplings are tender and fluffy and cooked throughout, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Serve with plenty of black pepper and there may be some out there who want to add some salt. I personally find it salty enough without adding extra.

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Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits



I have a thing for biscuits, scones, quick breads, all of that type of food. They are quick, they are easy and the biscuits are pure southern comfort food. There is nothing like a biscuit, spread with some fresh butter and dripping with honey or jam.

That said though, there are times I like to change it up. Biscuits are fun to play with.ย  Ok, that came out sounding strange. I now have a mental image of myself and the boys outside batting around a biscuit. Hmmm, back when I was first learning to make them, that actually may have been possible, though if someone got hit with one, it would have been fatal.ย  Asssssss I was saying before I had an “ooo, shiny thing” moment there,ย  biscuits are fun to play with. The normal ones are delicious, but they lend themselves to so many variations. I have made them with the addition of bacon, green onions, cheese, dried fruits, you name it, it can probably go in biscuit dough.

This time I wanted to make them a wee bit more sophisticated. Though sophistication falls by the wayside when they are being eaten by three boys whose idea of sophistication is McDonalds and whose table manners resemble a horde of hungry Hyenas attacking an elephant carcass after being on a 4 day juice fast. But hey, *I* actually took the time to savor them and enjoy the step up from plain biscuits.ย  I used a good amount of cracked pepper in these (enough that when my five year old actually stopped eating long enough to breathe, he said “these are spicy, momma!” I used two slightly more upscale cheese (as opposed to say, American cheese slices ๐Ÿ˜› ) and the flavor was wonderful…. cheesy, peppery, with all the flavors of a good biscuit also. This is perfect for a fancier dinner or a family dinner or just to nosh on.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cracked Pepper & Two Cheese Biscuits

  • 4 cups self rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (use whole milk buttermilk if you can find it. It makes a far better biscuit and really, low fat milk in a biscuit is a waste of time calorie wise)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces Fontina Cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Havarti Cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 (400 if your oven runs hot) degrees, Grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cheeses.
  3. Drop the butter and shortening into the bowl of flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles pea sized crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, all at once, Use a fork to stir and combine the milk with the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board or counter top. Pat it down into a flat circle. Fold it into thirds like youโ€™re folding a letter to fit into an envelope. Pat it down again, fold it one more time. Finally, pat it into a rough circle of about 1 inch high.
  5. Cut out as many biscuits as you can get, laying them right next to each other in the baking pan if you want soft sided biscuits or about an inch apart if you want crisp sided biscuits.
  6. Bake at 400 to 425 for about 20 to 24 minutes, until they are firm on top and golden brown. Take off the pan and serve piping hot, preferably with some nice fresh homemade butter. Believe it or not, even with the cheese and the pepper, these are excellent with honey on them too; it adds to the flavor, making a sweet/savory combo.

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Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits & The Times, They Are A’Changin’

Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

 

It occurred to me earlier today that I have been cooking for about 40 years now. I’m not quite sure whether to be proud of that fact or to go get my walker and economy size bottle of Geritol. I look back to when I was first starting when I was about ten and it amazes me how much grocery stores have changed. Back when I was a kid, you could still find a fair amount of mom and pop stores that carried the basics and a lot of cheap candy but not much else. Then you had the chain stores, which in the case of where I lived, were Jewel and Dominicks. You could fit two or three of those quite neatly into say, a Super Wal-Mart. They sold more than the mom and pop stores but the variety back in the ’70’s just was NOT what it is now. We take it all for granted and just blithely walk through huge grocery stores without batting an eye, but those of us who are older (as well as those who have lived in other countries that don’t have mega marts like we do) remember it being much different back in the days of the dinosaurs ๐Ÿ˜›ย  Stores had about ten aisles and if you wanted something fancy, you’d better have access to a large city with small gourmet shops.

Now however, you can go to any large chain grocery store and get gourmet cheeses, artisan breads, fancy meats and some even sell a good variety of decent wines. One of my favorite things about the here and now is the variety of ice cream hehe. When I was a kid, you got vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, Neapolitan, butter pecan, rocky road and that was about it. My favorite then was Neapolitan , my sisters was Butter Pecan and my brothers was vanilla. He was the boring one ๐Ÿ˜› NOW however, I can easily spend 20 minutes in the ice cream aisle choosing from gourmet gelatos and ice creams of every flavor under the sun.

Another thing that has changed is biscuits. You know those four packs of the canned biscuits that make biscuits with very little flavor and that are the size of a silver dollar? That was IT as far as the selection went. Those and *shudders* the prepackaged “Brown N Serve” rolls. My mom got those every holiday and I hated them. Even then I knew there had to be better out there somewhere. And now you can get some pretty good biscuits in the frozen section. But even then, they aren’t homemade. It took me literally years to learn to make a good buttermilk biscuit. Mine were….edible… but rather too hard and dense, to say the least. Now, if I do say so myself, I make some darn good biscuits. I’ve even taught my daughter and one other family member (who prefers not to admit they were schooled by me ๐Ÿ˜› ) how to do so. Now I’m writing it down for the rest of you. They are NOT difficult. The main thing to remember with biscuits? A light touch and don’t overwork your dough. It took me forever to figure that out. I used to knead it about a dozen times the way some recipes said to do. Now, I just dump the dough out, press it into shape, fold it a couple of times, press again and cut them. That’s it. Overworking is the death of a biscuit. Plus, as counter intuitive as it sounds, too much fat in the dough will make for a tougher, flatter biscuit. Stick to the ingredients and ratios here and you’ll have great biscuits. It may take a few times to learn to work the dough properly so if these don’t look like my photo right away, don’t sweat it. They will. I promise.

This makes about ten LARGE biscuits. If you want smaller and aren’t feeding an army, you may want to cup the recipe in half. If not, freeze the leftovers, securely wrapped.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 4 cups self rising flour (please, if you have access, useย  White Lily brand flour. If you can’t find it, then Martha White is a decent substitute.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (yes, even though the flour is self rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (use whole milk buttermilk if you can find it. It makes a far better biscuit and really, low fat milk in a biscuit is a waste of time calorie wise)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, Grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Drop the butter and shortening into the bowl of flour. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles pea sized crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, all at once, Use a fork to stir and combine the milk with the flour until you have a cohesive dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board or counter top. Pat it down into a flat circle. Fold it into thirds like you’re folding a letter to fit into an envelope. Pat it down again, fold it one more time. Finally, pat it into a rough circle of about 1 inch to 1 1/4 inches high.
  5. Cut out as many biscuits as you can get, laying them right next to each other in the baking pan if you want soft sided biscuits or about an inch apart if you want crisp sided biscuits.
  6. Bake at 425 for about 20 to 24 minutes, until they are firm on top and golden brown. Take off the pan and serve piping hot, preferably with some nice fresh homemade butter (in the background of my photo and yes, it will be a later post) and good quality jam, preferably something like my homemade Apple Pie Jam because homemade is always better ๐Ÿ˜€

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“Can I Have Another Bigit Momma?”

With six kids, I have heard a lot of mispronounced words in my day. For a woman who tends to be a grammar and vocabulary Nazi (*waits for someone to go through all my posts looking for all the errors…of which I’m sure there will be many hehe), I always found it strangely cute. I guess it comes down to that “when our kids do it, it’s cute even if other people aren’t so amused” sort of thing. I still say that the ability to find our children adorable is what keeps us from being like other species and eating our young. That and baby smell. Is there anything better than the smell of a babies head? Erhmmm… a clean baby. Not a baby that needs a diaper change or has old milk smell ๐Ÿ˜›

When Jordan and Zach (now 14 and 17) were little, they loved canned ravioli but called them “roly polys”. Hey! I had five kids then… convenience foods kept me sane! For the longest time, I never corrected them when they would ask me to make them a can of roly polys. Then when they hit puberty, I figured it could have long term effects on their social lives if I didn’t tell them the correct pronunciation so I reluctantly told them the correct way to say the word . ๐Ÿ˜›

Now Joshie, being three, is the one with the way of pronouncing things that makes me giggle.ย  Yes, I’m easily amused. What can I say? So when I made these biscuits the other night, how could I refuse his cute little face when eh asked me for another “bigit”? Not to mention, getting the boy to eat anything other than apples and raisins is a feat in itself, so I wasn’t going to argue. But seriously, they ARE good bigits.. I mean biscuits. Only I could manage to find a recipe for a simple southern treat that has been sullied by adding demon meat ๐Ÿ˜€ But really; like they say, everything is better with bacon. Well, except for chocolate. I can’t get behind that trend. *shudders*

These are easy as can be. And with bacon, cheddar cheese and cracked black pepper, they are yummy too! The first time I made these, the cheese on top got a bit too brownedย  so I suggest adding the cheese to the top when they are almost done. So I have more baking right now so that I have prettier ones to show you. The sacrifices I make for all of you. This came from a BHG magazine and other than adding more bacon and cheese it’s the original recipe. The real recipe called for just a stingy 4 slices of bacon and 1/4 cup of cheese and the cheese was just for on top. What WERE they thinking!? Aren’t that laws against the under use of bacon and cheese? I didn’t change much. Ok, so I added a few green onions… and the extra cheese…and more bacon. Sigh. Let me rephrase. Once upon a time, this began its life in a BHG magazine.

Bacon, Cheddar & Cracked Pepper Biscuits

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 12 ounces bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (hold back two slices for crumbling on top of biscuits)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (and about another 1/3 cup for sprinkling on top)
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, pepper, cheese, green onions and cream of tartar.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk all at once.
  5. Stir with a fork just until mixture is thoroughly moistened.
  6. Dump onto a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is barely smooth. This isn’t a yeast dough; don’t over knead it.
  7. Pat it into a circle (doesn’t have to be perfect) of about 1/4 thick. Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place them on a very lightly greased (cooking spray is fine) baking sheet. almost touching.
  8. Gently reroll scraps and do the same with them.
  9. Bake at 450 for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. If sprinkling cheese and bacon on the tops, wait until they are almost done; sprinkle bacon and cheese on them, then finish cooking. Better yet, cook them, turn off the oven, sprinkle the cheese on them and put them back in and let the residual heat do the melting

 

Lucccccyyyyyy, I’m Hommmmmeeeeeeee! Cook Me Some Dinner!!

Oooo, Ricky, can we go to the club tonight!?

No Luccceeeee! You need to be cooking dinner for me!

Ohhhhhhh…. Rickkyyyyyyy! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ummmm…. yeah. That’s my way of saying I’m back! Did ya miss me!?ย  huh huh huh!? Was there an emptiness in your life the past 2.5 weeks while you waited for my return? Did you mourn and eat lots of Twinkies in my honor?

Well…. moving is done. We are settled with nary a box in sight. Well, one box but it’s my husbands and I’m not touching it… unless it sits there too long. Then I’ll hide it.

I had forgotten how much I hated moving. The only thing it is good for is that you have a clean house for a while. I think from now on we will just move every time the house gets dirty. Easier than cleaning.

Seriously though; moving sucks. By the time I finished culling things in the old house and packing up I was already exhausted. Then once we got everything here, all the unpacking and setting up pretty much fell to me since my husband had to work. Talk about tiring! A three bedroom house…. unpacked in like 3 days. Why you ask? Because I am extremely anal and couldn’t handle the idea of living in box city for longer than necessary. So I practically killed myself getting it done. I am one of those people who HAS to have it feeling like home. I need a magic wand or a potion to create “instant cozy”. If you see one on ebay, keep me in mind.

Then, as life is wont to do, it used it’s massive sense of humor to add Bronchitis to the settling in process. I’m still recovering from that and 99% of the time, tend to sound like Minnie Mouse after she has been sucking on a helium balloon. Kinda funny actually. Except when I try to sing. Then it’s just frightening. I think I have traumatized Joshie and all the cats.

Butttttt… I have FINALLY been able to start cooking again. Between setting up and illness, I didn’t cook a thing for the longest time. So all my grand plans of having a backlog of recipes and posts when I gotย  internet access back were ruined. But that’s ok. I’ll still be cooking for you. Have a new one for you right now as a matter of fact. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted a cobble the other day but didn’t have the things I needed to make a good home made one so I improvised. I guess it must have worked since my non sweets liking husband had two servings. Yay me!

This is supremely easy to throw together and a perfect Autumn cobbler. It is rich, decadent and smooth (starting to sound like I cloned George Clooney) with a crunchy biscuit topping that goes over the top by taking a dunk in butter and then a cinnamon sugar mix (omit the cinnamon on if you don’t like it {I see you Ann!} or can’t eat it.). Add in a shot (or so) of Butterscotch Schnapps and this is one tasty cobbler!! So get to cooking! Then get to eating. Then get to telling me how yummy it was!

ย Apple, Pear & Butterscotch Cobbler

  1. 1 20 ounce can apple pie filling
  2. 2 15 ounce cans pears in juice, drained (reserve juice from one can)
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  7. 1/3 cup butterscotch schnapps
  8. 1 7.5 ounce ten count can buttermilk biscuits
  9. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  10. 1/3 cup sugar
  11. 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more if desired. Can also be omitted)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk in the reserved juice from the can of pears.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apple pie filling and pears. Mix in the cornstarch mixture.
  • Pour in the butterscotch chips and the schnapps. Combine well then spoon into the buttered baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the last 1/3 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • Open biscuit can. Dip each biscuit in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Lay on top of fruit in baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit is bubbly and thickened, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Say yum many many times.

Reinventing The Wheel…Or Biscuit

Can you see all the little layers?? Huh huh huh?




We’ve all done it. Or at least if you’ve cooked for any length of time and are more than a casual “I HAVE to cook so I do” sort of foodie you’ve done it. What the heck am I talking about? Food reinvention. Aka the times you want to make something you’ve made before but just want to do it differently. You want something traditional but you want something new. That train of thought has brought us so very many of the foods we all love. Though I doubt Twinkies and Cheetos were somebody’s brain child as to how to reinvent cheese and cake. Mores the pity. ๐Ÿ˜›

I have been wanting biscuits. I have also been wanting croissants. But biscuits were boring and croissants are a pain in the proverbial tushie. I can make both with no problem. You can’t live in the south and cook without learning to make good buttermilk biscuits or you may as well hide in a hole. And I taught myself to make croissants years back just cause I wanted to prove I could do it. But neither was exciting me yesterday when I was contemplating today’s post. So I figured I’d make Angel Biscuits- those biscuit/yeast roll hybrids. But I wanted to play with them and see if I could get them to be more akin to croissants with out all the trouble and time that croissants take. I have to say; I’m pretty tickled with how they turned out.

Hours before I started the dough, I cut two sticks of butter in half. Then I rolled out each half in between sheets of waxed paper and froze them. After I got the dough finished later, I did the rolling and turning technique (more or less) that you use when making croissants after inserting the sheets of butter in them. After baking, I tried one (I wanted to eat more but controlled myself lol) with some of my home made Apricot Honey Jam. All I can say is… oh my. These turned out fantastic. Are they the prettiest rolls in the world? Nope. But I couldn’t care less nor will you. I promise. These are tender and buttery and the tops and bottoms get a slight crispy almost fried taste and texture due to the butter. You can see the layers in this and they are reminiscent of the flaky biscuits you can make from a can (the ones where you can peel apart the layers) but without the canned taste, thank God and the Pillsbury Dough Boy. So give these a try. They aren’t time consuming at all and taste so darn good!

Croissant Style Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 pound), room temp, cut in half (preferably salted for this recipe contrary to what I usually advise)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) regular yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you may need a touch more if the dough is dry)
  1. Put one of your pieces of butter onto a large piece of waxed paper. Fold the paper over it and smoosh the butter down. Then roll the butter out flat into a thin sheet. Do this with each of the four pieces. Put into the freezer for at least an hour.

    See? The butter doesn’t have to look pretty. Just nice and thin and flat. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. When the butter has been in for about 50 minutes, preheat your oven to 400 and start your dough.
  3. Mix the yeast with the warm water in a small container. Set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until mixture is the consistency of fine crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk, then the yeast. Mixture should leave sides of bowl and be a cohesive mass. If not, add a little more buttermilk at a time until it does.
  5. Place the dough on a generously floured board. Knead until it comes together smoothly. Gently roll out the dough into a rectangle. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
  6. Place one of the frozen butter sheets on it and fold the dough in half, enclosing the butter. Seal the edges well.ย  Gently roll back out into a rectangle large enough to insert another sheet of butter.
  7. Do this three more times with each of the other pieces of butter. Make sure your board stays decently floured. Seal the dough well after inserting each sheet of butter using fingers moistened with a bit of buttermilk if necessary. Cover any cracks with a light sprinkling of flour and just continue on as you have been doing. Work quickly so that the butter doesn’t have time to soften up too much. The steam is what helps create the layers and warm butter won’t steam as well. When you have all the butter rolled in, you will end up with a thick fairly heavy piece of dough that looks more or less like this:
  8. Roll out a LITTLE bit. You’re not trying to flatten it out again just make it a touch bigger. Once you have this done, cut the dough into 16 pieces. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve with jam or preserves or chocolate sauce if that makes you happy. But you won’t need butter on these I promise you. ๐Ÿ˜›

 

Y’all Come Back Now Ya Hear?

If you’re reading my blog, chances are you’ve watched a show or two or five hundred on The Food Network at some time or another. Chances also are that you have very strong opinions on the hosts of those TV shows. Like Rachael Ray. She drives me batty. If I hear her say EVOO one more time instead of just saying extra virgin olive oil, I am going to reach through the screen and knock her upside the head with her garbage bowl. What’s with that bowl anyway? She tries to tell us that it’s a time saver. Ummmm…. how? I mean, really, how hard is it to walk to the trash can (that she prolly has right under a counter anyway) and toss some stuff in there as opposed to making more dirty dishes? And that thing that comes between two slices of bread? It’s a sandwich dammit, a sandwich! Not a freaking “sammy”!! Ok, sorry, I’m calm now.

Then there are the Neelys. All I have to say is get a room. You’re a cute couple but get a room. K? Thanks.

I am so not even giving an opinion on Sandra Lee. Kwanzaa Cake. Look it up on Youtube. That’s enough said right there.

But the queen of Food TV will always be Paula Deen. Love her or hate her, she reigns supreme there. Personally, I have mixed emotions when it comes to her. On the one hand, I love the majority of the food she makes. I mean, she uses ample amounts of butter, sugar and cream. Is there something in that NOT to love? But on the other hand it’s like I said. Mixed emotions. She seems so sweet and country and like you’d love to sit down with her and have a cup of coffee (not like Sandra Lee where you’d need a bottle of Vodka… and then a drink for yourself too) with her and gossip. By the same token, you would want to make sure your husband was locked up in a nunnery (heh. The mental image of my husband in a habit is pretty cool. Yeah; I need to get out more.) because Lord knows that if there is a male around, Miss Paula will be hitting on him. I swear, that woman makes Tiger Woods look virginal. Plus, I have lived in the south for well over 20 years now and I have never… I mean never, heard anyone use the word Y’all as often as she does or drawl quite as deeply unless they were trying out for a remake of Gone With The Wind.

But…like I said, her food is amazing if you like fat and calories. And you know you do. Quit shaking your head no and telling yourself that yes, you really DO prefer Tofu over heavily buttered biscuits smothered in jam. No one believes you. Since we both know that you want the biscuits, I’m here to supply you with some biscuit love, southern style. These are one of Miss Deens recipes and they are quite yummy. Cornmeal biscuits with a blackberry butter. Next time however, as much as I adore Blackberry jam (it’s rather a jam addiction of mine) I want to try making an Apricot Honey butter too. Mmmmm….

CORNMEAL BISCUITS WITH BLACKBERRY BUTTER

Blackberry Butter-

  1. 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  2. 2 tablespoons blackberry jam (I may have used more…just maybe ๐Ÿ˜€ )
  3. 1 teaspoon grated lime zest (don’t omit this; it makes the flavor of this spread)

Biscuits-

  1. 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2/3 cup cornmeal
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 8 tablespoons (one stick) butter, chilled
  8. 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • To make the blackberry butter, mix together the softened butter, jam and lime zest. Stir.
  • To make the biscuits,in a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • With a pastry cutter or fork cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the sour cream until the mixture comes together into a ball. I started with a large spoon but ended up just using my hands to finish so that I could get all the flour mixture hiding in the corners of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat to a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with a 3 inch biscuit cutter. Re-pat the scraps (be gentle with the re rolled scraps. They get tough if handled too much) and roll out and cut.
  • Put on the baking sheet and cook until light golden broth, about 15 to 18 minutes depending on your oven. Do NOT over bake unless you like really crispy hard edged biscuits.
  • Serve these steaming hot with the blackberry butter.