Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Angel Biscuits

Some years ago I went to Nashville and ate at The Loveless Cafe. I instantly fell in love with their biscuits. I returned home and went on a quest to duplicate them. I made over 2000 biscuits over a couple months and thought I finally succeeded. I was biscuited out and stopped making them. recently, I made them again and realized they were not like The Loveless Cafe's. So, here I go again and maybe this time I can be successful in a shorter period of time. This recipe makes a mighty fine biscuit but it's nothing like TLC's.

Measure 2 1/2 C. flour into a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix this together and then cut in 1/2 C. shortening. You should have a crumbly mix.

In a bowl, mix together 1/4 C. water, 3/4 C. buttermilk and 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Dump this on a lightly floured surface. Knead about 10-15 times just until it comes together.

Roll it into a 3/4 thick disk.

Flour a cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can. Do not twist the cutter while cutting or your biscuits will not rise properly. Push the extra dough together and continue to cut. These won't look as perfect as the others but they will still be good!

Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and place them in a slightly warm oven to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

They will almost double.

Bake them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Brush them with melted butter as soon as you take them out of the oven.

these are very light and fluffy and oh so good. Tomorrow I will show you what I served them with.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I give winter for us this year. Spring seems to have set in. And, it is influencing my cooking. Yesterday I made these salads which were a big hit. They are easy and really delicious.

First I placed some spring greens lettuce on the plate and then topped it with a heaping handful of spinach. Then I added some of the sliced beets I recently pickled and some of the pickled hard boiled eggs sliced thin.

Add thinly sliced radishes, strawberries and red onions. I also sliced up some of my oven roasted tomatoes and sprinkled them over the top.

Crumble on some feta cheese and drizzle with poppy seed dressing

Doesn't this look pretty?

Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe:

1/3 C. white vinegar
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 large green onion
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds

In a food processor or blender, place the first 5 ingredients and pulse to blend. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil into the mix until it thickens. Pour into a pitcher and stir in 2 tsp. of poppy seeds.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shepherd's Pie Mac and Cheese

Once again I had camera problems. I erased my step by step photos. If you want to make this and want to see this step by step, click on this link and scroll down:

My kids love these.

These are so much better than making them with mashed potatoes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blackberry Crumble Bars

Once again, I apologize for the quality of the photos. I just can't shoot with my left hand and the light in my kitchen is awful. These are much better than they look!

Crack 4 eggs into your mixer bowl.

Add 1 cup of sour cream.

Add 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt.

Add the zest of 1/2 lemon and 1 tsp. of almond extract. Beat until mixed thoroughly.

Add 2 large containers of fresh blackberries.

Gently stir them into the batter.

I forgot some photos again. Place 3 cups of flour in the bowl of your food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Pulse to mix. Cut 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups) into 1/4 inch cubes. Pulse the processor as you drop the butter in. Pulse until you have a crumbly mix. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of this for your topping. Press the remaining into a 9 X 13 inch pan which has been coated with cooking spray. Bake this for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool for 15 minutes.

Pour the berry batter over the top and crumble the 1 1/2 cups of the topping over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. It should be set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour before cutting into bars.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Journey Cakes

Omg...I am losing it! I got busy today and totally forgot to post! This is one of my favorite recipes from back in the day. This is an old hippie recipe for veggie pancakes which are actually good eaten cold. I added a bit of cheese but the original recipe did not call for any. I think they are actually better without the cheese. Basically you can do anything you want with this recipe. Add whichever veggies you like and you can replace the flour with breadcrumbs if you wish. Mung bean sprouts are good in these as well.

Shred a large zucchini, place it in a towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Do the same with 1 large carrot or 2 medium ones.

Finally dice 2 stalks of celery.

Add some diced fresh parsley. Add lots of sliced green onions and about 1/2 cup grated onion.

Add 4 cloves of minced garlic.

I added some of my Turkish peppers. You can skip this or just add some red bell pepper.

I added 3/4 cup of flour but you can substitute bread crumbs.

I also added 1/4 cup of havarti and 1/4 cup of mozzarella. Next time I will leave the cheese out.

Mix in 2 eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix together until thoroughly blended.

I like to fry these in a little sesame oil in a non stick pan. You can use the oil of your choice.

Drain on paper towels and allow them to cool off. Let the flavors develop for a while. i prefer these at room temperature or cold.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Beef-A-Roni

This is a really good way to get your kids to eat their vegetables.

Put 1 or 2 T. of olive oil in a heavy pot.

I ground more bacon and used it in this recipe but you can skip this step if you are bacon phobic.

I sauteed a couple T. of the ground bacon.

Saute' about 3 cups of assorted diced vegetables. I used celery, onions, red peppers and carrots. Use whichever ones you like.

After a couple minutes, add 1 pound of ground beef.

Add 1 tsp.of thyme, 1 tsp. oregano and some salt and pepper.

Add several diced garlic cloves.

Add 1 cup of tomato sauce.

Stir in 1 cup of grated cheddar.

If you want it to be nice and creamy, add about 1/2 cup of Velveeta.

Turn the heat off and let it sit on the burner covered for 10 minutes.

While the pot is sitting, boil 1 pound of pasta to al dente. Don't overcook the pasta.

Remove the lid and stir to combine the melted cheese. Stir in the cooked pasta along with some chopped fresh parsley.

Yum! The veggies are still a bit crunchy and this is a gazillion times better than store bought.