Sunday, October 21, 2012

Buttermilk "Bribery" Biscuits

The past several months, I have been encouraging the boys to try new things.  It's not always a success, but for the most part things are going well.  However, there are some nights, they are eating whatever I put in front of them.  Those are the nights, I am tired, I am not cooking a separate meal, and it's normally something very normal. 

For example, I made chicken noodle soup a few weeks back.  Both boys were pitching a fit over it.  When I was little, soup was a constant that we ate, and I enjoyed it.  This was also one of those nights, it was soup or nothing.  To accompany the soup that night I made scratch buttermilk biscuits.  They gobbled up their biscuit, or should I say, they inhaled them.  In order to have their second biscuit, I told them they had to finish their soup.  No problem, they stopped arguing, finished their soup, and was rewarded with a second biscuit.

Since that night, on a couple occasions, both boys asked for those yummy biscuits.  So tonight, another soup night, I made those oh so yummy "bribery" biscuits.  I told them I would make the biscuits, but no arguing over the soup.  Once again, no problem.  These biscuits really do work wonders :)

So what's the secret ingredient???  Well, there isn't one.  The recipe is very simple, from my grandmother.  All the ingredients are probably in your pantry.  You may just have to pick up the buttermilk.  Buttermilk really makes it so tasty, so please don't substitute regular milk.

The one item that you can substitute is the shortening.  If you really have strong convictions about using vegetable shortening, by all means use butter for all the fat in the recipe.  That being said, the combination of butter and shortening really does the biscuit delectable.


2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter, chilled
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening, chilled
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Either line a cookie sheet with parchment or lightly grease a high sided 9 inch cake pan, and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter and shortening, and with your fingers work it through the dry mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.  It's best to work quickly and sort of rub the butter and shortening in your finger tips with the flour.

Then make a well, and add the buttermilk.  With a spatula, stir until a soft dough forms.  On a floured surface, turn the dough out.  Gently fold the dough on itself several times.  Using your hand pat a round circle of dough, about an inch thick.

Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut out your biscuits.  When cutting, go straight down through the biscuit, then turn the cutter once you have hit the counter top.  Place the biscuits on the prepared tray or pan.  I prefer using a cake pan, as I find the biscuits are more uniform when they bake.  Bake for 15 to 19 minutes, until golden brown.

Top with butter, jam, honey, etc.  These are also great for biscuits and gravy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Easy Peasy Chicken Soup

Chicken soup feeds the soul, helps the common cold, and just tastes darn good.  Well here's a chicken soup recipe that anyone can do.  It is easy peasy lemon squeezy (that's what my almost five year calls super easy things).

This soup can be made easily in the afternoon and served for dinner.  The prep time is about 10 minutes, and total cook and simmer time about an hour.  I served it with buttermilk biscuits, but crackers would be fun too. 


1 cooked rotisserie chicken, original recipe (find it at around the deli counter)
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 of an onion, diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 quarts reduced sodium chicken stock
1/2 package wide egg noodles

In a large stock pot, saute carrots, celery, onion , salt, and pepper in a tablespoon of oil for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the vegetables are softening, skin and remove the chicken from the bone.  The best way to do this, is with clean hands.  As you are pulling the chicken off the bone, discard the skin, fat, or any tendons.  Simply shred the meat with your hands and set aside. You will have about 2 cups of cooked chicken, both white and dark meat.

Once the vegetables are tender, add the garlic and cook a minute or so.  Then add the chicken stock and bay leaf.  Allow to simmer about 20 minutes, then add the cooked chicken.  Simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes.

In another stock pot, bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions.  Drain and put into a separate container for storage (you may add 1/2 tsp. of oil to prevent them from sticking).

Once the soup has simmered, remove the bay leaf.  You are ready to go.  Just add your noodles to a bowl and cover with the hot soup.  Store remaining noodles and soup in different containers.  When reheating, add the noodles to each serving.  This stops the pasta from soaking up the broth in your soup while storing it. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My First Sewing Class

Last night, I went to my first sewing class.  Now it's not the first time I have sewed, but it was the first formal lesson I had.  I learned the basics years ago from my mom, but I wanted to expand my knowledge.  Our project last night was an apron.

At first, the thought of sewing an apron was very daunting.  However, after a bit it started to make sense.  I will admit, I was so scared and nervous.  Before I left the house, I tried to tell Jay I wasn't going.  He answered me with, "you paid for it, and you are going".  Okay, he's right, but I have anxiety when it comes to classes.  I was always the kid in the back of the class never raising her hand.  So, about an hour into it, my shaking hands settled and I started cruising along. 

I also learned, I need a refresher course on rulers and measurements.  I felt so badly for the instructor and her helper, at my inability to cut the proper pieces.  They were patient, and helped me along.  I also learned, I really want a cutting mat and rotary cutter ;) 

After three hours, lots of laughs, and determination my apron was complete!  I think it came out cute.  In fact, every one's was a success.  So for all my local Oneonta friends, check out Project Anthologies for classes.  As for non-Oneonta friends, check out her online store!

ice cream cone center panel, accented with blue and brown
polka dot waistband and ties

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Hand Pies

October's Project Pie is super simple and tasty.  I made apple hand pies. What's a hand pie?  Well, it's a pie that has filling contained by crust, easily held in the hand.  It makes for mess free snacking, and very portable.  They are great for picnics, lunch boxes, etc.  Oh and by the way, the filling itself is wonderful over ice cream, pancakes, or waffles.

I did make two versions of these hand pies.  The first version was using a super cute Wilton pie maker in an apple shape.  While it was very festive, it was also on the large size and I only got 6 pies out of the whole batch of crust.

For the next attempt, I used a 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, and yielded a dozen little treats.


1 package refrigerated pie crust
3 large apples, I used golden delicious and granny smith
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. apple pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
egg wash and cinnamon sugar for dusting, optional

Peel, core and dice apples.  Place apples, butter, sugar, and spices in a large skillet and heat until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  On a floured surface, unroll pie crust.  Using a round cutter (I used 3 1/2 inch), cut rounds from dough. If necessary re-roll scraps and continue to make pastry rounds.  I was able to cut 24 rounds from one package of pie crust (2 sheets of dough).

Carefully spoon filling into the center of half of the rounds.  Gently cover the pie filling with the remaining pastry circles.  Use a fork to crimp the edges, and pierce the top of the pie with a fork to create vents.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  If desired, brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly before eating.