Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Calvin (about a week old) with my grandpa Joe Middour

Calvin (11 months) with my grandpa Tracy Hinson

Calvin (13 months) with my Daddy at my wedding dinner

Calvin (1 month) with Charlie. This is one of my favorites.

I'm so blessed to have all of these amazing men in my life. They are wonderful fathers and the reason I'm the semi-sane, decent human being I am today :-)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Whaddaya want for nothin'? Rrrrruber biscuit?

Bow, bow, ooh ooh oooh, ooooooooooooooh

Luckily, the biscuits I'm about to introduce you to are not made of rubber. They are made of flour, shortening, some leavening, and butter. Mmm, butter. But, after the day I've had, I needed to hear some Blues Brothers. They always seem to cheer me up. So, about these biscuits...

Until I found this recipe about 2 months ago, I was unable to make a decent biscuit. Actually, I was unable to make an edible biscuit; I'll just be honest. The last time I made a good biscuit was in culinary school a few years ago. They really aren't that difficult to make and I even tried cheating by using jiffy mix! Nope! Must have been a skill God did not bless me with. Or so I thought. But then! Alton Brown came to my rescue. I had to tweak his recipe just a little and that's what I'm about to share with you, but you can find his original recipe here. This is a very idiot proof forgiving recipe and fast. Oh! And I recently did some of my own experimenting and found that it is also a glorious and wonderful thing because you can freeze these biscuits [unbaked] and save them for whenever you need them. Never buy store bought frozen or canned biscuits again! I'll give you those details towards the end. Ready? Go!

Southern Biscuits
2 Cups AP flour (I use King Aurthur brand)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 kosher teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3 Tablespoons all-vegetable shortening [or lard if you've got it and feel like throwing caution for your heart health to the wind], chilled and cut into small pieces
1 Cup chilled buttermilk*
2 Tablespoons butter, melted (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix these ingredients lightly with your fingertips. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture looks like crumbs. Your fingertips work best, but try to work quickly so the fats don't melt. Cold is key when making crusts and biscuits. Make a shallow well in the center and add the buttermilk. Stir, again with your fingertips (or a spoon, you sissy) just until the dough comes together. It will be a sticky mess. Be sure to scrape as much dough as you can off of your fingers/spoon.

Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface, dust the top of the dough with flour, proceed to drop flour on the floor and make a mess. Gently fold the dough over itself 5 or 6 times. Turn it a few degrees each time you fold it. Press the dough out until it's about an inch thick. Then, using a 2-inch cutter, cut out your biscuits. It's helpful to dip the cutter into a bit of flour every other time you cut a new biscuit. Place the biscuits on a greased or lined baking sheet. Reform the scraps of dough, working it as little as necessary, and continue cutting. If there is any scrap dough left over after the second pass, just discard it. Bake the biscuits at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they are golden on top. Brush with melted butter.

This was my very first batch (from March-ish?). They came out
slightly lopsided but so yummy!


After you've cut out your biscuits, lay them on a wax paper lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Then, put them in a plastic zip top bag and freeze until you need them! When you want to bake them preheat your oven to 350 degrees, place the frozen biscuits on a greased or lined baking sheet and bake for about 22 minutes.

*If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, fear not! Just add a tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It doesn't have the exact same tang, but it will have a similar acidity to buttermilk, which I find necessary for this recipe.

This isn't a very "healthy" item that I can have all the time now that I'm making an honest effort to change how I eat. But man, oh man, to I look forward to these as a treat every few weeks. I hope you enjoy them, too!


PS The picture of the biscuits count as my photo for Photo Friday. Two birds, one stone, blah blah blah.