Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

To all who gave the ultimate sacrifice......Thank you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

In my quest to make the perfect Southern biscuit, it occured to me that I might be using the wrong flour. So I ordered some White Lily from an online company and went to work. Apparently, the lower protein content of Southern flours makes for lighter, tastier biscuits. The results I got were some of the best I've had! Since I've never seen good Southern biscuits being made, I kept wondering if the instructions were right. But the biscuits turned out so good, I knew I had a keeper. I did change one ingredient in the recipe but it only helped them taste better (see recipe). I hope you get inspired to make some good homemade Southern biscuits!

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups White Lily self rising flour
1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces (you can use Crisco here instead but the butter flavor is better)
2/3 to 3/4 cup of buttermilk (I used regular milk (sweet milk) and a tablespoon of lemon juice to make buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Measure the flour and place in bowl. Add butter and with a fork or pastry cutter incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Blend in enough of the milk to make the dough separate from the sides of the bowl, but don't stir too much, just until moist. Gently knead dough two or three times then roll out on a floured surface to about 1 inch in height. Cut with a large biscuit cutter but do not twist the cutter (it makes the edges tough). Place on a cookie sheet making sure the sides touch. Bake approx. 8 to 10 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Brush with butter.

"Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit"
-famous Southern saying

Monday, May 24, 2010

Orange Julius

Since my daughter got home from her surgery last week, she has struggled with a bad stomach ache and a sore throat. It's hard to see her refuse food. Before her surgery, her nickname was "The Hoover" and she found it funny to eat me out of house and home on a daily basis. I swear I have no idea where she puts all that food either. But now that she is having trouble eating, I thought she might want to try something that is both cool and offers some nutrition. Plus it's easy for her to sip since solid food hurts her throat. She liked the idea of an Orange Julius. It was easy to make and delicious! This would be a perfect drink to dress up or just enjoy on a hot summer day.

Orange Julius

1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping cup ice

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender set on high speed for 15 to 30 seconds.
Makes two drinks.

From Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

"If life gives you lemons, make some sort of fruity juice."
-Conan O'Brian

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where Has The Time Gone?

I really wanted to have a great new recipe to post today but I never got around to making anything. Since the weather was so nice, we spent all weekend working on our pool, porch and garden. We also visited the Prime Outlets near us and did some much needed shopping. And after all that, we celebrated my birthday over the weekend and we had so much cake and ice cream that making something sweet didn't seem appealing at all!

My eldest daughter is getting her adenoids out tomorrow so everyone is on edge about her surgery. She had been having so much trouble breathing and she sounded chronically stuffy, we just always thought she had colds. Finally, we tried a netti pot and when she couldn't get the water to go all the way through, we knew it wasn't just a cold she had. We made an appointment with the ENT. When he saw her he said her adenoids were "huge!" as he put it, so we scheduled her for surgery. It's only a 10 minute surgery and it's outpatient, but it's just the thought of having my baby under anesthetic makes me so nervous.

The business is not going too well either. I'm having issues with my partners, who are brothers (one is my brother in law). When I went to bid on a home last week, the one brother lowered his bid by $10,000 which left us without enough money to buy the house. Grrrrr! I called them and asked that we meet to get everything down on paper so next time there isn't an issue. If they keep creating problems, I'm thinking of doing this on my own and just hiring them to fix the homes for me. The person who said that you don't have a real business unless you are losing sleep over it is absolutely right!

I'm hoping for my next post to be able to bake soon and post something yummy for everyone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie

It's Strawberry time! Yum! I'm finding it hard to resist buying the strawberries in the stores because I can smell them from several isles over. When I ended up with more strawberries than my kids could humanly eat last week, I went to one of my favorite recipe sites, and found this recipe. It took some alterations (some recommended by other users) to get this just right, but it was worth it. Even my husband couldn't resist a piece even though he was stuffed from dinner. I'm definitely going to make this again.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 package strawberry flavored gelatin, 4 serving size
3/4 cups of water
3 pints of strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1 graham cracker pie crust

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and heat through, stirring often. Add jello and combine. Cook until thick (about 8 to 10 minutes) and remove from heat. Cool. Place berries in crust, pour cooled jello mixture over berries and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Serve with whipped topping.

"Doubtless God could have made a better berry than the strawberry, but doubtless God ever did."
-William Allen Butler

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

McDonalds Around The World

This is a very interesting site showing all the different items McDonald's sells around the world. Some of it sounds good, some of it, well....I think they are acquired tastes!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

After much determination, I got to make my brownies. Baking helped burn off a lot ofmy stress and to make it even better, these brownies turned out incredibly rich and moist. The chocolate and raspberry together made the brownies taste like a fancy restaurant dessert. I can't wait to make these brownies again!

Raspberry Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nine inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Spread 1 cup of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle pecans over the batter. Heat jam in the microwave until easily stirred, about 10 seconds. Drizzle over the pecans in the baking pan.

Beat remaining batter and 1 egg in the same large bowl until light in color. Stir in one cup of chocolate chips. Spread evenly over jam. Top with remaining chips.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely and cut into squares.

"He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise."
-Henry David Thoreau