Fear not! You don’t have to cut in cold butter EVER again!
Here’s how to make the best buttermilk biscuits you have ever tasted, without that busy busy busy. And this is fast fast FAST!
Will you choose to spread MORE organic fresh cream butter on top, or scoop up some of our amazing British import jams and jellies from Wilkin & Sons?
I was in for the orange marmalade, first, then the lemon curd for the second one, personally.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl: 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour plus 3/4 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour. Add 2 T baking powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine.
In microwavable bowl, heat 1/2 stick, (1/4 cup) butter in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cup very cold fat free buttermilk, stir with spatula until butter reforms into clumps. Add 1T canola oil, stir to combine.
Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stir with spatula until just blended, do not over mix. Batter will be wet.
Drop batter in 3 T mounds onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Or into a way retro-cool cast iron biscuit pan like ours!!! Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes until golden.
Lots of luck waiting for them to cool, try to distract yourself for 3-4 minutes and then dive right in.
Add two perfectly poached eggs and ascend directly into Heaven.
Credit where credit is due:
Cooking Light Magazine, Spring 2013 Just be aware that we changed a few instructions: parchment paper didn’t work, larger biscuits are better, your cooking time may vary, just sayin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Work quickly with thawed pastry or it gets sticky and difficult. A box has two sheets, let them thaw for about 30 minutes, then roll them on a floured board with a floured rolling pin until about 10 inch square. Cut each square into four squares and lay on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Layer a slice of brie and 3 slices of Granny Smith or other tart apple in the middle of each square.
Overfilling is the enemy, don’t overdo it.
Top each with a sprinkle of brown sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of butter (1T cut into 8 pieces.). Brush the border of each square with a wash of whisked egg. Fold two opposite corners together and press to hold. Brush the entire top of pastry with egg wash.
I definitely recommend the website “Garden of Vegan” for recipes to make wonderful meat/dairy free food!
At Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast we keep a tightly covered container of this heavenly tasting, chewy seed mix in the fridge for spooning into yogurt and cereal.
We dip into it for dinners too, on top of rice, mixed into steamed veggies, it’s ubiquitous YUM!!!
The flax seed is the only seed that needs to be ground in order to be digested, the others are fine as is, all straight from the bulk food bins!
Here’s the mix: ground flax, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and hulled hemp. Mix it up, eat it up!
Unless I’m in The Yelton Manor B&B garden munching a cherry tomato off the vine, my food needs to be “processed”. Prepared, that is.
“Don’t eat processed food”, they warn. And they are SO right, boxed or canned grocery products loaded with salt, stripped of vitamins, flavored and preserved with chemicals, handled by dirty hands, transported, and who knows what else has putrefied your edibles all along the way. UGH!
Restaurant food is also processed. Most restaurant food is factory processed, eateries are just adding more fat and salt and turning it onto plates. It’s assembled with sketchy cleanliness at origin and in the kitchen, that’s my warning based on 45 years of experience with restaurant business. Cook and eat at home!
You can create an easy system for processing your OWN food. Here’s how to make it easy, beautiful, healthy and delicious! Always keeping your hands, counters, sinks, cutting boards and utensils impeccably clean, of course!
Purchase organic food, free of poisons in and on them. If you are purchasing root vegetables, they must ALWAYS be organic. You’ll pay a snidge more but it’s cheaper than health care, uh huh. Anyway, you will eat better and waste less after I show you how to “process your veggies”, making it a net gain to the max.
Make a week’s plan. If you make 4 weekly plans (soup week 1, pasta week 2, pizza week 3, leftovers and panini’s week 4, for example) you can simply rotate your plan monthly. One day/evening a week you go to the grocery store, purchase most of the food you and your family will eat in the next 5-7 days. The melons, kiwi, bananas, apples and whatever green (spinach, kale, chard, parsley, cucumber, etc) that will grace your smoothies (one batch=5 drinks). The vegetables that will be soup, pizza, pasta and sandwiches: carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, squash, etc.
By chopping and shaving different ways, you make veggies instantly ready for different recipes/cooking techniques, satisfying and beautiful, never boring. Here I have bagged up the florets of a head of broccoli for steaming, roasting or soup. With a wide, sharp vegetable peeler, I shave the gnarley stalks into wide green noodles, for salads, soups, pizzas, sandwiches. Ziplock bag and into the fridge.
Cauliflower, lovely heads for a crudite plate, soup, roasting or steaming, also shaved for eating raw in salad. Ziplocks, into the fridge! Brussel sprouts? Yup. Carrots chopped, shaved and sticks, for soup, salad and snacks! Celery too, clean the gnarly stalks for soup and smoothies, save tender insides and greens for salads and Bloody Marys.
Wash and pat dry your soup/smoothie greens so you can reach for them *ready to roll* for a recipe. Into the fridge. Dice your melons and freeze, ready for smoothies. Did you buy a legume? Soak it and get it ready for a soup, a stew, burritos, whatever. Into the fridge with it. Did you get citrus? Squeeze limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit and clementines for cocktails and salad dressings! Into containers and into the door of the fridge for grabbing.
Now, as you are doing this, all the scraps of celery and carrot go into awesome veggie soup stock! No waste!
At the same time you are chopping, bagging AND making soup stock, you might also be roasting squash, sweet potatoes, onions, tomato, etc for adding into a breakfast omelette? Perhaps your bread machine is also making a fabulous 12 grain bread for the week’s meals?
Now, thanks to an hour or two of “multi-tasking”, you are ready to eat well at every meal, the fruits and vegetables are ready to go, right at your fingertips.
Process!!!!!! With simple organization you can be sure you are eating right and also make it easy and quick to make dinner at home, every single day.
This is my favorite winter salad and it’s always a crowd pleaser at the Holidays! Now you know what to do with all those clementines in that box! Pomegranates are seasonal November through January too. Break up any winter lettuce, like Romaine. Whisk up a simple dressing of about 1/3 cup clementine juice, 1 T champagne vinegar, 1 T honey and 1 T olive oil, dress the lettuce. Top individual plates with the clementine sections, pistachios, bits of goat cheese and some pomegranate seeds. Be prepared for applause!!!
The Mother of ALL Soups is a fabulous, flavorful, vegetable stock. Easy too. At home all winter I keep it as a refrigerator staple. I frequently use it for luncheon soup when we have a corporate retreat at Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast too. Quality food, first and foremost!!!
Every season is soup season. ALL kinds of soup from the winter squashes and root vegetables through to spring asparagus. Summer is TOO easy with all the fresh produce coming into the local farms. With beans, or potato, or pasta. Greens like spinach, chard, kale. Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, caramelized onions, ooh la la!!!
Soup can be made extraordinary every day with a fundamental commitment to a delicious, low-sodium, homemade vegetable broth. Dedicate a day of any/every week when you are home doing laundry, working out, etc (Saturday or Saunday, right?), and make this stock. Then turn it into whatever kind of soup you want, or several different kinds of soup, or as a base for pot pies, all week long, every week.
This makes the house smell SO good! Prep time is about 15 minutes, and it stews for 2 1/2 hours. Straining takes about another 10 minutes and pot/bowl clean-up about another 10 minutes. You should DO this! Grocery store stock, canned OR boxed, even the very highest rated/organic/low-sodium, is simply disgusting compared to this.
Use all organic vegetables for this stock. These are ROOT vegetables, so organic is vital or you will be making up a batch of Pesticide Punch.
The basics, deconstructed: celery, flat leaf parsley, leeks, carrots, peppercorns and course salt, fresh twigs of rosemary and thyme, heads of garlic and bay leaves.
Slice the leeks longways and rinse. Leeks hold a LOT of dirt between their skins.
Cut the tops of the heads of garlic and remove most of the outside paper.
Peel and top the carrots, then slice lengthwise so the optimum area of the vegetable is exposed to the broth.
Into your big soup pan, about 13-16 cups of cold salted water, bring to boil, then simmer 2 1/2 hours. Discard solids and strain the rest.
It’s FALL! The Yelton Manor test kitchen is fired up to fashion some new recipes using the season’s freshest ingredients from our local farms. Coming into the market right now are bushels of tomatoes, summer and winter squashes, eggplant, beets, plums, apples, peppers. It’s The Grand Finale of the harvest!!!
This casserole is the nexus of my lifelong passion for Mac and Cheese, love of roasted vegetables, mission of breakfast, and gratitude for exactly the right herb and spice. Breakfast is the *new dinner*, so plan this as an appetizer, main event or side dish at your autumn dinner party. It has WOW factor presentation too!
I always double this recipe so I have one to give away. It’s a kitchen mess, so you might as well double up. It’s fun to share food!
Choose a baking dish approximately 9X13. This will make 15 small servings, 12 if larger portions. This is fabulous freshly made, of course, but also refrigerates nicely as a leftover and can be microwaved by the serving. Like anything with cheese that you are “rewarming”, choose a defrost cycle on your microwave so the cheese doesn’t “seize”. I am currently freezing a few portions and will come back to edit this when I know if that’s a good option.
Here’s what you need: 3-4 butternut squash, depending on their size. You will just use the neck (for perfect medallions, optimum pizzaz!), so look for squash with long, lovely necks. Chop, roast and freeze the rest of the squash for a soup, or veggie pot pies, later.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for roasting the squash. Prepare cookie sheet(s) with foil or parchment paper for roasting. Prepare baking dish(s) by coating the bottom and sides with olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
Peel and thinly slice the squash. In a large bowl, gently toss the squash medallions with olive oil, salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Spread the squash on the cookie sheet(s) and roast for about 30 minutes, until soft to a fork.
Get your grated cheese ready. A cup of Smoked Gouda and a cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Chop a bunch of scallion, including some of the green part.
For the custard, crack 10 eggs into a large bowl and add a handful of water, whisk like a warrior woman for a full minute. The ultimate awesomeness of this recipe depends on this whisk! C’mon, whisk it!
Gently fold in the cheese, scallions, a dash of paprika if you like a bit of heat, chopped dill if you like, and the roasted squash.
Pour the mixture into the casserole. For a dramatic effect, crack three more eggs onto the top of the frittata and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next time I make this I am going to try and use a knife to cut the egg whites outward and maybe it will create a starburst effect!? I’ll keep you posted on that.
Don’t be tempted (I am a mac and cheese freak, remember?) to add a bread crumb topping to this. It needs no further adornment and the top is going to be worth seeing just as it is. Reduce the temperature in the oven to 325 and bake, uncovered, for about 40-50 minutes. The edges should be puffy and brown and the center should be firm, no jiggling. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Oooh, are you ready for the layers of lusciousness?
Let’s talk BASICS here. At Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast, we are proud to create and serve so many wonderful foods! But we are also proud of how we reduce waste and use the nutritious food we create in as many “extended” ways as possible.
If you go to all the trouble of making fabulous whole grain breads, bagels and English muffins, it makes sense to turn the leftovers into fabulous bread crumbs. Our standard home made bread (See “Allegra Bread” on this blog!) has amazingly healthy (and pricey!!) ingredients like whole grain flour, wheat germ, millet, chia seeds, ground flax seed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, steel cut oats, poppy, sesame and caraway seeds. If half a loaf goes stale, there is no way I am feeding it to my birds (who already get a pretty fabulous diet at the feeders as it is!). I turn it into topping for mac and cheese, summer vegetable tians and lasagna, green bean casserole, everything that reads “bake until bubbly”, you name it.
If you collect all your leftover breads that make their way through your breakfast, lunch and dinners–it hardly matters the varieties–and freeze them, at some point (when you have a leftover hot oven, ideal!) you can pull it all together and make yourself some bread crumbs.
You can bake the bread in slices first and then pulse in the food processor, or pulse first and bake after. The internet is full of techniques for making home made bread crumbs. Seriously, just do it. Save in Ziplock bags, date and store.
It may seem expensive to eat well every day, but if you plan, shop and cook smart, also conserve and preserve wisely, fine dining can be yours every day. It’s about a pattern, a practice, a system in place to assure your health efficiently and deliciously, and within your budget.
Don’t buy bread crumbs. Make them yourself!!!!