Rainy Sunday Biscuits in Georgia

Salt and Pepper Biscuit with Jam

Salt and Pepper Biscuit with Jam

Good rainy, chilly Sunday morning in Georgia.  Today is a day to linger in your pj’s a little longer.  I am listening to some chill tunes and day dreaming.  I am such a romantic, which is probably why I try for the harder things in life to accomplish.  -Like a good biscuit.  I have had my fair share of rocks!  And, no, I wouldn’t change that about myself, at all.  The accomplishments are too great a reward when they are finally achieved.  -Like a soft airy biscuit.  Just be gentle with the dough and with yourself.  AND NEVER, NEVER let anyone discourage you.  🙂

I  made these wonderful little biscuits this week for the girls.  I wanted to test the recipe from this months Bon Appétit .  For those who know me well, know that I love a good biscuit or scone.  And these are quite delicious.  They have a different twist with the salt and pepper.  I made then into mini biscuits so that all the little kiddos could have a couple.  The only complaint was that they weren’t big enough.  I think that meant they liked them.

Here is the recipe from Bon Appétit:

  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus more
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk sour cream and 3 Tbsp. heavy cream in a small bowl.
  • Pulse baking powder, kosher salt, sugar, ½ tsp. pepper, and 2 cups flour in a food processor until combined; add butter and pulse until the texture of coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Using a spoon, mix in sour cream mixture, then gently knead a few times just until a shaggy dough comes together (a light hand is key to tender biscuits, so be careful not to overmix).
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until ¾” thick. Using cutter, cut out biscuits, rerolling scraps as needed.
  • Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. heavy cream; sprinkle with sea salt and more pepper. Bake until golden brown on the tops and bottoms, 15–20 minutes. Serve warm-

 

This is the perfect food for this morning.  Take your time while listening to good tunes.  Watch the family wait in anticipation of what is coming out of the oven.  These are priceless moments.

I served them with jam, but they would also be delicious as a sandwich with bacon and eggs.

I have always said, the best way to someone’s heart, is through the tummy!  Happy Sunday!

 

Give Me Some Gratitude Adjustment

White Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It comes in second to Easter and that is only because I love the spring time weather a hint more than fall.  This weather has pushed me to hit the hay early every night that I have been able to.  Cold weather brings me to the blankets and comforter.  I do sometimes feel a bit depressed.  I like to go go go but – the – cold – weather, it can bring things to a halt.  I think the universe knows what it is doing, even though I like to sometimes do things my way-  It tells us to slow down.

I have to mentally get myself out of the cold weather funk.  I began to think the other night about all the things I didn’t have… Maybe that is what Thanksgiving is really for.  For us, who have a glass half empty, to stop wallowing in self pity and think about what we do have to be thankful for.  I will start with being thankful for the fact that I am an American citizen, since this Monday was Veteran’s Day.  I am not necessarily proud of my country in its actions and inactions but I don’t plan on getting into politics.  Just my secrets alone would scare people into voting for someone else.   So, I am grateful for the good people who do go into politics because I am not.  I am grateful for my warm bed and little hands that wake me up.  I am grateful for an ex- husband who works hard to support his daughters to have the not so necessary things that they have become so accustomed to.  I haven’t been able to buy the store front…yet, but I was able to buy a piece of furniture that is so beautiful to house some of my catering trays and serving pieces.  The list of gratitude could go on and on but I will not bore you any more than I am.  I am pretty grateful if just one person reads my silly blogs, too!

One of my favorite things is Bread Pudding.  I know, I have said it before (Mushroom Bread Pudding)but it needs to be emphasized because it is so good.  If you are looking for something to pick you up in the winter to be thankful for, then make some Bread Pudding.  This is a White Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding.  I first had something similar from Nordstom’s Cafe and that is where I fell in love.  This recipe is from Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook.  It is so divine and comforting.

Add 2 cups of heavy cream into a sauce pan with 1/2 vanilla bean.  I used one whole vanilla bean.  You scrape the inside of the bean which houses all the good tiny vanilla seeds.  Throw the bean stem into the cream too and bring it to a simmer.  Turn off the heat and let it cool.  When cool to touch, take three lightly scrambled eggs and add it to your cream.  Let it cool completely before mixing 4 ounces chopped white chocolate, your bread cubes and your vanilla cream together.  I like to use Challah bread for pudding but this recipe called for a french baguette.  It is good too.  Let it sit so that the bread will soak up the cream.  Pour all that into a buttered pan.   Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Add some White Chocolate Sauce, Raspberry Sauce, and/ or whipping cream or just eat it with out.  Either way, your tummy will be thankful.

When your feeling a little cold and less than- whip this recipe up for yourself, your loved ones, or a neighbor.  There is always something to be thankful for.  Thank you!

My Dogs are Barking

1st Course Dinner PartyMy feet hurt.  This was one of those weekends.  However, when my feet hurt, I feel pretty darn good.  I usually means I have been doing what I enjoy so much. On Saturday we had two functions, a bridal luncheon and later that evening a formal sit down dinner for seventeen.

The bridal luncheon was really special because it is a very intimate moment in someone’s life.  I always feel privileged to be included in such a sweet moment.  The bride, her bride maids, and the mothers where all getting ready in their suite at the Georgian Terrace.  I was able to come up to the room and deliver their Panzanella Salad with Wild Caught Salmon and Brownies with Ganache Icing.  The wedding day is already so stressful. I loved giving them a moment of peace and enjoyment with a light lunch to carry them through the day until the actual wedding.  I have a wedding that I will be catering in a few weeks.  I will enjoy that just as much.   No event is too big or too small, I am just addicted to the moment when the client is satisfied and happy.  It could be one person or a thousand.  It is like a drug to me-putting a smile on someone’s face.

When the phone rang a couple of hours after I had dropped of the luncheon, and I saw it was the client, my heart sank a little bit.  Oh, no!  I said “hello- and is everything ok”?  She said “No” and began talking about the flowers and something else that had gone wrong in preparation for the wedding.  I quickly said, “Oh, Julie you called the wrong person, this is Mandy”.  Phew!  Afterwards she apologized and said the lunch was fabulous.  It was no problem and I was grateful for the compliment.

Of course things happen that are out of our control.  And sometimes clients aren’t very complimentary.  But, that doesn’t mean I throw in the towel.  It is more of a challenge and I love it.  I am a taurus, ya know?  If my feet hurt today and my head hurts today, all is ok, because I succeeded in many smiles.  And next week, I will do it all over again.

For last night’s dinner party, I made a Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Grits and Honey’s Spicy Candied Nuts, Cranberries and a light vinaigrette for the first course.  For the main course I made a Beef Tenderloin, Fresh Horseradish Sauce, Mushroom Bread Pudding and Green Beans with Pancetta.  Lastly, for dessert, I made a Buffet of Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes, Vanilla Pound Cake Cupcakes with Almond Icing, and Brownies with Ganache Icing.

In the past I have had someone helping me with the tenderloin.  I am not so sure what I was afraid of, other than the proper way to butcher it, getting it to the right temperature, and I was doing a million other things.  I am still working on the proper cut without taking too much of the meat off but the temperature part couldn’t be easier.  Buy a good thermometer!  That is it.  Tenderloin doesn’t need spices and rubs- just salt and pepper.   Put your thermometer in the thickest part and it will do so much as to tell you when it is rare, med rare, med, med well or well done.    Easy as pie and well worth the money.  Dive right into those fears and not only will you have a smile on your face, but everyone else will have a smile, too.

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

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Mushroom Bread Pudding

I love mushrooms.  I love them in soups, in risotto, in salads, in pasta, in spaghetti sauce, and definitely in bread pudding.  I am a pretty big fan of bread pudding, too- Like Nordstrom’s Cafe’s White Chocolate Bread Pudding with a Raspberry Sauce.   If you haven’t tried this…Go- right away.  It will take you all the way to heaven, if just for the day.  If you aren’t close to one, I am sorry but try making it!

Back to my savory Mushroom Bread Pudding- This is pretty heavenly as well!  This is another one of my favorites that I found from Gourmet magazine when it was around.  I do miss that magazine but there are Gourmet cookbooks out there with some of the compiled recipes of the magazine.  I am not sure if this particular recipe is in them or not.

However, this dish is pretty simple and I like to serve it in individual ramekins.  If you serve this with any type of red meat and have a little of the red meat juices around, this only adds to the wow of the dish.  So, go ahead and serve this Mushroom Bread Pudding up with some Rib Roast or Beef Tenderloin this holiday season.  Your guests will mistaken you for a 5 star chef!  Always remember though, great cooking attracts repeat guests. This is a recipe to save if you want your guests coming back over because they will!

You will need:

Challah Loaf (cubed and toasted in oven for 10 minutes)

2 cups half and half

4 Eggs

2 tablespoons Butter plus more for around pan or ramekins

1.5 lbs Mushrooms- cremini, oyster, and/or chanterelle

1/2 cup shallots

2 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup parmesan

Cook your butter, shallots, and mushrooms until most of liquid has evaporated.  Add in parsley, garlic,  salt and pepper.  Put aside.  In another large bowl mix half and half, eggs, and cheese with some salt and pepper.  Soak your bread crumbs and mushrooms in the egg mixture for around 10 minutes in large bowl.  Fill your pan or ramekins that have been buttered to keep from pudding from sticking and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes if in a large pan or 30 minutes in ramekins.  Always check timing though because every oven is different.

I think I will have a glass of Pinot Grigio to go with this dish…heavinly!  Here’s to comfort food!