Archives for February 2012

Limp Biscuit.

Happy Wednesday all!

Nope, no limp biscuits here. I have a history with biscuits, buttermilk biscuits, to be exact. You see, as far as I can remember, my grandmother ( my Mamaw) has been making buttermilk biscuits…not the Pillsbury kind from the can (although I have nothing against those), no, I am talking the from scratch, melt in your mouth, flaky, pillowy, buttery biscuits, that your momma can’t even make. Now, there is something about Mamaw’s biscuits that are unique, meaning that no one can make them like she does, even if she comes over to your house and teaches you how to make them, step by step, you will fail once you are on your own. 

Do you think I have failed? Plenty of times. I have reasoned with the excuse that it is the love that she puts into her biscuits that make them soooo good! I have also come up with a loop hole, full-proof, gluten-free “biscuit” recipe so I can feel better about my biscuit failures. Plus, little seester can eat them all she wants. You can imagine how tough it is for seester each and every time we eat breakfast at Mamaw’s house…those warm, fresh-out of the oven, biscuits staring her down. No more! 


Rosemary, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt Biscuits

Because everybody needs a biscuit for breakfast

with a huge slab of butter (I love me some butter).
These biscuits are delicious, they have a “rustic” taste to them from the almond meal, with a hint of sweetness from the rosemary, and the cracked black pepper and sea salt are just the icing on the cake…i mean, biscuit. Get you some, stat!


HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BISCUITS? I LIKE MINE EXTRA CRISPY, WITH APPLE BUTTER JAM AND BUTTER (i use the “spray butter,” you know, the one that is probably made from horses hooves, with 1,000 chemicals in it). Don’t. Judge. Me.

Rosemary, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt Biscuits (GF) (recipe slightly adapted from Elana’s Pantry):

Ingredients:
2 1/2 c. almond flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt (plus more for sprinkling on top)
1 t. cracked black pepper
1 T. rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 c. Earth Balance natural buttery spread (I used the sticks of butter)
2 eggs
1 T. agave nectar (or honey)
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven 350 F.  In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, pepper, rosemary, and baking soda.
2. Using an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, eggs, and agave nectar. 
3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until a nice dough forms.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place dough on baking sheet, place another piece of parchment paper over the dough, roll the dough out using a rolling pin (a glass cup works well too).
5. Dust dough with extra almond flour if too sticky and acting up.
6. Cut the dough into biscuits using a biscuit cutter, glass, or a mason jar with a 3-in. wide mouth.
7. Separate the biscuits on the baking sheet, top each with a sprinkle of sea salt, and bake for 15 minutes, or until biscuits are slightly golden brown on the bottom edges.

Serve with butter, jam, gravy?, etc.


Makes 6 large biscuits.

MANGIA!!!

Pig.

Happy Tuesday all!

Guess what? I start my new job tomorrow! Yay! I’m pretty darn excited if you can’t tell. I don’t really want to state out loud where I am working because I know that I have celebrity status around these here parts and don’t need the paparazzi knocking down my door. I saw one in the bushes at Whole Foods the other day and in my best fashion, lugging two huge recyclable shopping bags full of groceries, I somehow managed to casually slip my wide-rimmed Michael Kors shades over my eyes, a la Kim Kardashian. Of course, I was abruptly awoken back to reality as I heard a car horn blaring…it came from one of those “over-eager, I can’t find a spot in the Whole Foods parking lot and I’m on my lunch break, so I guess I will just have to fit my 4×4 Diesel Chevy into the parking spot reserved strictly for small, electric cars.” A girl can dream, can’t she? 

Anyway, we all know that I am no celebrity, because if I was one, I would have sent my assistant to pick up my groceries for me. That’s a total lie. I really enjoy grocery shopping. It’s therapeutic. Speaking of therapeutic, cooking is totally my #1 therapy. No doubt. I cooked practically all day yesterday, Michael Buble’ playing in the background, before I knew it…12 o’clock had turned into 5 o’clock. Let me show you how I do therapy. 

Exhibit A: Pork Chop
Raw meat…lovely.

Make it sexy. Pan sear it.

Ready for the close-up.

Make a sweet, yummy glaze and a side of roasted fruit to go with it.

Pour that glaze on top of the pork, top with the fruit or eat on the side…
I spoil my parents.

Gasp! Call your therapist and tell him you are canceling all of your future sessions.
Pork…it’s the new therapy. You can thank me later! 



Pan Seared Pork Chops with Maple Apple Butter Glaze and Roasted Cinnamon Apples:

Pan Seared Pork Chops:

Ingredients:
1 butterflied pork chop (mine was a little over a pound), trimmed of excess fat.
1/4 c. oil (I used olive oil)
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat a large saute pan or non-stick skillet with 1/4 c. oil over medium heat.
2. Season both sides of the pork chop with salt and pepper.
3. Add the pork chop to the pan, sear on both sides, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Transfer the pork chop to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes.
5. Serve drizzled with glaze and topped with cinnamon apples.

Maple Apple Butter Glaze:

Ingredients:
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. apple butter 
juice of 1 tangerine
1 T. Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine all glaze ingredients and gently heat until medium warm. Remove from heat and set aside until serving.

Roasted Cinnamon Apples:

Ingredients:
2 apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into square pieces
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Toss everything together in a small mixing bowl.
3. Place the apple mixture in a baking dish, cover, and bake for 45 minutes, turning the apples with a spatula every 15 minutes.
4. Serve alongside pork.

MANGIA!!!


Butter me Up!

Happy Monday all!

I am a sucker for a few things in life, one of them being good looking guys. But seriously, we all know my one true love is peanut butter. I drop weak in the knees at the sight of the creamy, gooey, nutty, buttery spread. Peanut Butter completes me. It’s a lifelong long affair that I don’t plan on ending any time soon.  A while back I posted a recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Toasted Oat Cookies, and let’s just say that they were a hit! Especially among my dad’s co-workers, who have been requesting them ever since. Of course I just had to get creative with another brown butter cookie recipe. 

Because, what is better than butter and peanut butter…together? 

EPIC. 

So, this is what you get. A crispy, gooey, peanut-buttery cookie, that pack an extra pb punch with the pb chips. 

The back story on this is that I experimented over the weekend with 3 different healthy dessert recipes. The verdict: I failed miserably, not once, not twice, but THREE times! Then I gave up, grabbed some butter, and went to town with the full-fat good stuff.

 It just goes to show, that everything really is better with butter. 
Share with your co-workers. Or not!


Brown Butter Peanut Butter Chip Cookies:


Ingredients:
2 sticks (1 c.) of unsalted butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 c. peanut butter chips


Instructions:
1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat on the stove and melt the butter.
2. Keep your eye on the butter, as it will start to foam and make a crackling noise (watch out, you could get hit by little “spits” of hot butter).
3. After the foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear on the bottom of the pan. Once the butter has reached a nice brown color, and has a nutty aroma, turn the heat off. Pour the browned butter in a small bowl and refrigerate until solid again.
4. Using an electric mixer, cream the solid butter, sugar, and peanut butter together until mixed well. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
5. Continue mixing, while adding the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next.
6. Add the vanilla. Mix well for a few minutes until the batter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
7. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
8. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix.
9. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
10. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
11. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes, or until golden on the outside, and slightly gooey on the inside.
12. Allow to cool on a wire rack…or just eat immediately!


MANGIA!!!

Sunday Things.

It’s official.


I am seriously, seriously, having withdrawals from my food processor. It’s in storage, along with the rest of my kitchen electrics.


I need it to make almond butter
 and peanut butter
My food processor is the boss. Things are just better when they are homemade. Like peanut butter. Can you tell I miss my nut butters?



Here is a secret: I GOT THE JOB! If you didn’t know, I interviewed for a job last week and received the news yesterday. So exciting. More on this later. We will see how things go.

On my splurge at Sur La Table this past week…I got this

Things with mini-pies will be happening this week. Game face on. 

Throw out some mini–pie ideas at me!

For some reason, I am craving a good biscotti. I actually wish I had some right now to dip in my coffee.

Maybe some dusted with cinnamon and sugar?
I think so. 

There is just something about a twice-baked cookie that I can’t resist. Plus, biscotti are Italian, so I just get more Italian by making these Italian cookies, right? Win!

I am absolutely in love with Aubrey’s post this morning.
I want to have an indoor picnic stat!

I think I would definitely need to serve this sandwich
definitely.

oh, oh…and these sandwiches too!
They have grapefruit in them…so they are obviously healthy.?


I couldn’t go without a yummy salad as well…


and a little alcohol

never hurt anybody.



I would do this all in one of my best aprons

Happy Sunday!!!

MANGIA!!!

Friday Link Love.

Happy Friday all!

Let’s talk about what went down in my kitchen yesterday.


I got this genius idea trying to make gluten-free cinnamon roll cookies. After much frustration…I think there were a few choice words, huffs and puffs, and a temper tantrum that ended with me on the floor holding a bucket of brown sugar, whisk in one hand, wine bottle in the other. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit much. The end result…










A beautiful mess.
One giant gf cinnamon-roll cookie. O.my.Word. The edges were crispy, the center was chewy. It was heaven. I sent my Dad to work with my left-over “disaster” and his co-workers were at a loss for words…or so I heard.


I finally got a facial yesterday with the gift card to a local salon/spa that I received as a b-day gift from my momma. It was well worth the wait! Seriously, the esthetician had to pry me off of the spa table/bed?. She got my attention when she mentioned that she was getting me a lemon water, aka “spa water.” It just sounds better when you say spa water, right?


Fancy.

So refreshing.


I love me some spa water and time spent getting pampered. I consider myself pretty girlie, or womanly, for the most part.




I love getting my nails did.

My latest fave polish

I love curls in my hair.

 This is what happens when you spend an hour doing your hair and decide to sit in the car and take pictures of it b/c it is storming outside. Luscious locks and Texas weather do not compliment each other. No thanks.


I have an inner fashionista.


Who loves ruffles

blue-jean jackets

and lace.
Don’t forget my obsession with cute food
and appreciation for good looking guys
Yes, please

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my pearls and heels, but I also love me some good ole’ fashioned shooting at the range.




A good rack o’ ribs.

A dripping with sweat workout.

I wouldn’t trade anything for my converse

(Mine look more like the ones on the right…I have had them for five years, including my 3 years as a barista…might be a few coffee stains!)




or my cowgirl boots.

I mean c’mon, I’m from Texas y’all! What did you expect? 


That’s just me, a little bit of both worlds. 


Let’s end this with a little food porn, shall we? Yesterday was National Banana Bread Day and we all know I go bananas for the stuff. Chuckle.


So, here is your dose of Banana Bread food porn.

(source)

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What kitchen disasters have you had? What makes you girly, or not? Any fave banana bread recipes?

MANGIA!