whole wheat goat cheese n’ honey drop biscuits

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These are my favorite biscuits.

I’ve been making some version of them for years now, but I love this version best. They take about 20 minutes from start to the end of baking, so that automatically shoots them to the top of my list. I love the nuttiness of the whole grains, the tang that the goat cheese adds, and the honey gives just a hint of sweetness.

I used to make these with plain, all-purpose flour, and of course they were delicious that way. But then I learned that the fiber in whole grains are one of the only types of fiber shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer (you can read more about that here, its actually an impressive 20% risk reduction) i.e. fiber you get from grains that have been minimally processed, like quinoa, bulgar, brown rice, etc. So you should definitely go make them ASAP.

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If you’re looking for a tasty way to include more whole grains into your life, these biscuits are an excellent place to start. Tonight we ate these with salad and grilled chicken, but they’re lovely for breakfast and go great with soup.

Whole Wheat Goat Cheese n’ Honey Drop Biscuits
Adapted slightly from the recipe found in The Joy the Baker Cookbook

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), cubed, plus 1 more tablespoon for the pan
6 tablespoons soft goat cheese
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons honey

Place a 10-inch iron skillet in the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt together. Add the butter and the goat cheese with the paddle attachment, and mix until well incorporated. There should be chunks of butter and goat cheese that are pebble sized. Turn the mixer off and use your hands if needed, to ensure the butter and cheese is mixed well throughout. Add the milk and honey, turn the mixer on low until all the liquids are well combined and there is no more dry flour. The mixture will be very sticky. Set aside.

Remove the iron skillet from the oven. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bottom of the skillet, swirling it around to coat the bottom. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop the biscuit dough into the skillet. I got 9 biscuits, but the original recipe said it yielded 6. Bake for 13-16 minutes, or until the biscuits are puffy, browned on top and golden brown on their bottoms and utterly delicious. If you’re daring, you could drizzle the tops with honey.

Store the biscuits fully cooled in an air tight container, and try not to eat them all in one day.

turkey stew

It took me 12 minutes to get home from work yesterday, and an extra three to change out of my work clothes, wrap myself in a blanket and turn on Gilmore Girls. I allowed myself this leisure because I had gotten up at 5:45 that morning and sleepily went to the gym (which was surprisingly not packed), showered and got dressed and was early for work. The day before I made this turkey stew, so dinner was already prepared = winning. And then today I ignored my alarm and overslept by an hour and half, just making it to work on time.

Balance?

Moving on. Its finally cold here so I feel more justified eating soups and stews, something we eat all the time anyway, but they add a level of comfort to our old and drafty house that is much needed in the colder temps.

Also, did you really make it if you didn’t take a picture of it? Because that’s what happened here. I made a stew and didn’t awkwardly and artfully pose pictures of it for you. But it happened, I promise, and it was really great, and even better the second day. You can substitute the turkey with any meat here, or even use lentils or beans and vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. Its the perfect soup to help you stick to your new years healthy resolutions, especially on days where you get “extra” sleep and forego the gym.

Turkey Stew
serves 6-8

1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped small
5-6 celery sticks, tops removed, scrubbed and chopped small
6 ounce can of tomato paste
4 cups (more or less) chicken stock
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese, to serve
Chips or crusty bread, to serve

In a medium pan, brown the turkey until cooked through, set aside.

In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook till translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, then the celery, as you chop them. Cover and cook for another 10 or so minutes, until the carrots are tender/can be pierced with a fork. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and spices, cook for 1 minute more.

Add the stock (you can also add the turkey, but see the next step first), let simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, I used my immersion blender to pulse the vegetables, leaving a few chunky pieces, because I like my stews a little smoother and not just chunks of vegetables. Feel free to skip this step. Add the turkey, let simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Its ready to eat now, but the longer it simmers the better the flavors will be. Its even better the next day. Serve garnished with goat cheese and crusty bread or tortilla chips. Enjoy!

2 favorite breakfasts

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I think I’ve had a serious case of writer’s block lately, but there has been so much holiday merriment and other distractions that this space is often the first to get neglected. We got through the flurry of Christmas but it felt emotionally/mentally like a snowstorm. Lots of travelling, family, niece and nephew play times, late night Star Wars screenings, nights spent not in my bed (first world problems, I know), trips to the local bakery, eating all the food, and some really lovely conversations with family. Christmas with our loved ones was fun and sweet, but it was in a large concentrated dose over a small period of time that left my head feeling fuzzy and reaching for the 4th and unfortunately 5th cup of coffee, daily. Physically, our holiday was the exact opposite of a snowstorm with highs in the 80s! and lots of short sleeves and blooming roses (see above) and air conditioning. Such is life in the deep south, I suppose.

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Breakfast #1

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a deep breath / risotto

I discovered that October, November, and most of the December we’ve had so far has passed me by in an over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived haze. You see, I work the regular 8-5 type job, but for some reason I decided to take some classes this semester. Maybe it was 10 hours of classes. And I also decided to take the GRE, not once, but twice, because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment.

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mushrooms, whole

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pizza

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pizza made with lazy pizza dough crust (see below)

History is usually remembered differently depending on the perspective. Growing up my mom was in charge of feeding us all, so I’m not sure how she’ll remember this. Because I am my father’s daughter, I can sometimes embellish for dramatic effect, adding an extra flair here and there. It’s part of storytelling, the details may be fuzzy but you have memories and how they are conveyed might be more or less flashy, depending on the person and where you were standing when it happened.

That’s a really dramatic way to start talking about pizza, one of the most common food groups (it’s an entire food group at our house sometimes). Some of my earliest pizza memories were the tiny squares of flavorless bread topped with (what I’m sure) was low fat cheese and some kind of cubed meat  products over scant tomato flavored paste when I was in preschool. (Aside: Shame on you FBC Brookhaven, I can only hope you’ve raised your toddler lunch standards in the past 20 years) Those sad, flavorless memories graduated laterally to high school and college experiences, where the infamous ‘hot and ready’ pizza from Little Caesar’s was dominant. This was a tricky experience, as anyone who has eaten one of these will understand. The timing with the hot n’ ready’s was if you don’t eat them within the first 15 minutes after they are pulled from the oven or underneath the heat lamp, they start to decay with alarming quickness. It must be some way their cheese reacts with oxygen, but it forms some sort of congealed substance after it reaches room temperature that only the hardened stomachs of cafeteria trained young adults can handle. It’s a very small window, for the young adult and the pizza. You get what you pay $5 for, and most of the time you pay for bowel trouble.

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Julia Child’s house is for sale – who wants to buy it for me?

Because, you know, Christmas is coming. And you can read about it here. It’s only $880,000, which seems like a steal, considering that its Julia freaking Child’s house! Of course its in France and its perfect and there are olive trees and lavender and a perfect village nearby. It comes with her kitchen preserved in perfect Julia style. I just realized I used the word perfect three (now 4 times) and it didn’t feel redundant because: Julia Child.

For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve only ever made a couple of her recipes. But her entire being, her personality, her quirks, her story, the way she was a pioneer for the world of cooking and how she put herself on a stage for everyone to see while she did it and remained perfectly herself- it’s just great. I’ve always felt that she was so brave, and she’s one of my role model cooks. The travesty that is the Foodnetwork, with all its wanna be sexy reality TV cooking shows that I hate (their last quality broadcast was Good Eats, may it RIP) can’t hold a candle to Julia and her fantastic cooking show. And that’s all it was about, a show about cooking. There wasn’t any need for flashes or bangs or plot twists. And it was excellent.

Anyway. Here’s a photo of my adorable cat displaying exactly how I felt about getting out of bed today:

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Happy Weekending.

nothing to see here / stuff that’s not edible

It’s November.

my favorite fall drink, the brown sugar latte from Cups

my favorite fall drink, the brown sugar latte from Cups. There’s been a lot of coffee in November.

You knew that, probably, because it’s been November for eleven whole days. The season of frenzied baking and cooking is upon us, but I don’t have a lot to show for it. I’m hoping to change that this weekend and bring you my favorite pizza recipe, but it’s getting harder and harder to predict the future these days, so we’ll see.

In the absence of edible things, here’s some of the internet and etc. to look at / watch / listen to that I enjoy and I’m passing along to you, because not everything has to be about eating, right? (except maybe it does because a lot of these are food related links).

I love this blogger, Joy the Baker. I love her humor, her food and non-food related writing (give us more!) and we seem to be on the same brain wave about cats, pie, and how social media is not real life (so can we please all just learn how to make eye contact and be adults?). Plus she lives in New Orleans (I’m not a stalker, it’s on her blog) and she likes all the food that I like so, we can be best friends, right?
My favorite recent gems from Joy:
How food seems to always taste better when someone else makes it for you (Can I get an amen?) and food things to buy instead of make yourself
Flaky Apple Dumplings with Salted Maple Caramel – you bet I’ll be making these over Christmas

One of my favorite things while cooking is having the right music playing. Here is my current fall playlist:
Love Love Love – Of Monsters and Men
You’re the One I Want – Chris and Thomas
Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) – Oscar Issac and Marcus Mumford (Note here: this is from the soundtrack of Inside Llewyn Davis, which wasn’t my favorite movie, but worth it to see Justin Timberlake play a folk singer. Good soundtrack)
Exhibition Blues – Solarists
Miss Misery – Elliot Smith
The Parting Glass – The Wailin’ Jennys
Goshen – Beirut
I Need My Girl – The National
Take Me Home, Country Roads – Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris version
Eyes – Rogue Wave
Falling for Me – JOHNNYSWIM
The Trapeze Swinger – Iron and Wine
The Wine We Drink – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

This. Article. It fascinates me how our culture now documents everything. And its even more fascinating how its affecting our brains, and it’s not always a good thing. I’m sure there will be lots of science on this in the future.

I love spaghetti, and these meatballs are on my to-make list.

Happy Wednesday-ing!