Nov 28, 2011

cream cheese and chive biscuits

Here's to eating too much on thanksgiving and falling into a food coma.
Here's to left overs for days and lazy cats who don't like to wake up.
Also here's to biscuits with cream cheese and chives in them.

These biscuits bake up nicely for breakfast and go good with eggs in the middle and bacon on the side. They even freeze up nicely for days later.

I made these a little thinner than the recipe called for on accident. Next time I'd totally make these guys taller and more respectable biscuits.

Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (depending on how spicy you like your biscuits)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
4 ounces (half of a brick) cream cheese, cold
3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, black pepper, and chopped chives.

2. Add butter and cream cheese to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to break up the butter and cream cheese with your fingers until the mixture is pea sized.

3. Make a small well in the center of the mixture. Add the buttermilk. Using a fork, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Try to moisten all of the flour bits with the liquid. Dumb the dough onto the lightly floured surface. Knead together until dough forms a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick.

4. Use a round, 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Gather the dough scraps, knead for a few turns, and cut out more biscuits until no dough remains.

5. Place biscuits on a small cookie sheet and place in the fridge until ready to bake.

**At this point, flash freeze the biscuits that you don't want to bake for about 20 minutes. Then store in a ziplock freezer bag. Store up to 1-2 weeks.**


Nov 23, 2011

apple pie, lattice style

It has been a while. I know this because I've been trying to come up with something to say, something to show you. Nothing has been spectacular, and I haven't been over the moon about anything new. All that has been happening to me are random occurrences where I run into people wearing no makeup on Saturday mornings at the market after spin class. I'm sweaty, bundled up (it's so cold in michigan already!), and wearing no makeup. It just isn't a pretty site.

Now that thanksgiving is upon us… less than 24 hours away! I thought maybe I'd post this beautiful apple pie that I practiced this past weekend and remade today.

I contemplated in my brain for hours about doing lattice, traditional, or cut shapes for the top crust. I weighed all of the pro's and con's. I finally came to the conclusion that for the test pie I would do a lattice top. And my reasoning is because it is the prettiest way to top off an apple pie. Maybe the beautiful lattice will make the pie actually taste better? I'm not sure, but it worked.

So let's chat about the "thanks" part of THANKSgiving.

I have to say that I am thankful for my family the most.

As you start to reach your mid young adult years you start to realize just how important your family is. Maybe you are still embarrassed by your parents like you were when you were a teenager, but at this point you have the understanding that you need to accept them for who they are, just like they accept you.

I am thankful that my parents accept me for the person I am, and am becoming. I am thankful that they helped me get through life thus far and the many more times they will help me out in the future. I am thankful for my dad's "words of wisdom," his lectures, and mostly his infamous "quotes." I am thankful for my mom and all of the ways that she completes my life. I rely on her more than I ever want to admit, but she is always there for me.

Finally, I am thankful for my brother. He may not understand why I love him so much until he gets older, but I do. I LOVE YOU BABY BROTHER. I said it.. yes I did. I will continue to give him hugs when I see him and won't hesitate to tell him that I love him. Siblings are important and I hope as we get older, we grow closer.

I guess super finally, I am thankful to have a relationship with God. It is a mighty thing to have belief in someone so mighty, so all-knowing, and powerful. I am completely taken care of in every aspect because of Him and I am so thankful for that.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving/ Holiday season?

And now pie.

If you like cinnamon this pie will rock your socks.

adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

Has to sit in the fridge for minimum of 1 hour, maximum of 2 days. I make this the night before and let it sit.

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of ice cold water*

1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together.
2. If you don't have a pastry blender cut butter into small chunks and use two forks to mix in with flour. Or use your hands to incorporate ingredients. The mixture should be the size of little peas when done.
3. Mix in 1/2 cup of ice water *I put ice in a cup with water and pour out 1/2 a cup when needed*.
4. divide dough into two pieces and flatten into a small disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for up to 2 days.

2 Granny Smiths
3 Honey Crisps
3 Fujis
small squeeze of lemon juice (to keep the apples from browning)
1/4 teaspoon salt
scant 3/4 cups granulated sugar
scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg white beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to your lowest position and preheat oven to 500 degrees
2. Take out one of your disks of dough and let stand for a moment at room temperature. On a floured surface roll out your dough until 12" in diameter. Transfer dough to pie dish by carefully folding into fourths or rolling the dough up on your rolling pin.
3. Place dough in pie dish and carefully unfold your dough and form to pie dish.
4. Peel, core and slice apples into fourths or eighths (fourths will give you a crispier apple). I like to prepare my apples in the following order: Granny Smiths (most tart, won't brown as fast), Honey Crisps, and Fujis (these will brown the fastest!). Place apples in large bowl and toss with a small squeeze of a lemon juice.
5. In a medium bowl mix salt, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg together. Toss dry ingredients with apples until the apples are well coated.
6. Pour apple mixture into pie dish.
7. Roll out your second piece of dough and then make the decision of what top you want. For a lattice cut strips of dough using a pastry wheel (if you want cute curvy edges). Or cut out little shapes and place in a circular pattern until the top is covered. Or lastly do a traditional top with a few slits on top. Trim edges of crust and fold top underneath the bottom and press with a fork to seal. Brush egg white on top and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Place pie in oven and lower temperature to 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Rotate your pie and reduce temperature to 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until juices are bubbling and crust is a deep golden brown.
9. Transfer pie to wire rack and let sit for at least 4 hours.

Nov 10, 2011

pita pizza

More and more I realize how learning takes time. It takes patience, practice, and a lot of remembering that work doesn't have to be your life. Life can be your life. I've been at my job for nearly 8 months now. My first big girl grown up corporate career job. Yes that is a lot of adjectives, but I've been waiting my whole life to say them. Just now I am fitting in, I am learning exactly how things work and I can actually answer questions with confidence. Sure most of these guys are twice my age and have been working in this field for as long as I've been alive, but hey.. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. ( <-- maybe the age thing is an exaggeration. )

The point is in 1 month I will have had a BFA for an entire year. In that year my life has turned upside down, but in mostly good ways. Ways I have only one person to really thank for. God. I've learned that nothing will go according to plan when you expect it to and the least expected situations turn out the best.

Now onto more important things like current events, or weather..... oh and pizza, with hungry kitties.

Today it started snowing. Last week I started listening to Christmas music. The other day I bought a tiny little Christmas tree for my desk. Yes, the Christmas season is upon us and winter is lurking around the corner.

With winter comes the season of feasting. The season where your jeans may get a little tight and you might cry at the thought of stepping on the scale. Is there a reason why comfort food always has to be about calories and carbs? No, not really... it is just what we love. Well here is something that humans, and apparently cats, can be comforted by without having to buy a new pair of jeans. *sigh*


Best. Invention. Ever.


1 whole grain pita, or 2 if you're starved.

toppings of your choice... I used:
1/2 of a vine tomato sliced up thin and then halved
(using a tomato instead of sauce makes it that much healthier!)
small handful of spinach
1 tablespoon of diced up sweet onion
small bits of fresh mozzarella
sprinkle of goat cheese
small sprinkle of salt free garlic and herb spice
a bit of fresh parm on top

1. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put your toppings on your pita
3. Put in the oven for 5-7 minutes and then flip your oven to broil. This will brown up your cheese, just make sure you don't brown up your pita too much
4. Add parm, and serve :)

Just don't feed any to your cat who has an obsession with carbs. That's right... Chester is a carb-o-holic. He likes to steal bags of bread from the table and eat slices until his tiny stomach poofs up. He has a problem, we are getting him help. No worries.

PS- Tomorrow is our Chili cook off at work. Look out for a delicious Chili recipe! Half my mom's, half my own creation.


Nov 5, 2011

caturday & cinnamon sugar nachos

Today is Caturday. On Caturday we snooze like cats on the couch with our kitties. Yes, that is right snoozing, couch, kitties. Maybe even some TV, maybe a nice breakfast to start off the weekend. It is Caturday, act like the cats do.

Sometimes on Caturday you talk about Cinnamon & Sugar Nachos. That's right. Nachos that have Cinnamon AND Sugar. Dessert Nachos.

Sometimes you cut up those nachos with a pastry wheel, the fancy side. So these are not just delicious dessert chip that melt (well crunch) in your mouth. They are a chip with a fancy edge.

My, oh my. Look at those fancy edged chips.

They are are so easy your cat could do it. On Caturday. Just saying.

Anywho. Other things to do on Caturday are go to the farmer's market. Or baby showers. Or even have dinner with a friend who you haven't seen in a while.

Or you could make these delicious fancy chips. It's up to you. Seize the day!

Cinnamon & Sugar Nachos!

1 pack of white corn tortillas
1/2 cup of canola oil
cinnamon and sugar mixture

prep bowls
pastry wheel (for fancy chips) or a pizza cutter or sharp knife will do
baking sheet covered with tin foil

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice up your corn tortillas into chip size. I cut up about 6 per tortilla.
2. In batches brush one side with canola oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Then turn over and repeat.
3. Sort chips out on baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.

*You will most likely have to do these chips in batches!*

4. When they come out of the oven sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar mixture.

I need to give credit where credit is due. Garrett, thanks for styling those chips in the first photo. You are an excellent chip arranger, but just do you know.. you shouldn't quit your day job. I'm not sure how much money you could make arranging chips. I don't think it is a booming business.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Cheers!