buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits

buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits via she likes to eat

in the winter when it’s freezing outside, i am always craving a spicy pot of chili or a hot bowl of hearty soup. with the weather and as cold as it has been lately, i prolly don’t have to tell you just how much soup we’ve been eating lately. (this texan is pretty annoyed with how cold it is – UM IT WAS 9 DEGREES THIS MORNING – and the fact that is hasn’t even snowed yet. i mean if it’s going to be this cold, we should at least get to go out and play in it! but i digress…) honestly, i am truly loving the stay-in-and-get-cozy-and-consume-lots-of-chili weather.. and my budget conscious husband is too, because the leftovers carry us for multiple days after.

of course in order to properly consume said chili or soup one must, MUST, have a bread or toast or biscuit to go on the side. (it’s just wrong not to.) my husband’s m.o. is to crumble or tear up the bread or biscuit and mix it into the soup or stew. these biscuits have become our favorite side for winter meals. they are the perfect cheddar biscuit.. fluffy yet perfectly dense, the pepper maybe being my favorite part. they keep well for about 4-5 days, sealed in an airtight container.

happy winter, y’all!

recipe adapted via house & home magazine

buttermilk cheddar cheese biscuits
makes 12-18 biscuits (depending on what size cutter you use)

ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg

1 tsp 2% or whole milk

directions

  1. preheat oven to 400. in a large bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate. add cold butter and, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in until a fine meal forms. mix in grated cheese. add buttermilk to bind the dough.
  2. turn out on to a floured surface and fully combine dough. pat out to about 3/4″ thickness. using a cookie cutter (i used a 3″ square), cut out the biscuits and place on a large, ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. brush mixture over the tops of the biscuits. bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 16-18 minutes.
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strawberry + mascarpone tartine with balsamic reduction

strawberry + mascarpone tartine with balsamic reduction
a few months ago, i took a little weekend trip to nashville with a dear friend of mine, to help her find a house. (kid-free, i might add. WOOT WOOT.) we viewed about 20 houses in two and a half days, and obviously worked up quite the appetite. being the good friend she is, she went along to all the foodie places i wanted to hit up while we were there. one of my favorite stops was marche artisan foods in historic east nashville. it’s this charming yet super cool spot to grab brunch or lunch, great coffee and pastries, and lovely atmosphere. my favorite thing we ordered was their tartine – a fancy toast – with ripe strawberries, sweet mascarpone cheese and a thick, tart balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. you can probably tell from the picture above how AHmazing it was. seriously, i could lick the screen.

when we got home, i set out to make it myself. and in may, for my little girl’s fifth birthday, i served this for brunch and was so happy with the reviews. people had fourths, i am pretty sure, because i ran out fast.

so if you get out to nashvegas, you must go to marche – you will love it. but if you can’t make it out there, this is the next best thing to their perfect strawberry toast.

oh, and cook’s note: don’t get too amorous while you are simmering your balsamic reduction. if you lean over the saucepan and dreamily inhale the steam, you’ll get a wicked burn all the way to the back of your nose. trust. (i speak from experience.)

strawberry + mascarpone tartine with balsamic reduction

ingredients

1 loaf sourdough bread

2 16-oz containers fresh strawberries

2 8-oz containers mascarpone cheese

2 tbsp honey

1 cup balsamic vinegar

butter, to spread

directions

1. make the reduction: put balsamic into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. bring to a boil (watch it – it will boil pretty quick) then reduce heat to medium. let simmer for about 10 minutes, until it has reduced to close to 1/3 cup (gently tilt the saucepan towards you to see how much.) remove from heat and let cool – it will thicken up as it cools. (you can store this in an airtight container and it will keep for a couple months. it will probably congeal, but that’s ok. just warm it up a bit with a teensy splash of water when you are ready to use it again.)

2. wash and rinse the strawberries, then slice off the tops and dice them up. put in a bowl and let macerate in their own juices for a bit.

3. put mascarpone cheese into a medium bowl. squeeze in honey and stir to combine completely.

4. when you are ready to serve, cut long sourdough slices in half and toast the bread. (i toast it pretty well so it really stands up to all the toppings.) spread with a light schmear of butter. now generously spread on the mascarpone – i like it really thick. top with diced strawberries and then drizzle with balsamic reduction. repeat for remaining slices of toast.

*leftover mascarpone with honey will keep for a week or two in the fridge.

**this recipe is enough for a decent sized brunch party – maybe 10-12 people. if it’s just a few people, or a small family –  just use 8 oz mascarpone cheese and 1 tbsp honey, and one container of strawberries – instead of making the big batch.

mrs watson’s pumpkin bread

mrs. watson's perfect pumpkin bread | via she likes to eat

in the fall, i sometimes get a little too excited about christmas being so close. i confess, i begin to listen to christmas music and bake things that remind me of the holidays. all because the temperature has dropped, like, 15 degrees.

when we were traveling a few weeks back, we spent some time in oklahoma city with a few close friends. one of those dear friends had just moved into a new house and i was seriously drooling over her new kitchen. (white + marble + gold fixtures make me a little giddy.) THEN she had me drooling yet again over this homemade pumpkin bread she had made from scratch. literally the day we got home, i immediately gathered the ingredients and made it for my family.. well, for myself, let’s be honest.  i only made a few small changes and, after a few batches, truly it’s the best i’ve made. or ever had. it is super moist (i ain’t afraid to say it); light & fluffy yet superbly dense, while not being overly sweet. it has a ton of flavor from all the spices and, well, yeah. it’s the perfect pumpkin bread.

mrs. watson’s perfect pumpkin bread
makes 2 loaves

ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 16-oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

directions

1. preheat oven to 350. spray 2 large loaf pans (or 6 small) with cooking spray – i use coconut or grapeseed oil spray. set aside.

2. in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. then add pumpkin, oil, water, and vanilla. mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until incorporated. pour into the prepared loaf pans.

3. bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted fully into the center of the bread comes out clean.

goat cheese biscuits

goat cheese biscuits

if you are like me, i had you at “goat cheese”.

goat cheese is one of those things you pine for. i love cheese, all kinds, but goat cheese is on a different level. the creaminess, that tang.. it lovingly forces you to close your eyes after each bite and savor it. and these biscuits do it every justice. this recipe is adapted from my friend shauna niequist’s book, bread and wine. i have only made one small change (added a bit more goat cheese) for they are perfect as they are.

these biscuits are fabulous with a big bowl of hot chili, a hearty soup, or on a cold morning, lightly toasted, with butter and strawberry preserves. they have become a new tradition on our thanksgiving and christmas tables and i hope on yours too.

goat cheese biscuits
makes 12

ingredients

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

1 cup plain yogurt

6-7 tbsp cold butter, divided

5 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

directions

1. preheat the oven to 425 and place a 10-inch pan or rimmed cookie sheet into the oven while it’s preheating.

2. in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to incorporate. cut 4 tbsp cold butter into small pieces, then cut into the flour mixture. add the yogurt and goat cheese and stir to combine.

3. remove the pan from the oven and place a tablespoon or 2 of butter (depending on the size of the pan) into it. as the butter melts, spread it around, making sure it covers the entire pan’s surface. divide the batter into 9-12 biscuits (depending on how big you want them) and place them in the pan (in a smaller pan they will fit pretty tightly).

4. brush the tops of the biscuits with 1 tbsp melted butter. bake for 14-16 minutes until browned on tops and bottoms. about 2-3 minutes before they are done (when the tops are just beginning to golden) remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese (if it’s freshly grated, it melts much better). cook the remaining 2-3 minutes, and serve warm.

enjoy!

fresh homemade banana bread

this past summer i posted a lovely spiced banana bread recipe – it is a fantastic recipe, very different from your everyday banana bread, with ginger and other spices to change it up a little. the rebel in me (and my mouth) loves that!

now i want to introduce another banana bread recipe.. it is more of a traditional banana bread, and i adore it because it’s the exact kind i crave when i want banana bread. it’s super moist (yeah, i said it) since each loaf is packed with 4 whole mashed bananas. this recipe calls for no other spices, which i think makes this banana bread stand out because of it’s simplicity – the banana flavor really takes center stage.
and i love the pretty cracks on the top. when i take it out of the oven and it’s so pretty, i feel a real sense of empowerment that day, like i could climb everest or solve a really hard algebra problem.

fresh homemade banana bread
adapted from alexandracooks.com

ingredients

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
4 ripe, mashed bananas

directions
1. preheat oven to 350. butter a loaf pan generously & set aside.
2. in a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. in another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a stand or hand mixer, until light & fluffy. with the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 10-15 seconds after each addition. add the vanilla, buttermilk, and bananas.
3. add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. pour the batter into prepared loaf pan.
4. bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. turn loaf out onto cooling rack and let cool.
serve warm with butter and enjoy!

spiced banana bread

photo (24)

you know when you go to a restaurant and they have a house wine? or a house sourdough bread? those places have found the best, their favorite variation or recipe that they have adopted as their “house” drink, or their “house” bread. well, i want to start sharing my “house” recipes – basic recipes that are staples in my kitchen and in most people’s kitchens. it will be a new category you will find as you scroll down, on the right. it will include my whipped cream, these blueberry muffins, and coming soon, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that will make you kick off your shoes and do the bernie (my  favorite old school dance move, in case you were looking for some random trivia on she likes to eat).

so for my first house recipe, i give you homemade banana bread. i tried these out first as muffins and wasn’t that crazy about them, but when i made them in the classic bread, i LERVED it. it’s simple in its ingredients and the addition of the ginger adds such a delicious touch. OH and it’s a one-bowl wonder.. meaning my husband jumps for joy when he sees i have made banana bread because it means less dishes for him to do.

thanks to a sweet friend of mine that brought me 6 overripe bananas, knowing that i would be able to get some use out of them, i got to make it a few times to get it just right. this is my favorite banana bread recipe and i hope it becomes yours too.

homemade spiced banana bread
makes 1 loaf

ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 stick plus 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled (about 10-15 min)

directions

1. preheat the oven to 325. generously grease a loaf pan with butter, preferably, or non-stick spray.

2. beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well incorporated. with a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in mashed banana. add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger and mix thoroughly with a spatula until well incorporated. pour in melted butter and mix well.

3. pour into prepared loaf pan. bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. let the bread cool for 15 minutes or so in the pan before cutting & serving warm with butter. (try it with the whipped butter under the cooking tips & tricks page.)

enjoy!

recipe adapted from hummingbird high
photo via food network

crispy french toast


my husband can be a little picky when it comes to certain foods. french toast just happens to be one of them.
he has a thing with the sogginess of regular french toast (for me, i find the sogginess quite divine).

so every friday night i get an itch to make something fun for breakfast the next morning; something different from our usual go-to on weekday mornings. and i thought, hey, the hubs will be around for our morning meal so why not try this recipe out on him? and i have to admit i was a little surprised (and overjoyed) when he looked at me across the kitchen table and said, “honey, this is really good!”… just as the little she and i stuffed the last pieces into our mouths.

this recipe is courtesy of one of my mom’s oldest friends, carol sims, from her cookbook carol’s collection by sims & company.

crispy french toast

ingredients

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

dash of salt

1 cup panko (or crushed corn flakes)

6-8 slices day-old french or italian bread

directions

1. preheat the oven to 450. butter a large baking sheet.

2. combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. dip each bread slice in the egg mixture and then coat both sides with panko bread crumbs. place slices on prepared baking sheet and put in the oven and bake 5 minutes on each side.

enjoy!