Butter / Egg Usage – December 2016

December started out for me on the 16th. This does not a good month of cooking/baking make. I mean it is December after all, but sometimes after Thanksgiving, you just do the best that you can do. Sad, but true. That and my dishwasher died – serious impediment to doing anything in the kitchen. It is surprising how much so.

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Southern Toffee

16 December 2016 – 12 Tbs / 2 eggs – Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

18 December 2016 – 24 Tbs – Southern Toffee 

22 December 2016 – 2 eggs – M&M Cookies

26 December 2016 – 8 Tbs unsalted butter- Chex Mix

26 December 2016 – 16 Tbs / 2 eggs – Sugar Cookies

26 December 2016 – 4 Tbs – Real Macaroni and Cheese

27 December 2016 – 2 Tbs – Sautéed Apples

30 December 2016 – 12 Tbs – Pecan Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cook’s Country

30 December 2016 – 5 1/3 Tbs – Sausage Cheddar Scallion Biscuit Bread
Eggs = 6

Butter = 83.3 Tbs = 10.4125 sticks – 41.65 ozs – 2.603 pounds.

Eggs = 2 +2 +2 +6 – math is involved. = 12 large eggs.

 

 




Thanksgiving

So I have mostly always made my same Thanksgiving appetizer, and I have to say it really is pretty much amazing. Sweet potato biscuits with ham and horseradish cream.  Just going to say, thank you once again to JW because this was all him. He was the best caterer for UNC-Chapel Hill while I was there and I totally took the idea and ran with it.DD_0184

Even so, I wanted to find a new appetizer for this Thanksgiving. But I do think I will make my small little sweet potato biscuits with all the best things, just because I can. But maybe this year my excellent cranberry sauce will be part of this mix.  Indeed.

That said, I have been looking for Thanksgiving appetizers – they all seem to involve cranberries or Rosemary – thank you most overwhelming pinterest. Sigh. Do love some Rosemary, but isn’t there anything else?

When I was young, Thanksgiving was a huge deal at our house. The only downer part about it was being stuck at the kids’ table. Really? Ugh. I understand that my older brother and sister were a LOT older and were pretty much married by the time I was 9-ish, but I was stuck with my younger sister and nieces and nephews – it was just insulting.

One of those weird things that I remember was a glass dish that my mother would take out for Thanksgiving and put gerkins on one side and olives on the other. Olives = ick. Gerkins = loved them. Besides Bread ‘n Butter pickles, gerkins were the only pickles I ever liked.

I  can totally see that glass dish. Should have asked for it long ago and now it is too late. Let that be a lesson – do not wait –  ask for what you want from your parents because if you do not you will be forever disappointed. I know I will be giving things away very early – like my Dad’s mom did. Simplify everything.

That just got slightly strange – but on to the Thanksgiving plans. And planning is involved – lots of it.

Apparently spell check does not like the word gerkins. No, it sure doesn’t.

So we are about a week-ish out from the big day and, my friends, this is go time.

1. Make decisions on what to make and how much depending on your guest list – my list, this year, is small. But that is not a bad thing because The Boy will be joining us and that makes me very happy.

2. Develop a grocery list of what you need and when you need to buy it. And then develop the “making” list – ie. when you can/will make each thing, but do what I do … plan for a catch up day on the Wednesday before the big day. That day, with nothing planned, will save you.

3. Order your turkey from the butcher shop. And also call your favorite bakery to order Parker House Rolls – I have been doing this forever. No need to make yourself crazy at this point. They will, pretty much, be better than anything you can make – unless you are making biscuits for Thanksgiving – and in that case, I salute you.

4. Pick one, just one, no seriously just one, new recipe to try. I will try.

5. Figure out what appetizer to make. Just don’t go overboard – less is more in this case. See above.

6. Add staples (butter, eggs, heavy cream, lemons, chocolate chips, local pecans, etc.) to your regular grocery list.

7. Watch grocery ads for Thanksgiving specials. Traditional there are lots of them. Hello fresh cranberries.

8. Decide if you want girkins. Hope you do for my sake.

Fall / Thanksgiving planning

I guess it is time to start thinking about the fall baking/cooking season and, dum dum dum … Thanksgiving. It seems that Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me. Because it does not get cold here, really, until after January. I’m still wearing opened toe sandals for heavens’ sake.  I can’t imagine doing Canadian Thanksgiving – October 12th. Too soon for us in the South, but not too soon for them, I suppose. Good on you!

And here are the things I am thinking about:

Down-sizing recipes – for a few of us that is what will happen. How do you scale down cornbread dressing? I have no idea. Depending on what family stays, what family and friends are coming into town, and what family goes to others out of town, it makes a difference in planning. But there are certain things that just must happen for Thanksgiving. Cranberry relish – yes!

Why not biscuits for Thanksgiving? Hello, we are in the south – yep. Drop biscuits are my favorite. Sour Cream drop biscuits instead of my usual Parker House rolls.

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Sweet Potato Biscuits with ham and horseradish cream

I think I need a new filling for my sweet potato biscuits. I love them the way they are, (with ham and horseradish cream} but I think I must come up with something new. But I do think horseradish will be involved. It is a stupidly great combination.

Something with corn – I’m thinking a corn soufflé which could be really cool.

Some kind of apple dessert – slab pie, maybe? Or this apple cake “Tatin” thing?  Did that this month, and … so amazing. You can read about here.

A Fall Salad – with apples, pecans, some spinach and, in my perfect world, mandarin oranges. Yep.

Do hate all the pumpkin crap,,, Guess that is, mostly, because everyone goes all pumpkin crazy beginning in August. It is just way over kill. And the taste is largely meh. But apparently I’m in the minority on this one. I just don’t get it.

Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

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Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

I love biscuits. Guess every real Southerner does – it is probably genetic to some degree. My favorite weeknight biscuits are drop biscuits. They come together fast and are super satisfying with a quick dinner. They are also great the next day, split open and toasted and topped with cream rich butter.

The recipe I used for these Sausage Cheddar Biscuits is from Tricia Yearwood’s cooking show. I enjoy her show because so much of what she fixes, based on her family recipes, are very very (!)  similar to the way my mom always cooked. In fact, I’ve used several of her recipes to help be get back to something my mom made, but I never had a recipe for. Part of the problem is that my mom, largely, didn’t have recipes for most of the things she made. Another part of the problem was me. I would call and ask for help with making something and I made just the laziest of notes about them, and then she was gone. It took time to realize all the things I didn’t know. So now I’m trying to get back to what I never took the time to do before.

On to these biscuits. I think, really, I know, any time you add sausage to something, it is good eats. Lovely as well is that I had all ingredients on hand. Not surprising considering that there are only five.

8 ozs pork bulk breakfast sausage, hot
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self rising flour
5 ozs shredded extra sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In a skillet, cook sausage until well browned, breaking the sausage into small pieces. Drain on paper towels and cool completely.

In a stand mixer, mix together sour cream and butter mix in flour, a little at a time until fully combined. Add sausage and cheese and mix until incorporated.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment. Bake until lightly brown 20 – 25 minutes, rotating half way through.

Notes: So many things.
First, I did not have self-rising flour, so I made my own.
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/homemade-self-rising-flour.html
This is not a problem in my opinion because I rarely use enough self-rising flour to keep it on hand.
The original recipe used pork sausage with sage – not a flavor I’m a fan of, so the change.

The thing I did wrong on the first batch was forget what one of my mom’s best friend taught me about drop biscuits. I made the biscuits too big, they spread a bit much, but they tasted amazing. And duh, what’s the trick? Bake drop biscuits in a muffin tin. It is perfect! Every time.

Sweet Potato Biscuits – Foster’s Market

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Foster’s Market Sweet Potato Biscuits with tavern ham and horseradish cream

I always seem to make too many sweet potatoes for my most requested Sunday Sweet Potatoes dish for Thanksgiving. So there are two things you do with excess sweet potatoes. Oh, and in November / December they are really inexpensive.

1 – feed dogs mashed sweet potatoes – they totally love it. And then they start to expect it – spoiled puppies. But I love them – probably way too much.

2 – make sweet potato biscuits. A sublime thing, that is stupidly, simple.

I was living in Chapel Hill, NC the first time I had sweet potato biscuits and they were served just like this – with salty ham and horseradish cream. Heavenly.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 5 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once. (Do not twist cutter.) Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 dozen.

Foster’s Market

Made a half recipe this time, but they were excellent.

Had been using Emeril’s recipe for sweet potato biscuits, but I think the Foster’s Market version rose a bit better. I do like the use of ground pecans in Emeril’s recipe. Need to figure out how to combine the two.