Cream Biscuits Recipe or How It Took Me Three Weeks To Make A 10 Minute Recipe

The recipe is straightforward.

2 Cups Self Rising Flour

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Sugar.

To large mixing bowl
Add 2 Cups Self Rising Flour.
Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon sugar on top and stir a little bit.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of Heavy Cream on top.
Stir until it begins to form a dough.
Continue to mix with your bare hands until it forms a “Play Doh” consistency.

The dough will go through phases where it is:

  • “mealy”
  • dry and lumpy
  • dry on the outside but one ball
  • slightly tacky and moist on the outside – STOP HERE!

Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness, about the thickness of your thumb, palm down.

Use a 3 inch (about 8CM) drinking glass to cut into circles.

Cook the biscuits on a foil lined cookie sheet at 500F until tops are brown – about 10 minutes

Make sure that the biscuits are cooked fully, give them the time they need in the oven.

 

So my own long winded story.

I was out skating, because that is what I do.  Some of my best ideas come when my heart rate is ticking along at 173 BPM, I’m sweating like I just walked through a car wash, and I’m on eight or ten wheels.

I was thinking about getting home and having something “special” and Biscuits and Gravy came to mind.

Biscuits are one of those things that every “Good Southern Lady” has been taught how to make, and if they are successful, they do it this way because “That’s How Momma Taught Me!”

Usually it takes “cutting in ice cold butter” in pea sized chunks so that the steam from the butter will help to give it height.

I’m neither Southern, nor a Woman – not that there is anything with that, nor not that there is anything wrong with not being that.

I also tend to look for shortcuts in the kitchen.

That Southern Recipe is kind of fussy and really does take practice.

The recipe up top there?  It’s easy.  You just have to be patient in the oven.

That night when we went shopping I remembered I wanted the heavy cream to make these biscuits.

Since I was going to be left alone for a couple weeks, I also had to get some ground beef for Rack, my McNab SuperDog (TM).  I ended up getting 30 pounds of ground beef which basically ate my freezer’s extra space.

I never bake just one of something, and the biscuits would serve me a week of breakfasts.  But with Mr Dog’s food ingredients squatting on the prime real estate in my freezer, I had to wait until the freezer drained of “extra” food.

So I watched.  Every time I opened that freezer and took something out, I did a little mental Happy Dance to think I was getting closer to being able to have those biscuits.

In later shopping trips, I did manage to over fill the house, and get some jarred gravy.  If you are reading this from outside of the US, this is not brown gravy – it’s something called Red Eye Gravy, which is a white Bechamel Sauce cooked with Sausage Chunks and some black pepper to make it all savory.

This stuff is not light, it’s not healthy, and it may not be something for every day, but some people do it daily, and I have seen pictures of an English Breakfast and was amazed at just how much food was on that plate!

Having been on a training diet since 1979, nobody who regularly eats an English Breakfast (Or Irish, Or Canadian, or …) has any room to point fingers.

Once the freezer had finally been “eaten down” to creating the space for seven biscuits to go back in there, I decided it was time.

This Morning.

I made the recipe, and had the results in that picture.

I am impatient when it comes to Biscuits.  I tend to pull them too early, and this was no different.  I did not allow them to cook the full 10 minutes, and they were raw inside.

Back in the oven you go, I ended up giving them three more minutes at 500F to get them almost perfect.

Served in a bowl with 1/4 cup of steaming hot Red Eye Sausage Gravy on top, I was in heaven.

3 weeks to get them, they had better be good!

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Hotteoks Or Korean Donuts in the Park for After An Inline Skate Workout

Yeah.  I’m an Outlier.

One of those people who enjoys something you personally don’t or something you don’t expect that person should.

You know, the one person who listens to Classic Obscure Disco but not Bee Gees or Donna Summer in 2019.

Who is inline skating and regularly has workouts that burn a measured 1600 calories.

I’m the guy who prefers food from other cultures as well.

Heck, I’m driving a 16 year old Manual Transmission Jeep Wrangler because I LIKE it!

I could go on but I wear that Outlier tag with pride.

The thing is that I went out skating and found that while I was burning all those calories, I needed something to bring my blood sugar back to normal quickly.

So I made Korean Donuts again.  Hotteoks.  Again.

I think it is safe to say that I was probably the only person in my city plus some of the surrounding cities who makes these things.

I had “extra dough” when I was making Pizza for Memorial Day, so I thought this would be a perfect time to tame the Post Workout Blood Sugar Crash.  After all, food left in the car has to be temperature stable, won’t spoil, won’t spill, and so forth.

“Energy Bars” would work but they’re usually chock full of weird preservatives to make them “Shelf Stable”.

Hotteoks could sit on my Jeep’s passenger seat inside a plastic bag with my Skates and Pads while I go to my workout, and wait for when I need them there or inside my pack.

If you reduce it to the absolute minimum it’s a Cinnamon and Brown Sugar filling inside of a dough ball that is pressed into an oiled skillet until it is cooked, then flipped.  Two ingredients.

Sure, the dough has to be a good one.  Like almost everything here, I use my sister’s Pizza Dough recipe that is linked here.   I made that recipe on the dough cycle of my bread maker with 10 ounces of water.

The filling was a “common” teaspoon of packed Brown Sugar plus 1/2 measured Cinnamon. Cinnamon Sugar is traditional but you can use Jelly or Custard if you wish.

Consider it a way to make a Hot Pocket and stuff it with Pizza Fillings or your favorite Sandwich Fillings.   PB&J anyone?

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Process:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Oil the cookie sheet so that the dough balls will not stick.
  3. Prepare your Pizza Dough.  Pat’s Pizza Dough works well in a Bread Machine.
  4. Divide the Pizza Dough into eight pieces.  This was 90 grams or about 3 ounces measured.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten to a palm sized disc.
  6. Spoon into the center of each dough disc One Teaspoon of Brown Sugar.
  7. Spoon on top of the Brown Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon.
  8. Turn the Hotteok into a dumpling by pinching the sides closed and rotating.
  9. Set the Hotteok onto the oiled cookie sheet with the pinched side down.
  10. Oil a skillet generously and heat to Medium.
  11. Put the Hotteok down onto the oil and press down with an oiled spatula allowing it to spread out.
  12. Cook the Hotteok until it is golden brown, then flip and repeat until both sides are done.
  13. Re-oil the spatula and skillet as needed and repeat for the rest of the Hotteoks.

Enjoy while warm or reheat in the microwave!

Oh and have a good workout, meet me on the trails and I’ll tell you the story of when …

The Yogurt Recipe That Brings My Dog To The Kitchen

First, the recipe.

Materials:

Seed Yogurt: Go to the store, buy yourself a small container of plain unsweetened and unflavored yogurt that you enjoy.  There are multiple types, each culture has a different flavor.  But make certain that it says “Active Cultures” or what ever your nation says for active or live bacteria in this yogurt.   I personally use a “Greek Yogurt” and what I make with it tastes just about like what came out of the Seed Yogurt Cup.

Even better, if you have a neighbor that has a yogurt that they have been making out of their own cultures, get a couple tablespoons of that.  It’s bound to be better than anything commercial.

Jar for your yogurt:  Get an appropriate jar with a sealable lid.  Approximately a quart/liter in size.  Sterilize the jar – wash and make sure it is as clean as you can get.  You don’t want this stuff to spoil.  I use a Mason Jar with a wide mouth and a large plastic lid.  This jar must fit in your microwave.

Milk.  I use 2%.  Whole will taste better but will give more calories.  Skim Milk will taste “milder”.  The Calorie Count will be the same as that of the milk that goes into it.  It’s up to you.

Process:

Add milk to your jar until it is about 3/4 filled.  750mL or 3 cups.  Or so – it does not have to be exact.  My Mason Jars have vertical lines on the side that I fill to the top of, below the narrowing for the neck.   You just want it to have some room for bubbles to form if it goes to boil in the microwave.

Heat the milk slowly to at least 180F/82C.  This can be done in a sauce pan if you do not have a microwave.  I heat the milk in the Mason Jar, in the microwave at High or Full Power for 4 minutes, then give it 30 second bursts until it begins to bubble.  This will kill off anything that will make things spoil.

Pour the milk into the Mason Jar.

Move the Mason Jar to a warm spot in the kitchen, on the counter where it won’t be disturbed..

Allow the milk to cool for about two hours in the Mason Jar.

When the milk is below 105F/40C, add two tablespoons of the plain yogurt that you got for this purpose.

This is your Seed Yogurt.

Finish the rest of the seed yogurt, I suggest with either honey or a good jam.  This is your treat for the job.

Stir the seed yogurt vigorously into the milk.

Cover the Mason Jar with your lid, and allow it to sit at least one day.

Check the Mason Jar periodically.  It will be done when the yogurt begins to gel when you tip the container to the side.

Refrigerate and use within about a week.

Remember – since you already made the stuff here, you can take a spoon or three of your current batch and use for seed yogurt for the next batch.  The taste will change over time, certain bacterias will express themselves stronger or weaker within the food.  If you don’t like that, go get more seed yogurt at the stores.

So… about my dog?

Rack, the McNab SuperDog sits on his mat in the corner next to my recliner.  It’s off in the distance so he can’t see what is going on in the kitchen from that spot.

There’s just enough noise in the house that I personally would not be paying that close attention to what goes on in the kitchen, but I would be wrong to ignore that completely.  Ceiling fans and clocks are all making a constant racket.

In fact, just putting on noise canceling headphones is a nice change of pace from hearing all that din.

Rack does not need that.

There are certain noises that get him up from the corner and to the kitchen.  If I grab ice cubes, he comes in asking for one.  Luckily he is not brave enough to take liberty to press on the ice dispenser on the refrigerator.

He will get one when I make my first mug of coffee, but only the first one.  The second one he stays put and ignores whatever else is going on.

Or so you think.

Certain kitchen noises may make him pay attention like crumpling a chip bag or rattling the doors on things in there but this is one thing that sends him running to the kitchen.

I store the Mason Jar with the plastic top and the wide mouth on the “Breakfast Shelf” in the fridge.  I’m tall, 193CM/6’4″ and it’s at chest height.

Nudging the jelly, yeast, and cottage cheese aside, I grab that yogurt jar.  If he’s in the room, he expects some.

But I tend to play tricks on my dog as it keeps his mind going.

Waiting for him to be in the corner, out of site, I get the Yogurt Jar out of the fridge.  Since I move things in and out frequently, he hasn’t figured out that specific jar’s noise.

Quietly stepping out, I see he’s not watching and blissfully sleeping.

Turn the lid just a quarter turn and he leaps off his bed and runs to the kitchen sliding into my right leg with a skid.

Mind you he’s not a Labrador Retriever but this is the closest to the Lab Feeding Frenzy that I get with my own McNab Dog.

He then gets his 1/2 cup of yogurt in his bowl.

It’s gone so far that I can’t use the word Yogurt in the house without having 46 pounds of black dog with white tips and highlights glued to my leg.

So yes, if you want the Yogurt for your recipes that will make the dogs come running, this is how you make the stuff.  The only time I buy yogurt is for seed if the original spoils.

Rum Raisins – How to make them for baking

This isn’t so much of a recipe as it could be called a kitchen hack.

There isn’t a picture this time because it looked like pebbles in some murky brown water, but you’ll get the idea. Really it is that simple. You just have to let things soak and sit for a day.
It’s so easy that it’s one of those things you do while waiting for the kettle to boil.
Rum Raisin
Get a 2 cup or 1/2 liter container – or larger. Feel free to double this recipe with a larger container if needed. You want extra “room” so you can shake the mixture every so often.

Raisins, your choice – 1/2 cup or 4 ounces or 225 ml

Rum, your choice – 1/2 cup or 4 ounces or 225 ml
This will scale up or scale down based on your needs. The trick is to make sure that the raisins are all covered by rum.
When you go to use the rum raisins, strain them with a sieve or mesh. But reserve the extra rum because the now-brown rum tastes awesome straight up or on ice.
… or on ice cream.

To use the raisins in Tapioca Pudding or Oatmeal Raisin cookies, use the strained raisins as you would with any other wet raisins. They will change the taste of your baked goods, and in a normal sized serving of Tapioca, you will get between 1/2 to one ounce of rum.
If you’re a tea totaller or “On Recovery”, substitute water or grape juice.
This also works with any dried fruit within reason. I’m thinking dried Mangoes next time I go to the shops, or perhaps Apricots.

The Original Pizza Story and The One Ingredient Pizza Sauce

There is a story I was told, time and again.

When the Allied troops were fighting the Nazis in Italy after the fall of Mussolini they eventually approached Naples.

Due to the Volcanic Soil from Mount Vesuvius and other volcanos, the soil there is extremely rich.  The climate in the area is perfect for growing tomatoes that are held to be better than anywhere else.

(Ok, maybe AS good as the home grown tomatoes that are from South Jersey, but I digress.)

However, due to the impoverishment caused by the Fascists and the War, there was very little to go around.

The troops came upon pizzas made with only about four ingredients.  Crust made from Flour, water, yeast and a little salt.  Mozzarella made from milk from the few cows that were left.  A simple red sauce made with those tomatoes and almost always a touch of basil.

Yep, that’s it.  A Margarita Pizza.  Or however my spell check forces me to spell it.

(I have seen it Margherita on Menus as well.  The picture is labeled like that, the article uses the other spelling.)

Crust, Sauce, Basil, Mozzarella Cheese.  Heat in a wood burning oven.  Serve.

It was a hit and brought back to the US and became a favorite here and worldwide.

Mind you, to me, pizza made with Pineapples or Cheddar Cheese are an abomination, but I am quite fond of Mushrooms and perhaps sundried tomatoes on occasion.

About that sauce?

A week or two ago, I went to downtown Miami and went to what was an Italian restaurant.  They had all the prerequisite items on the menu and a simple Marg(h)erita Pizza in their wood burning stove.   I got that and it was excellent.

As I sat there I was pondering the sauce with my lunch partner.  We decided that if there was anything more in that sauce than a little basil and San Marzano Tomatoes, we couldn’t tell.

San Marzano Tomatoes are the name for the “DOP” for that area – The Protected Area.

So we got a can.  I used a 100 year old potato masher and mushed them down to a chunky mash.

Then I turned the heat onto medium low and cooked them down for 90 minutes.

Allowing the sauce to cool and rest until the next day, because tomato sauces are always ALWAYS better “tomorrow”, I waited.

I made the pizza you see in that picture.  It was almost identical to that $16, Serves One, Pizza.

We cracked it.  Simple is best if you want an Authentic Pizza.

Mind you, I will say that Neopolitan Pizza in any of the major NE US Cities is supposed to be better, but this was an awesome pizza with a no fuss sauce that I would put up against anything I’ve had elsewhere.

So much for artisanal, you can be an artisan too!

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 26 Ounce Can of San Marzano Tomatoes, peeled, with Basil.  (800 grams)

That’s it.

Recipe Process:

  • Open can into sauce pan.
  • Use potato masher to rough-mix the Tomatoes.  If you use a blender, you want chunks so just pulse.
  • Warm the sauce pan to Medium Low – 3 on a regular American Stove.  (You know that Iconic one that goes “Lo”, then 2 to 8, then “Hi”?)
  • Cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until the desired thickness is achieved – it took me 90 minutes on a slow simmer.
  • Set the sauce aside in the refrigerator until tomorrow to allow flavors to rest and meld.
  • Use promptly.

Thanksgiving? Why not Pot Pie Black Friday?

How do you take all the dried out pieces of the Thanksgiving feast and make them edible?

How about if all you needed was some gravy, veg, and a pie crust?

Yep, Pot Pie.

I have had enough bad turkey, overcooked beef roasts, and desiccated chicken at Thanksgiving dinner to actually look forward to this hack.

To be fair, I don’t generally eat vegetarian or vegan, but this process is so simple that the gravy and protein ingredients can be switched with alternatives if you wish.

With planning, all you have to do is make is a Pie Crust and you can even buy that in the frozen section of the supermarket.

A pot pie uses the gravy you made for the Mashed Potatoes that was leftover.  It could be even jarred.

I will say that since we’re having roast beef, my gravy will be Port Wine Beef Gravy.  Just reserve some of the gravy.

A pot pie always has vegetables.  Traditionally, at least in my own experience, it has Peas, Carrots, Potatoes, and Corn.  If you served all that, reserve it.  I was at the market Monday Night and bought a … CAN!!!!

Mind you, the Amateur Nutritionist in me says always get the can with the lowest Sodium.  You may not to need to watch your salt intake… now, and you won’t miss it.

Now, the Meat… Reserve the dried out bits, and some of the better cuts of meat.  Roast Ends, Wings, that top bit of the breast that wasn’t exactly moist… that sort of thing.

Once you have made the Pie Crust (Recipe Below) or have bought one, it’s time to assemble the meal.

This is all by preference.  Not mine, yours.  I usually add 12 ounces of Meat, 12 ounces of Veg, and enough gravy to make things appealing.

Process:

  • Add the can of vegetable medley to the Pie Crust.
  • Add the finely chopped meat to the Pie Crust.
  • Add enough gravy to the mix in the Pie Crust.
  • Mix it until everything looks “even” and “wet”
  • Bake at 350F (Medium Oven) until the crust begins to brown.
  • Slice and enjoy.

The Easy Pie Crust Recipe is as follows:

(Pretty much lifted word for word from this link so I can refer to it later)

For comparison, a traditional cold water/butter pie crust is at this link, but it would need to be doubled so you have a top for the pie.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Milk
  • 1/4 cup Boiling Water
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour.

First, add Shortening, Salt, Milk, Boiling Water to a mixing bowl.  Whip with a fork until smooth and creamy.

Second, add 2 cups of Flour to the mixing bowl with that fork until the flour is incorporated and smooth.

Finally, This will make a crust for a double crust pie, top and bottom.

P.S.  Save the scraps from the pie, roll it thin, and put a bit of jelly in the middle.  Fold over, crimp closed, and bake with the pot pie.  Makes a nice dessert.

The Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Recipe Fit For The Bathroom

First the recipe. 

I have been using a couple recipes for this for the last couple years.  About 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to a large mug of coffee, about 24 ounces.  It’s added right as the coffee poured into the mug.

A Little Goes A Long Way.

This one will work well, it’s adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, and this is one of the most widely quoted recipes  for Pumpkin Spice that I have found.  I usually either double or half the recipe depending on what I need it for – hence the “adapted”.

To a jar you can seal the top of, add the following spices:

3 Tablespoons Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1/2 Teaspoon  Ground Cloves.

Stir the spices until mixed, seal jar, use as needed.

Now about that Bathroom I’m blathering on about.

I have used that spice mix in coffee, and dropped a little in some bread once or twice with differing results.

But it also works well for making soap.  In fact, I liked this stuff so much I will use it to make up a batch of soap with it.

I got the idea from my friend Craig in Atlanta.  He likes dark and bold soaps, and challenged me one day.  He suggested I make up a Coffee based soap.  We batted the idea back and forth and I came up with the idea, I think it was me anyway, to make a Pumpkin Spice Coffee Soap.

I was afraid of this stuff.  And I still have to make that only Coffee Scrub Soap.

Everyone said to make the soap outside, lye plus coffee makes some horrible stench that will drive you away.  You always add the lye to the liquid before adding that to the oils in that order.

So I did the math.

It turns out Coffee can be substituted for Water at a 1 to 1 ratio.  I made up a standard soap with a frozen coffee slug as the water, and mixed it out on my front porch.  I added it to the oil mix, and stirred it until trace.

Mixing in the normal 1 Tablespoon to the Pound of soap gave me something that looked like a gritty Brownie in size and shape.  I allowed it to cure for a month, and I had six bars and three testers.

I was shocked when I finally sampled this stuff.

It smelled good.  The Coffee did make the lather look tan to brown, but it smelled spicy and did clean just as well as any other blend without staining the tub.  Using the Pumpkin Spice Mix as a grit was not too abrasive, and there was no burning like I was warned could happen with anything like Cinnamon against “tender” areas of the body.

The bonus was that the scent did not linger after rinsing.

I’ll be making this again later, but this time just the Pumpkin Spice.  Making the Coffee into Ice Cubes takes up time, and I can make up a batch of soap in about a half hour.  It’s a fun little diversion in the middle of the afternoon.

 

In case you’re curious, here’s what it looks like once it’s packed into the molds with the soap recipe to the side.

Mind you, I didn’t have a line of Suburban Soccer Moms waiting in their SUVs this time, because I promised to share the recipe for the spice mix – at the top.