Homemade Bisquik Substitute and Biscuits

I got into a bind.  We had just come home from shopping and I meant to get bisquick.

I wanted it in the house so I could make biscuits.

I have two recipes.

One is on here as my Cream Biscuit recipe, and it usually tastes more rich.  They should since they are loaded with whipping cream.  I can hear a proper Southern Woman saying, of course, honey, y’all have to have fat in your biscuits.  She would want me to try it with ice cold butter and cutting it in and …

Nah, too complex.  The cream biscuits are really quite good.

The other one is using Bisquick.  (Little R in a circle, trademark of General Mills and Betty Crocker and …so on).  Bisquick is fine, and it’s a fine product, but we just don’t use it enough to keep it here enough that I get good and reproducible results.

It’s two parts Bisquick to one part milk, bake at 450 for about 10 minutes or until done.

But… how hard can it be to make your own mix like a substitute for Bisquick?

Turns out that it is not hard at all.  And this is a small quantity so you can double, triple, or whatever the upscale factor is that you need.

This is enough to make 5 biscuits.  Just add 4.4 ounces of milk – 125 grams.  Bake at 450F for 10 minutes or until done.

(Where did I hear that before?)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter – At Room Temp or Partially Melted

Process:

  • Add the first three ingredients to a mixing bowl dry.
  • Blend the ingredients somewhat.
  • Add butter and mix until the mixture is even and lumps are gone.

To use for biscuits, add 4.4 ounces or 125 grams of cold milk to the bowl

Mix until somewhat blended but do not over mix.

The mix should be sticky.

Bake at 450F for 10 plus minutes or until done.

May be doubled, add extra butter, or smother with sausage gravy.

 

After all, 5 lonely biscuits won’t really last you long will they?

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Dry Barbecue Potato Chip Seasoning Recipe

Barbecue Potato Chips.

I was the weird kid that really truly enjoyed these.  I learned early that the Redder The Better because there was more flavor on them.

So I went looking, found lots of recipes on how to make this, and ended up tweaking to get this recipe.

It’s the powder that you sprinkle on potato chips to turn them into BBQ Chips after putting it in the oven.

I have been dipping tortilla chips into it and knocking off the “excess” the last couple days and, Yeah!, pretty darn good too!

This is a smallish recipe, and can be scaled up easily if you find you like it.

I bet it could also go into a cheese shaker or a salt shaker for use as a condiment on the table.

I know I like this on a baked potato, and the little bit I need isn’t enough for me to worry about the calorie count, or whatever else is in it.

Yes, there is salt and brown sugar in the recipe.  Depending on how you use it, it’s possible that the salt can be left out.

You know… season to taste?  Especially good on bland foods.

 

Oh one last thing that I noticed when I put that pic together?  It’s a great way to use up your old or out of date spices.  If you look at that pic really closely… you will notice that the date stamped on top of the Onion Powder is 2013.  It’s now 2017.

Oops!

Dry Barbecue Potato Chip Seasoning Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon packed brown sugar (I used Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Prepare:

Mix everything in a jar thoroughly.

To Use:

Dust the surface of the food to taste after cooking.

Popcorn Peanut Brittle with Chocolate Chips

I got hungry.  This happened.  Tasty too!

Actually this had been in the back of my mind.  Something similar to any one of dozens of commercial Popcorn Peanut Toffee candies.

And boy is it good.  Just be careful, it’s not exactly a light dessert.

I followed my own recipe for Peanut Brittle, then poured it over some pre-popped popcorn.  But in case you want a recipe, here goes.

Popcorn:

  • Get a cookie sheet and line with Parchment Paper or Foil.
  • Lightly grease it.  (Optional).
  • Pop one bag of microwave popcorn or loose popcorn to cover the cookie sheet one layer deep.
  • Put the popcorn on to your cookie sheet.
  • Add two ounces of chocolate chips to the top of the popcorn, evenly.

Next:  Make Brittle.

Full recipe is at this link, but I will repeat it here after the process for this step.

4 ounces of cleaned and skinless nuts.  I used unsalted peanuts.

2 ounces/4 tablespoons of butter at room temperature and sliced into thin pieces.

1 cup of sugar.

2 ounces of water.

 

  • To a cold 2 quart saucepan, add the sugar and water.
  • Stir the ingredients to mix.
  • Turn on heat Medium High to High.
  • Boil until the mix turns “toffee colored”
  • Add the nuts, stir, and count to ten.
  • Add butter.  The butter will boil immediately.  Stir
  • Remove from heat and pour over the popcorn mix.

Serve:  Allow to cool fully, break into Bite Sized Pieces.

Oh! and all of it is 1400 calories plus your popcorn calories.

Peanut Brittle Recipe – One of the easiest I have found

 

Peanut Brittle.  It’s basically a butter toffee that peanuts or some other nut is poured into and allowed to cool.  The nuts are cooked and come out slightly softer.

I usually make this with Pecans since we can get them cheap, and they have a stronger flavor.

Most recipes have a couple of steps.  This one only has two.

This recipe does not use baking soda for leavening.  When you add the ROOM TEMPERATURE butter to the candy, it will almost instantly boil creating bubbles that will add volume and make it easier to eat.

If you prefer a thinner candy, wait a few seconds, and the bubbles will die down.

This also works if you switch the nuts out for about an ounce (28 Grams) of lightly chopped roasted coffee beans.  If you use Espresso Grind coffee, you end up with a smoother texture.

I will say that the taste with Espresso is very reminiscent of a specific Japanese candy that I can very rarely find.  They look like a toffee but are very dark brown and taste like a sweet coffee or a Cuban coffee.  Hard to find here in South Florida, so when I discovered this, it was a special treat.

It’s all up to you.

As for calories?  It’s candy for crying out loud:

1 Cup Sugar = 774 Calories

4 ounces unsalted roasted peanuts =  426 Calories

1 ounce Butter = 200 Calories

Total = 1400 calories.

Yes, that is the full recipe calorie count.  If you sit down and eat the entire recipe you should reconsider your diet choices.  I’d say about 1 1/2 ounce is a good (approximately) 200 calorie serving size.  Leaving it out on the counter like I do is a mistake since it means I’m grazing on the stuff all day.

On the other hand since there is no baking soda in it… well you don’t have that gassy problem do you?

This also makes a “reasonable” amount to make in a wet climate.  There isn’t so much that you will have to worry about it getting sticky from the humidity or it simply lingering because you got bored.

It threw together in about 10 minutes – so it’s a dangerous recipe, if you enjoy the stuff!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Ounces Water
  • 4 Ounces Unsalted Peanuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, or any combination you prefer
  • 2 Tablespoons ROOM TEMPERATURE butter
  • Salt to taste – or not, I do not

Process:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Grease lightly cookie sheet with oil.
  3. Chunk the butter into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Lightly Chop the nuts – Or not, your preference.
  5. Add to a 2 quart/Liter sauce pan the water and sugar.
  6. Mix the sugar and water until well dissolved.
  7. Place the sugar water mix on medium high heat until boiling.
  8. Stir the sugar water while on the heat.
  9. Continue to boil the sugar water until it reaches a proper tan/caramel/toffee color.
  10. Add the butter and nuts at the same time and remove from heat while stirring.
  11. The mixture will foam as the water in the butter boils off.
  12. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil.
  13. Allow to cool to room temperature and break into bite sized bits.

Hurricane Irma, Burgers, and Cream Biscuits

Ok, on Saturdays I usually put up jokes.

Nope.  Not today.

You may have been reading about this monster storm.  If you’re in the path of Hurricane Irma, stay safe, and stay under cover.

At one point the path for this beast had landfall in Key West – 200 miles away.

At one point the path for this beast was literally 3 blocks away from me here in Wilton Manors, Suburban Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Then it moved into the ocean between us and the Bahamas.

Then back to us.

Then to where it is, now, Friday evening.

By my reconing, it would be coming ashore about mile marker 30, the Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys, just West of Marathon, FL.

A second landfall would be east of Marco Island, and then North up the state.

Enough Naval Gazing.

A power outage here can happen because a butterfly farted on a power line.

I have become convinced that the infrastructure here is made from old abandoned barbed wire that was sourced from fence posts on a farm in the Southwestern US.

You know those pictures of rusted barbed wire stapled to a weathered piece of drift wood?

Thanks, FPL, power goes out on a Thursday here.

So I spent the day debating and went on a cooking binge.

Made up 20 hamburgers for the dog because it would free a space for another bag of ice in the freezer.  It’s now about 2/3 ice in a freezer that is about as tall as I am.

I’m a big guy.  Tall, built like a gym teacher.

Then I started looking at the fridge.

Found Cream.  Specifically Whipping Cream.

Made 2 and a half batches of:

Cream Biscuits.

2 cups Self Rising Flour.

1 1/4 cups of Whipping or Heavy Cream.

1 tablespoon of table sugar.

Mix, then knead until it becomes semi sticky.  Like modeling clay.

Divide into 10, and bake at 450F for 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Sorry for only Imperial Units, I actually weighed everything to the gram and annotated the weights in my recipe book, but it’s late and …

Hey if anyone wants my metric measurements, Ask!

See, the point is that cooked food has a longer shelf life when the power goes out than “raw”.

The other point is that you really do have to analyze your every move in a hurricane for preparation.

So this weekend no jokes.

If I get to have power tomorrow morning, Saturday, I will go through the normal morining rituals which includes putting up jokes for Sunday.  Then I’ll write something for the next couple articles.  Nothing fancy.

“If you’re reading this, my blog is on auto pilot, blahblahblah, Hi There!”

If no connection to the internet because power is down, well folks, think well of me and I’ll get back to you when everything comes back.

When Hurricane Wilma hit here in 2005, my own block was without power for 2 weeks.

If Hurricane Irma goes on that path that will do so much damage to South West Florida, the storm will not be quite as strong as Wilma was.  We here will be safe.

I’ll be back then.

Stay safe, no matter where you are reading this from in the world.

Help your neighbor if they need it.  Mine did.

Save your prayers, get off your collective butts and do something that positively changes the world.  Vote for people who will actually DO something to reduce carbon emissions and stop Climate Change or Global Warming.  Millions of people doing small acts of improvement will move the world the right way, away from having two 500 Year Storms in one month.

As the old CB Radio jargon said – See Ya On The Flip Side!

Homemade Veggie Burgers Can Be Quite Good With This Basic Recipe from Kathie

I’ve got quite a few projects going on at any given moment.  I also have quite a few recipes on hand.  What happens is that things get set aside, reordered in priorities, and life sometimes changes your plans.

I went for a drive one day and a seam ripped open on the roof of my Jeep.  That can be fixed since the vinyl is still supple.

I was working on a Docker project that hit a wall.

Then the house “emptied” and I found that I was going to have room to do some of those things that needed doing when there was nobody else here but me, the parrot, and the dog.

At any rate, I found myself standing in the kitchen and remembering a conversation with my godmother Kathie.  She’s vegetarian, and I am not.  Now, I will eat vegetarian meals, but they have to come up to my Foodie Standards.  After all, I was brought up on home made Lasagne and Baked Ziti.

What I wouldn’t give to be in the kitchen listening to Mom and Aunt Betty bicker about what goes into the Saturday morning spaghetti sauce for that night, and Sunday night’s dinner yet one more time.

Kathie and I were talking about how I would pack what the office called “Weird Food” for breakfast.  It had to be high protein, low carb, and low fat.  I was on a training diet for my skating, and it meant that I was constantly hungry and pumping food into my open gullet.  She reminded me that I could eat vegetarian foods, and I lamented that they typically are more expensive than the meat based diet that we’re used to here in the US.

Case in point were the veggie burgers that I would have with breakfast.  They were about $10 a pound where beef burgers were around $3.50 a pound, and chicken breasts can be found as low as $1.50 a pound at a restaurant warehouse store I shop.

She shared with me a recipe that she had kept for a while and I put it in my phone where it rode around until I could put it all together.

The recommended beans are black beans, and I substituted Refried Beans.  That was the trick.  The Refried Beans are a paste that are mildly seasoned, depending on the brand.  Along with the other spices, this made a burger patty that tasted mildly Mexican, and seasoned.  You would not know there isn’t beef in it, although you may realize that it isn’t pure beef.

Ok, I’m being generous, but these were good!

Served on the homemade bun with cheese and a slab of tomato, I actually enjoyed this and didn’t miss the $10 a pound veggie burgers.

Since the can of refried beans were only $.99 at Trader Joes, the entire recipe was about $.30 a serving.  Plus a roll.  About 150 calories maximum if you are counting.

The trick is that you have to cook these until they firm up or else you end up with a rather interesting bean and oatmeal paste that breaks apart annoyingly.  The Refried beans were a bit moister than the recommended pre-cooked black beans that would be mashed.

Enough of my own blather here you go with the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cooked Beans.  Canned, drained, and rinsed or Refried Beans – to taste.
  • 1/3 cup Quick Oats
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

 

To Food processor, add all ingredients and mix until almost smooth.

Or

Mash beans until almost smooth like I did in a mixing bowl.

Divide into four parts and shape into patties.

Bake for 10 minutes on Baking Parchment Paper or foil.

Flip all patties

Continue baking for 5 minutes more or until desired firmness.

Outside should be crispy.

Note that this recipe with refried beans took longer than the suggested time by a significant amount.  I cooked them for 10 minutes and flipped every 10.  Recipe was done to my taste by about 35 minutes.

Patties may be reheated in a skillet with a little oil for added flavor and texture.

 

Have you ever stuck a fork into some food and said that you wished you had the recipe?

I did when I had this cake the second time.  It is THAT good!

Oh, and as a bonus for those who care, the cake itself … it’s actually Vegan!  Yeah, no milk, no eggs.

The icing is vegetarian since it requires butter and milk.  If you want to try making it Vegan, go ahead I won’t judge…

But this cake is excellent as is.  One of the best Chocolate Cakes I have had in memory.

It is a chocolate cake recipe from the Great Depression Era, when they had to be thrifty and scrimp on every corner they could.

But… whoever came up with this recipe came up with an amazing cake.

I find it every time I look for a chocolate cake recipe, and it haunted me until I took the time to make it.

You will find recipes like this one every time you search.  Some add things to it that are unnecessary and added fluff.   You can have it plain, without icing, and just a bit of confectioner’s sugar on top.  I opted for a rather simple buttercream icing and am really glad I did.

The trimmings I had of the cake to make it round the first time out tasted almost as rich as a brownie.  It stayed moist in the refrigerator longer than I expected, which is a big bonus.  My regular recipe is good, but this is better.

The process of making this is simple:

  • Add to a large mixing bowl (I recommend a stand mixer, but that is for speed) all your ingredients saving the vinegar for last.
  • Mix until smooth (See, that stand mixer would help)
  • Pour into floured and buttered 8 by 8 inch pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when tested.

 

To make a more modern sized cake, I doubled the ingredients and got a two layer 9 inch cake.

Yes, Double the ingredients.  I did say Depression era and 8 by 8 one layer was the original size.

I also Doubled the icing for a 2 layer, 9 inch cake.

8 by 8 inch is a 20cm square.

9 inch round would be 23 cm.

Or so.

 

Ingredients:

 

For the cake (Each Layer):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider or White vinegar

For the Icing (Each Layer):

  • 2 Tablespoons butter (room temp or melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract