Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Am In Auntie Heaven

As most of you know, my sister, Rockstar, just had a gorgeous baby girl in December. Last night, we got to welcome another brand new addition to the family. EJ and Farm Chick are in the process of adopting a precious baby boy. He came home from the hospital on Sunday and his adoption will be finalized in about a month.

I call them "Money Penny" and "Q". If you are a Bond fan, you know the references.

They are both precious, perfect additions to our family and now you know why I'm in Auntie Heaven! Love. I'm just in love and I don't care who knows it. Seriously.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Like Grandma's Biscuits

When I was a kid, we'd go to my grandparents' house (on my Dad's side). Among all the reasons we loved to go there, my sisters and I would look forward to my Grandma's cooking...specifically her breakfasts! She made a little dish called Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy. She would also serve Sausage Gravy and eggs, too, but her biscuits were out of this world!

I must put a little note here...I don't have my Grandma's exact recipe. This is as close as I can get without having her's written down. Now, my aunts can make mean biscuits, too, and I need to ask them if I'm missing anything but, they taste the same to me, so I'm happy!

Without further ado....

(The full recipe is at the end of the post!)

Preheat the oven...

It is much easier to measure with these handy, dandy blocks of Crisco. I always use these! One block is a cup. Cut 2/3 of a cup and set it aside.

Then cut the 1/3 cup piece in half again. Set the little blocks aside for use later.

Add 4 cups of self-rising flour in a large bowl.

Add 1 Tablespoon of baking powder to the self-rising flour.

Stir the dry ingredients together.

Add the 2/3 C. block of Crisco into the flour and cut in using a pastry cutter or forks.

Continue to cut it in until the mixture is uniform in texture...

and looks like this.

Then add 2 C. of buttermilk.

Stir the ingredients together with a spoon until it comes together...

and looks like this.

Then dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured counter top.

Gently knead the biscuit dough until it comes together and incorporates all the dry bits and pieces and looks uniform (but don't overdo it!)

It should look about like this...

Now, take a break from the biscuits and pull out your cast iron skillet...you do have a cast iron skillet don't you?! Put one of the little pieces of Crisco in the skillet and...

melt it in the oven while you finish your biscuits.

Back to the biscuits...take your rolling pin and roll out the dough to about 1 inch thickness.

Using a biscuit cutter or glass rim, cut out the biscuits.

When you can't cut anymore, squish your left over dough together and...

roll it out again until you use up all the biscuit dough.

Now, take the skillet out with the melted Crisco and bring it over by your biscuits.

Put a biscuit into the Crisco and then...

flip it over and dip the other side in the melted Crisco.

Continue with the process until you fill up the skillet with biscuits.

Then put them in the oven...

for 11 minutes! When that timer goes off, pull those babies out of the oven.

Have a plate waiting...

and turn them out of the skillet onto the plate. Now, I'm sure they taste just as good if you just take them out and put them on a plate right side up but this is how my Grandma did it and so I do it that way, too!

Now, you want to take the skillet, put the other small piece of Crisco in to melt and start the process over with the other half of unbaked biscuits that have been waiting patiently.

Once you get the other batch in the oven, break open your fresh baked biscuits and enjoy!

And if you are really wanting a treat, whip up some of Grandma's Chocolate Gravy to go on the top of those yummy biscuits! For that recipe click here!

Just Like Grandma's Bicuits

4 C. self-rising flour
1T. baking powder
2/3 C. Crisco
2 C. buttermilk
1/3 C. Crisco (cut in half)

Preheat oven to 425. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in 2/3 C. Crisco until flour mixture has a "mealy" texture. Add 2 C. buttermilk and stir until mixture is moistened. Melt 1/6 C. Crisco in cast iron skillet in oven. Turn out biscuit mixture onto lightly floured counter top and lightly knead until uniform in texture. Roll out dough to 1" thickness and cut biscuits out. Take skillet out of oven and dip both sides of biscuits into the melted Crisco. Arrange biscuits in skillet with sides touching and bake for 11 minutes.

Chocolate Gravy Goodness

Along with my Grandma's biscuits, she would serve Chocolate Gravy! Most people snarl their nose up and think it sounds gross...until they try it! It is really easy and really rich!

Here are the ingredients. (The recipe is typed out at the end of the post!)

First, add 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder to a medium sauce pan.

Next, add 3 Tablespoons of flour.

Then a cup of sugar.

Stir all the dry ingredients together...

until it is uniform in color and texture.

Then add 2 cups of milk...

and stir.

Once you have everything stirred, turn on the heat to medium and keep stirring. It will go from this consistency...

to this consistency...

to this.

Once it is nice and smooth, it will thicken up. You will know it is done when it is thick enough to coat a spoon like this...

Take your Chocolate Gravy and pour it over buttered biscuits. (For the best biscuits ever, make these!)

Admire your work and hope you can get a bite before...

someone steals your plate and devours it!

Chocolate Gravy

3 Tbs. cocoa powder
3 Tbs. flour
1 C. sugar
2 C. milk

Add dry ingredients to a sauce pan. Stir until uniform in color and texture. Add milk and stir. Turn on stove to medium and stir (approx. 10 minutes) until it is smooth and thick enough to cover a spoon.