my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

March 10, 2012

biscuits on the brain

i love biscuits. it's a true and simple fact. and right now, i've got biscuits on the brain.

maybe it's because i've seen a lot of really yummy and awesome looking recipes online lately. or maybe it's because we took the kiddies out to eat to a place known for its biscuits. or maybe it's because it's strawberry season, and that of course means it's strawberry shortcake time!

over the years, i began to realize that strawberry shortcakes are made many different ways. growing up, though, we always made them with biscuits. in fact, we usually made them the quick and easy way by using bisquick mix and just making drop biscuits. we'd split the biscuits while warm and top them with sliced, macerated strawberries and a little milk. for us strawberry shortcake wasn't dessert, it was something we ate for dinner. kind of like our version of apple dumplings, but that's another story.

biscuits are also near and dear to my heart because they make my hubby so very happy. one of his absolute favorite things that i make is sausage gravy and biscuits, which is very nice for me because it's so easy. i've made gallons of gravy over the years, and the only thing that every ruins it at this point is when i get bad sausage. and of course i make biscuits from scratch to go with them. i have tried tons of recipes for good, homemade biscuits, and the one i keep using time and again is from my old better homes and gardens cookbook. sadly, the newer editions don't have my favorite recipe, so i'll include it here. it's super easy and reliable!

baking powder biscuits
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

1. mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. make a well and add all the milk, then stir until just combined. don't over mix!
2. turn dough out on floured surface and knead a few times just to bring everything together, until nearly smooth. pat out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into circles. (i don't have a biscuit cutter, so i always just a plastic cup)
3. place biscuits onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 450.

i love biscuits for so many different reasons. from the fact that they are so simple to throw together to the fact that i almost always have everything i need on hand to make a batch. they're nice all warm, straight out of the oven. especially when slathered with good butter. of course i like them sweet with honey and jam. and if i throw some cheese into the mix, then they make a great sandwich, even warmed up the next day and topped with egg and bacon. if i'm feeling really fancy, i'll whip up a batch using buttermilk, and top them with cream and sugar before baking for a nice, crunchy crust. salty or sweet, biscuits are a definite favorite of my whole family.

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