Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Check out this very cool way to use doilies!  with this Doily Table Runner 
These lacy little lovelies are easily found at 
flea markets, antique barns, and thrift stores
and for very little money.

Kudos to Ashley Ann (Under The Sycamore) for posting some great inspiration 
and to Country Living too!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Join the fun!

Here's a chance to win a spot in a class for learning some great techniques in layered, painted, stamped, the sky's the limit art doin.
Don't miss out!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How'd Ya Like Them Biscuits...

Ask anyone what they love about a really great breakfast, and I think the winning entry will be biscuits. But really good, fresh, home made and not out of a pop open can biscuits.
Ask anyone what they dread about a really great breakfast, and I think the winning entry will be biscuits. And
Making the biscuits… 
In my decades of cooking, sharing the kitchen and its table with many people, friends, relatives, co-workers alike, I have deduced that pretty much anything involving a rolling pin is off the menu.

So what is it exactly? 
The mess?  Flour on the counter… and God forbid, the floor?
The space?  I know that a 2 x 2 chunk of counter space is an enigma few kitchens acknowledge as necessary these days.  We’re much more interested in flat surfaces for the almighty coffee pot, toaster, and catch all for mail and cell phone caddies.
The demand of their timing?  Maybe.  Biscuits HAVE to be fresh.  End of discussion.

It’s sad really, because with a technique no more difficult than wielding a blow drier along with a reliable recipe, biscuit making can become one’s signature and will get you invited to EVERY breakfast because you’ll be become a SOOPAH STAH with your world famous biscuits.

Pick a morning with no pressures and give it a whirl.  They really are hard to screw up.  The worst thing you can do to a biscuit it over mix it.  That’s it.  The rest is pretty fixable.  Too sticky?  Add a little flour.  Too dry?  Add a little milk.  Just don’t….what?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Beuller?     Just don’t over mix it! Write it down.

Yes, biscuits are best fresh.  Day old biscuits cash in their sex appeal in for hockey pucks.  And let’s face it, part of the SOOPAH STAH element is the smell you’re going to send throughout the whole house – freshly baking bread!
So here’s a simple recipe.  30 minutes start to finish – including baking. Type it into your cell phone to keep it with you at all times making SOOPAH STAHdome a reality and may just take it to SOOPAH HERO lever! - at a moment’s notice.  After a few times, you’ll know it by heart.   If you’re going to be performing tomorrow, you have today to check for ingredients and maybe run to the market for an ingredient or two before you start partying tonight.  Heck, you can pack the ingredients with your jammies before you leave and spend nothing then!  Biscuits require some pantry ingredients.  If there happens to be a food processor in town, you get to play with toys, otherwise, chances are the good lord has given you the implements needed to get the job done hanging off the end of your arms, with the exception of a bowl and a baking sheet.

2 cups All purpose flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder (not too old please or it wont lift your biscuits)
1 tsp Salt
¼ cup  Cold Butter
¾ cup Milk (Buttermilk is best, but consider plain yogurt if you like)

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and set the rack in the middle.

Step One:  Mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt)
Step Two: Cut the cold butter into small pcs and sprinkle them over the flour mixture.
Step Three:   Use clean hands to lightly but firmly smoosh the butter into the flour using only the tips of your fingers and not the hotter (palm) part of your hand.  Turn on some music and do this while singing to about 1 or 2 (3 minute) songs.  Small butter blobs are okay. This is the meditative step.
Step Four:  Use a fork and work in the milk until it’s reasonably incorporated.
Step Five:  Turn the loose and sticky mixture out onto a lightly floured surface (2 x 2 foot square)
Step Six:  Smoosh and knead three times with the heel of your hand.  No more. Pull it into a circle.
Step Seven:  Use a floured rolling pin, empty wine or beer bottle or drinking glass to evenly roll the dough to about ¾” thick.  Use a drinking glass to cut into circles or heck, cut them with a knife into triangles, or Isosceles triangles even! Honestly:  You can even pat them out to the right thickness with your hands.

Transfer them to a baking sheet and you’re off to the races.

If you want a perfectly golden glossy magazine cover look, brush them with a beaten egg (use a spoon if you haven’t got a brush.)  If not, it doesn’t matter cuz it only ups the wow factor and will have no real impact on their flavor or your SOOPAH HERO status.  I promise.

Bake them for 10-15 minutes until golden and you can smell them. The range is wide here because it all depends on the size you chose to cut them into and the working condition of the oven you’ve been invited to use.
I arrange them in a wooden salad-type bowl, or basket lined with some cloth.  A clean dishtowel works or a napkin.  Do what you can.  Get creative with a clean bandana or tuck in something from the garden. 

NOW:    The good part.  Of course, butter and a big ol’ plate of bacon is eggs is all you need for these babies, but if you feel like being creative,  you can add some things to the dough.  Fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, dill, chives make these biscuits great for dinner.  Add some roughly chopped raisins or dried cranberries and you can call them scones.   If you brush them with eggs, or milk, you can sprinkle with sugar, or cinnamon-sugar (Gah! So good for afternoon tea or morning coffee with nothing else.)

So learn to make biscuits for heaven’s sake.  Make them your trademark.  Your legacy.  You can be famous for your biscuits!

Wear your SOOPAH HERO cape around your waist…
fyi that's not me...