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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Scones

Pumpkin Scones with a Splash of Chocolate

Ready for fall where ever you are?

Nothing says Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving more than the sight of a pumpkin patch or the smell of something pumpkin cooking in the oven. And, it is starting to feel like fall here in Texas at least for a few days, but it would be great if those hot days were behind us for a few months.

I think pumpkin and chocolate make a great pairing in anything. Years ago I did a pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that is so good you will go back for seconds. And since I love making scones and I love taking baked items to craft circle this was a recipe waiting to happen and happened it did this past week I received so many compliments on this recipe I decided to post it right away because they can be made and frozen so during the holidays all you have to do is preheat your oven and pop these little pumpkins in the oven .

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Bread/ Breads/Biscuits/ Morning Foods

Buttermilk Biscuits with Sorghum Butter

My grandfather would have loved these!

Growing up we always lived right next-door to our grandparents and we ate a lot of snacks/meals at their house. My grandfather had some quirky eating preferences. He liked to have his dessert along with his meal, he would crumble his cornbread in a big glass of Bulgarian buttermilk, and he loved to mix molasses with the butter to put on hot biscuits right out of the oven. And, to this day I can picture him doing those things.

I never thought I would like molasses and back then I’m sure I would have turned up my nose at the thought of molasses mixed with butter. But, when I saw this recipe in Garden and Gun magazine from Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, I knew I was going to have to try and make these biscuits. I’ll probably never get to Blackberry Farm but at least I can try their biscuits. You have to take a look at their website; over the top luxury that looks fantastic.

How do you think those pioneer women made biscuits? I can picture them standing over a old wooden table with a floured covered apron on dusting the table with flour and cutting out the biscuits. Then I started wondering what they use for baking powder. Baking powder was discovered in 1843, not sure what they would have done before then. Maybe they didn’t even have biscuit cutters maybe they had to form the little balls of dough in your hands and pat them out flat. However they did them I’m sure they were delicious with some fresh churned butter.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ HotApp/ Side dish

Crawfish Hushpuppies

My contribution to a cajun or Mardi Gras dinner.

Mardi Gras is almost here. I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras and I guess I don’t care if I ever go to one but I do love cajun cuisine. When we were in New Orleans last summer we had all kinds of cajun food and a few things I made after I got home.

I picked up these decorations/props at my craft circle. There’s a room bigger than my whole house (maybe twice over) full of supplies that we can go back and get for any project our group is working on. The little jester, mask and beads came from the floral department. And, since they weren’t using them for a few days, I thought I would borrow a few things and use for props. Just look at that little girl with her hand out, just waiting for a hushpuppy.

My local HEB had a guy out front last week with a big contraption that he was cooking crawfish in; so I decided to buy them and not fool with cooking such a small amount. I only bought a pound which didn’t make nearly enough meat. I’m putting 1 – 1 1/2 cups of crawfish tails in the recipe because that’s what it is going to take to make these delicious. At $5.99 a lb, and I bought only a pound and got 3/4 cup of meat, I’d go for the ones you cook yourself next time because they are going to be about $2.00 a pound, maybe less depending on where you live or you can buy crawfish tails in the freezer section.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ Morning Foods/ Pastries

Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuits

Wish I knew this Granny.

I don’t often get foods from companies to try out for the blog so I was excited to get a note from Darlene, PPR Communications, Granny Hester’s Sweet Potato Biscuit asking me if I would like to try their sweet potato biscuits. The company is doing some testing in our area in Sam’s Club and she came across my blog. Their sweet potato biscuits are already being sold there and at our Trader Joes.

I love their story of how the biscuit recipe came about. Granny Hester came up with this recipe while experimenting for the perfect biscuit for her husband before he left for the Navy in WWII. The recipe was eventually handed down (like all good grandmothers do) to a granddaughter who started making these biscuits for family and friends and now works out of a 50,000 sq. ft. building (former sock mill) in Ft. Payne, Alabama.

I’ve done sweet potato biscuits before for an appetizer so I couldn’t wait to try out their biscuits with a couple of other recipes. For my first try I used the frozen biscuit, split it and then grilled it on a panini grill and topped with some pulled pork, slaw and pepper rings for a fancy slider for New Year’s Eve. It was really good that way because the biscuit got kind of crisp, almost like a chip.

My second try was using the biscuits with ham and orange marmalade; I made these many times when I catered. Cooked biscuits, split, top with ham and orange marmalade then back in the oven to warm up.

On Granny Hester’s site they have a Sweet Potato Cinnamon Roll made from their biscuits so that was definitely going to be breakfast one Saturday morning and those are in the opening picture.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Pastries

My High School Cinnamon Roll

Do you have fond memories of high school?

One of my high school memories that I can close my eyes and am transported back to the 60’s is from my home economics class. I loved home ec class, is that hard to believe? Not really. I liked the sewing somewhat but the cooking was more fun. I don’t remember what we cooked any of the four years that I took Home Ec except for our cinnamon rolls. The class would make these cinnamon rolls and sell them to students during lunch. Could you EVER smell the yeasty, cinnamony aroma up and down the halls of our two-story building. And, the kids couldn’t wait to get a break to go buy one. If I remember correctly, we charged 10 cents each, what a bargain!

Years ago in culinary school one of my instructors told us he had a friend who was a franchise owner of a TJ Cinnamons and that one of their secret ingredients for their cinnamon rolls were crushed “red hot” candies. So, over the years I have made these rolls with and without the cinnamon candies; you can decide whether to add them or not.

Our class also made pecan rolls, which I will also make one day for you to try. They were the gooiest, pecan rolls ever and sticky but in a very good way.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Muffins

Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Chocolate chips make this raspberry muffin chocolicious.

There is definitely one advantage of growing older. And that is that I don’t have to get up until I’m ready. And, well I can stay up as late as I want watching TV, go anywhere I want to go, when I want to go. I guess there are quite a few advantages. I love going to the movie at 10:30 in the morning and I average 1-2 movies a week (and I do ask for senior rates — didn’t think I would ever be glad to say I wanted “senior rates”).

Do you think “hoarding” is something that happens as we age? I get an upset stomach watching those hoarding shows. I do, on the other hand tend to hoard food; especially berries that I pick in the summer months or in the case of these raspberries that I got for .99 cents and bought 40 cartons to put in the freezer.

So, one Tuesday morning after a good 8 hours of sleep I decided to whip up these muffins to take to my craft circle. Do you see that happening a lot lately? I know they will be eaten. I have to be honest, a few weeks ago, I tried a gluten-free orange muffin and decided to add some extra orange extract. They were AWFUL, tasted like a mouthful of alcohol and when I noticed they were not being eaten, I threw them away. Gluten-free items are not my favorite things to make and I learned my lesson about adding too much extract; and, I would like to be known as that lady who brings “good” stuff.

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Bread/ Morning Foods/ Scones

Walnut Lavender Scones

The scent of the lavender will sweep you away.

You will not be raising your pinky while you are having tea with these scones.

A few years ago (many years ago in fact) at a tea conference I learned two things that stuck with me. One, you never split a scone and put your jam and Devonshire cream on it and put it sandwiched back together (you eat the halves separate); and two, when you drink tea you REALLY aren’t suppose to hold your pinky out. Of course, you can eat and drink however you want but I guess that is correct tea etiquette. Hey, when I drink my tea sometimes it is in a cup with no handle.

I wanted to bring back some lavender from our trip to France a couple of years ago but didn’t; so when I saw this dried culinary lavender in a spice shop in Austin, I just had to buy some. Then, it took me about a year to get around to trying my scone recipe using the lavender to make the most “scentful” walnut scones I have made. And, it didn’t hurt that I had some lavender growing right outside my back door to get in the picture. Picture perfect.

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Bread/ Breads/Biscuits/ Morning Foods

Loveless Cafe Style Biscuits

Voted one of the best biscuits in the U.S.

How many times while we are traveling do we eat at a great restaurant and then soon forget about it? Well, I never do. I have talked about Loveless Cafe several times here and this is one restaurant that we actually made it back to again and for the second time enjoyed their wonderful biscuits for breakfast. I always knew if we got back to Nashville we would eat at Loveless again, and we did on our way back from Asheville last summer. Loveless Cafe’s Biscuits have been voted one of the best restaurant biscuits in the U.S. and of course they aren’t going to share their recipe.

For over 60 years guests have been sharing meals with family and friends at Loveless Cafe. LC is located in southwest Nashville at 8400 Highway 100 and has been serving meals since 1951. It use to be a 50’s style Motel and still has that sign by the roadside. You can’t miss it and if you pass it by, you will be sorry.

To me, there’s nothing better than a hot biscuit out of the oven with room temperature softened butter. Now, my husband would disagree because he loves to put either honey or molasses on his biscuits.

I changed a few ingredients in Mother’s Kitchen copycat recipe. For one, why use buttermilk powder when I can use 2 cups of buttermilk; and since I had some Lard in my pantry I used that in place of the vegetable shortening. Also, I decreased the sugar to 1/8 cup because I don’t think any biscuits needs to be sweet. This recipe sounds similar to the Angel Biscuits we use to make back in the 70’s. Whether it is or not, I think it measures up to Loveless Cafe’s biscuits.

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Appetizers/ Bread/ HotApp

Hushpuppies My Dad’s Way

My Dad — The Renaissance Man.

Maybe I should have saved this story for Father’s Day but after doing my Savory Pecan post, I started thinking about all the things I remember about my dad and his life. Growing up, my mother did most of the cooking unless it was bbq, fish or game and then that was my dad’s department. But, as they got older and retired, and my mother’s health declined, our dad started sharing the kitchen with our mother. He would experiment with all sorts of cooking and gardening techniques. At one point he came up with this hushpuppy recipe on his own and that’s the recipe I have decided to share.

Long before my parents got into cooking up their own recipes, they would buy frozen hushpuppies; the ones that looked like hard little football shaped things that seemed even harder once they were fried. Then my mother started making homemade hushpuppies which I always thought were the most delicious ones ever, especially with a little butter smeared on them. Then in my dad’s later years, he added some yeast to the recipe and the rest is history. Sometimes I might add a little corn or even jalapeño to the puppy mix but they stand alone without any of the extras as the best hushpuppies I’ve eaten.

I don’t know about you but I can shut my eyes (I really don’t have to do that) I can hear my dad laugh, picture my mother’s smile which she had for everyone, hear my grandfather clearing his throat when he came in the door for lunch (they lived next door to us) and hear my grandmother saying “you need to put t-shirts on those babies”; we never forget those who meant so much to us do we.

Hope you will enjoy reading some of my memories about my dad, The Renaissance Man. And, if you are not tired of reading, there are a few pictures of him at the bottom of this post.


Gardening and Cooking: He would try to grow just about anything; one year he grew Jerusalem artichokes just to see how he could use them. They pickled everything, made his own dry rub for years, grew, dried and ground his own peppers and he loved to talk about his garden. He dehydrated all kinds of fruits, veggies and made his own jerky. When it came to canning he even canned some fish once and used to make fish cakes (I never tried those).

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Appetizers/ Bread/ HotApp

Cornbread Jalapeño Poppers

Great little poppers.

Only four days before Christmas and if you’re planning on doing a big pot of soup for Christmas Eve this will be a great little “go with” to serve.

Can you believe Christmas is here already. I’m so excited this year (excited every year) because all the kids will be together in Austin for Christmas and their Mema will be here with us too. And, I can’t imagine how exciting it is going to see all 5 little boys running around playing with each other. Of course, Thomas (almost 8 months old) will only be watching this year, but I know he will be wondering when he’s going to be chasing them around.

I made these little poppers a couple of years ago and took these pictures (which are not that great) and then forgot about posting about them. I found this recipe at Oh Bite It blog and one day when I was making my Mexican Cornbread recipe I decided to try filling some of the jalapeño peppers with the batter.

I have never been a fan of the Jiffy type cornbread mix because my mother always made homemade and for me to do anything but homemade seems like I’m cheating. After stuffing the peppers with my Mexican Cornbread mixture that has meat in it I decided that they would be much easier to follow her recipe and maybe the sweetness from her Honey variety of cornbread mix would counter the hotness from the peppers. You can really add whatever you want to these. You can throw in some cooked ground beef if you have it on hand.

My dad was always trying to figure out how to get the coating to stick to a jalapeño like the ones you get in a restaurant or from the frozen section of the grocery. He tried all sorts of things and then decided that maybe the peppers needed to be steamed to soften them up a little before doing the flour, egg, bread crumb coating that went on the outside of a traditional jalapeño popper. After researching this I found most popper recipes call for double dipping; do egg, crumbs, then egg, crumbs again to get a thick coating. I think he wold have liked these peppers for sure.

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Bread/ Breads/Biscuits/ Morning Foods

Banana Nut Bread

There’s banana nut bread then there is this banana nut bread.

I’m sure you have been making banana nut bread about as long as I have. You may have your favorite recipe that was your mother’s, grandmother’s or your favorite aunt’s. But, I’m hoping you will try my recipe; or I should say my sister’s recipe from her husband’s Mamaw.

All recipes are made better with over ripe bananas. In our house it is hard to get an over ripe banana because my husband loves them any way and the darker the better. Over ripe bananas aren’t sold at my favorite market anymore because the produce guy told me the bakery gets them. I’m sure the bakery’s bread is not nearly as good as this recipe.

Recently, I planned on making banana nut bread for a friend (Janet) who had just had a knee replacement. So, I buy six perfect bananas and put them on the counter so they can ripen and then can be used to make the most delicious banana bread I have ever tasted. The next morning one banana mysteriously disappeared. I had forgotten to tell my husband not to touch them or put a DO NOT EAT sign on the bunch. The next day, again, one banana gone missing and they were just starting to get to the really dark stage I like for a banana intended for bread and then another banana gone. Finally I was left with three bananas to make a recipe that called for six bananas.

What’s a girl to do other than make 1/2 the recipe. Luckily for me and for my friend (one recipe normally makes 2 large loaves) I got 4 small pans from the half recipe. I kept one and gave my friend the other three. This bread is the best right out of the oven, warm with some room temperature salted butter smeared on it but is just as good cool or warmed in the microwave.

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Pão De Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Thank you new neighbor, Valdez for giving me this recipe.

Several years ago my daughter, daughter-in-law and her mother had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant in Austin. I have to say, I do not remember the name of the restaurant or the main course I ordered but I will never forget the little cheesy bread puffs we were served.  These are puffs are like little clouds filled with cheese.

Well, a couple of weeks ago our street had our yearly Neighborhood Watch block party at our neighbor, Maria’s, house. Maria is always the one responsible for putting these events together and notifying us of any information going on in the neighborhood that we need to keep a watch out for. This particular night we got to meet our new neighbors and guess where they are from — thats right Brazil.  Remember the post a while back where I told you about my problem with saying “r’s” when I was a kid and in class calling Brazil – b-r-a-s-s-i-e-r and how embarrassing that was.  Oh, well, hopefully I won’t be saying they are from Brassier !

Valdez told me that he loved to cook and has over 300 knives that he has collected from all over the world. I couldn’t resist asking him about the cheese bread balls I had and he immediately knew what I was talking about and said he had a recipe and would share it with me.

It was surprising to learn that this recipe did not have any wheat flour and is made from tapioca flour (he uses cassava flour – yucca) which makes this totally gluten free for any of you who have to maintain that lifestyle. These are made like gougères (cream puffs) but are so much better as a bready treat.

These are made similar to the gougères but mix up nothing like them. Similar but not.  I have made profiteroles for years which is what a gougère is but with cheese. I have always mixed them by hand when mixing in the eggs; but this recipe has to be mixed in a mixer whether it is a hand or stand mixer you will need it to get those eggs and cheese mixed in. Believe me the recipe is as  gelatinous and sticky as I had read about in other recipes. I tried by hand but quickly decided I’d better drag out the mixer.

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