Cream Cheese Biscuits

Cream Cheese Biscuit

I’ve said that Miss Libby at 2 is a glimpse at what I can probably expect in about 10 years (or sooner!) when puberty starts rearing its head. What with the tears and tantrums and drama, toddler and teen really aren’t that far removed from one another…and boy, if one is a preview of the other, then I’m in for it.

So it’s kind of fitting that I chaperoned Miss Libby’s first date last weekend.  He’s a younger man so his parents were there too.  Neither of the kids seemed to mind though.  Or if they did, they haven’t figured out the eye roll and the embarrassed sulk.  We have to wait a while yet for that.

Actually, I’ve been trying to make this date happen for about the last nine months.  And I may be lobbying for something of an “understanding” between the two families as far as the kids go because these two are too cute together not to be together.  There may not have been any hand holding but that was probably because because both kids were using their hands to eat.  Something about seeing Libby pass pieces of quesadilla across the table to Evan and watching him accept her gift made me very happy.

Cream Cheese Biscuits

Adapted from Baked Bree

BAH Note:  If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach then I see no better vehicle than a biscuit.  Adorned simply with butter and jam or used to sandwich a savory middle, this biscuit is your friend.  Oh, and I find it easier to cut the cream cheese and butter into cubes after they come out of the freezer.  Give it a try, you might too.

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, frozen for 30 minutes, cut into cubes
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter, frozen for 30 minutes, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

Heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment.

Put the dry ingredients, cream cheese, and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks sandy and no big pieces of butter or cream cheese remain.

Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl.  Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough just forms.  Transfer the rough dough onto a floured counter and knead it until it all comes together.  Roll or push the dough into a rectangle (the longer the rectangle the thinner the biscuits, the shorter the rectangle the taller the biscuits) and cut into biscuits.

Transfer the biscuits to your parchment lined sheet pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

{printable recipe}

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Butter Broasted Carrots

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They aren’t exactly braised.  They aren’t exactly roasted.  They’re somewhere in between…they’re broasted.  And they are exactly how I’m cooking up six pounds of carrots this weekend.  I know that sounds like a whole hell of a lot but between a carrot loving toddler, the base for a carrot soup, and a pot luck contribution, I think it might not be enough.

Butter Broasted Carrots

Adapted from Cooking Light, Pick Fresh

BAH Note:  I’m a wimp when it comes to high heat roasting.  It always ends up badly for me.  If you are braver than I am, try using Cooking Light’s recommended temp of 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Me, I take a lower and slower approach.

  • 2 to 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Combine the carrots, butter, olive oil, and salt on the baking sheet and toss to fully coat the carrots.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots reach your desired tenderness.

{printable recipe}

Breand and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles

Allow me a Seinfeld moment….what’s the deal with Bread and Butter Pickles?  There is neither bread nor butter in the recipe.  So they’re called Bread and Butter because????

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk quick pickles.  Quick pickles are one of those things that are so simple to make that it’s embarrassing to admit I had never made them before.

They don’t require any processing…meaning no standing over a vat of boiling water in the dead of summer.  My A/C has a hard enough time keeping up with the effects of global warming outside my house.  The last thing I need is to turn the kitchen into a sauna and ask my tired Carrier to work that much harder.

In their simplest form, they don’t need any exotic ingredients…meaning you’ve probably got the most essential of the ingredients in your pantry. Got some salt, sugar, and vinegar?  Then you’ve got the makings of a quick pickle.

They are essentially a blank canvas…meaning that if you choose to, you can fancy them up.  Give them an Asian flare with soy sauce and rice vinegar.  Go bold with red pepper flakes.   Or maybe try the timeless classic combination of garlic and dill.

They make quick work of almost any vegetable you happen to have….meaning all those cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, carrots, and squash don’t have to languish on your counter or in your crisper until they start collapsing in on themselves. I can’t begin to calculate the amount of produce I have wasted that could have been pickled instead of being trashed.

So I finally got my act together.  And in the time it took to slice, salt, rinse, boil, and cool (all of maybe 90 minutes) I had a jar of pickles in the fridge at the ready.  As Ina would say, how easy is that?

Bread and Butter Pickles

BAH Note:  Be sure you use whole mustard seed and celery seed.  Without going in to the sad details of how I know, the ground versions of the spices don’t work as an even swap.  These pickles are not meant to be shelf stable.  They need to be refrigerated.

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine the sliced cucumbers and salt in a bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes.  Transfer the cucumbers to a colander, rinse well, and then spoon into a bowl or jar along with the onions.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the brine comes to a nice simmer.

Carefully pour the hot brine over the cucumbers and onion.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then cover and refrigerate.  Give them a day or two and then enjoy them while they last.

 {printable recipe}

Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

This crumble represents a celebration of sorts.  On this particular occasion I was:

Celebrating an afternoon spent with friends and indulging in laughter, retail therapy, and insanely good biscuits.

Celebrating progress getting Miss Libby into a new sleep routine.

Celebrating friends who love my child enough to read the same story over and over and do it in character voices.

Celebrating plans that go awry but end up working out the way they were meant to all along.

Celebrating glorious summer days where the trees dance in the breeze and the windows are open.

Celebrating the generosity of others who share their bounty with me.

Celebrating the support of friends and family who remind me that I’m not in any of this alone.

Does it get much better than that?

Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

Adapted from Bon Appetit

BAH Note: This is what happens when  I buy peaches but don’t have time to wait for them to ripen enough to eat.  I start looking for what else I can do with them.  This particular time I had a perfect bunch of basil and a pint of blueberries.  I just threw them together and let the heat of the oven work its magic.  You can use whatever combination of fruit you have (peaches, plums, berries, cherries, whatever floats your boat) so where I called this Peach Blueberry Basil, you might call it something else entirely.  It goes without saying that if Basil ain’t your thing then skip that ingredient.  And word to the wise, put your dish on a baking sheet…bubbling fruit juice is rocket hot and that’s no joke.

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 stick butter, chilled and cubed
  • 8 cups mixed fruit  (see Note above)
  • 1 cup sugar (if you want to get fancy, put the basil and your sugar in a small container, cover, give it a good shake, and then let it sit for a hour or so to allow the basil to infuse the sugar and the sugar to sort of crystallize the basil).
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • fresh basil (I pinched off about three small bunches of leaves from my plant)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Working in short pulses, combine the flour, brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the oats in a food processor.  Add the cubed butter and continue to pulse until the butter is fully combined and no dry spots remain in the mixture.

If you put the basil in your granulated sugar, remove the basil, use your thumbnail to tear it into small bits, return it to the sugar, and give it one more good shake.

Place the fruit, granulated sugar, corn starch, basil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and stir until fully combined.  Transfer the fruit to a baking dish and top with the oat mixture.  Bake for approximately 60 to 70 minutes or until the juices bubble and the topping browns.  Allow the crumble to cool for about an hour before digging in.

{printable recipe}