Category: baking (she said in terror)

Everything’s HOT up ‘n here Bagels! Bye Bye Gluten & Carbs

Everything’s HOT up ‘n here Bagels! Gluten & Carb FREE

Cheesy gluten and carb free bagels… with a kick of cayenne and a dusting of crispy everything bagel dust!

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Hoop Cheese Biscuits… ooey gooey and OMG! good.

Hoop Cheese Biscuits

Pull out a muffin tin and bake some hoop cheese biscuits… fluffy biscuits with a hunka cheese hidden inside for the BEST first bite surprise!

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Mama Perry’s Coconut Pie

No need to make crust because this simple vintage coconut pie makes its own. Mama Perry’s Coconut Pie makes great little pie bites too, for serving at gatherings so everybody can get a “bite of pie!”

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THE non-baker ‘cued up 1st Place in “Best Southern Biscuit®” Contest

1st Place Biscuits – Midstate Mills “Best Southern Biscuit” Recipe Contest *OINKERS!* Barbecue Biscuit Bites with BBQ Gravy Dip

The world’s slowest blogger and quintessential non-baker took home 1st Place last week in the 1st Annual “Best Southern Biscuit®” Contest at the 2nd Annual Midstate Mills Biscuit Day over in Newton, NC!  Come along and experience the day, the WHOLE day… in this Culinary Adventurist’s “Southern Biscuit Day” journey.  This is a story about biscuits, yet so much more… living a delicious life with obsessed old foodie friends… sharing food,  fellowship and culinary history with new ones… making new culinary memories with all those folks… and being blessed enough to live another day to tell about it to folks like you here reading this tale.  Fix yourself a jar of sweet tea and come on along…

Wendy & Jody tour the mill…

My friend Jody Currin of Mrs. Picky’s Biskits and Marmalades (and 3rd place winner of this year’s International Biscuit Festival) and I never miss a beat when we set out on our next adventure… and we weren’t about to disturb that trend on this trek…we meet the most interesting folk along our way at the backroads junktique and antique stores we swerve into!  And we see some of the dangdest things… I just have to share this quick sighting here before moving on to biscuits… because in all my galavanting, NEVER have I seen a drive-up window at a hoochie coochie lingerie establishment, until now… and even though it was dark-thirty when we left our hotel and headed to Biscuit Day (just 9 miles away because we were both so giddy and ‘cited to go there and because Jody beds down at 8pm and is up by 4am!), I insisted Jody stop the truck so as to photograph this unusual phenomenon!  Turns out the fellow at the hotel desk was intrigued as well to see the installation of a drive up window when they all knew there at the hotel what kind of store was soon to open… so in Hickory, NC, one can peruse the online store of this here place, order… and just drive up…never needing to grace the inside of said store! 
Now don’t that just beat all???
And here’s proof… Hoochie Coochie Drive Thru Window!

So…on to BISCUITS!

Downtown Newton, NC was all aflutter as folks from Midstate Mills were busy sharing their biscuits with town folk and others like us who made the pilgrimage… to b.i.s.c.u.i.t.s. ~ Lotsa Midstate Mills biscuits… these filled with Neese’s Country Sausage! About 1600 biscuits were devoured and on hand to fill them were folks from Neese’s… and that cute and bubbly Andrea Neese you see in their TV commercials… and also a sister Home Economist!

Andrea and her folks were cook’n up sausage, liver mush (that went first!) and bacon as the perfect fill’n for all those biscuits! 


Sooooo…
as Midstate Mills Baking Expert Belinda Ellis started talking about all the entries and announced 3rd, then 2nd place winners, she started hinting around at the winning recipe…  said that at first glance of the recipe and ingredients, she thought them to be rather odd… and quite frankly, didn’t look very appealing. BUT, having made them and other recipe entries for her panel of chefs and foodies to try, my “OINKERS” quickly disappeared and they asked her to make MORE! When she started saying that this recipe included chopped barbecue, slaw and Eastern NC vinegar-based BBQ sauce in their Southern Biscuit Formula L mix,

Wendy with Belinda Ellis, Midstate Mills Baking Expert and big old PRIZE!

I turned to Jody (professional biscuit maker!) and said something to the effect of… “OMG, that’s MY recipe!” Having a reputation for being THE non-baker amongst my cheffy friends, not only did this increase my giddyness level, I just HAD to snicker a little… what better poster child for the product and how easy it is to create with it than with little old ME throw’n together creative (and winning)  biscuit concoctions??

In addition to being totally surprised by this accolade, I met the greatest folks in Newton… Midstate Mills is now welcoming its 4th generation into this family business… and from the founder’s granddaughter Cindy Gabriel

to her siblings 

to other folks like John Craig, who produces the International Biscuit Festival in Nashville, TN, the people were just the “butter on the biscuit!” I also had a fun chat with Tim and Jan

about their Southern Fresh Show on the RFD-TV Network… a culinary and gardening show filmed entirely here in North Carolina! Their show airs on Mondays at 4:30EST, so tune in…

Biscuit makers are a friendly lot and hearing the stories shared at MM’s 2nd Annual Biscuit Day by well-seasoned ladies and gents there was very humbling and I felt like I should relinquish the win to those more experienced than me-self… their Biscuit Tales need to be preserved as does the art of biscuit making!

As the festival concluded we enjoyed lunch across the street at Callahan’s Cafe where I satisfied my cheeseburger craving and Jody (and I) enjoyed the house special “Chicken Pie.” We then strolled a block away where a few of us were treated to a tour of the lab, testing kitchen and mill by yet another sibling… where I was outfitted with my “Tour de Couture”  loverly paper shoes (since this flip-flop wear’n gal didn’t have any “closed toe touring shoes” in her bag)! 

As our day ended and we headed back eastward and home, our journey couldn’t simply end there… and somewhere ‘tween Greensboro and Liberty, sumthin’ happened to Jody’s truck… smoke was fly’n out the tail end like an oven full of burnt biscuits…so as we’re so good at doing, swerved OFF the highway onto a side road, jumped out of the truck and scurried up the hill (till we heard a fierce barking dog). Possible Exploding Truck Fire?… or dog bite in the rumpus… tough decision! We thought for sure the truck was on fire… and at this writing I’m not sure what it ’twas… but we met the kindest locals on the side of that road in the THREE HOURS we spent there… SO typical of fellow North Carolinians… and this story just wouldn’t be complete without thanking these strangers…

First, Highway Patrol Officer Pike, whose family owns the farm up the road where the annual Liberty Antique Sales are held… and who hung with us (and our diesel splattering there to the left) until he had to tear off and chase a drunk driver somebody was tailing down that road… and who also managed to move the truck out of the middle of the road (since after we jumped out and made our get-away, it wouldn’t crank again)…. then, this fellow in the bright green shirt who works for the Town of Liberty, (name unknown) whose daughter came by right after our “incident” happened and sent him to help us… and some time (a lotta time) later…  Mr. Tow Truck Driver there with me… a most welcomed sight, second only to Jody’s hubby Mike arriving from an hour and a half away in Erwin to take us Biscuit Queens homeward bound!  And never one far away from cookbooks… Jody managed to snap a shot of me…during our ‘detour’ home… “ditchside,” reviewing cookbooks for the “Carolina Cooking” features section for the beautimous Our State Magazine where I do food styling and recipe development… with hundreds of books to review to make just the right selections  this gal NEVER leaves home with out a sack o’ cookbooks!  ‘Cause I was a Girl Scout…always prepared!!

Reflections… Winning this contest is such an honor I will forever cherish and is a ‘culinary feather in my cap’ I feel so blessed to have… but with such a wondermous product as Midstate Mill’s Biscuit Mix (just one of their many great goodies), anybody, and I mean ANYbody can make biscuits… fast as you can open a can and bang it on the counter before your oven is pre-heated! Go get yourself some today and see what fun biscuits you can stir up… and while you’re at it, find a kiddo and let them help!

This product is PERFECT for getting little ones involved in the kitchen… and it’s high time we all do that…
teach a child to cook and show them what REAL food is all about!

Now, go make some biscuits y’all  Printable recipe right here…

…”butter” late than never!

It’s been a crazeee bizzeeee week for this old gal as I’ve embarked on yet another new adventure (more about that soon) so this post is draggin’ butter a few days.  I’m really excited about it though, because it features my blog’s very first guest post!

A few days ago was “National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day” (although I’m not sure who proclaims some of the ‘national days’ I’ll be blogging about).  Teresa Williford, my baker bud and friend from down the road in Elm City quickly jumped at my invite to create something reallll good to celebrate the day.  She recently created another fun recipe featuring Lizard Lick Towing Company’s (and TV Show) new BBQ Sauce, but since we’ll be publishing that soon in a magazine along with a few I stirred up myself, we’ll save that surprise… but what she came up with for that was simply unbelievable!  Stay tuned for that…

So back to PB&J Day…. Teresa sent me several yummy recipes and it was hard deciding on which one(s) to share… so I narrowed down to my two favs.  I surely hope y’all will try one or both of these and also, please give Teresa some feedback below in the comments section… and if you like the looks of either (or both), be sure to click that little Facebook button to share on your FB page.  If you are in this neck of the woods and need an outside-the-box OR traditional baked goods, contact Teresa at twilliford7@nc.rr.com!

THANK YOU Teresa!  I’m sure everbody else will join me in welcoming you and will be looking forward to more wondermous recipes from you too…

PB&J Fudge

1 lb of confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup jelly or jam
3/4 stick of butter, cubed

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and salt together in a microwavable bowl. Add milk, vanilla, peanut butter and jelly and butter cubes. Blend until mixed together. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir. *Microwave an additional minute and stir until smooth. Pour into wax paper lined 8 inch square dish. Refrigerate until cool and solid. Best if it sits overnight.

*  Watch carefully and adjust time based on wattage of your microwave.
** If you want to make it chocolate, sift 1/2 cup of cocoa in with the sugar and salt.

PB&J Pop tarts

For pastry:

1 Box of Puff Pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 TBS jam (I used grape jam)
6 TBS peanut butter

Vanilla Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS milk or water
Rainbow sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take pastry out of freezer and let it sit on counter for about 30 minutes or until pliable. Roll both sheets out on lightly floured counter, enough to get about 6 card size rectangles. Brush one sheet with the beaten egg. Score the egg washed sheet into 6 rectangles.  Spoon 1 TBS of peanut butter and 1 TBS of jam in each rectangle. Put the other sheet over the egg washed one and press down to make the 6 rectangles. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut out the rectangles and press around edges to seal. Place the rectangles, spaced, on a baking sheet. Put in freezer for 10 minutes.

Take out of freezer and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the tops of the pastries are golden brown. Let

cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.

When the pastries are cooled for 30 minutes, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and enough of the milk or water to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Pour or brush the tops with the glaze, then sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles. Let them stand for 15 minutes so the glaze will set.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

…and for you more advanced bakers out there ~

Note from Teresa… This Pâte Brisée recipe is from The Professional Pastry Chef. I bake by weight not measure, and have included both. Pâte Brisée is French for “short dough.”  This means it has a high fat to flour ratio making it nice and crumbly, flakey and rich!  It is said that if you only learn and make one pastry, this should be ‘it.’

Pâte Brisée

1 3/4 cups (245 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
3 TBS cold milk

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar and salt for 15 seconds. Scatter the butter over the top and mix on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or just until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and the lumps of butter are visible throughout.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk until blended. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low speed for about 20 seconds, or until the dough just barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.

Dump the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and gather it together into a tight mound. Do not knead! Using your palm and starting on one side of the mound, smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top of the mound and then sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface, until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together. Do this once or twice on each part of the dough until the mound comes together and you have a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.

Gather up the dough; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and press down to flatten into a disk about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Before using, take out of refrigerator and let rest on counter for 10 minutes. Proceed to roll.

Appropriate side dish for any of the above…

got MILK?