Buttermilk Biscuits

Remember my Rosé-Soaked Roasted Strawberries from my last post? Well, they certainly pair well with these Buttermilk Biscuits! On Saturday, I’ll combine them into one final recipe (…oh…wow…what could that be?), along with a simple whipped cream recipe to really bring all of these elements together.

Prior to this, I had never really made biscuits. Prior to making them, I had a similar apprehension akin to the first time I made scones: for reasons I can’t truly comprehend in hindsight, I was nervous to make them. The recipes I had heard or read seemed a little too involved, and I was paranoid about not making them the correct consistency. Some people love a dry crumbly scone, while others love a moist scone. Like that, I was worried that I’d make a dry and / or tough biscuit.

My fears were allayed once all was said and done. I will absolutely thank Bon Appétit – via Epicurious – for their Buttermilk Recipe from April 1998, which I followed to almost a complete T.

I ended up with some biscuits that had the proper balance of moisture and crumble. The subtle saltiness satisfied my craving for something savory, but they still work well with fruit and whipped cream.

Buttermilk Biscuits
(Makes 4 biscuits)
(Adapted from Bon Appétit’s recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits)

– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 10 tablespoons (1 & 1/4 sticks) frozen unsalted butter, grated
– 1 cup milk plus one teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar or 1 cup chilled buttermilk

Before We Get Started:

– If you are going to use the milk + acid way to make “buttermilk”, such as I did, add the acid to the milk and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes before using. Do not stir! Why do I make “buttermilk” this way? I’m too damn frugal to buy a container of actual buttermilk and have leftovers. Haaa.

– Refer to my Orange Ginger Scones recipe if you want to see what I mean about grated butter. I swear, this trick is my lifesaver! Literally grate frozen butter before adding to your dry ingredients to make for easier incorporation! (Thanks for the trick, Dad!)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add butter and rub into dry mixture with fingertips; the final mixture should look pebbly or like a fine meal.

3.) Slowly add in milk with acid or buttermilk and stir gentle to combine; the batter will not necessarily look uniform at this point, but make sure the dough that is forming is uniformly moist. Once combined, use hands to gather and shape dough into a large ball.

4.) Divide dough into four pieces, approximately 3″ in diameter, and place on an ungreased baking sheet, spaced evenly apart; roughly 2″ between each biscuit will be fine.

5.) Bake biscuits for 20 – 25 minutes; biscuits will be pale and not golden or brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack for 30 minutes. Eat immediately; if not eating immediately, individually wrap each biscuit in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Biscuits should stay fresh for up to 5 days.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Each Saturday, as the days get warmer and warmer, I’m returning to my usual jaunt up to my local greenmarket in Inwood. While it can be slim pickins in the colder months, I really started to see signs of spring this morning as the usual produce was also peppered with hyacinths and tulips for sale.

garlicky sautéed rainbow chard

In particular, greens have started to make a comeback. This morning, one vendor was absolutely overflowing with various types of kale, lettuce, and other greens just begging to be bought! Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the rainbow…chard, that is. Its thick pink and yellow stems always tempt me. I didn’t think twice before buying an impossibly large bunch. I couldn’t sauté it up fast enough; though not photographed, I topped some with a soft-boiled egg, and it was a quick vegetable-laden breakfast. Start to finish, this took be 15 minutes on the nose.

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Taste the rainbow definitely does not apply to just Skittles.

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Garlicky Sautéed Rainbow Chard
(Adapted from the New York Times recipe for Garlicky Swiss Chard)
(Makes roughly 4 cups, wilted and sautéed)

Ingredients:

– 2 large bunches rainbow chard, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry, stems trimmed
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– Personally, I like to keep some stem on my chard when I sauté it; feel free to keep yours as long or as short as you prefer.

– Swiss chard can be substituted in an equal amount.

Directions:

1.) Stack rinsed and dried chard leaves on top of each other; this can be done in several small stacks, if preferred. Slice leaves into roughly 1/4″ strips, length-wise. Set aside.

2.) In a large saucepan or soup pot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and (optional) red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add chard and stir until leaves are uniformly coated. Let sit for 2 minutes and allow leaves to slightly wilt. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.) Remove from heat. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Ahhhh, the elusive kohlrabi. I’ve seen it at the farmers’ market many times. I’ve bought a few. I’ve huffed and puffed as I’ve tried to slice a knife through the larger ones. I’ve spiralized them and covered them with a creamy cheese sauce. But…I haven’t done much more than spiralize them or chop them up into matchsticks to eat them raw. After my friend Emilie and I got together last weekend to roast watermelon radishes, we had a kohlrabi and no idea what to do with it. After eating a few slices with cheddar cheese (low-carb cheese and crackers, I suppose!), I ended up wrapping the rest with cling wrap and throwing it into my crisper.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Today, itching for some vegetables, I found those cling wrapped chunks and queried what to do.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

I just kind of pulled this recipe out of my (figurative) butt, thinking back on my last kohlrabi recipe while applying my knowledge that kohlrabi does well sautéed. The kale that was on its last limbs in the back of my fridge got its much deserved second life in this dish, and the plain yet tangy Greek yogurt, working with some melted butter and chicken stock, tied it all together.

While this would be great served as a side, you best believe I ate the whole bowl of this for myself!

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce

Of note: A few months ago, the kind folks at feedfeed and Ballarini sent me this wonderful frying pan. This was definitely a good meal to cook in it! It cooks the food evenly and cleaning it is a dream! Also, the Thermopoint Heat Indicator is definitely good for folks like me that question, “…is it hot enough yet? Is it? Is it?” 😉

ALSO of note: Most of my photos of this dish came out oddly yellow or pink; a good hour of photo editing did nothing, hence the lack of good overhead shots. The banner photo was the best overhead shot I got, and I still look at it and go, “…myeh.” I’ll have to make this again soon and hope I get that perfect photo I’m after. #foodbloggerlife, amirite? Haaa.

Sautéed Kohlrabi & Kale with Tangy Yogurt Sauce
(Makes 4 side dish servings / approximately 4 cups total)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
– 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 1/4 cup chicken stock
– 2 cups kale, rinsed, de-ribbed, and sliced
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
– Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) In a large deep frying pan or large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi and onion and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent and kohlrabi is tender yet firm, roughly 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the dish to make sure both the kohlrabi and onions don’t brown.

2.) Add chicken stock and kale; mix with kohlrabi and onions until kale wilts down. Add Greek yogurt and stir until combined with vegetables. If mixture seems too dry, add additional 1/4 cup chicken stock and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir, add salt to taste, and serve immediately.

sweet potato stuffing hash

Sweet Potato Stuffing Hash

It’s been a long Christmas season, filled with more junk food than I can shake a stick at. (I’m not sure why I would shake a stick at junk food. Seems arbitrary. I’d rather just eat that junk food! But, I digress…) Honestly, I following the 80 / 20 rule most of the time, but this holiday season, it was 80% junk compared to 20% whole and nutrient dense foods; two nights before Christmas, I split two platters of nachos within an hour of each other. Ha! I think a lot of the reasons that I’ve been eating bad as of late have been the following:

1.) It’s been a stressful few months with some ill members of my family, so I’ve turned to food as a comfort.

2.) Christmas and the holiday season shove so many delicious goodies in your face, and it’s hard to resist in times of stress. I’m not made of stone! Praise y’all that can maintain yourselves!

3.) I’ve done bit of traveling in the past few weeks; I was in Washington, D.C. for a weekend in mid-December then traveled to Connecticut to spend Christmas with my family. Though D.C. is the home of one of my favorite chains in the whole wide world – Sweetgreen – it was Astros Doughnuts and Fried Chicken that I was inevitably drawn to. I ate under the thought process of, “It’s the holidays and I’m in a new city! I need to try their hot spots!”

So, in short, I let go a little. My body is feeling it. My pants are certainly feeling it. Mentally, I’m also feeling it. Eating junk does not make me feel well. I thrive on all cylindars off of a balanced diet. I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable in my skin after a very heathy year over. Most people use January 1st as a good restart. You know what? I’m using December 28th as my restart. It’d be easy to say, “What’s a few more days of junk eating?” Well, four days can make a difference.

I’ll be honest: I did read Ali’s newest post at Inspiralized this morning, which highlights her weight loss journey through spiralizing (I’m a huge fan of spiralizing my vegetables, if you haven’t figured that out about me!) and better lifestyle choices inclusive of exercise and overall nutrient-dense eating. (Hey, it’s okay to squeeze in a donut every now and then, sure!) After a long month, it’s the article I really needed to read this morning to get me in a better mindset about hopping right back into my usual healthy goals. I went grocery shopping at 8:30 this morning (I’m on vacation from work! *phew*), got my vegetables and other nutrient-dense ingredients, and am thinking of some good recipes to make myself to make myself the Allison I love to be. (Also, Hilary, if you read this, let’s get together soon for some upper body strength training. I’m way behind on that. My scrawny chicken arms need some work. Ha!)

sweet potato stuffing hash

Fun fact: This is rosemary from my hometown’s post office! It grows fresh outside in the summer, and my parents collected some and dried it. Wonderful! 

In the meantime, I’ve got a recipe today that straddles that line a little bit; I made it a few days before Christmas while I was in Connecticut, Still, it’s a good way to sneak some vegetables into any leftover stuffing you might have from your holiday meals. I did this on a whim after raiding the fridge, and it turned into a hit!

sweet potato stuffing hash

I can’t wait to get back on my grind again. Wish me luck, and I wish you the same if you’re trying to be your best self again.

sweet potato stuffing hash

Sweet Potato Stuffing Hash
(Makes 4 side servings)

Ingredients:

– 1 sweet potato, scrubbed and diced small (leave peeled or unpeeled)
– 1 – 2 cups stuffing (leftover or fresh)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Optional spices: 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, sage, and / or garlic powder (These are the spices I used when creating this recipe)
– 1 avocado (optional; it helps make this side into a light meal)

Directions:

1.) If you are making fresh stuffing, cook according to your directions and set aside.

2.) Bring olive oil to heat in a large frying pan, medium-high. Add sweet potato and cook for 7 – 10 minutes or until pieces are soft. Add stuffing and optional spices and cook for 3 – 5 minutes; stuffing doesn’t necessarily have to be crunchy or browned, but cook a few minutes longer if you desire that consistency.

3.) Remove from heat and serve; serve with avocado, if preferred.

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Slow Cooker Brown Bread Rolls

‘Tis the season for the slow cooker to make its annual trip from the lower cabinet near my sink to its rightful place upon my already cramped breakfast bar. (Typical Manhattan Apartment Life, yo.) I know most people will use their slow cooker year round, but I’m strictly an autumn and winter user. It’s just how I roll. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ve been searching the World Wide Interwebz for new and unique ways to use my slow cooker beyond just making soups or shredded meats. Creating slow-cooker desserts intrigues me, but I’m looking outside of the realm of that, for now. On a well-spent work lunch break, I stumbled upon a recipe for slow cooker bread. BINGO! This was the unique recipe that I had been craving! Via Kleinworth & Co., I decided to give their recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bread a roll. (Get it? Roll? Yeeeah, I love those bad puns. Bless you if you continue to read this post. Ha!)

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Now, the first time I made this recipe, I questioned it. I followed its directions and measurements to an absolute T, minus using instant coffee (or any coffee!) in my mix. I would like to think that that simple omission wouldn’t affect the integrity of my dough. That being said…by the time I got to the step in which I had to knead the dough, it was nothing short of batter in my bowl. Granted, I was doing this by hand and not with a dough hook; with the insanity of my post-bedbug extermination coming to a close, I still have my Kitchen Aid mixer tucked away in a place that’s not easily accessible. The original recipe called for 2 & 1/2 cups of flour, total. By the time I was finished adding in additional 1/2 cup increments, I was up to 4 cups of flour! By that point, I had achieved a kneadable texture. Also, the cooking time on the original recipe definitely varied from the time I took to bake it (90 minutes in the original vs. 2 hours for mine), however, that didn’t shock me since all slow cookers are not made equal.

slow cooker brown bread rolls

You know what? WHATEVER. I ended up making rolls that were so delectable, the trial and error was worth it. These rolls are wonderful! The molasses and chocolate infuse them with the most wonderful smoky sweetness! I brought them over to a friend’s house for his parents and brother, and they were all fans as well! I’m glad they enjoyed them. I wouldn’t want to be kicked out of their house. 😏 I think these rolls would be a hit on any dinner table in these cold months ahead, especially at Thanksgiving. *hint hint*

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Of note, these babies are WONDERFUL slathered with some homemade pumpkin butter, also cooked up in my slow cooker! (On a different occasion though, but of course.) I made some based on this recipe by Practical Stewardship, and I can absolute vouch for it. Mmmmm!

slow cooker brown bread rolls

Slow Cooker Brown Bread Rolls
(Recipe adapted from Kleinworth & Co’s recipe for Slow Cooker Black Bread)
(Makes approximate 10 – 12 rolls)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup warmed milk, dairy or non-dairy
– 1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
– 2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (see Before We Get Started…)
– 1/2 agave nectar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 teaspoons molasses
– 1 tablespoon cocoa
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/8 cup old fashioned rolled oats (optional, to sprinkle on top of rolls)

Before We Get Started…

– As I mentioned in the prelude, the amount of dough I used to create this differed a fair amount from what I used based on the original recipe. After trial and error, I’d say to start with using the aforementioned 2 & 3/4 cups of flour. If the bread dough still seems too sticky to knead after Step #3, add more flour in 1/4 cup increments and mix until the dough yields a kneadable texture.

– Feel free to use 3/4 cup honey in place of the 1/2 cup agave nectar & 1/4 cup honey mix.

Directions:

1.) Line slow cooker with a large piece of parchment paper and carefully mold to the outline as best as possible. Lightly spray parchment paper with cooking oil or use one tablespoon of vegetable oil and spread with basting brush or clean paper towel.

2.) Heat milk in a mircowave or a small saucepan until just warmed to the touch; do not allow milk to bubble. In a large bowl, add warmed milk and sugar, then sprinkle yeast on top. Do not mix; wait five minutes for yeast to begin to bloom, then mix until combined.

3.) Add part of the flour (1 & 1/2 cups), salt, butter, and molasses to the yeast mixture. Stir until combined, then let dough rest for 5 minutes. Add the remaining flour, cocoa, agave nectar, and honey. Stir until combined; at this point, the dough should start to take on a doughier and kneadable consistency. (Please see Before We Get Started… if your batter is still a little bit sticky.)

4.) Sprinkle flour on a flat, clean surface. Turn dough onto surface and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is uniformly elastic. Sprinkle dough with additional flour when kneading, if necessary.

5.) Pull off pieces of dough and shape into rolls, rolls should fit in palm of your hand, about twice the size of a golf ball. Place rolls together in parchment paper-lined slow cooker; it is fine if rolls touch. If you have a smaller slow cooker (such as I do!), it is fine to layer the rolls if not all of them can fit on a singular level. Conversely, you can wrap additional dough tightly in plastic and store in the fridge to bake later. (Such as I DID.) Sprinkle dough with (optional) oatmeal.

6.) Cover rolls and turn on slow cooker to High. Cook for 90 minutes; if rolls are still tacky to the touch or do not not have hard exteriors, cook for up to an additional 30 minutes. These rolls should be finished by the two hour mark!

7.) When rolls are finished baking, turn off slow cooker and remove top. Allow rolls to sit for 10 minutes before removing. After 10 minutes, remove and place rolls on a wire rack to cool. Eat immediately after cooling or wrap firmly in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.