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Chocolate Strawberry Chess

Saturday I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite people on the Internet, Jenny Lawson, aka the bloggess. I started reading Jenny’s blog around the same time I started b&s. I was, you may remember, feeling like a fish out of water. I was depressed, confused, and pretty lonely. A lot of things helped me pull out of it (not least of which was this blog), but reading Jenny’s stories made me laugh, made me feel like part of a community, and made the world seem a little nicer.

When she announced her book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, I immediately preordered it. And when it came I spent hours reading it, laughing to myself, attracting quizzical looks from Dan, grunting in agreement. Her stories about growing up in rural Texas with a crazy family had me in tears, and when she wrote about how it feels to be strange, anxious, depressed, or alone I nodded along, understanding.

As soon as I saw that she was coming to Maryland I called my friend Rachel, shrieking with excitement. I’m not usually one to go all fangirl but I spent the better part of two weeks deciding what I was going to ask her to sign. Saturday we hit the road with our friend Sara and went hear Jenny read from her book and to meet her. And because I love her, and you cook for people you love, I made her a personal pie. And she signed my wine mug, and she was sweet and gracious and incredible and it was amazing.

Sara and Jenny

I opted for my picture with Jenny to be from my Diana F+, but it was horribly overexposed. This is the best I could salvage the image, but I actually don’t mind it at all. Sometimes it’s better to be fuzzy.

Rachel and Jenny

A few months ago the women on one side of my family decided to start a virtual ya-ya book club. This month it was my turn to pick the book, so I chose this one. And while I had to warn them that it is a little profane, I really think they’ll love it. Because in addition to being funny it is accessible and personal. Jenny’s strength is that she is incredibly human. And just damn hilarious.

And congrats to Ashley, who won our giveaway last week! Email me to claim your prize! elena {at } biscuitsandsuch.com

Chocolate Strawberry Chess

This pie is an adaptation of my Chocolate Chess pie. The recipe below makes a full 9″ pie or 3 mini deep dish pies.

Pie Dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup ice water

Filling:

1 cup chocolate chips

1 stick melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

Pint of strawberries

Start with your pie dough.  Sift dry ingredients.  Using your hands, work in shortening.  Cube butter and work it in.  Continue to blend until the consistency is that of course cornmeal.  Stir in the water, a little at a time until your dough forms a ball.  Divide in half.  Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Pour hot butter over chocolate chips and stir until fully incorporated.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to chocolate.

Remove half of the dough from the fridge.  Roll it out on a floured, non-stick surface (like a sil-pat).  Roll it out so it is 1 foot x 1 foot wide and 1/4″ thick.  Drape the crust over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie dish.  Press into the pie dish.  Scoop half of the filling into the pie dish.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

While it is baking, use a fork to mash strawberries together. Set one or two aside to top. When the pie has baked for 20 minutes pull it out of the oven and add the strawberries. Gently spoon the remaining filling over the strawberries and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Let cool. Serve as it is, or with cocoa whipped cream.

 

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Food Art : A Giveaway

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Hello lovelies! Today we have something special for you- a giveaway from our sponsor, Easy Canvas Prints. Over the past year we’ve added three canvas prints to our art wall, and I couldn’t be happier with how they’ve turned out and the way they compliment the other work.

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A big part of making our small apartment feel like home has been decorating it to our taste, which is a little chaotic and very colorful. The art collection we’ve spent the past few years building is a great source of pride. It is eclectic and varied, ranging from my own photographs to prints by artists we love.

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We’re planning a move this fall to a hopefully bigger space, which means I’ve been thinking of how the art wall can be broken up into different rooms. I’d love to see some of the food prints form a dining room wall collection. And maybe a grouping of all the blue prints in another room? Any opportunity for me to acquire more art!

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Thanks to Easy Canvas Prints, you can add an  8×10 canvas print of a favorite photo to your own art wall. Just leave a comment with your email address and the photo you would choose before Friday, 5.18, at midnight to enter!

 

*this contest is closed.

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Roasted Strawberry Sauce

It’s strawberry season! For the past week I’ve been eating a strawberry off the bush every time I go into the back yard. It’s been heaven. There’s something so rich, and fleeting, about eating seasonally. When you don’t eat strawberries the rest of the year and then all of the sudden you have a month of enjoying their perfectly tart flavor, you appreciate it that much more. I feel the same way about many foods, but strawberries, because they’re the first of the berries, always make my heart sing. The only thing that compares is tomato season.

With my first big batch of local strawberries I decided to roast them to make a sauce that is delicious on its own accord but also very versatile. This sauce would be great with ice cream or on angel food cake, but it would also be great in savory dishes like roasted pork or grilled steak. I can’t wait to eat it on everything.

Roasted Strawberry Sauce

1 lb of strawberries

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 tsp ginger

Drizzle of olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Hull the strawberries. Toss with remaining ingredients and roast for 40 minutes at 350. Let cool and transfer to a container. Keep in fridge for up to two weeks.

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