Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Apple Butter

I love toast.  I love toast with just butter and a little salt.  I love toast with jam, cream cheese, peanut butter, jelly, anything you can smear on toast (within reason) I am a fan of.  So it stands to reason that I love apple butter.  And I do, I had just never made it before.  Because I’m a fool.  When will I learn that pretty much everything I love to eat can be made easily at home?  It’s a slow lesson, apparently.  Maybe that will be my resolution for 2011.  Make more delicious food.  Hopefully that’s one I can keep.

You may be noticing that some things look different around here.  As I promised, b&s is undergoing a face lift.  The biggest change, the sidebar, is also the least permanent.  While we know we want to move in the handwritten watercolor direction, there is some heavy lifting in Dan’s future to get it the way we want it (and some heavy bribery in my future).  As always, feedback you have would be lovely!  We’re definitely a few steps closer to the way that I’m envisioning it, which is SO exciting.  Yay 2011!

UPDATE: Y’all, I am the luckiest person in the world.  Dan pulled a (insert magician name here) and got the sidebar DONE so much faster than ever imagined.  It’s perfect, I’m so incredibly happy.  I did the watercolors last night (squiggly lines included) and think it adds the perfect… something.  I love it.  Don’t you?

Apple Butter

{this makes a small batch of apple butter}

4 honeycrisp apples

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Core and cube apples.  In a medium size pot combine all ingredients.  Simmer until the apples are translucent, about 1 1/2 hours.  Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the apples.  Push through a fine mesh sieve.

To preserve:

Sterilize your jars and lids by boiling them for at least ten minutes.

Ladle butter into each jar, leaving about 1/2″ at the top.  Wipe the rim of the jar and top with a sterilized lid.  Screw on the band and continue until all your jars are filled.

When your jars are filled place them in the hot water bath.  Boil them for 15 minutes.  Then remove them and, carefully, tighten the lid.  As they cool, the jars will make a ping sound which is how you’ll know they’ve sealed.

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a sweet year

This year has been a strange and wonderful one for us.

Personally we’ve:

– gotten jobs in Baltimore

– moved to a precious apartment within blocks of our alma mater

– celebrated our first wedding anniversary

– built our first fire in our apartment

– welcomed our second niece, Amelie, into the world

– learned huevos rancheros is one of our favorite foods, ever

– dramatically increased the number of awesome t-shirts in dan’s closet

started brewing beer (i use “we” very loosely here)

– learned that i can, in fact, pull of red lipstick

– welcomed my two snaggleteeth, Octavius and Jezebel into our lives. looking forward to braces, again!

– extended Christmas to a whole month, instead of just one day (best idea ever)

– continued to learn and love, together

Biscuits & Such also had an interesting year.  We:

– got photographed for Southern Living Magazine (out this may!)

– were judges’ select in the Cville Pie Fest for our caramel green tomato pie

– picked up some new followers

– smoked our first pork shoulder

– added a shop

– started a redesign

– fried our first turkey

– had our first college student write her final paper about us (weirdsies Anna Morris!)

– became the menuism “southern food expert”

– ended our relationship with iVillage

– grew our first real, outdoor garden

– canned and preserved so much that we had a 100% homemade christmas

I’m proud and happy and eagerly looking towards 2011.  2010 was by far one of our best years yet, what with an exciting move, great new jobs, and not planning a wedding. I can only hope that 2011 is even better!  As for b&s it wouldn’t be half as fun if not for y’all.  Thanks for helping make 2010 a great year!

And finally, a little video look back at 2010, set to music by Fort Christmas.

2010 In Review from elena rosemond-hoerr on Vimeo.

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Salted Vanilla Cookies

I have to admit, I don’t make cookies very often.  I mean, I like cookies, but when it comes to desserts there are bigger players I’m more interested in.  The decision to make these was made, however, the moment I decided to make vanilla salt.  Salted vanilla cookies, made with salted butter and topped off with  just a sprinkle of vanilla salt, have been the cookie that makes me crave cookies.

We spent this past weekend in Virginia with family.  On Saturday we attended our niece Meredith’s holiday dance recital.  It was amazing partially because Meredith has wildly improved in her tap dancing abilities since last year’s recital and partially because dance recitals are the most hilarious thing ever. It was a pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday.

On Sunday we attended the baptism of our youngest niece, Amelie.  It was a beautiful ceremony, completely touching to see.  All in all it was a great weekend full of ballerinas, snuggles, and glitter.  It was the perfect kick off to Christmas week and made me even more thankful to have nieces and such a loving family.

Me & Amelie (left), Meredith (right)

Salted Vanilla Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies (halve recipe for 2 dozen)

1 cup sugar

4 sticks (2 cups) butter, room temperature

3 cups flour

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla salt (plus more for topping)

2 tsps vanilla extract

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add in eggs, one at a time.  Add in vanilla.

Mix until fully incorporated.  Add in flour, a little at a time, mixing until it has formed a soft ball.  Roll out a sheet of parchment paper.  Form the dough into a long tube on the parchment paper.  Roll the paper up around the tube and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Take the dough out of the fridge.  It should be solid and cold.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350.  Slice the cookies 1/2″ thick.  Sprinkle (lightly) with vanilla salt.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool.

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