Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Thanksgiving Spread

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Thanksgiving is, and has always been, my favorite holiday.  For most people, whatever winter holiday they prescribe to, Festivus, if you will, is their favorite.  I mean, those holidays come with presents!  But I like Thanksgiving.  Presents just get in the way of what I see as the best part of any big family holiday, the food.  I mean please people, who cares about your new homeless American Girl doll when there is BRIE CHEESE COVERED IN PUFF PASTRY.  And the very best foods come out at the holidays.  We throw caution to the wind and soak things in butter, deep fry them, and load them with more calories than usual.

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In fact, my family took it to the extreme- competitive eating.  We started a tradition among the six siblings where you would weigh in Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and weigh out Saturday or Sunday.  Whomever gained the most weight over the course of those few days would be the reigning champion eater until the next year.  Inevitably my brother Ryan always won.  He’s the youngest, the gangliest, and the one with the most unstoppable appetite.  My sisters and I burnt out after 5 or 6 twice baked potatoes, but the boys could just keep on going.  It was almost nauseating.  If it hadn’t been so incredibly hilarious.

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This year I am participating in a different kind of Thanksgiving competition- a recipe based one.  My favorite life organizational site, Springpad, has pitted their partner food bloggers against each other in a Thanksgiving meal blog-off.  Starting today you are able to visit my Thanksgiving spread on Springpad and spring my recipes into your holiday plans.  The incentive for me, besides fame and glory, is the chance at $500.  The incentive for you, dear readers, besides the benefit of my delectable recipes on your table, is the chance to win $100, just for springing a recipe. That’s free money with which to buy yourself a Festivus present.

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Starting tomorrow I will also be posting the recipes here, my ideal holiday spread.  Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce, Potatoes au Gratin, Bacon Wrapped Green Beans, Roasted Mango & Habanero Glazed Turkey, and finally, the long awaited Caramel Turtle Pie.  Starting today they’re all available on Springpad, and as they go up on b&s you’ll be able to spring them via the “save it” button.  Either way you do it, put your springing powers to good use because the more collective springs my Thanksgiving spread gets, the closer I am to $500!  Which will totally come back to you in good ways, I’ll pay it forward with more of the recipes that keep you coming here.  Additionally, for our complete list of holiday favorites, visit here.  Stick with us this holiday season and your table with be the envy of all.

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Oven Roasted Kabobs

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I know, logically, that it’s not winter yet.  I also know that I should stop whining about the fact that the seasons are changing and just embrace it, because it’s going to be a very long winter.  But did anyone else notice that it was 30 degrees on Saturday? I mean, seriously?  That’s BELOW FREEZING.

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It’s times like these that many people say oooh, it’s chilly!  Let’s light a fire!  Let’s have soup!  Sometimes I’m that person.  Sometimes I can curl up in a heavy blanket with a bowl of thick, creamy, life-giving soup.  And when I am in that mood, I’m so happy.  But that’s usually like October 15.  When by “change of season” I really mean “it’s 60 degrees out.”  Not when it’s 30 degrees out.  That’s when I close my eyes and try and magic myself somewhere tropical.

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Unfortunately for me I have yet to successfully magic myself anywhere, which means that I have to resort to recreating some of my summer favorites inside my cold apartment.  Take the shish kabob.  A summertime favorite ’round the world.  A combination of marinated meats and veggies all skewered and cooked over hot coals.  How could you go wrong?!?  You may be thinking that “cooked over hot coals” is the imperative phrase here, something tricky to recreate in the winter let alone in an apartment with no balcony or yard.

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Wait for it… THE OVEN!  Shish kabobs, marinated and placed on a rack, can be roasted in the oven with essentially the same results as a grill.  I mean, you lose the grill flavor and the pass time of grilling things, but still- this means shish kabobs year round!  You can vary the vegetables (and meats) that you use, but pretty much everything tastes good skewered.  It’s the on-a-stick principle.  That’s why fairs and renaissance festivals have the best food.

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Apartment Kabobs

Marinade:

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

4 tbsp honey

Paprika

Cayenne

Garlic

Cumin

Chipotle

Cinnamon

Coriander

Kabobs:

1 steak, cubed

1 white onion

1 green bell pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup mushrooms

1 cup tomatillos

1 eggplant

Chop steak, onion, pepper, and eggplant.  Put the steak in one bag and the veggies in another.

Use a food processor or immersion blender to combine the marinade ingredients.  Pour half with the meat and half with the veggies.  Marinate overnight.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil.  Place a cooling rack on top.  Stick different combinations of veggies and meat on skewers and line up on the rack.  Roast at 400 for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked.  Let cool.

Serves 6.

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Fuzzy Navel

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If you were to ask my younger sister Genevieve what she associates with peach schnapps, she would probably tell you that the traumatic experience of being forced to drink it by her older sisters made her the way she is today.  But that’s only because she exaggerates.  I mean, she’s in her sophomore year at Carolina, so she should probably be thanking us.  Though she does routinely eat babies*… maybe that was our fault.

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You see, when my grandmother died we all spent the better part of a few weeks going through her house and packing it up.  One afternoon Gen and our other sister, Lauren, and I were working together and Gen came across a bottle of schnapps.  Which we immediately made her drink from.  Naturally.  Even though she was only in… middle school?  Okay, we’re jerks.  But the groan she made afterward was so priceless that if I had to do it again, I so would.  I refused to drink any because clearly it was awful, I could hear the proof in Gen’s mouth noise.  Now, many years later, I will admit that I was mistaken and that Gen is crazy, because schnapps are delightful.

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As part of our holiday celebrating Dan and I made fuzzy navels, a drink combining peach schnapps and orange juice.  Fuzzy navels, despite having one of the more off-putting cocktail names, are delicious.  Fruity, not overbearingly alcoholic (though you can change that by adding vodka) and perfect to sip out of champagne flutes.  Because we recently acquired these gorgeous engraved flutes from anthropologie and now all I want to do is sip things out of them.  And the fruitier the cocktail, the better.  Maybe I’ll serve them the next time I’m with my sisters.

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* Gen probably doesn’t eat babies.  Though, if you ever find yourself on a deserted island with her, I wouldn’t leave your baby alone.  She might eat it.  Or try and barter it for a lean pocket.

Fuzzy Navel

1 part peach schnapps

3 parts orange juice

Combine schnapps and oj in a mixer with ice.  Shake well and serve.

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