Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Lovely Internet 8.14.15

1. #saytheirnames (and also, let’s take action).

2. My spicy pickled okra on this week!

3. A MICA grad kicking ass across the English Channel.

4. Are you a haha, or a hehe, or a crying face emoji? Because you’re clearly not a lol (unless you’re Aunt Patty).

5. In the interest of full disclosure, I did sprout chickpeas this week. And cashews.

6. Because “6 weeks of unpaid leave is more than fair” is not actually a valid approach to parental leave if you want to be an inclusive and competitive employer.

7. Libraries are, simply, the best.

8. YES! Also, I miss water ballet.

9. Friends, the fashion.

10. Oh, Commercial Husband.


For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Lovely Internet 8.7.15

1. “It is easy for people who have never tried to do anything as strange and difficult as being married to say marriage doesn’t matter, or to condemn those who fail at it, or to mock those who even try. But there is so much beauty in the trying, and in the failing, and in the trying again.” On marriage.

2. Hah! Divorce and volleyball.

3. This is probably my favorite installment of the Dress Your Tech series yet.

4. Check out this children’s book!

5. I am horrified by these.

6. Preach it, Mindy.

7. As someone who values the strength of my body and is not overly concerned with making it smaller, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to talk about women’s bodies and fitness. (also, ways women can be MORE not LESS)

8. Thanks for all the years, Jon.

9. White liberals and the interruption of Bernie Sanders. (and, incidentally, Bernie’s new platform on racial inequality).

10. Because it’s not disgusting and it’s not shameful.


For more tidbits from Elena the person, follow me on twitter (@elenabrent or @biscuitsandsuch), instagrampinterest or facebook. Subscribe to my bloglovin’ feed to make sure you never miss a post. Follow along with MissElenaeous for thoughts on everything other than Southern food.

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Fig & Lemon Tarts


Fig season is here and, thanks to my friend Lauren who has both two giant fig trees and the will to harvest them, I’ve been rolling in figs. Most of these figs have been applied directly to my mouth, but some of these have made their way into various desserts, on top of pizzas, and soon, hopefully, some will be heading into the cannery (my kitchen) to be put up for winter.


fig & lemon chess 3

fig & lemon chess 2


Earlier this summer I attended the NC Foodways conference at UNC, which was amazing and something I’ve been meaning to write about since it totally flooded my brain with ideas. That is all forthcoming, but one thing I did learn that struck me as incredibly interesting was about chess pies. The first session that I attended was about 18th and 19th century colonial North Carolina foodways, and Kay Moss, food historian, changed everything I’ve ever known about my favorite pies. She said that in the past 300 years the amount of butter and eggs in a chess pie has stayed relatively consistent, but the amount of sugar has tripled. Tripled! I guess that’s no surprise in our overly-saccharine food culture, but that blew my mind. So I decided to try my hand at an ancestral chess.


fig & lemon chess 6

fig & lemon chess


The result of a lemon chess with a third the amount of sugar was lovely. It was so perfectly tart, and creamy enough to be a custard. Topped with fresh Wilmington grown figs and North Carolina gallberry honey, this dessert tasted like midsummer. I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to chess pies, I’ll be taking my recipes way back to the classics.


fig & lemon chess 7


Fig & Lemon Tarts
makes 10 4″ tarts



2 cups flour

1 stick butter

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup cold water


4 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Juice of 4 lemons


Fresh figs

Local honey


To make your dough combine flour, sugar, salt, and cubed butter in the food processor. Blend until butter has been cut into the flour. Slowly add water, a tbsp at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Melt your butter and stir in your sugar. Slowly add in eggs, one at a time. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and vanilla. Heat your oven to 375F.


Roll your dough out on a floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Press into greased tart tins (or one pie dish to make pie instead of mini tarts) and set on a baking tray. Fill each tart tin with chess filling and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes (longer for a full pie- 45minutes) or until the filling is firm and the crust has browned.


Quarter your figs and top each tart with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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