Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Lovely Internet 6.5.15

 

1. Lessons from a Southern mama.

2. The Universe is totally telling you to do that.

3. I was recently explaining to someone why I don’t invest too much time into cultivating “social” numbers- because they are meaningless (pretty much) and I’d rather invest my time and limited energy into this space, which is mine.

4. My first introduction to “on fleek” was definitely Jon Stewart, but this weekend I heard someone say it in the wild. I had to look up what the hell it means.

5. Should you spring for that vintage cast iron? (and other kitchen questions).

6. Eggcorns! Which of these are you guilty of? (Also guys it’s clearly buck naked).

7. How cool is this map of Pangea?

8. Sitting on manspreaders. Hell yeah.

9. This is excellent! I definitely needed it a few weeks ago when I wasn’t sure if I stumbled across a mulberry bush.

10. This week sucked, a lot. I needed this.

 

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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Buttermilk Biscuits with Caramelized Apricots and Honeysuckle Butter

 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of cooking for two (sold out!) dinners at Greenlands Farm in Bolivia, NC. It was the second of these Farm to Fork dinners (or even better, Field to Frying Pan) I’ve done with Greenlands this year, and it was a really busy but also really amazing weekend.

 

apricot biscuits 11

 

apricot biscuits 7

apricot biscuits 1

 

The week before the dinner I had reshared an old post on the B&S Facebook page– my method for honeysuckle butter. Maud, of Greenlands, emailed me when she saw it and asked if we could work a little honeysuckle butter onto the menu. So, we went honeysuckle foraging!

 

apricot biscuits 6

 

While the honeysuckle butter was the star of the show, the world isn’t quite ready yet to be served just a spoonful of butter as a course (we’ll get there). Thankfully Heather, the owner of Greenlands, makes her own goat buttermilk, so the answer was obvious. I made a big batch of buttermilk biscuits and topped it all off with caramelized apricots.

 

apricot biscuits 2

 

These dinners are so surreal for me because I never in my life could have predicted that one day I would find myself cooking five course meals for dozens of people who paid (!) to eat the food I made. I probably could have told you that one day I’d shake a half gallon of cream into butter in patterned leggings to the sweet sweet tunes of Harry Belafonte. That’s much more believable.

 

apricot biscuits 10

apricot biscuits 5

 

Buttermilk Biscuits with Caramelized Apricots and Honeysuckle Butter
makes 30 bite sized biscuits

 

biscuits:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick butter

1 cup buttermilk

 

honeysuckle butter:

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole honeysuckle flowers

1 tsp cinnamon

 

caramelized apricots:

6 apricots 

2 tbsp butter

 

to make the honeysuckle butter: 

 

In a medium sized bowl or jar, combine flowers and cream. Cover and let soak overnight. Strain the cream and discard the flowers. Add cinnamon.

 

Pour your cream into a mason jar. It should be filled no more than 3/4 of the way. Nestle yourself into a comfortable position and turn the butter. Rotate the jar, back and forth, flipping it over and over, for approximately 20-30 minutes. The cream will evolve from liquid to solid, getting steadily thicker. When it has clumped together into a thick ball and the solids have separated out, you’re done. Use a metal strainer to extract the excess liquid, and refrigerate. It will firm up as it chills.

 

to make the apricots:

 

Core and cube the apricots. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes.

 

to make the biscuits: 

 

Heat oven to 425F. Mix together dry ingredients. Cube butter and work in with your hands, breaking the butter up into small pieces and mixing in with the dry ingredients, until the texture resembles cornmeal. Stir in the buttermilk. Transfer to a floured surface and press into a rectangle. Fold on itself and pat into a rectangle. Repeat three or four times, finishing with a large rectangle of dough that is 1″ thick. Cut into 1″ squares and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted honeysuckle butter and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Top the biscuits with a dollop of butter and a spoonful of apricots. Serve hot.

 

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My Cookbook Collection

 

A few weeks ago we were moving furniture around as part of a purge of Dan’s office (wahoo!), and all of the sudden there was a big open space in the kitchen. Since Dan’s record collection has been inching all of the books out of our bookshelf it seemed only natural to relocate some of those books into the kitchen. So! Thanks to the power of suggestion and our miter saw I have two beautiful new shelves in the kitchen. I thought I’d take advantage of the moment and share what books I’ve got on my shelves and what I’m digging. (I feel like I should note that these are not affiliate links).

 

cookbooks 1

 

from left top shelf

 

They Draw and Cook / Southern Food Truck Cookbook / The Feed Zone Cookbook / The No Time to Cook! Book / Foods that Make You Say Mmm-mmm / Cooking in the Moment / Honey & Jam* / A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus / A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen / Charred & Scruffed / Dessert for Two / Date Night In / Lighten Up, Y’all / Farm Anatomy / New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Foodways / The Edible South / The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook / Oxford Companion to Food

 

On the bottom shelf are two handmade books filled with recipes of my own that I want to save and preserve (and eventually pass on).

 

*this is a new addition so it’s not in this picture but you can see it in the top picture. It’s a wonderful book!

 

cookbooks 2

 

from top left

 

Complete Pie CookbookCooking up a StormLocal Flavors / Southern Pies / The Larder / Charcuteria / Screen Doors and Sweet Tea / The Bread Baker’s Apprentice / Irish Cooking / The Art of Preserving / Grand Diplome Cooking Course / Charcuterie

 

from bottom left

 

Seasoned in the South / Bourbon & Bacon / Cajun Kitchen / Come into the Kitchen Cookbook / The Kinfolk Table / Share / Frank Stitt’s Southern Table / The Meat Cookbook / The Whole Hog Cookbook / The Farmer’s Kitchen / The Homesteader’s Kitchen / Fresh from the Farmer’s Market / Y’all Come Over / Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry / Bon Appetit Y’all / The American Cookbook / Recipes from Our Front Porch / Classic Southern Desserts / The Southern Po’ Boy Cookbook / The Lost Art of Pie Making / Biscuits /  How to Cook Everything Fast / Cheese & Beer / The Portlandia Cookbook

 

There it is, my cookbook collection. What’s on your shelf? Any classics (or new must-haves) that I’m missing?

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