Blog - biscuits and such
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Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

February has always been the hardest month of the year for me. It’s cold, dreary, vast, and what comes to mind when I hear the phrase “bleak mid-winter.” While Wilmington’s winters are incredibly mild compared to most places in our hemisphere, I still find myself bogged down by the lack of sunshine and the scarcity of fresh fruits and vegetables that haven’t been carted across the globe. Maybe it’s seasonal depression, maybe it’s the post-holiday slump, but I’ve been wanting nothing more than to just lay under a mountain of fleece blankets and let Ev stack legos on my head. Pot Pie



I vacillate between the New Year compulsion to eat like a caveman and hit the gym every day (why we do that to ourselves during winter I’ll never understand) and the hibernation mode approach of eating only foods made with heavy cream and hiding under a heated blanket.



For those moments, the hibernation moments, pot pie is ideal.¬†There is something to be said for comfort foods in times like this, and the combination of creamy meat and vegetables with hot flakey biscuits is deeply comforting to body and soul. It feels slightly disingenuous to post this today because I spent the morning drinking coffee on my back deck in 60 degree loveliness, but since my instagram feed is still full of pictures of snow, I’ll assume that some of you probably really need this today. So for you, friends, remember that winter will end. Spring is coming. The jonquils will bloom and the birds will sing and we’ll all forget the days of bitter cold.



Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 cups peas

2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp butter

5 medium sized carrots

10-12 cremini mushrooms

1 yellow onion

1 sweet potato

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika


for biscuits:


2 cups all purpose flour

1 stick butter

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup buttermilk


Begin by prepping all of your vegetables. Clean and chop your carrots, onions, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes. Mince your garlic.


Melt butter in skillet. Chop chicken thighs and brown in skillet over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, paprika, onion, and garlic and continue to cook. After 2-3 minutes stir in carrots and sweet potatoes, taking care to coat with butter. After 3-4 minutes stir in heavy cream, milk, mushrooms, and peas. Reduce heat to a simmer.


Heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cube butter and cut in with your hands, working the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in buttermilk. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat into a rectangle. Fold onto itself once and then pat flat. Repeat this 3-4 times.


Stir the simmering mixture and then begin cutting your dough into biscuit rounds. Space evenly on top of filling. To cover a 12″ skillet you’ll need 12 biscuits.


Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve immediately.


Make this gluten free:


Use a measure for measure gluten free all purpose flour. If necessary increase the amount of buttermilk by 1/4-1/2 cup until the dough comes together easily.





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Five Bean Chili

Growing up there were two kinds of winters- Brunswick stew winters and chili winters. Every year my dad would make an insanely large batch of one or the other (really, something like 40 quarts) and freeze it in batches big enough to feed our family of eight. That way all winter long our bowls were full of something warm, nourishing, comforting, and delicious.



This winter in my house has definitely been a chili winter. We may only be a month in to the season, but we’ve eaten chili no less than five times. And while I make it in five quart batches instead of forty, it is still being devoured with gusto. In fact, it appears as though Everett is a chili fiend. He can easily put away two adult sized portions, asking for more long after Dan and I are full.



I vary the ingredients a little each time (Ev’s enthusiasm for it has lead me to include some veggies I wouldn’t normally put in chili) but the basic framework stays the same- five (or more!) varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, garlic, and lots of spice. Simmered, low and slow, for as many hours as it takes for your house to smell cozy. Served with sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce. It may seem silly for me to sit in my coastal Carolina kitchen and complain about the cold weather but honestly, I’m frozen solid and counting my blessings that I’ve got a pot of chili simmering on the stove.



Five Bean Chili


1 yellow onion

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp olive oil

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 102oz can diced tomatoes

1lb ground beef (or pork, or turkey)

1 tbsp salt

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 28oz can black beans

1 28oz can kidney beans

1 28oz can red beans

1 28oz can garbanzo beans

1 28oz can great northern beans

2 cups water

2 cups corn kernels


2 large carrots

1 red bell pepper



toppings (optional):


Sour cream

Hot sauce


Grated cheddar cheese




Mince onion and garlic and combine in Dutch oven with olive oil. Cook over medium heat until onions have begun to soften. Mix in tomato paste and stir well to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes while the paste browns. Add meat to the pan and stir well to combine. Add spices and cook for 4-5 minutes until the meat has browned.


Add the beans and their juices, one can at a time, stirring well as you add. Next add diced tomatoes, corn, and water. Stir well. Chop carrot and bell pepper and add to the pot. Allow the pot to come to a low boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.


Cover partially with lid and simmer for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste test and adjust salt and spices as needed. Serve hot with all your favorite chili toppings.







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Solstice Yule Log

Happy Winter Solstice! Today marks the longest night of the year, the turning of the seasons, the return of the sun. Winter holidays around the world draw inspiration from the solstice, and it’s certainly an event worth celebrating.



We celebrated (a night early) with a potluck with friends, popping bottles of bubbly wine and feasting on the bounty of root vegetables. It’s one of my favorite nights of the holiday season, particularly because we always mark it with a small, low key dinner. It feels right to mark the occasion, to toast the changing of the seasons and the shifts as the earth makes its slow rotation around the sun.



This year I decided to try my hand at a fancy buche de noel, a yule log cake. A thin, almost flour-less cake layered with hazelnut mousse and rolled on itself, topped with more mousse and then decorated to look like a yule log. It’s above and beyond the effort I usually put into the appearance of cakes but Everett took a particularly long and agreeable nap yesterday, so I decided to challenge myself.



Probably because it’s mostly mousse, the end result was fantastic. Chocolatey and rich and soft and light and heavenly. And, amazingly, very easy. The hardest part of the whole process was picking holly from my yard in the rain.



All in all, it was a wonderful celebration. I’m ready to close the door on 2017, and it feels good to be turning the corner into a new season. Happy Solstice, friends!



Solstice Yule Log Cake


6 eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder, plus 1 tbsp for dusting

1 tbsp all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Butter for greasing



7 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

1 tsp vanilla extract



1/4 cup powdered sugar

Handful of pomegranate seeds

Handful slivered almonds

Fresh holly leaves


Heat oven to 350F.


Grease a 10×15″ rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Whip together the eggs and sugar on high until they have thickened and doubled in volume. This takes approximately 3-5 minutes.


Mix together flour, cocoa, and salt and then fold into eggs. Carefully cut and fold, making sure to fully incorporate the dry ingredients. Pour gently onto the baking sheet and spread so it reaches the edges. Take care not to deflate. Bake for 15 minutes.


While the cake is baking, dust a second sheet of parchment with cocoa powder. When the cake is done allow it to cool for 5 minutes and then gently peel the edges of the cake away from the parchment. Flip the cake onto the second parchment paper and then, using a knife to help separate, peel the parchment off the cake. Cover with a towel and allow to cool.


Scald 1 1/4 cups of cream, removing from heat before it boils. Stir in chocolate chips and hazelnut spread, along with vanilla. Stir well, until the chocolate is melted and well incorporated. Whip remaining cream until stiff. Fold the ganache into the whipped cream, stirring until fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl!


Remove the towel from the cake and, using the parchment to help, roll the cake tightly on itself. Allow to sit, rolled, for 5 minutes, and then unroll it. Top the cake with a thick layer (1/4″) of mousse. Again using the parchment to guide, roll the cake onto itself. Have your serving platter ready and use the parchment to roll the cake directly onto your serving platter.


Cut a 3-4″ piece of the cake off at an angle, and position it on the side so it resembles a log. Use a pastry knife to spread the remaining mouse thickly over the cake. Then use a fork to add bark texture, and decorate as you’d like with holly leaves, pomegranate seeds, and almond slivers. Chill for 3-4 hours.


Directly before serving top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!



Make this gluten free:


This is an easy one! Simply substitute measure for measure gluten free flour (I used King Arthur) and follow the recipe as written!

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