Blog - biscuits and such
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Pecan Milk

A few weeks ago Ev and I went over to Atlanta to celebrate the opening of my friend Kellie’s painting show“The great force of History comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and History is literally present in all that we do.” – James Baldwin. After the opening we had the whole weekend to relax, walk all over Atlanta, and enjoying exposing the baby to new experiences (like whale sharks and frozen buttermilk yogurt). One day we were at Ponce St. Market and I had an iced coffee with locally made pecan milk. And it was fantastic. I spent the subsequent three weeks thinking about it, until I decided I couldn’t stand not having pecan milk for my cold brew anymore and made my own.

 

 

I played around with the water to nut ratio but what I settled on that worked the best was 1 part nuts (soaked) to 2 parts water, blended together. I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of making my own nut milks because of all the steps and the squeezing and you know… I’m lazy. But pecan milk, made with soaked pecans and a blender, is easy! It’s just combining ingredients and blending! No squeezing or nut milk bags needed. And it’s thick, creamy, and so perfectly paired with my cold brew that I’m never going back.

 

 

Pecan Milk

 

2 cups raw pecans

4 cups water

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

 

The day before you’d like to make the milk soak the pecans in water.

 

Drain off the soaking water and combine pecans in a blender with water, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend on the highest possible setting until the pecans are completely emulsified, and the milk is thick and frothy.

 

Refrigerate for up to 1 week. Alternatively, freeze the pecan milk into ice cubes! The milk will separate in the fridge, just give it a good shake before serving.

 

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Sparkling Paloma

This year I’ll be celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a mom, and I am beyond thrilled to finally reach this moment. I spent many Mother’s Days hoping to be a mom, and this year I’ll get to spend the day hanging with my amazing son, which makes my heart so full it might burst.

 

 

Being a mother these past 11 months has been the most amazing experience of my life. Everett is hilarious— a total ham that shrieks with laughter and punctuates our days with chortles and joy. There have, of course, been some rough stretches (I’m looking at you, four month sleep regression), but in the year since I toasted my first “almost Mother’s Day” last May I’ve grown exponentially, and every inch of that has been with joy, love, and gratitude.

 

 

I must have made a lot of comments about missing tequila when I was pregnant because when Everett was approximately 18 hours old Dan brought me my first postpartum margarita. It was light on the tequila and served in a glass that said “turnt” and it was absolutely perfect. I sipped it, careful not to spill salt on my sleeping newborn’s head, and reveled in how much had changed since the last time I’d had a margarita.

 

 

When I started planning a brunch for this Mother’s Day, I got stuck on the idea of a sparkling grapefruit cocktail, partially because I ate a lot of grapefruit when I was pregnant (like, one a day). I played around with a few different ideas, but ultimately settled on a Paloma- the grapefruit cousin of the margarita. A combination of grapefruit, lime juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, tequila, and a dash of prosecco for sparkle, it’s a lovely and refreshing cocktail.

 

 

This Mother’s Day I hope you’ll join me in toasting all moms- those who bore us, those who raised us, those who shaped us. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a number of strong women, and this Mother’s Day I’ll celebrate all of them. I’ll also be sure to raise a glass to myself, because motherhood is no easy task, though it is the most incredible blessing.

 

 

Sparkling Paloma
makes 2 cocktails

 

4oz tequila

Juice of 1 grapefruit

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp simple syrup (recipe below)

1 tbsp Himalayan sea salt or coarse sea salt

2oz prosecco

 

To salt rim your glasses, spread salt out flat out on a plate. Dip both glasses first in water, and then in salt.

In a mixer combine tequila, fruit juice, simple syrup, and ice. Strain and divide between glasses. Top each glass with prosecco and a wedge of grapefruit. Serve and enjoy!

 

Simple Syrup

 

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

 

Combine sugar and water in a small pot. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool and incorporate into cocktail as instructed. Simple syrup can be stored in the refridgerator for 1 month.

 

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Skillet Meatloaf

This fall I was offered the opportunity to write a book that I’ve been wanting to write, thinking about writing, for years. A cast iron cookbook, full of family recipes, techniques, and tips on how to care for this most wonderful cookware. Everett was just a few months old when I started the project, and there were many times I didn’t think I could manage to keep my eyes open long enough in the evenings to write recipes. But, I did it. With the help of family, friends, and Dan, I put together this beautiful book, and I have never been more proud of a piece of work. The Southern Cast Iron Cookbook comes out in just a few weeks (May 16, but you can pre-order it now!) and I can’t wait for you to see it. It’s lovely.

 

 

One of the recipes I’ve made a few times already is the skillet meatloaf, and while it seems a bit unorthodox to post a meatloaf recipe when it’s 80 degrees outside, I think it’s worth the chance. My friend Aaron tested this recipe for me and his feedback (which ended up in the headnote of the book) was that this was the best meatloaf he’d ever had. You just don’t get a better endorsement than that (especially from someone with such a refined palate), and so I’ll just let the tester’s notes speak for themselves.

 

 

 

A brown sugar and apple cider vinegar sauce gives the meatloaf a little sweetness, and it’s incredible moist and flavorful. I served it with sautéed broccolini and gorgonzola scalloped potatoes, and then enjoyed the leftovers for days. In the book the recipe calls for a biscuit pan, which makes adorable individual servings of meatloaf. When I made it most recently I increased the ingredient quantities slightly made it in my 12″ skillet, which made an incredibly satisfying amount of meatloaf.

 

 

 

Every book that I’ve written has been a labor of love, and with each cookbook project I learn something new. This book was a wildly different experience than any of the books I’ve previously worked on, and I am immensely proud of how it has turned out. It is a very personal book, both the recipes and the stories that accompany them, come from my heart. My friend Christina said that this book was full of love, and I think she hit the nail on the head. From the dedication to the acknowledgements this book has a piece of me, and I’m so glad that I am able to share that with you.

 

 

Skillet Meatloaf
Source: The Southern Cast Iron Cookbook by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

 

This recipe is written for use with a 12″ skillet. 

 

sauce:

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 tbsp brown sugar

3/4 cup tomato paste

 

meatloaf: 

3 lbs 85% lean ground beef

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

3/4 cup tomato paste

3/4 cup whole milk

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 white onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsps sea salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 1/2 tsp dried mustard

1 tsp cayenne pepper

 

Begin by stirring together apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and tomato paste. Set sauce aside.

 

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix together ground beef, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, milk, garlic, eggs, onion, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, dry mustard, and cayenne. Transfer to the greased skillet, pressing mixture to an even height.

 

Spread half the sauce overtop of the meatloaf. Bake for 60-90 minutes, until meat is cooked through and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly, top with remaining sauce, and serve.

 

Make this Gluten Free:

 

This recipe adapts really easily for GF, just substitute gluten free breadcrumbs 1:1.

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