Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Lovely Internet 1.30.15

1. This may be my minor in Book Arts talking, but paper deserves a prominent role in our lives.

2. A flourishing food sisterhood in North Carolina.

3. Kill the K-Cup before they kill our planet.

4. 29 years ago Roald Dahl wrote about losing his daughter, Olivia, to measles- something that a measles vaccine would have prevented. (also)

5. I grew up eating peanut butter & mayo, PB & M & Banana, and banana and mayo sandwiches. Love for mayonnaise (and sometimes unconventional applications of mayonnaise) are family traditions.

6. Can you imagine being responsible for this repair job?

7. Get outside.

8. I’m trying really hard to be the kind of person who can keep house plants alive.

9. This is the opposite of the person who liked everything for 24 hours. Interesting results.

10. Tomorrow we’re throwing Dan a birthday party (we’ve really been celebrating this one all month, haven’t we?), and I’m thinking these should make their way onto the menu. (and these, of course).

p.s. If you’re celebrating The Big Game this weekend, don’t forget your snack dip.

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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Shoo-fly Pie

Dan’s birthday dessert request this year was shockingly not a cake (his birthday is the one day a year where I happily make a cake), but instead one of his favorite childhood desserts- a shoo-fly pie. I’d never had the pleasure of trying a shoo-fly pie before, so I was excited (and a bit nervous) to take on the challenge!

shoofly pie 3

Shoo-fly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, and it combines a rich chess-like molasses base with a butter and brown sugar crumb topping. I used black strap molasses which gave the pie an incredible dark color and an anise flavor and served each slice with a heaping dollop of freshly whipped cream. Dan gave it his personal thumbs up and said it tasted like home, which makes this a birthday dessert success story!

shoofly pie 2


Shoo-fly Pie



2 1/2 cups flour

2 sticks cold butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cold water

1 egg



1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup boiling water

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup black strap molasses



1 cup flour

1 stick salted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 pinch of cinnamon


whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


In a food processor* combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse until texture resembles cornmeal. Add in water, a few tablespoons at a time. Pulse until a dough ball forms, adding more water as needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.


Pour your boiling water over baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Pour molasses into the water and whisk together. Add in egg and vanilla. Set aside. Heat oven to 375F.


In your food processor* combine flour, salted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pulse until just combined. Mix 1/3 of the topping into the molasses filling.


Roll the pie dough out and transfer into pie dish. Pour molasses filling into the dish and top with remaining brown sugar crumble. Brush the crust with whisked egg. Bake for 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and the filling has mostly set (it’s okay if the center jiggles a bit). Cool completely before serving.


Combine whipping cream, sugar, and extract in a bowl. Whip until stiff and serve with room temperature pie. We recommend an as-much-whipped-cream-as-pie approach.


*it is completely acceptable and, depending on your state of mind, preferable to do this by hand. I find it to be incredibly relaxing to cut butter in with my fingers.


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Lovely Internet 1.23.15

1. The State of Food.

2. If we’re being honest, how much do our lives really look like our Pinterest feed? Basically never, I would say. That’s okay, real life is pretty great.

3. The history and context of the banjo in modern Southern culture. (Plus, more Old Timey music from Bonnie Prince Billy if you’re interested).

4. This is perfection. (Thanks Elise!)

5. We’ve been trying to take as many cues from traditional gardening practices as possible in our school garden, where the sandy soil is basically useless without a lot of tlc.

6. The Leslie and Ron Story is one of the best on television.

7. Happy National Pie Day! (thanks Emily for the pie playlist! I’ve been listening to it all day!)

8. Look at these beautiful biscuit cutters!!

9. When he first started brewing in our Baltimore apartment (which unfortunately lacked the ability to regulate temperature), all of Dan’s beers tasted like bananas. Now that he has more control over his fermentation the quality of his beer has improved immensely (it’s really pretty awesome). But, for a bit there at the beginning, I sometimes had to figure out gently how to tell him I wasn’t a fan.

10. One of my favorite pubic radio personalities interviews one of my favorite internet personalities about one of my favorite activities.

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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