Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles

For Ev’s birthday we served chicken and waffles (which my friend pointed out meant we basically served pound cake two ways). The fried chicken recipe is from my most recent cookbook, The Southern Cast Iron Cookbook and the waffle recipe is from my first, The American Cookbook



We topped the chicken & waffles with honey harvested by my friend and neighbor, and served it with prosecco, because we were celebrating. It combined some of Everett’s favorite food groups (breakfast foods and food you eat with your hands), and made for a pretty sweet birthday dinner.



Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles




2 cups buttermilk

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

8-10 mixed bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs


to fry:


3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

4 eggs

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup yellow stone ground grits

Peanut oil for frying




1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup corn grits

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/4 cup milk

5 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs



In a large bowl mix together all ingredients for marinade. Add chicken to bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

On a counter accessible to your stove top line up three bowls. In the first bowl combine half of the flour and spices. In the second bowl whisk together eggs and apple cider vinegar. In the third bowl combine remaining flour, spices, and bread crumbs.

Heat 1” oil to 375F in a large, heavy bottom skillet.


Pat chicken dry and dredge first in flour mixture, then in egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture.


Add chicken to the hot oil and fry. White meat pieces should be fried 4-5 minutes/side and dark meat pieces should be friend 5-7 minutes/side. Keep warm on a rack in a 200F oven.


While your chicken is keeping warm, make your waffles. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and cornmeal in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, butter, vanilla extract, and egg yolks. Whisk together.


Preheat the waffle iron. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until soft peaks form. Fold into batter. Cook the waffles to the specifications of your waffle iron.


Serve chicken and waffles together, warm, and with honey or syrup.


Make this gluten free:

  • for the chicken, simply substitute flour for a 1:1 gf blend (I used King Arthur).
  • for the waffles, substitute flour for a 1:1 gf blend and add 1/3 cup milk.
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Pound Cake with Whipped Cream & Strawberries

This past week my sweet Everett turned one. ONE! This is such a cliche but it’s true because I don’t actually know where the year went. I spent more than a little time looking back at newborn pictures this week and realizing that I barely recognize the little noodle in those pictures. He bears almost no resemblance to the big, busy, hilarious toddler that tears around my house like a tornado.



We celebrated his birthday with a handful of close friends who have been our true support and saving grace this past year. It was relaxed, an occasion to open a bottle (or two) of prosecco and toast a year well lived, a year where we learned and grew so much (all three of us).



After testing a few different cake options I settled on mini pound cakes with strawberries and cream whipped with local honey from a friend and neighbor. I took my great grandmother’s pound cake recipe and made a few slight adaptations to make it a bit more baby-friendly.



It was everything I wanted his first birthday to be. Happy, relaxed, and full of cake and sparklers. It has been a transformative year, and I’m so grateful to have lived it.



Pound Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream


2 sticks butter, plus extra for greasing (room temperature)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

6 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt

1 pint strawberries


whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F.


Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until creamed. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next. Add in vanilla extract.


In a large bowl mix together flour and baking soda. Add to egg mixture, 1/3 at a time, alternating with yogurt.


Grease 10″ bundt pan (or mini bundt pans- this recipe makes 24 2″ cakes) and spoon batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes (or 20-25 for mini cakes). Allow to cool slightly before turning onto a rack.


Whip together heavy cream, vanilla, and honey until stiff. Serve cakes warm with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.


Make this gluten free:


  • Use a 1 for 1 gf flour blend (I used King Arthur)
  • Add 1/2 cup yogurt to the recipe
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Blueberry Sonker

My birthday falls just after the 4th of July, which means that I grew up with a generous amount of fanfare around my birthday, all of which I assumed was meant just for me. In addition to a pool party with my friends, my grandma would make me my very own blueberry mountain pie. This pie, a cake batter poured on top of pints of fresh blueberries, was her specialty. Served hot with cold vanilla ice cream it is still my favorite dessert to serve on my birthday, a true family favorite.



The family story goes that my Aunt Jinx served a mountain pie to my great grandmother, Sybil, while Jinx was living in Tennessee and the recipe made such an impact that Sybil brought it home and it spread like wildfire through the family. By the time I came along years later it was a family staple. It occurred to me recently that a mountain pie is the very (very) close cousin of the sonker, a Western North Carolina (Surry and Wilkes counties to be specific) specialty.



What makes a sonker lovely is the combination of bubbling fresh fruit (or sweet potato) and cakey topping. The sonker variation I grew up on calls for the topping to be poured into the blueberries, allowing it to bubble up and through. In other variations a thicker dough is rolled out and made into a lattice top, similar to a traditional cobbler. Still others call for a top and bottom dough, edging closer and closer into “pie” territory. No matter the distribution of the crust the effect is still the same- browned and bubbling fruit, sweet and tart, with crust toasted the perfect shade of brown.



Blueberry Sonker


2 pints fresh blueberries

1 stick butter

1 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 400F. Melt butter and mix with blueberries, along with lemon juice. Transfer into a 9×9 baking dish.


Mix together sugar, flour, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate and pour over blueberries. Don’t mix the blueberries and the batter together!


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and browned. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

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