Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Grilled Carrots

This week I am coming to you once again from the fair city of Baltimore. I’m up here doing photoshoots and (more importantly) to see my Esther put on a show at the second annual Esther Fest, a program Rachael and I created last year at the Museum featuring my spirit animal Esther making latkes, telling jokes, and being (as her husband Morty calls it) a kosher ham. I’m super excited to see her in all of her glory, I’m so fortunate that I was able to make this trip. This is all to say sorry that this post is a few days behind and thanks for bearing with me during this busy season of moving/traveling/holidays! We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled timely posting as soon as the dust settles.

One of my favorite side dishes throughout the year is grilled carrots. Marinated in everything from sesame oil and soy sauce to balsamic vinegar and rosemary to worchestershire sauce, grilled carrots are a subtle, hearty, and delicious compliment to pretty much any meal. In the summer we make them teriyaki style and pair them with sesame salmon. In the fall and winter I love them with roasted (or grilled) chicken and turkey with a generous sprinkle of sea salt. They’re also incredibly easy to put together. Marinate the peeled carrots in the seasoning of your choice for a few hours or overnight and then grill until tender and blackened! Voila, vitamin A!

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White Yam & Candied Bacon Casserole

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania, with Dan’s cousin Nathan, his fiance Jess, and the two dogs (Chase and Kaylee). It was relaxed, fun, and full of delicious food.  It’s the first Thanksgiving that I haven’t been with a lot of family (or at least some of our parents) and it had a definite kids-table vibe to it. We cooked all day long, ate a HUGE meal, took a nap, went for a walk, and then drank wine and relaxed on the couch. An ideal Thanskgiving, for sure.

One of my favorite dishes this year was a White Yam and Candied Bacon Casserole, something we created completely by accident. We intended to make a traditional sweet potato casserole with candied bacon and marshmallows tossed into the topping (Dan’s request), but I accidentally bought white yams instead of orange ones. And can I tell you what a happy accident it was? The yams were sweet and soft and creamy and the topping was this amazing combination of salt and cinnamon and sugar. I could have eaten the whole casserole! And while I’m going to save most of this year’s recipes for next year’s Thanksgiving menu I thought this would be just as wonderful on a Christmas table, so I beg you- try it! You won’t regret it.

We’re finally home now after a week long Thanksgiving tour (Wilmington -> Arlington, VA -> Mountainhome, PA -> Oreland, PA -> Harleysville, PA -> Baltimore -> Wilmington) and man are we exhausted. We’re playing catch up on unpacking, taking care of the dog, Christmas decorating, work, and life. But despite the craziness of the past few months we have so much to be thankful for. I made a list over on missELENAeous, but it can really be summed up in three words -health, happiness, love. We’re very lucky, us three.

photo by our friend Bill

White Yam & Candied Bacon Casserole

For the casserole:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup butter

1 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

6 cups mashed white yam

For the topping:

1 cup brown sugar

4 tbsp butter

1 cup chopped pecans

1 lb bacon

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Peel, chop, and boil your yams.  Mash, and set aside.  Beat eggs, sugar, and butter.  Add milk and vanilla, and combine with potatoes.  Spoon into a greased casserole dish.

Cook your bacon. As you’re cooking sprinkle both sides with cinnamon and sugar.

Combine brown sugar, butter, crumbled bacon, marshmallows, and pecans.  Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over potato mixture.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.

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Pumpkin Julep

 

Happy Thanksgiving Week! This past Friday we loaded up in our trusty blue hatchback and headed north for a week-long Thanksgiving journey. Our first stop is Alexandria, Virginia, where we’re spending two days with our close friends, Brit & Aaron. It’s been wonderful to see them, they’re definitely one of those couples that we love being around because Brit and I are as close friends as Aaron and Dan, which is rare.

 

 

Aaron and Brit are also great because they love to cook (and eat) as much as we do. Dan and I had been thinking up this perfect fall cocktail for a few weeks and Brit and Aaron were more than just willing to test it with us- they had input on what we should include.

 

 

This cocktail takes everything that is delicious about a mint julep (a favorite summer cocktail) and makes it perfect for fall. The bourbon soaks in roasted pumpkin, combines with a ginger brown sugar simple syrup, Grand Marnier, and is finished off with a cinnamon stick. Rich, spicy, and tasty.

 

Pumpkin Julep

 

2 cups fresh pumpkin (or acorn squash)

Brown sugar

Salt

Olive oil

Bourbon

Fresh ginger root

Cinnamon sticks

Grand Marnier

Club soda

 

Cube pumpkin and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 350 for 30-45 minutes. In a pitcher combine pumpkin and bourbon. Cover and soak over night in the fridge.

Combine 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup water, and peeled and sliced ginger in a pot. Bring to a boil and then let cool to room temperature.

In a tumbler combine 1 part simple syrup, 2 parts bourbon, a splash of Grand Marnier, a few ice cubes, and a cinnamon stick. Top with a bit of club soda (dilute to taste).

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