I've lived in Georgia for 12 years and I think I may have just officially achieved Southern Girl status with this recipe. A giant, flaky cat head biscuit brushed with melted butter and oozing with deliciously sharp cheddar cheese. Yup - these biscuits have got "Southern" written all over them AND we loved them. Every single buttery, cheesy, Southern bite.
Feel free to make my biscuit recipe your own. Swap out the cheddar cheese for brie or mozzarella or gruyere OR leave it out altogether. The choice is yours really. You can create exactly the kind of Southern biscuit that you like. I made a 1/2 recipe because quite honestly, I didn't trust myself with leftover biscuits. I have zero self control when it comes to cheese biscuits.
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter + 2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Bake 5 minutes at 500. Reduce temperature to 450 and bake 15-20 minutes longer.
Check out the ooze!!! You can slice your biscuits in half or leave them whole and watch the looks on your guests faces when they take their first bite and discover the gooey, cheesy center.
I blame these biscuits for turning me into a Southern girl. One bite is all it took.
Spaghetti Squash Scampi
I am totally jumping on the spaghetti squash bandwagon. I am such a big fan of those little yellow gourds that I toss one into my cart almost every time I see them at the grocery store.
I have to admit that I wasn't an instant fan. The first few times that I tried to make spaghetti squash I pretended it was spaghetti, covered it in marinara sauce and needless to say, I was less than impressed. My brain was telling me that I was eating squash but I wanted it to have the same texture and consistency as pasta. My conflicting feelings led to a less than satisfying spaghetti squash experience.
Once I finally convinced my brain that it was acceptable for spaghetti squash to resemble pasta but be completely different in taste and texture, I was on board. Now some of my very favorite dinners are based on Spaghetti Squash. If you're a fellow spaghetti squash fan, you have to check out my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna and Southwest Spaghetti Squash recipes. You will also love this Spaghetti Squash Scampi recipe. It's super easy - and delicious.
I've made so much spaghetti squash that I've finally started to perfect my squash roasting techniques. For one thing, I've learned recently that if I cut it into rings before roasting instead of slicing it in half, I end up with longer, more appealing "spaghetti" strands. Check out this recipe for details on that.
Spaghetti Squash Scampi
1 spaghetti squash
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces shrimp, peeled
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Carefully scrape out squash strands.
Add spinach and toss until wilted. Add squash and sprinkle with salt.
Serve with Naan bread.
Dial up the heat by adding more red pepper flakes to your scampi. Ben and I ate an entire squash for dinner and normally we only eat about a quarter of the squash a piece. I guess that's a sign that this recipe is a keeper. Hope you enjoy!
I like yogurt but I'm far from being a yogurt purist. I feel compelled to point out the fact that I prefer the full of sugar - tastes like dessert - kind of yogurt. (Have you tried the Chobani Key Lime Pie yogurt? Ridiculous) As if the added sugar wasn't bad enough, I also like to load up my yogurt with all sorts of extra deliciousness: fruit, granola, almonds and chocolate. It's not that I wouldn't love to be a plain, non-fat yogurt eating kind of girl but if I'm being honest with myself, I pretty much eat yogurt for the sugar.
I've tried in the past to wean myself from my go-to dessert like yogurt to sugar-free plain yogurt but it was unsuccessful. (No big surprise there.) So since I can't quit my sweet yogurt habit, I'll concentrate on reducing the amount of sugar that I add to it. A Toasted Muesli is a great swap for an ultra sweet granola. As an added bonus, when I add it to my already sweet yogurt - I hardly notice that it doesn't have any added sugar. Throw in a few fresh blueberries and suddenly it's a parfait.
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup barley
1 cup rye flakes
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
pinch of sea salt
Spread the oats, barley flakes, rye flakes, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 325.
Add fruit and salt. Stir to combine.
Store muesli in a cool, dry place and in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Add a couple of spoonfuls of muesli to your favorite yogurt and enjoy.
This muesli is completely customizable. Substitute your favorite nuts and fruits and create your own unique combination of ingredients.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
I LOVE roasted vegetables. I love how easy they are to make and how the roasting process brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetable.
If you follow these three simple rules, you can roast almost any vegetable.
1. Cut vegetables into evenly sized pieces so that they roast evenly and bake similar vegetables together. (peppers with peppers, broccoli with broccoli, etc.)
2. Toss vegetables with a mild olive oil and a generous amount of salt.
3. Adjust oven temperature to the vegetable that you're roasting but as a general rule, 425 is an average roasting temperature.
Those are the roasting basics. You can experiment with herbs and seasonings after the roasting process if you like. Don't be afraid of roasted vegetables - as long as you keep and eye on the oven so they don't get over-roasted - it's hard to ruin them.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
2-3 pounds fall vegetables (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips)
1 red onion, sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cut vegetables into similarly sized cubes.
Place on greased, foil lined baking sheet along with red onion.
Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper.
Roast 30 minutes at 425. Stir occasionally.
Did you know that virtually any vegetable can be roasted? Root vegetable are the most obvious choice for roasting: sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash, carrots but I've also been known to roast cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplant. I have yet to find a vegetable that isn't roast-able.
Roasted vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to almost any meat, chicken or fish dish. They're easy to make and they add a lot of beautiful color to an otherwise bland looking plate.
Crunchy French Toast
I've never been a huge fan of french toast. I like the flavor but I can't get over the soft/soggy/mushy texture. It seems that no matter how long I fry or bake my french toast, I couldn't seem to get the outside to a nice crispy consistency.
I've tried adjusting my french toast making process to improve the crispiness of my french toast. I've experimented with dipping the bread for only a couple seconds instead of saturating it with the egg mixture but the results were still the same - a soft and unappealing french toast. I've even tried putting it under the broiler for a few seconds to crisp it up and only achieved marginal results.
Thanks to a couple of food magazines and an extra long flight to California, I think I've finally stumbled on the cure for soggy french toast - cereal. Cornflakes to be more specific. A generous coating of crushed cornflake cereal combined with some oats and almonds is exactly what I was looking for to take my french toast from soggy to crispy and crunchy.
Crunchy French Toast
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup cornflakes
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
8 slices whole wheat bread
Place toast on hot griddle coated with cooking spray and cook 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve with syrup.
This recipe comes together quick enough to make for a weekday breakfast but it would also be a great addition to a weekend brunch. A little bit of yogurt and some fresh fruit is all you really need to complete this delicious meal.
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