Biscotti. Technically, it's a cookie but it really couldn't be any more different the the usual cookies that I share on this blog. Biscotti aren't soft and chewy. They're hard and crunchy. (Two characteristics, by the way, that I usually try and avoid when I make a batch of cookies. 🍪)
Despite it's dry, crumbly texture, if you've ever had a biscotti, you know that they're completely addictive. They're also perfectly shaped for dipping in a cup of coffee or hot tea. As a matter of fact, biscotti are basically MADE to be dipped. Most importantly, they're a perfectly acceptable breakfast treat. Any excuse to eat cookies for breakfast!
These little Italian cookies are easier to make than you might think. The simple dough can be put together in a stand mixer and you can get as creative as you like with the add-ins. I've made biscotti with everything from nuts and fruits to peanut butter and pumpkin. I've yet to find a combination of flavors that I DON'T like in biscotti.
Catalonia's Almond Biscotti
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sugar
4 ounces almond paste, cut into 1" pieces
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Let cool 5 minutes on sheet. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Now you know just how easy it is to make homemade biscotti. This recipe makes a LOT of biscotti so you'll be able to tuck a few away in your freezer for a rainy day. You'll be glad you did. 😂
Have you jumped on the flavored seltzer water bandwagon yet? We have jumped on and ridden that wagon all the way to the farm. (Is that a saying?) 🤷🏻♀️ I find myself loading up my grocery cart with cases of fruity flavored sparkling waters at the supermarket, every time I go. They're my newest addiction but they're basically guilt free. Zero calories, no caffeine, no sugar and no artificial sweeteners and for a girl who doesn't enjoy plain water - they're pretty much a nectar sent from heaven. I actually consume a lot more water throughout the day since I discovered fruit flavored seltzer water.
I don't want you to think that I'm "anti-soda." Did you know that you can pour Sprite over fresh apple slices to keep them from turning brown? 🍎 Soda is great for recipes like Grilled Flank Steak or the emergency rum and coke. 🍸 Believe it or not, it's also perfect as a marinade for grilled chicken.
If you know me at all, you know that I'm a girl who's obsessed with grilled chicken. I think I could eat grilled chicken every single day and never get tired of it. I am so excited to be adding a new sweet and sour recipe to my grilled chicken repertoire that I could just burst.
Lemon Lime Grilled Chicken
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup lemon lime soda
3 pounds bone in, skin on chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Remove chicken from grill and let rest.
Serve chicken with remaining sauce.
I'm a stickler when it comes to preventing cross contamination among raw meats. I preach safe practices to my family when they prepare raw meat and chicken. I wash all surfaces that raw meat has been in contact with before I reuse it for cooked meat. I also discard marinades that I've used to soak raw food. Reserving marinade to add to the chicken at the end of the cooking is always a good habit to get into. Trust me - your stomach with thank me.
Italian flatbread is like Robin is to Batman. It's the Dwight Schrute to Michael Scott and the John Oats to Daryll Hall. Italian flatbread is meant to be a side kick but it quickly takes over as the star of any dinner table. It's just one of those side dish recipes that will completely upstage any main dish that you pair it with.
It happens when I serve an amazingly creamy, cheesy homemade macaroni and cheese side dish with - well, anything. My family scrapes the sides of the pasta dish to get every last spoonful of the cheesy carbohydrates while helping themselves to only a very small slice of ham. The same thing happens when I serve grilled vegetable orzo salad with grilled meats. Everyone piles the orzo onto their plates and leaves minimal space for what I intended to be the star of the show - the meat.
I have to say that as girl who eats very little meat - I often times prefer the side dishes to the main course anyway. Side dishes rock! I've accepted the fact that the main course has to take a back seat sometimes. I've learned to embrace great side dishes and I recognize that they can be the best part of the meal. When I go a hamburger/hot dog cookout - the sides make up my entire meal and I'm not at all disappointed or unsatisfied with it.
The sooner that you except the fact that no matter what you serve with this Italian Flatbread, it will pale in comparison, the happier you'll be. This flatbread IS the star of the show. Let me just list of few of the many options for toppings and ways to accentuate it. Sausage and pesto, pear and gorgonzola, buffalo chicken, fresh mozzarella and basil, broccoli and cheddar, mushroom and spinach ... I could go on and on but instead - I'll just get to the recipe.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup lard
I like the idea of making a delicious homemade flatbread in under an hour. This yeast free recipe comes together quickly and it is SUPER tasty. Don't be freaked out by the lard in the recipe. The bread isn't greasy - just tender and delicious.
I love fish. Let me rephrase that - I love fish that isn't too fishy. 🐟😂 Obviously, there are some fish that are just naturally "fishy-er" than others. I'm not talking about Surströmming or rakfisk - I'm talking about fish that's been sitting around so long that it's converted enzymes and bacteria into trimethylamine. As a general rule, I stay away from naturally strong smelling fish AND fish that's smelly because it's been sitting around too long.
Since I'm not a professional fisherman and I can't smell the fish behind the fish counter, I have to rely on my fish monger to pick out fish for me that isn't too fishy. I've learned to trust them to choose my fish and most of the time, they come through just fine. There have only been a couple of occasions where I've ended up with strong smelling fish.
There are things that you can do to counteract the strong odor of fish. Some cooks soak their smelly fish in milk or lemon juice to neutralize the odor. I haven't tried these technique because want my fish to still taste like fish - just not uber-smelly fish. I'm kind of afraid that the process of deodorizing the fish might actually take away from the taste of the fish. 🐟
My go-to fish for the last couple of months has been cod for exactly those reasons. My local supermarket stocks really great, fresh cod and they even put it on sale once a month so it's super reasonable. It's never smelly. It's very mild but it still tastes like fish. Does that make ANY sense at all?
As an added bonus, cod is super simple to prepare. A light dusting of flour and a drizzle of lemon is all it takes to make this delicious baked cod recipe. This recipe is so good that even my meat-loving husband really enjoys this meal.
Baked Lemon Cod
1 lb cod fish fillet
1/4 cup butter or margarine melted
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Bake 30 minutes (depending on thickness) at 350.
Now that I've mastered my cod cooking skills, I need to work on my fish photography skills. I don't feel like these pictures captured the delicious flavor of this cod. It was so light and flaky and not too fishy. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Until I moved to the South, the only fast food restaurant that I ever remember with biscuits on the menu was Kentucky Fried Chicken. 🍗As a kid, Kentucky Fried Chicken was usually reserved for road trip meals and you wouldn't believe how excited I would get about that bucket of greasy goodness. (It almost made riding backwards in a station wagon for hours at a time, seem tolerable. 😂) The crunchy fried chicken was a highlight of any road trip but the flaky, buttery biscuits was what I devoured first.
Now that I live in Georgia, I pass multiple biscuit centered fast food restaurants on an almost daily basis. Popeyes, Bojangles Famous Chicken n' Biscuits, Mrs. Winner's Chicken and Biscuits and Chick Fil' A. I'm not sure whether biscuits are more regionally acceptable in the South or if they've just increased in popularity over the last 15 years but I suspect that the it's not the latter. Southerners LOVE biscuits! Giant, flaky, buttery, Cat-head biscuits.
If I'm being totally honest, as an adult I don't order a lot of biscuits at restaurants. (Not even KFC) It's not that I don't like them, I just try and make healthier choices for breakfast - on most days. There are those mornings when I just NEED a biscuit though. My biscuit cravings are not something that I can plan for or even predict so it's a good thing that I keep these simple biscuit ingredients stocked in my kitchen. When that biscuit craving hits, I can have fresh, flaky, buttery biscuits on the table (and in my belly) in under an hour.
If you are a biscuit fan or if you just get weird and unpredictable biscuit cravings like me, you need to give these buttermilk pan biscuits a try. Baking biscuits in a cast iron pan promotes those deliciously crispy edges and perfectly golden browned bottoms. I don't want to brag, but these biscuits might just be even better than my beloved KFC biscuits.
Buttermilk Pan Biscuits
12 Tablespoons butter
4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups buttermilk
Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer to rack. Brush with 1 T. butter.
I turned our biscuits into dinner by adding some chicken tenders.
What kind of biscuit eater are you? Do you like to slather those fluffy layers with a pat of butter or a dollop of jam? Do you prefer a drizzle of honey or a healthy dose of sausage gravy or sandwiched with breaded chicken? I'd love to know how you enjoy your buttery biscuits. Send me a comment and let me know.
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