Buttermilk & Butter Biscuits

Buttermilk is one of my favorite ingredients.  It’s one of these unassuming ingredients that makes a huge contribution to recipes from cakes to panna cotta to pancakes to biscuits.  Traditional buttermilk is the leftover liquid from churning butter or from fermented cream.  Commercial buttermilk is pasteurized and homogenized milk that has been inoculated with a culture…

60 Days…Day 15

“Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.”  ~ Captain Jean-Luc Picard Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!  Seasons Greetings!  I am not a wordsmith about holiday greetings and I welcome any good wish people want to send my way. I did not exercise today, but I stood in the kitchen cooking for about…

Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

Butterscotch’s primary ingredients are butter and brown sugar.  What’s not to love?  Because I am a cook, I always notice the foods characters eat in books that I am reading, so much so that I am right now on my third revision of a lamb stew with prunes, inspired by the sponsor gift that Katniss…

Salad: The Holy Grail of the Human Diet

Salad, at its most fundamental level, is that unassuming concoction of produce, tossed together with a dressing, whose prominence is so frequently overshadowed by its richer, fattier or more sugary meal time companions.  Even the venerable William Shakespeare’s Cleopatra lamented, “My salad days, when I was green in judgment,” and thereby coined the term to…

Tamales in Green Chile Sauce

We are jonesing for New Mexico right now.  Exactly 53 weeks ago, we got married in Taos.  Happily, it is hatch green chile season, so we are self-soothing with green chiles. Tamales originated as early as 8000 to 5000 BC.  Even before the Aztecs and Mayans, the Olmeca and the Totleca before them, made tamales for…

Green Chile Squared (Green Chile Chili)

Green chile lore suggests that cultivated chile peppers were introduced into what is now the United States in 1609 by Santa Fe’s founder, Captain General Juan de Onate. Alternatively,  other sources suggest that they were first introduced to the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico in 1582-1583 by the Antonio Espejo Expedition. Regardless of how they…

Pecan Streusel French Toast Casserole

According to Apicius, Pan Dulcis, a dish of bread soaked in milk, and sometimes eggs, and then fried in oil or butter existed as early as the age of the Roman Empire.   However, the modern dish that we know as French toast, got its name in 1724 from an innkeeper in Albany, New York named…

I Scream, You Scream

The exact origins of ice cream and its inventor(s) remain some of life’s great mysteries. Historically, it is known to have existed as far back as the second century B.C. Historians conjecture that sherbet evolved into ice cream during the 16th century, and it is documented that  Charles I regularly enjoyed “Cream Ice,”  during the…

Buttermilk Pecan Breakfast Cake

This recipe is adapted from the Tanyard Farm Buttermilk Cake recipe published by King Arthur Flour. Tanyard Farm, in West Hartford, Vermont, is an old-fashioned, family farm that includes Jersey cows, chickens, and pigs, and vegetables and flowers.  Although it no longer exists, it used to also have a bakery, where the original recipe was developed. Thanks…

Pecan Cobbler

Cobblers originated in the British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together. This recipe sounds weird when you read it, but it is extremely easy…

Peppery Roasted Almonds

  Internet is alive with a blog post and website extolling the virtues of eating almonds. If you could believe everything that you read, almonds can do everything from curing cancer to reversing heart disease.  The almond is a nutritionally dense food and a good source of riboflavin and niacin, vitamin E, and the essential minerals…

Erika’s Chocolate Chocolate Shortbread Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie. I hate corn syrup.  Most pecan pie recipes use the loathsome ingredient, an unholy union for sure, and that is a situation that we can no longer in good conscience tolerate. What is corn syrup?  It’s a tacky, syrupy substance made from corn starch and contains maltose and  higher oligosaccharides, depending on…