Biscuits and Gravy……

As most of you know, Friday is Cupcake Friday in my office. I thought I would change it up this week and decided to make biscuits and gravy. I made some homemade buttermilk biscuits……….m-m-m-m-m-m……and sausage milk gravy. My daughter and I were just talking about comfort food last night. This is THE comfort food. Nothing like a hot flaky biscuit right out of the oven, split open and smeared with a little butter and maybe some jam….or just butter. It’s such a pretty sight. 🙂 I tested it out last night when I took the tray of biscuits out of the oven and one happened to fall into my hand and split open. Then it fell into the butter. I hate when that happens. Leaves you with no choice but to eat it. Yep, that’s what happened. So good.
Happy Friday everyone.

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Biscuits and Gravy

 Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 deg. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and mix it with a fork until you have large course crumbs. Slowy add the buttermilk, just till combined. DON’T OVER MIX. Dump it onto a floured work surface and just gently knead a couple of times. You do NOT want a tough biscuit! Pat it down into a 1” thickness and cut circles with a glass rim or cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Makes 6 biscuits

Gravy

1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper

It’s hard to give exact measurements when making gravy….but this is close.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. On medium heat, in the pan drippings (sausage grease), add the flour and with a fork or whisk, stir till it becomes a paste. Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk until you have a smooth gravy. If its too thick, add more milk. If its too thin, just mix a little more flour into a small amount of milk and add it to your gravy. Once you have a nice smooth mixture of gravy, add the sausage that you had set aside. Stir. Add salt and lots of black pepper.

Note: This is excellent made with bacon instead of sausage. Just fry chopped pieces of bacon, remove from pan drippings. Make your gravy as I explained above, then pour it over your biscuits. Sprinkle with the fried bacon bits.

 

 

Not your mama’s meatloaf…………

Do you like meatloaf? Remember the meatloaf your mom made with the ketchup on top? I always thought my mom’s meatloaf was dry. But I loved a meatloaf samich the next day on white bread with just some mayo. It is still one of my favorite samiches. Well the meatloaf I make is not like any meatloaf my mom ever made. My sister gave me this recipe years ago. Everyone I have ever made it for has gone nuts. In a good way. 🙂
It isn’t the least bit bready or dry. In fact it hardly stays together because it is so juicy and oozy goozy with cheese. Super easy too. I suppose if you want, you could use ground turkey. But I have never tried it that way. I’m sure it would work well though. What really makes this meatloaf unusual is the cheese. I cut it into cubes and mix it in with the rest of the ingredients. You poke it all in so you don’t see the cheese when you form it into your loaf. Then once cooked and sliced, the cheese is all oozing and melty. The next day you slice it, slightly pan fry it and put it on some of your favorite bread or a bun, FANTASTIC!! (Picture of the samich tomorrow)
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The Best Meatloaf

1  1/2 lbs of ground beef
1 small onion, minced
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1  8oz block of Monterey jack cheese
1  pkg Lipton onion soup mix
small piece of bell pepper, minced (optional. I don’t use it because it makes me burp)
1  tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

3 slices of bread
1 egg
enough milk to soak the bread in so its wet (approx. 1/4 cup)

Preheat your oven to 350. In a big ol bowl, break up your bread slices and add the milk and egg. Squish it all until it gets all mooshy (technical baking term). Add the ground beef, onion, cream of mushroom soup, garlic powder salt and pepper. Add the cubes of cheese. mix it all up without breaking the cheese cubes. Dump it in a 9 x 11 baking dish and form it into a loaf. Sprinkle half of the Lipton soup mix on top of the loaf. If you like things SALTY, use the whole packet. Place your pan in the oven for 1 hour….maybe an hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let it set for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with mashed potatoes. So yummy.

 

A little bit of WACKY WACKY is good……

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Wacky is good…..everyone likes a little wacky. Especially when it’s in the form of cake!! Wacky Cake!! Otherwise known as Crazy Cake, Depression Cake. It’s my favorite chocolate cake ever. This is the most moist cake you will ever eat, seriously. I grew up on this cake. My mom made it all the time. It’s known as the Depression cake because back during the depression, ingredients were scarce…especially eggs. So the story goes anyway. Whatever! All that matters is that it is a great cake, easy mix in the baking pan….dairy free…egg free cake. Most people don’t even frost it. I don’t. It’s so moist that when you cut a piece and pick it up with your fingers, it’s all gooey and crumbs cling to your fingers. Yup, Yup……I can’t say enough about it….obviously. I’m rambling. I gave a couple slices to some coworkers at the office this morning and I heard some moaning going on. They love it too!!! So super simple. Make it today! OH, I made the non chocolate version the otber night and that was good too. 

Wacky Cake 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. In a square 8×8 baking dish, put all the dry ingredients. Add the oil, vinegar and the water. Stir it up, but don’t over mix. Everyone over mixes…….GEESH. don’t do it.
Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until you poke a toothpick in it and it comes out clean. Let it cool completely.

How easy is that!

Duffins…..is it a donut…is it a muffin???

So this yummy little morsel is a cross between a cake donut and a muffin. Great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. You can frost them with a lemon glaze like I did here, or a plain sugar glaze or a chocolate glaze, or rolled in cinnamon sugar like I did here. I mean, seriously…..the possibilities are endless! They are easy to just pop in your mouth and chomp, chomp. Ohhhhh, so good. I took them to the office today. They were quite a happy bunch of people. I like filling up a little white paper bag with these for a little gift with a coffee mug. I mean, who wouldn’t like to get that as a little gift!! Or take a plate into the office like I did. Your coworkers will be HAPPY!
Try these soon, they will be a hit….I promise.

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Donut Muffins (Duffins)

1/4 C butter, room temperature
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1  1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2  2/3 C flour
1 C milk, I use buttermilk just because I prefer it in baking
1 tsp. orange zest, lemon zest, lime zest (optional….I love these with orange zest. My personal favorite)
Glaze
2 Tblsp butter, melted
1 C powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tblsp hot water
1 Tblsp lemon, orange or lime juice
Combine the glaze ingredients and stir until smooth.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
Mix, mix.
Preheat oven to 390. By hand, mix the dry ingredients  together and set aside. Spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter, oil and sugars by hand with a wooden spoon. Add eggs and vanilla. Add half the milk. Stir. Add half of the dry mixture. Gently fold with a spatula. Add the other half of the milk and don’t overmix. Add any zests at this time. Add remaining dry ingredients and gently fold. DO NOT GO CRAZY AND OVER MIX!!! SERIOUSLY..DO NOT. If you do, your mixture will explode all over the place and make a huge mess. JUST KIDDING!! nothing will explode. you will just have yucky duffins. No one likes yucky duffins. 🙂
Fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan around and bake another 4 minutes. Check for doneness with at toothpick, not your finger. I mean, who does that!! let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from pan, dip them in the glaze. Allow the glaze to set up. Don’t be in a hurry to shove them in your mouth.
If you are going to roll them in the cinnamon sugar mix, brush the tops with butter first then roll. Makes about 3 dozen, if you don’t spill some of your batter…oops.

 

Chicken is good…..

It’s not a very good idea to roast chicken in a hot iron skillet when it’s almost 90 degrees out. But hey, I wanted chicken and I had a specific chicken dish in mind. So, I cranked up the AC and made my chicken. Stuffed, roasted chicken. Stuffed with a mixture of blue cheese salad dressing (also great with Ranch dressing), cream cheese and Cheddar cheese. I usually do this with chicken breasts, but since I prefer dark meat, I used a leg thigh quarter. It was a little hard to stuff……hahahaha, but hey, I managed. The filling was oozing out, all bubbly and hot. I love cooking in a cast iron skillet.  The chicken was crispy and juicy on the inside. It’s an excellent dish when you have guests coming to dinner! I mean, who doesn’t like chicken?? ok, well I do know one person.

I served this with mashed red  potatoes and pan roasted brussel sprouts.  I poured some of the pan juices on my potatoes and DEELICIOUS. You have to try this dish.

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Pan Roasted Stuffed Chicken

for 2 Chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2  oz cream cheese
salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix together the cheeses and salad dressing. Rub salt and pepper into the chicken skin. You can stuff the chicken 2 ways……under the skin or by making a slit into the center of the chicken and putting the stuffing there. Don’t try to over stuff. You can always add more stuffing about 10 minutes before removing from oven. Place chicken in a cast iron skillet or a roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour at 390 degrees. About 5 minutes before removing from oven, add 2 tablespoons of butter into the roasting pan. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite potatoes and veggie…..or rice! yes, rice would be good too. M-m-mm-m-mmm.