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My Two Very Favorite Biscuit Recipes

 


There are two kinds of biscuits – ones that you put toppings on and ones that you don’t. As much as my husband would like to argue there is a third kind that comes in a can, he is wrong. This first recipe acts as a perfect vehicle for toppings – sausage gravy, salted butter and strawberry jam, maple cream (if you are so lucky), homemade apple butter, etc. In this case, I want a thick simple biscuit, served right out of the oven, split in half and slathered with whichever toppings I have on hand. In this case, the biscuit I want is my mother’s (which is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens).

Preheat oven to 450°. In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (you can do this in the food processor if you want). Make a well in the center; add milk all at once. Stir just till dough clings together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently for 10-12 strokes. Roll or pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (a drinking glass works great), dipping cutter into flour between cuts (my kiddos like shaped cookie cutters). Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet. Bake in a 450° oven for 9-11 minutes or until golden on the edges. Serve warm with butter and toppings. Makes 10.


This second biscuit recipe is the kind of thing I would want to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. If you were coming over to my house for an afternoon chat, or in need of a little extra love, I would make you these. They are buttery, salty, and crispy on the outside, and sweet and tender on the inside. They need absolutely no adornments – just eat them the way they are. They are little pillows of magic. We made two pans of these for Easter dinner this year. There wasn’t a single one left. You must eat these while still warm out of the oven. Fortunately, the prepped pan of biscuits freezes great. You can make them ahead of time and then bake when ready.

Note: This recipe is Rosa’s almost exactly except that I cut down the sugar a bit.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 24

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; plus 6 Tbsp. (¾ stick), melted
  • ¾ cup chilled buttermilk

 Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add chilled butter and toss to coat. Work butter into flour mixture with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with several pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
  • Using a fork, gently mix in buttermilk, then gently knead just until dough comes together (do not overmix).
  • Pinch off pieces of dough and gently roll into 1” balls; place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart (you should have about 24). If butter softens too much while you are working, chill dough until firm before baking, 15–20 minutes.
  • Bake biscuits until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with more salt (I use flaky sea salt). Serve warm.

    Recipe adapted from Rosa Pacheco, Del Posto, NYC, Photograph by Dustin Aksland – published in Bon Appetit, 2014

April 2015 Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper

Last year Tim wrote this about April –

April is a smile
a spark
an epiphany
a new dawn

These days are given to
the pranksters

the believers
the early risers
Bright mornings, bright ideas, bright souls
Because with every rain there’s a clearing
And a new sun to enjoy

Here is a “bright” new desktop for your computer and iphone. A toast to new “Growth.” Click the small thumbnail below to download the large sized file. For the iphone wallpaper, navigate to this page on your phone and then click and hold on the iphone images. Select ‘Save image to camera roll’. Then from your camera roll set your home screen/lock screen. Enjoy!

For iPhones:

iphone april
Click the thumbnail below to download the large sized desktop wallpaper:
april 2015 desktop

For a Laugh

In honor of the pranks of April Fool’s Day and the joy of Easter we put some comedy in our April paper Almanac that was out this month. Enjoy some jokes done in the manor of their famous archetypes below.

If you’d like to share some jokes that you know, post them in the comments.

KNOCK, KNOCK JOKES

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
To
To who?
It’s to whom.

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Control freak. Now YOU say control freak who.

PUNS
Did you hear about the short clairvoyant who escaped from prison?
She’s a small medium at large.

CHICKEN CROSSING ROAD
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it doesn’t recognize the roads existence.
Its behavior is instinctual and random.

TWIST
What’s blue and smells like red paint?
Blue paint.

WALKS INTO A BAR
A grasshopper walks into a bar. The barman looks at him and says,
‘Did you know there’s a drink named after you?’
‘Really?’ says the grasshopper. ‘There’s a drink called Jeremy?’

Spring Playlist: April Showers

This month is a great time to gather and listen to songs about rain. Wonderful music has been dedicated to these themes of storm clouds and pouring skies. Here’s a collection  featured for April.

For an even more expansive list check out Betony Coons’ spotify. It’s 35 + songs that were found by crowd-sourcing (posing the question on Facebook, “What are great songs involving rain”?)

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head • Burt Bacharach & B.J. Thomas
No Rain • Blind Melon
Singing in the Rain • Gene Kelly
Thunder Rolls • Garth Brooks
Little April Showers • from Bambi
Umbrella • Rihanna
Somewhere Over the Rainbow • Judy Garland
Riders on the Storm • The Doors
It Never Rains in Southern California • Albert Hammond & M. Hazelwood
Shelter From the Storm • Bob Dylan
November Rain • Guns N’ Roses
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
Holy Sunlight • Steve Doupolous

April Poetic Intro: BRIGHT

Our April theme appears here late, after a wondrous trip to Iceland. The Almanac this month hits on several themes: April Fool’s (we’re including some comedy here this month), Spring, and the celebration of Easter. This poem paints the themes in a esoteric fashion.

BRIGHT

April is a smile
a spark
an epiphany
a new dawn
These days are given to
the pranksters
the believers
the early risers
Bright mornings, bright ideas, bright souls
Because with every rain there’s a clearing
And a new sun to enjoy