Foodie Friday: Copy Cat Cheddar Bay Biscuits

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Fresh from the oven!

 

I fell off of the blogging bandwagon for a few months. Sometimes sitting down and coming up with something compelling to write about felt like a daunting task.  I am hoping after this mini hiatus I can re-enter the blogging world, refreshed and full of excellent writing.

We shall see.

I figured the best way to restart would be with a food related post because who doesn’t like food?! I knew these copy cat biscuits were perfect to share with you all because they were tasty AND easy.

I made these for dinner the other night when I decided, at the last minute of course, that we needed biscuits. I opened up my  “quick breadsPinterest board and Copy-Cat Cheddar Bay Biscuits caught my eye. My husband and I never go to Red Lobster but both of us went there as children and have very fond memories of those biscuits. I knew these would be a perfect addition to our evening meal.

First things first, I gathered my ingredients. (This simple step prevents many kitchen meltdowns.) I discovered I had two problems. I only had about a tablespoon of butter and I didn’t have any buttermilk. Who does? Does anyone just keep buttermilk on hand? The only time I ever have it is when I purchase it for a specific reason.

Thankfully we live in the digital age so I headed over to Google to see what substitutions I could use. I found this article on popsugar.com about different butter substitutes. I really liked this article because it gives you several options and explains in what capacity they would best work. The recipe called for melted butter so I went with the canola oil suggestion.

The first few substitutes I found for buttermilk called for things I didn’t have. However, over on joythebaker.com I found another great article explaining what buttermilk is and what it does in a recipe. She also offers several different substitution options which I really appreciated. I happened to have cream of tarter on hand (weird, I know) so I followed her instructions and created some “buttermilk.”

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This is what the dough looks like when you are done combining everything. It is very sticky!!

 

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits turned out great. You should check out the Damned Delicious blog for other quick and easy recipes. If I hadn’t had to concoct ingredient substitutions prep time would have been less than 10 minutes. This would also be a great recipe to make with kids or even have them try it out on their own (except for the oven part).  The biscuits were cheesy, flaky, buttery deliciousness. I didn’t even put the extra butter and seasonings on top that the recipe called for.

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Flaky layers- exactly what you want.

 

I did put in the whole quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper. We like it hot in this house. It did give them quite a kick so if you aren’t into spicy stuff try just a pinch or leave it out all together. If you still want to get that smokey, peppery taste without the heat try some chili powder instead. Also, these are drop biscuits so the dough is quite a bit “wetter” than the dough you use for traditional cut biscuits. Don’t try to roll this out or you will have a mess on your hands!!

We are headed out to Western Kansas in a few days. I am hoping this rain moves on by then and we can finally see some sunshine. Have a great weekend everyone!

-Christy

 

 

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Foodie Friday: Simple Chicken and Rice

Quick, healthy, and delicious.

Quick, healthy, and delicious.

This time of year it seems like we are constantly “going”. Christmas shopping ,crafting, baking, card-sending; it all adds up to being extremely busy. Dinner is not another task I want to worry about.

Enter chicken and rice. Its the kind of meal you need this time of year. You throw it together and put in the oven. Oh, and it only uses ONE dish.

I am very familiar with the classic Campbell’s Chicken and Rice but I wanted to put my own spin on it. I also wanted something more on the natural and healthy side.

You can find the Pacific brand of condensed soups in almost any grocery store. I always purchase several whenever they are on sale. Same goes for their all natural chicken/beef/turkey stock. I found some turkey stock on sale the week before thanksgiving and loaded up. These are key ingredients that can be used in many things and using the all natural or organic means you aren’t consuming unnecessary preservatives or chemicals. They are great to have on hand at all times and they have a very long shelf life until opened.

Always gather your ingredients first.

Always gather your ingredients first.

Another way I like to stretch my dollar is switching out chicken breasts for chicken tights. I purchase all natural/free range/organic chicken whenever I can but those kind of chicken breasts can be very expensive.  That is where the thighs come in. They are considerably less expensive than the breast meat and when they go on sale I buy them in bulk. The best are the boneless and skinless thighs. They are much easier to eat, leaner and since they are dark meat you don’t need the skin to keep them from drying out.

Simple Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tights

1 cup long grain rice (I used brown basmati because that’s what I had on hand but any long grain rice will work.)

1 12 oz package Pacific Natural Foods Organic Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 cup stock low sodium (I would suggest turkey, chicken, or vegetable. If you are all out and don’t have time to hit the store water will work too!)

1 cup water

Salt

Pepper

Paprika (I like it so I used it and I used it a lot. If its not your thing then use less or just leave it out completely.)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Pour the rice, stock and water  into a large baking or casserole dish. Stir together. Sprinkle in seasonings.  Stir in half of the cream of mushroom soup.

On a different plate place the chicken thighs upside down and salt, pepper, and paprika. Place tights right side up onto of rice mixture. Season the top side with salt, pepper and paprika. Take the remaining soup and spread onto the tops of the chicken thighs.

Seasoning the thighs.

Seasoning the thighs.

Place in the oven. Let it bake for about 30 minutes and then check on the liquid levels. If it seems like the rice is close to soaking up all of the liquid add about 1/2 cup more water or stock and gently stir it in. It will take 50-60 minutes total to finish cooking.

This is what it should look like right before it goes in the oven.

This is what it should look like right before it goes in the oven.

Let the casserole sit for a few minutes to let all the liquids absorb before serving. This dish goes great with green beans or roasted brussel sprouts.

What is your favorite “go to” week night meal?

-Christy

 

 

 

Foodie Friday: Cranberry Citrus Muffins

CRANBERRY CITRUS MUFFINS

CRANBERRY CITRUS MUFFINS

The combination of cranberry and orange is timeless. The sweetness of the orange is the perfect balance to the tartness of the cranberry. I love cranberry orange bread, but I wanted something a little different. Also, muffins are much quicker in the morning than bread, so I came up with this recipe.

These muffins would be perfect for Christmas morning. The cranberries are a Christmas-like red and the citrus will help you wake up. These are perfect for making ahead of time and storing in a Ziploc bag. If you are making them more than a few days ahead you probably should freeze them to help maintain freshness.

You can use this recipe with no changes if you would rather have bread. You will probably have to bake it longer. Also, these are fairly tart muffins. If you don’t think you will like that you can decrease the amount of cranberries, cut them in half or increase the sugar to 1 full cup.

Cranberry Citrus Muffins

Yield: Approximately 12 standard size muffins

Wet Ingredients:

3 tbsp unsalted organic butter *Melted and cooled.

1 cup citrus juice. *I used 4 medium oranges and 1 small lemon. Use whatever mix you would like. Strain to remove seeds and pulp. If you are in a hurry you can purchase juice; just make sure its 100% juice no additives.

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg *Beat lightly before adding to other ingredients.

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp fine salt *If all you have is regular salt use even less. Test taste the batter if necessary.

Large pinch of ground cloves

8 oz pkg organic fresh cranberries.  * If using frozen, thaw and rinse.

Heat oven to 350. Grease muffins tins or loaf pan. Make sure to get a good coating on there.

Combine all dry ingredients except the cranberries into a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to blend everything together.

In a smaller bowl combine all wet ingredients. Use a whisk or a spoon to combine.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Make sure to stir while doing this. I found a spatula works great for this part. Blend everything together while making sure you do not over mix. Once the dry ingredients look wet its time to stop.

When it looks like this stop! Over stirring creates tough muffins.

When it looks like this stop! Over stirring creates tough muffins.

Fold in 1/2 of the cranberries. (You can use the other half for your next batch!)

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The cranberries are such a pretty addition.

 

Spoon batter into prepared  tins. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

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What do you all like to bake around Christmas time? I’d love to hear what your traditions are.

-Christy