Thursday, January 29, 2009

Worth the time!

Let me tell you, with four little ones (and the tiredness that comes from that 5th pregnancy) I am all about convenience.

Now, obviously, I try to have a balance. I don't want to feed my family a bunch of JUNK, all processed to there and back, everything out of a box, etc. That would be....well...gross.

Then again, I will pull out a box of mac-n-cheese as quick as the next gal - not for every lunch, but often enough.

Yet there are some things that a box simply can't replicate. Take biscuits. We all have those baking mixes that come in the big ol' yellow boxes. They make like simpler - they save us time.

They are *not* the same as homemade.

I made biscuits & sausage gravy the other night for dinner. I had just enough biscuit mix left in that yellow box for one batch. I don't use it all that often, and we're trying to use up stuff in the pantry (that stuff that gets lost in the back of all our *normal* pantry items). So I mixed it up - easy as pie - and we had your basic meal.

It was fine.

Today, I came across a recipe for homemade biscuits. It was Alton Brown's "Good Eats" recipe. Well............I HAD to try it ~ it's Alton Brown. That man rocks!! (good thing my dh thinks so too!).

Yes, I had to "cut in" butter & shortening. If you are anything like me, that is just the WORST part. I'm not sure why, but I hate that part. So I mixed the dry ingredients, cut in the butter & shortening, stirred in the know, made biscuits!

The recipe said to cook them until they were golden brown - not even an estimate of time. Ugh. Hello??? Doesn't this man know as soon as I close the oven door, I have already forgotten what just went in, and have moved onto the next momma-task?!?!

Yet, I was able to keep an eye on them (like 20 min worth, hello?! Yet I *did* open the oven door often, checking on 'em) - even while reheating leftovers, pouring drinks, changing a diaper and tucking a child into bed. (yes, I even amaze myself sometimes)

They were EXCELLENT!

I'm sitting here right now, devouring one with a big ol' slab of butter melting everywhere. I'm thinking how much better my sausage gravy would have tasted on *these* biscuits. I'm thinking why I even *bother* with stupid mixes anyway.......

Oh ya.......cause I have a ga-gillion other things that need my attention around here. Oh ya.......*that*!

Good Eats Biscuits

*Mix together dry ingredients*
4c. flour
2Tbl. + 2tsp. baking powder
1/2tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt

*Cut in*
2 oz. butter (1/2 stick)
4 oz. shortening (I used 8Tbl. butter flavored Crisco)

*Make a well, and add*
2c. buttermilk (I made up some milk+lemon juice beforehand = 2Tbl. lemon juice + enough milk to equal 2 cups)

Stir just until mixed. Knead slightly, just a few times, being gentle.
Pat down to about 1/2-3/4 of an inch - then cut with biscuit cutter (or a glass like I did).
Put on greased baking sheet (I used a deep dish baking stone), making sure biscuits are slightly touching. Push down slightly on each biscuits, making an indentation with your thumb in the center (I forgot to do the thumb thing - both batches...duh).

Bake at 400* until golden brown - umm, for me that was like 20 min. - but I *did* open the oven door quite a bit during that process, so your time may be less. Just watch 'em like a hawk the first time and you'll be fine.

It said to let them cool for 10 min. before serving. In fact, I just let them rest IN THE BAKING DISH for 10 min. before I even tried to extract them from the pan. Worked like a charm!!

Slather with butter, or honey, or jam, or whatever............and enjoy!!
But don't say I didn't warn you ~ these just may be worth the "cutting in butter" process!!

p.s Thanks to Michigan Mommy of Many who posted this recipe for all to know about!!


Morgan said...

I might have to give homemade biscuits a try! I just bought a big pottery bowl today to make dough in, so I'm ready to do some cooking! Thanks for sharing the recipe. said...

i love AB too! you can mix up that dry mix ahead of time and put it in a baggie (i'd make a few baggies worth if i were you) and write on there what's still needed (the butter/shortening/buttermilk) and the rest is probably easy enough to remember (but i know pregnant brain has holes that let all sorts of things fall out) that way it's just as easy as the boxed mix but tastes better. and i use gloves (like medical gloves) so my hands don't feel so gross.
i have several recipes for things that "freeze beautifully" if you're interested - make a few up on a day when you feel ok and stash in the freezer for a day when you feel like the goo on the bottom of a shoe.

*Michigan Momma* said...

I would *love* to have a nicely stocked freezer before this baby arrives ~ and seeing the ticker up there, I don't have much time to fit it in!!

So please, share your recipes. I'm going to be with my own Momma this next week - maybe we can get some stuff in the freezer then. Otherwise, I'm on my own, seeing as how my poor dh is just *so* busy in the weeks before this little one arrives...

So yes, share~
You can email me with ol' EMAIL ME button in my sidebar. Thanks so much~

Jessica D. said...

I'm glad i'm not the only momma who makes biscuits and gravy for dinner. Had it tonight! lol!

I'm following you blog.

*Michigan Momma* said...

Hey Jessica ~ nice to "see" ya here! I'm checking out your blog as soon as I get a chance (more difficult when Dean is in San Diego at a conference, as I'm sure you know!).

I like you bloggy background - I wish I could figure out how to customize mine more. Do you do yours yourself??