Tag Archives: biscuits

Cornmeal drop biscuits

Another glorious Minnesota weekend is almost upon us. It’s been one of those amazing warm in the sun, but ooh a hint of chill in the shade days that I love so much. The weather is about as perfect as it gets up here. Everyone else must think so too, cause we’re about to have visitors galore in the coming weeks. And. I. Can’t. Wait.

I mean not only do I get to share my love for this place with visitors, but I get to put off some of those pesky outdoor chores. (Oh stinging nettles, you’ve earned a brief reprieve, but don’t ease on your vigilance, I’ma comin’ for you.) And I have to admit, it’s nice to have a chance to avoid thinking about that garden. With the super late spring we had up here, I had to resign myself to the fact that tomatoes, peppers, and corn just weren’t happening. But I still have oodles of squash and cucumber to console myself with.

I’m also a little obsessed with landscaping right now (oh how the fickle mind will wander). When visiting the cities last weekend, my dad gave me four shrubs that had been living in pots but were yearning for the ground. And yeah, I found the perfect spot, and yeah, they look amazing. That and the irises and lilies are all a-bloom. Perennials and shrubbery, we’re about to become BFF.

And really, who wouldn’t want to put off pesky outdoor chores when it means you get to wander around and see stuff like this?

WednesdayWildlife from thePenandthePan-5

This little lady came for a visit this week to lay her eggs. And thank you Internet, I’ve learned that painted turtle eggs take the whole of the summer to hatch and then the wee things go right into hibernation. But Himself, consummate animal lover, marked off where she laid the eggs, so that we a) won’t disturb them all summer and b) get to spy the wee things out next spring. See, I think I found my own little corner of paradise here.

Ooof, but I do worry that you get tired of me nattering on about how much I love this place, so let’s move on to the recipe. Looking for a quick biscuit to round out your meal? Once again, I’ve come to your rescue! Ok, ok, maybe not rescue, but I do have a right awesome biscuit for you to try. These are just light enough to melt in your mouth, but still have a wee bit of toothiness from the cornmeal. I know you’re looking at the recipe now and thinking, “Really? Sugar? In a biscuit?” In a word, yes. You don’t end up with a sweet biscuit at all, but it does let that delicious cornmeal sing it’s own praises. As you’ll be singing mine, right?


Cornmeal drop biscuits from thePenandthePan

Cornmeal drop biscuits

Adapted from the Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
scant ¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add butter and using a pastry blender, fork, or your hands, mix together until you have something resembling coarse sand. Add milk and mix just until blended. Do not overmix.

Drop biscuit mixture by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425° for 15 – 18 minutes or until just browned on top.


BBQ chicken pockets

You guys! Guess who went and got herself a new job?! A perfect job for her, if she does say so. That’s right, I’m going to be doing communications for one of the local school districts. Imagine that, me, getting to write All. The. Time. And, I get to start right away! So that means I am about to be one busy little bee. I had a bunch of wee projects I wanted to get done before the month was out (eeek! where has the time gone?!). So now, the mad scramble to get those done, and to get ready for a job that will actually take me out of the house!

One of those projects I’ve been working on is organizing all those recipe clippings. It isn’t pretty, but it’s getting to be pretty functional. Which is making me right happy. Number one, I hauled all these clippings during the move, so I really do need to do something with them. But number two, it’s fun to get re-inspired by the recipes again. And I could use a little inspiration, since I seem to be a little overwhelmed with my interweb inspirations. I’ve been avoiding my Pinterest boards and avoiding pinning anything new. There’s. Just. So. Much. There. Looks like one of my belated resolutions is going to have to be to cook my way through my boards. Well anyway, I’ll save that for another day. Today, I’m just happy to have made a dent in all those clippings.

Now the recipe I have for you is a tried and true favorite and is all about comfort. Similar to the chicken, spinach, and artichoke pockets, you could certainly make these with homemade biscuits. But in my mind, this comfort food should be quick, so I opted to stick with the refrigerated biscuits. You’ll note a stress on the sharp cheddar cheese there too. You’re going to want that to balance the sweet of the BBQ. Throw in the tartness of the green chilies and bite of the red onion, and you’ve got an easy meal that can’t be beat!


BBQ chicken pockets

BBQ chicken pockets

Adapted from my chicken, spinach and artichoke pockets

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons roasted green chilies
⅓ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package (8 count) refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, red onion, and green chilies. Add BBQ sauce and mix well. Mix in cheddar cheese.

Pat or roll out each biscuit until about double in size. Add filling to one half of circle and fold biscuit over. Pinch edges shut with a fork and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake pockets 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken, spinach, and artichoke pockets

I want to warn you guys, in the near future you may just find yourself inundated with egg recipes – quiches, frittatas, french toast, omelets you name it. You may find yourself asking, “Hey lady, when are you planning on getting off that train to Obsession Town?” It’s true, I love eggs, but more importantly, it’s because Himself is going to go pick up some chickens tomorrow. We found ourselves with a deal we just couldn’t refuse – five chickens and a coop. We may already have a chicken coop attached to the barn, but I’m 100% certain that Himself will use the new one and find a way to combine the two into some sort of chicken castle or biddy bungalow.

Having a plethora of eggs on hand will also be an awesome excuse to break in my new (to me) ice cream maker. Who cares if blustery cold is just around the corner, it’s homemade ice cream! I’m getting a little a head of myself here. But, this gal is excited. Yeah, I know, now you just can’t help thinking that I may be the weirdest. But you know what? I’m ok with that.

So let’s talk a little about this recipe. Fancy, it ain’t, but easy, quick and comforting, well it’s all wrapped up here in this nice little pocket. Were you so inclined, you could totally make these biscuits from scratch, and get just a little bit fancier. Leftover rotisserie chicken would be pretty awesome in this recipe, but when I bake chicken, I tend to make a little extra, and keep it in the freezer. It makes my life so much easier, and who can’t get behind that. However you go, this meal is perfect for any busy night, we’re talking spinach artichoke dip marries chicken in a delicious, portable pocket.


Chicken artichoke spinach pockets

Chicken, spinach, and artichoke pockets

2 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup onions, chopped
¼ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup spinach, packed tightly
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
3 oz cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup mozzarella cheese
Jumbo refrigerated biscuits – 8 count package

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter, in medium skillet. Saute onions in butter just until translucent, add spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook until spinach has wilted. Add chicken, cream cheese, and garlic. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until cream cheese has melted. Cool slightly. Stir in mozzarella when cooled.

Separate refrigerated biscuits. Pat or roll each biscuit until almost twice the original size. Fill one half of biscuit with filling, fold in half, and crimp edges with fork. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

4 servings (2 pockets each)
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes

Jammy muffins

We’ve had the most beautiful string of fall days lately. Weather like this just reinforces to me why we moved up here. Even on the cool, rainy days that crisp, fresh smell in the air makes me so happy. Those days are perfect for staying in your pj’s all the live long day, curling up with a cup of tea, a good book, and one of these jammy muffins.

These muffins are adapted from an old cookbook of my mom’s, the Sleepy Eye Municipal Hospital Cookbook. Sleepy Eye? Yes Virginia, there is a Sleepy Eye. “What the heck am I talking about?, you must be wondering.” Well, it’s a phrase I remember seeing plastered all over a billboard when we would visit my Aunt Verna’s Farm. So, anyway, enough with the digressing. Over the years, I’ve been amassing quite a collection of old cookbooks. There are some seriously weird recipes in these things, like olives paired with jello or peanut butter and ketchup. Gross or not, I am strangely fascinated by it, so the collection keeps growing. And then there’s the occasional winner like these jam muffins. A few updates and voila! These muffins are like a cross between a biscuit and a muffin. The muffin itself is barely sweetened, but the jam makes up for it.

The recipe says mix just until moistened, and it means it. If you over mix, the batter will get sticky to handle. It’ll still taste ok, but be hard to get into the muffin tins. You’re going to have to get your hands dirty to form these muffins. Don’t even worry about it, you see, the reason I know this, you guessed it, I was once guilty of over-mixing too (and chalk me up for guilty of using up all your commas there too).

The beauty of this recipe is that you get to put some creativity into play. Mix and match the flavors of the jams and extracts. I made two different kinds here for you – lemon extract paired with blueberry jam and then plum jam and almond extract. Yum! It’s a small recipe, just 12 mini muffins per batch, but is completely scale-able.

Speaking of yum, this girl has got to dash. I’m off to buy G’ma and I some sandwich loaf from the Sunrise Deli. If you never had sandwich loaf, this is the place to get it from. And don’t worry, if you’re not in the beautiful, chilly north, I’m working on scaling down a sandwich loaf recipe just for you.


Jammy muffins

Jammy muffins

Adapted from the Sleepy Eye Municipal Hospital Cookbook

1 ¾ cup flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾ cup milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons extract – pair with the jam
Favorite jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line mini muffin pan with baking cups or lightly grease tins. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients, including sugar.

In another bowl, beat egg. Add milk, then melted butter, and finally extract of choice. Make a hollow in center of flour mixture; then add milk mixture. Stir only until moistened. Fill muffin tins just ½ full. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam on top of batter. Add just enough batter to cover jam.

Bake muffins about 17 – 19 minutes, until tops are golden.

Makes about 12 mini muffins.

Blue cheese biscuits from How Sweet It Is

Hello my favorite internet friends! It feels like I went and disappeared on you again. I’ll be candid here, this girl is having a hard time getting herself a schedule. And if you know me, well, you know I have a hard time operating without a schedule. You see the thing is, I went and thought that I was super woman. Move across the state, no big, I mean I’ve moved before. Oh wait a minute, I’ve moved into apartments before, or maybe some sort of shared housing. This here is the very first house I ever bought. Luckily it’s a really fantastic house! But you guys understand right? Or at least forgive me for the sporadic posts and iPhone pictures? We may be off to a slightly rocky start (the blog that is), but I sure think it’s going to be worth it.

Himself and I both started our new jobs last week too. We’re just as busy as bees! You know what’s cool though? After a day of hard work, there’s a nice little hot tub for me to relax in. A hot tub that overlooks nothing but woods and grasslands. I’m telling you, rural life can be rough…

It wasn’t all hard work around here though, last week we took a wee road trip on over to Bemidji, with a stop at Cass Lake, because, why not?

When the heat finally broke here, it broke with a vengeance. It was a bit of a chilly, grey day, but welcome all the same. Check out this lovely view of the lake.

20130905-154940.jpgIt’s not all house stuff and excuses today though, I want to share one of my very favorite biscuit recipes with you. The recipe comes from Jessica over at How Sweet It Is, one of my very favorite food blogs. Check it out, I’ll wait.

Are you back? Um, this is weird, but I think you’re salivating a little. It’s cool, that happens to me when  I look at her stuff too. I mean those pictures alone!

Anyway, this here biscuit recipe is amazing. The bleu cheese version is, without a doubt, my favorite. But what I really love about this recipe is that it’s super adaptable. It’s a sad, sad day, but my fridge is completely empty of bleu cheese. What I do have, is some sharp white cheddar. Add to that a good shake of one of my favorite Penzey’s spices – Fox Point , and you’ve got one tasty biscuit! The only other change I made was to increase the amount of milk to make a drop biscuit, rather than cut out the biscuits. The recipe makes 20 biscuits, but not to worry, you are going to gobble these up! I also like to keep some in the freezer. They’re super forgiving, you can thaw them and reheat in the oven easily.


Blue Cheese Biscuits from Jessica at How Sweet It Is Sharp cheddar biscuits.jpg

Blue Cheese Biscuits

makes about 20 round biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese (or your favorite blue), crumbled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, and whisk until combined. Using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, add butter pieces to the flour and mix until coarse little crumbles remain. Add in crumbled gorgonzola. Pour in milk and stir with a spoon until just combined, not overmixing. Use your hands if needed to bring the dough together – I did.

Use a 1/4 cup measure to drop batter onto a nonstick baking sheet, or press dough on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board, then using a biscuit cutter to shape the dough into rounds. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

Blueberry basil scones

I’m a big fan of basil. Big.

Since moving dates have been a little up in the air this growing season, I thought, “Why not herbs?” I mean, they’re easy to grow, easier to harvest, I can freeze or dry them, and best of all, they look awfully pretty in the garden.Blueberry Basil Scones

A good idea, right? Well yes, until you find basil overflowing the garden, the freezer, and even my countertops. I’ve had basil on pizza and pasta, of course, but mixing it with sweet berries was new to me. New, but soon to be an old habit, because this is amazing, my friends.

The sweet and the savory come together in a perfect mix. The scone dough is courtesy of Marian Heinz, who gifted me with the perfect recipe. It is a little sticky coming together. Be patient, it’s well worth it. I’ve found the best way to make scones is to sandwich the dough between two pieces of well floured parchment paper and then cut into desired shapes. So do this, do it now.

Simple Scones

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar (to bring it to the next level, try vanilla sugar. I’ve got a jar going, that I just keep replacing with fresh white sugar.)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) cold butter
1-½ cup blueberries dried
¼ c basil, loosely packed
½ cup half and half
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400º. Chiffonade basil and set aside.

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter. When making scones and biscuits, I like to freeze my butter first and then grate it into the flour mixture with a cheese grater. At this point, I like to just stick my hands and mix away. You can be more civilized, a pastry cutter works well too.

Add blueberries and basil to the flour and butter mixture. It will coat the pieces so that they don’t all stick together.

Whisk together half and half and enough yogurt to make ¾ cup of liquid. Beat in egg. Add to dry ingredients, mixing just enough to incorporate.

Transfer dough to floured surface, adding more flour if too sticky. Pat out to desired thickness and cut into rounds or wedges.

Bake at 400º for about 15-18 minutes or until just lightly browned.


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