Posted at 8:30 am
I remember a few years ago when everyone thought biscuits were made only by a few great Southern cooks. And then the biscuit was rediscovered! Biscuits started appearing on the covers of trendy food magazines, articles were written about the perfect biscuit and recipes using biscuits in new creative ways started turning up in cookbooks and restaurants all over the country. During the biscuit downtime, though, I can tell you a lot of folks were still making biscuits.
In my opinion, claiming to have the “perfect” biscuit recipe may be a bit over-reaching. There are as many good biscuit recipes as there are good biscuit makers. Some like light fluffy biscuits, others prefer flaky and crispy with variations all in between. To me – I say the perfect biscuit is the one you like!
Nashville seems to be a popular location for restaurants serving biscuits in amazingly different ways from sandwiches to desserts! Thankfully, all this attention is inspiring young cooks to learn the art of the biscuit.
Fortunately for those biscuit lovers who prefer or have to eat gluten-free, Martha White® has recently introduced a Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuit Mix! The mix makes crisp drop biscuits – another delicious biscuit version. The package suggests several variations achieved by adding a couple of ingredients to the dough. Now you can create your own signature biscuits – gluten-free or not!
Here is a delicious recipe for Zucchini Cheese Drop Biscuits. A good use of that zucchini from your garden. If you prefer to use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt.
Posted at 9:00 am
Some of my fondest childhood memories are the ones I spent in the kitchen with my mother. She was always willing to let me help even when it would have been faster and easier for her to do it herself.
If you’re looking for a great summer project to do with your kids or grandchildren – try a cooking class for kids! Cooking classes are both fun and educational. When kids are young they often want to help in the kitchen, so take advantage of the opportunity to help them develop basic cooking & baking skills.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Select age-appropriate recipes. For young children, you’ll want to start with something quick and easy like a muffin mix. At this level, coordination is probably the best lesson. As skills develop, they can attempt recipes with more ingredients and instructions.
- Cleanliness should always be a part of the lesson. Encourage the importance of washing hands.
- Use a work surface that’s a good height for all involved. Consider using a table instead of the countertop.
- Be prepared for a little mess when working with kids. To help make cleanup easier, have kids work on a baking sheet or tray. They can assemble everything needed for the recipe – ingredients, bowls, utensils and measuring cups right on the tray. Spills will end up on the tray instead of the floor.
- Unbreakable bowls and utensils are a safe choice for younger cooks and will also allow them to help with the cleanup.
- Don’t forget to reward your helper(s)! A little praise and a delicious treat go a long way and will be greatly appreciated.
After mastering the basics, move on to a fun recipe, like Quick and Easy PB&J Muffins.
What’s your favorite recipe to make with kids?
Posted at 11:31 am
Oh how we loved my mother’s fried corn in the summer! I wish I knew how many ears she shucked, cut off the cob, scraped and cooked over the years. She would cut the corn off the cob in a big pan sitting on the porch, so the milk from the corn kernels didn’t splatter all over the kitchen. The fresh vegetable dinners she cooked in the summer almost always included a big bowl of fried corn, and of course, cornbread!
Long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, corn was cultivated by Native Americans and used for everything from food to medicinal purposes. Corn is a favorite all over the country, but the South has made corn our own. Traditionally, corn was easier to grow than wheat on the small farms of Appalachia and the mid-south. As a result, corn became a staple in the Southern diet – eaten fresh on the cob, fried, dried and ground into corn meal and grits, or used as an ingredient in many of our favorite recipes.
We like corn so much that we often combine it with cornbread. I’m open-minded about anything made with corn meal and Fresh Corn Fritters are delicious. They are made with Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix, fresh corn kernels and bacon. These make such a fun appetizer. They also taste great dipped in ranch dressing!
What’s your favorite corn for frying and what tips do you have to create the best fried corn?
Posted at 9:30 am
If you live in the city, a family day in the country may be exactly what you need. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily city life could give your family a new perspective on spending time together. Visit a farm, spend the day at a lake or take a hike in the woods. All of these options could make for great family togetherness. Even if you live in the country, spending a relaxing day at a favorite location will be a day to remember.
A day to relax should not be complicated. Plans should be flexible. Preparing a simple picnic lunch will eliminate the need to find a place to eat and give you a chance to spread out a quilt and listen to nature.
Involving the family in plans and preparation will heighten the anticipation. Let the kids help bake some cookies and/or plan the picnic menu. Make a list of all necessary items. Remember to pack paper plates, napkins, garbage bags for clean-up, hand sanitizer, insect repellent and sunscreen. Don’t forget the cooler with ice for drinks and foods that need to stay cool.
Easy Cowboy Cookies
Martha White® Muffin Mixes come in handy for easy treats. Here is a trio of cookies made with Martha White Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix that are so easy the kids will love to help you make them:
Do you have ideas for great day trips that you have experienced with your family?
Chocolate Chip Muffin Cookies
Posted at 10:00 am
I grew up eating a variety of fresh vegetables all summer long. My mother cooked a big meal in the middle of the day and I looked forward to dinner time. My family was lucky enough to live in a north Alabama farming county where a wide variety of fresh produce was readily available.
Cornbread was the only thing absolutely necessary at dinner time! My mother used Martha White® Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix and a recipe similar to this one for Southern Cornbread. The only difference is that she heated the shortening in the skillet and poured it into the batter. The finished product was thin and moist with a very crisp crust.
The perfect cornbread is the one you love. To me, the cornbread extremes are an unsweetened cornbread made with white corn meal and a soft sweet cornbread made with yellow corn meal and a touch of flour.
If you are still looking for your favorite cornbread recipe, my advice is find someone who makes cornbread you love and ask them to teach you how to make it! Of course, cornbread mixes are a good option, too. Martha White even has a Gluten Free Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix if you are gluten free.
Cornbread tip: dry cornbread usually indicates the batter was too thick. Most basic cornbread recipes suggest that the batter should be thin and pourable – about the consistency of pancake batter.