Quick Cheesy Drop Biscuits

cheesy tender delicious biscuits

Here’s a really good recipe to make – it’s a basic drop biscuit recipe but I’ve thrown in some old cheddar and a little garlic powder.  So, if you want plain biscuits, take those two items out. It’s a big recipe – I made small biscuits here (for a potluck) and I got about 45 biscuits (about 3 inch diameter after baking).  Alternatively, you may want big, fat drop biscuit and you can go right ahead. Adjust your baking times accordingly. These are fast and so easy.

Quick Cheesy Drop Biscuits

makes about 20 large or 40 mini biscuits

2 eggs

4Tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp melted butter

 

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups shredded old cheddar

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

 

*additional melted butter to brush on tops

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Mix 1 cup of the milk with the eggs and sugar until combined.

Add the remaining cup of milk and melted butter.

Mix dry ingredients together, stirring in shredded cheese and  garlic powder.   Add to milk mixture.  Stir until just combined. Dough should be wet and sticky.

Drop blobs of dough on baking sheets. Bake 7-10 minutes for small, 12-15 minutes for large or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Brush with

melted butter, if desired. Cool slightly, these are best enjoyed warm.

mix wet ingredients, add cheese to flour mixture, then combine

mix cheese in with flour mixture

mix until just combined. Dough will be sticky.

drop blobs on baking sheet. Small or large, you decide.

bake until bottoms are browned and tops bounce back when pressed with a finger

brush tops with melted butter if desired.

these are awesome with soup or stew or on their own

 

 

 

 

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Deep Dish Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Deep Dish Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

the insides....yum

These are fun to make – everyone loves these, and they taste so much better than the ones you buy – a real treat.  I would use a milk chocolate or if you want it darker than that – maybe a chocolate around 55-60% at the most. Give them a try — easy, but there are a few steps involved.

Deep Dish Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

from Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen

makes 8  large treats

8 muffin liners

8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp pure vanilla

1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg

Directions:

Place muffin liners in muffin tin. (this recipe uses regular sized muffin liners).

In a heatproof bowl over a pot with about an inch of boiling water, place chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally until fully melted. Turn off heat.  Using a small pastry brush, and holding the muffin liner steady, paint the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the liner with chocolate.  Place pan in refrigerator until chocolate has hardened.

Place peanut butter and cream cheese in processor and process until smooth. Scrape down sides and add honey, vanilla and grated nutmeg. Remove chocolate cups from fridge and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut butter filling into each cup.  Smooth top of filling to make level. Place back in fridge to firm up, abotu 15 minutes.

Reheat your leftover chocolate over hot water until melted again. Spoon chocolate over top of your chilled peanut butter filling, sealing the edges.  Refrigerate again until firm. To serve, peel off liners. Enjoy. Keep refrigerated, but they taste best if you let them warm up a bit (10 minutes or so) before serving.

melt chocolate in heatproof bowl over an inch of simmering water

Mix up peanut butter filling with cream cheese in processor. Add other ingredients.

paint insides of muffin liners with chocolate, about 2/3 of the way up the sides. Let harden.

place filling into cups, leveling it. Place back in fridge to firm up.

Spoon remaining chocolate over filling to seal edges. Back in the fridge to harden.

Yum

Santa likes these.

Old Fashioned Carrot Bread (with Gluten-Free option)

Old Fashioned Carrot Bread

When I saw this recipe in an older cookbook that was discussing the history of Nova Scotia and it’s settlers, I couldn’t wait to try it. I’ve never heard of carrot bread before but since we all love carrot cake, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. The result is a deliciously dense, moist loaf with tons of fall flavour — perfect for breakfast on the run, afternoon tea or bedtime snack. Oatmeal, raisins, carrots, nuts… it’s much healthier than any purchased breakfast cereal or snack bar.  The method of preparation is slightly different than most loaves (see instructions), but it is still a very easy recipe and I know it’ll be a favourite once you try it. Enjoy!

Carrot Bread

makes one 9 x 5 loaf

adapted from Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup raisins (or craisins)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil)

1/2 tsp each nutmeg, ginger, cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup water

1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts or nut of your choice) chopped

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup large flake oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Directions:

Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan on a baking sheet. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 F.

In medium saucepan, combine carrots, raisins, sugar, spices, butter and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. In separate bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, nuts and salt.  Pour carrot mixture into flour mixture. Stir until well combined. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 30 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with a few crumbs stuck to it. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan, slice and enjoy.

*For Gluten-Free option – replace flour with all-purpose gluten-free flour and add 1/2 tsp xantham gum.

mix carrots, sugar, butter, spices, water and vanilla in pot. Cook for 5 minutes.

mix flour, oats, nuts, baking powder and soda and salt in bowl.

mix carrot mixture into flour mixture, until well combined.

bake loaf for 30-45 mins, until tester comes out clean

Cool and slice.

Gluten free (with raisins) on right, regular flour (with craisins) on left. Both delicious.

Grilled Cubano Sandwich with Slow-cooked Peameal Bacon

Grilled Cubano Sandwich: crunchy, cheesy, tangy, savoury, delcious.

Ever wonder why those slices of fried peameal bacon are just a little too tough and unappetizing?  I did, until I tasted a peameal bacon sandwich at a motorcycle show and watched to see how they prepared it. It was so good…I noticed they had it slow-roasting in liquid… I rushed home and bought a whole peameal bacon and tried it in my slow-cooker. Mystery solved. The result is a tasty, tender piece of meat that you’ll be proud to serve company for a delicious lunch, or simply have in the fridge for the week for breakfasts and lunches.  Give it a try, then make up  these Cubano sandwiches – something different and so very tasty too.

Slow-roasted Peameal Bacon

1 uncooked Peameal Bacon Slab

1 cup of water

Directions: Pour water into slow cooker, set on high. Place peameal bacon into slowcooker. (water should come about 1/3 – 1/2 of the way up the side of the slab of bacon). After 1/2 an hour, turn slow-cooker to low. Cook for 3 more hours, rotating after 1.5 hours.  Remove bacon from slow-cooker to cutting board to cool slightly. Slice thinly.

Grilled Cubano Sandwich

adapted from Chatelaine magazine

Makes 2 big sandwiches

Ingredients:

4 slices of  (good quality) white bread (a nice chewy bread works well, like sourdough)

2 tsp dijon mustard

several thin slices of peameal bacon – according to your own taste

dill pickle slices (enough to cover your sandwich)

4 slices swiss cheese

Olive oil – to brush the sides of your bread

Directions Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of dijon mustard.  Top 2 pieces of bread with peameal bacon slices, pickles and swiss cheese. Top with other 2 bread slices, brush outside of bread with olive oil. Heat large pan over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan, cooking until golden brown, then flipping and cooking other side the same way. Remove from pan, let stand for a minute of two before slicing. Enjoy.

place whole uncooked peameal bacon in slow cooker in an inch of water

After slow cooking for 4 hours, cool slightly and slice thinly

spread dijon on bread slices, layer with peameal bacon

layer sliced dill pickles and swiss cheese, top with bread, brush with olive oil and grill

grill until golden brown

Slice and enjoy...so good. Yum.

Grilled Cubano Sandwich

Pistachio-Dusted Date and Goat Cheese “Truffles”

I’m posting a few of these great appetizer recipes since I recently catered a cocktail party and thought that you, out there in the world, might enjoy having these recipes on hand. These little numbers take a bit of time and are messy to construct, but the benefit is that they are relatively simple and you can make them 2 days ahead — just wrap and refrigerate and you’re good to go.  Don’t make these too big, they are rich, so 2 bites should suffice.  Everyone at the party I catered commented on these cheese truffles – they look really nice, and they cover so many elements – sweet, tart, salty, savory. You can’t go wrong. They would make a nice starter to an Indian themed get-together too. If you bring these to a party, you will get lots of ooohs and ahhhs. 😉

Pistachio-dusted Date and Goat Cheese “Truffles”

from Dish Entertains

makes about 20 truffles

4 oz goat cheese, softened

2 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tbsp cassis or port

salt and pepper to taste

10 dates, pitted and cut in half

1/2 cup pistachios, finely ground

Directions

In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and goat cheese.  Add cassis or port and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes.

Measure out about 1 tbsp of cheese mixture and press a date half into it.  Wrap cheese around date and roll into a ball. Roll cheese balls into ground pistachios to coat evenly.  Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Enjoy!

mix cheeses, add cassis, salt and pepper, mix.

wrap cheese mixture around half of a date

roll cheese balls in crushed pistachios

keep refrigerated and covered until ready to serve

Savory Double Cheese Pecan Shortbreads

savory double cheese pecan shortbread cookies

Here’s a quick recipe that comes in handy if you need to bring something to a cocktail party, or you can keep the dough in fridge or freezer and bake them in the oven at the last minute, when company arrives.  They are rich and tasty, and go well with a glass of wine or a cold beer.  It’s a really good recipe to keep in your ‘appetizer’ repetoire. As usual, they are easy and taste great!

Savory Double Cheese Pecan Shortbread Cookies

from Pastry Queen Parties

makes about eighty 2 inch cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Asiago cheese

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Directions:

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cheeses on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.  Add the flour, salt and cayenne pepper and beat on low speed until combined.  Stir in the pecans.  Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a roll about 2 inches in diameter (or make it square like I did for square cookies) and 8-10 inches long.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  (Dough can be made up to 2 weeks in advance, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or wrap and freeze for 3 weeks).

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.  Unwrap dough and slice into 1/8 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges and crisp, about 10 minutes.  *Important* Keep remaining dough cold while cookies are baking. Let baking sheets cool in between batches or cookies tend to spread out and lose their shape. Enjoy with a glass of wine or a cold glass of beer.

easy ingredients

mix butter and cheeses, add flour and pecans

form dough into 2 logs

shape into round or square logs about 10 inches long and wrap

slice and bake after chilling dough

enjoy with a glass of wine

see how much this dude is enjoying himself?