Shauna’s Goat Cheese Biscuits

Hi there strangers. I’m reviving the blog for a hot second to bring to you the much-requested recipe from the fabulous Shauna Niequist’s book – Bread and Wine.

In her book, she notes that she adapted this recipe from the biscuits served at Art Smith’s restaurant Table Fifty-Two, so let’s all give them a big thank you for bringing these into the world as well.

And without much further ado…

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Goat Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 6 tbsp cold butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven while it’s preheating. (Note: I don’t have a cast-iron pan, so at the recommendation of a friend, I used a 10-inch round Pyrex dish and it worked just fine – although I did notice it took about 10 minutes longer to bake. Because we don’t pre-heat Pyrex.)

Pour flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut 4 tbsp of butter into the flour mixture, then stir in goat cheese and yogurt until evenly moistened. Add an extra tablespoon of yogurt if needed.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it. When the butter has melted, divide the batter into 12 biscuits (it will be super sticky – have fun!), each about the size of a golf ball, and then nestle them into the pan. Generally a ring of 9 around the outside and 3 in the middle works well.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with one tbsp of melted butter. Bake for 14-16 minutes (or if you’re using a Pyrex, more like 24 minutes…) until browned on the top and bottom. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Enjoy!

Apple Vinaigrette

I feel that it is my moral obligation to share with you a vinaigrette I discovered this past week when I made it for Thanksgiving #1.

It’s a simple recipe, modified from the recipe I found here.

Mix up all the ingredients, and drizzle them over a bed of baby spinach, fresh apples, and pecans.

You’ll die.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped apple

And if you feel that it is your moral obligation to have seconds, well, I certainly won’t judge you. After all, we’re having it at Thanksgiving #2. Again.

Make-Ahead Oatmeal

Friends, there is something that has rocked my world.

Something you need to know before I share this with you, is that I am very, very particular about breakfast foods. Particularly the textures that go into breakfast foods. Give me the wrong texture and I’m nauseous the rest of the day. This has been a life long trait, which is odd when you consider that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Which leads me to this breakfast discovery.

Cold oatmeal.

It sounds disgusting, yes?

I decided to give it a try though, since I not only read this blog post about “Tomorroats”, but I found around the same time a magazine article about a make-ahead breakfast oatmeal served cold.

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Verdict?

Absolutely delicious. The recipe from Better Homes and Gardens (click here) for Overnight Oats with Fruit pretty much tastes like cold apple pie. Except without the incredible amount of calories.

Surprisingly, the texture didn’t bother me at all, and I’ve eaten it for breakfast several mornings since then.

Hurray for easy new morning recipes! If you’re feeling brave, I highly recommend trying it out. Yum!

Grilled Turkey Burgers and Power Outages

Did I mention that the neighborhood we moved into is prone to power outages?

We’ve been here about two months and the electricity has been out at least four times. Usually related to a heavy rainstorm moving through, once just arbitrarily on a sunny Sunday morning.

We should have known, when the house came with an already-wired-in generator, which powers the essentials in our kitchen, well, and sump pump.

We also should have known, when the first time the power went out, the hum of generators going on all over the neighborhood filled the air.

Hmm.

Related to this, I made Grilled Turkey Burgers this week. Punctuated with a rip-snorting thunderstorm soaking us while we pulled the burgers off the grill, and knocking the electricity off as soon as we got inside.

Turns out, a lantern-lit meal of Turkey Burgers and grilled corn on the cob with thunder and lightning pounding around you is absolutely delicious. Something about atmosphere. Restaurants should attempt this.

Doesn’t that look glamorous?

I should warn you, these burgers aren’t just typical Turkey Burgers. These burgers have two kinds of cheeses, spinach, onion, and garlic worked into them. They could also easily make a delicious meatloaf if you’re too lazy to form patties.

In fact, I think next time I probably will do meatloaf, given that that despite oiling both my indoor and outdoor grills (I started off on my cast-iron grill because we were having trouble getting our grill lit), these things stuck to the grates like white on rice.

But mercy were they good.

And an awesome way to get your veggies while eating a juicy delicious burger.

The above is the best photo we could get with the power outage, combining two lanterns. Not too shabby. We got a little lazy on the toppings given that they were still in the fridge and we were trying to keep the cold air inside.

My adorable cooking assistant, wishing I would drop a morsel.

Now. I think you should enjoy the recipe too. Adapted from the wonderful folks at America’s Test Kitchen.


Grilled Turkey Burgers with Spinach and Feta

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

10 oz frozen chopped spinach

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 hefty tbsp minced garlic

4 buns of your liking

 

Mix all those delicious ingredients (gently now!) and form four large patties about an inch thick.  Oil your grill grate (WELL!) and sear on both sides for about 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn the grill heat down to medium and cook the burgers, covered, till they’re about 160 degrees on the inside.

Then eat them as fast as you can.

Yum.

A Girls Weekend Menu

*Side note. I was planning on posting this on Monday…and then this year’s version of the stomach flu happened. To anyone who has survived this catastrophe, I feel for you. We should form a support group.*

Since a lot of my girlfriends and I have our birthdays in February, we’ve made a tradition of throwing one big party for all of us.

This year’s version of the party wound up being a trip to a Cape May beach house with just the girls.

And it.

Was.

Fabulous.

We ate girly food.

We drank girly drinks.

We watched girly movies.

And we only left the house once.

(But WHY did you stay in the house you say? You were at the beach! … Then I suggest you go to a beach in New Jersey in February. Bring your long johns.)

Knowing that we would be staying indoors most of the weekend, I planned our menu accordingly. The goal was to not spend much money and to keep the during-weekend prep at a minimum. I had taken the prior week off so I was able to do the grocery shopping and spent the day before we left doing the majority of the cooking.

Here’s how the menu went down.

Friday Dinner:

Friday Dessert:

  • Brownies!

Saturday Breakfast:

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Orange Juice
  • Coffee
Before you get too impressed…this was a VERY modified version of Eggs Benedict. The sauce was from a packet dry mix (thank you Knorr’s!), and I baked all the eggs in a muffin pan a la Pinterest style instead of poaching. But you know what? Who can tell the difference! Delicious all the same.

Saturday Lunch:

Theresa made this bread from scratch. I’m still so impressed.

Saturday Dinner:

*Note. Due to the large quantities of sangria, we may have forgotten to take photos of anything besides sangria-related activities the rest of the evening. Photos of the main dishes are courtesy of the lovely people who developed the recipes!


Saturday Dessert

  • Sangria
  • Sangria
  • Sangria

*Also note. When you make two batches of sangria in a pitcher that is actually a large tupperware container…photos like this result.

 Don’t judge my white girl dance moves.


Sunday Breakfast:

  • Parfaits
  • Coffee (lots and lots of coffee. LOTS.)
Snacks:
  • Awesome goat cheese & spinach pizzas
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Apples
  • Undisclosed junk food

Overall it was a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I spent a lot of time on the second floor porch wrapped up in sweats watching the ocean in the distance, a lot of time laughing, and a lot of time enjoying meaningful conversations.

Thanks for a memorable weekend girls. Anyone ready to schedule next year’s??

*I couldn't resist posting this photo. My hair reminds me of Farrah Fawcett. Hello wind!

We’re on a break. Lettuce and I, that is.

In an effort to get more veggies in my diet, I’ve been exploring alternative methods of introducing them to my palate rather than just sitting around chewing on carrot sticks or steaming green beans. I tend to prefer raw veggies, and have yet to be able to introduce vegetables to my breakfast table, so I’m a work in progress, but progress is progress. Right?

Now don’t get me wrong. I love lettuce. All forms of it…despite a recent terrible experience when I attempted to braise radicchio. I’ve been especially fond of buying the big containers of spring mix lately. Not exactly the cheapest option, but so much more satisfying and I’m a lot more likely to use all of it because the flavors are so versatile when you like to add fruit to your salads like I do.

Somehow apples and craisins on …romaine… just doesn’t seem quite as delicious as on a bed of mixed greens or baby spinach.

And I still eat a lot of lettuce.

But back to the topic at hand. When it comes to sandwiches, lettuce and I are on a break.

I mean really. When there are so many other affordable and delicious options out there, why stick to just lettuce?

For example. Take the average ham sandwich. Two slices of bread, cheese, ham, mayo, and lettuce.

Booooorinnnggg.

I’ve discovered that it is actually no more difficult to take a burrito-sized tortilla, slather on some garden-veggie cream cheese, layer on just a bit of ham, then pack in the lovely pea shoots (found at most grocery stores) pictured above with just a smidge of Ranch dressing for moisture, and ladies and gentlemen, we have got ourselves the lunch of champions.

(Brief aside: I have a love affair with garden-veggie cream cheese. On wraps. On bagels dipped in tomato soup. And most especially, as the sole topping on a baked potato. It rocks my world.)

(Thank you for listening.)

Another recent discovery is broccoli slaw mix.

No, it’s not gooey and covered in dressing – it’s just a pre-julienned mixture of broccoli, red cabbage, and carrots usually. In fact, I don’t think I’ve walked into a grocery aisle that doesn’t carry broccoli slaw mix. (This includes Target and the Wal-Mart.)

My favorite thing to do with broccoli slaw (so far) is make a Buffalo Chicken wrap.

It really is one of my favorite lunches to pack. It’s chock full of veggies, it’s simple, and it is still fantastically crunchy by the time I get around to eating lunch at work.

I’m actually kind of wanting to eat one now. Hmm.

Here’s my basic recipe:

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

  • 1 burrito-sized flour tortilla. Go ahead, get a little crazy and use a spinach or sun-dried tomato if you want.
  • 1 small cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • Buffalo seasoning. I use the pre-mixed, Pampered Chef seasoning. I’ve also seen versions where you just dump on as much hot sauce as you want. I’m not a huge fan of my taste buds burning off when I eat, so I like the powdered seasoning. I still need to look into a non-Pampered Chef version as I’m starting to run low.
  • Small quantity shredded cheese. I use cheddar – I’m pretty sure any kind would be wonderful.
  • As much broccoli slaw as you can comfortably cram into a wrap. You’ll be surprised at how much you can squeeze in – it compresses!
  • Ranch dressing – as much as you want. It’s definitely a necessary ingredient as it cools down the Buffalo seasoning and adds moisture to the broccoli slaw.

Favoring one side of the tortilla, spread out a row of chicken. Top with buffalo seasoning, cheese, slaw mix, and ranch dressing. Wrap it up by folding in two sides first, then rolling the rest of the way up.

Great secret of wraps – lay it out on a piece of plastic wrap first so that when the wrap inevitably tries to unwrap itself, you can quickly wrangle it into a nice little package.

I’m still exploring new vegetables and ways to incorporate them into my diet without too much extra labor. Here are a few things I’m lusting after on Pinterest and most likely trying very, very soon.

Simple Edamame Toasts

California Sandwich – Avocado, Tomato, Sprouts, PepperJack & Chive Spread

Source: foodgawker.com via Megan on Pinterest

Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich

Source: keepitskinny.wordpress.com via Megan on Pinterest

Stuffed Zucchini

Source: kayotic.nl via Megan on Pinterest

Mmm. Veggies.

What delicious veggies have you been eating lately?