Homemade Biscuits

05 February 2015

Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredient and blend well with whisk. Cut in butter until resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in milk until all comes together to form a dough ball. Turn out dough ball onto a heavily floured surface. Let set for a couple of minutes and then knead for about a minute and then re-flour surface and pat out to about 1/2" thick. Cut biscuits with floured biscuit cutter or thick drinking glass or a cup and place into ungreased baking pan. Form remaining dough into ball and repeat until all dough made into biscuits. Bake in 425-450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

This recipe will make approximately 12 biscuits and will freeze well too. Just place your cut biscuits onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper and place cookie sheet into freeze making sure to keep level. Once frozen remove and place into a freezer bag and place into freezer. When ready to use just follow baking directions and bake only the amount that you need, you do not have to bake all of them at one time.

Happy New Year

08 January 2015

Happy New Year world! I have completed an epic move to our own place here out in the jungle in lower Puna, Hawaii. This blog is coming to you via satellite uplink so pls go gentle on my poor, poor server. I am wishing everyone a Happy New Year and that 2015 will hold many good things for everyone.

Big Ben's Buttermilk Biscuits

19 December 2014

Big Ben's Buttermilk Biscuits

Everyone's got a traditional biscuit recipe these days. The ingredients aren't nearly as important as the handling of them. A laundry list of ingredients won't keep them from being tough if the dough's overworked. Stick with the basics, and learn how to get your hands dirty in the kitchen if you want decent biscuits.

Set buttermilk out to warm up a bit. Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Stir in buttermilk. Do not over mix or knead too much or biscuits will toughen. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut biscuits. Set in 12" dutch oven or other pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Want an even fluffier, lighter biscuit? Substitute 1/4 cup rice flour for an equivalent amount of the all purpose flour.

Dutch Oven Lasagna

18 December 2014

Dutch Oven Lasagna

All of these ingredients may be made fresh or dehydrated/freeze dried, and both will be delicious.

If making from dehydrated/freeze dried, reconstitute per package instructions.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Prepare hamburger and then combine with Spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and tomatoes.

  2. In a large bowl, mix all cheeses, then add Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper. Reserve 1 cup of cheese mixture for the top.

  3. In your Dutch Oven (DO), which has been lined with heavy foil or a liner up to and over the rim, place a layer of lasagna noodles. The noodles will of course have spaces around the edges since the DO is round and the noodles are hard and rectangle, but just break pieces to fit the edges. Remember this is not rocket science; it is much better. On top of the lasagna noodles put a thin layer of the cheese mixture. (You can add it in very small dollops using your hands, if you want to.) Pour some of the sauce mixture over the cheese. Add another layer of noodles and press down to help ensure that the sauce and cheese have no air pockets. Continue to layer cheese mixture, sauce, and noodles until you reach the end of your sauce. Add the reserved cheese to the top.

  4. Wrap a layer of heavy foil over inside of the lid and back over the top of the lid to hold it onto the lid of the DO, so that the inside of the DO is completely lined with foil when the lid is in place. Prepare the coals for cooking, and then cook lasagna at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (For a 12-inch DO, that would be 24 coals total, with eight on the bottom around the outside edge and 16 on the top around the outer edge.) Check for doneness. Remember to turn the DO 1/4 turn clockwise and the lid 1/4 turn counter clockwise every 15 minutes. I prefer to serve this with fresh garlic cheese bread, which I made in a DO, of course. For a great dessert, I would recommend a nice chocolate/raspberry/white chocolate DO cobbler, with grape juice to drink. This will keep the heart and body warm and well fueled.

NOTE: You don't have to line the DO with foil, but this dish is acidic as well as having flavors that will definitely remain in the seasoning. Unless you have separate DO's each for for Savory, Sweet, Breads, and other categories of foods, I would use the foil for this one. You will want to be sure to clean, oil, and heat the DO again afterwards to ensure the seasoning is intact, if you don't use foil. Foil will prove to be a force multiplier in reducing your clean up time, however.

Nutrition information:

Chicken and White Bean Soup

17 December 2014

Chicken and White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cook first three ingredients, until the rice is done.
  2. Add the next three ingredients (including liquid in cans) and cook about 10 more minutes.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: We grow Malabar spinach, dehydrate it, and store in quart jars in the pantry. We also make homemade chicken broth, reduce it, and freeze in ice cube trays, then just use about 5-6 cubes with water. Homemade broth tastes better than store canned, and it will give your immune system a boost. If you use dried spinach and canned broth, this recipe can be made straight from the pantry.

More notes: You get two recipes. After serving roasted chickens, pick off most of the remaining meat and refrigerate or freeze. Put all leftover bones, skin and drippings in a big pot, generously cover in water, and slow simmer overnight. The next day, strain off the broth, return the fat to the bones, and in a separate pan reduce the broth by half or more. Then cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop your broth cubes out into a gallon baggie and return to freezer.

Put more water over the bones/skin/fat and cook for another day, longer if needed. Strain out the bones. They will be soft enough to mush up with your fingers, except the middles of the weight-bearing bones. You can toss the hard bones in the fire, and they become part of the ash you could use to supplement your compost in the garden. Return the mushy bones to the pan and add carrot peels, leftover mashed potatoes or rice, small amounts of green beans, stale corn tortillas, anything that is good for dogs. Cook until done, hit the whole thing with the immersion blender, cool, freeze in ice cube trays, pop into baggies, return to freezer. The dogs love these dog popsicles in the hot summer. In the winter, we serve them in a bowl, melted.

Important reminder: If you ever try to make chicken and noodles out of the wrong ice cubes, you will understand the importance of large clear labeling on your baggies. Thanks.

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