Mmmm… Biscuits

I love biscuits. They’re so fluffy and buttery and absorbent.

My mom always made biscuits to go along with scalloped potatoes and ham. We’d eat them with butter and molasses, which I’m pretty sure is a Maritime (of Canada) thing. The molasses would seep in and crystallize a little on the top. This also led to me eating scalloped potatoes (or potato scallop as we always called it) with molasses on top, which I’m pretty sure was just a me thing and totally grosses out anyone who sees it.

Before I shared this recipe with you I did a little background check. I always assume that my mom’s recipes are family heirlooms, although recently I’ve discovered otherwise. I wanted to make sure this “old family recipe” wasn’t the one on the back of the bag of flour. This time you’re in luck! This was the recipe my grandmother always used, this much we know for sure. We also know that the recipe came from my great uncle Wally, who was in the Canadian Army many moons ago. Here is where the story gets a little cloudy – my mom believes that the recipe was from his days on kitchen duty with the army. She doesn’t have anything to substantiate this story, but it was the one she always knew when she was a kid. So we’re going with it.

Anyway, on with the recipe.

DSC02401Great Uncle Wally’s Army Days Biscuits


3 C flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 C butter (cold)

1 1/3 C milk

Yield : A bunch (I don’t know, a couple dozen maybe)


Pre-heat oven to 425 degress F.

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.

Cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives until butter pieces are pea-sized.

Pour milk over and gently mix in (I start with a fork and then move on to my hands to finish off). DO NOT OVERWORK! – it will lead to tough bisquits.

Flatten dough to about 2″ – 3″ thick.

Using a round cookie cutter (or my mom always used a small glass), cut out rounds and place them in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (or in a large cast-iron pan if you like them a little crispier).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden-brown on top.

Eat them immediately! Maybe with some beef stew.


Merry Giftmas II

So, whatever became of all that jelly I made in the fall? You know, the ones I blogged about here. Well, it all came in handy now that the Christmas gift-giving season is upon us. I had made crab apple, rhubarb, jalapeno, and mint, all of which happened to be either reddish or green. I packaged up one red and one green bottle in a cellophane bag and added a tag, badda bing, badda boom, quick gift for friends! Yes, it was a lot of work back in the fall, but none at all now that it’s busy Christmas season.

Jelly gifts

Merry Giftmas

I decided to knit something for A’s preschool teachers for Christmas this year. I had the same thought last year, but in typical Kate fashion, my thoughtfulness came far too late to actually act upon. But this year I was on it! And to make sure I hadn’t bitten off more than I could chew, I chose a pair of mittens with bulky yarn that would knit up very quickly. Bella’s Mittens, by Marielle Henault, is a ridiculously popular pattern that has been on my radar for a while. I happened to have some beautiful bulky alpaca that C’s coworker (an alpaca farmer) gave me that I’d been saving for the right project. Here are the results…

Bella browns   Bella brown closeup

Bella white closeup

These soft, lovely yarns are really special. The alpacas live just north of the city on C’s co-worker’s farm. She takes the fiber to be spun at Custom Woolen Mills, where they use antique machines to spin the yarn. I just think this is so cool, and particularly environmentally friendly considering that there is essentially zero shipping involved. I am going to try and get more yarn from her in the future!

Bella gift tags

Bella gift with chocolate

Anywho… I printed up a tag for the mitts as I couldn’t bear the thought of them getting accidentally felted. I attached them with a little bow, wrapped them up and put them in a gift bag along with some Two-Tone Peppermint Bark. And now I’m off now to deliver them!

A Week of Cooking Pins

I have a habit of “pinning” things on Pinterest without ever revisiting them. I gather that the whole point of Pinterest is to “pin” something to your “board” so that you can remember it for when you have time later, but I mostly look at the pretty pictures, formulate some good intentions, and move-on. Well, last week I made a point of basing my menu around things I had pinned. Here is how it turned out.

First up was Man Pleasing Chicken. This was actually a great recipe that I had made once before. Everyone liked it, it was very easy and tasty. We ate it so fast that I didn’t get a picture. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Next was Zucchini Carrot and Cranberry muffins. These were really yummy but in the end I was the only one to eat them as my family just aren’t muffin-eaters.

The next day I made Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies. These were yummy and easy, and my family gobbled them up, but they were a real pain to get out of the pans.

Then I made Honey Lime Shrimp and Easy Pad Thai. Both were very easy and super delicious. These recipes were keepers for sure.

Finally, I made Sweet Blueberry Bread. I really enjoyed making the bread, and it was a very pretty finished product. I made it into french toast the next day and it was perfect for that. I must say though that we have not eaten the rest of the loaf, it wasn’t that big of a hit on its own.








All-in-all, the pin-cooking was good and I got some great recipes. I will continue to mindlessly pin and know that I may actually come back to them someday.

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

No really, they might be the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. This is the recipe my mom always used when I was growing up, so this is what I expect chocolate chip cookies to taste like. Perhaps I am a bit biased since this is my reference point for all chocolate chip cookies, but I have it on authority from other people that this is a damn good recipe. I’m not sure where it came from, my mom thinks that it came from the back of a package or something. I just checked to make sure, and it is not the Nestle Tollhouse recipe (that would have been embarassing).  Now that I’ve talked it up, here it is.

Makes ~14 cookies


1/2 Cup shortening

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Cup chocolate chips (I like using the mini ones)


Preheat oven to 350 F

Cream shortening and both sugars. You don’t need a stand-mixer to do this, but I sure do love my candy-apple-red lady












Add egg and vanilla and mix













Mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) in a small bowl









Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend













Mix in chocolate chips












Spoon ~2 Tbsp. dollops onto parchment-lined baking sheet









Like so









Cook 8-10 minutes, until golden on the bottom edges










Let cool on a wire rack until you can no longer bear the wait.