Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Plain ole Whole "Grain" Biscuits (that everyone loves)

I am SO excited that my husband has jumped on the vegetarian train with me.  I "committed" to go all veggies (minus dairy/eggs) in 2009.  Since then--it has been up and down--well up until January of this year.  Since then, I haven't had any meat and we discovered that my hubs gets really sick/hives after eating red meat.  Now, we can't pinpoint that he has a "meat allergy" but we do know that something isn't right when he consumes it.  Since then, he has surprised me EVEN more in his food choices.  Sure, he still will have meat here and there... and as frugal as he is...on days he doesn't pack a lunch, he succumbs to the $1 Menu Temptation... ("My "Food Snob" self is embarrassed to admit this).  Though, I am proud to say that he ate a salad the other day.  WOW! WOW!

Anyhow--"Carol get to the point!"  

I have been making these REALLY easy biscuits for a long time... My husband used to hate them.  According to him, they tasted too healthy.  Haha.  But now, I made these biscuits when our wonderful "Canadian" family came down for a holiday last weekend.  Brinley liked them--always had.  I was so used to he and I eating them all.  Well, I made a dozen and they were all gone.  The babies even loved them!  These biscuits were a perfect side for my Italian Kale and Rice Casserole (with black beans hidden in the sauce to trick 'em all, mu-ahhh!).  Someday, I will get to post that recipe as well.  It is a family favorite!  Anyhow--back to biscuits:

2 cups of flour (spelt is my favorite, but I also use whole wheat, rye... really any whole grain flour)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup oil (typically I use safflower or coconut oil-depends on the day)
1-2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or raw honey)
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I have used rice, almond, and coconut---all good.  You may need a little more milk as you knead)

Preheat oven 450 degrees.

Combine dry and then stir in the oil until it is crumbly-looking with a fork. In a separate bowl, combine the sweetener and milk and pour/stir into the flour/oil mixture.  If it seems a little dry, add a little more milk (or water) by the tablespoon. Make into a ball--you can either roll this out onto a floured surface or just leave in the bowl (which is what I do since it saves on time).  You can use a biscuit cutter if you rolled this out onto a surface.  I just use my hands and pat about 1/4 cups worth or so into a round-looking discs and place each onto my stone baking sheet. I like to put a piece of foil to cover them to help keep them moist while they are cooking--but this is optional.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes (longer if you lay the foil on top-unsealed).  Yields about 10-12.

My "Chubby Bubbies"-Eating the Pumpkin Biscuit Variation
I tweaked this recipe from Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" (p. 197).  I have mentioned this book numerous times on this blog.  It really is one my all time favorite cookbooks.  The "Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook" is one of my new favorites and there is a similar biscuit recipe that calls for sweet potato.  While I have never used sweet potatoes, I have added about 1 1/2 cups of organic canned pumpkin to this recipe, but I reduced the amount of milk and oil (1/4 cup each)... and added cinnamon.  My babies, Henry and Smith I think ate 3 each in one sitting!

Okay, I am too excited to share these biscuits and I am just rambling... so I will end on this note.  For breakfast, make these biscuits.  They pair so well with a cup of coffee!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A hot summer

This, by far, seems to be the HOTTEST summer EVER!  Though, I can appreciate it.  I am sitting at one of our local coffee shops, "The Whitehart", grading my life away... but it is so peaceful in here, it makes getting away from the family for an hour or two--worth it.  Solitude is a concept that is mostly absent from my life!  There are some people on their computers doing who knows what... Facebooking,  grading maybe??  Others are sitting together talking so quietly.  It is just so nice to see people engrossed in intimate conversations with each other, drinking the best DRINK known to man: coffee.  Being a wife, a mother of "3 under 3" (how corny-LOL), and working from home... I am taken away from developing deeper relationships with people.  I pray for little opportunities like this and I am thankful for friends that need things from me... and when I drop them off, we have deep conversations.

Okay, back to grading.  Go to Whitehart on a week night:

Christmas in July

I keep hearing snibits of "Christmas in July" parties, specials, sales... etc.  I am not really sure about that tradition-if it is something common around Virginia, but somehow Brinley was informed of this, haha.  It finally dawned on me... we had been listening to Christmas music for a little over a week and now we were reading Christmas books.  Last night Brinley wanted to read some stories about the birth of Christ.  We read two books and in both, there were illustrations of angels.  He was so attracted to these angels.  "Mommy, can you sing me a song about aaaaaaannngels?"(He says this with a smile that is so cute!)  So, when tucking him in to sleep, we sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and O Come all Ye Faithful".
Brinley and his cousin Rhiannon jammin' to Christmas music

This kid (Brinley) could be a DJ... I tell you, this strong-willed, strong-minded kid sure likes to tell me what to do!  Most of the time I stand strong, but when it comes to what music to listen to... he pretty much has good taste.  Right now we are listening to Christmas music... it is July (well now August)... and you know what, it actually lifts us up.  Personally, I LOVE Christmas. It has been a long, hot summer... sometimes depressing, quite honestly... but the beautiful Christmas music has given us all happy feelings. :)  I will take it any season!

A few personal favorite songs in "queue" via DJ Brinley: Constant Craving-K.D. Lang, Busted-Ray Charles, Gravity-John Mayer, Sweet Memories-Dean Martin... oh, and he loves all of Colbie Callait.