Saturday, February 18, 2017

Southern Biscuits and Gravy























I’m from Maryland but when it comes to food, I am a true southern girl through and through. My Mom was born in Kentucky and raised in Tennessee and all I ever knew was her southern cooking growing up. You can’t claim to be southern if you don’t know this next recipe. I am crazy about Gravy and Biscuits and make them all the time.

Southern Gravy and Biscuits

Milk Gravy

1/4 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour2 cups milk, room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

I like to fry up some bacon for a side dish so I can use the drippings.  Once you fry it or bake it, remove the bacon to a plate.  What you have in the skillet then will be the base for your gravy.




















Using the same frying pan that you cooked your bacon in, add flour to the drippings and whisk until it begins to turn a light brown. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook until the gravy is smooth and thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.




















Buttermilk Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into small chunks about the size of sugar cubes
1 cup very cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Toss the butter chunks into the flour mixture.   Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash the butter chunks into quarter-sized pieces.  
Mix the cold buttermilk into the flour/butter mixture, tossing briskly with a fork to evenly distribute the buttermilk so no dry bits of flour are visible.  The dough will be sticky but should clear the sides of the bowl.



















Scrape the biscuit mixture out onto a lightly-floured work surface and gather, with floured hands, into a ball.  Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  Fold into thirds and rotate dough 90 degrees, dusting work surface with flour.  Roll out to about 1-inch thick. 

Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, press down on the cutter, but do not turn or twist, dipping the cutter or glass into the flour after each cut.  Place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together.  Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes, without opening the oven door, until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and split or cut the biscuits in half and top with the prepared hot Milk Gravy. Serve warm.

Biscuits Making Hints and Tips:
For tender and flaky biscuits, make sure the butter is as cold as you can get it. I keep mine in the freezer.  Try to use your hands as little as possible. Excess handling causes tough biscuits.  

Always bake biscuits on cookie sheets or pans without sides.  The heat will circulate more evenly than on pans with sides.  Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet.












Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cheesecake Brownies




















I guess if I had to choose which one of all my brownie recipes I might like the best, this one would definitely be on the list.  Notice I can’t commit?  I have so many that are so good that it’s hard to choose just one. But there’s something about this one that sends it way up on that list.  It’s a true marriage of moist homemade chocolate brownie, with a layer of rich and creamy vanilla cheesecake, topped with a decadent, deep rich chocolate ganache... okay its way up there! 

Cheesecake Brownies

Brownies 

2 cups sugar 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup cocoa powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
5 eggs 
2 sticks of butter, melted 
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13 x 9 x 2" baking pan. 

Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Beat flour mixture and eggs on low speed using an electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally and mixing until smooth. Slowly add melted butter and beat until just combined: do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to prepared baking dish. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you make your cheesecake filling. 




















Cheesecake filling

3/4 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
4 (8-ounce) packs of cream cheese 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 eggs 
2 tablespoons heavy cream 
2 tablespoons sour cream 

Cream sugar, cornstarch, and cream cheese in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl with each addition. 
Fold in heavy cream and sour cream. 

Spread batter on top of already baked brownies. Bake until cheesecake is lightly browned and firm, about 45 - 50 minutes. Cool completely and then refrigerate at least for one hour before serving.




















Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Heat cream and butter on stove, but do not allow to boil. Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir till completely combined. Add powdered sugar and whisk until combined and smooth. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight, then cut into bars to serve.




















Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

♥ Banana Split Dessert















I love this dessert. I can remember my Mom making it from the time I was too little to even know what it was.  But I know now and I love making it.  It is so cold and creamy and just the best thing out there to satisfy every decadent need!  This is a keeper my friends.



Banana Split Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 whole crackers crushed)
1 1/4 Cups Sugar, Divided
1/3 Cup Butter, Melted
 2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 Can (20 oz) crushed Pineapple, drained
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
4 ripe bananas
2 cups cold Milk
1 Large box Vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a medium sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Beat together remaining sugar and cream cheese until well mixed. Carefully spread over cookie crust. Top with pineapple. Slice bananas and layer over pineapple. Add sliced strawberries over bananas.

In another bowl mix together cold milk and vanilla pudding and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream and mix into pudding. Layer pudding over bananas. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with huts. Chill for 5 hours before serving.

NOTE: You can also use 1 carton (8 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed instead of the whipped cream.

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♥ STRAWBERRY MINI CAKES














This little cakes are just the right size for that pop in your mouth deliciousness.  A pretty treat for Valentine's day too! 
Strawberry Mini Bundt Cakes
 1 cup of flour
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/3 cup of sliced strawberries (or much as you wish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a bowl mix your sugar, eggs and soft butter. Add the flour slowly to the mix followed by the milk and lemon zest. Lastly, fold the strawberries into your batter.


Pour batter into your mini molds, bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Decorate them with powdered sugar and extra strawberries on top! 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.

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