Herbed Cottage Cheese Biscuits

Everyone is set with their turkey chili, turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup, and turkey so forth, so to go with all your recycled turkey goodies I have some herbed cottage cheese biscuits. Are you like me?  Do you buy a thing of cottage cheese with the full intent of eating it, and it's still there, unopened, weeks later?  I'm mortified to tell you exactly how long this container was in my fridge and I peeled back the seal expecting to find a science experiment.  But it was fine.  Now that the seal was broken I had to use it immediately, so to go with my turkey minestrone soup, I made these biscuits.

The first batch I baked at 450 for 12 minutes and they got burned on the bottom and were under-done on the inside.  So the next batch I put into the oven at 450, but then immediately turned the heat down to 425 and baked about 21 minutes.  Still slightly gooey in the middle.  So this is one of those things you might have to fiddle around with.  But they taste great.

By the way, what is it about putting hot biscuits into a towel-lined bowl that makes you feel so goofy?


Herbed Cottage Cheese Biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp dried chives
  • 1 tbsp dried dill weed
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 5 tbsp butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • 1 16-oz container cottage cheese

Makes about 18 biscuits - some for now, some to freeze.

Preheat oven to 450.  Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat mat, or spray with Pam

In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and herbs

Add butter, and with pastry cutter or two knives, work through the flour until it is in small, pea-size clumps (a food processor also works but I didn't feel like breaking it out)

Add cottage cheese and mix together until just combined (the dough is not going to make you feel good, it's sort of a mess, just deal)

With a soupspoon, drop onto baking sheet

Put into oven, turn heat down to 425, bake 20-21 minutes until golden.

Keep warm in towel-lined bowl.

Be goofy.

Onion Bread (and Split Pea Soup)

With the return of the cold spell, we return to comfort food. Not only did I break out David Crockpot, but I brought forth the bread machine as well. If you have one, this onion bread is amazing. 

Back when we had our old house on the market, I would play dirty and have a batch of onion bread going at every viewing and open house. People would step into the kitchen and go into a trance. "What is that...?"

Try it and see: as soon as the machine hits the bake cycle, the kitchen fills up. It's sweet with brown sugar, flecked with poppy seeds, and packs heat from black pepper. It's superb with split pea or lentil soup, toasted with cheese, and any leftovers make amazing croutons to toss into a green salad, or even into a panzanella with cherry tomatoes, onions and beans.

Onion Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 2 tbsp dry milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried onions
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper (you might want to start with 1/2 tsp if you're making this for the first time)
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds (which I think is stingy, I make it more like a tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fast-rise yeast or 3 tsp active dry yeast

Measure and add all ingredients to the bread pan in the order listed.  Bake according to machine directions.

Split Pea Soup

This will be prose recipe, as I'm sure everyone has their own methodology for Split Pea Soup.

Once upon a time, there was bacon. 

Now there are two purposes to making bacon: one, to have bacon (duh); and two, to have leftover bacon grease with which to saute greens or provide a base for split pea soup. If you don't have any, no big deal, you can saute up some ham or just use olive oil. But there's nothing like bacon. While I'm frying it, I line a small bowl with foil and pour the grease off into there. When it's cool I wrap the foil packet in another piece of foil and put it in the freezer. When I want to use it, I just slice off a chunk with a sharp knife. Usually I end up slicing off some bits of foil that got smushed in and frozen, but as the fat melts, those are easily picked out with tongs.

Saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery in the bacon fat, then dump that into the crockpot. Add a bag of dried split peas—I love yellow split pea soup because it's pretty, but you can't go wrong with classic green. 12 cups of liquid: chicken broth, vegetable broth, a mix of broth and water. A bay leaf. Cover. Go away for 6-8 hours.

When the soup is done, some people serve as is, country style. Others blend the soup to gourmet smoothness. I have a foot in both camps: I skim out most of the carrots with a slotted spoon and put them aside, then I blend smooth and stir the carrots back in. I do this because I'm all about visual appeal, and I like the look of the orange carrots floating in the soup, especially if it's yellow-split pea.  If I'm making green split-pea and I blend all the veggies in, the carrots turn the soup a really weird color.

Unfortunately there is no money shot as we packed this up and took it over to some friends for dinner.  It got eaten before I remembered to take a picture.  But it looked something like this in a less attractive bowl.

(Photo credit: SimplyRecipes.com):

Faux Focaccia

I bought 2 bags of frozen pizza dough yesterday. I used one to make my onion tart for a party last night, and thought I'd just figure out some creative use for the other bag today, or else throw it back in the freezer. I had a lot of ripe nectarines and plums around, and toyed with the idea of making some kind of fruit pizza dessert, but when I searched the Internet for ideas, all the fruit pizzas were made with cookie dough crust. The one I found that used actual pizza dough went on to spread vanilla frosting on the dough and arrange the fruit on top.

Vile. I looked no further.

But what about dough for bread's sake—wouldn't it make reasonable focaccia? And couldn't I pick some rosemary out of the garden and knead that into the dough first? Maybe some chopped garlic as well?

You bet I could, and with an abundance of veggies from the garden tonight, dinner practically made itself.

The green beans are going crazy. I love the purple "Velour" ones, they're so pretty in the garden; unfortunately when you steam them they turn plain old green, which the kids find fascinating to watch.


Next, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant, sliced lengthwise and thrown into a ziplock bag with the remains of the salad dressing cruet. Left to get happy for about 20 minutes, and then thrown on the grill.


Last, the pièce de résistance:

Faux Focaccia

  • 1 bag frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary, needles stripped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

Preheat oven to 400, spray a rimmed baking sheet with Pam.

Chop the rosemary needles and garlic cloves together fine. Spread out over the cutting board and sprinkle flour on top.

Pry the dough out of the bag, drop it right on top of the garlic and herbs, sprinkle more flour on top (a spouse or small child is a handy thing to have near for flour duty; your hands will be quite sticky).

Knead the dough a few times to fully incorporate the garlic and herbs.

Stretch out the dough on the baking sheet. It should look very sloppy and rustic. If you manage to stretch it into a neat rectangle, please leave my kitchen.

Drizzle olive oil on top of the dough, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Slide off baking sheet back onto cutting board (serendipitous tip: don't wash off the flour and garlic-herb residue from the cutting board; the heat from the bread will pick it right up.  Yum)

Slice with a pizza cutter and serve. With the addition of some marinated mozzarella, and a jar of roasted red pepper spread I found tucked away in the pantry, this meal was awesome. Knuckles all around the table for Mom.

Thank you.

And good evening.

Moosewood Banana Bread

When life hands you those 2 or 3 overripe bananas, either make a smoothie or banana bread. If you can't do this immediately, freeze the bananas, but harken to me: PEEL THEM FIRST. Trying to unpeel a thawed frozen banana is not fun and rarely successful.

This banana bread recipe comes from The Moosewood Cookbook. It's actually their carrot cake recipe but they are thoughtful enough to give the banana variation on the facing page. One quirky part of it is that you soak the 2 cups of pureed banana in 1 cup of strong coffee. And being that today was our annual Easter Egg Hunt, guess what we happened to have lying around but the quarter-full Box O' Joe.

So not only did I have the ripe bananas, I had a cup of coffee. I am so good.  I rock. Mush up those bananas, pour the coffee over. Set the bowl aside and get busy measuring dry ingredients, humming happily to myself. I love it when these things just work out. I'm so smug. Coffee and bananas. You gotta pity those poor unfortunates who just don't have their shit tog—.... I have no flour.


No flour? Impossible. There's always flour. Flour is just one of those things that's always around, how could there be no flour? Commence the hilarious ballet of denial, looking in every conceivable and inconceivable cabinet in the kitchen, muttering to myself (in various four-letter words) that this is just impossible. After my triumph of glory of coffee and bananas, I'm going to blow it on flour?!?

I have no flour.

Thank God for my next-door neighbor who keeps me in eggs, and now keeps me in flour as well. The kids were up playing with hers, and she sent them home with 4 cups of flour in a ziplock, thus saving the bread.

Moosewood Banana Bread

This makes 2 loaf pans, or 1 9X13 baking dish, or some variation thereof if, like me, you think you have 2 loaf pans but you only have one (I'm an idiot). You could also cut the recipe in half.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups pureed banana soaked in 1 cup black coffee.
  • Optional:  1 cup fresh or dried blueberries
  • Optional:  2 tbsp poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking pans with Pam.

Sift together salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and orange zest.

With mixer on lowest setting, add half the dry ingredients. Then add banana-coffee mixture. Then add rest of dry ingredients and poppyseeds (if using).

If using blueberries, stir in by hand.

Spread batter evenly in pans. Bake anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes (a cake pan will take less time, a loaf pan more). A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and let cool completely.

Herbed Garlic Toasts

These are quick to make and fabulous to have on the side of soup or as an appetizer. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, and 2 minced cloves garlic.

Place 12-16 1/4" slices Italian bread on baking sheet. Run under the broiler for 60 seconds to lightly toast.

Remove from oven and spread garlic mixture on each slice.

Run under broiler again for another 60 seconds.

If desired, top bread with shredded mozzarella cheese and broil an additional 15 seconds until cheese is melted.

You Ain't Never Had My Cornbread (Part 1)

I say Part I because this recipe is actually not for MY famous cornbread, but another recipe I tried that goes in the bread machine. It's called "Cinco de Mayo" but I made some changes based on availability and preference—my kids don't go for real spicy things.

Cinco de Mayo Cornbread

Measure ingredients in the order listed into your bread machine's pan.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn (I only had frozen; I thawed it in a colander in the sink and squeezed it dry)
  • 1/4 canned green chilis, diced (I skipped this)
  • 1 1/2 tsp canned jalapeno peppers, diced (I skipped this)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 shakes of cayenne pepper and pinch red pepper flakes (not in original recipe, I added it)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast (or 2 tsp active dry yeast)

Bake on basic bread cycle.

This was thoroughly OK but I'm going to give it another chance and make a couple changes. First of all, I used generic frozen corn because I had depleted my stash of Trader Joe's roasted sweet corn which, other than Dykeman's corn, is the only corn for me on the planet. And the whole time I was measuring ingredients I was thinking, "I really wish I had Trader Joe's corn." Also, because I omitted the chilies and jalapenos, I think something was mixing from the texture. I might add some diced red bell pepper next time.  I think this has possibilities.


But you still ain't never had my cornbread. It'll make you wanna run around naked (cause you know it looks good on you)