23 April 2014

Fast & fluffy buttermilk chocolate chip biscuits

Oh this sounds like a crazy combination?  I'm with you.  I discovered this punched up biscuit when eating with friends while at one of my favorite Athens restaurants, Heirloom.  It was my first brunch there so this item was new to me.  Admittedly when they told me we should get the chocolate chip biscuits I thought - "the whaa?".  Then immediate skipped to "hmm that could be good".  Oh boy was it good.  I could have devoured the entire basket on my own, what is sharing again?  So the other day I woke up dying for some of these biscuits.  I was in no mood to spend forever making them or dirty up my entire kitchen so I went with a quick drop biscuit recipe and threw in big fat chips.  All it took was one bowl and a baking sheet.  Heirloom serves up a legit biscuit, a melt in your mouth mini version likely loaded with butter and little chips chopped nice and fine.  So no, this isn't as good but hey I could have eaten all of these in one seating too soooo…yeah, worth making.  They are quick and easy too, win-win.

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Biscuits 
Makes about 6-8 lemon sized biscuits
  • 1 cup all purpose flower
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2.5 Tbs butter, melted  *most recipes say to cut cold butter in with pastry blender.   I melt and pour in which seems to be no problem in a drop biscuit.
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk  *If you do not have buttermilk, combine 1 Tbs white vinegar for every 1 cup milk and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.  Combine all dry ingredients in bowl and create well in center of dry mixture.  Pour melted butter and buttermilk into center, mix with fork until smooth.  Drop dough by spoonful onto foil or parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake until lightly golden on top, about 12-15 minutes.  

22 April 2014

21 April 2014

Home brewed : Handsome Coffee

Over the last few years, my affection for coffee has grown exponentially.  It began when I purchased the occasional blended, super syrupy, hardly any actual coffee kind of "coffee".  I then graduated to a simpler cup, but still more like cream with a dash of coffee.  The relationship grew as I slowly decreased the cream and sugar and increased the amount of times I drank it each month.  Fast forward a few years and here I am being all choosy about what I will even bother brewing.

Yes, I know I'm no special case as there are millions of gallons of this stuff being guzzled every.single.day.  BUT, of those millions there are a very small amount of people that have a serious appreciation for a certain type of coffee quality.  Quality comes in may forms.  Be it the bean, grower, roaster, flavor and maybe the most important of all: the method of preparation!  I'm no expert (let that be clear!), but gosh dawgit I just feel the need to share how I feel about this.  I seriously cannot stomach another Starbucks.  Knowing what I know now I cannot believe they get away with charging what they do for their mass marketed frapp machiatto blah blah.  There are plenty of places I will gladly fork over $5 to for a hand crafted beverage, but that is because it is leaps and bounds above in flavor, quality of ingredients.  Not to mention barista skills and knowledge.  Anyway more on that later.  Today I'm just sharing one of my favorite roasters for home brew : Handsome Coffee Roasters.  Okay okay agreed…this stuff screams pricey if you just look at what you are paying for the bag.  But to me, it is better than any drink a large retail chain could brew which in turn saves me a whole lot because I now ditch the drive through for a cup at home.  I should also mention it takes me almost 2 months to finish a bag, and I drink about 3 to 5 cups per week.  Also, they have fantastic customer service.

There are many many ways to prepare a cup of coffee, some even measure and use timers for the perfect cup (one factor in those expensive cafes).  My way may even be laughable to a knowledgable barista but its a heck of a lot better than that old coffee maker so throw it away donate that sucker!  SO this is how I generally brew:

  • Grind beans just before brewing, about 2tbs for 1 8oz cup
  • I like to grind just above espresso fine
  • Use single cup cone or Chemex & paper filters - wet filter and drain water then place grounds in filter
  • Boil water in teapot
  • Pour just enough boiling water to wet/cover grounds, wait (this lets grounds release some unwanted gases) *try not to pour on sides but directly in center
  • Pour remaining water (probably about 6 oz) over grounds in a slow circular motion
Best with a baked good, no doubt.

20 April 2014

Scenes of Easter

 Happy Easter to you! 

*all photos taken by me unless otherwise noted. I love to see them shared, but please credit back to me.  Thank you kindly!