Tag Archives: omnomnom

Adventures In Cooking: Cheddar Biscuits

I think we can all agree that the best part of going to Red Lobster is the warm, cheesy biscuits that you get with your meal.  I am not ashamed to admit that I’ve been known to hoover a basket of biscuits just to ask for more so I can bring them home.  My name is Alison, and I might be addicted to cheddar biscuits.  After searching for a while, I came across the BEST cheddar biscuit recipe – and it’s pretty easy if you ask me.  If you close your eyes and imagine children running around you and the smell of fish and crab, you’d swear you were at Red Lobster.  Now that I’ve completely over sold this recipe… here it is!

Cheddar Biscuits - please disregard the quality of this picture... they're still amazing.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached or regular)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup cold butter
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese (the sharper the better!)
1/2 – 2/3 cups milk
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes or 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

How To:

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder. Whisk together to combine thoroughly.

3. Add chunks of butter. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour until it is coarse/pea-sized. TIP: Freeze your butter and use a cheese grater to grate your butter into the bowl instead of cutting it.  It’s important that your butter is cold so that you get those pockets of melted goodness.

4. Add oil, grated cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup milk. Stir together. Keep adding milk a bit at a time, just until the dough is moistened and no longer dry and powdery.  Your dough should be moist enough to stay together, but not sticky.  If you find it getting on the sticky side, sprinkle in some more flour.

5. Drop approximately 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop, large spoon or even your measuring cup.  No need to form these into balls or pack them down.

6. Bake for 15-17 minutes. While biscuits are baking, melt 3 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and the parsley.

7. When biscuits come out of the oven, use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter.

Serve warm.
Makes one dozen biscuits.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
Yield: 12 servings

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Fancy Food Fridays #1

At the beginning of the year, my friends and I decided to start getting together once a month for a nice dinner. While we do see each other quite frequently, we thought it’d be fun to class it up and try something new other than our regular haunts – and with that Fancy Food Fridays was born.

We meet on the 2nd Friday of every month for dinner.  Someone is responsible for nominating 3 restaurants each time and then we vote.  Our second FFF is coming up this week so I wanted to write a quick note about our first dinner before I fall too behind.

We went to Fire on the East Side which is located at the corner of Gloucester and Yonge.  It’s a great, intimate place with friendly staff and great southern comfort food with a twist.  I ordered a side of the Cajun Mac and Cheese to start followed by their crab ravioli.  I admit it was a tad Carb heavy, but you just do not pass up Cajun Mac and Cheese!  I’d been to FOTES before so I knew what I was getting into… and I regret nothing!   You can see my previous review of them here.

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After dinner we made our way to a nearby sports bar to watch some NCAAB action and played a few hours of trivia.  It was a great night of food and friends – it’s no wonder why FFF is quickly becoming my favourite day of the month.

#ufancy


Review: Cool Hand Luc

I heard about this place when it opened and since changing jobs to the city, I’ve walked past it a handful of times.  With a clever name as this, I knew I had to try it.  I finally decided to stop in yesterday for lunch – a small soup, a grilled cheese sandwich and drink for $7.50.  A tad expensive for the description, but I was willing to give it a shot.

The grilled cheese was basic and good (cheddar on white bread) – though I challenge you to mess up a grilled cheese when you have a panini press.  I ended up getting the tomato bacon soup because the guy behind the counter said it had a kick to it, and who doesn’t love bacon?  He was right – the soup was pretty much all kick and no flavour.  You could barely taste the tomato with all the spices mixed in, and when you could taste it, it resembled tomatoes straight from the can.  Much too acidic for my liking.  The bacon although plentiful also had no flavour.  Very disappointing.  That being said, I’d probably go back for lunch, but just for the sandwich at a somewhat decent price of $3.50.

Tomato Bacon Soup and Basic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I am intrigued to come back for their ice cream, which I will probably do when the weather gets nicer.  It is a very cute shop and their staff is a big reason why I would return.  The guy who helped me was very friendly and personable and he struck up a natural conversation while waiting for my sandwich to grill.  For me, in a day of busy people shoving their way to get where they’re going, it’s nice to find a place that is relaxed and friendly.  Definitely worth a second chance.

Restaurant Details:
545 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 1M1
www.coolhandluc.ca
Map
My Yelp Rating: 2/5


5 Minute Tomato Basil Soup

So I’ve been saying for years and years that I hate to cook, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t hate it quite as much as I thought.  I just don’t want people to think that I like to cook so that when I actually do it, it appears that I went out of my way to do something nice.

All those hours watching the Food Network has finally hit me, and I think 2012 will be the year I actually cook for fun (and not just necessity).  That’s not to say I still won’t have my signature dish of pasta mixed with butter and parmesan cheese… I’ll just elevate it – asiago cheese anyone?

If you’re a foodie and on twitter, I HIGHLY recommend following Marcus Samuelsson (@MarcusCooks).  He has his own site and also contributes to Food Republic, so he’s constantly posting tips and recipes.  Today’s recipe is a 5 minute tomato basil soup that I’m going to try tonight.  Recipe and photo from Linda Wagner (@lovelindawagner, blog).  Check back to see if this was a success or utter failure.

Courtesy of lindawagner.net

Ingredients:
3 medium ripe tomatoes
3 sun-dried tomato slices
2 stalks of celery
a pinch of onion powder
a pinch of garlic powder
1-2 sprigs basil
1/2 avocado
sea salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and put in blender. (If you do not have a high speed blender you may need to add extra water to help the mixture blend OR you may want to try using a food processor instead). Add sun dried tomatoes and blend until smooth.
  2. While the blender is still going, add the celery, sea salt, onion and garlic powder and keep blending until fully incorporated. Then add the basil and continue to blend.
  3. Finally, add the avocado and blend for just a few seconds to combine. That’s it, your soup is done!

*If you’re using a VitaMix, the longer you blend in the first step, the warmer your soup will be. If you are not using a VitaMix and would like to heat your soup, you can do so over the stove top.