Pumpkin-Maple Biscuits & Karma

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Last week I had a couple of projects going on at home from various clients…recipe developing and testing using canned pumpkin puree and as always happens I ended up with a can opened & partly used…what to do? I find it so hard to toss out food even though a large part of my job as a food stylist has to do with just that! This is the one part of being a food & photo stylist that is hard for me. I grew up in a blue-collar household, poor by today’s standards, and food was not wasted…ever. For some reason when we did not finish our food my Mother always brought up the starving children in India…why India I do not know…but it stuck and every time I toss out food I have that image in my head. Her point was made simply and straightforward.

By the last day of many photo shoots there is always food that has been too handled and left to sit out just too long while being photographed to be eaten. It has to be tossed and this always gives me pause. On the other hand, on most photo shoots we end up taking car loads of food to local food banks. I am hoping that cancels out my bad food karma turning it into good food karma.

So with a half can of leftover pumpkin puree and not wanting to toss into the trash bin,  I tossed it into one of my easy weekend morning go-to recipes for two, now three ingredient biscuits. Deliciously saved and reused.

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“The well” is my favorite part of biscuit-making…learned from my mother it always works to aid in making the most tender biscuits ever.

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Dry ingredients….using a fork…make “the well” by pushing the flour mixture up against the sides of the bowl creating a bowl or “well”. Add wet ingredients all at once…..

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….quickly stir together pulling the dry ingredients into the wet using a fork…don’t try to mix totally… gently and quickly make a “slaggy” dough….

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….dump out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to meld wet and dry together to form a smooth dough…pat out into a circle…fold over and pat out again…repeat about 4 times…patting and folding and patting….

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…cut biscuits straight down…no twisting the cutter and spread out on parchment lined baking sheet…

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…brush tops with maple syrup and bake.

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Warm from the oven smeared with softened butter. Happy Weekend y’all.

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Pumpkin-Maple Biscuits

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • softened butter for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the flour, salt & pumpkin pie spice. Use a fork to make “a well” in the middle of the mixture.
  3. Add pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons maple syrup & whipping cream. Using a fork, gently and quickly blend ingredients together. Your dough should not be totally blended.
  4. Dump out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Using your hands fold and knead to create a smooth dough. Pat into a circle, fold over and pat out again and folding and patting out…repeat 4 times lastly patting dough out into a circle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick depending on how you like your biscuits.
  5. Cut out biscuits…taking care to not “twist” the cutter…just cut straight down. Place biscuits on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Brush tops with remaining 2  tablespoons maple syrup. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Biscuits will be light and fluffy with a glazed top and are best eaten warm. They will keep up to one day and can be reheated.

Teresa Blackburn        www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Just Biscuits and ‘My Writing Process Blog Tour’

2 ingredient BiscuitsSit down, relax. Get a cup of coffee or tea. Today we are just having biscuits while I tell you about the “My Writing Process Blog Tour” which is a great way for bloggers to connect with other bloggers who they might otherwise not know about. It expands your blogging horizons…you find others, they find you and on and on. It is also a way to share part of what motivates you to keep blogging. Once you are nominated/invited to participate by someone who loves your blog, you then invite 3 bloggers that you’d like to join in. I have chosen some dynamite bloggers that I hope you love as much as I do.

I was invited by Tina, whose blog “Mademoiselle Gourmande” is one great read. She is a well-travelled lover of food. Her recipes for “HIbiscus Flower Sirup” and “Foolproof Mushroom Risotto” are absolutely lovely. Thanks so much for thinking of me Tina and for the invite to join in the “My Writing Process Blog Tour”.

1. What am I working on?

Photo shoot, photo shoots and more photo shoots. I am a food stylist by trade & passion. Today I was working on the final images for a cookbook soon to be released. I got out my vintage Olympia Typewriter and old faded recipe cards from the flea market and typed out labels for jars to hold various BBQ Rubs.

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Earlier this week I had a shoot with a photographer helping create a promotional piece for her photography business. I did both the prop and food styling, setting it up in my backyard underneath some birch trees with the sun shining through creating beautiful dappled light over the food and plates. Such fun it was.

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2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As much as the recipes and the stories are satisfying to cook and write down, the photographs are very important to me. I see life in my mind as a film strip, framed just so &  lit just so.  I am very, very happy when I am taking the photos for my blog…it is a little piece of Nirvana and I hope this comes through to the viewer. As a stylist my blog allows me to become my own client and go to styling places just to see what happens.

I also don’t do ads, product placement (unless it is something I just personally am enamored with no financial connection to the product, see “Falling In Love, Ines Rosales Tortas with Dark Chocolate & Pistachios”...I would only do a “give-away” if it was for an extra special reason or good cause. Otherwise my blog might end up like a “job”! Of course, I also never say never.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I am very much a “doer”, a “maker of things”, a bit of a “mad scientist” and “tinkerer”. This all has to come out somehow, right now for me, Food on Fifth is my outlet.

I grew up in a small town in West Tennessee where food was grown, cooked & eaten within a few miles of where one lived. One did not stray to far afield…but I did.  Although these days I might be eating “Bitterbollen” in Amsterdam, or fresh-caught “Lobster Ceviche” in the Yucatan, I still adore anything made with cornmeal, sorghum molasses or buttermilk. I hope my recipes reflect all of this.

Also, One day a few years ago I realized that my two sweet daughters would not be receiving any handed down recipe cards from me. There were no quickly scribbled recipes for pies or cakes, no family favorites jotted down for sharing…nada. At that same time I became more aware of the world of blogs. “Food on Fifth” was started with the idea of creating a modern version of the “recipe file box” along with short stories for my daughters.

4. How does your writing process work?

I love to write and life is just full of inspiration of one sort or the other. Something in the news can spark an idea (see “Borscht in a Bowl for Cold February Dinners” inspired by the Olympics in Russia), or what is in season right now (see “Ruby Red Strawberry Victoria Sponge Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Filling”), or an unusual comestible that captivates me (see “Buddha Hand Good Luck Marmalade”), or finally a special occasion or holiday that merits acknowledgement via food (see “Blackberry Pie on the Fourth of July”)….the list goes on.

Literally how do I design a post?  I figure out a recipe or how-to process, shop or use what I already have, measure, cook, photograph along the way through the process. I set up a final “beauty” shot trying out various looks & photograph those. I process the images on my computer, cropping, adding script at times, adjusting the color, generally noodling around until my images look as I want them to. I move all the images over to my blog site, start writing, placing photos where they look best until I get everything the way I want it. I add tags & categories, choose a blog opening image, edit and edit again and hit publish. I can pretty much do all this in about 3 hours depending on the recipe. Sometimes more, sometimes less. That is it, plain and simple! When I am pressed for time I go to my “Blog Bank” (see next paragraph) and choose something from there.

Here is my best writing/blogging tip: One of the things I learned early on is that you want to “bank” some blog posts when you have the time to play around and experiment because the days and weeks will come when blogging time is precious and scarce. I call this “Banking the Blog”.

….Who’s Next? Some of Blogs I Recommend….

Nancy – Good Food Matters I have been delightfully following Nancy’s blog for over 5 years. She is a cook extraordinaire, a food activist, a recovering caterer,  and is about to have her first cookbook, “The Thursday Community Potluck” released nationally. Nancy’s blog is one of my favorites. Her writing style is sophisticated-homey, the stories that connect to the recipes are just delicious always leaving me wanting more.

Charles – Local Forkful Charles’s blog has wonderfully charming stories about his family and his life. He manages to bring in his boyhood history which has many parallels to mine. He is a trained Chef who makes his food very approachable & doable for anyone. He includes lots of Southern traditional foods with a modern twist. Charles is also very engaged in his food community. When you take a look at his blog and see his photograph you will see that his smile says it all.

Angela – Spinach Tiger I first got to know Angela via her blog. She would visit my blog and I would visit hers. We sent emails back and forth about various things we have in common and became quick “blogging friends”. Angela is great about touting local restaurants, sharing her latest recipes, and culinary information about what is going on about the area. We finally met and she is not only a wonderful blogger, but very funny indeed. Check it out. You will see what I mean.

(Sorry folks, but I had such good response to my query to join us I am slipping in a fourth of my favorites)

Jill – Jill Cooks Here Jill travels, she cooks, she edits a national magazine, she’s a Mom, she runs, she cooks….a lot. Her blog is fun and has some of the easiest recipes I have ever seen. Nothing at “Jill Cooks Here” is fussy or overworked. Her recipes and her fun stories are just as down to earth as she is and that is a good thing. Oh yeah, she is a registered dietician and can answer almost any question I have proposed to her about food, nutrition and what all those weird ingredient words are on the back of processed foods!

Oh by the way, the biscuits are ready…do you need a fresh cup of coffee? Some homemade butter? How about some homemade marmalade?

DSC_7074“Just Biscuits” Recipe:

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2 cups Self-rising flour

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt whisked together with 1/4 cup whole milk

Melted butter to brush on top

To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add self-rising flour to a mixing bowl making a “well” in the center with a fork.

3. Gently pour yogurt-milk mixture into the well. Blend dry and wet ingredients together with the fork. Dough should be a bit wet and sticky. Add a bit more milk if necessary.

4. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Shake flour over the top and gently pat out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 3 inch cutter & place biscuits on a sheet pan or black iron skillet or biscuit pan that has been greased. Brush tops with melted butter.

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5. Place in pan in oven & bake until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve with softened butter & preserves.

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Light and airy, warm and buttery!

(Just Biscuits recipe was adapted from Tammy Algood’s recipe found in her book “The Complete Southern Cookbook: More than 800 of the Most Delicious, Down-Home Recipes”

See you soon.