Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still a bit chili here...

Here in small town BC it seems the weather is still making up it's mind as to when spring will finally arrive... This winter has seemed really long and cold and I am so ready for some fairer weather. I thought spring had arrived - and had even pulled out my sunglasses and unrolled my car window a few times - but this weekend I woke up to find that it was trying to snow. Bummer. 

When I see the white stuff falling, regardless of if it is sticking or not, I get this immediate impulse to curl up under a blanket, grab a cup of tea, and hunker down with some movies... so this is exactly what I did. I also decided to make a big pot of chili to take me through the work week. It's so nice to have something in the fridge to grab and go or easily re-heat for dinner. My chili is always somewhat random - nothing is measured and it always comes out a bit different so I don't have a recipe to post - however I made some cheddar muffins to go with the chili and will now take a moment to share...

I found this recipe for Cracked Pepper & Cheddar Muffins over at The Spotted Fox and decided to give it a try. I bake pretty regularly (or try to) so I may be biased, but overall I found this recipe super easy to follow. I didn't use muffin liners - I like the rustic way these look without them. The muffins were light and fluffy - I had one right out of the over and the cheese was nice and melted. The cheese flavour is quite mild but you can definitely taste the pepper - something to alter depending on your love of the spice... I think I will keep this recipe for future use.

I'm also going to take a second to share my normal, fail safe cheddar biscuit recipe (that is perfect with chili). I found it a few years back on Food&Whine and it was modeled after Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits (soooo good). This recipe is also super easy and delicious.

Cheddar Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (or seasoning salt)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup butter, cold, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 - 2/3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder. Whisk together to combine thoroughly. Add chunks of butter. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour until it is coarse, pea-sized (doesn't need to be fine). 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. (Shouldn't be sticky, just moist enough to hold together).

Drop approximately 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop or large spoon.Bake for 15-17 minutes. Serve warm.Makes one dozen biscuits. 

*On another note - check out the crafty ideas going on over at Today's Creative Blog as well as Your Sassy Sites (and my piano bench makeover that I shared too!)


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