Blueberry Cobbler Biscuits

The thing about biscuits is that you don’t know whether to eat them in the morning for breakfast or devour them at dinner as a roll to sop up all of the yummy sauce left behind. I’m getting off track…what was I saying? Oh, do you lean them towards something sweet or something savory? I don’t really care because just as long as biscuits are involved I’m not complaining. Whoever invented biscuits should get a huge monument built in their honor. Like a big statue or something, at least. I know that in different parts of the world, biscuits are completely different. It’s more of a cookie or a cracker of some kind. But here in the states, for the most part, we’re talking about buttery fluffy quick breads that I just want to stuff my face with. 

These are a cross between a few different desserts. It’s like blueberry crumble meets blueberry cobbler—because cobblers are usually topped with biscuits—meets blueberry streusel muffins meets buttermilk biscuits. I chose blueberries because they’re currently in season and are on sale everywhere I turn. Literally, everywhere. They’re practically giving them away. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something sweet to use up all those free blueberries. Here we are now, knee deep in blueberry cobbler biscuits. Not really knee deep, but how cool (and delicious) would that be?! I’m making a mental note right now, as I type this, to make that fantasy a reality. Jonathan Melendez: Making dreams come true since August 2014. 

True fact: My mamma’s favorite berry is a blueberry. She also shares my love (and passion) for biscuits so this recipe actually goes out to her as a BTW, FYI, and P.S. It’s the least I could do after she gave birth to me and fed me and clothed me and provided a roof over my head for all those years. I mean, biscuits pretty much makes us even. Right mom? You don’t have to answer because I know they do. That’s how magical biscuits are. Get in on all this magic. 

[Read more…]

Loaded Baked Potato Scones

I don’t think I have to explain my undying love of potatoes to you. I think you just get it. If I were to say to you that potatoes are the best vegetable/starch ever, like in all the worlds, well you would know I wasn’t lying. You’d most likely agree with me, because umm hello, potatoes. I have this obsession with potatoes. That’s where Potato Tacos and Potato Balls come into the picture. Not like a “they’re so good I’m obsessed can’t get enough of them” kind of obsession. While yes that’s true, it’s more like a “I need to eat potato everything and anything because they’re that good,” kind of obsession. I think it’s a healthy addiction. Nothing to worry about. It’s quite common if you really think about it. Don’t look at me like that!

I know that at some point I’ll be asked if these are scones or biscuits, and to tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure myself. I have no idea. Let’s be frank, they look exactly the same. All I know is that they’re flaky and delicious and I want to eat them all. I guess we can call them biscuit scones. Biscones. Or sconsuits. Hey look at us, we’re inventing new things. Aren’t we clever? The answer is yes. Always, yes. In all honesty, jokes aside, scones and biscuits, they’re pretty much the same thing, right? I mean, I can’t really tell the difference. Some sources claim to know the answer. The answer being that scones have eggs in the dough. Um no. I know plenty of scones that don’t have eggs in them so therefore, are they biscuits? Others claim that scones are scones if they are triangular and biscuits are biscuits if they are circular. This might be the case but at the same time, I’ve seen circular scones so I don’t think there’s a right answer here. I think the people who invented each of them got together and decided to play a trick on all of us. They wanted to mess with our heads. 

The bottom line is I made these potato scones/biscuits with bacon and cheese and I can’t think of anything more delicious at the moment. They’re something out of this world, especially right out of the oven all warm and flaky and delicious looking. Am I convincing you yet? These biscuits/scones are sort of like the ultimate snack, perfect for on-the-go. It’s potatoes, cheese and bacon and bread in a small package that you can eat with one hand while you (safely) drive to work or school or where ever else you drive. How about now? Are you convinced? These scones/biscuits are all like, “Hey look at us, we’re loaded with potatoes and crispy bacon and delicious cheese. You need to eat us!” They’re calling out to you because they know you can’t resist. Don’t fight it anymore, go on and make these biscuits/scones for yourself. 

[Read more…]

Pesto-Spinach Muffins

Whenever I decide to bake up a batch of muffins, some of the flavors that come to mind are blueberry, chocolate, banana nut, and perhaps bran (if I am in a healthy mood, which is practically never). The idea of savory muffins are somewhat new to me. I must admit that I have an inclination to think that muffins should only be sweet. Shame on me. Perhaps it is because this is all I am used to. I am a creature of habit and I do not normally eat or encounter, for that matter, savory muffins on a regular basis. Sweet muffins doused with sugar and made with tart fruit or rich chocolate chips is what I have become accustomed to. It is what I constantly surround myself with. I have recently learned that muffins can be savory as well, and in fact, they are even more delicious than sweet muffins. Forget everything you think you know about muffins. Put those blueberries, bananas, and chocolate chips on the back shelf and take out the cheese, the basil and the spinach; your life is about to change.

It might come off as quite a shock that I actually prefer savory over sweet. Do not get me wrong, I love dessert just as much as the next person, but I would much rather have a second helping of dinner than to save room for a sweet treat at the end of the meal. The idea of enjoying something cheesy, crunchy and salty is much more appealing, exciting and inviting than something that is creamy, sugary and chocolatey. There are few things in life that are more satisfying than warm, freshly baked bread. Now take that bread and mix it with homemade pesto and shredded mozzarella cheese, bake it until golden brown and you have yourself quite possibly the world’s best muffin. Ever.

The undeniable truth of this whole matter is that I really just wanted an excuse to eat green colored food. Green happens to be my favorite color and I will literally jump at any chance I am given to eat something that looks like it came out of one of Dr. Seuss’s books. Or something that Popeye himself would serve at his house. If I could get away with it, I would just add green food coloring to all my food. That however, does not sound too appetizing so I resist the urge everyday to reach into my pantry for the bottle of coloring. These muffins just so happen to get their green hue naturally from homemade pesto which is a double win because if you do not feel like making pesto-spinach muffins, well guess what, you now have a recipe for pesto that you can easily double and toss with cooked pasta. Weeknight dinner anyone? I think so. I think so.

[Read more…]

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones

As autumn continues we find ourselves needing more inspiration in the kitchen. We are easily bored by the doldrum ideas that consume us during this time of year. The same baked goods we make on a daily basis. Each week. Each month. Throughout the year we find ourselves getting into a rut. One that we cannot seem to get out of until the arrival of the holidays. We end up growing tired of the boring recipes we make on a regular basis. And why shouldn’t we? After all we are creatures of habit and when something we make is good, we end up making it all the time until we get bored of it. Until those around us get bored of it. We need something different. Something new. Perhaps it is the spirit of the holidays that make us become so adventurous in the kitchen. The fact that our loved ones will all come together, and we want to impress them with our culinary skills. We look out to find new recipes that are a little bit fancier than what we are accustomed to. Recipes that are little more impressive and labor intensive. Yet we go into the unknown waters, so to speak, with caution and hesitation. We begin to question our skills as if not knowing what we are capable of. Yet we tread on with persistence because the idea of failing is much more inviting than the idea of not trying at all. Cooking and baking disasters are not things we should be ashamed of. Rather they should be looked upon as learning experiences. Situations that help us grow as cooks.

With the holidays fast approaching, we spend most of our time preparing for the big celebration. The grand dinner on the last Thursday of November. All of our attention goes to preparing the main event. We make a blueprint and plan out what we have to do and at what time we have to do it. Some of us are lucky, or perhaps just smarter, and we realize that we do not have to cook it all ourselves. So we divvy up the roles and assign different dishes to different friends and family. While everyone is so consumed on the turkey, the sides, the gravy and cranberry sauce, and the desserts some things are forgotten. Some things are left out. We become so invested in planning out the perfect meal and have become experts in mapping out the cooking and prepping times that go into it all, that one thing is neglected. The big day finally arrives and you begin your preparations before the sun even comes out. As the morning progresses and everyone starts waking up, you realize that you do not have time to make breakfast. That was one part of the day you did not plan out. The last thing you want to do, at this point, is go out and brave the supermarkets with all the other last minute and forgot-something shoppers. You do not want to deal with that madness or with the cranky cashiers who would much rather be home with their family and friends, enjoying the day relaxing instead of working.

You look around in your pantry and in the refrigerator and you cannot seem to think of anything. Mornings are usually brought to us by breads like coffee cake, bagels, english muffins, and scones. You go through all the different possible situations in your head. Just when cereal begins to look like your best bet, you think of an idea. Scones. Sure, you can make them. Scones are easy to put together. You have time for that. Look at your perfectly planned out schedule. You have time. You grab a few ingredients from the fridge and some from the pantry. Of course it is Thanksgiving morning and you do not want anything ordinary. You are still looking to impress. Still adventurous. Two ingredients stand out to you like beacons of light. Pumpkin and cranberries. Thankfully you stocked up on both for the big event. You mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and other autumnal spices, and combine the wet. Toss in the cranberries and mix in the pumpkin, stirring until just combined. Quickly and efficiently you put together the dough and shape it. You proceed to cut it into scone-like triangles, and bake them for about 20 minutes until the house is filled with the warmth smell of fall. Coffee peculating. Marveling at yourself for whipping up breakfast in a cinch, you cannot help but wonder, how you would have made Julia Child proud. Heck, you would even have made Martha Stewart proud with the cranberry and pumpkin addition. Okay that’s enough self-apprecition, you still have a long list of to-do’s to get done. So get back to work.

[Read more…]