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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cooking in Stilettos Turns 1!

Holy crap! Can you believe it? An entire year has gone by since I began my baby steps into the blogosphere. It has been a fun journey. I have learned so much and met so many cool folks in the process. Who knew that the hardest part (at least for me) would be overcoming my perfectionism and just posting already. Yeah, still working on that. But, I have ideas in the works, my lovelies, ideas in the works.

In the mean time, it's New Year's Eve! Now, I have to confess, I have not always been the biggest fan of NYE. It always seems to be filled with expectations that somehow fall flat, leaving you with this sense of disappointment and, I don't know, loser-dom. However, I changed my attitude over the last few years. I embrace whatever I end up doing and make sure there are elements to it that are sure to make me feel great. Having said that...

Last year my lovely friend and neighbor along with her husband and children joined us at our house (see NYE at the McKane's), and we had a lovely evening filled with great food, fun conversation, and of course a bit of bubbly. This year my neighbor is returning the favor and hosting us at her house. I am contributing the dessert, Tres Leches cake, and my husband is making the bread, a lovely ciabatta. In addition, I am bringing over the makings for limontinis and amaretto sours.

I have the most lovely outfit planned for this evening! While visiting my father in Portland, OR over Christmas, I bought the most gorgeous vintage emerald green wiggle dress at The Pop-Up Shoppe. Coupled with decadent stockings and the most divine lime green and black lace bra and panty set from Jane's Vanity (you guys know how I love them!) I will feel like I am ready to start the new year off well dressed and well loved.

Notice how I balanced the brightness of the green with a neutral black stocking and black patent stiletto? If it were spring or summer, I would have gone with a nude heel, but it being winter and evening, I chose to set off the rich color with a black.

I am going to show you two recipes today, my dears. The first is true, from scratch Southern biscuits. I've been meaning to show you this recipe for a while, but never got around to it. Seeing as that it is the end of the year and all, it seemed like a good time to just post it!

No, this is not the best quality photo.  It's my iPhone. But, my camera battery is dead and I really wanted to post this recipe this year, so, well, there it is. These are not sweet, gummy, pasty biscuits like you may have had passed off on you at chain restaurants. They are tender, flaky and melt in your mouth.

Southern Baking Powder Biscuits:

2 c. bread flour (This is important. The bread flour creates the crispy crust and tender crumb. I have used all purpose before. They're good but not the same)

3 t. baking bowder

1 t. salt

1/3 c. shortening

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together. Blend shortening into flour mixture with fork or pastry blender until pieces are about pea sized crumbs.  Add buttermilk. Fold in gently until just combined. Again, this is the important bit. If you over mix it and try to make the dough uniform in consistency, you will have biscuit bricks. Not even kidding. You will be able to build a house with those suckers.

Turn out the dough onto a well floured counter. Fold in half and press flat to 1 1/2 inch thickness. Turn dough 90 degrees and repeat. Dough should be smooth and very soft.

Cut into 2 inch circles or squares. Place on baking sheet with sides touching (they will have something to rise against) and bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown.

Sit back, drink a great cup of coffee, and a handful of Southern breakfast goodness. I like my biscuits with sausage and blackberry jam (it's a sweet and salty thing). Or with milk gravy-a true Southern favorite.

Milk Gravy: 

4 T. unsalted butter

4 T. all purpose flour

2 c. milk

salt and pepper to taste

Milk gravy is silky, creamy goodness. Add the fact that it's dead easy and you've got a winner

Melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, stirring with a whisk and cooking for 1 minute. The butter/flour mixture should be bubbly and light golden brown, otherwise your gravy will taste like uncooked flour (blech).

Slowly add milk and cook over low heat until the gravy begins to thicken. If you like your gravy thinner, just add a little more milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. I add about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper. 

Pour over everything. Yep. It's that good.

Cheers! And thanks to everyone for making my first year of blogging a great one!


  1. Happy New Year!! Hope your party turned out to be super fun :) I know exactly what you mean by the anti-climactic NYE plans... happens to me all the time, mostly on bdays and new years eves!! :D but yes, im still working on not letting these feelings drag me down :)
    your dress is gorgeous!! and love the stilettos!

  2. Congratulations on 1 year of fabulous bloging!!! You look AMAZING in that dress, the perfect color for you ~ & I love knowing exactly the lusciousness you've got going on underneath!!
    Thank you, also, for the biscuit recipe - the only one I have is my great-grandmothers, which involves yeast and rising and overnight-rising. Rarely do I have the patience to wait when I want tasty biscuits. Can't wait to try it!!
    xoxo, darling.

  3. Thanks so much! I do hope to make a few improvements this year, but most of all post more regularly. I love to post glowing remarks about my lovely little lacies underneath. I wish I could encourage more women to feel beautiful about themselves in just their skivvies (albeit very decadent skivvies!) Enjoy the biscuit recipe-20 minutes and you're done!