Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A little Halloween Fun and Biscuit Success!

This year for Halloween we joined forces with some friends to build a haunted yard. We spent most of the day before Halloween at their home enjoying a pot luck barbecue and carving pumpkins while the guys set up, then headed back over on Halloween night for trick-or-treating. I had a little extra fun with the dishes I brought.
Potato Salad with Grated Carrot and Radish Eyeballs

Fruit Punch
For the potato salad, I just made a standard salad with mustard and mayo then added grated carrots and radish for extra color. The eyeballs are partially pealed radishes with holes dug out to fit a lifesaver and some mini chocolate chips in the center. I've seen these done with olives too but I just used what I had on hand. Tip: If you're going to add radish to your potato salad, do so sparingly. It was very strong.

For the punch I mixed a can of orange juice and a can of lemonade concentrate then used a bit of the mix to cook tapioca beads, adding more as it started to gel in the pan. Once the tapioca was cooked, I added a few drops each of green and red food coloring and put the whole lumpy gelatinous goop into the orange juice and lemonade mix. To that I added a two liter bottle of sprite, several sour patch straws (or gummy worms), Swedish fish, and three large scoops of rainbow sherbet and voila, I had Putrid Pond Water Punch, complete with worms and fish eggs.  I assure you that although it looks absolutely disgusting, its tart lemon flavor is delicious.

Aaand last but not least, I made some pretty darn good biscuits today! The recipe can be found here. I reduced the salt to 1/2 teaspoon and replaced all of the shortening with real butter. Some of them were a little lopsided but overall they rose nicely and had a glorious buttery flavor. Another recipe I've looked at uses an extra 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup milk. I might try that next time just to see what happens. For our Halloween breakfast, I also made these, but cooked them in muffin tins. I made and indention in each before baking and filled that with cubed ham and cheese and called them Halloween Blobs. I have been told they must go on the regular breakfast menu rotation. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture before they got gobbled up.

Update*** Check out these beauties. I added the extra flour and milk, plus an additional approximately 2 tablespoons of flour because the dough was too soft to work with. They are still a little lopsided, but these are the softest, biggest biscuits yet. Definitely found a keeper! The original recipe can be found here. Below the picture you'll find my version.

2 cups plus approximately 2 tablespoons- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 T white sugar
1/3 c. COLD butter
1 c. milk

Whisk together dry ingredients, cut in butter with a pastry blender or fingers then add milk. Press or roll out dough to about 3/4 inch thick and cut with a large biscuit cutter. Work the dough as little as possible. Repeat until all the dough is used. Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes. Enjoy 100% trans-fat free giant jumbo buttery goodness. Makes about half a dozen.

I also captured a picture of the so called blobs. These are a great portable breakfast with a little bit of protein! I wonder how they'd taste with some cream cheese on them.

PS. Notice my new baking sheets? I got two at Walmart. It's the Nordic Ware "Natural Commercial Bakeware" and they cost me just over $10 each. Here's a link to the same thing on Amazon. The rolled lip keeps them from warping in the hot oven. They clean up easily and bake like a dream. I've only used them twice, for the biscuits and for a batch of pumpkin spiced cookies, but so far, I really, really like them! I will need at least a couple more before I embark on my annual Christmas baking extravaganza. These replaced my cheapo flat sheets that I discarded after my last biscuit baking catastrophe that ended with the use of the kitchen fire extinguisher.

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