Cornmeal Drop Biscuits…Being Martha

Once you have your ingredients ready to go for the biscuits, I would start the chili first as the biscuits are really easy to make and don’t take much time.  This is my chili from scratch; a really simple recipe.  If there is interest, I can post the recipe.

Combine the dry ingredients first….cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, etc.  Then, cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.  If you don’t have one, you can use two knives or this alternate method here.  The one key to cutting butter into dry ingredients is that the butter is chilled.  The buter does not need to be fully blended.  Small pea size chunks of butter are okay.  They make the biscuits even better once cooked.

Add in the milk to the dry ingredients and butter.  Mix until just combined.  It will be chunky because of the butter…that is OKAY!

Use two spoons to drop 1/3 cup size biscuits onto a cookie sheet.  This takes a little bit of coordination and the dough is a little sticky.  Take your time and be patient with yourself.

The biscuits dropped onto the cookie sheets look like they will fall apart.  Resist the urge to make them perfect little balls.  They will ruin the consistency of the biscuits once they good and will not allow the butter chunks to melt throughout.

Do not overcook…pull them out when you see a tinge of golden brown start to show up around the base.  The one thing that I would have done differently was to place parchment paper or a baking liner on the baking sheet.  it would have made it easier to pull the biscuits off with out scraping off the good crunchy bottom.  Here they are all done and ready to eat.

This is such a quick and easy recipe.  I think it would be really good as a topping to a baked chili dish even.  Maybe place your chili in an 8×8 glass dish, top with this cornmeal biscuit dough and cook for 20 minutes….it would be so good!!!

I would rate this an EASY recipe great for the beginner baker or even kids.

I would rate the taste a 9 out of 10.

The one thing I liked about this recipe is that the biscuits were not really dry like other cornmeal breads or muffins.  Instead, they were very moist and had a great taste.

Happy Baking!


Shortbread Fingers … Being Martha

In case you don’t know, I have challenged myself to bake everything in the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.  You can read more about it here or on the menu above by clicking “Being Martha”.  Last night, I decided to try the Shortbread Fingers recipe that is on page 123 of the book. You can find the recipe online here.  They are so easy to make with very few ingredients and so simple to make.

You start by mixing the dry ingredients together which include flour, salt and confectioners sugar (or powdered).  The online recipe class for either confectioner’s sugar or granulated sugar.  I prefer the confectioner’s because of the texture that it gives the cookie.  Plus, you put a ton of granulated sugar on top of the cookie.

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

Add the dry ingredients to the already soft and fluffy room temperature butter that has been beat for about 4 minutes.  Room temperature ingredients make a difference; pay attention to recipes when they ask for this.

Adding Dry Ingredients to Butter

Once the batter is mixed together (don’t over mix) and the consistency of soft cookie dough, it is ready to spread into the pan.  The pan should be a 12×8 pan and the layer of dough will be rather thin.  Use an offset spatula for best results.

Spreading Batter in Pan

Then, you pop the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  Once it comes out, make some holes in the dough with a fork and pop it in a preheated oven of 325 degrees.

Poking Holes...

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.  Pull from oven and immediately sprinkler the granulated sugar on top and cut into your desired pieces.  It is important to cut the pieces while it is still hot.  After that, let the cookies cool completely in the pan.  I choose a wire rack to speed up the process.

Right Out of Oven

 Here’s what they look like once they are all cool and you start removing them…nice looking, huh?



Arranged on a Plate

These are all ready to eat.  They look lovely on a plate arranged.  I might even cut them into smaller pieces next time or you may even be able to cut them in shapes with cookie cutters right out of the oven.  That would be fun.  They are a rick cookie so the pieces don’t have to be so big.  These would be great with a nice coffee, some fresh berries or even dipped in chocolate.

Ready for Eating

Now for the ratings:

I would rate this an EASY recipe great for the beginner baker or even kids.

I would rate the taste an 8 out of 10.

Check back in soon for new recipes and my next “Being Martha” adventure.

Have a great week.


Tomato Basil Appetizers

A Sunday afternoon wine blending party and what shall I bring?  I settled on these simple and yummy appetizers.  At the time, I was pretty busy with work so I took the easy way with a few store bought items.  If you have more time, you can certainly cut out some of the store bought items and make from scratch.


- Grape Tomatoes

- Fresh Basil Leaves

- Mozzarella  (marinated)

- Toothpicks

- Balsamic Vinegar

- Olive Oil

 You will want a few baskets of grape tomatoes.  There are always a few that are too ripe and you won’t be able to use these.  They won’t stand up to the toothpick and cutting.  I was able to find these great marinated mozzarella balls which are called Mozzarella Fresca.  They are in the specialty area of your grocery store where the cheese are located.  Check out their website, they have some cool recipes.  First, you clean everything, then you halve the tomatoes and the cut up the basil into smaller pieces; about 2″ or so.

Then, you begin the assembly.  If you use the mozzarella fresca, be prepared to get pretty messy!  Try doing this and taking pics!  Anyways, start your layering.

Tomato ~~~~~Mozzarella Ball~~~~~Basil~~~~~Tomato

A few tips:

- Try to cut the tomatoes as even as possible.

-For the last tomato that you put on, place the cut side down.  This will allow the appetizers to stand up!

-Don’t push the toothpick too far beyond the last tomato or it won’t stand up.

I arranged mine all on a plate with some small italian seasoned breadsticks.  Of course, I always forget to take that last perfect photo of the plate!  If you do this recipe from scratch, this is when you would drizzle the plate with the olive oil and balsamic.  I only had to drizzle the balsamic as the mozzarella fresco already had everything well marinated.

That’s all there is…it took about 30 minutes to put all of this together.  Grab a bottle of wine and enjoy!