Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits
Do you ever remake a recipe only to find it doesn’t remotely resemble what you remember? I made a variation of these biscuits on a sunny afternoon in Southern California. They were flaky and layered, perhaps because I envelope-folded the dough a few times. I distinctly remember having trouble getting the dough to come together.

This time around, the dough was so wet it was impossible to knead. I patted the mass into a uniformly thick rectangle, cut it into biscuits, and hoped they wouldn’t spread beyond the confines of the baking sheet. The finished biscuits were crisp on the outside, fluffy in the middle, and prone to crumbling. They would go well with fried eggs and bacon, but they’re too delicate to split and fill with sausage gravy. I’m not sure I liked them more than the herbed variation, but I definitely preferred the texture. I’d recommend looking for a lower-gluten self rising flour instead of all-purpose.

I’ve only tried two biscuit recipes- this one, and Cooks Illustrated’s drop biscuits. I think my technique needs improvement before I can judge which recipes I really like…
Continue reading Angel Biscuits

Peach Buttermilk Coffee Cake

The local DIY group has hosted two local food potlucks. Since there were far more savory than sweet dishes at the first potluck, I decided to make two desserts for the second. Several attendees had the same idea though, which meant this peach buttermilk coffee cake and apple sour cream pie were two of too-many dessert options: oatmeal-chocolate-fig cookies, peach cobbler, fig-blueberry pie with a chocolate nut crust, and some sort of blueberry cake, to name a few.

I usually hate taking home leftovers, but I was more than happy to in this case. I’d say the cake deserves a spot on my unofficial list of best coffee cakes ever. With most coffee cakes:

Few, however, have that perfect blend of balanced components and great execution. If I’m going to eat a cake that in all likelihood has a pound of butter in it, I want crunchy streusel, a crackly-creamy-sugary glaze, an interesting filling, and a well-browned exterior. As you can see, this cake fits the bill:
Peach Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Peach Buttermilk Coffee Cake Continue reading Peach Buttermilk Coffee Cake


I sort of invited myself to a Fourth of July barbecue. One of my coworkers expressed interest in doing something, so at a group lunch I blurted out, “you should have people over. I’ll bring Sangria!” Graciously, he offered to host a small get-together.

Here I should mention that i’ve never had sangria, and I have no idea how to make it. At the time, it seemed like a festive beverage suggestion- the sort of thing i’d consider making for a party, even if I wouldn’t drink it myself.

I first heard of sangria was when I was getting ready for a trip to Sevilla. Most of the websites and books I read said something like: “Sangria is a tourist beverage. Avoid all restaurants that blatantly advertise sangria or paella.” I opted instead to drink Tinto de Verano, a popular summer beverage that in my experience has been 1 part box wine, 1 part Fanta.

Like Tinto de Verano, sangria can be deceptively potent, especially when it’s full of cold, ripe fruit. I picked this recipe because I had some great Chilton County peaches on hand, as well as several bottles of POM Wonderful juice. To help keep things cold, I froze the pitcher and the fruit slices ahead of time. I’m glad I made it- everyone liked it, and there was just enough to go around.

Continue reading Sangria