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The Better Buttermilk Biscuit

April 28, 2013

dAs I stood in my kitchen looking at carton of leftover buttermilk wondering how I was going to use it before it hit the expiration date, I started thinking of Ms. Paula Dean and thought a batch of buttermilk biscuits would be perfect. 
Since the kitchen counters in my household are tile, dusting the surface with flour makes clean up impossible (have you tried getting flour out of all those little crevices?). I chose to get crafty by covering  a portion of my table with plastic wrap—the less time I spend scrubbing kitchen surfaces the happier I am. 
I quickly learned that it really isn't about the ingredients used or even the recipe. A successful batch of buttermilk biscuits is dependent on the way you handle the dough. The less you touch it, the softer and flakier it will be.  
Make sure to have a lot of extra flour on hand for your surface and hands because the dough is wet and sticky when you first start working it. 
I decided to cut my biscuits into squares (and squarish like shapes) because it means less dough goes to waste. Also I don't have a fancy biscuit cutter with ruffled edges, so I didn't have any other option than to keep it simple. 
My favorite ways to eat biscuits: honey and butter/ egg and cheese sandwich/ turkey and cranberry sandwich/ plain and hot out the oven/ with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top/ with a cup of tea/ with a slice of avocado.

The Better Room of the Week

April 27, 2013

As much as I love them, I believe those perfect white marble and granite kitchens are overrated. I love use of stainless steel, the blue cabinets with a high laquer finish, and the exposed tools stored by the stove. 
*Image via designerpad


The Better Corn Bread

April 20, 2013

I have never been the biggest corn bread fan; it's one of those things where I could take it or leave it. However, my sentiment does not remain the same for the corn bread made at Vons (my local grocery store). I don't know how they do it (because let's be honest grocery store baked goods are the definition of mediocrity). Somehow they developed a recipe that is so perfect, so moist, so sweet and addicting that it brings me, the non-corn-bread-lover, to my knees.  
While it may not be exactly the same as Vons' recipe, it's pretty darn close!
Most corn bread batters tend to be very thick and chunky. The batter for this recipe is thin and cake like, therefore yielding a product similar to moist, fluffy cake. Let's face it, if it's not dessert but I can make it taste like one then it's a mega winner, no?
I approve of this recipe so much that it has even made it into my hand written Moleskin notebook of tested recipes.
Since that day Vons introduced me to what corn bread should be like, I have had a hard time eating any other recipe. Since they don't carry it every day, I've been trying to recreate what my grocery store seems to know so well. This recipe is pretty yummy and the closest I have gotten.

1 cup cornmeal
2 cups flour 
1½ cups sugar
1 tspn salt
2 tbspn baking powder
⅔ cup vegetable oil
⅓cup melted butter
2 tbspn honey
4 eggs
1½cups heavy cream
1 cup skim milk

1. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder in one bowl
2. In separate bowl combine oil, melted butter, honey, eggs, cream, and milk
3. Mix wet and dry ingredients in three additions making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if using a stand mixer
4. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan 
5. Pour batter in pan an cook at 350℉ for 40 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean 

The Better Martha Stays In With Netflix

April 12, 2013


I am officially one month away from finishing my first year of college--mind boggling! As exciting as it is, the visible finish line is also a signal of finals. I take school very seriously, so it means spending evenings in the library and turning in early with a movie before bed. Though my parents offered to buy me a TV for my room I opted not to have one; it would just result in me staying up until 4 in the morning watching NCIS marathons. In my TV-less state, Netflix has been my savior. Here is what I have been watching (and loving) lately. 

Life is Beautiful: Unique mixture of comedy and tragedy that will leave you with a bittersweet feeling.

First Position:  I love seeing young people hard at work. This will make you feel like you've done nothing with your life.

Clueless: Frivolous entertainment at its finest. My sister was a child of the late 80s and I'm a child of the 90s so this was a must in my household. 

Dual Survival: A Discovery Channel TV show that follows two survival experts in harsh environments all over the world. Seriously addicting. 

The Buried Life: Warning this show will make you want to quit your job and road trip while crossing off all your bucket list items. 

Louie: A fictionalized life of comedian Louie C.K. Most of the humor comes from his sad, ordinary life. (Be warned that his humor is rather crass at times).

The Better Wardrobe Essentials for Spring

April 10, 2013

This week was the first time that it finally started looking like spring. Granted this weather is not expected to last long, but I can't help but get excited for what the higher temperature means: no parkas.  
My school's campus is starting to look like a college brochure now that everyone is on the quad listening to music and playing frisbee.
Although the weatherman is telling us not to put away all our sweaters just yet, I'm already planning my warm weather wardrobe. 
summer essentials

The Better Bread Pudding: A Story In Three Bites

April 04, 2013

Generally when I make bread pudding it's generally because I want something from my dad. I find that in his sugar induced haze he generally isn't too resistant to giving me what I want (like this beauty). Some may call it manipulation I call it a fair trade agreement. 
I love how the texture is like a really dense, moist hydrated cake. Oh and don't get me started on the rasins that absorb the liquid. NOM!
{Bite 1}
{Bite 2}
{Bite 3}
I was very proud of how the bread pudding came out, but I was in LOVE with the sauce, a heavy cream, dulce de leche, and Cinnamon Spice Kahlua. I made quite a bit more than needed and it works wonderfully in milkshakes, as a cake filling, or drizzled over ice cream.