Homemade Butter

Awhile back, I forgot I was making whipped cream as it was whipping away in my mixer.  I came back to find it a little too whipped and thought that looks a bit like butter.  Later on I was looking at Southern Plate.com and Christy Jordan had instructions on how to make butter in a jar.  I was intrigued, could this really be done?  I told Matt about this and he was a bit doubtful – “but don’t you have to shake it for a long time?” he asked.  I googled some more and came up with a bunch of different recipes and techniques.  The morning I made this I was motivated because I had some extra biscuits and whipping cream.  I was amazed, I felt like I was on Mr. Wizard – do you remember him?  He had a science show where he would teach kids science.  I kept showing Matt my progress “see it is pulling away from the sides” and then “look it has solids in it.”  Total this took me about 10-12 minutes of shaking but would be a great activity to do with kids (of any age, you know 2 – 99). To make the butter, I just used an empty jelly jar.  And guess what – the liquid leftover is buttermilk that you can use!  I am probably way too excited that I can make my own butter.    
Homemade butter
Yields ½ cup butter and ½ cup of buttermilk
Ingredients
1 cup whipping cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
Directions
1.  Use a jar that allows room for shaking butter milk,  the jar I used the cream filled it about half-way.  
2.   Make sure the lid of the jar is on tight, start shaking.  I checked mine about every 3 minutes.  
3.  You will see the sides start to pull away as the butter starts to form.  Continue to shake until finished solids have formed.  

4.  Empty contents in a colander over a bowl.  Reserve liquid (this is buttermilk) and add salt to butter if desired.  You could also make these flavored butters.  
Mangia!

Lindsay Lou

Flavored Butter


I think Blogger is finally back to normal – well kind of.  This post never reappeared so I am re-posting it.  I was unable to post for awhile then was a bit worried because this post disappeared.   It feels great to be back and posting again!  Happy Monday!

Have you been to a restaurant that serves savory and/or sweet butter with their bread/rolls?  Just thinking about it makes me hungry.  I like to make savory and sweet butter for special occasions because it makes me feel extra special and it seems everyone else at the the table likes them too.  Sometimes I add a little a garlic to the herb butter to make garlic bread. With the extra butter, I spread it on Italian bread and put it in the broiler for 1-2 minutes (keep checking it because the broiler is a fiery inferno that will quickly burn your bread (or so I’ve heard 😉

  Herb Butter

I encourage you to try other herb combinations – please share in the comments if you have tried other herbs or do try other herb combinations.  You can very easily multiply this recipe or divide it, as needed.
 

Sweet Butter

Flavored Butter
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Ingredients for Herb Butter

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (you can use salted but then omit the salt)
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Optional
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions for Herb Butter
1.  Mix all ingredients together (you can do this by hand or with a mixer).  Store in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature to serve.

Ingredients for Sweet Butter
4 tablespoons butter (unsalted or salted, if you use unsalted you may want to add a pinch of salt)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey

Directions for Sweet Butter
1.  Mix all ingredients together (you can do this by hand or with a mixer).  Store in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature to serve. 

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Hoosier Baker original

Cheddar-Herb Biscuits

Need I say more?  These biscuits melt in your mouth and are the perfect accompaniment to your winter soup.  You may even have most the ingredients on hand.  Since these are best served fresh from the oven, you can freeze them prior to bake them then bake them frozen by adding a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.  I drop my biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and place it in the freezer until the biscuits are frozen solid.  I then put two biscuits together (bottom side facing each other), wrap them in saran wrap and store them in a plastic bag.  I would highly recommend using freshly grated cheddar cheese, I always think the cheese is a bit dry when you buy pre-shredded compared to grating your own. 


Cheddar-Herb Biscuits
Makes 10 biscuits

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used mild)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, diced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat sour cream)


Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 450F
2. Using a whisk, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3.  Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture looks like course crumbs.
4. Add cheese, dill, and chives.  Toss lightly.
5. Add buttermilk and sour cream, mix just until moist.
6.  I used a baking stone that was well-seasoned but if you are using a metal cookie sheet you should grease it. 
7.   Drop biscuits onto prepared cookie sheet (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup, you could also use a spoon).
8.  Bake for 15 minutes or until edges of the biscuits are brown (if they are frozen add a couple of minutes to the bake time).  Serve warm.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source:  Slightly Adapted from Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits, Cooking Light March 2005

Homemade Croutons


I am on a salad and soup kick, I can’t help it – this cold rainy weather makes me want soup. What goes great with soup and salad? Homemade croutons! I have never made homemade croutons, but I love them. A restaurant I used to go to in Bloomington, IN had homemade croutons and they were just scrumptious. I was inspired, okay determined not to let 2 loaves of homemade bread go to waste when I realized they just didn’t taste very good. You could also do this with bread that tastes just fine too 😉 With the 2 loaves of bread I had about 11 cups of bread chunks. This is a recipe that you could alter easily: if you have less bread – use less oil, you just want the bread to be coated in olive oil not drenched. Want to use different spices – go right ahead you could use red pepper flakes and make them spicy or add oregano and basil. Be inventive and inspired! These are best day of, I stored mine in the cupboard in a plastic bag and they were not as good 2-3 days later.

Ingredients
11 cups bread, cubed into about 1-inch squares
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons course salt

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Toss bread with olive oil, to coat in a large bowl.
3. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to coat bread.
4. Spread coated bread cubes on a pan in a single layer
5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until desired crispness.

Serve with salad (try this Caesar dressing) or Chicken and Orzo Soup.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Lindsay Lou original

Homemade Tortillas



Once you make homemade tortillas you will never buy them again. I was amazed at how easy homemade tortillas were to make. Definitely a great recipe to make with kids.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour (can also use whole wheat*)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lard or solid vegetable shortening
2/3 cup water *if using whole wheat flour at 1 Tablespoon warm water

1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Rub in the lard or shortening (I use the back of a spoon until it is mostly mixed then I rub it in my hands until it resembles crumbles).
3. Stir in the water
4. Knead lightly until dough is soft
5. Place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic and let rest at least 15 minutes
6. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, roll out tortillas using a rolling pin to 6-7 inch round tortillas (if your dough sticks to the surface you can lightly flour the surface with all purpose flour). Tip: to get round tortilla’s, I roll the dough once then turn the tortilla 180 degrees then roll again, and repeat. Keep tortillas covered until done cooking
7. Heat heavy pan or griddle
8. Cook tortillas about 1 minute on each side, you don’t want them to get to dark or they will be crispy.
9. When tortillas are done cover them in a towel to keep moist (I use clean hand towel).

Tortillas will keep a few days – when cooled, wrap in foil. Do not refrigerate.

Source: Adapted from Bread: The breads of the world and how to bake them at home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou