How to Make Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits


I can’t think of anything more delicious than homemade buttermilk biscuits. My grandmas would make them for every family gathering for both breakfast and supper. They make an excellent accompaniment for more than just sausage gravy.  Our family served these instead of dinner rolls. The best part is they are super easy to make, if you know the secret to getting light, fluffy and mile high biscuits.

 Just Two Ingredients

 That’s right. You only need two ingredients to make these delicious buttermilk biscuits. Of course you will need buttermilk. The second ingredient is self-rising flour. Make sure you use self-rising and not all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour has a leavening agent. Without the leavening agent your biscuits won’t rise.

There aren’t really any measurements for this recipe. I start with around 2 cups of flour in a bowl. Then I add some buttermilk and stir to incorporate the buttermilk. I add buttermilk until the mixture comes together in a nice silky, sticky dough.

You want to try not to mix too much. This will make your biscuits dense and tough. Use a wooden spoon or fork to mix initially. Once most of the buttermilk is mixed in, use your hands to knead the dough. The dough will be very sticky. You may want to grease your hands with some oil or cooking spray. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a little more to pick up flour from the surface and make the dough less sticky.

Using your hands, pat the dough out until it is about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick. Then use a biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits.

The Secret to Mile High Biscuits

The big secret to mile high light and fluffy biscuits is a very hot oven and crowding them together in your pan. Here’s how you want to bake them.

If you are using about 2 cups of flour you should be able to make enough biscuits for an 8×8 baking pan. Take that pan and pour about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pan. Just leave it there in a puddle. I usually do this in a corner or off to the side.

Next take one of your cut biscuits and dip both sides in the oil. Now that both sides are coated place the biscuit tight into a corner of the pan. Don’t distort the shape but it should be touching as much of the corner as possible. Take a second biscuit, dip it in the oil to coat both sides and place tight up against the side of the pan and the first biscuit.

Continue placing biscuits until your entire pan is full of biscuits. Don’t worry about the biscuits baking together into one big blob. The biscuits will pull apart when they come out of the oven. By packing the biscuits in tight they have nowhere to go but up. Instead of spreading out they are going to raise.

The other secret to light and fluffy biscuits is baking in a really hot oven. You want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake the biscuits 20-25 minutes. They are done when the bottoms are a nice golden brown.

Cooking for the Freezer November 2017


It is a seriously dreary day out there, but I’m in the kitchen cooking for the freezer. Unfortunately this blogging gig and vintage collectibles business is just part time. So far a hobby that nets a little profit. For my full time gig I work as a registered nurse. For a variety of reasons I spend 3 days a week away from home. However, the Handy Hubby still needs to be fed. I accomplish this by being seriously organized with meal planning and keeping a well stocked freezer (I actually have 3).

I thought I would write a quick post to give you a little insight into my process. Maybe you can use some of my techniques.

Why cook for 2 when 10 will do?

Today I am taking advantage of one of my favorite techniques for stocking my freezer. I always cook extra of freezable meals. Earlier in the week I made cabbage rolls. I used 3 pounds of ground meat for making the filling. Plus I had a huge cabbage with huge leaves. It made a pretty large batch. Naturally Handy Hubby and I didn’t come close to eating all of them. So this morning I got out the handy vacuum sealer and divided the portions into 2 different meals and voila! Now I have 2 ready made meals in my freezer.

I do the same thing when it comes to soups. I love making soups and it is definetly the best time of year to make soup. Sometimes I will make REALLY large amounts and can them using my pressure canner. However, even when I make a regular size batch it is often more than we can eat before it spoils. If I just have a quart or 2 I will ladle it into freezer bags and pop it into the freezer.

Holiday Stuffing

There is one more thing I am working on this morning. Let’s talk about the holidays. Yes they are upon us. It was signaled by my purchase of 10 pounds of butter when it was on special this week. The Handy Hubby thought I was a little nuts. But I am starting to think ahead to the family celebrations headed our way. With my work schedule I cook as much in advance as I possibly can. One holiday staple you can make in advance and freeze is the stuffing.

With that in mind, when I purchased my butter I also purchased 4 large loaves of bread to make my stuffing. My mother, who often hosted both sides of the family for the holidays, would have to make 3 different types of stuffing for the holiday table.

The first was what I called the hillbilly dressing. It was a sage dressing like my father’s mother made. My father’s family came from deep in the West Virginia coal fields, hence the name hillbilly dressing. It was my favorite. The second was the Amish dressing. It was very similar to the hillbilly dressing, but it did not contain any sage. Much like the Amish it was very plain in dress. It was her favorite dressing.

Finally she would have to make oyster dressing. This was basically the hillbilly dressing, but you mixed raw oysters into the mix and baked it. This was my father’s favorite and if it wasn’t on the menu he’d say, “You’re not going to make oyster dressing?” in a sort of childlike voice. It was not my favorite and my childhood palette refused to eat it.

My mother never used pre-made stuffing mix. She always prepared her own bread and added her own spices. It was one of the reasons her dressing was so good. She did this by first frying the bread. She would butter both sides and put it in a skillet and brown it on both sides. When you are making that much stuffing it is a long and tedious process. She would spend the entire night before the meal frying bread for the dressing. But it was this fundamental step that made it so delicious. But who wants to stand in front of a stove frying bread for hours on end?

Less work, same great taste

However, I have discovered a short-cut. It wasn’t the actual frying that made everything so yummy, it was the 1/2 tub of butter that she used to butter the bread. I discovered that I could get the same great taste if I toasted the bread in the oven, cut it into cubes, and then poured melted butter into the mix with all the rest of the ingredients. Absolute genius!

As part of my holiday preparation, today I am toasting all of my bread. I will cut it into cubes and then I will vacuum seal it to freeze. When I’m ready, I just need to thaw out the bread, mix up the ingredients and then bake. I pack it into amounts needed for a small 8×8 casserole dish. This is the perfect size for Handy Hubby and me. If making a larger amount I just use more than 1 bag.

Amish Inspired Texas Sheet Cake

Amish Inspired Texas Sheet Cake

Who doesn’t love chocolate and who doesn’t love cake? (Well I have a cousin that doesn’t like chocolate, but she’s just plain weird.)

When it comes to comfort food chocolate cake is at the top of the list and this recipe for Texas Sheet Cake couldn’t be more simple. It literally takes 15 minutes to put together. And the icing, the icing is even simpler than the cake. You just pour it on and spread to cover. Better yet its a recipe that comes straight from Amish country. When it comes to comfort food you can’t get any better than an Amish cookbook and that is where this recipe comes from. Trust me I know, my heritage is dripping with Amish influence.

I love cookbooks and I especially like old cookbooks. Luckily I have a Mom that generously feeds my habit. When she and Dad were downsizing I inherited all the cookbooks she had collected over the years. Many of them were the locally produced variety. The type that were made up of recipes contributed by the members of the organizations that were publishing the books. They were usually fund raising efforts for churches, the high school band, local 4-H club. One in my collection was produced by the workers and friends of the Der Dutchman restaurant in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Anyone familiar with Walnut Creek knows that it is small town right in the middle of Ohio’s Amish Country. If you are ever there stop and eat at the Der Dutchman for authentic Amish cooking. Same as I make, but I don’t have to do the dishes.

This cake is so decadent and so delicious that the original recipe called for 1 full pound of powdered sugar for the icing! I measured it out by weight and it totaled 8 cups. Eight cups of powdered sugar. Talk about rich! However, I’ve done some experimentation and have cut that back considerably. It’s still really rich and decadent, but if you want to use the full 1 pound feel free.

What I love about this cake is it comes together so quickly. It takes about 15 minutes to put it together. The bake time is 15-20 minutes. While its baking you put together the icing. As soon as it comes out of the oven you spread the icing on and let it cool. No need to let the cake cool before you ice the cake. It is a great last minute desert. Most of the ingredients are standard pantry staples. Can’t wait to try it huh? Well, here’s the recipe.


Amish Inspired Texas Sheet Cake


2 sticks butter
1 cup water
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a jelly roll sheet pan (some may call this a cookie sheet, just make sure it has sides)
  2. Melt butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Add cocoa and water. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Pour into prepared sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pretty simple. When making I will measure out my sugar and flour into 2 separate bowls. I’ll add my baking soda to the bowl with the flour. I take this extra step so that I can dump things in quickly. After I bring the cocoa mixture to a boil I will take the pan off the heat briefly and add my sugar, stir it up and then add my eggs and sour cream. I take it off the heat and add sugar first to cool it down a bit so I don’t scramble the eggs or curdle the sour cream.

I add the wet ingredients first (I know sugar is dry, but when it melts it gets more liquid) because when you add the flour the mixture can get a bit stiff. Don’t worry at this point. After I get my sugar, eggs and sour cream mixed in I put it back on the heat to add the flour. The heat helps to make the batter less stiff. I just keep stirring so I don’t burn the flour. Once everything is combined I quickly pour it out into my pan and spread it with a spoon or spatula.

While the cake is baking in the oven start the icing.


1 stick butter
4 tablespoon cocoa
6 tablespoon milk
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. In heavy bottomed saucepan melt butter with milk, cocoa and vanilla. Stir constantly and bring to boil.
  2. Add powdered sugar. Stir to combine
  3. Pour on cake immediately after removing from oven.

I usually make this in the same saucepan as I made the cake. Just rinse it out really good. One less dish to wash. I usually have the icing done before the cake is done. I take it off the heat until the cake comes out of the oven, then put it back on the heat to warm it up before spreading on the cake. The icing will harden up as it cools down.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as the Handy Hubby and I do. I’d love to hear how you and your family like it.