Mom’s Denver Biscuits

I am so excited to share this recipe!  It’s versatile and crazy delicious.  Besides making killer biscuits, it can be used for deep dish pizza, emapanadas, sopapillas, tortillas, breadsticks, pretty much whatever you can think of and it freezes well.  Enjoy!

Pour 1 qt./4 cups milk (we use rice milk) into a saucepan.  Slowly heat till scalded.  Bubbles should be rolling on the sides and under surface but not boiling.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup coconut oil or shortening.  Allow to cool then add 2 Tbs yeast.  Wait a few minutes to let yeast proof, then add 2 tsp each baking powder and salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 8 cups flour.  Stir till mixed or find someone else to do it for you.

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Cover and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.

This is what it will look like in the morning after gently scraping down the sides of the bowl.

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Turn out onto a floured surface and pat into the general shape of a 9 by 13 Pyrex.  Cut into even squares with a knife or pizza cutter.

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Pour a generous amount of olive oil into the glass baking dish.  Coat each biscuit on all sides with the oil in the baking dish and fit them in side by side.

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Allow to rise one hour at room temp.

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Bake at 400 for around 30 minutes and tent with foil if the tops start browning too fast.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does!

Photo from Aug 29, 2013

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Breakfast sandwiches with Denver Biscuits, Morningstar sausage, eggs and cheddar cheese.  Good morning!

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Make Me a Mimosa, Kronk!!!

It’s back to school time! Have your kids started yet? Mine will next Wednesday. As much as I will miss him during the day, I will be glad to have a little me time. One thing I am NOT looking forward to is the hectic rush that most school mornings seem to become, at least at my house. Last year I spent time on a Saturday every month or so preparing healthy, freezable, and mostly car friendly breakfasts that could be heated and served in minutes. I cannot tell you how much this helped us get out the door with a minimum of fuss and his teachers actually thanked me for sending him well fed and not on a sugar high. Have you read the ingredients on cereal boxes? Probably 95% have sugar as one of the top 3 ingredients, “Enjoy your sugar crash, Sweetie!!”.

One of my favorite recipes is Denver Biscuits and I’ll share it with you tomorrow. My family makes them every Thanksgiving and they are delicious! I use the dough for plenty of make ahead recipes like biscuit sandwiches, empanadas, and pizza rolls. It can be rolled out very thin for tortillas or fried for sopapillas. You see why it’s one of my favorites?

One more hint, make extra when you’re cooking dinner. If you already have the food processor out, why not grate potatoes, toss them with flour and bake in the oven for burritos? It takes almost no extra time to scramble some eggs, grate cheese in that warmed up food processor, and roll a few breakfast burritos to freeze. If you are making beans in the crockpot, make extra and throw those in too. If you’re making quinoa, make alot and use the extra for quinoa muffins. Steam extra rice and use it to make delicious and filling rice milk for breakfast smoothies the next day. Spending 10 extra minutes in the evening is not a big deal, but those same 10 minutes can cause grey hairs on school mornings.

Here are just a few make ahead breakfast ideas and if you have some to share, please do!!

Whole grain waffles or pancakes. I make a ton, and freeze them separated with deli wrap (you can buy a huge box at Costco, its even pre cut) in freezer bags. I make savory waffles with cheddar and chopped chives, or cinnamon and berries. If you add plenty of flavor to the ingredients, you don’t even need syrup. Take a few out of the freezer, pop them in the toaster, and go!

Breakfast burritos. Egg and hashbrowns, beans and rice, quinoa and veggies. They can be wrapped in the deli paper I mentioned above and frozen for a quick, hearty breakfast.

Smoothie chunks. This one doesn’t save all that much time but does simplify things. The berries are prewashed and cut and you only need to take one thing out of the fridge. Buy one of the huge tubs of unsweetened yogurt, I love Mountain High or plain greek. Chop up your kids favorite fruits and berries and add them to muffin cups with the yogurt. Cover and freeze, then pop out the frozen yogurt and store in freezer bags. In the morning, throw a few smoothie chunks into the blender with coconut water, that rice milk you made the night before or orange juice. Healthy and delicious breakfast smoothies are always a hit at my house.

Crock pot oatmeal. Before you go to bed put the ingredients for oatmeal in the crockpot. It cooks for around 4 hours and is perfect in the morning! If you have a fancy crockpot, you can set it to come on during the night or if not, use one of those lamp timers. Ah ha!!!! Add dried fruit or nuts, spices, and if desired, stevia or agave nectar for sweetness. How easy is that?

Granola or homemade granola bars. Have you seen how expensive these items are? And read the ingredient labels? Ouch. It’s so easy to make your own and you know exactly what you are feeding your kids. Pinterest has more recipes than you will ever use and I’ll be posting a few soon.

Mom McMuffins. That delicious Denver Biscuit dough? Yep. Make a big pan of muffins one night, serve some with dinner and use the rest for breakfast sandwiches. Scrambled eggs, sliced cheese, sausage patties (we use Morningstar), maybe sliced tomatoes? You can add whatever sounds good, wrap in deli paper and freeze.

The possibilities are endless and if you need some inspiration, check Pinterest! I can’t get over how clever people are.

Cheers to calm mornings and well fed kids!

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Healthier Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cookies

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Everyone deserves a treat now and then, but why not add or change a few ingredients to make them slightly less sinful with the same indulgent taste? If you haven’t read about coconut oil lately, you should! It’s so very good for you and it’s delicious! Plus, whole wheat flour and heart healthy cinnamon? Gosh, these cookies are almost a vegetable! Kidding. But they are really tasty and sneak a few healthy ingredients into a classic comfort food.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cookies

1/2 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil

1/2 cup organic, unsalted butter

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (white works too)

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

1 cup all-purp. flour

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans (optional, but it is perfect with the cinnamon)

Ready for the first step? DON’T preheat the oven. You’ll see why in a minute.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the , coconut oil, butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add the eggs and blend well.

Combine flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the wet mixture in half cup or so increments, and blend till almost combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans, if using. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour. This step is important if you like thicker, chewy cookies. If you prefer thin, crunchy cookies then just skip this step.

Preheat oven to 375. A mini ice cream scoop is very handy but if you don’t have one, just drop 2 Tablespoons sized chunks on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes then let cool on a wire rack.

Most recipes would say cool for 5 minutes, I say “Who does that?? Dig in!!”

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