Light, Airy Biscuits

Light, Airy Biscuits

For years, I have been trying out biscuit recipes and making changes to develop one that is just right . . . the result is here today.Light, Airy Biscuits

Check it out . . .

Light, Airy Biscuits

I’m serving homemade biscuits with Blackberry Jam in honor of St Michael. Today is the Feast day of St. Michael the Archangel. St Michael is known for fighting Lucifer(Satan) and driving him out of heaven, he landed on a blackberry bush. The tradition is serving blackberry jams, tarts, pies or desserts on his feast day.

Happy St Michael’s Feast day!

Light, Airy Biscuits

Light, Airy Biscuits are down-home and delicious! Ten minutes to make and ten minutes to bake.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup shortening, cut into cubes
  • 2 T. butter, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; whisk together and set aside.

  3. Dissolve the baking soda in buttermilk; set aside.

  4. Cut in the shortening into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

  5. Pour the buttermilk/baking soda evenly over dry ingredients, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Careful not to over mix!

  6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured Silpatº. Pat the dough out to a 3/4" thickness.

    Dip cutter in flour.

    Cut dough straight down; do not twist cutter.

    Place biscuits on a parchment-lined or lightly oiled baking sheet.

  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. or until light golden brown.

    Brush lightly with melted butter.

Phil’s Texas Tacos

Phil’s Texas Tacos

Today, I am cooking Phil’s Texas Tacos in honor of Phil Collins. Just last night we saw him in concert at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. 

What a fantastic concert! 

Everyone know Phil Collins as a rock star. Did you know that he is also named an honorary Texan for his collection of historical artifacts?!! Last time that Phil was in Dallas, I saw him speak to the Dallas Historical Society about his Texas artifact and document collection. 

Phil wrote and published the book, “The Alamo and Beyond”. Reading through it gives much insight into the Alamo and the men who fought the battle at the old, abandoned mission in San Antonio. 

Phil’s passion for Texas history started at an early age when he watched Davy Crocket with Fess Parker. Fast forward to success, his interest in Texas history led to collecting Alamo artifacts. 

As we fix Phil’s Texas Tacos, let’s ‘Remember the Alamo’!

‘Must have’ taco equipment:

  1. The cloth tortilla warmer is made by IMUSA, purchased at Sur La Table.IMUSA

2. Taco holders purchased at Ace Mart.Taco Stands


Phil’s Texas Tacos

Tacos made with ground beef and Tex-Mex seasonings are the easiest dish to cook and everyone loves them!

If you in a pinch for time, substitute Taco Seasoning for the 5 spices!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pkg corn tortillas
  • 1 pkg flour tortillas

Taco toppings: 1 sliced Romaine lettuce, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 diced tomato

  • 1 jar favorite salsa


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the onion and the jalapeno until the onion begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the seasonings – paprika, chili powder, salt , pepper, and garlic powder, continue cooking 1 minute.

  3. Add the ground beef, continue cooking mashing with a potato masher into small pieces until the pink color is gone.

  4. Add the water, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until blended.

  5. Heat the tortillas.

  6. Serve with warm tortillas, toppings, and your favorite salsa!

Culinary Victory

Culinary Victory

It’s a beautiful September day. Flashback. . . We are having the time of our life with Bobby Flay’s team. What fun it is to work with such fun, creative people!

On the other hand, we are nervous too. Will our dishes cook to perfection or burn?! Do we have all of the ingredients?! Will Bobby Flay like the taste?!

This is the day that we have anxiously awaited . . . will it be a culinary victory?!! Grace-anne and I are competing to cook the best dinner and host the best dinner party for Bobby Flay.

The theme of “Bobby’s Dinner Battle” is the Wild West. The judging criteria is based on the flavor of the dishes and how much the menu incorporates the theme. So we are making Old Fashioned cocktails, empanadas, grilled pork tenderloin with an andouille sauce, twice baked potatoes, homemade rolls, and chocolate sorbet for dessert. One of Bobby’s favorites and it should be a snap to make.

We have three hours from start to finish to cook and plate the dinner for Bobby and the other two teams.

Here we go . . . culinary victory or defeat?!

The clock is ticking . . .

Grace-anne is grilling. I’m kneading the dough for the rolls.

Much to our surprise, we have a box of cactus, a challenge ingredient, along with gloves for handling the thorny plants. Wow, we are to cook it and serve the cactus with our meal!

This is not something we were planning on cooking. With not much time to consider our options, Grace-anne gets a knife, shaves off the thorns and slices the cactus into strips. Meanwhile, I am setting up three bowls for battering and frying the cactus. The hot grease bubbles as the battered cactus hits. They cook to a golden brown. They cool off. We taste – as Bobby Flay says to do – they are delicious. What luck!

We cut fresh yellow roses and arrange them in sterling silver Mint Julep cups, grab bandanas, a cowboy hat, china, wine glasses, candles, and silver. Dashing to the dining room, we decorate and set the table.

The clock is ticking . . .

The last plate is complete. The timer buzzes. It is time to serve our meal!

Bobby and the opposing teams taste and critique. Of course, we are in the kitchen and unable to hear what’s going on behind the closed door. We wonder if Bobby likes our Wild West feast. Later, we find out that the chocolate sorbet was a disaster. I left out the sugar. Oh my, it’s not looking so good. Will it be a culinary victory or defeat?!!

The time as arrived . . . the cooking and judging is over now. Bobby has picked the winning team. The three teams stand around the dining room. Our hearts are pounding . . . ” And Dallas Best Home cooks are Grace-anne and Susan!” says Bobby Flay.  We are thrilled!! Bobby Flay

We wrap up and have a brief interview.Bobby Flay's Dinner Battle

Now, the new challenge is keeping our culinary victory a secret. How will we ever be able to do it?!!Bobby Flay's Trophy 

We devise a plan . . . we hide the trophy in the attic and tell our friends and family that Bobby’s team filmed three endings. When the show airs, we will find out the winner. It’s a plan . . . a Culinary Victory!

Take A Chance

Take A Chance

Take a chance . . . why not!

Every September 17th, my thoughts drift back to 2012 . . . the first day of filming for a new Food Network show. It happened to be in Texas . . . and happened to be in my house.

Just a few months before, we heard that Bobby Flay was scouting for the “Best Home” cooks. He was filming a new Food Network show in Dallas, LA, NYC, Philadelphia and Chicago. We figured the chances of getting on the show were somewhere in the same odds as winning the lottery. 

At the last minute, we sent in a few photos and wrote an essay on how we loved cooking for our families. We mentioned entering the State Fair of Texas cooking contests. Much to our surprise, one of Bobby’s scouts called to set up an interview. Long story made short, we were invited to compete in “Bobby’s Dinner Battle.” Sounds great! Just one problem, public speaking is my worst nightmare. How could I possibly cook and talk while the cameras were rolling? Lucky for me, my teammate Grace-anne was witty and fearless!

So . . . we decided to forge ahead. After all, how could we resist such a fun opportunity?!Bobby's Dinner Battle in Dallas

These giant trucks backed down our family’s driveway. It was exciting but scary. Was it too late to change our mind?!!

The doorbell rang, we greeted Bobby’s team. Within hours, the trucks were unloaded and our house had been transformed into a Food Network studio. It was magical. No doubt I still felt butterflies, but this new project was turning into a great adventure!

Take a chance!

Happiness is . . .

Happiness is . . .

warm bread, fresh from the oven!

Homemade bread turns even the most simple meal into a celebration. Your family and friends will think that you have been in the kitchen all day. No need to tell them our secret!Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favorite breads to bake. It is an easy bread for first-time bread bakers and tasteful enough for experienced bakers.

Bread baking tips:

  • Check the yeast’s expiration date.
  • Proof the yeast with 1 t. sugar and warm water. The water temperature should be between 105º – 110º for proofing. A temperature over 110º will kill the yeast!
  • After mixing and kneading the dough, place it a lightly oiled bowl. Roll the dough around a bit to cover all of the sides with the oil.
  • Cover with a clean towel. Set aside for the first rise.
  • For the first rise, place in a draft-free, warm place until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • The internal temperature of lean loaves of baked bread should be 190º. Heavier loaves of bread, enriched with milk, eggs, or oil should bake to internal temperature of 200º.


Making bread is so great fun! Focaccia is an Italian bread made with fresh rosemary and extra-virgin olive oil. It is delicious with chicken, fish, and pasta dishes.

Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (not over 110º)
  • 2 1/4 t. yeast (1 package)
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 t. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
  • 1-2 t. coarse salt


  1. In a 2-cup Pyrex® liquid measuring cup, add the water, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine; set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixture, add the flour, salt, olive oil, rosemary, and the yeast/water mixture.

    With the dough hook, combine until the mixture is smooth, gently stirring the sides; knead for 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, add the dough, turn to coat, and cover with a clean kitchen towel; set aside for one hour.

  4. Turn the dough out on a Silpat®-lined jelly roll pan. Press your fingers into the dough to leave holes everywhere. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and chopped rosemary. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside for 20 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 440ºF.

  6. Bake the Focaccio for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

  7. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!