Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Biscuits: Nom, nom, nom


This is what I’m having this morning with eggs, tomatoes and onion. I usually make biscuits with butter, but today I tried a recipe that calls for shortening. Not too bad. The shortening made rolling out the dough easy. Dough made with butter can get greasy if it gets too warm.

Per a friend’s request, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups flour

1 tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 cup milk

Cut the shortening into the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in enough milk to make a soft dough. Pat or roll out. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Herman recipe

So it’s been a few weeks since I introduced you to Herman.

I haven’t enjoyed the loaves as much as I had hoped, but I decided to be patient as the starter developed more flavor with each feeding. I’m glad I waited!

This week’s loaf has been delicious. Not on its own, but as a sandwich. The bread is soft and has a slight buttery taste, thanks to the tablespoon of butter in it. It’s really noticeable when the bread is warm or toasted.

The first taste was Tuesday for breakfast – an egg, tomato and onion sandwich. Here’s a couple of slices:

Sourdough slices
This bread was made from this recipe, which I found on the All Recipes website. It makes two loaves so cut everything in half for one.

If you want to try your hand at making your own Herman, here’s the recipe (altered a bit for my preference):


2 cups flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 pkg. active yeast (equal to 2 1/4 tsp.)

2 cups warm water (no hotter than 110℉)

1. Mix all ingredients and cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap.

2. Allow mixture to sit out at room temperature for 3 days, stirring at least once a day.

3. After 3rd day, the starter is ready for baking bread. Store in refrigerator.

Feeding: Feed the starter every few days (I do it every 4-5 days or so) and after taking some of it to bake bread. To feed, remove 1 cup of starter and throw it out. Replace with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Stir and place in frig until next feeding.

If you are taking out starter to make bread, add in volumes of flour and water equal to what you removed. For example, if you take out 1 1/2 cups of starter to make bread, then add in 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups water.

Let me know how it turns out! I’d like to know what you call your sourdough starter.

Homemade butterscotch pudding

Have you ever ate homemade pudding? It’s by far lots better than the box pudding you can buy in the store. Sure, the box saves some time, but it doesn’t beat the flavors and texture of the real thing. You should try to make homemade pudding at least once.

We used to keep box pudding on hand, particularly for pudding pie, which Chris loves, but we didn’t use them often enough and the last boxes I bought went bad. Though it looked like chocolate pudding, it was a tasteless mass of  dark goo. Ugh!

I found a recipe for vanilla pudding in a cookbook that Chris’ parents gave to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. It also has instructions to alter the recipe into chocolate and butterscotch puddings. This is the butterscotch:

This pudding would be darker if I'd used dark brown sugar instead of light.

This pudding would probably be darker if I’d used dark brown sugar instead of light.

It’s really easy to make and I usually have everything on hand so it comes together quickly. Here’s what you do:

1. Mix 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. cornstarch.

Mix sugar, salt and brown sugar.

Mix sugar, salt and brown sugar.

2. Slowly mix in 2 cups of milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and boils.

Slowly mix in the milk.

Slowly mix in the milk.

3. After the mixture boils for 1 minute, add half of the mixture to 2 egg yolks. Mix well and return to pot.

(I forgot to snap a photo of this step!)

4. Cook until mixture boils again. Allow to boil for 1 minute.

5. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 tbsp. butter.

Add in the vanilla.

Add in the vanilla.

Stir in the butter.

6. Pour into serving containers or pie shell and refrigerate until set (a few hours).

That’s it! Really easy and delicious.

(This is from a 1989 “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook.”)

Sweet potato burgers

Looking for a healthier burger? I enjoy a bean burger now and again, but haven’t ever thought about using other vegetables.

The Chubby Vegetarian shared a recipe for Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger on his blog the other day. His combination of the sweet potato with chipotle peppers, cumin and garlic have my mouth watering. It sounds like an amazing flavor combo! My tasty black bean burgers may have to take a backseat from now on.

The Chubby Vegetarian also mentioned how with an equal amount of oats added to beans, sweet potatoes or squash, you can get a really good mixture that works well as burger patties. I’m now envisioning zucchini or yellow squash patties with tarragon or cilantro. We’ve still got tons of frozen squash stored in the freezer from last season. This might be a good way to use it up.

What spice combinations do you think would go well with zucchini or squash?

You can find The Chubby Vegetarian’s recipe here.