southern inspiration: biscuits & mac

Last week, I celebrated my friend’s bachelorette party in my favorite city: Nashville, TN! From spending a night at Tootsies to doing yoga with goats and sipping on the sommelier’s best recommendations at Belle Meade Winery, I was able to visit so many new places in Music City on this trip. Nashville has so much to offer, and it truly never disappoints! Check out my travel guide for Nashville if you want to read about some of my favorite experiences so far!

One of the best parts about Nashville is the amazing food you can find anywhere you go in the city! I have been craving some southern comfort foods ever since I got back, so I decided to share my favorite recipes for homemade biscuits and mac & cheese! Hopefully these recipes help you feel like you are chowing down in the south!

Buttery Biscuits
• 3 cups of all-purpose flour
• 4 tsp of baking powder
• 3 tbsp of sugar
• 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
• 1/2 tsp of salt
• 3/4 cup of butter, cold, plus additional butter to melt
• 1 cup of whole milk
• 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Prepare the cold butter by cutting it into small squares so that it is easier to work into the biscuit dough. Keep the butter in the fridge until it is needed.

Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Then, incorporate the cut butter into the dough. Small pieces of butter should show through the mixture.

Add in the milk and the egg, and mix it together to combine. The dough will have a sticky feel, and the butter pieces should still be visible.

Flour a surface where you can roll out the dough. Sprinkle additional flour on the dough and knead it — add more flour to reduce stickiness if necessary.

Roll the dough until it is about 1 inch thick to cut into round pieces. If you do not have a biscuit cutter, you can use the rim of a glass (it makes a perfect circle every time!).

Once the biscuits are cut, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Melt down butter and brush the tops of the biscuits before putting them into the oven.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. For an extra buttery taste, cut the biscuits open before they cool and place a small square of butter inside to melt before serving!

Mac & Cheese

• 1 box of large elbow macaroni
• 1/4 stick of butter, melted
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 1/2 tbsp of flour
• 2 cups of milk
• 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 tsp of dry mustard
• 4 cups (or 1 bag) of Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican blend
• Breadcrumbs (Panko or Plain!)
• Salt and pepper, for taste

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Boil a pot of water and cook one box of shell pasta. Once the pasta has been cooked and drained, sauté the onion over medium heat.

In a large bowl, add the pasta, melted butter, onion and flour. Then, pour in the milk slowly.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients, and add in the shredded cheese. Transfer the mix to a pan for baking and top with breadcrumbs.

Cook for 30 minutes, covered. Once done, sprinkle some extra breadcrumbs on top. Serve and enjoy!

breakfast with santa

Merry Christmas Eve! It is hard to believe that Christmas is tomorrow! It is no secret that I love this time of year, and no matter how old I get, nothing beats the feeling of waking up early on Christmas morning and spending time with loved ones.

Once the presents are opened and the coffee is consumed, breakfast is the next best part! Read on below for two sweet treats to make on Christmas morning!

French Toast Casserole

This French Toast Casserole from Savory Magazine is been my go-to breakfast for the holidays, and it is too good not to share! The recipe is just five ingredients, and you can even prep it overnight and pop it in the oven first thing in the morning!

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Ingredients
1 loaf (16 oz) of cinnamon swirl bread (Pepperidge Farm)
¾ of a container of blueberries
5 eggs
2 ½ cups of half and half
1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • Cut the entire loaf of bread into approximately 1-inch pieces. Use a 13 x 9 non-stick pan and lay the cut pieces of bread across the bottom. Once the bottom is covered, continue to layer the bread on top of itself until the full loaf is in the pan.
  • Scatter the blueberries over the bread.
  • Mix the eggs, half and half, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, and pour the mixture over the bread and blueberries.
  • Let sit in the refrigerator overnight or one hour prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º. Cook the casserole for 50 minutes.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve immediately!

Pop’s Pancakes

Growing up, my dad always made pancakes for my family on Sunday mornings, and whenever possible, Connor and I continue that tradition for ourselves! Pop’s Pancakes are a twist on the classic Aunt Jemima recipe. His modifications create a much thinner pancake — perfect for stacking on your plate!

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Ingredients
1 cup of Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of half and half
1 egg
1 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • Mix all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  • Preheat the griddle to 350º and coat with a little butter.
  • Pour batter, cook the pancakes evenly on both sides, pour on the syrup and enjoy!

 

winter slumberland

Connor and I absolutely love the Christmas season, and celebrating with our friends is one of our favorite parts about this time of year. To officially kick off the holiday season and the countdown to Christmas, we hosted our second annual Winter Slumberland event!

Winter Slumberland is a brunch idea that we came up with where everyone invited shows up in their best Christmas jammies and we eat, drink and be merry! From brunch, mimosas and holiday-inspired desserts to Christmas movies and spending quality time with each other, Winter Slumberland is definitely one of our favorite parties we have ever hosted! Read on below to see how we prepared for this fun holiday brunch!

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To get ready for Winter Slumberland and the holiday season, we decked out the apartment with Christmas decorations. This year, we decided on a blue and silver Christmas tree. With some neutral decorations and pops of red, we worked to transform our apartment into a winter wonderland!

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Once the apartment was decorated, it was time to focus on the menu for Winter Slumberland. From French Toast Casserole and bagels, to quiche, monkey bread and Oreo truffles, there were plenty of options and sweet treats! We also made some holiday treats that were almost too cute to eat! Read on below for some of these fun holiday recipes!

Christmas Tree Brownies

This recipe was so much fun and simple to construct. Start by making your favorite type of brownies and let them cool (for approximately 15 people, we made two boxes). Once cooled, cut the brownies into triangle shapes and add in a small piece of candy cane at the bottom for the tree trunk. Then, we used food coloring to dye vanilla frosting green. With a piping bag, we created a zigzag pattern on the brownies, and we topped them with some crystal and pearl sprinkles for ornaments! Last, but not least, star sprinkles for the tops of each tree!

Santa Hat Pancakes

Another easy holiday recipe! Stack several mini pancakes on large toothpicks (we used six to eight pancakes per stack). Cut the tops of strawberries off to remove the stems and create an even base. Slide a strawberry on top of the pancake stack, and top it with a mini marshmallow! Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the pancake stacks before serving!

Snowman Donut Kebabs

These snowman donut kebabs only require 4 ingredients to make! Stack three mini powdered donuts on a kebab stick. Use a piece of fruit rollup to tie a “scarf” on top of the second donut. Then, add an orange gumdrop nose in the first donut and two green gumdrop buttons in the other two. Finally, add in eyes made out of coal by using black food coloring!

With tons of food to eat, mimosas, coffee, and hot chocolate flowing, and a room full of friends, we spent the day lounging, laughing and celebrating the true meaning of holiday spirit: togetherness.

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breakfast in bed

This weekend, Connor and I tried out a new recipe that redefined the phrase “breakfast in bed.” While we were fast asleep, our breakfast was cooking all night long. What could be better than waking up to a nice, hot breakfast on a chilly December morning?

We used our slow cooker to make a savory casserole that was filled with some of our favorite breakfast staples: eggs, cheese and hash browns! At the last minute, we even made a game-changing decision to add in some crispy bacon! Read on below for the recipe

Ingredients

1 dozen eggs
24 hash brown patties, frozen
1/2 cup of chopped onions
3 & 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 package of cooked and chopped bacon (or your favorite breakfast meat) — optional!
1 cup of milk
1/4 tsp of ground mustard
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp of pepper, plus more for seasoning

  • Whisk the 12 eggs until fully mixed. Add in the milk, ground mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and whisk until all ingredients are combined.
  • In the slow cooker, start by placing the hash brown patties in as the base for the first layer. We found it best to break the patties up into halves and quarters to fit across the entire pot without too many empty spaces. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add in 1/3 of the onions, as well as 1/3 of the bacon over the hash browns. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top.
  • Repeat this step two more times, so that you have a total of three layers of hash browns, onions, bacon and cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the three-layer casserole. Then add the last 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
  • Cover the slow cooker, and set it to cook on low for 8 hours.

Go to bed, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up to a delicious breakfast casserole first thing in the morning! This hassle-free breakfast is the perfect meal for the holiday season! Bon appétit!