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Ya’ll, my mom makes the BEST biscuits. Growing up, she used to whip them up for dinner ALL THE TIME. The best ones were the half-moon shaped biscuits she made with the little bit of leftover dough. They were soo good, soo cool, and my brother and I used to fight over who got to eat one all the time. She got the recipie from my grandmother’s dear friend, Mary Butler years ago. Mary Butler is the QUEEN of biscuits. She is seriously famous for them in her town, and if Mary Butler made the biscuits, YOU DON’T NOT EAT ONE! In fact, you scarf that puppy right on down. Really, I don’t know how Mom got the recipie because when Mary Butler and her daughters threw a bridal shower for me, her daughters mentioned THEY don’t even have the recipie. Anyway, when I got married, my mother passed the famous recipie down to me, and now I will share it with you!

Mary Butler’s Buttermilk Biscuits

You will need: 1 1/2 c. self-rising flour*, 2/3 c. shortening, 1/2 c. buttermilk**.

1. Place flour in bowl. Add shortening and cut in until evenly distributed evenly in pieces with flour.

2. Add buttermilk and mix. Mixture should not be too damp.

3. Roll dough out on flour on wax paper and pat or cut into rounds.

4. Back at 425 for 13 min.

Enjoy!

* Don’t have self-rising flour on hand? Use all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1 1/2 tsp baking soda.

** Have a biscuit hankering but no buttermilk? Mix a 1/2 TBSP of white vinegar or lemon juice with half a cup of whatever milk you have on hand.

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For more tips and tricks, check out Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family!

I love to cook, but I HATE the clean-up that’s often involved. I also hate having to throw something together at the last minute for a get-together, party, or to take to work. But, I’ve found the perfect recipe for a quick, easy, one bowl muffin that tasts like you slaved away over it. Meet the Pumpkin Spice Muffin.

When I was in college, one of my friends mother’s went on Weight Watchers, and found a great website with all kinds of delicious baked-good recipes on it. I can’t find it now, but I still remember how to make this one! This recipe is sooo stinkin’ easy, you only need four ingredients. Well, you really only need three, but I think it tastes better if you use a fourth. Here they are:

1 can pure pumpkin

1 box spice cake mix

1/2 cup water

optional: cinnamon chips or cinnamon sugar

Mix together the spice cake mix, pumpkin and water until smooth. Then you can add cinnamon chips! I prefer these to cinnamon sugar, because they make the muffins just a touch moister and gooier. And the gooier the better, if you ask me. I don’t measure these, but I usually cover the top of the bowl with them and then mix them in. I’d estimate I put a little over a third of a cup? You don’t want too many, just enough that a few end up in each muffin.

Once you mix up your cinnamon chips, put the mixture in your muffin pans! I used mini-muffin pans for my most recent batch, and I filled them up to the top just about. What can I say, I like extra-large mini muffins, and these don’t puff up a whole lot. Bake at 350 F for 10 min. for mini-muffins, and about 15 for regular muffins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you can’t find cinnamon chips (I can’t usually in my small-town grocery store unless its Christmas), now is the time to add the cinnamon sugar! Just sprinkle it on top as soon as the muffins are out of the oven. You can add it right before they go in as well, but this way it melts less and makes kind of a “crust” on top of the muffin. Yum!

I promise these taste like you grew the pumpkin, make your own puree, and did all kinds of complicated things. No one believes these are as easy as they are once they taste them! I have a friend who likes them sooo much, she asked me to make some for her wedding reception. I didn’t. But I could have, and they would have been a hit!

Oh, and did I mention they’re weight watchers? And low-fat? And DELICIOUS? Also, these pictures were all taken in our old kitchen. Praise the Lord that my kitchen doesn’t look anything like that anymore!

I hope this muffin recipie will work for you. For more tips and tricks, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

I’ll admit it. I’m a hungry girl. Seriously, I could pretty much eat all day long and not feel stuffed. I love to eat, sweet, gooey, chewy things, especially if said things contain chocolate. I love chocolate!

Enter Hungry Girl. She gets me, she knows me. She’s all over this crazy food adiction I have, and she’s here to save me from myself. If you haven’t met her yet, you really need to. She comes to my inbox every day and gives me tips on what to eat, what NOT to eat, what snacky things have great nutritionals, and tells me about recipies for great guilt-less meals that fullfill all my junky cravings.

This weekend, I found my new love: The Big Apple French Toast Casserole. Try it. NOW. Its one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time — and filling too! I probably could have been satisfied with a slightly smaller portion, but ate the whole thing ’cause I could. I think it made Hubby fall in love with me all over again too.

If you aren’t friends with Hungry Girl, you need to be.

After we got back from visiting my parents for Christmas, I decided to break in my new food processor and make pretzel chicken! Hubby had requested this for his birthday almost a year ago, when I didn’t have a food processor. This recipe is good, but not good enough to use a spoon and baggie to crush the pretzels to bread-crumb consistency. With a food processor? Easy! Fun!

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Get your brand new food processor out of the box! Be sure to wash the blade and container first.

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Plug in food processor. Try to turn it on. Read directions when it won’t turn on. Lear how to work food processor!

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Place a couple of handfuls of pretzels in. I kind of eyeballed this. I crushed what you see here, and then the same amount again to cover 10 chicken tenders. My food processor holds three cups, which is probably what I ended up using.

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Chop until most of the pretzels are at bread crumb consistency. Feel free to leave some a little larger for an extra crunch!

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Use tongs to dip chicken first in a bowl with one egg (or egg whites), and then into crushed pretzels. I added a little bit of garlic powder and parsley to my mixture, just because I like them. Feel free to use this plain, or add whatever spices float your boat. Another fun thing to do would be to use honey mustard in place of egg. I have done this dijon mustard and really love it! I’m not as big of a honey mustard fan, but this would definetly be great for dipping fans.

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Once you’ve breaded the chicken, it will look like this. Cook in an oven pre-heated to 350 F and cook for 20 min, or until done.

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I served my chicken with broccoli and rice. One thing to note about this recipe is that the pretzel coating got a little bit damp when reheated. This does freeze well, so you could make a whole batch and then cook portion sizes at a time, or you may want to try the “fake frying” method of spraying each piece with a bit of cooking spray, turning at 10 minutes and spraying the other side for crispier chicken.

Have you ever had Russian tea? I hadn’t until this morning, and its WONDERFUL. I also hear its called Spiced Tea. Whatever you call it — try it! Our Pastor’s wife gave each secretary a jar of her homemade mix when we were at her home for lunch yesterday. Evidently, it has Tang in it. Now, I have NEVER liked Tang, but this is just fabulous!

Here’s a recipe I found:

  • 2 cups orange-flavored drink mix (e.g. Tang)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant tea powder
  • 3/4 cup lemon-flavored instant tea powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine orange drink mix, sugar, tea powder, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well and store in an airtight container. To serve, put 3 teaspoons of mix in a mug. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Adjust to taste.

Oh, and apparently, each serving only has 32 calories! That’s good news more me since I’ll probably have another cup before the day is out. Now, if only all those cookies I’ve eaten today only had 23 calories…

1111326_32618092We’re coffee-holics in my office. At any given time, we have two to three pots on here! Almost all of the ladies drink what our pastor calls “froofy” (how DO you spell that?) coffee. In college, a friend turned me on to Starbucks’ Pepermint Mochas they feature every holiday. Later, I became a conisure of Caribou Coffee’s “Mint Condition.” Yum! Now that I’m out of college, married and working I don’t have the same “disposable income” I once did. Also, copious amounts of coffee is no longer necessary since I’m not writing 20+ page papers! Still, I nice mint pick-me-up is always nice. I’ve found a way to make a WONDERFUL Starbucks and Caribou worthy pepermint-mocha coffee.

First, make a pot of pepermint flavored coffee. Harry and David’s is good, but any kind will work. Two, get awesome coffee mug (mine features Jane Austen). Three, open packet of hot chocolate mix — I like the diet kind because, really, I’d rather chew my calories than eat them. Four, pour pepermint coffee over hot chocolate mix and stir. Enjoy! Can also be enjoyed with any cake, cookie, or choclate item that may be nearby. Also, how great would this be with some chopped Andes mints on the top!? That might be too much work every morning, but for a once in a while treat, it would be simply DELIOUS!

For more tips and tricks, check out Rocks in my Dryer!

worksforme

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.