Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick Monte Cristo

I have two new recipes coming up for you all very soon, but before I post those, I thought I would give you this quick, easy recipe idea that makes a great simple lunch or dinner. This is a lighter version of the monte cristo sandwich, which is typically a ham, turkey, and swiss cheese sandwich that is dipped in batter and fried. This sandwich is a favorite of my husband's and is served at Bennigan's and Cheddar's. While their versions are quite delicious, my version is dipped in egg and toasted in a pan (instead of battered and deep fried) to keep it lighter. Instead of being a very occasional treat, we can now enjoy Monte Cristos regularly.

This Monte Cristo is a nice change from your typical American grilled cheese. It's almost like a savory french toast. On a cold, rainy day like this one, it would be wonderful paired with a steamy bowl of tomato soup. The egg on the outside gives it a nice crust, and the dijon provides a tangy contrast to the creamy provolone cheese. To keep it similar to the sandwiches you'd get at Bennigan's or Cheddar's, serve it with some raspberry preserves on the side... but it's just as good without them!

Quick Monte Cristo Sandwich
makes 1 sandwich
  • 2 slices bread of your choice (I used Nature's Own Honey Wheat, whatever you have on hand is fine)
  • 2 slices deli ham
  • 2 slices deli turkey
  • 2 slices provolone cheese (You can also use Swiss, cheddar, or whatever you like. I love provolone in this sandwich.)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, seasoned with salt and pepper


1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat and spray with cooking spray.

2. Lightly spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of mustard.

3. Top one slice of bread with one slice of provolone, followed by 2 slices of ham, 2 slices of turkey, and the remaining provolone. Top with remaining bread slice.

4. Dip the whole sandwich in the beaten egg mixture.

5. Place the sandwich in the heated pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side or until light golden brown.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Photo courtesy

Okay, so you caught me. Once again, I am picture-less. But I just had to post this recipe for you, it's so good and so easy! I've been making this over and over again for more than a year now, and there are some great reasons why. First of all, it's yet another of my favorites from Cooking Light, so it's a little healthier for you than traditional Spinach and Artichoke Dip. In fact, I like this version much, much better than anything I've had in restaurants lately since it's not greasy. It's creamy and delicious, with a slight tang from the artichokes, and I promise that you won't miss the full fat cream cheese at all. Also, I dare you to find a better way to eat your spinach!
My biggest piece of advice when making this dip is to make sure that you thaw the spinach (overnight in the fridge or a few hours on the countertop works) and drain it really well. Put it in a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can - this will keep the dip from being too watery.
Make this today! You won't regret it. It would be perfect for a football party, or as an appetizer at your next holiday gathering. Trust me, if you put a bowl of this out with some chips or crudites, it will be gone in no time!
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
adapted from
  • 2 cups lowfat mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 8oz blocks neufchatel cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese), softened
  • 1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • Pita chips, baked tortilla chips, or vegetable crudites (optional - for serving)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Drain and squeeze the spinach dry. Set aside.

3. Drain the can of artichokes and chop them into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

4. Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, pepper, garlic, artichoke hearts, and spinach in a large bowl until well combined.

5. Spoon mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it's bubbly and the cheese has melted and is slightly golden brown.

7. Serve with chips or veggies and soak up all the compliments!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Favorite Fall Recipes

Today I have been working on giving this shabby old blog a facelift! I've added a new background and a couple of new pages at the top - "About" and "Recipes". The About page is exactly what it sounds like - a description of who I am and what biscuits and honey is. I'm very excited about the Recipes page. This will give everyone a much easier way to access all the recipes I've posted here. It's a work in progress, so bear with me as I update it and categorize everything. It has been really fun working on it, though. I've loved going back and re-reading posts, looking at the evolution of my blog. In some ways, it's a little like ready a diary I wrote as a child. It's endearing yet a little bit embarrasing in a way. I've had such lofty goals and desired such big things for this little place on the web, but it seems they've never been fulfilled. But still, I am going to press on and try my best to keep it up, little by little, if I can.

So since I've had this nostalgic time of re-living recipes and blog posts, I wanted to re-visit some of my favorite fall recipes. I just adore fall - the changing of the leaves, the crispness, the flavors, football, and gatherings of family and friends. It's the ushering in of sweater weather and the busyness of the holiday season. I hope one of these recipes gives you an idea and makes it a little easier for you to get dinner on the table this week.

Chicken Corn Chowder - I love this soup. It's easy and light, with a hint of cayenne to warm things up a bit. It tastes like something from Atlanta Bread Company or Panera, so it's sure to impress.

Taco Soup - Who doesn't love Taco Soup? It's super easy to make and perfect for any gathering. I love to make this in the Crock Pot on Mondays and then we have it for lunches for the rest of the week.

Spicy Chili with Cornbread Waffles - Now this is a great recipe! I never would've thought to pair waffles and chili, but it's such a great combination. This would be absolutely perfect for a football party. Your guests will be so impressed with the creativity and deliciousness of this recipe, and you will love how easy it is!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dorie's Devils Food Cake

Until I get into my Ready for Dessert challenge, I wanted to share this easy, delicious devil's food cake recipe with you. This is actually the cover recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours (which I highly recommend, by the way). I made this cake for my uncle for his birthday, but this cake would be wonderful for any occasion. Paired with a tall glass of milk, its dark but mild chocolatey flavor would brighten up any day. I actually made this cake with a basic cream cheese frosting instead of Dorie's marshmallow one, but I know either would be good. This is a great recipe that makes a very sturdy, easy to work with cake that won't fall apart on you. The addition of buttermilk is what makes it characteristically devil's food and makes it very, very moist.

So, to tide you over until the real blogging begins, you can find the recipe for the cake here. However, I do recommend buying Dorie's wonderful book.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Changes & A New Challenge

Hello again. Is there anyone out there? I would definitely be surprised if anyone was still aware of my little blog out here. Life got in the way, and my posting ceased. I've been mulling over what I wanted to do with this blog for a long while, and I've missed writing in it terribly.

After much thought, I've kind of settled on making biscuits & honey a blog not just about food, but about my life. Since I stopped writing, we've made some changes in how we approach food at my house. I've always been a proponent of homemade and gourmet, but now we are trying to incorporate as much natural, organic, and local food into our diets as we can. It hasn't been easy, especially on our budget, but I am thoroughly convinced it's more than worth it.

Also, as you may or may not know, I made the decision not to participate in the same local farmer's market that I sold baked goods at last year. I've missed it, but I have to say the break has been nice. I've been cooking and baking mostly for my family, friends, and church, and it's been really nice. And so many times, I've wanted to share those things with you.

I had the opportunity to meet with a local business owner here in town who has her own restaurant and catering business and has been in the food business for over thirty years. While I don't think the timing is right to open my own business right now, she suggested a project I had actually thought about and had been wanting to tackle for a while: to cook my way through a cookbook. And since baking is my thing, I am going to try to bake 1 recipe a week from a cookbook from now until whenever I finish. This is going to be a huge challenge for me, since we lead such a busy life, but I really am going to try hard to do it! The book I've chosen is Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz. He is very well respected in the pastry world, and I believe the book is the right skill level for me - just the right mix of challenging and fun recipes. I am really looking forward to tackling this!

In other news, we got a puppy. Her name is Tallulah Mae (we call her Tallulah, Lulah, or Lulah Mae), and I couldn't imagine my life without her. She is the cutest little red and white basset hound. You'll probably be hearing a lot more about her on here.

I am so excited to return to the world of blogging! I can't wait to share my stories and creations with you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Black Hole That is My Freezer

For a few months now I've had "cleaning out the freezer" on my mental lists of projects that needed to be done around the house. It's a project I've been dreading and procrastinating on. Our freezer has become a black hole of bags and bags of vegetables, freezer burned containers of meat, and unlabeled containers of liquids (chicken broth? lemon juice? who knows) that frankly, I haven't had the desire to venture into for quite some time.

Even though I really enjoy cooking, meal planning has been the bane of my existence. People are often surprised by this, but I really do get stumped by the question "What's for dinner?" so very often. So much so, that I started subscribing to a meal planning service. However, even that has fallen by the wayside since I am too much of a "food snob" to enjoy the meals. I am just not a fan of eating a lot of dishes that rely on "cream of" soups, dry seasoning packets, and convenience foods, and that's what this service's meals were comprised of most of the time. So I fell back into my previous rut, forgetting to take anything out of the freezer, and then coming home after a long day at work only to stare blankly at my pantry. It was a sad place to be, opening the pantry, staring ahead at cans and boxes and then opening the fridge or freezer, staring blankly at the black hole, repeat, repeat.

Finally, I had had enough. Yesterday, I decided to tackle it. I took everything out and reorganized it. You wouldn't believe what all was packed in there, especially for a household of two! I am challenging myself to plan my meals around what I already have, instead of wasting money eating out or buying new groceries. I threw a lot out, but here is a list of what was left:

1 package Aldi Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 pint Ben and Jerry's Everything But The.... Ice Cream (which is gone now...)
1/2 10oz bag chopped spinach
1 pan of herb yeast rolls
1 homemade peanut butter pie (if you would like to take this off my hands, please comment, and it's yours)
1 bag medium shrimp
1 package turkey keilbasa
1/2 package maple pork sausage links
corn, corn, and more corn! enough frozen corn for the rest of the year!
cut okra
portobello mushroom rigatoni
1 Healthy Choice Asian Potstickers meal
corn on the cob
1 bag pearl onions
1 bag mixed veggies
1 bag yellow squash
1/2 bag cauliflower with cheese sauce
whole wheat Sister Schubert's dinner rolls
1 package Sweet and Sour stir fry veggies
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1lb packages ground turkey
1 package ground pork sausage
1 bag tiliapia fillets
1 bag salmon fillets
1 package Oscar Meyer hot dogs
1 bag Steamfresh Southwestern Rice
4 packages butter
2 packages shortening
various kind of nuts
orange juice concentrate
pina colada mix
2 deep dish pie crusts
homemade peach puree
6c. leftover homemade tomato soup
5 bananas

Any suggestions?