Friday, March 27, 2015

The Most Mouthwatering Biscuits Ever



Today I'm sharing a guest post that I did a couple weeks back on Blissful And DomesticI've been working over here on perfecting my biscuit recipe and I've finally got it and I couldn't wait to share it with y'all today. There are so many different recipes for biscuits and if you can believe it, books devoted to nothing but biscuit making, it's serious stuff in the south y'all! All I can say is that down here, biscuit making is a big thing. No southern plate is complete without a light and flaky biscuit on the side. So, I've been working for a bit now, and I think I've finally mastered 'The Biscuit'.

The How To:

Biscuits can be ornery little critters and biscuit bakers have their secrets for baking the best, most mouthwatering biscuits around. I'm going to share a few secrets with y'all that really will make a big difference in your end result.

  1. The Flour. Yes, it does make a difference what you use. I recommend White Lily All Purpose Flour.
  2. Chill the bowl and pastry cutter.
  3. Cut butter into really small pieces and they must be COLD.
  4. Work dough with your hands and only until just blended- no over mixing here- that dough must stay cold.
  5. When cutting out your biscuits, never twist with the cutter. This closes off the sides and doesn't allow for a nice, big, fluffy biscuit.
  6. A hot oven is key.

Ingredients:

2 cups White Lilly All Purpose Flour plus a little for rolling out dough
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. fine salt
4 Tbsp. cold butter {unsalted} cut into little pieces
3/4 to 1 cup  buttermilk


Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450*.  
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. Using your pastry cutter, cut in the small pieces of butter until you have a coarse meal texture. 
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and mix just until combined. 
  5. Now turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. Cut rounds of dough with a biscuit cutter or edge of a drinking glass, remembering to cut straight down- no twisting
  7. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

And there you have it y'all. Practice makes perfect with biscuits, but it's so worth it! A hot biscuit right out of the oven smothered in butter, oh my goodness, all kinds of amazing. Thank y'all so much for spending some time with me today and enjoy those biscuits!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Crazy Little Thing Called................ Unschooling {part one}


Most days, it doesn't feel crazy at all, but other days, a little worry sneaks up. There are so many ways to approach homeschooling, and each homeschooling family approaches teaching their children differently, and that's okay. Some of us replicate public/private school in our home and others, way on the other side of the spectrum, have chosen a hugely different path. We're not looking for a 'school' experience in our home, a parent led learning, no, we've chosen a radically different path. We want our children to have the time and space to figure out who  they are and what their personal passions may be. We feel that children should not just be capable in the subjects taught in brick and mortar schools, but that they should be a complete and diverse bundle of knowledge. The kind of knowledge that doesn't necessarily come from a lecture or a text book. The kind of knowledge that exists only when you give your child all the time in the world to figure it out for themselves. Often, this means that my child may be a bit behind yours in a particular subject regarded as 'important' in our educational system, but waaaaaaay ahead in subjects that other children may never even be exposed to in their learning.



When we began homeschooling nearly seventeen years ago, I had no idea that unschooling was even a thing. I began buying curriculum pretty similar to what is taught in schools so my child would be just as smart as a schooled child with no gaps in his education and therefore no guilty conscience on my part that I'd messed him up. Gradually our schooling became more and more relaxed, but it would still be quite a few years before I would embrace unschooling.



So why am I rambling on about unschooling, because I regret that I didn't even know what unschooling was and I wasn't confident enough to allow my children this learning freedom until only a couple of years back. I was a "closet unschooler' for at least a year because I was afraid of what other homeschooling families would think of me. Worried that they would think I'd lost my marbles, and yes, I'll be honest, some of my friends don't agree with my choice and they continue to believe that a curriculum based homeschool is the best way to go. It's definitely the safe choice, but I'm no longer interested in safe, I believe that my children are thriving in this environment and I'm honestly in awe at the growth of their passions. So I'm rambling on because I'm hoping that if you've ever considered unschooling, maybe you'll start sooner than later and would not waste precious years like I did. 



So this will be a several part series, I've so much to say about unschooling! Once you are committed to pursuing this learning style, what does it look like? I'll let you peek in on our days, not that we're unschooling experts or anything, but just so you can see what we do here at our house. 



AND, every photo in this series...... taken by our daughters. With all of the free time we've allowed them, they've gotten pretty serious about photography. That's going to be my favorite part of these posts, because I'm just in awe of their talent at twelve and fourteen. Love their photos.
  
So stick around if you're curious about unschooling. I'll get part two up next week. 



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Monday, March 23, 2015

Warts And All {embracing imperfection}



I struggle to find a balance between perfection and imperfection. Do you sometimes too? Do you not have friends over because your house isn't clean enough or because you don't like the peeling wallpaper in the guest bathroom or the chewed up table leg {curses on your dog}. What would people think? Would they leave your house murmuring and mumbling about 'why in the world would she invite us over before tidying up that mess?'. You promise yourself that as soon as you get new wallpaper or repair that table leg or scrub those floors, that then, then, you'll have people over.




I come to you several times a week and talk about all kinds of stuff, lots of intentional living stuff, embracing stuff, living in the moment stuff, hospitality stuff, but you know what, I struggle too. I feel like I can't have folks come over and hang out because, it's not all clean enough. Whoa. That's hypocritical.


When I'm in this depression season of mine, life as I know it comes to a screeching halt. I'm sitting amongst a jar filled with valentine's candy, and a chalkboard that says, 'In the meadow we can build a snowman', not an Easter bunny or daffodil in sight. So I go into lock-down. No one's coming over until I get things back on track, translation, p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Really????? That's ridiculous. You know what that means? It means that I think very little of my friends. It means that I don't have any value for myself either. It means that I think they are only coming over for some type of 'sensory experience', only coming to oooooh and ahhhhh at my seasonal change-ups and to marvel at my cleaning skills. 


That's not intentional living, that's not living at all. If you find yourself right where I am, embrace imperfection. How quickly I forget, it's only March and I hardly remember my word for the year, EMBRACE.  Love on people right where you are and  right where they are. I can totally promise you that if they come over in the midst of your mess and love you, they are true friends, if they are murmuring on their way out the door, you might want to re-evaluate that friendship.



So all these photos...... real life, right now, sometimes messy, sometimes dysfunctional, totally imperfect, just like me. And in case you are wondering, I am having friends over this week in the midst of it all, it's me, it's my life right now, and I know that my friends love me and all my imperfections, it's way past time for me to trust and love them too. I'm learning to embrace imperfection,  care to join me?

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