Baked Potato Soup

baked potato soup

We were blessed with some free organic potatoes about a month ago.  By “some” I mean about 300 pounds, and most of them are the big baker potatoes!!  We gave away about half of them and have been enjoying the rest.

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Our VERY favorite way to eat baked potatoes is in “Baked Potato Soup”!  What’s not to love about a rich creamy soup with BACON and cheese?

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This will make a BIG pot of soup so if you’re only feeding a couple of people you may want to cut the recipe in half.  Like most soups though this makes GREAT leftovers!

Wash and stab 5 large potatoes so they don’t explode in your oven.  Bake in a 350° oven for about an hour until done.  Let them cool completely.  (I usually bake the potatoes the night before I want to make this soup then just keep them in the fridge.)

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Now you need to cook a pound of bacon bits.  I used a package of ends and pieces and cut them into littler pieces and fried them up.  You could also cook the bacon in the oven and then cut them up after they cool.

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Awww! isn’t bacon beautiful?

While your beautiful bacon is cooking, peel and cube the cooled potatoes into bite size pieces.

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When the bacon is done place it on a paper towel to drain and set the bacon and potatoes aside while you start the soup.  In a big pot melt 3/4 of a cup of butter then whisk in 3/4 cup of flour, when it’s nice and smooth slowly whisk in a cup of milk.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper and mix will.  Now whisk in 4 more cups of milk and 2 cups of chicken broth or stock.  Heat until it comes to a low boil and thickens, stirring almost constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of sour cream, and add the potatoes and bacon.  You can hold out some of the bacon for a garnish if you wish.

potatoes and bacon

Now you can dish it up and add shredded cheddar cheese, extra bacon and sliced green onions.

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Baked Potato Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 large baker potatoes
  • 1 pound of bacon
  • ¾ cup of butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cups of milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Toppings: grated cheddar cheese and sliced green onions
Instructions
  1. Wash and stab 5 big baker potatoes so they don't explode in your oven.
  2. Bake at 350° for an hour or so until done. Let them cool completely.
  3. Cook up a pound of bacon to make bacon bits.
  4. While the bacon is cooking, peel the cooled potatoes and cut them into bite sized pieces.
  5. Put the bacon on some paper towels to drain and set them and the potatoes aside while you get started on the soup.
  6. In a big pot melt the butter then whisk in the flour, when it's nice and smooth whisk in 1 cup of milk, add the salt and pepper and whisk in the rest of the milk and chicken broth.
  7. While stirring almost constantly bring to a low boil to thicken. Remove from the heat and add sour cream, the potatoes and bacon. You can leave some of the bacon out for a garnish if you wish.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onions, cheddar cheese and bacon.

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Creamy Chicken (or Turkey) Stew aka “Leftover Stew”

This is comfort food at its best!  It’s always a hit at our house and perfect for crisp, fall days.  If I had a favorite stew, this just might be it, and what better way to use up all that leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!!!

Creamy Chicken Stew

I usually make this soup a day or two after we’ve had roasted chicken for dinner.  I put whatever is left of the roasted chicken (bones and all) in a big pot, cover it with water and let it simmer away for a few hours.  When I pull the meat off the bone I always have more than enough chicken and chicken stock to use in this stew.  You could also use a rotisserie chicken and store bought stock.

This recipe is very versatile, you can use any combination of veggies you have on hand as long as they are cooked first.  I used leftover baked potato, green beans and peas this time.  Some other veggies I have used in this stew are: corn, carrots, halved brussels sprouts, pieces of asparagus, mushrooms and celery.  I like to go through the fridge and throw in whatever I have!  Hence the name – “Leftover Stew”. 🙂

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Creamy Chicken (or Turkey) Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey pieces
  • 3½ cups cooked veggies of your choice(there are some ideas above)
Instructions
  1. Start by sautéing the onion, basil, thyme, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper in the butter.
  2. When the onions are translucent whisk in the flour and salt.
  3. When the flour is completely incorporated, slowly whisk in the milk and chicken stock.
  4. Bring them to a low boil to thicken.(stirring often)
  5. Add the chicken and all the veggies and stir well.
  6. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

 

Here is my recipe for chicken soup with homemade noodles….I love soup season!

chicken soup with homemade noodles

 

 

 

 

Fresh Tomato and Sausage Pasta

This has been my VERY best year for growing tomatoes!!  We are still getting an insane amount every day and it’s the end of September.  I love how this recipe helps to use some of our abundance of grape tomatoes.

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They are so fresh, sweet and absolutely delicious and they make this dish soooo very yummy.  I may have even eaten the left overs for breakfast the next morning.

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It doesn’t take much time at all to whip up this super tasty dinner.  Start by halving 4 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes and putting them in a greased 8″x8″ baking dish.  Drizzle a little olive oil on with some salt and pepper, stir that up then poor 1/2 a cup of Italian bread crumbs over the top.

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Place the tomatoes in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  While that is in the oven, brown 1 pound of Italian sausage (I used my Italian sausage seasoning recipe) and cook the pasta.  Drain the sausage and pasta then put everything into a big serving bowl with 1&1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese.  Give it a good stir and taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper.

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I know this isn’t the most eye appealing dish you’ve ever seen, but it makes up for it in taste…..I promise!!

Fresh Tomato and Sausage Pasta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes - halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 pound of pasta (any kind you like)
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ cups parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Stir together halved tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a greased 8x8" glass baking dish.
  3. Pour Italian bread crumbs over the top.
  4. Place in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. While that is in the oven boil the pasta in salted water until done, and drain.
  6. Brown the sausage and drain any fat.
  7. In a large bowl combine the pasta, sausage, tomatoes and cheese.
  8. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed.
  9. Dinners ready!

You can find a meat free version of this recipe here.

This post was shared at: Clever Chicks Blog Hop

Homemade Beer Battered Onion Rings

beer battered onion rings

This post contains affiliate links.

Here is the onion ring recipe I promised over a month ago!!

I don’t think I need to say much about these lovely golden treats, the pictures say it all!

beer battered onion rings

You will need one large yellow onion sliced into rings.  How big or little they are depends on your preference.

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For the beer batter, start with one cup of beer.  What kind?  Well, that’s a matter of opinion too… I used the cheap stuff cause that’s what we had. 🙂

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Add one cup of all purpose flour to the beer and stir until nice and smooth.  Then add in 2 teaspoons of seasoning salt and mix well.  Here’s a link to my Homemade Seasoning Salt.

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I heat about 2 inches of oil (look at the bottom of this post to see what oil I use and why) in a cast iron pan to 375 degrees on medium high heat.  If you don’t have a cast iron pan I think any pan big enough will work, or better yet you can use a deep fat fryer if you have one.  Dip the onions into the batter and fry them until golden brown on each side.  Drain on a paper towel until cool.

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They are best eaten as soon as they are cool enough to stuff in your mouth.  If they sit too long they get kinda soggy.  Around here that is not a problem!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Beer Battered Onion Rings
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 cup of beer
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Peel the onion and cut it into rings.(set aside)
  2. Batter: Stir the beer and flour together until it's nice and smooth then stir in the seasoning salt until well combined.
  3. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a frying pan on medium high heat to 375 degrees.
  4. Dip each onion ring into the batter then fry in the hot oil until golden brown on each side.
  5. Drain on paper towels until cool enough to eat.

Organic Palm Shortening is my favorite oil for frying foods.  It is colorless and odorless so it doesn’t effect the flavor of your food.  It is also NOT hydrogenated and contains no trans fats!  I don’t fry food very often, but when I do I LOVE this healthier choice of oils.  I also use this shortening for biscuits and pie crusts, and have been nothing but overjoyed with the results!!  If you want to read more about this healthy oil click here.

Does anyone have any other good recipes that use lots of onions?  I planted two raised beds FULL of onions.  Soon I will have more onions than I know what to do with!

This post was shared at: Weekend Pot Luck Simple Saturdays Blog HopOur Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw And Homemade Tartar Sauce

Fish Tacos 3

Fish Tacos 3This is a great spring and summer dish, I love the light, fresh cabbage slaw.  It goes great on any taco, burrito, etc. or it tastes just amazing all by its little self. 😀

Start off by making this easy homemade tartar sauce and set aside.

Homemade Tartar SauceNext chop up the cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, and fresh cilantro.  I didn’t have green onions so I used a white onion, it was good but green onions are better. 🙂

Fish Tacos With Cabbage SlawAdd lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and stir.

Cabbage SlawTake a little taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed.

Now cook up the fish of your choice.  I salt and pepper tilapia fillets and cook them on medium heat in a little olive oil for about 4 minutes on each side.

TilapiaPlace a half of a cooked tilapia fillet on a warm soft taco shell (flour or corn).  Place half a cup or so of the cabbage slaw on the fish and top it off with the tartar sauce!

Fish TacosSo delicious, so fresh tasting, and so easy. The fresh cilantro makes my heart sing!!

Fish Tacos With Cabbage Slaw And Homemade Tartar Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cabbage copped into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • enough fish fillets to feed your family, I use a half a tilapia fillet per taco
  • corn or flour tortillas (6-inch)
Instructions
  1. Put the cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro into a large bowl add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir well. Take a taste to see if you need more salt or pepper.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the fish and cook on medium heat in a little olive oil for about four minutes on each side. When fish flakes easily with a fork it is done.
  3. Place a piece of fish on a warm tortilla add ¼ to ½ cup of the cabbage slaw and top it off with some homemade tartar sauce!

I adapted this recipe from MyRecipe.com

 

This post was shared at: Weekend PotluckFoodie FridayFrom The Farm Blog Hop

Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles

Chicken Noodle Soup

I’m excited to share this one with you!  I’ve made chicken noodle soup many, many times but this one is by far my favorite.  I think it’s the homemade noodles and homemade chicken stock…..yummmmm!

Chicken Noodle SoupStart out by chopping up a medium sized onion and a cup of carrots.  Add them to a big pot with olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, basil, and thyme.  You can add celery too, somebody in our house doesn’t like celery so I leave it out.

SoupSaute for a few minutes until the onions are cooked.  The carrots will not be done yet, but they will finish cooking in the stock.  It will smell amazing!  Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, salt, and a bay leaf to the pot.

Chicken StockLet it simmer for a half hour or so, while you make the noodles.  Here is the recipe for homemade egg noodles.  I use about half of that recipe in this soup.

Egg NoodlesAdd the noodles to the simmering pot, the fresh noodles will cook in just a couple minutes.  If you made your noodles ahead of time and added them dry, it will take a bit longer.  When the noodles are done remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste and your soup is ready to serve!

Chicken Noodle Soup With Homemade Noodles
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • homemade egg noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a big pot saute onion, carrots, thyme, parsley, basil, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are cooked through.
  2. Add the chicken stock, shredded chicken, bay leaf, and salt to the pot and simmer while you make the noodles. (let it simmer for at least a ½ hour)
  3. Add the fresh noodles or dry noodles that you made ahead of time to the simmering pot and let the noodles cook thoroughly.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

chicken soup with homemade noodlesThis makes a hearty meal for four people. I usually double it and enjoy leftovers. 🙂

 

This post was shared at: Clever Chicks Blog HopHomemade Mondays The Homestead Barn HopMeal Planning MondayTuesday With a TwistThe Backyard Farming ConnectionThe HomeAcre HopThrifty ThursdayFrugal Days Sustainable WaysWeekend PotluckFoodie FridaySimple Saturdays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Fresh Green Bean Recipes

Fresh Green Bean Recipe

Green beans, green beans, green beans every where.  I have planted green beans many, many times, but never have they tasted so good or been so abundant! (it must have been those heirloom seeds?)   We pick them about every three days trying to keep up with them.

Fresh Green BeansAll these green beans have let me get acquainted with my brand new pressure cooker!

Canned Green BeansSo far I have canned 20 pints and 14 quarts.  I’m thinking that will get us through an entire year, especially since Digger isn’t fond of canned green beans.  I have given some away to friends and family and the rest we have been enjoying with dinner.

Here are 2 super tasty ways to EASILY add fresh green beans to your dinner.

First find a REALLY cute niece to help you snap the beans. 🙂

Bean snappen
She took her bean snappin job VERY seriously!

If you don’t have one of these (my sympathies) it CAN be done alone, BUT it is very boring.

After the beans are snapped and you have picked up all the beans off the floor and cut all the little teeth marks off of them, give them a good washing!  (I told you, not boring with a cute helper)

Grease a cookie sheet and place as many snapped and washed beans as your family will eat for dinner on the cookie sheet.  Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground pepper on the top.  Place in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  This is soooo easy and so yummy!

Oven Roasted Green BeansThe next recipe is my favorite because it involves BACON!

You will need fresh snapped and washed green beans, bacon, and a small onion.

Green Bean RecipeChop up the bacon (I used 6 slices) and fry it until crispy.  Place the bacon on a paper towel to drain,  leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the onion and green beans (about 4 cups).  I used half of a LARGE onion I bought from our neighbors at the farmers market….wow!  Let them saute in the bacon grease for a few minutes, stirring often.  When they are done to your liking, drain excess liquid then add the bacon back in and stir.  Add Salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh Green Bean RecipeThat’s it; deeeelicious!  I ate this for lunch yesterday…well not ALL of it, I shared a little with the girls. 🙂  Digger who won’t touch a green bean out of a can will happily eat either of these easy fresh green bean recipes!

Happy snappin everyone!

Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning

Italian Sausage Seasoning

Italian Sausage SeasoningHere’s another sausage recipe!  If you couldn’t tell we are huge pork fans.  In the past my parents have raised a pig for us every year and we always had an abundance of home grown pork on hand.  Last year they moved and have not been able to get set up to house a few hogs yet, so sadly we are down to our last few packages of pork chops.  🙁  There is NOTHING like home grown pork….and we are missing it a lot!  I figured if I have to buy sausage I could at least season it myself and my homemade seasoning for breakfast sausage turned out so yummy I thought I would try Italian sausage seasoning.  So far I have used this Italian Sausage on pizza and in spaghetti  and it was wonderful!  I’m sure it would work for any recipe calling for Italian sausage.

Blend the seasonings together and mix into 2 pounds of ground pork.  Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking to let the flavors blend.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning (a mixture of basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon minced dried onions
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and stir into 2 pounds of ground pork. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Pizza Night! This sausage was wonderful on homemade pizza.

 

Bacon Fried Rice

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For our family it doesn’t get much better then Bacon Fried Rice!

Frugal, simple, yummy, uses lots of our fresh eggs, and how can you go wrong with BACON?

You will need 4 cups of cooked rice.  It doesn’t matter what kind, I prefer brown organic rice (it’s much healthier than white), but I ran out and needed to use up this white rice so that’s what you will see pictures of.  I put 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water in my rice cooker and it was perfect about 20 minutes later.  Cook your rice how ever you prefer.

While the rice is cooking, chop up LOTS of bacon.

This was 3 cups of uncooked bacon pieces.  After it was cooked and drained it was 2 cups of bacon bits.  I buy the big packages of ends and pieces (they are cheaper than sliced) and freeze them until I need them.

DSCN5227 (640x480)-1I only use 1 pan for this recipe, so you will need a big one.  While the bacon is filling your house with that heavenly aroma, chop a large onion and green pepper.

DSCN5222 (640x480)-1You will also need six eggs, scrambled.

DSCN5223 (620x640)-1Yes, that’s a gargantuan bowl of eggs shells. 🙂  We save all our egg shells and grind them up for the compost pile and to feed back to our chickens for calcium.  If you would like to recycle your eggs shells, here is a link to a post about 30+ things to do with egg shells on the Prairie Homestead Blog.

When the bacon is done(crispy) place it on a plate with a paper towel to drain, and pour some of the lovely bacon grease into a small glass bowl or coffee cup.  Leave some of it in the pan to saute the onion and green pepper in.

Then look outside and see that it’s dark….and realize that you didn’t close the chicken coop doors yet.  Then turn off the burner so you can run outside to do that.  Grab a flash light, slip on your sexy clogs…. then remember that you are going outside for a couple minutes and leaving warm bacon bits on the counter with serious bacon snatchers in the house….slip off the sexy (chicken poopy) clogs and head back to the kitchen and hide the bacon bits in the cupboard.  Slip sexy clogs BACK on, run out to the chicken coop, count 17 chickens, chase a cat out of the coop, close the doors, and run back to the house.

Warm the pan back up to medium heat (or just leave the pan on if you don’t have chicken issues) and saute the onion and green pepper, in the bacon grease until transparent.  If they start to stick to the pan add more bacon grease.

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Add the cooked rice to the pan. Stir the rice and veggies together and add a few more tablespoons of bacon grease (still on medium heat).

Pour the scrambled eggs over the rice mixture.  Keep stirring while its cooking, when the eggs are almost set…pull the bacon out of its hiding place in the cupboard and add to the pan, stir in while the eggs finish cooking.  When the eggs are completely done pull the pan off the burner, add salt and pepper to taste.

DSCN5237 (640x432)-1Four of us ate this for dinner last night with plenty of leftovers.  Well I thought there was leftovers??  When I went to put them in the fridge I couldn’t find them…after making a few circles around the kitchen, I looked in the living room and this is what I saw:

DSCN5242 (640x480)-1 Digger watching “Fringe” and eating leftover Fried Rice like popcorn. 😆

Homemade Whole Wheat Biscuits

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Our family has been a “biscuit from a can” kinda family for 11 years.  They are pretty good….well,  If you don’t think about what a home made biscuit tastes like, and if you don’t read the ingredients on the can.  Yep, I looked…..then, I said “yuck!”  Then I started experimenting.

This is what I came up with:

DSCN5130 (640x480)-1Light, Fluffy, Healthy, Yumminess!!

Start by stirring together the flour, baking powder, cream of tarter, and salt.

Then cut in the butter until crumbly. Here’s a little tip…instead of standing at the counter (forever) with a fork to cut in the butter.  I put mine in my kitchen aid and let it mix for a minute (I cubed the butter first).  It worked l great, but be careful not to over mix!  Over mixing equals tough biscuits.

DSCN5117 (640x480)-1Combine the egg and milk; stir it into crumb mixture until moist.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead about 10 times.  Then roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut biscuits out with a cup or cookie cutter.

This is the fun part!

DSCN5121 (480x640)-1Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

This made about 16 biscuits.

No more biscuits from a can for us!!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Whole Wheat Biscuits
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Mix together first four ingredients then cut in butter until crumbly.
  2. Combine the egg and milk; stir into crumb mixture until moistened.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead about 10 times then roll out to ½ inch thickness.
  4. Cut out biscuits with a cup or a round cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

 

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