A Year of New Recipes

One of the goals I’m setting for myself in 2024 is to try more new recipes.

That goal was inspired, in a large part, by our recent trip to North Carolina and Tennessee.

When we were in Asheville, NC, we happened upon a restaurant called Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

After the server takes your order, they return with one of the most wonderful things ever – warm croissants smothered in sweet honey butter.

Oh, my gracious! They were divine!

When we were in Knoxville, we happened across another Cheddar’s restaurant, but the croissants were cold, overcooked, and barely had any honey butter on them. They were just sad, at least when compared to the scrumptious croissants we had in Asheville.

So, I have decided one of the things I’m going to learn to make this year are croissants (and the honey butter that smothers them!).

It was also on our trip we experienced southern biscuits.

My grandma and mama were both good cooks, but the only biscuits I remember them making were kind more of the hockey puck variety, bearing the very strong flavor of baking powder. I will state that I LOVE big, fluffy, tender, dripping with butter biscuits.

The best biscuits we had on the trip were at Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge. They were amazing.

I enjoyed every delicious bite. And I am determined to find a recipe for fluffy Southern biscuits to recreate them at home.

The other thing that tickled my tastebuds were the green beans. Such a crazy thing, I know. But we don’t have the flat Italian green beans in our neck of the woods.

The first evening we ate at Cheddar’s, I ordered green beans as a side. They weren’t just any green beans – they tasted exactly like my Granny’s green beans. A taste I haven’t enjoyed in thirty+ years. The first bite of them, I stopped, fork in hand, looked at CC across the table, and said, “these are just like Granny’s beans!” Then I shared one little bite with him before happily eating the rest of them. I ordered green beans at several restaurants, and each time it was the flat Italian beans. The taste of them varied, not tasting just like Granny’s, but still good.

I’m hoping to find a recipe to make them just like Granny used to. First, I need to find (or perhaps I shall have to plant in the spring) some Italian green beans.

Sometimes, when it is late at night, and I can’t sleep because my head is spinning with book and character ideas, I force myself to think of something else. And often, that something else is dreaming up new dessert recipes. I’ve been mulling over ideas for a big can of sweet cherries I have in my pantry, trying to think of something that would be decadent for Valentine’s Day.

As I said, my goal is to try out (unearth – or create) some new recipes this year.

If you have recipes for croissants, biscuits, green beans, or a cherry dessert (or anything awesome you want to share), please feel free to post in the comments.

What is one goal you are working on this year?

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6 Responses

  1. I had the Cheddar’s croissants for the first time in December at a friend’s retirement party. They were delicious so I completely understand your search to recreate something similar!

    A recipe I had pinned that I keep meaning to share with you is Cool Whip Cookies https://www.food.com/recipe/e-a-s-y-cake-mix-and-cool-whip-cookies-147496 As soon as I saw them, they reminded me of some of your busy characters that still like to make delicious treats but need a quick, simple recipe. I have yet to make them, but they are on my list of recipes to try.

    1. Oh, thank you for sharing the Cool Whip Cookies. Wow! So easy! Will have to try them! And yes- those croissants are amazing! So fun you got to try them!

  2. This is a recipe my brother found. I haven’t personally made them yet, but the ones he made looked amazing!

    Extraordinary Buttermilk Biscuits
    Prep Time: 10 Minutes Start to Finish: 25 Minutes (Makes about 12 biscuits.)
    2½ cups Gold Medal® self-rising flour
    ½ cup butter or shortening
    2 teaspoons sugar
    ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk, milk or whipping cream
    1. Heat oven to 450°F. In medium bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in buttermilk until dough leaves side of bowl (if dough is dry, stir in 1-2 Tbsp additional buttermilk).
    2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough just until smooth. Roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut dough with floured 2½-inch biscuit cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides.
    3. Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown.
    Drop Biscuits: Use 1¼ cups buttermilk. Do not knead dough. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart.
    Cheese-Garlic Biscuits: Use 1 cup buttermilk; add ¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese. Do not knead dough. Drop dough by large spoonfuls 2 inches apart. After baking, brush with mixture of 2 Tbsp melted butter and 1 tsp garlic powder.
    Cinnamon-Sugar Biscuits: Increase sugar to ½ cup; add ½ tsp cinnamon to flour mixture.
    After baking, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
    High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 425°F. Bake 10-12 min.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this biscuit recipe. I’ll have to give it a try, and the variations sound awesome too!

  3. Something very southern and absolutely delicious to go with hot biscuits is chocolate gravy. My mama used to make it when I was little. I started making it for my own kids several years ago and it is now a favorite of theirs as well. One kiddo in particular asks for it for her birthday dinner every year.

    Chocolate Gravy
    • 1 ¼ cup of Sugar
    • 2 heaping tablespoons of Cocoa
    • 2 heaping tablespoons of Flour
    • ¼ teaspoon of Salt
    • 2 cups of Milk
    • ¼ cup of Butter
    • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
    Instructions:
    Mix dry ingredients together, and then add the milk & butter.
    Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add vanilla.
    Serve over hot buttermilk biscuits.

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