Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Baking

Good evening. Come on in the house and have some coffee for it is getting cold outside down here in South Georgia. It is supposed to be almost freezing in the morning which means I need to pick the ripe grapefruit from our tree.

This is our first year to have our own grapefruit from our very own tree. Last year we planted 1 red grapefruit tree, 1 orange tree and 1 tangerine tree. The grapefruit was the largest and we have about 2 dozen red grapefruit. The first one was good but still a little unripe but I am thinking these will be good. The 3 tangerine were good and there are about 5 oranges getting ripe. We are looking forward to having so many we can share with our friends. We eat a lot of citrus fruit so we thought we would try growing our own and it is working. We have many friends who grow them and now I want a lemon tree.

It is almost Christmas, can you believe it? I still don't have my wreath on the front door but it is going to be made and hung on the door before I say good night. Christmas also means I want to make some sausage balls for a couple of parties we are attending. We will be carrying "finger" foods to these and I began to wonder if I run out of "finger" foods, can I carry "toe" foods? Just teasing, but eventually I will run out of fingers.

When I make sausage balls and banana bread I use a biscuit mix to make it easier. However, I am out of biscuit mix so I am going to make my own. There is a recipe in my Auburn Cookbook for a basic baking mix and I am going to "do it myself" as Becky used to say. I plan to put it in plastic bags and keep in the refrigerator and it will keep for months that way. I am posting the recipe for you and you can use it for biscuits, pancakes, sausage balls, or any recipe that calls for a baking mix. It will be less expensive than the bought kind and will take only a few minutes to make so why don't you try it also. I used to make it when the children were home and I wasn't teaching but now I have the time to make it again and save some money. So, here it is .......

Basic Biscuit Mix

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
•8 cups flour*
•1-1/4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
•1/4 cup baking powder
•1 tablespoon salt
•2 cups solid shortening

Preparation:

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until combined well. Add shortening a few scoops at a time. With mixer set on low, a pastry blender, fork or two knives cut in the shortening until mixture resembles small peas. I usually use my clean hands for this step and rub the flour mixture into the shortening. Store in a airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place or in the fridge.
*You may use all white flour, bread flour, unbleached flour, wheat flour or in combination. It's your choice.

You can make it without the powdered milk and use milk for the liquid in the recipes or use the powdered milk and use water. I have done it both ways and you can't tell the difference.

This is the sausage balls I make with this mix.

Sausage Balls

3 cups basic mix
1 pound sausage - mild, hot or medium
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Optional ingredients: 1 tsp. onion powder, a 1//8 tsp. red pepper, 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your fingers. The mixture will be very crumbly. Form into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. To prevent sticking, move the balls with a spatula halfway through cooking. Drain on paper towels when removed from baking dish. Be careful and don't overcook.

Suggested dip -

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard

combine the mayonnaise and mustard. Serve with sausage balls

We like them plain. Keep them in a tightly closed container and reheat before serving. They are good cold also - we like them hot, cold and anywhere in between.

Hope you will try this mix for it is easy, simple and will save you some money.

Nuff said and stay warm

The Georgia Peach
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1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Thanks for the recipe Momma Robson but we leave the sausage balls to Beck. If she shows up to any of our family functions without them Morgan won't let her in:) So needless to say, I ALWAYS volunteer to bring them to various things and then beg Beck to do them for me.. Doesn't even take a lot of arm twisting:)

XOXO
Your FAV Adopted daugther