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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Start a Compost Waste To Help Your Plants

You most likely may have heard about composting but many may not have started composting their selves. This may be easier if you have a green thumb and like to offer your plants the best. Composting helps to enrich the soil in your garden thus making it fertile and helping your plants. Don't worry if you are a plant lover then there is still time to start composting. 

What do you need???

well this is really rather simple. Most of us have scraps left over after preparing veggies to cook, leaves left from the fall, coffee grounds and the list goes on. 

a place to start your compost whether it is purchased or you simply choose a container laying around the home. Make sure it is large enough to stir around

A place to keep your compost waste. It most likely will have a odor as it is rotting. It needs to be a place where animals can not get to. It needs to be able to be kept in a place that the breeze can help keep it aerated. Water is also important as it should stay moist

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Apple Pie Filling Cupcakes

For the Apple Pie Filling:
  • 6 cups granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup salted butter, slightly softened - 2 sticks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Apple Pie Filling:
  1. In a large bowl, squirt about a Tablespoon of lemon juice on diced, peeled apples. Toss to coat.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine water, cornstarch, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk over medium high heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Continue whisking until mixture thickens and darkens to a very thick gravy-like consistency. Add apples and cover.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes or until apples have reached desired tenderness. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on medium low, add flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with flour mixture and scraping the bowl as needed. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until center of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To Assemble Cupcakes:
  1. Using a small knife, cut the center out of each cupcake and fill to overflowing with apple filling. Right before serving, prepare and top with cinnamon whipped cream.
For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
  1. In a chilled metal mixing bowl, whip cold cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon on high speed with your mixer whisk attachment until stiff. Spoon or pipe onto cupcakes

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Broccoli Salad

Looking for a delicious salad that would be perfect for Easter dinner and provide great taste? Then check out this recipe

Broccoli Salad
adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen

1 head broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins
½ cup of shredded carrots
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
½ cup Follow Your Heart Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem. Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into flowerets and the stem into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the onion, raisins, carrots, sunflower seeds and vegan cheddar. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt.

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Happy Home Maker Monday

The weather in these parts has been quite a bit of rain and some bad storms as well. Tonight even while we were grilling out the sky got black, the wind started blowing and while no real rain came I am sure some where close by was getting a storm. 

As far as how I am feeling I would say extra tired. I think the amount of work they give me at my job would wear anyone out but I am starting to get older and it is becoming a bit overwhelming. 

On my mind... 
  1.  at work everyone in the health care field will soon be tested. I am not sure what to expect as many stories are floating around about the test for covid 19. 
  2. glad to see many places are getting ready to open seems like the world may get a bit closer to the way it was soon
  3. road trip to my home town is coming up I am both excited and nervous

nothing extreme just a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal. Sometimes I like go a bit easy

On my T.V.
been watching a lot of the game show station especially since I found out the other day we had it.

Menu this week:
Monday we grilled out and will have leftovers for lunches this week
Tuesday beef stew and biscuits
Wednesday daughter is cooking 
Thursday chili, crackers and PB sandwiches
Friday --- pay day / shopping busy day 
Saturday - Sunday our of town will eat on road

Part of the family ... me and hubby with daughter and her family

Around the house
so much to do have many items sold that I will deliver this weekend. My house is always busy with many things that need to be done

Relaxation time
road trip with the family will have lots of fun 

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Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May each year. It was created to celebrate the lives lost from the armed forces. Those individuals who gave their life to protect the freedom and liberties that America enjoys. To them I say "Thank - You"

Memorial day normally sees large crowds, gatherings and food. This year, 2020 and the covid 19 quarantine things are not the same. While many are still looking to have a bit of fun the dangers during this unknown time are preventing the large gatherings. However, you and your family can prepare a meal and tell the young members of the family about those that served in the many wars. 

This year Memorial day occurs on May 25th... the same day as the national holiday known as brown bag it. So why not?? Me and my family have had the opportunity to head out and about and have a few different picnics. Yes we stay 6 feet apart from others and yes we still enjoy our selves. So why not make up a brown bag and have a bit of fun this Memorial Day 2020. 

Why not make your favorite sandwich and serve up with these tasty chips

  • 2 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
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  1. In a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat oil to 325 degrees F. Using a mandoline,* slice potatoes widthwise into paper-thin slices.
  2. In batches, fry potatoes in heated oil, 1 to 2 minutes, making sure not to overcrowd pan. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. While still hot, sprinkle each batch with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

South Carolina Information + recipe

The state of South Carolina was settled by the English and the eighth state to ratify the U.S. constitution in 1788. With its economy coming largely from agriculture because of the states fertile soil the issue became one of having enough man power. Thus opening the door for slave trade from Africa

Cheap labor would help maximize the profit the large plantation owners would receive. Just shy of 100 years after ratifying the constitution the state would secede from the union in 1861. South Carolina would be the place that shots from the civil war would ring out. However the darkness of the states history the beauty still rang out.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina is one place that was developed as a destination to relax and soak up the sun. Natives of South Carolina include Chubby Checker, Dizzy Gillespie, Boxer Joe Frazier, and politician Jesse Jackson. Along with the great music, history and wonderful beaches the food from South Carolina is amazing. Just take a look at the recipe I shared 

  • 12 Large Red New Potatoes, washed and quartered (or halved, depending on the size, or the equivalent if using smaller potatoes)
  • 6 Smoked Sausage Links – approx. 4-inch links, cut into a little larger than bite-size pieces
  • 6 Ears Fresh Corn, each broken in half
  • 3 Pounds Fresh Jumbo Shrimp, unpeeled (plus any other seafood you like)
  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients when full.
  2. Add the Crab Boil, or other seasoning, and bring to a boil.
  3. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  4. When the water boils, add your potatoes and sausage.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Add corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add shrimp and cook for no longer than 3 minutes.
  8. Drain, and serve, spread out on your craft paper or newspaper, with warm French bread, or the bread of your choice.

Dig in! Have lots of paper towels on hand. Nobody needs to be dainty chowing down on this feast!

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Lily Of The Valley

He's the lily of the valley He's the bright and morning star
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul

The old words to a song that means the world to my soul. I can recall singing it in those old country churches I would visit with my parents and grand-parents. But while that lily of the valley soothes my soul the plant lily of the valley is highly poisonous woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, pendent, bell shaped white flowers that appear in the spring. 

The Lily of the Valley has been adored by many around the world. Perfumes featuring the scent have been created. One such was made by the French firm Dior in 1956. Christian Dior's favorite flower was the lily of the valley and Diorissimo was designed to celebrate this fact. 

The flower lily of the valley have been large parts of ceremonies including weddings. The bridal bouquet of Catherine Middleton the bride of Prince William featured the Lily of the valley. 

Many days including Labour day in France and Flora Day in the United Kingdom pay tribute to the flower as well. In the Yugoslavia and Finland the Lily of the valley was the national flower 

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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

  • 20 crisp, fresh spears asparagus, rinsed and pat dried
  • 20 thin sliced nitrate free bacon strips
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees f. and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Take each asparagus spear and snap off the very bottom of the woody ends.

Next, take one bacon strip and wrap it around the asparagus Place your wrapped asparagus on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining asparagus and bacon leaving space between each so that they can crisp up.

Roast in your preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until bacon is crispy to your liking. OR, to grill, place bundles on your hot grill and cover. Cook 8 to 10 minutes until bacon is crisp and asparagus bundles are tender, turning once.

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Saturday, May 23, 2020

It's Brothers Day

Happy Brothers day to my kid brother. I was 14 when he was born, a freshmen in high school. I could not wait til he came home and believe me it took a bit of time. My mom had had 4 children by the time my brother was born and while I had a younger sister and a younger brother as well as an older sister this time was a bit different. The youngest of us children was 8 years old and I was only 6 when he was born. But now... now I was a teenager and while some teens rebel at a notion like this I personally looked forward to holding this little baby... my brother. 

Since that time I have been his guide in life when he was in trouble he called me for help... when he was doing good he invited me over to see how well he was doing. He was and always will be a good  no a great friend of mine... always more than a brother ever will be. 

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Turtle Day

May 23 is the day to celebrate turtles and tortoises. Created only 30 years ago by the American Tortoise Rescue the World Turtle Day recognizes all turtles and tortoises and helps draw awareness to their possibility of extinction due to hazards in their environment as well as the danger from those hunting and harvesting not only the hard or soft backed creatures but their eggs as well. A couple of animal activist that had a heart for tortoises created the special day acknowledging tortoises everywhere. 

One thing many are not aware of is that turtles and tortoises are not the same creatures. While both are reptiles their are a few differences including their habitat, shells, and how long they live. 

  • turtles often live in water part of the time and tortoises live on the land.
  • The shell of a turtle often have flat style shells but the shell of tortoises often will have larger more domed shells. 
  • Tortoises live many more years than turtles. An age span of up to over 300 years for the tortoise (however many will only live to 150 years) the turtle may only live to an average age of 40 years.

Here are a few more trivia facts that you may or may not be aware of
  • Turtles are a member of the reptile group that dates back to the time of the dinosaur. This means that turtles are older than snakes, crocodiles and alligators
  • A turtles shell is part of its skeleton. Made up of around 50 bones the shell is made to be part of the turtle's rib cage and spine. The shell grows as the turtle ages similar to a humans skeleton. Because of this turtles never come out of the shells or outgrow them. 
  • Turtles are cold blooded thus offering them a long life span. The turtle metabolism is very slow and survives without food and water for a long time. 
With over 300 species of turtles in the entire world around 129 of the species endangered. Turtles and tortoises are poached by humans creating an illegal pet trade. The natural habitat with constant human interruptions also is putting the creatures in harm. In addition turtles are slaughtered for their meat, skin, and shells. 

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Sweet Cherry Cobbler

Sweet Cherry Cobbler Recipe

The filling:

5 cups pitted sweet cherries, can be fresh or frozen 
3 TBS honey
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract (here’s how you can make your own!)
1 TBS cornstarch (I highly recommend this kind to guarantee it is GMO free!)

The Topping:

1 cup all purpose flour 
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 TBS butter chopped in small pieces 
3 TBS milk
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all the filling ingredients in a pan on the stove and heat on medium/high. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Heat until the sauce starts to thicken then remove from heat. Pour the filling into an 8×8 baking dish and set it aside.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the butter pieces on top of the dry ingredients in the bowl. Using a pastry blender (if you don’t know what this is, this is the one we have), cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

3. In a separate small bowl, beat the one egg. Add the milk to the egg and stir until mixed. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the bowl with the crumbly mixture. Use a fork and mash it all together until a soft dough forms. 

4. Drop the dough by little tablespoon size blobs onto the top of the cherry filling. The top does not need to be perfectly covered with dough since the dough will spread a bit when baking.

5. Place the cherry cobbler in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. 

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Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

May helps bring awareness to many health issues. Cystic Fibrosis is a health disorder that affects the lungs primarily but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine. Some issues that are caused by cystic fibrosis are the inabilities to breath and cause large coughing fits that result in large amounts of mucus being coughed up. Cystic Fibrosis is inherited from prior generations. Secretions of sweat, digestive fluids, and mucus are normal but for those with cystic fibrosis the secretions are thickened. 

There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis. A lifetime of lung infections that are often treated with antibiotics is common. In addition inhalations may need to be used as well. In the worst cases lung transplantation may be needed. Individuals with cystic fibrosis live an average life of 42 - 50 years of age. Often lung problems will be responsible for many of the death of those with cystic fibrosis. 

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Kentucky Derby Will Not Be Ran In May

May is the month when a large event occurs in Kentucky and is known as the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. While in every other year the first Saturday in May is the official date of the derby as we all know 2020 has thrown many of us for a loop. Due to the Corona virus the Kentucky Derby will occur in September 2020.

The nickname "The Run for the Roses" has been given to the Kentucky Derby because of the roses that are lavishly draped over the winner so many that it resembles a blanket of roses. Many have also said to hold on to your hats as the two minutes after the start of the race will go quickly and the race ends even quicker. It is the first of three races that helps determine a great crown winner. 

Prior to 2020 the race has ran as scheduled for the past 144 years. Nothing before the Corona virus not even the World Wars or the Great Depression has cancelled or changed the date of the race. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 146th Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from May 2, 2020, to September 5, 2020

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Haitian Potato Salad

This potato salad is made from not only potatoes but beets as well offering it a pretty pink color 

6 small to medium russet potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed
1/2 a large beet, peeled, roasted and cubed
5-6 medium eggs, boiled and chopped
1 cup cooked sweet green peas
1 large stalk of celery, diced (1/3 cup)
1 large carrot, peeled, boiled and diced (1/2 cup)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 onion, finely diced (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Peel and roast your beet in a 350℉ oven for 45 minutes or until you're able to easily pierce it with a fork. Peel and boil potatoes in salted water for 25 minutes. Cut carrot in half and boil for 10-15 minutes with sweet peas. Boil eggs for about 10 minutes.

Once cooked dice up your potatoes, beet, celery, carrots and eggs.

To a small bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, onions, celery, garlic, onion powder, salt, black pepper to make dressing; mix well.

To a medium-large bowl add potatoes, beets, eggs, green peas, carrots, dressing and mix well until you get a nice pink color. Chill and serve. Enjoy!

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Friday, May 15, 2020

Save Time in the Kitchen

Life can become quite busy and at times I myself feel like there is never enough time in the day. Have you ever felt that way?? One area in my life that seems to take a lot of time is work in the kitchen. Some ways that I have found to save time in the kitchen include:

  • When buying fresh fruit take time to prepare it directly after shopping. By doing this it will be ready to use and also saves money by not buying prepped at store. 
  • Prepare meals that allow you to cook once and eat twice. By saving prepared meals in microwavable containers they will be ready to heat up directly from the fridge or freezer. 
  • stock up on easy ready to eat foods that are good for you like yogurt and tuna pouches. Saving time and still eating nutritious is good for your health and pocket. 
  • Clean as you cook --- keep a sink of warm soapy water to do dishes as you go 

What tips do you have to share?? Please leave them in comment

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Japanese Fried Chicken #recipe

Japanese Karaage chicken is not like many other fried chickens as they do not have a batter or thick breaded coating to cover it. Many believe the trick is to fry the chicken more than once by frying it for a few minutes, removing it and frying it again. They don't take long at all and stay moist and juicy while the coating gets nice and crispy.

1 lb boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup potato starch
high smoke point oil for deep frying (I use rice bran oil)
kewpie mayo, to serve
sliced cucumbers, to serve
lime wedges, to serve

Mix together the chicken thighs, soy sauce, sake, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a bowl and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour 1 hour at room temperature, in a slightly cool spot. Letting the chicken rest at room temp means that the chicken won’t drop the temperature of the oil, which means that it’ll cook up crispier. Also, it’ll cook faster than if you cook it cold from the fridge.

Prepare a wire cooling rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Heat up 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 inches of oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 325°F. It doesn’t need to be too deep, it depends on the size of your chicken bits.

Place the potato starch in a bowl and, working in batches, coat several pieces of chicken, shaking off the excess potato starch. Use a pair of tongs to gently add the chicken to the hot oil. Fry until lightly golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let rest on your prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of it has been fried once.

Turn the heat up to 350°F and fry the chicken a second time around until deeply golden and crispy, another 1-2 minutes. Drain on the wire rack and enjoy hot with kewpie mayo, limes, and cucumbers.

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Recipe From My Childhood

S.O.S. aka S@#%! on a shingle

1/3 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 jar Armor dried beef*, chopped small
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk

Melt the butter and add the onions. 
After about 2 minutes add the beef also. Saute' until onions are translucent. 
Sprinkle with pepper. Use salt sparingly (beef is pretty salty)
Sprinkle flour over the meat and onions and stir in well. The flour will burn, so work quickly. 
Gradually add in the milk, stirring continuously until mixture boils. Turn down heat, add the Worcestershire sauce and thicken to a gravy consistency. 
Serve immediately over toast.

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Food Allergy Awareness

A food allergy is an immune system response to a food the body mistakenly believes is harmful. When an individual with the food allergy eats the food that they are allergic to their immune system will release massive amounts of chemicals that will trigger symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, the skin or the cardiovascular system. More than 30 million Americans are affected by food allergies. 

Out of the 30 million individuals with food allergies affect children more than adults according to the CDC. The good thing is that many children may grow out of the food allergies as they age. The number of children with food allergies seems to be increasing However, keep in mind that a food allergy is never 

  • an intolerance like lactose, gluten or other intolerance. An intolerance does not involve the immune system but only the digestive system. An intolerance occurs when enzyme needed to digest and process a particular food and symptoms are often related to gas, bloating, and abdominal pain..
  • a food preference such as vegetarian or kosher

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Southern Style Biscuits Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding and Southern Style Biscuts

These recipes were a couple of my husbands grandmothers favorites. Since it is grandparents day I thought I would honor her by posting these.
Banana Pudding

4 bananas
Vanilla wafers
Banana pudding mix
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. sugar

For an easy to make pudding, use an instant banana mix, prepare according to direction on box. Line bottom and sides with wafers. Then put alternate layers of bananas, pudding mix and wafers. Make meringue of 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Spread on top and sprinkle with fine wafer crumbs. Brown meringue in slow oven, 300 degrees.
Southern Style Biscuts

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. shortening
2/3 c. buttermilk or use regular milk and omit baking soda
1 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda; cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until dough leaves side of bowl and rounds up into a ball. (If dough is dry, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons additional buttermilk.) Turn until lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth, about 10 times.
Roll or pat dough 3/4 inch thick; cut with 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place on cookie sheet (about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides). Brush tops with melted butter. Bake until golden brown 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Makes 6 large biscuits. Serve warm with butter and honey, sure to melt in your mouth

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