Happy Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2016

Christmas Tablescape

It is the beginning of the holiday season and we are thankful to be able to share this time with family and friends.  We are especially thankful for our home after the scare of forest fires.  I set a holiday table that combines both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It has a woodland theme in celebration of our beautiful North Carolina mountains.

Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits

We will be having an unusual Thanksgiving dinner with family this year.  Everyone loves Jeff’s Ribs so there will be no turkey on our table.  I was asked to bring the bread component to the meal.  Biscuits go well with ribs so I did a riff on the basic biscuit.  I made these Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits that I found on Epicurious.  I made them small because there will be lots of dishes on the table and huge biscuits may be more than everyone can handle.

Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Biscuits

I wish all of you a bountiful Thanksgiving and hope the holiday season brings you joy and fellowship.



    • 6 thick-cut bacon slices
    • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
    • 2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
    • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
    • 1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk
    • Honey (optional)


    1. Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
    2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).
    3. Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.
    4. Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired.


Easy Appetizers – Part 1

November 3rd, 2009

I recently hosted a meet the candidates function at my house and sent out a request for appetizer recipes on this blog. I received some really good recipes and wanted to share some of them with you. This recipe for Mushroom Croustades has now become one of my favorites. The recipe came from my friend Lyla in Michigan. I wrote about her here. What I love about the mushroom croustades is that you can do everything ahead of time and just assemble and bake at the last minute. The shells are made from bread which is cut into rounds and fitted into 2″ muffin cups and baked until browned. They are then frozen until you are ready to use them. The mushroom filling can also be done ahead of time. What’s not to like about that? (I think I am channeling Ina. ) And they taste great and do not fall apart when you bite into them. There is nothing worse then standing around at a cocktail party balancing a drink and trying to eat crumbly food. Food needs to be easy to handle and be eaten in one or two bites. This is a definite winner. Thank you Lyla.


2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
24 slices white bread (I used Pepperidge Farm Sandwich Bread)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of 24 (2 inch) muffin cups generously with the butter. Using a 2 1/2 inch plain round cutter, cut out a circle from each bread slice. Using fingertips, press a circle of bread gently but firmly into each muffin cup so that it fits snugy. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and place each bread basket on a cooling rack. When cool place in zip lock bag and freeze. Without defrosting them, fill them with the mushroom mixture and bake following the directions to follow.

Mushroom Filling:
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup finely snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablepoon butter, cut into tiny pieces (I skipped this)
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves

In a large frying pan, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Add shallots and cook three minutes stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, increase heat to moderately high and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently until some water cooks out of mushrooms and is evaporated.

Remove skillet from heat. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and stir in. Put skillet over moderate heat, gradually stir in cream and then cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and simmers for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt, cayenne, parsley, chives, and lemon juice. Allow to cool before filling croustades.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen croustades on baking sheets. Fill each with a heaping tablespoon of the mushroom filling. Mound the filling slightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dot with butter. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with minced parsley leaves. Makes 24 Mushroom Croustades.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.