Grandma Mary’s Heavenly Light Buttermilk Skillet Biscuits

Heavenly Light Buttermilk Skillet Biscuits

My Hutterite grandmother, Mary Pullman Stahl, was lauded for her other-worldly cooking, and when it came to biscuits, hers were incomparable. As a farm girl used to the demands of communal meal preparation, she never measured anything and the speed with which she could cover every counter in the kitchen with impossibly tender, light, fragrant biscuits was nothing short of magic–especially to her eight-year-old granddaughter who stood by ready to make cinnamon “dog ears” with the scraps.

The Best Scones in the Entire Universe

Scone 2

I planned to do a short post on how to make a perfect scone and then several days into research and testing realized that like most great things, superlative scones are not so simple after all. This is not to say that they are difficult to make; just that there is a world of contradictory information available on the best way to produce the best scone, plus dozens of basic formulas that run the gamut from doughs with no butter or eggs at all to doughs with large quantities of both. What is the bewildered cook to do?

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Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread

I’m always on the lookout for interesting variations on the corn bread theme, especially when leaves turn glorious shades of russet and crimson and nights turn cool. I LOVE corn bread–especially Aunt Elfred’s Corn Bread, which is high, light, and tender, with the requisite depth of cornmeal flavor and aroma.

Whenever I see an interesting corn bread recipe, I don’t bother with the basic formula, as I’m confident that no corn bread formula (and I’ve tested a gazillion) is better than Aunt Elfred’s.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This coffeecake drifts through my very crowded mind whenever brunch is mentioned. That’s because it’s so delicious and so easy. It may also have something to do with the fact that people go gaga over it and beg me for the recipe.

Aunt Elfred’s New Year’s Eve Corn Bread

Basket of Aunt Elfred's Corn Bread Muffins

Our dear friend Janet Stelzer’s Aunt Elfred must have been one magnificent cook because this cornbread is dynamite. I spent years testing dozens of promising cornbread recipes, never quite achieving the light, tender goodness of Aunt Elfred’s superlative version.

Cranberry Orange Yogurt Pecan Bread


This cranberry bread is especially tender because of the softening effect the yogurt has on the gluten in the flour, and it has an appealing acid tang as well. This loaf is as appropriate for breakfast as for afternoon tea, especially during the holiday season.