These White Lily biscuits are a Southern tradition. They’re based on my Granny’s baking powder biscuits and they’re perfect with creamy sawmill gravy!
When you order anything other than breakfast at Cracker Barrel, there is a very important question that they ask you:
“Biscuits or cornbread?”
Biscuits, duh. Ah, biscuits. Though I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for cornbread since I developed my own method of making it, I would never, ever choose cornbread over a biscuit. NEVER.
I remember as a kid asking my mom to make biscuits from scratch, or to make biscuits from scratch with me, or something. I don’t recall that it ever happened. My mom is a great cook but was never much for baking from scratch, which is a shame since her mom made some famous-in-these-parts yeast rolls (she was the cafeteria manager at the elementary school near their home and made the rolls from scratch. People from the community would come to the school to buy her rolls). I never met my mom’s mom (Mamaw) but wish I knew how to make those rolls. The biscuits in our house back in those days were poppin’ fresh, probably with flaky layers.
My first experience with homemade biscuits? NOT GOOD. Don’t ever try to make biscuits from scratch for the first time on Thanksgiving. Take. My. Word. Why I decided to make biscuits on Thanksgiving anyway I’m not quite certain (Thanksgiving doesn’t generally make me think, “Mmmmm, biscuits….”) but I did. It was the very first Thanksgiving-the very first anything-that we hosted in our house, with Philip’s family and my family jammed into our not-very-big house. Philip’s sister put the sweet potato casserole into the teeny little broiler drawer in our ancient stove (yes, you read that correctly. A broiler drawer. It was wide enough to fit a broiler pan into and it was on the bottom of the stove because what could possibly go wrong with fire shooting out of a broiler that’s four inches from the floor?????) and set the marshmallows on fire. But that’s not the point here.
The point is this: I set out to make biscuits. They involved flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, shortening, and milk. The directions stated that the biscuits should be rolled to 3/4″ thickness. Those jokers at Better Homes and Gardens actually showed someone measuring the biscuit dough with a ruler. I don’t think Philip and I got out a ruler, but we were definitely all like, “No, we definitely need to roll it more.” The directions said not one thing about not overworking the dough or any of that important stuff.
So. I pulled those babies out of the oven, expecting big, beautiful, puffy biscuits. Instead? Hockey pucks. Freaking disks of baked biscuit dough. Philip’s sister called them “biscuit cookies”.
My ego was bruised. For several years, I bought my biscuits from the freezer section, till I found the book Small Batch Baking at a bookstore. My interest was piqued and while I didn’t make very many of the recipes (mainly because they required specialized small equipment) I immediately glommed on to a recipe for southern-style biscuits, supposed to be similar to Hardee’s. I made them from the book until I eventually committed the recipe to memory, then I started experimenting with my own methods, using all-purpose flour with baking powder, soda, and salt instead of self-rising. Eventually I started using more baking powder a la my Granny Reese, who used shortening in her baking powder biscuits, but you know I just can’t do that so I use unsalted butter. Then I started folding the dough to make layers. I make my White Lily biscuits every Saturday. Sometimes I serve my White Lily biscuits with gravy, sometimes with jam. But regardless what I serve with them, one thing’s for sure…
I’ll never choose cornbread over a biscuit. And if you try these White Lily biscuits, you may never either.
Yield: 10-12 biscuits
15 minPrep Time:
12 minCook Time:
27 minTotal Time:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (a soft wheat brand like White Lily will turn out the best biscuits)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold, cut into chunks)
- 1 cup buttermilk (can also use milk, cream, or half-and-half or splash a little vinegar into the bottom of a measuring cup and fill it the rest of the way with milk to approximate buttermilk)
- 4 tablespoons bacon or sausage drippings
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add buttermilk a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until the mixture comes together into a sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly coat the outside with flour. Flatten and fold into thirds. Repeat the flattening and folding twice, adding flour as needed but being careful not to add too much flour, which will toughen your biscuits.
- Lightly press the dough into a rectangle about an inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or knife to cut into the desired number of biscuits. I use a knife and don't worry about the shape of my biscuits. Not using a biscuit cutter prevents me from having to re-roll the scraps, which will also toughen it.
- Place the biscuits on the preheated pan barely touching one another. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve with butter, jelly, gravy, etc.
- To make the gravy: While the biscuits are baking, Preheat a 10-inch skillet (cast iron works great) over medium heat. Add the drippings and heat until the fat starts to shimmer. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, until it just begins to brown. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking and allowing to thicken after each addition. Continue adding until the gravy reaches the consistency that you like (you may need a little more or a little less than the recipe calls for). Salt and pepper the gravy to taste and serve with biscuits. It's also delicious on toast, chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, fries....the list goes on and on!
This recipe makes 10-12 biscuits, but I usually cut the recipe in half to make 6. Also, to make the biscuits pictured here I used self-rising flour and omitted the salt, baking soda, and half of the baking powder.
Bacon + sausage = baconage. With potatoes, cheese, eggs, and baconage, baconage breakfast casserole takes your special occasion breakfast to the next level.
It’s been a while since I talked about baconage. Back when every Wednesday afternoon was spent at the Main Street Farmers Market, baconage was a pretty regular occurrence around here. Since I quit working downtown, it’s a little harder to get down there, so it’s not something I keep around. A recent trip to Main Street Meats, though, resulted in a package of baconage. And a refresh of one of my favorite breakfast recipes, baconage breakfast casserole.
For those of you who don’t know, bacon + sausage = baconage. Does that sound like a thing of beauty? IT IS. Baconage is great for anything you’d use regular breakfast sausage for: biscuits and gravy, breakfast tacos, and perhaps best of all, breakfast casseroles.
This isn’t your standard breakfast casserole, which is usually made with bread (and lots of it). Instead, I use potatoes here and get my bread in the form of White Lily biscuits because White Lily biscuits. Of course, it does have plenty of cheese, because I’m not a hack. I baked the potatoes the night before and made my casserole right before popping it in the oven, but you could totally do everything except the baking the night before and just bake it when you get up.
After all, isn’t that what makes breakfast casserole pretty much the perfect breakfast dish? You make it the night before, then the next morning you stick it in the oven. It’s perfect for a lazy Saturday…no fiddling with pans or waffle irons or dredging stations. Preheat, bake, done.
Of course, there’s a pretty good chance that you don’t have a store near you that you can visit to stock up on baconage. That doesn’t mean that you can’t put baconage breakfast casserole on the table. Nay nay…you have lots of options. You could pulse 4 ounces of bacon in a food processor until it’s finely chopped then cook it with 4 ounces of breakfast sausage. You could just use sausage here instead of baconage. You could even sub in half a pound of chopped ham or cooked crumbled bacon.
Really, it doesn’t matter how you make baconage breakfast casserole, it’s going to be good. Trust me.
Yield: 6 servings
15 minPrep Time:
1 hrCook Time:
1 hr, 15 Total Time:
- 4 small to medium potatoes (baked, cooled, and cut into chunks)
- 1/2lb Link 41 baconage (or substitute sausage, chopped bacon or ham, or a combination of finely chopped bacon & ham or bacon & sausage)
- 1 small or 1/2 large onion
- 1 cup shredded cheese (any variety (I used buttermilk cheese))
- 1 cup milk
- 5 Large eggs
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat in a large skillet (I used a 10" cast iron skillet). Remove to drain on paper towel.
- Cook onions in the fat from the meat until they begin to soften, then add the potatoes. Cook until browned.
- Place the potatoes in a 9-inch pie pan and spread out to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with the cheese, then the meat.
- Beat the eggs with the milk. Add salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the meat, cheese, and potatoes.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the eggs are set and the cheese is browned, another 30-40 minutes. Allow to stand for about ten minutes before serving.
You can make this the night before. Complete recipe through step 4 then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To avoid thermal shock, remove the casserole from the refrigerator at least 15-20 minutes ahead of time. Bake covered for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
These easy sausage balls from scratch are a classic party favorite without the need for boxed mixes! Everyone at your holiday party or potluck will love them, and they are also perfect for a Christmas breakfast treat! Your family won’t be able to get enough. Sausage, cheddar cheese, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, and a little milk…so easy and delicious! Scroll down for video!
Christmas Food is the Best Food!
There are so many things to eat at Christmas. I could never pick a favorite. I mean, ranch Goldfish? My grandmother’s egg soufflé? All the cheese balls?? For Christmas dinner, we eat prime rib and twice baked potatoes. Can you see why I❤Christmas?
At every Christmas gathering (including my family’s Christmas breakfast) you are likely to find sausage balls. Little nuggets of breakfast sausage, cheese, and biscuit mix (aka Bisquick), these things are addictive. They’re low-calorie too, so you can eat as many as you like (⬅that’s a total lie). Truth be told, though, I don’t wait for Christmas to make sausage balls.We love to eat them for breakfast or for an occasional Saturday night snack (Saturday night is snack night in my house).
No-Bisquick Sausage Balls
I have nothing against Bisquick. My mom makes her sausage balls with Bisquick and Cheez Whiz (because Cheez Whiz helps them to mix up more easily) and those things are goooood. I’m a biscuit purist, though, so I don’t keep Bisquick or any other type of baking mix in the house, so I’d rather just make my own than go buy a box when I want to make sausage balls.
Easy Sausage Balls from Scratch!
These take approximately one minute longer to make than sausage balls made with a baking mix (that minute being used, of course, to measure the ingredients) and they are every bit as delicious.
Yummy Christmas Treat!
So, whether you want to go the traditional route and use a baking mix or make these easy sausage balls from scratch, just make some sausage balls. It’s Christmas! They are perfect for a holiday potluck or party or for serving for Christmas breakfast. Everyone in your family will love them, and you don’t have to buy a box of mix to make them!
Yield: about 60 sausage balls
20 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1 pound breakfast sausage (mild or hot, your choice)
- 1 pound cheddar cheese (2 8-ounce blocks), grated
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If desired, spray 2 sheet pans with cooking spray (I actually never bother).
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the sausage and cheese to the bowl along with a couple of tablespoons of milk. Using your hands, work the ingredients together until well-combined, adding milk a tablespoon at a time to moisten the mixture so that you can get all the dry flour (you can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to do this, but I just prefer to use my hands).
- Portion the sausage ball mixture into tablespoon size pieces (I use a cookie scoop to do this) and roll into balls using your palms before placing them onto the baking sheets.
- Bake the sausage balls until lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Stack on paper towels for a few minutes to absorb excess butter. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Slow cooker eggnog French toast is the perfect recipe to use up eggnog that’s on the brink (not that I know what THAT is) and BONUS: 10 minute prep time and it cooks overnight! It is SO easy and everyone in your family will love it. Use milk if your family doesn’t like eggnog! Delicious year-round, but PERFECT for Christmas breakfast!
How many of you, like me, wait with baited breath for eggnog season? I mean, seriously. We get pumpkin spice lattes in September but we have to wait until after Halloween for eggnog? There is something about that that just doesn’t sit well with me. You see where my priorities lie. #eggnogloverforlife
When I was a kid my dad taught me about the glorious beverage that is eggnog, and I was lucky to marry a man who shares my feelings about it. Languishing eggnog is not much of a thing in our house. We throw it back in servings much larger than what is recommended on the side of the carton. NO JUDGMENT PLEASE. We only get eggnog two months out of the year so we make the most of it!
Eggnog French Toast
But it does happen, and when it does, you’re gonna need some eggnog recipes. Eggnog French toast is a perfect solution. Not that you can’t buy eggnog for the sole purpose of making eggnog French toast, because that is a 100% legit reason for buying eggnog. Though I hope you will drink some of it too, because eggnog.
Slow Cooker French Toast
Making eggnog French toast in the slow cooker is the perfect way to have breakfast waiting for you when you get up. I mean, you could totally make it as a baked casserole (just sub eggnog for milk in this recipe), but sometimes when you wake up you need to get some carby goodness into your stomach ASAP, and slow cooker eggnog French toast is the ticket to a no-wait breakfast.
French Toast for Christmas Breakfast Without the Fuss!
Could you totally do this for Christmas breakfast? Heck yeah you could. Like, eggnog French toast is the perfect Christmas breakfast. And you probably should, because people will love you for it. I mean, those people probably love you already, but they’ll be like, “Heck yeah, eggnog French toast.” Well, that’s what I said when I ate this for breakfast this morning.
Whatever you do, don’t skip the lining your slow cooker with foil and spraying it with cooking spray step. The custard will burn on and will ruin your slow cooker. Ask me how I know (sorry, old wound, still hasn’t healed).
But you’re going to do the aluminum foil and spray step, so don’t worry. Just make eggnog French toast in your slow cooker!
Yield: 4-6 servings
10 minPrep Time:
8 hrCook Time:
8 hr, 10 Total Time:
- 12oz bread, sliced (Use a sturdy bread like French, sourdough, country bread, or Challah, which is what I used)
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups eggnog
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- maple syrup, powdered sugar, and nutmeg (for serving)
- cooking spray
- Tear off a long piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half lengthwise. Use this folded sheet of foil to make a "collar" to line your slow cooker. Tear off another long piece of foil, fold it in half lengthwise, and cut down the fold. Lay one piece of foil across the slow cooker in one direction and press down into the cooker, then repeat with the other piece in the other direction. The inside of your slow cooker should be completely lined with the foil collar and "sling". Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray.
- Arrange the sliced bread in layers in the stoneware. I placed 3 slices of bread in each layer, slightly overlapping, and placed a piece down each side to fill in the gaps on the sides.
- Whisk the eggs, eggnog, and nutmeg together and pour over the top of the bread. My bread slices kind of "floated" above the custard so I pressed them down to soak it up. I just used my hands but if that makes you squeamish just use a spatula.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. If there is any liquid left, you will want to uncover the French toast for the last 20 or 30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, and more nutmeg, if desired.