We know everyone is busy this holiday season, so rather than give you more to think about, we've decided to spend the next five weeks trying to make your life easier. We'd like to start by sharing a very simple, yet versatile recipe with you that will help you get your busy day started, and also warm you on cold December nights.
1five pound bag (or seventeen cups) of unbleached flour
9 tablespoons (slightly more than 1/2 cup) of baking powder
2tablespoons of salt
3 one cup containers (one pound) of Crisco shortening
Put all ingredients except for shortening into a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Cut the shortening into small pieces and then add to the dry mixture. Use two large knives to cut the shortening into the mixture. You may use a pasty blender, but it will get messy. Put the contents into an airtight container. This recipe makes about 21 cups of mix. A plastic, one gallon ice cream container (cleaned and dried and minus the ice cream) will hold about 18 cups of the mix. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 2-3 months.
for 9 small, 2 inch biscuitsfor 14 small, 2 inch biscuits
2 cups BAKING MIX3 cups BAKING MIX
½ cups milk 3/4 cups milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine ingredients. Add just enough milk to form a stiff dough. For fluffier biscuits add one tablespoon of cold butter cut into pea size pieces before adding milk. Stir until just blended. Press onto a cutting board and form dough into a 1 inch thick slab. Use a 2 inch biscuit cutter to form round biscuits, or cut into 2 inch squares. Place side by side on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.
1cup BAKING MIX
1 tablespoon milk
Make a large pot of your favorite chicken soup or use the recipe below. The key is to use a pot with a large circumference because the dumplings will float along the top of the soup. Combine ingredients into a stiff dough. Stir until just blended. Press onto a cutting board and form dough into a 1 inch slab. Cut into 2 inch squares. Drop into boiling soup and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for twenty minutes. Dumplings should be wet on the outside and dry on the inside.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
Put the following ingredients in a 4-5 quart crockpot:
6 cups chicken broth
1 large frozen chicken breast
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
cut into bite size pieces and add:
2 celery stalks
1 small onion (chopped)
Cook on low for 6-8 hours then take out chicken breast and cut into pieces and return to pot. Turn crockpot to high. Add dumplings and cook another 20 minutes.
A HOLIDAY GIFT
Are you running out of time to bake and distribute hundreds of holiday cookies? Are your friends tired of the sugar overload each holiday brings? Get 7 plastic bags and put three cups of BAKING MIX into each one. Secure each bag with a twist tie or zip lock and put in a decorative paper bag along with a stick on bow and these recipes. Your friends will be glad to receive something they can make for dinner instead of something that will just make them fat and cranky.
FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS STAY TUNED TO SPELLBINDERS FOR RECIPES WITH BOOK TIE-INS THAT USE THIS BAKING RECIPE. NEXT WEEK WE WILL EXPLORE THE MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL TORTILLA SUN.
Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Back in New
Mexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.
Carolee Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools, libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Acts of Haiku."
To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to my website.
Kimberley Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well as two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides.
UPCOMING AUTHOR EVENTS
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Launch Party for Caroline Starr Rose's debut novel, May B.
8810 Holly Ave.
Albuquerque, NM 87122
Sunday, April 29th, 2012
9-5 Preconference Session
Author's Panel at the
International Reading Association Conference
"Rekindling the Reading and Writing Fire"
Join us for this all day session
featuring 11 authors including
all 3 Spellbinders
Kimberley Griffiths Little
Caroline Starr Rose
Tuesday, May 1
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
International Reading Association Conference
"The Secret Language of Stories: Beyond Story Grammar"