Monthly Archives: January 2010

Pull-Apart Parmesan Dill Bread or Cinnamon Bread


This was the second day of the new semester and I decided to mix it up a little bit.  Why not have a demo right off the bat?  Make it more interesting .  We don’t have to do the same old stuff.   Show the students what the class is really about.  Have some fun.  Eat some food.  And that is what we did! 

It was a great day in the classroom.  I felt like a move star.  All  eyes were on me.  You could hear a pin drop.  I am serious!!!  You could tell that they were soaking in every word that I was saying.  That is what I live for as a teacher.  You just know at that moment that you are doing the right thing.  Now mind you it may not happen this way for a long time, but today it did.    I could feel the excitement.  The comments that the students made about the class– it was music to my ears.  

I did not make anything spectacular.  I just used a can of refrigerated biscuits and made something a little different.  The recipe came out of a textbook we used a few years ago.  It is not that healthy, but it is quick and good.   I made two variations.  One savory Pull-apart Parmesan Dill Bread and the other sweet Pull-apart cinnamon and sugar bread.  They both are very good.  

So here is what we cooked up today in my class.  I hope that you will try these and enjoy! 

12 oz. can of refrigerated biscuits cut into quarters

 Using a pair of kitchen shears cut 12 oz. of refrigerated biscuits into quarters. 

Mix 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of dill

2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 Or if you are making the sweet side of the bread mix together 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 

Melt 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter and coat the biscuits

 Melt about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine in a small bowl.  Coat the quartered biscuits in the butter.  I found that you can only put a few in at the time. The butter will help the cheese or sugar to stick to the biscuits. 

Put seasonings in a bag and coat the biscuits

This is another thing that I love about teaching.  Students see things that teachers don’t see at the time.  When I am giving a demo I am really concentrating on following the recipe, cleaning up and being ready for the next class.   In other words my thinking is really one tracked.  Thank goodness for students that think outside of all of that. 

That is what happened this morning.  The recipe did not call for you to put the seasonings in a bag and shake to cover, but to put them in a small bowl .  WRONG!  Putting them in a bag was much more efficient.  So thanks to a young gentleman in my first block we changed the recipe to be much more efficient. 

Grease an 8 inch cake pan

Parmesan and dill bread ready to cook

Cinnamon and sugar bread ready to cook

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn upside down on a serving plate.  Pull apart to serve, or cook for 5 minutes before cutting into 8 wedges. 

Bake for 12- 14 minutes at 400 degrees

This is the  Parmesan Dill  pull apart bread! 

Here is the Cinnamon sugar Pull apart Bread

 I feel good about today.  Here’s hoping that you had a great day,too!  Here you go with the recipe.  Enjoy! 

Pull-Apart Parmesan Dill Bread 

  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 package (12oz) refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Margarine or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease 8-in round cake pan.  In a small bowl, stir cheese and dill until combined.  Cut biscuits in quarters.  Add a few biscuits at a time to margarine, separating pieces with fingers.  Add cheese mixture and toss with fingers untill all pieces ar coated.  (  I put everything in a bag and shook until all the biscuits were coated.)  Arrange in one layer in prepared pan.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.  

Bad News:  70 calories per serving, 2 g. protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 215 mg sodium, 0 g fiber 

Happy Cooking, 

The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Biscuits, Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Cooking, Recipes, using refrigerated biscuits

Bran Muffins Dianne’s Style

It is the start of a new year, a new semester, new students and new excitement in my classroom.  With all this newness I still have to be organized and ready to go.  I have one day of professional learning and a work day before the new invasion.  This weekend I made my favorite Bran muffins to freeze and have ready for breakfast.  These are great muffins and they make a lot!  I mean a lot!  One of my very dear friends and her daughter brought food over when my daddy died 3 1/2 years ago.  JHM  made the best meatloaf and  these muffins.  Of course I had to have the recipe.  It came from her Aunt Dianne.  I have added a little to it, but here it is for you to enjoy.  By the way the batter will keep for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.  I always get rave reviews when I have guests for breakfast and bring these things out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave.  YUMMY!

Start with 3 cups of all-bran cereal

5 cups of bran flakes

Add 1 quart of buttermilk to the cereals and let it sit for about 30 min.

Mix together 5 cups of plain flour, 5 teaspoons soda, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 cups sugar

whisk together 4 eggs and 1 cup of oil

Add eggs and oil to cereal and buttermilk mixture. Stir!!

Add dry ingredients and stir!!!

 I usually put cereal and buttermilk in a huge Tupperware bowl, then measure dry ingredients in a separate bowl,  and eggs and oil in a measuring cup.  I do all the mixing in the Tupperware bowl.  Store the mixture in the Tupperware bowl for up to six weeks.  Because I was taking photos just look at all the bowls I used and my dishwasher was already full!

Too many bowls and not enough washers!

 Here is where I changed Dianne’s recipe a little.  Really I just added a few goodies.  As an afterthought I wish that I had added a little cinnamon with the apples and raisins.  These muffins are almost like apple cake without the frosting! 

I took out some of the batter,enough to make 24 muffins.  I didn’t measure it, but I am guessing it to be about 6 cups.  My medium mixing bowl was about half full.

Added about 1/2 cup of raisins

1 medium apple diced

Fill muffin tins and ready to bake for 15-20 min. at 400 degrees

Ready to eat or freeze for later!

Here is the recipe ready for you to make and enjoy!

Bran Muffins

  • 5 cups bran flakes
  • 2 cups All bran
  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 5 teaspoons soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 cup oil

Soak cereal in buttermilk for about 30 minutes.  Add eggs and oil.  Stir in flour, sugar, soda and salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 -20 minutes.  Mix can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

Happy cooking,

The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Cooking, Muffins, quick, Recipes

Hoppin’ John – Black-eyed Peas and Rice – Means riches for the new year!



What are your traditions for the New Year?  Do you eat certain foods for good luck in hopes of increasing your wealth ?   I have always had black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year’s Day.   It was for good luck for the rest of the year I was told.  

I love Hoppin’ John!  We were discussing food traditions in class one day and I mentioned Hoppin’ John and I was surprised that so few were familiar with the dish.  History says it came from the Charleston , South Carolina area.  The name from children hopping around the table before eating, or a saying ” Hop in John”  meaning for a guest to sit down to eat or a cripple named John hawking peas on the streets of Charleston.   

I have been using Emeril Lagassse’s  recipe since 2002.   I love this stuff!  But I am one of those that grew up eating butter beans over rice as a snack after school. It  is very inexpensive to make.  Pair it with some hot cornbread and it is better than dessert!!   I like to make it a day ahead because the flavors develop.  Anyway I am eating 365 peas for good luck and I am going to enjoy every one of them. 

Happy New Year to all! 

Start with a pound of dried black-eyed peas

  These will have to be soaked overnight then rinsed.  I have tried the shortcut method of boiling them first, but it just has never worked for me. 

Soak in water overnight

 Make sure that you put enough water because these little peas will double in size.  That means a lot of water. 

After soaking all night then drain and rinse with cold water.

! cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper

Tablespoon of chopped garlic

Now it’s time to start cooking !! 

Sear large ham hock in olive oil

This one looked pretty scrawny to me so I seared 2 small ham hocks.  I really do not know how to judge the size of ham hocks.  Use your best judgement here! 

Searing 2 ham hocks in olive oil

Add green pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes.

Add peas

Add about 1 1/2 qt of chicken stock

Add seasonings now!  Bay leaf, 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Add seasonings

Now be patient and let this simmer for about an hour or until the peas are nice and soft.  Be careful not to use a really high heat because the boiling will tear the skins of the peas.  You want the peas to be soft and creamy.  Yummy!! 

Cover and simmer for about an hour.

Cooked rice

Follow the directions for cooking the rice that are on the package and you cannot go wrong.  You will been 2 parts water and 1 part rice.  Bring 3 cups of water to boil and add 11/2 cups of long grained rice.  Bring back to a boil and turn to simmer.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Perfect! 

Now pair this with your favorite cornbread! 

Looks good

You can crumble it up and add to the broth.

 Hoppin’ John 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 teaspoons dry thyme leaves
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 8 cups of cooked rice

Heat oil in large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear all edges for about 4 minutes.  Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes.  Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour until the peas are creamy and tender,  stir occasionally.  If the liquid evaporates add more water or stock.  Adjust seasonings .  I like to add Tobasco sauce for some heat!  Serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with green onions. 

Makes about 10 servings 

Happy New Year! 

The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Blackeyed peas, Cooking, Hoppin' John, Recipes, Rice