fresh vs. the rest
Does anyone buy Bisquick?
Recently I had some leftover chicken and was in need of a quick dinner for the family. I dashed into the grocery store and went to the produce section. I picked up some carrots, onions, celery and some fresh herbs. The light bulb finally went on, chicken pot pie was what would be for dinner.
Chicken Pot Pie, (Turkey Pot Pie is a great way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving) is great with a biscuit topping. I decided to save myself some time and pick up a premade biscuit mix. I raced over to the baking isle, which I am very familiar with, and picked up a small box of Bisquick. I immediately had a guilty rush. I cannot make biscuits from a box. I need to make them from scratch. I put the box back on the shelf. Walk away, I thought to myself. Two steps down the aisle, I turned back. What a pastry snob you are, said the little devil with the bakers hat on her head who was mysteriously perched on my shoulder, go back and get the box of Bisquick. I went back and put the box of Bisquick in my cart. The little devil and I celebrated. As I was turning the corner out of the baking isle, a small voice rang in my ear, you are a pastry chef, what is this nonsense box of Bisquick, put it back and make them from scratch, I look to my left and there is a little angel with a white bakers hat sitting on my left shoulder. (Did I mention I have been putting in extra hours at work.? ) I took the Bisquick box out of the cart and read the ingredients on the back of the box. 25 different ingredients were listed on this box of Bisquick, some I did not recognize, one for sure I knew, hydrogenated oil. Guess what I did…back on the shelf with that box.
I went home and made my chicken pot pie and topped them with a simple biscuit recipe - butter, flour, milk , cheese and salt and fresh herbs. The family loved the fresh pot pie with the chicken and vegetables bubbling over the deliciously fresh cheesy hot biscuits. (NO one in my family knew of my mental breakdown in the baking isle though)
I Love baking and fresh cooking. This Thanksgiving, if you are cooking for your family and friends, shop the produce section first. Buy fresh, cook fresh. When you go to reach for that box of stuffing mix, you know which one I am referring to, think twice. Instead, try and buy a loaf of bread, some fresh produce and herbs and make your stuffing fresh. Green Beans from the can, nonsense. Buy fresh. Mashed potatoes from the box…well, lets not even go there. I encourage everyone to try at least one fresh item this Thanksgiving. There are plenty of great recipes on the Internet and food magazines to choose a good fresh recipe. Bisquick does have a very nice website, lots of recipes and tips. Butterball, Zacky Farms, Marys Organics and Foster Farms all have great websites for recipes and turkey preparations.
Your family and friends will be so thankful for the extra effort in keeping their food fresh, healthy and delicious. I am thankful we have the opportunity to choose fresh.
Cindy Schwanke is the full time culinary instructor at College of the Canyons. She has helped grow the culinary program into a well respected, competitive culinary establishment. She has done various cooking workshops, community service projects and fundraisers to promote the college and the culinary program.
Cindy’s first love is pastry. She has worked in bake shops for over 20 years. She started in retail bakeries, then moved on to working in hotel, restaurant and catering kitchens.
Cindy has worked at Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, Smash box Studios, Spago restaurant and retail outlets. Cindy has her degree in Culinary Food Management. Her specialty is pastry and has won numerous medals in pastry competitions.
Cindy is a member of the American Culinary Federation and travels around the state promoting the pastry arts. “Everyone asks me why I became a pastry chef. I think it is because my fondest memories are when I was a little girl, my great grandfather and great grandmother would chop huge sugar blocks into small cubes for their daily coffee. This ritual would take place every Sunday morning at the breakfast table. This memory inspired me to work with sugar”.
Contact Information for Cindy:
Culinary Arts Instructor
College of the Canyons