biscuit fest!

last year i stumbled upon the 1st international biscuit festival in knoxville when i was visiting some friends. in a matter of minutes several thousand tickets sold out for the pride of the south, the biscuit.  this year living here i decided i was not going to miss out on the event of the year and my friends jessica, emily, julie and her daughter shyla drove 12 hours to the smokies to join me.

biscuit festival involves the following:  biscuit boulevard, where for a $5 ticket you get to sample 5 different types of biscuits, several different forms of a biscuit breakfasts kick off the day, there are cooking demonstrations with biscuits, biscuit cook-off competitions and last but not least the ms./mister biscuit pageant where men and women compete against each other to reign over the biscuit festival.  music, a farmers market and plenty of other downtown festivities are also all happening.

in celebration of the biscuit jessica made us all matching tee shirts to wear.  on them has a picture of biscuits and the title “small soft leavened bread fest 2011”  shyla, aka “the bean” had a matching onesie that declared her “biscuit bean.”  we suddenly realized wearing shirts with biscuits on them meant people asked you lots of questions about the festival.

renegade biscuit fest tees

the biscuit bean

once we got our golden tickets the sampling began.  although i will say everyone who had been at biscuit festival last year seemed to have the same game plan this year.  last year = no tickets after 10:15am, this year = everyone showing up for biscuit fest at the same time to sample even though there was plenty of tickets to go around.

golden tickets

jessica and emily milked their “i drove here 12 hours for biscuit festival” and ended up getting extra tickets for more sampling from some of the booths. what i learned and am offering it up for next year is this….. the sampling goes on till 4pm hold out.  i wandered back to biscuit boulevard around 2pm to see what was left for my finally 4 biscuits.  at this point of the day the place was empty some booths had packed up and left and others were handing me biscuits 2 at a time.

a sweet jalapeno biscuit

the basic buttermilk

my favorite biscuit actually came from the knoxville convention center. it was a cinnamon biscuit that was sliced in half and layered with homemade apple butter and whip cream.  the best part of all is they gave me 2 of them!

knoxville convention center with my favorite biscuit

i ate my batch of biscuits while watching the first round of the biscuit cook-off.  the round i got to see was the kids cook-off.  2 girls and one boy, the boy was very serious about baking, he even was wearing a chef’s jacket.

kids biscuit bake-off

to end the whole day i got to see the apron ceremony for the ms./mister biscuit pageant.  this pageant isn’t your normal beauty contest.  men and women compete against each other in 3 categories:  1. aprons–they must wear one of their own aprons and tell the significance of it 2.  biscuit talent–the talent must involve or be themed on biscuits 3.  the biscuit walk–biscuits are stacked on top of the contestants heads they must balance them as they walk across the stage.

ms./mister biscuit pageant

my friend jenna, the 2010 ms. biscuit, aproning the 2011 ms. biscuit

there is only 4 words to describe biscuit fest……it was a blast.  i already can’t wait till next year and maybe just maybe i’ve already started planning a talent that involves biscuits for the pageant.


Extra Helping: Dad and Steph grill salmon and mash some taters

Mom and dad came down for a quick visit, so we cooked together.

The menu:

*Salmon with mango peach salsa cooked on wooden boards (a concept new to all of us)

*Mashed potatoes with lots of butter, green onions and some cheese

*Steamed corn on the cob (Dad’s steaming his corn these days, did ya know?)

* A sad little orange just for something cook

* Dessert: Strawberry OR Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with homemade ice cream. Lyn, my pies were runny this time– tried out a new recipe that was easy, but I wasn’t happy with it! Cooking the strawberries first with lots of flour is a must a think.

Here is our meal in pictures:

Dad– for some reason my video didn’t work, so we will just have to try again some other time!

Mom supervising.



Sunday Night Dinner: May 29, 2012- leftovers and cheesy biscuits!

Tonight we took advantage of the yummy green onion mashed potato leftovers that we ate with mom and for the first time on Friday night.
I had never made potato pancakes before and quickly learned I put too much sour cream in them.


Dad made them so moist on Friday they just didn’t need much of anything else. Eventually the pan dried up a bit and the potato pancakes held together better. I did burn my finger!


John waited very patiently in our 80 degree kitchen. I had to tuck a side of my long dress into my apron to keep cool. No pictures of that thank god.


Finally, dinner was ready.


We had Shirley’s cheesy ginger ale biscuits ( thought that fitting since you were at biscuit festival, Lyn) and salad with berries.


We talked about the report from the biscuit festival, what makes a fairy a fairy verses a red cap or pixie, John Water’s future cemetery plot and the riots the Rites of Spring caused when it was first performed.
All and all a typical dinner conversation at the Young household.
Oh, and I had seconds on everything!

sunday night dinner: may 22, 2011—edwin’s 4th birthday


today was edwin’s 4th birthday.  edwin is my co-worker ivan’s son.  ivan has been preparing us for this party for the past couple of weeks.  i was game to go when he walked over to me one day in the kitchen pointed at my cold line and said “see this, i’ll have 3 times this with food, tamales, enchiladas, everything.”  ivan is a fantastic cook and a real treat to work with.  though his english is way better than my non-existent spanish we work together well.  lots of goofing around and discussing of food.  i felt i finally won him over when he told me he liked an avocado-black bean salad i made as a special.  a sign up sheet was created for the party for all interested market employees, this i have discovered is a regular happening for any “family” outings that occur outside of work.

the meal had everything, roasted chicken, pork, beans, a variety of salsa including homemade salsa verde, hot sauce, 2 types of guacamole, beef. as we sat around you just kept seeing more come out of the kitchen, while ivan and edwin kept passing out drinks to everyone, ivan handing out beers to the adults and edwin passed out juice boxes to the kids.

the feast

the party begins

i created 2 rounds of tacos the first with the extra hot hot sauce that left my lips tingling and included a chunky guacamole and chicken.  the 2nd round was beef tacos with peppers and a puree guacamole

chicken and guacamole tacos

but the fun really kicked off when the cake was brought out and the kids were all given horns to blow.  the cake came from the local mexican bakery and was the most delicious thing i’ve had in a while.  moist cake that had chunks of oranges in it, yum. i know i’ll be dreaming about this cake.

allie and her horn

no birthday party is complete without singing happy birthday which was done twice once in english and once in spanish and horns sounding away.  all this made me realize adult birthdays are just lacking a little something. i’m tempted to ask ivan to throw my birthday party in the next couple of weeks horns, balloons, and party favors galore please!

Sunday Night Dinner: May 22, 2011- Sugar me some strudel, please!

I got a wild hair to make a Danish strudel and eat it with dinner. Not by it’s self although that is tempting to think about. Behold the strudel glamour shot…

For my first strudel ever (a cinnamon cranberry, apple strudel to be exact) I took the easy way out and made the yeast free dough- this means I had to add whole milk ricotta cheese to the 3 sticks of better that went in the dough. I ended up with butter all over my tiny food chopper and sugar crusted under my chin, but it was so worth it!
Oh yes, dessert for dinner is very good.

Our friend Megan joined us and we did eat other things like veg apple sausage with toasted pecans and wild rice, but let’s face it…strudel is strudel.




After talking about her garden “the land” and getting life updates from all at the table, we took a walk around the vegetable garden before settling in for a dessert of mixed berries.
We were suppose to have John’s late birthday treat of homemade chocolate chip cookies, but instead I dipped the cookies too big and made pan sized flat chocolate chip cookie place mats.

Confirming what Harrison Ford learned in the movie Regarding Henry and I wasn’t even trying to make a giant chocolate chip cookie!!

Mom – I need some chocolate chip cookie lessons STAT!



Still eating New Year’s Eve Ravioli

Just thought you all would like to know we are STILL eating the frozen cheese ravioli we made from scratch for the New Year’s Eve party.

This week we ate it as Last Minute Lasagna – layering spaghetti sauce, ravioli, cheese, one top of each other.
Yeah — it’s gooey and good.
I think of our exhausting ravioli making day every time I dig it out of the freezer.

Last Minute Lasagna




Sunday night dinner: April 15, 2010- Jet Lag Feast

Last Saturday John and I spent 20 hours traveling home from London. After way to much airplane food, I was really looking forward to a home cooked meal. Yeah, I totally went overboard…


Mediterranean sun dried quinoa patties, fried potatoes, salad with snap peas (snap pea crazy these days)I also had a Farris family favorite cottage cheese with green onions.


Dad, Lyn, any family member– why do we eat this? No one else I knows puts green onions on cottage cheese. Is this a Boonville thing?

I also made Mom’s popovers, but they were welded to the muffin pans. I greased the cups…at least I think I did!
Dang jet lag. They were still good after I pried them out of the pan.


John looking 20 hours tired…


sunday night dinner: may 15, 2011 —greek pasta

this is a recipe i had clipped out of a magazine years ago and have never made. so when i was planning meals last week i thought its time to try it.  it seemed easy and yummy things i look for, for sunday night because i usually work on sundays flipping pancakes for the masses of knoxvillians that like to brunch.  the recipe was very simple although i didn’t agree with their use of green onions, felt like they should have been red onions in it ,and there seemed to be a serious like of seasoning. so i tweaked it a little adding a greek seasoning mix to it along with fresh garlic.  grilled chicken or prosciutto would also be an excellent addition.  i also opted out of mixing all the feta in with the pasta, the pasta was so warm it would just melt it all so i recommend using the feta as just a garnish.

and to continue my quest of making strawberry dishes to celebrate them being in season i made a strawberry-rhubarb pie with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert. yes on saturday night by 8pm i had made homemade ice cream, baked a pie, and planted flowers in my garden. take that martha stewart!  my goal this summer is to conquer fruit pies. this was my first attempt.  i’m pretty proud of myself.  i’ve never made a pie that had an upper crust to it, must work on creating pretty designs for upper crust.  also problem to solve ……filling to running.


Greek-style penne pasta with chickpeas


12oz box of penne pasta

150z can chickpeas-drained

7oz jar roasted red peppers-drained and sliced

6oz jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts

1/2 cup sliced scallions (i’d substitute red onions personally)

1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives

2 cloves garlic minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

1Tbsp greek seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. in a large saucepan boil pasta according to directions on box. (tip under-cook the pasta just a little because it’ll continue to cook in when you add it to the vegetables) meanwhile in a large skillet heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat, add in peppers, artichokes, onions, and olives. *

2.  drain pasta reserving about 1/2 cup of the water.  add pasta and water to vegetables, toss.  add in greek seasoning, salt and pepper.  allow to cook 5 minutes

3. plate pasta and garnish with feta crumbles

* if you were to add in chicken or prosciutto i’d recommend cooking it before the all the vegetables you can use the left over grease and olive oil as a base to cook the vegetables in.

dad’s stir fry a la lynley

i took dad’s stir fry recipe and put my own spin on it.  instead of chicken there is tofu and i added small corn cobs and broccoli.  the recipe calls for pecans but i swear i think dad also makes it with water chestnuts but he is notorious for adding water chestnuts to recipes including chilli once.

Some of the things we ate in England…

London Brewed Young’s Gold Beer — I drank this twice. Not in the same meal, but I could have. Cheers!

Vegetarian Fish (very deep-fried cheese that really looked like fish) and Chips and Mushy Peas!

I love me some mushy peas! No peas for J.Y. Note the candle in his tarter sauce — to be explained later


A huge meringue treat at the Globe– yeah, I ate this twice too.

It was really messy. This picture doesn’t do the mess justice at all. Even if you are at Hamlet in Shakespeare’s Globe, wearing black and eating  isn’t a meringue  good idea. Ladies in the Gentry boxes got a good laugh at my mess.

John’s birthday dinner. Simple tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pasta and a fantastic view of the Thames. I stuck birthday candles in all his food that day, granola bar included. This was the only meal we actually had fire at!

I didn’t record the “pancake” with cheese I ate outside of Westminster or the smoked salmon and eggs I had for breakfast, or  the fact that the Jack the Ripper Tour ended at my long coveted Montezuma Chocolate Shop (Fate is kind) or the endless things I ate on the plane, but it was all good. And yes, my fridge is full of posh chocolates.