01 January

Cheddar Bay Biscuits


January 20: National Cheese Lovers Day

The hot cheesy-garlic biscuit appetizers at Red Lobster restaurant are so addicting that we have even bought the boxed mix at the store so we could enjoy eating them at home. But sometimes we cannot find it because the store needed to restock the product or does not carry it. So we looked online for a copycat recipe and found an easy one. While it may not be the exact one as Red Lobster’s, these Cheddar Bay biscuits are close—and less salty. Those who love cheese will certainly love these Cheddar Bay biscuits, especially on National Cheese Lovers Day!


(Adapted from Big Oven)

For the biscuits

  • 2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


In a large bowl, combine the Bisquick baking mix, cheese, milk and butter and garlic powder.


Mix until moist and everything comes together but do not overwork the dough. Scoop mounds onto a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping. Remove the biscuits from the oven.


For the topping

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes


In a microwave-safe cup or bowl, combine the butter, garlic powder and parsley flakes. Cover and microwave until melted. Brush the tops of the biscuits with this melted butter mix. Serve the biscuits warm.



  • Avoid overmixing the dough or it will not bake up as flaky and soft.
  • Other recipes use cold butter pieces instead of melted butter in the dough. Combine the butter into the Bisquick baking mix and combine using a pastry blender or two forks or knives until it looks coarse and there are lumps resembling large peas. Continue to add the rest of the ingredients for the biscuits and stir until a sticky dough is formed. Bake as usual and brush with butter topping at the end.

Qorma Lawand

(Afghani Chicken Curry)

January 12: National Curried Chicken Day

We love eating curried chicken and have featured different recipes from around the world—from stews to dumplings and sandwiches. Here is another one from Afghanistan for National Curried Chicken Day. Qorma Lawand has a milder flavor than other chicken curried stews but it is still delicious, hearty and satisfying. Instead of using the curry spice, we made our own nut paste marinade and onion gravy mixture for a fresh flavor. Try this Afghani chicken curry over Kabuli Pulao (Afghani pilaf) or basmati rice for a complete meal combination. بفرماييد • نوش جان ښه اشتیا ولری •


(Adapted from Whats4Eats)

Ingredients for the nut paste marinade

  • 2 pounds chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup water

Ingredients for the spice mixture

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients for the onion gravy

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup ghee (clarified butter) or oil
  • 1-2 chili peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (whole or full fat)
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


Make the marinade for the chicken by placing the nuts, garlic, ginger and water in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Stir the chicken pieces in the marinade. Cover and chill for at least one hour (overnight is best).

Prepare the spice mixture by combining in a small cup or bowl the turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

Chop the onions and slice the chili peppers. Heat a skillet on medium high with ghee or oil. Stir in the spice mixture.

Saute the onions until softened. Stir in the sliced chili peppers. Add the chicken and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the yogurt.

Add enough water to make a gravy to desired thickness or soupiness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaf. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Cook for 35-45 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Adjust seasonings. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the cilantro leaves.  Serve hot with rice.


  • Search our blog for other Afghani recipes.
  • Search our blog for other chicken curry recipes.

Cheddar-Chive Shortbread

January 6: National Shortbread Day

We have posted several recipes for sweet shortbread cookies. But we wanted to try a savory one this time. Thanks to a recipe swap at our local library’s culinary club, we came across this cheddar-chive shortbread, which is a deliciously different treat for our teatime. It is more like a cracker than a cookie with its buttery and cheesy goodness! Savor the flavor of cheddar-chive shortbread, especially on National Shortbread Day.



  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
  • ½ cup spreadable cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped


In a large bowl, cream the butter and spreadable cheddar cheese. Stir in the salt, cornstarch and fresh chopped chives.

Mix in the flour and blend well until a dough comes together. Flatten into a disk and place between two sheets of waxed paper. Roll out into ¼- inch thickness. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer for half an hour to firm up the dough. The dough must be firm or the shortbread will spread.

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter (we used a flower shape). Re-roll, chill/freeze and cut dough as necessary to make more shortbread cookies. Place on lightly greased baking sheet about an inch apart. Chill/freeze for 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden on the edges. Remove from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up.


  • Keep the dough well chilled to avoid the cookies spreading while baking in the oven.
  • Search our blog for other (sweet) shortbread recipes.

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