My Ultimate Biscuit Recipie



I’m lucky to have a father-in-law who is a pretty good cook and doesn’t keep his recipes a secret.  One of the recipes he’s passed to my husband is biscuits and I have made them tons of times -thank you, dad 🙂 –

Having said that, I have a confession to make…  For making 6 biscuits, his recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder.  Tablespoon? Isn’t it a mistake for teaspoon?  I have been a polite daughter-in-law these past 10 years complimenting and thanking him for the recipe  but pretending not to notice “his typo”.  However, for some reason I decided to follow his tablespoon thing as written – in double the amount -, just daring the outcome.


Voila!  He has been right all along!  They came out unbelievably puffy and moist.
I mixed shredded cheese in for a change and coated the top of them (I actually dipped the whole top) in garlic butter just like Red Lobster.


My Ultimate Biscuit Recipie
Recipe Type: Main
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 17 mins
Serves: 12 biscuits
Super moist and fluffy biscuits with cheese in them. Dipped in garlic butter takes you to a another level of satisfaction.
  • 3cups all purpose flour
  • 2Tbsp baking powder
  • 2Tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 stick butter
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients; cut in butter, mix them well with a fork until crumbly. Stir in milk and shredded cheese, keep mixing with a fork for about 40 strokes.
  2. Wet your hands and divide the dough into 12. Lightly roll them up and lay on a oil sprayed baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 10-12 mins or until light golden brown. Meanwhile, melt butter in microwave and mix in garlic paste.
  4. Dip the top of each biscuit in the garlic butter.



America’s Most Wanted Recipes
Delicious Recipes from your family favorite restaurants (paperback)

This is the recipe book where I found the Red Lobster style dipping.
Whether you follow the directions perfectly or just want an idea, it is a fun book to have at hand.  It contains the secret recipes from well-known restaurants like CHILI’s, MACARONI GRILL, IHOP, P.F.CHANG…you name it.

Posted in bread | 7 Comments

Basil Pesto Meatless Sausage Gravy

Among many vegetarian sausage substitutes, the one I prefer even over real meat products is the Meatless Breakfast Links from BOCA.  I don’t know what it is exactly but maybe has something to do with the spices they use.  Recently, I was chopping those defrosted links up, sneakingly munching some of the end pieces, and was planning to add them to a tomato sauce pasta.  I had the pasta cooked and everything was ready to combine when I realized I didn’t have tomato sauce.  There I go again, getting excited playing a game without checking the cards I have in hand…half freaking out and the other half of my mind getting excited with the challenge I encountered.  Sticking my head in the refrigerator, searching for some substitute candidate.  A-hah, basil pesto!  Sausage and basil pesto was a combination I had never tried before but why not?  Also, I was running out of choices already.  Surprise, surprise.  They worked incredibly well together.

Long story short, that is how I came up with this gravy sauce.  Not just the herby fragrance from the basil, but the nutty flavor and the cheese in the pesto worked pretty well.

Basil Pesto Meatless Sausage Gravy


Basil Pesto Meatless Sausage Gravy
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4
  • 1 pkg BOCA Meatless Breakfast LInks
  • 2Tbsp olive oil
  • 3Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1/2cup all purpose flour
  • 3cups 2% milk
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp black pepper
  1. Defrost BOCA Meatless Breakfast Links in microwave. (I usually open up the plastic packages on one side, lay them directly in the microwave then heat for 1 1/2 mins.) Chop them up.
  2. In a frying pan, heat olive oil over high heat. Saute chopped Breakfast Links until slightly brown. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add basil pesto to coat the “meatless meat” well. Then add all purpose flour, again coat well.
  4. Pour in milk, heat it over high heat and cook until it gets thicker stirring continuously.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Do you hear the sizzle?
This is not real meat that gives off a super appetizing smell as you cook, but it makes a remarkable difference in taste and texture if you are patient and cook until it’s brown.

For anything that requires flour coating in the cooking process for thickening, I like turning off the heat and taking time in blending the all purpose flour in the food.  Just take your time and add a little TLC to make even a simple meal special.  Well, that sounds good, doesn’t it?  It actually works for me as a cooking meditation.


When we have an easy comforting food like this, I choose this set of kid-friendly fun plates.  There’s a sketch of Donald Duck on one and Pluto on the other.  They always add a happy atmosphere to the table.


I’m gonna have to talk about those super puffy biscuits you see in the picture in the next post.  These came out as the BEST biscuits I ever made, ever!  Just stay tuned!

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Cod with Brussels Sprouts & Lemony Anchovy Butter Sauce

I’m so thankful to have the chance to live in an environment which allows me to try new food from all over the world. However, choices of fresh seafood are so limited here in east Tennessee…and that makes me miss my home country even more.

Finding frozen cod, which is easily available here, changed my attitude toward cooking dramatically though. Just add a small amount into a soy sauce based soup to get a traditional restaurant quality flavor. I had no idea how to produce such an elegant taste before and perhaps not the right way…anyway, what I want to say is ever since I started using this high protein, low fat, vitamin-rich white fish, it has become one of the items that I always have in stock in my freezer. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I have eaten more cod in the past year than I did in my entire life in Japan.

Cod goes well with so many different sauces and types of cooking because of its mild flavor. This time, I prepared it with a creamy sauce, still guilt-free because of the fish’s health benefits. Its delicate flaky texture is perfect for embracing the flavorful sauce.


Cod with Brussels Sprouts
& Lemony Anchovy Butter Sauce


Cod with Brussels Sprouts & Lemony Anchovy Butter Sauce
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2
Cream sauce with tangy lemon and a hint of anchovy poured generously over flour coated then sauteed cod.
  • 2 cod fillets
  • salt & pepper
  • 2Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2Tbsp butter, divided
  • 10 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1tsp anchovy paste
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3cube vegetable bouillon
  • salt & pepper
  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of cod. Coat them with all purpose flour. Microwave Brussels sprouts for 1 min.
  2. In frying pan, heat 1Tbsp olive oil and 1Tbsp butter over medium heat, cook Brussels sprouts for 2 mins. Remove from the pan.
  3. In the same pan, add 1Tbsp olive oil and 1Tbsp butter and heat over medium heat. Saute cod on one side for 1 min. then turn. Put the lid on and cook for 2 mins. Remove from the pan. Turn off the heat.
  4. In the same pan, add anchovy paste and dissolve using whisk. Add lemon juice and heavy cream. Add the Brussels sprouts then heat it over medium heat until right before it starts to bubble.
  5. On a plate, lay the sauteed cod and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle chopped parsley if you like.


I enjoy making table coverings on occasion. The blue and brown plaid table covering is the one I made for Valentine’s day. My first choice of color for this event was pink but my two guys would have felt out of place…so I coordinated everything on the table in a blue and brown scheme with some touch of tan, white and gold. I also made an extra cloth of the same color combination in polka dot to lay on top by shifting 45 degrees. Now that spring has come and all the pretty pastel color fabrics are out there, I can’t wait to make some springy happy table items:)


Don’t you think Brussels Spouts are too pretty to be true? It’s one of the vegetables I could never imagine liking when I first ate one a long time ago, but it’s always amazed me how people’s tastes change over the years and also the ways things are cooked.


So juicy and moist…love, love, love it!
The tangy lemon makes the sauce light and the hint of anchovy gives depth to the flavor.


Accompanied by fusilli coated with pesto, fresh vegetable salad and a bowl of soup.
Thick slices of a loaf of home-baked bread made this meal complete…




Posted in seafoods | 2 Comments

Mac & Bleu Cheese (Filling/Topping for Pizza)

I can pretty safely say that I had never had cheese cooked as a sauce growing up.
When we were still living in Japan, I asked my husband, my boyfriend back then, what kind of food he used to like as a kid. One of the answers was Macaroni & Cheese. I simply could not picture how melted cheese could coat macaroni nicely without curdling or getting partially lumpy or chewy. Moving to the States, I was so thrilled to finally try Macaroni & Cheese. Yes, that one, the one that comes in a dark blue box with a picture of vivid orange macaroni. I don’t deny that at that moment I did not know how to react, but after a few scoops, I loved it. I still believe that orange powder that comes in a packet has something that’s mentally addicting.

With the love for instant Mac & Cheese growing in me, I started making my home style Mac & Cheese. Observing tons of great food bloggers’ and food web sites’ recipes, and of course with errors and corrections, this is so far the best one of mine.

I put it in home made deep dish pizza and topped it off with Basic Italian Tomato Sauce.


Mac & Bleu Cheese (Filling/Topping for Pizza)

Mac & Bleu Cheese (Filling/Topping for Pizza)
Recipe Type: Main
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Hearty and fulfilling homemade macaroni & cheese.
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 2/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4tsp black pepper
  1. Cook macaroni to al dente according to the package instruction. Drain.
  2. In a 3 qt. pot, heat all the rest of the ingredients over medium heat.
  3. Add cooked macaroni and combine well.


This stuffed pizza was a big hit in my family and has become one of our favorite combinations right away. I put chipotle TABASCO on my slice. I’m not a big fan of original TABASCO but this chipotle one is a completely different classification of hot sauce in my opinion. Its smoky fume and mild spiciness adds a fantastic but not over-powering kick to this delicious meal.


Posted in pasta & other noodles | 2 Comments

Basic Italian Tomato Sauce over Mac & Bleu Cheese Deep Dish Pizza

Everybody loves Pizza, right? Pizza is one of the foods that each individual has an opinion on which kind of crust, sauce, cheese and toppings to put together. When I was little, pizza was just starting to be introduced to my home town in Japan. (There was a bigger delay for small towns like mine before new things came finally reach from big towns at that time.) My mom put tomato sauce out of a jar and shredded cheese onto sliced French bread then toasted it. That’s it, really. I thought it was the best food that exists on earth 🙂 Thankfully, my choices of food have tremendously broadened since then, but Pizza still ranks as one of my favorites.

I can proudly say that I’m the least pickiest eater. I would be happy to eat just about anything I am served with a couple little exceptions (reptiles, bugs, etc.), but you can easily pursue everyday life without worrying about having those on your plate. As to pizza crust, I enjoy all types of style and flavor. However, the crust my family eats at home most often is deep dish crust which is adapted from Gino’s East Pizza Crust Recipe. I sometimes have the temptation to give it a twist here and there to make it something we can call our own, but we are very satisfied with this original recipe and afraid of messing it up with our “creativity”. Maybe after a little more adaptation and some practice, we will be ready to try our version of crust… just maybe…




Basic Italian Tomato Sauce

Basic Italian Tomato Sauce
Recipe Type: Main
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 3 cups
This tomato sauce can be used for pizza, pasta and many other dishes.
  • 10 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1/3 white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp basil
  • 1tsp oregano
  • 3Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2tsp sugar
  • 1Tbsp vinegar
  1. Make a small cross cut on each end of the tomatoes. In a 5 qt. pan, bring water to a boil. Put in tomatoes and bring the water back to a boil. Wait for another 10 secs then immerse the tomatoes in to a bowl of ice cold water. Peel the skin.
  2. Using pulse button on food processor, puree the tomatoes to chunky/saucy consistency.
  3. Mince onion and garlic. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium low heat, cook onion and garlic for about 8 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the pureed tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat up to high. Once it starts to get bubbly turn the heat to medium-low and put the lid on. Cook for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until it reduced to half amount. Add salt if necessary.



Fresh tomatoes waiting to be flavorful……mmm, yum.



Deep Dish Pizza Crust

We got this crust recipe from another food blog Damn Good Food.
We’ve been spoiled by this delicious recipe for so long and cooked it a countless number of times. I wonder if it’s from the cornmeal, because the dough is far less sticky and very easy to handle. I love how Chicago style pizza puts cheese before the sauce instead of sprinkling on the top. This way I don’t have to battle with the crusty cheese peeling off from the slice after a bite.
Go check it out for his fabulous Gino’s East Pizza Crust!


Mac & Bleu Cheese Filling/Topping


… to be continued …


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Zucchini and Crab Croquettes

Although going to the neighborhood grocery store and wandering around for some fun food is one of my favorite hobbies, having to run for just a few ingredients to make a planed meal complete was the last thing I wanted to do after a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Luckily I had a bag of imitation crab meat in the freezer which I kept for cooking with octopus to make something called “DAVY JONES” from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean and an instant mash potato mix in the pantry. Since we also had leftover Mac & Cheese deep dish pizza in the freezer from the other night, I decided to make croquettes for a side dish.

Although croquettes seem to be considered a time consuming and labor intensive dish,
they are actually very versatile in terms of ingredients. You can also make a bunch of them ahead of time and refrigerate them. Just fry them when you’re ready.



Zucchini and Crab Croquettes

Zucchini and Crab Croquettes
Recipe Type: Main or Side Dish
Author: NorikoBurky
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 6 Croquettes
Imitation crab meat, zucchini and mashed potato, breaded and shallow fried.
  • 10 oz imitation crab meat
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 pkg (4 oz) IDAHOAN Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup panko
  • canola oil for frying
  1. Crumble imitation crab meat by hand and squeeze any liquid out if it.
  2. Shred zucchini with the skin on.
  3. In a large bowl, combine with chopped parsley, egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and IDAHOAN Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Mix well until all gets moistened.
  4. Divide in to 6 equal portions and form into ovals. Coat each with all purpose flour then egg wash (egg + water), then panko.***See note below.
  5. Heat oil (about an inch deep) in a frying pan on medium high heat,
  6. fry croquettes on each side till golden brown.




Here’s the instant mash potato mix I used for today’s recipe. It works as a perfect binder and also much healthier than adding cream sauce made of butter, flour and milk. And off course, it’s EASY!

I’ve used this with a different flavor for gnocchi before and that worked wonderfully, too.



I tried my first bite with mint chutney. I guess it wasn’t the most wonderful sauce to go with this crabby dish or maybe it was just me, lol…

I would suggest tartar sauce or your favorite tomato sauce.

By the way, my family looooves green olives that come in a jar. One day when we were shopping in a then newly opened grocery store known for their generous variety of sample foods, my son shouted excitedly “Daddy! These green olives have green pimentos!!” Without giving us even a second to take a look, he threw one in to his mouth. We instantly found out what these ‘green pimentos’ were. Chopped jalapeno was a bit too much for a boy who thinks pepperoni slices are already beyond his limit. As you can imagine he did everything he could to cool down his poor mouth, jumping around with his hands flapping like a bird learning to fly, breathing in and out with tears in his eyes.

I’ve never seen pimentos being used in any other food than in green olives. Very possible that I just haven’t had a chance to see it in different ways or have passed without recognizing them. As we were laughing at today’s table talking about the episode, our son was again amazed by how a pimento fits perfectly in this little green ball. Then my husband concluded “Yep, they are made for each other.” What a sweet way to put it. I still don’t know what a pimento is (the ingredients on the label on a jar just says ‘pimento’) but it doesn’t matter after hearing this. Hey, they are made for each other, what else is more important? Just eat them! Enjoy them!




Bon Appetit!


Here’s the Mac & Cheese deep dish pizza I mentioned earlier.
My husband and I have been working on coming up with several pizza recipes to call our own. Everything is made from scratch from the crust to the sauce. We have been successful with our very first basic pizza and this is the second one in which we challenged ourselves with slightly more adventurous toppings. Just stay with me cause I’m already excited about sharing our pizza stories.

Have a nice one!

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Hello world!


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