This weekend we’re having a trial run as a bed & breakfast. Don’t tell Rick, but that may be exactly what I want to do with his retirement (which will effectively be my third career) in five or six years.
All four of our bedrooms are chock full of Learmans. Ten of them, to be exact (including us, anyway). Ages 0-54. Surprisingly, I woke up this morning to a totally quiet house. I thoroughly expected to be awakened by a screaming 5-month old or a barking dog who forgot we had houseguests. Instead I just woke up because the sun was coming up & streaming in our bedroom French doors. Weird. Especially since we didn’t go to bed until at least 3:00 a.m., as per usual in the fashion of these big family get-togethers.
So what did I immediately think of? Breakfast, duh.
Specifically the breakfast we had our first morning in Napa at a little French bakery across the street from famed chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega: Bouchon. It was so adorable I was almost intimidated by it.
The fact that the awnings matched the blazing warm colors of the surrounding fall trees did not seem accidental.
Of all the gorgeous scones, muffins, coffee cakes, cookies, brownies, buns and other goodies, I chose a tall, rich-looking bacon & cheddar scone. As I predicted, it was satisfyingly crumbly, buttery, and had gorgeous bits of savory bacon throughout. What I did not expect was a background sweetness – absolutely the perfect compliment to the salty bacon. After my second bite I realized I had to try & recreate this at home.
This was the perfect occasion. I had a house full of people and a totally empty, quiet kitchen, all to myself.
Unbeknownst to them (again, good thing they don’t read this!), Rick’s kids have been my guinea pigs before, and they’re either really good at it or kind of suck at it. None of them has ever complained (even when I made cinnamon rolls that didn’t rise – someone should have at least mentioned it) and more often than not, they rave. And they’re generally great eaters. Right now the girls are dieting, which is kind of annoying considering I’m trying to stuff their faces with fattening carbs, but the guys are all still growing (at ages 25-50, mind you) so they’re dependable feeders.
They liked these. A lot.
So did I. So will you. I made them the Semi-Homemade way, inspired by my friend Sandra Lee whose memoir I just finished Thursday night. The peppery candied bacon was so great on its own you at least have to go there this Christmas.
You know, as a gift to the men in your life.
Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Biscuits yield: 20-24 biscuits
3-1/4 cups Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 slices center-cut bacon
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
freshly ground black pepper
Lay out bacon strips on a wire rack set over a foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar on top and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until bubbly & browned. Sprinkle generously with black pepper when it comes out of the oven & cool slightly.
Julienne (thinly slice) the bacon into bits. Mix Bisquick, milk, the bacon drippings (yes, do it)
bacon, cheese and 2 tablespoons brown sugar until combined. Spoon heaping tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes or until just browned.
Meanwhile in the microwave, melt the butter & honey. When the biscuits come out of the oven, brush with honeybutter. Serve warm to your family with good coffee next to a warm fire.