Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Fall is in the air and we are spending less time outside and more time inside prepping for our winter hibernation ;)  My 9 year old loves this time of the year… His birthday is near and one of his favorite desserts is pumpkin pie!  I did a test run on these little cupcakes so I can make them for his party!  (Last year he didn’t want a cake… he wanted pumpkin pie!!)  I figured Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes might be a little funner than just plan pies!  I found this recipe here… I did add a little bit more flour than what the recipe called for and a little nutmeg too… just the pumpkin spice wasn’t enough for me :)

These are a fun dessert to make up for the fall season if your planning on feeding more than just the family or if your are going to an event!  I would suggest hitting them with a dabble of whipped cream… or sprinkle them with powdered sugar!

I will tell you this was my test run and I didn’t have a chance to dab them with whipped cream or sprinkle them with powdered sugar… Oh no… they were gone in less that an hour!  Pretty sure the 9 year old sneaked 5 of them himself!!  And then of course there is always the Husband… I pulled them out of the oven about 5 minutes before he pulled in the driveway!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Cover

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

  • Servings: About 16
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice

Optional Topping:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Powdered Sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line pan with liners
  3. Mix flour, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda together
  4. In a mixing bowl mix pumpkin puree and sugar together
  5. Add eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk and mix well
  6. Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix
  7. Fill the liners 1/2 way full
  8. Bake 20-22 minutes
  9. Let cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before removing to cooling rack

 

For step by step tutorial see the following pictures…

In a mixing bowl mix pumpkin puree and sugar together... Add eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk and mix

In a mixing bowl mix pumpkin puree and sugar together… Add eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk and mix

Mix flour, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda together

Mix flour, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda together

Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix

Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix

Fill liners 1/2 way and bake for 20-22 minutes

Fill liners 1/2 way and bake for 20-22 minutes

Let cool 20 minutes before removing to cooling rack

Let cool 20 minutes before removing to cooling rack

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes Cover

 

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New Puppy… What should we name her?

I know I already have a lot on my plate… 4 kids, real estate, Mother, Wife and Blogger… But we decided to get a dog!  The kids are getting older and can help out on the daily duties it takes to care for a doggy… Although after the first night and maybe a total of 3 hours sleep I wish they could handle the night shift too!  I guess that won’t last long… but its a lot like having a newborn in the house again!

Anyways… The boys came home from school yesterday to say that there are some girls on the bus that are moving and have to get rid of their puppies, so we went to check it out.  There was two boys and this little girl… that we instantly fell in love with!  We left there with out bringing her home… and returned about 20 minutes later to rescue her!  Part of me wishes I could rescue all 3… But I know that’s just CRAZY!

She’s a Chihuahua/Terrier mix and the vet thinks she’s about 5-6 weeks old weighing in at 1 lb 11 oz.  We have yet to come up with a name for her… So I thought I’d toss it out there and see if you guys had some feedback for me…  :)

Here is some pictures of the last 24 hours…

new puppy

 

 

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Homemade Orange Chicken

One of my newest favorite things to try this year is homemade Chinese dishes… or as close as I can get to them!  So far I’ve only gone as far as chicken… but that’s what we eat 80% of the time in this household anyways!  I was cruising Damn Delicious the other day… which may I add there are some great recipes there and I’m sure I’ll be back!!  I came across her Chinese Orange Chicken recipe and had to give it a whirl… That is the one go to dish when we hit up Panda Express while doing back to school clothes shopping!

So this was my first time making this dish… and I hit a couple bumps in the road while doing it… I stopped myself and made some changes… and it turned out great!  Biggest thing was this recipe was working with cornstarch… I’ve never been a big fan of cornstarch… but I did give it a try on a few pieces of chicken… Didn’t like how it was turning out, so I swapped it out with flour!  Also the recipe called for 1 TBLS of cornstarch in the sauce… it thickened it so much I couldn’t even use it … So I quickly made up some more sauce and added just 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to it… worked great!

Lesson learned here… Don’t be afraid to try new things… but also listen to your gut instinct and play around with recipes!  I love being in the kitchen and trying new things… Sometimes my family calls themselves the “Guinea Pigs” … But I’d rather have them as my “Guinea Pigs” then serving them the same things over time and time again!

Homemade Orange Chicken

Homemade Orange Chicken

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBLS oil divided plus more for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into chunks
  • 1 TBLS fresh ginger minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 TBLS rice wine
  • 1 1/2 TBLS soy sauce
  • 5 TBLS sugar
  • 5 TBLS white vinegar
  • zest from one orange
  • Juice from one orange or 1 1/2 TBLS water

Steps:

  1. In a bowl add the orange juice (optional) and the zest from the orange
  2. Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and mix together
  3. Toss the chicken in and marinate it for 20-30 mins… strain chicken keeping the sauce.
  4. Over medium high heat add 1 TBLS oil then the ginger and garlic stir around for 30-60 seconds… then add the red pepper flakes and green onion and saute for another 30-6- seconds.  Add the rice wine for 10-15 seconds and then add the remaining orange sauce.
  5. Bring to bowl and set to low to simmer.
  6. Dip the chicken in the egg wash and then in the flour coating evenly
  7. mix 1 TBLS water and 1/2 tsp cornstarch and add it to your sauce to thicken.
  8. Fry the chicken over medium high heat… you don’t need much oil… or if you have a deep fryer that works great
  9. Add the chicken to the sauce and mix well… Top with chopped green onion (optional) Enjoy!!

 

Orange Chicken 001

In a bowl add the orange juice (optional) and the zest from the orange

Orange Chicken 002

Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and mix together

Orange Chicken 003

Toss the chicken in and marinate it for 20-30 mins… strain chicken keeping the sauce.

I forgot to snap a picture for this next step….

Over medium high heat add 1 TBLS oil then the ginger and garlic stir around for 30-60 seconds… then add the red pepper flakes and green onion and saute for another 30-6- seconds.  Add the rice wine for 10-15 seconds and then add the remaining orange sauce.

Orange Chicken 004

Bring to bowl and set to low to simmer.

Orange Chicken 005

This is also where I changed it up as well… Dip the chicken in the egg wash and then in the flour coating evenly.

Orange Chicken 006

mix 1 TBLS water and 1/2 tsp cornstarch and add it to your sauce to thicken.

Orange Chicken 007

Fry the chicken over medium high heat… you don’t need much oil… or if you have a deep fryer that works great!

Homemade Orange Chicken

Add the chicken to the sauce and mix well… Top with chopped green onion (optional) Enjoy!!

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Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Mini Banana Bread Muffins

I love all forms of Banana Bread… and love trying new recipes for it!  I love it in a loaf, muffins and especially mini muffins because you can just pop them in your mouth!!  I came across this recipe while searching for something different… I found it on a blog BAKESINSLIPPERS under Quick and Easy Banana Bread … I had all the ingredients on hand so I thought I’d give it a shot!  Instead of making a loaf I tossed them in my mini muffin pan… This may be my new favorite for bite size muffins… They turned out super moist and my kids loved that I tossed mini chocolate chips in them!  They were gone in about an hour… we also had my Brother In Law and Sister In Law in town staying with us so they helped eat them too!  These will definitely be made again!!

Moist mini choc chip banana muffins

  • Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add eggs and mix together well.
  4. Add vanilla and mix.
  5. Smash your bananas.
  6. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt together.
  7. Add to your mixing bowl and mix together.
  8. Add bananas and sour cream and mix together.
  9. Add mini chocolate chips and mix together.
  10. Put in greased mini muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes.
  11. Let cool 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.

For step by step tutorial follow the photos!!


Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 001

Cream butter and sugar together.

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 002

Add eggs and vanilla and mix together well.

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 003

Smash your bananas… I had a helper ;)

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 005

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt together

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 008

Add to your mixing bowl and mix together

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 009

Add bananas and sour cream and mix together… Then add mini chocolate chips and mix together

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 010

Put in greased mini muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes

Moist Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins 013

Enjoy!! We did :)

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JBF Everett/Monroe Fall 2014 Giveaway

So you’ve heard about “JBF” right? Just Between Friends is the best place to go for consignment sale shopping for your entire family! It’s no secret that you save boku-bucks at these events, as items are marked 50-90% off retail prices. You’ll find children’s clothes from birth through teenage years, maternity, nursing and regular clothes for mama, toys, games and gear and so much more!


There’s JBF sales all across North America twice times (sometimes three) a year and I’m extremely fortunate that the closest event to me is a 5 minute walk from my house at the Evergreen State Fairground in Monroe, WA. The fall consignment sale is Sept 12 – 14th – with a little bit of pre-sale access too (I’ll talk about that in just a sec!).

Because of the sheer volume of what is available at JBF sales, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and carried away. Now that I’ve been to about a dozen of these sales, I’m ready to impart on you a few really helpful tips on making the most out of your shopping experience.


1. Start compiling a list ahead of time on what you’re looking for. Think about the sizes and toys you’ll need for the next 6 months or so, what kind of gear or helpful things you’d like to have. This upcoming sale is the “fall” sale, so be on the look out for cold weather and holiday items! That means think ahead for gifts too! 

2. Bring help! It’s always more fun to shop with friends, right? This way you get a second pair of eyes on what is cute, extra hands with kiddos, or simply a budget enforcer. 

3. Try to arrange some help or an alternative activity for the kids. I don’t say this lightly, because my girls go with me everywhere. At the last JBF event, I brought 2 week old Ruby and 2 year old Penny with me. I wore Ruby in my NuRoo shirt and Penny hung out in the stroller. I say this from experience – it’s so much easier and less hectic if you can just focus your deal finding rays on the sale instead of also coordinating toddler snacks or possible melt downs when she sees a toy that she MUST have. Also prepare yourself for long check out lines – at really popular sales I’ve waited in line for close to an hour! YIKES! I’ve experienced and heard my own fair share of toddler and baby meltdowns while in line.

4. Have an idea of what the item is worth, and if it’s a good deal or not. I write this as a note on my shopping list.I see something unexpected at the sale, I pull out my celly and do a quick google search to see what retail price is. At the last sale, I snagged a wooden balance bike for over half off retail! The consignors try to keep prices competitive and you should expect at least 50% off retail at these sales, but sometimes the deal is not as good as you may think it is.

The JBF Sale wouldn’t be anything without consignors, so if you are thinking to clear out some of your clutter, sign up to consignConsignors will earn a base of 60% on their sales (less a $10 Consignor fee), but can earn more and have the fee waived if you volunteer.


Here’s the details you’ll need on this season’s consignment sale:

September 12 – 14, 2014

Evergreen State Fairgrounds

14405 179th Ave SE, Monroe, WA 98272

Shopping times:
Fri Sept 12th: 9a-7p
Sat Sept 13th: 9a-5p
Sun Sept 14th: 8a-1p (1/2 Price Day)


But guess what? You get to hear about a little secret.. there’s a pre-sale too! You can buy tickets or enter to win some below! We’ve got 8 separate prizes for our lucky readers .. so check out the giveaway widget below and enter to win!

Disclosure: The Pierogie Mama and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Confirmed prizes will be saved at  the”will call” table at the JBF Everett/Monroe event. 

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Homemade Tartar Sauce

One thing my Husband loves to have with his French Fries or Fish is tartar sauce!  I know you can always buy a jar but it is about one of the easiest things to make!

I was hosting a family dinner party at my house the other night.  My Husband’s Brother and Wife were up visiting from Florida!  We don’t get to see them very often so its always fun to be able to get everyone together when they are in town!  My Husband comes from a large family and its hard to get everyone under the same roof… even the other night we were missing a few!  Well I had some Ling Cod in the freezer from my Husbands fishing trip he took a few months ago so I thought it would be fun to do a bunch of Beer Battered Fish n Chips and what better to serve it with than Homemade Tartar Sauce… and some Hand-Cut French Fries!

You can do your own variations of Tartar Sauce to meet your preferences… Best way to start is mayo and sour cream and work it from there!  Here’s what I threw in mine…

003

Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 pickles diced up (I used spicy garlic dill)
  • fresh dill (or dried)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tsp pickle juice
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce

Step:

  1. Place all ingredients in bowl and mix together.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Uncover and serve!

Mix all ingredients into a bowl

Mix all ingredients into a bowl

mix together

mix together

cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour

cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour

Serve with some good ole Beer Battered Fish n Chips!

Serve with some good ole Beer Battered Fish n Chips!

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French Toast Casserole

I make French Bread pretty often around here… Sometimes I’ll double the batch to get two loaves from it!  What better thing to do with the other loaf then to make some French Toast Casserole for breakfast the next morning!  This recipe is one to toss in the fridge for an overnight soak… So you have to prepare the night before… But the next morning all you have to do is fire up the oven and toss breakfast in… Then go pour a cup of coffee and continue waking up while the oven does the work for you!!

I found this recipe on Taste of Home… Only thing I changed is that I added some cinnamon to the egg mix!

French Toast Casserole Pin ME

 

French Toast Casserole

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of French Bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 2 TBLS butter
  • 3 TBLS sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • maple syrup optional

Steps:

  1. Cut up bread and place in 13×9
  2. whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon
  3. Pour over bread.
  4. Cover and refridgerate 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove from fridge 30 mins to baking.
  6. Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Dot with butter.
  8. Combine sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on top.
  9. Cover with foil and bake @350 for 45-50 minutes.
  10. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Follow the photos for a step by step tutorial …

Cut up your french bread into chunks

Cut up your french bread 

Into chunks

Into chunks

Crack your eggs and whisk

Crack your eggs and whisk

add sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and mix

add sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and mix

add milk and mix

add milk and mix

Pour onto bread and mix gently to coat

Pour onto bread and mix gently to coat

Place in 13x9 baking pan

Place in 13×9 baking pan

Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight

Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight

Pull out 30 mins to baking.  Pre Heat oven to 350.  Dot with butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix on topCover and bake 45-50 minutes.

Pull out 30 mins to baking. Pre Heat oven to 350. Dot with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix on top.  Cover and bake 45-50 minutes.

Let cool 5 minutes before serving!

Let cool 5 minutes before serving!

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The Best Macaroni Salad Ever

I was packing up the family and heading East the other weekend to go celebrate my Father’s (too short lived) life… We had a drive ahead of us and we were crashing at a friends house… I knew I was going to not have time to make something up for the memorial once we arrived… and I wanted to bring something that would feed a bunch of mouths… you know you just never know how many people are going to show up… Its not like too many people actually RSVP to a memorial service ;)

Well I figured I’d be safe making up some kind of pasta salad … I knew it could hold up in an ice chest with the 5… ok maybe it was a 6 hour drive ahead of us… those darn kids… I swear there was an extra 5 “potty” breaks on our hands!  The last 3 were on the shoulder of I-90 for the 5 year old… My Husband thought it was a good idea to let the kids pick out their own Gatorade on one of the pit stops… He then in return decided it was an even better idea to just hit the shoulder, jump out and aim for the tire… The 5 year old got a kick out of that… and there was 2 more identical stops after the first!  Kinda reminded me of the trips I use to take when I was pregnant.  Alright back to the subject at hand… Maybe a little TMI… But that’s what you get with my family!

So I went and checked the pantry and noticed I had a big bag of macaroni noddles… Macaroni Salad it is!!!  First stop… Pioneer Women of course… She’s my all time favorite… I have all of her books… and I even got to attend her book tour last year with my girlfriends!  She ended up being the last stop too… I usually always have luck with her!  I rolled across her “Best Macaroni Salad Ever” check the ingredients… checked my stock… I was missing the roasted red peppers… but I figured I’d sub them out with some celery and shredded carrots… and I decided to add some chucks of cheddar cheese… because I can never say no to cheese :)

Hope you enjoy!

Macaroni Salad

The Best Macaroni Salad Ever

  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups elbow macaroni
  • 3 whole roasted red peppers, chopped (this is what I didn’t have on had… I don’t think it was missed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 6 pickles diced… your choice I used baby dills
  • 3 whole green onions chopped
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 2 celery chopped
  • 1/4 of a 1lb block of medium cheddar cheese cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBLS red wine, or distilled vinegar
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cups milk
  • splash of pickle juice
  • optional… TBLS mustard… I used spicy brown

Steps:

  1. Cook the macaroni noodles in salted water.  Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Prep red peppers, olives, pickles, green onion, carrot, celery & cheese.
  3. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt & pepper… Add enough milk to make it pour-able.  Add pickle juice for extra flavor.
  4. Add the everything together and pour sauce over… mix well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving… or just make yourself a bowl like my husband did… no need to wait… I guess you always need a taste tester!!

Follow the pictures for complete step by step tutorial…

Cook the noodles, prep the red pepper, olives, pickles, green onion, celery, carrots & cheese.

Cook the noodles, prep the red pepper, olives, pickles, green onion, celery, carrots & cheese.

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk & pickle juice together,

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk & pickle juice together,

add a little mustard if desired... I added some spicy brown mustard for a kick.

add a little mustard if desired… I added some spicy brown mustard for a kick.

your sauce should look a little something like this.

your sauce should look a little something like this.

add everything together in a big bowl and pour sauce over the top.

add everything together in a big bowl and pour sauce over the top.

mix together.

mix together.

and there you go!

and there you go!

 

 

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Homemade Crock-Pot Spaghetti Sauce

We love spaghetti around here!  The kids always do a great job finishing their plates when I serve them up!  Sometimes I like to just toss it in the crock pot to simmer all day… This is a great recipe to throw together and not worry about… all the flavors brew together and then you just have to make up some noodles at the end and toss it all together!

I got this recipe from Damn Delicious … I didn’t follow it quite to the T … I like to make some minor adjustments for my family’s wants and needs ;)

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Pin ME now cook me later

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 4-8 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground italian sausage
  • 1/2-whole onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet.  Drain excess fat.
  2. In crock pot add remaining ingredients and stir together.
  3. Add meat mix to crock pot and stir together.
  4. Cook in crock pot on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  5. Boil noodles 15 minutes before serving.  Add noodles to sauce, stir and serve.

Follow photos for a step by step tutorial…

Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet

Brown ground beef, sausage, garlic and onion in large skillet

Drain excess fat.

Drain excess fat.

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot.

Add remaining ingredients to crock pot.

add meat mixture

add meat mixture

Stir together and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 8 hours. Cook noodles 15 minutes prior to serving... add to sauce, stir and serve.

Stir together and cook on LOW for 4 hours or HIGH for 8 hours.
Cook noodles 15 minutes prior to serving… add to sauce, stir and serve.

 

 

 

I served ours with some Easy French Bread, Fried Zuchini and corn!

I served ours with some Easy French Bread, Fried Zuchini and corn!

Homemade Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce Pin ME now cook me later

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20 Minute Homemade Biscuits

Now you can print this recipe out to keep on hand… My step by step tutorial will always be here with tips and tricks :)

20 Minute Homemade Biscuits.

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