Before the “sweet” baking took over my ovens at Provisions Bake Shop, we would do some savory catering. One of our most popular appetizers was our basil biscuits with ham. They were always a huge hit.  I’m sure we made thousands of them over the years!

So when I started planning a “sweet celebration” for my new grandson, I thought the biscuits would be a perfect counterpoint to the many  sweets I had planned.

I posted the photo on Instagram and Facebook and immediately received multiple requests to share the recipe. So- here goes!

Basil Biscuits

In this recipe, I find that the most tender results come from mixing the dough with your hand. My most inspiring teacher was Master Pastry chef Albert Kumin. In our Breads and Doughs class, he held up his scrupulously clean hand with his fingers slightly curled and announced: “This is the best mixing tool that God has given you”.

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment


2 cups All Purpose flour (10 oz)

1 TBS Baking Powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

½ cup minced fresh basil

1 ¼ cup to 1 ½ cup heavy cream

1 TBS melted butter


In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, pepper and basil.

Slowly add the heavy cream mixing with your hand until the dough comes together and no dry particles remain. Stop adding cream as soon as the dough comes together. Depending on the weather this could take 1 cup of cream up to 1 ½ cups.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 4 or 5 times.

Roll or pat the dough into a circle about 1/3 inch thick.

Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough into desired size. This recipe yields about 15 biscuits using a 2 ½ inch diameter round cutter. Re- roll the scraps one time and cut.

Place evenly on the baking sheet.

Make an indentation with your forefinger in the middle of the biscuit. This helps keep the biscuit even on top. Brush with the melted butter.

Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

When cool, split the biscuits in half. Spread with a dijon mustard- mayo mixture and pile on ham.

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Alternately, now that tomatoes are at their peak, fill with tomatoes and a sprinkling of sea salt. My lunch for today!

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Southwestern Style Black Bean Pasta

Do you have an overabundance of tomatoes? Summertime is tomato time in my life. I could eat a fresh tomato salad practically at every meal when the tomatoes are fresh from a farm. The flavor is beyond compare and I can’t seem to get enough of it!

At the farmer’s market last weekend I went tomato crazy! When I posted this photo on  Instagram and Facebook, my sister-in-law requested I come up with a new recipe for her bumper crop of tomatoes.


I put my thinking cap on and thought of the other farm fresh vegetables and herbs I bought. A summer favorite side dish of mine is a black bean, tomato and corn salad. So, I thought: why not use black bean pasta and make more of a meal with these flavors? FullSizeRender (31) I converted the salad into a warm pasta dish- and here it is! My husband was the guinea pig- and he gave it his seal of approval!


Heat oven to 375


5 oz black bean pasta

1 ear of corn, kernels cut off

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

½ cup small dice of red onion

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TBS lime juice

2 TBS cilantro

Salt and pepper


In a rimmed baking sheet combine the corn, tomatoes and red onion.

Toss with 2 TBS olive oil (or more as needed), salt and pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes, add the red pepper flakes and continue to roast for another 5 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions. Do not overcook. Bean pastas turn from perfect to mush in a matter of seconds.

Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large shallow bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables, the lime juice and cilantro.