Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Nia: Biscuits on the Side


With all that’s happening in the world and in the news, we can’t help but remember that each day is a gift and tomorrow is never promised. We have to use our time wisely, because it’s the most precious thing that we have. We can’t buy it; and once it’s gone, it’s really gone.

Instead of ending up with a life by default, we can consciously choose how we want to live. Granted, it’s not always easy to do, but we can try.

Nia is the Kwanzaa Principle that reminds us to find our purpose and set goals that benefit not just ourselves, but also our communities. It can be hard being brave enough to do it. Especially when others may have different plans for how they’d like to see you spending your time.

One of my joys is baking from scratch. You may think that takes up a lot of time. Okay, well sometimes it does. But usually I choose recipes that are fairly simple. Plus when I spend time baking, not only is it fun for me, but others appreciate it.

So many times I’ve spoken with friends and family and they remind me of something that I baked years ago. I may have forgotten, but it’s a nice memory for them. And giving someone a nice memory is the best thing that any of us can give.

These biscuits were a snap to make and so tasty that I didn’t even put anything on them. No jam or butter needed here folks. They smell heavenly and are tender with a bit of crispness on the outside. If you bake them for someone, it just might be something that they will never forget.


(Adapted from Saveur’s Baking Powder Biscuits)


1/3 cup butter

1 cup vanilla rice milk

¾ tsp. sea salt

2 cups flour


Take out baking sheet and set oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or fork to combine butter with flour mixture.

Add milk and stir in. The dough may be sticky, so add a bit more flour if needed so you can work with it. Use your hands to flatten out the dough or use a rolling pin to form a large circle. Do not roll too thin!

Cut out biscuits with a round cookie cutter or turn a glass upside down to shape the biscuits. Place the biscuits on the sheet and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Lisa Johnson created her blog, Analis’ First Amendment in 2006, and provides tasty servings of life, food, and current events. She favors sweet over savory, so you’ll see lots of baking on her blog. She’s a freelance writer, attorney, and teaches others how to find their “inner baker.” Lisa lives just outside Boston, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @AnaliFirst and Pintrest.


This entry was posted on December 16, 2014 by in 2014, Nia.

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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