Virginia Willis Blog

Swordfish Steaks au Poivre with Tomatoes and Basil

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World Oceans Day

It’s World Oceans Day! On June 8th each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it. World Oceans Day helps raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in aiding to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on. The Ocean Project recognizes that there is one global ocean that connects us all. The health of the ocean and its inhabitants depends on what we put in it. (more…)

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Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits

Mayonnnaise Drop Biscuits on

Drop Biscuits

There’s been basket after basket of biscuits in my life of late. I shared my thoughts on “Love and Biscuits” with in celebration of Mother’s Day. Last weekend  I made Country Ham Biscuits and offered them in a segment with folks at Fox & Friends, along with a Pimento Cheese recipe while at the Kentucky Derby. Then, over the past few days I have been asked multiple times about Drop Biscuits — so I figured it would be a good idea to share a recipe with you.

Drop Biscuits are like biscuits with training wheels — you don’t have to worry about overworking the dough. The recipes for Drop Biscuits are wetter than biscuits you roll and punch out with a cutter.  Usually they contain more milk or buttermilk than a traditional biscuit recipe. There are many different kinds of drop biscuits — this one is made with only THREE ingredients.  Butter is replaced with mayonnaise — and the combination of milk and mayonnaise creates a very similar flavor profile as buttermilk.

Mama made these often when we were growing up. After I attended culinary school, I admittedly became quite snobby about using store-bought ingredients in recipes. I wanted to make the mayonnaise, not buy it. This type of recipe seemed one short step above a baking mix. Now a little older and wiser, I appreciate it for what it is. I understand Mama was putting freshly baked bread on the family table, and that was really important. I now ask for them whenever I go home to visit and enjoy every delicious bite. 

Check out this quick video  on how to make Mayonnaise Drop Biscuits — they are so easy! I know you are going to love them.

How to Make Tender Biscuits

The main ingredient in biscuits is wheat flour. Wheat flour contains two proteins, glutenin and gliadin. When you combine flour with liquid, the proteins create a strong and elastic sheet called gluten. Flours vary in their protein levels, which affects the texture of baked goods. Gluten gives structure to yeast breads, but is not recommended for tender cakes, biscuits, and quick breads. Southern all-purpose flour is milled from soft red winter wheat that has less gluten-forming protein. 

Most national brands of all-purpose flour are a combination of soft winter wheat and higher-protein hard summer wheat. White Lily contains approximately nine grams of protein per cup of flour, whereas national brands can contain eleven or twelve grams of protein per cup of flour. If you live outside the South, White Lily is available online or in some specialty shops in other parts of the country. For results similar to those of Southern flour, substitute one part all-purpose flour and one part cake flour for the amount of Southern flour in a recipe.

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What is Self Rising Flour?

This recipe for Mayonnaise Drop Biscuits calls for self rising flour. Self rising flour is all-purpose flour that is generally low in protein and contains a leavening agent and salt. It is widely available in the South, but less so in other regions of the country. If you have a recipe that calls for self-rising flour, use the following formula to convert all-purpose into self-rising: to 1 cup of Southern all-purpose flour, add 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt.

Howdy Texas!

Nathalie Dupree and I are traveling across Texas for Central Market Cooking School along with a veritable slew of Southern chefs and cookbook authors over the next few weeks. There are a few seats left for our Fort Worth class. I am also teaching a solo class in San Antonio. And, yes – she and I will be teaching, you guessed it — how to make biscuits!

You KNOW it’s going to be a hoot — Nathalie and I traveling across Texas?!  Make sure to follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to keep up with our shenanigans. 

Bon Appétit, Y’all!

Virginia Willis


Mayonnaise Drop Biscuits on
Mayonnnaise Drop Biscuits on

Mayonnaise Drop Biscuits

Makes 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
20 minutes
25 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick silicone baking mat.
  2. Combine the flour, mayonnaise, and milk in a bowl. Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.



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Easy Entertaining: Kentucky Derby Party Tips

Kentucky Derby Party Tips on

Kentucky Derby

Derby Days! I am thrilled to be the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Today, I want to share with you my Kentucky Derby Party Tips so that you can host your own celebration — without running yourself like a horse on the track! (more…)

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How to Make Chocolate Pots de Creme

Earlier this week I was trying to clean things up on the blog and accidentally sent out a post of photos without recipes titled “Deliciously Dull Dinners” that had been languishing in the draft folder for 6 years.

Oops. Life is not perfect.

I still can’t share the recipes for the random shots of Pork Chops and  Brussels Sprouts, but I do have this delicious recipe for Chocolate Pots de Crème. (more…)

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How to Cut a Butternut Squash

How to Cut a Butternut Squash

Today I was chopping butternut squash for a recipe project for an international media brand. The assignment has been a little outside of my creative box and I’ve been thrilled how exciting it is to stretch beyond my comfort zone. That’s how we grow as professionals! While I was prepping the vegetables, we shot this video showcasing a really simple technique on how to cut hard winter squash like butternut, kabocha, and even slightly softer ones like acorn. It works with other hard winter vegetables like rutabaga and sweet potato, as well. The knife technique is all about working smarter and safer — not harder! (more…)

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