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Cheddar Chili Beer Bread

37° and raining. That’s the forecast for the next week or so here in Seattle. Yuck. If it’s going to be that cold, it needs to be snowing. Huge pillowy flakes dumping from the sky. Fluffy mounds of white happiness. That’s what I’d like. Come on! The current weather conditions called for drastic measures in my kitchen. You know what I’m talking about…chili. Is there anything better on a winter day with a damp chill in the air? More on that tomorrow. First, the delicious beer bread I made to go with the chili. It’s full of sharp cheddar and totally non-hot green chili peppers. A perfect companion to a hearty bowl of warmth.

Cheddar Chili Beer Bread08
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Cornmeal Biscuits

I’ve made cornbread lots of times. And, have a great recipe for big giant fluffy biscuits. But when I made a white chicken chili a couple of weeks ago I just didn’t feel like either of those breads were going to be just right to serve up alongside the chili. I went searching for some combination of the two and found this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. I just love those guys. I don’t know what it is about the super detailed scientific reasoning behind food but it totally works for me. These babies are a perfect blend of cornbread and biscuits.

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Homemade Mini-Corndogs

My kids LOVE corndogs. They would eat them breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let them. Seriously. If I ever make the mistake of asking what they want to eat, the unanimous enthusiastic response is CORNDOGS!! Here’s the problem-o though. My kids are still young enough that I’m paranoid about them choking on a hot dog. I still cut them in half lengthwise and then into small little bites for them. So, aside from not being that healthy, corndogs are kind of a pain. The kids can’t just dip them and eat them, it’s a big production for me before they can even touch their food. Annoying! I’ve found a great solution in these adorable mini corndogs made in my tart pan.
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Tonya’s Turkey Chili

What better to serve a big crowd than some delicious chili? I’m not a big fan of the normal kind of chili, with beef and beans – bleah. Here’s my take. Don’t be fooled by the turkey into thinking this chili lacks flavor. It is packed full of spices and loaded with hearty taste.

As a side note before we get to the recipe, I found this today in the supermarket, and I think it’s pretty much the most awesome thing ever created. Tomato paste in a tube. That you can refrigerate after you use whatever tablespoon or two you need for your recipe. No more throwing away most of the can!! Yippee!!

Tomato Paste Tube

Now, on to the chili!! [Read more…]

Buttermilk Cornbread and Honey Butter

I made a delicious BBQ Wagon Wheel Stew tonight – to go with it, what could be more perfect that crusty golden buttermilk cornbread topped with honey butter?

Buttermilk Cornbread & Honey Butter

Buttermilk Cornbread

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Stir buttermilk into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After removing from oven, spread a thin layer of honey butter over surface of cornbread while still in the pan. Serve warm with honey butter.

*If you don’t have any buttermilk, substitute “sour milk” – mix 1 C milk with 1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice. Allow to stand while you prepare other ingredients. Milk will thicken to the consistency of buttermilk or a runny yogurt.

Honey Butter

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1. In a small bowl mix butter and honey until smooth.
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