The 12 Days of Christmas Foodie Wish List 2014

12 days of Christmas foodie wish list

 

12 days of Christmas foodie wish list

It’s almost too late but I did manage to scope out a few things for my Christmas Foodie Wish List 2014! Narrowing things down to twelve always kills me, but here are just a few from the reasonable to the extravagant.  Please note, I left the off the La Cornue stove because I just simply had a hard time believing anyone was going to buy me a $12,000 stove.

Are there some foodie items you’re wanting to add to your kitchen repertoire this year? Tell me in the comment section! I’d love to hear your ideas!

One can dream right?

Day #1

While eating at my favorite gourmet pizza place in Tulsa a few years ago, we devoured this pizza called the DEMARCO OF BROOKLYN which is an homage to Dom Demarco of Di Fara Pizzeria on Avenue J in Brooklyn. The pizza had hand-crushed DOP San Marzano tomatoes, slices of house made fresh mozzarella, fresh picked basil, Pecorino Romano and “loads of extra virgin olive oil” which came drizzled out of a beautiful silver olive oil cruet.  I wanted one…the pizza and the cruet!

Williams Sonoma $19.99 Steel Oil Cruet with Brass Lid

Stainless Steel oil cruet

Day #2

Make your wine sipping and happy hour truly relaxed and happy. I kind of hate those silicone rubbery looking popular wine charms that are everywhere right now. These are elegant, quaint and just make you feel downright cheery.  For the wine lover:

Personalized Wine Charms in Sterling Silver $47 (custommade.com)

Sterling wine charms

Day #3

I love to keep my frequent kitchen tools handy like my colander in the kitchen. I keep it hanging above my kitchen sink from a hook.  So shouldn’t it be a truly special work of art? My kitchen is mostly red but with accents of mustard, sage and black and white. This fits the bill perfectly!

MacKenzie-Child’s Enamel Colander – Courtly Check $79 (amazon.com)

enamel colander

Day #4 & Day #5

My list is never lacking a Le Creuset piece. Yes, they are pricey, but ohhhh, how I adore the way they cook!  Everything tastes like it was slow cooked in a brick oven and I have been coveting this braiser pan for years. I’ve listed it in Cherry red of course, since that’s what I collect.

Le Creuset 3 ½ Qt. Braiser – $250 (lecreuset.com)

Braiser

Ok, let’s be real. I may actually GET this from someone…my low end choice for my Le Creuset collection is this:

Berry Jam Jar with Silicone Spreader $30 (lecreuset.com)

Berry Jam Jar with Silicone Spreader

Day #6

A month or so, I got it into my head that because of my German roots, I needed to make homemade sauerkraut. I started researching…only to learn that I needed something called a fermenting pot or crock.  Then I learned that these babies (the good German ones with pressing stones included) cost a pretty penny.   Then my mom told me that she had one from years ago out in her shed in the backyard, which I PROMISE you has not seen the light of day for many years.  If she insists on being a hoarder, then I will just add this to my list of ridiculously priced kitchen items I need.

Boleslawiec 15 L Polish Fermenting Crock Pot – PRESSING STONES INCLUDED (amazon.com)

Fermenting crock

Day #7

I need a better, clearly visible solution to my spice rack. I don’t want one of those revolving deals that sits on your counter occupying valuable cooking space either. I also don’t want pre-labeled jars.  I use a ton of exotic spices that I buy at my local friend Abel’s spice shop and I just want a shelf that can be mounted to my pantry door at eye level to be able to see what I want. This one fits the bill. In fact,  I could probably use two.

Rev-A-Shelf® Small Adjustable Door Mount Spice Rack – $69.99 (walmart.com)

  Mountable spice rack

Day #8

We frequently have Pad Thai parties at our house and we could use a new electric wok. An electric wok is really nice to have in the hot days of summer for quick stir fries and the likes.  For our Pad Thai parties, I also like electric because we take it outside to the patio to cook most of them time due to the lovely and “fragrant” smell of using fish sauce in the recipe. Ours is currently getting pretty old and nasty and we need a new one.

Aroma Housewares AEW-305 Electric Wok, Black $37.99 (amazon.com)

electric wok

Day #9

For a few edible gift ideas, I MUST start with Harry & David pears.  With their one beautifully golden-wrapped pear, you feel as privileged as Charlie did when he got that coveted gold candy bar. These pears are the most delicious I believe I’ve ever tried.

Harry & David’s Royal Riviera Pears $29.95 (harryanddavid.com)

Royal Rivera Pears

 

Day #10

I love hand made pasta, but who has the time to make it frequently?  One day I’ll be retired, permanently ensconsed in a frilly apron with my hands up to my elbows in flour cranking out beauty, but until then, I buy a local friend’s pasta. Our local Chef Chris Becker makes some delicious pasta.  Once serving under Mario Batali, Eric Ripert, Lidia Bastianich and Gabriel Kreuther, this guy KNOWS how to make pasta. I love living near him locally so that I can even purchase the fresh stuff at some of our local grocers. LUCKY moi! I especially love the Casarecce for it’s beautiful formed narrow, twisted and rolled tube shape for holding sauces like pesto.

Casarecce $7.99 (dellaterrapasta.com) 

  Della terra Casarecce pasta

Day #11

If you’re one of the Top 16 in the World Championship Cheese Contest, you know it’ll be a good gifting choice.  Aged Gouda has become one of our family favorites on the holiday cheese board.  This cheese made by  Holland’s Family Cheese located in famed cheese country in Thorp, Wisconsin, no longer has the 18-24 month on their site but I bet this one will do as it won the 2013 American Cheese Society and US Cheese Championship.

Marieke® Gouda Plain Premium (12-18 month) – 1 lb.  (mariekegouda.com)

gouda cheese

Day #12

You may have already seen my write-up, but here in the spicy Southwest, this cookbook has been one my family wants me to keep opening up and cooking from.  Tacolicious by Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave  has taught the use of dried chiles and has opened up my authentic Mexican cooking palate in unbelievably delicious ways. Every SINGLE thing I’ve made out of it is fabulous! The book includes salsas, pickles, snacks and sides, tacos, cocktails and aquas frescas and even a section on throwing your own taco party. Even though I own it, I think every foodie needs it on their wishlist.

Tacolicious – Recipes, Snacks, Cocktails & More – $17.19 (amazon.com)

Tacolicious cookbook

Day 13

I had to make a bakers dozen again because due to owning that cookbook up above, I really want a comal, a cast iron flat griddle that really comes in handy for toasting dried, chiles, garlic cloves, bridling homemade tortillas, and toasting quesadillas.

Victoria Cast Iron Comal Griddle – $19.99 (amazon.com)

Mexican comal

And there you have it. Twelve recommendations for the food lover you want to please. From high-end dollar to more-affordable, this foodie would adore any one of these items this year for Christmas!

Happy Cooking!

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Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes recipes

Red Velvet Pancakes

This was a fast and furious weekend for us. I don’t know what happens in between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, but this past week has held three family birthdays not to mention bunches of other social events.

Stop the madness and give me Red Velvet Pancakes with a Cream Cheese Drizzle please.

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One of our local restaurants here serves a different pancake each week. I have wanted to try to recreate their version of Red Velvet Pancakes at home.  This weekend I managed to crank these out somewhere in between moving my daughter into her new place this along with church, and a grandbaby party at a gymnastics place AND Mr. Wonderful hauled all our Christmas stuff out of the attic as well.  It’s now half up, leaving a dozen or so Rubbermaid tubs lying in the entryway and hallway, some waiting to be emptied still.

We worked on the living room and kitchen area while watching Hallmark Christmas movies last night. Talk about losing track of time, or life in general for that matter. If I watch the first five minutes of one of those movies, I’m into it for life.  Mr. Wonderful stopped long enough to come into the kitchen to taste test the Red Velvet Pancakes and scarfed down four of them in five minutes, drizzling the cream cheese drizzle over them and rolling them up and eating them burrito style.

Speaking of Christmas, wouldn’t these pancakes just be SO beautiful to serve for your Christmas breakfast or brunch?  The color is just so …well, Christmas-ey!

Start out by mixing your dry ingredients together in a larg-sized mixing bowl.

Red Velvet Pancake dry ingredients

Add in 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons each of baking soda and baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk them together well.

Photo Dec 07, 2 07 36 AM

Now do the same exact thing with your wet ingredients.  Be careful not to melt your butter too hot or you’ll make scrambled eggs. In a medium-sized bowl pour 2 cups of buttermilk. It’ll make your pancakes nice and light and tender and moist. Add in two beaten eggs and 1/3 cup of melted butter.

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You can use vegetable oil but I kind of prefer real butter.  Add in a teaspoon of vanilla and mix everything up really well with the whisk.

red velvet pancakes wet ingredients

Now add in two, yes TWO tablespoons of red food coloring. It’s what makes the color beautiful.  Mix it all together again with the whisk.

Photo Dec 07, 2 10 38 AM

Then pour the wet mixture right into the large mixing bowl with all the dry ingredients.

red velvet pancake batter

Mix this up well just until the batter is really blended. The batter will be lumpy but don’t overmix it too much.

batter for red velvet pancakes

To make pancakes evenly sized, I use a ladle. My ladle holds about 1/2 cup. I fill it to the top and then pour six of them onto my griddle.

red velvet pancakes griddle

Wait until the pancakes start to bubble around the edges and just start to bubble on the top, then flip them over for another minute or so and then remove them to a platter or plate.

For the drizzle, beat the cream cheese and butter in a good sized mixing bowl if using a hand mixer or use a stand mixer. You’re going to add in four cups of powdered sugar when you get the cream cheese/butter mixture really nice and smooth and if you don’t use a large enough bowl, your kitchen is going to look like it’s snowed in it. Add in the powdered sugar slowly until it’s all smooth and creamy again, then add in your vanilla.  Turn your beater on and slowly begin to drizzle milk into the bowl until the consistency is like salad dressing. You want to be able to drizzle it over the pancakes. Don’t make it too thin though!

I have one of these bottles that I picked up for just a dollar or two and it comes in handy for all sorts of things. I spooned my drizzle into it and then put it out with the pancakes to serve.

Photo Dec 07, 2 55 57 AM

Drizzle some of this loveliness over these pancakes.

Photo Dec 07, 3 11 54 AM

These are moist and tender and wonderfully delicious.

Red Velvet Pancakes Recipe

They are a little bit of heaven you can serve up on Christmas!

Red Velvet Pancakes recipes

 

Red Velvet Pancakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
FOR THE PANCAKES
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. cocoa
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1½ t. baking powder
  • 1½ t. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T. red food coloring
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c. butter, melted
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE DRIZZLE
  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ½ c. powdered sugar
  • ½ cup milk, plus more if desired
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
Instructions
FOR THE PANCAKES
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl with whisk.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, add in all wet ingredients making sure the butter isn’t still hot enough to scramble the eggs and whisk well.
  3. Add Dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix just until blended, but don't overmix. Batter will be a little lumpy.
  4. Use a ladle to make even sized pancakes. Fill ladle to top and pour onto griddle heated to 350º.
  5. When pancakes begin to bubble around the edges and on top, flip over to the other side.
  6. TO MAKE DRIZZLE:
  7. Mix cream cheese and butter together with mixer until smooth and creamy.
  8. Add in Powdered Sugar and beat until smooth.
  9. Add in vanilla and beat until mixed well.
  10. Thin with milk until the consistency is thin enough to drizzle. It took almost the full ½ cup of milk for mine.
  11. Serve pancakes warm and drizzle over top. I use a plastic squeeze bottle but you coud also use a baggie with a tiny piece of the corner snipped off.

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Dark and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Bites

Peppermint bark bites

One day last year when we were snowed in, I scrounged around in my kitchen yesterday and created these Peppermint Bark Bites.  I also ate a bite or two.

Okay, I ate several whole pieces.

Don’t judge me, they were GOOD!

For this recipe, you’ll need one bag each of dark chocolate chips and one bag of white chocolate chips, some crushed candy canes or starlight peppermints and some mini-muffin cups.

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave for one minute.

While that’s microwaving, line a mini muffin tin with 18 liners.

Take the chocolate out and stir it for about 30 seconds.

If you still see lumps that haven’t melted, pop it back into the microwave for 30 seconds. Then remove it and stir it again. It took mine 90 seconds total but I have a pretty strong microwave.  If you do it too long, the chocolate may “sieze”  or get thick and clumpy.  If this happens, add a drizzle of water and stir it really well.

Take a spoon or a cookie dough scoop (this really works great!) and fill the muffin tins a little less than halfway full. . Every 4 cups you fill, gently shake the entire muffin tin and it will help level out the white chocolate to be smoother.  Be careful and try not to get any on the top half of the muffin cups.The neater you are, the prettier they will be.

If you do, take a clean teaspoon and gently push it off the sides and back into the white chocolate.

Yeah I know, that spoon doesn’t look clean, but you know that whole “Do as I say and not as I do thing?”.

Yeah, do THAT!

Learn from the Dishin lady’s mistakes okay?

Now sprinkle some of your crushed candy canes over top of this layer.

Now repeat the same process with the dark chocolate chips. Microwave, stir, microwave ever 30 seconds until it is nice and smooth.

Spoon some dark chocolate into each muffin tin right over the white chocolate and crushed candy canes but not quite right to the top.

Shake it and clean up the top of the dark chocolate as best as you can.

Remember these are homemade goodies so a little imperfection makes them look that way!

Sprinkle more crushed candy canes on the top of each muffin tin.

And let them cool for at least 15 minutes to a half hour. The refrigerator would spead up the process!

You can serve them in the muffin cups or peel them off and let the layers show.

I think they’re adorable for Christmas.

Or leave the wrappers on and package  them up for a cute gifting to someone special!

Either way, you won’t be able to resist popping one or two in your mouth before you decide!

Dark and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Bites
Author: 
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 oz) bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (12 oz) bag white chocoalte chips
  • 1 c. crushed peppermint candy
  • 18 mini-muffin cups
Instructions
  1. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave, beginning with one minute, then removing and stirring for 30 seconds.
  2. If not smooth, microwave in 30 second increments, stopping to stir to see if it's smooth.
  3. Using spoon or small cookie dough scoop (best), fill tins a little less than half full, being careful not to drip on top half of cup.
  4. Jiggle pan after each four filled to keep the chocolate level.
  5. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon or so of crushed candy canes over top of each.
  6. Repeat melting procedure with dark or semi-sweet chocolate, until smooth.
  7. Spoon just short of the top of each muffin liner. Sprinkle another ½ teaspooh over top of dark chocolate.
  8. Allow to cool 15- 30 minutes to set.
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Warm Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette

Warm mushroom salad with vinagrette

Warm mushroom salad with vinagrette

This salad was one I whipped up rather quickly the other day. While a poached egg on a salad might seem odd to you, the luscious yoke oozing down through the warm mushrooms and salad are fabulous when they mix with the garlicky vinaigrette!

Warm Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • INGREDIENTS for dressing:
  • ⅓ c. red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 T. dijon mustard
  • 2 T. honey
  • ½ - ⅔ c olive oil (I lean towards less)
  • 1 T. chopped basil (fresh)
  • 1 t. chopped fresh dill
  • ½ t. chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ c. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • (for Salad)
  • 2 c. fresh cress, spinach or any salad green you prefer
  • 1 package sliced portabello mushrooms (about 2 whole mushrooms, sliced)
  • 2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 T. parmesan cheese, shaved
  • 1 egg, poached
Instructions
For dressing - add first 7 ingredients to jar or bowl and shake or whisk.
  1. Add olive oil (slowly if whisking in bowl, all in and shake if using jar).
  2. If using sour cream or yogurt, add in and whisk or shake again.
  3. For salad - Put greens in large bowl or plate.
  4. Saute mushrooms in 1 T. of olive oil until browned.
  5. Scoop onto salad.
  6. Sprinkle tomatoes over top and shave cheese with potato peeler over top also.
  7. Drizzle dressing over all.
  8. In a small saucepan, bring water to bowl, then remove from heat.
  9. Crack egg into glass bowl. Slide it very gently into water. Use a spoon to gather frayed egg whites towards yolks. Let set about 3 minutes or until white looks firm and yellow is still soft.There will be feathered bits of egg in the water leftover.
  10. Remove with a slotted spoon carefully and place on top of salad.
  11. Can also just use a fried egg.

 

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Thanksgiving Delicious Ideas

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It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and we’re all probably thinking about what we’re going to make.

It is cool and raining here and no one wants to venture out the house.  How about where you live?

I listed some ideas below for you to make it easy!  It’s time to pick what you’re cooking and baking and get that grocery list going!  Be sure you’re buying your turkey (if frozen) now so you can get it thawing out for the dry brine on Monday or Tuesday (see how on the slideshow below!).  It was our BEST turkey every last year because we used this method!

I hope you all have a very blessed weekend and stay warm and dry! Remember, even if your burn your turkey, your  mashed potatoes are lumpy, or you decide to go to a restaurant, the important thing is to fill your soul and love those you share it with. Make sure you refresh internally by being grateful for all things, big and small that your life has experienced this year. Mix tradition with opening your heart to new ideas to stay fresh. Above all else…

Love.

Click on any picture below to take you to the recipe!

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French Roots: A Cookbook Review

French roots cookbook review
m4s0n501

French roots cookbook review

This charming cookbook filled with lovely life stories from Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle traces the couple’s history from France to California. If you love recipes with a story along the way, you’ll love this cookbook.

The love story narration from the authors makes you wish you were a bystander on the street corner in Berkeley where they first met, or as a line chef learning from the talented Jean-Pierre during his time at Chez Panisse as Executive Chef, or perhaps just a frequent guest at their home in Sonoma where they cook the classic dishes of Moulles’ native country.

There is even a section on the wines of Bordeaux, that is a special added bonus.

The book is also more than just recipes in that we are given instruction on cooking a duck from “beak to tail” and more. In fact, the entire first chapters give us a glimpse of the authors’ pantry and kitchen essentials, cooking techniques from sautéing to braising, and while that may be very interesting reading, then the real fun begins.

I must say, if you are a beginner cook, this book and its French techniques may overwhelm, for there are ambitious recipes like Duck Rillettes, Leg of Veal with Mushrooms, Lamb Cassoulet Southwest Style and an Onion Tart with Anchovies, Olives , and Thyme (all of which made me salivate but may not be for the non-foodie soul).

Also, many of the ingredients, like eel, lamb, duck, and monkfish are not so readily available at your local American neighborhood grocer.

If you are adventurous however and love French food and can seek out some truly scrumptious ingredients, you will be tempted by recipes like Duck Confit with Fried Potatoes which Jean-Pierre lets you know is their go-to dinner for guests as they keep 12 duck legs’ worth readily available in their refrigerator at all times.

Don’t you just love French hospitality?

french Roots makes one long for the history, the love of life,and a perfect companionship with someone who shares your love of cuisine, preparing it with zeal, sustainability and the love of fine wine and aperitif that Jean-Pierre and Denise Moulle have.

If you love the love story of food, you will want to pick up this book.

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A Snow Day and Upcoming Thanksgiving Festivities!

turkey

turkey

Today I am home because of snow.

You know, because any time there is a light dusting of snow, the entire world shuts down here in Oklahoma, where there are two snow plows I think, for the entire state.  I love that I get a day off like today, all cozied up sipping hot cider and catching up on past issues of Arrow and The Blacklist.

It has suddenly occurred to me that Thanksgiving is a week from Thursday. Holy SHMOKES people! How did that creep up so quickly?

Today my guest post featured on Oklahoma Women Bloggers site is all about giving you tips for hosting a big (or small)  Thanksgiving gathering and keeping your sanity.  I hope you’ll all head over there and read my hard learned insightful tips for having a great holiday!

Stay warm!

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Stuffin Muffins

Photo Nov 11, 4 48 23 AM - Copy

 

Photo Nov 11, 4 48 23 AM - Copy

I confess, when it comes to stuffing, I am definitely a pretty finicky customer.

I do not like most bread dressings, especially those with things like raisins or fruit in them and I don’t care for the sort-of sogginess of bread in stuffing.

I much prefer the more southern style of stuffing that is based around savory cornbread. Before I started making my own stuffing, I always preferred Pepperidge Farm or even Stove Top stuffing to any alternative as long as it was cornbread based.

Now, I have my favorite….a savory sausage and cornbread stuffing enhanced with a tiny bit of sweetness from roasted sweet potato chunks.

Stuffin Muffins Final

The other thing is that when I take a scoop of stuffing out of the pan, I like to get as much of the crispy baked top of the stuffing as I possibly can. If I could just use the large serving spoon and take just the top inch or so from across the pan, that would be fantastic, but then I’d have bad manners and no one else would get any.

Needless to say, this creates a dilemma for me.

However, I think I’ve solved my problem. These Stuffin Muffins are baked in individual muffin tins which causes all sides of the stuffing inside to get crisp and golden.

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If a sweet potato in stuffing freaks you out, just leave them out. You’ll love the sausage and sage cornbread-based dressing instead.

To make the stuffing you’ll need six cups of cubed cornbread. It’s really best if you make the cornbread yourself, which is why I shared this recipe with you a few days back (click here for my Southern Iron Skillet Cornbread recipe). If you just can’t fathom making the cornbread, you can buy the pre-packaged bags of cornbread stuffing (use six cups), but buy plain because we’re going to add the seasoning to this recipe and you don’t want it to be too seasoned. If you do make the cornbread, cube it up, lay it out on a cookie sheet or two and pop it into your oven and let it stay there for a day to dry out somewhat. It makes for better stuffing!

Now let’s get cooking shall we? First cut up 1 ½ cups of celery, onion and peeled sweet potato into small cubes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and add a pound of mild breakfast sausage, and add it and all three of the vegetables you just cut up into the skillet after the oil heats up over medium high heat.

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Stir this all around for about 10 minutes, or until the sausage is browned, and the vegetables have softened up but not browned. Add them into a large mixing bowl along with your cornbread cubes.

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Chop up about 8-12 sage leaves depending on how big they are.

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Mine were pretty big. You want about two tablespoons of chopped sage for this recipe. You can also add in any other herb you love. I also added 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary.

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Toss them into the stuffing mixture along with a teaspoon of salt.

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Now, melt one stick of butter or (½ cup) just until it’s all melted. Add in three beaten eggs and one cup of chicken stock.

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Whisk this all together and then pour it right over your stuffing mixture. Use a large spoon and gently fold the stuffing ingredients together trying to keep some of the cubes of cornbread intact while incorporating the wet ingredients into them.

Spray or grease 18 non-stick muffin tins. Now, take a large tablespoon and begin to fill the muffin tins.

IMG_6218

You want to mound the stuffing up like a muffin would look like after it has puffed up and baked. Take your spoon and turn it upside down and press gently on top of each of the stuffing muffins to mold them somewhat together.

Another genius idea would be to use a large ice cream scoop to scoop the stuffing mixture into the tins.

Pop the muffin tins into the oven for about 50-60 minutes or until the tops are browning nicely and getting nice and crisp, like what the top of a pan of stuffing would look like.

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Take a small rubber spatula or knife and run it around the edge of each Stuffin Muffin and let set for 5 or so minutes to cool a bit, then remove to a serving platter or plates. Serve with turkey gravy and have at em!

Photo Nov 11, 4 48 23 AM - Copy

Kids and adults alike will love getting their own Stuffin Muffin flecked with the colors of autumn this Thanksgiving! The crispiness on all sides will make them completely unaware that they are eating their vegetables!

Photo Nov 11, 4 49 00 AM

And that’s always a good thing!

Stuffin muffin collage

For LOADS more of my Thanksgiving cooking ideas, please click here!

Stuffin Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups day old cornbread cut into cubes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. mild breakfast sausage
  • 1½ c. celery chopped
  • 1½ c. chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ c. peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • ½ c. melted butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 T. Chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 t. salt
Instructions
  1. A day before, cut corn bread in cubes and lay out on pan to dry out. Or toast it in the oven on 350º for about 10-15 minutes before making cornbread.
  2. Preheat oven to 325º
  3. In large skillet, add olive oil and turn on medium high heat
  4. When oil has heated, add sausage, celery, onion, and sweet potato. Stir, breaking up sausage, and continue to cook about 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked, and vegetables have softened. Add into large bowl along with cornbread cubes
  5. Mix eggs, melted butter and chicken stock together and pour over top of cornbread and vegetables
  6. Chop sage an rosemary and add in with salt to the mixture
  7. Using a large spoon, fold the ingredients together gently so that some of the cubes stay intact.

 

Please visit these other delicious bloggers to see what they’re cooking up for Thanksgiving sides dishes this year for Food Network’s Fall Fest!

Feed Me Phoebe: Healthy Stuffed Mushrooms with Creamed Kale
The Heritage Cook: Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Candied Pecans (Gluten-Free)
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: 100 Healthy Holiday Side Dish Recipes
Devour: Winning Thanksgiving Side Dishes
The Lemon Bowl: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Chorizo and Farro
The Mom 100: Lentils and Carrots with Dried Apricots
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Maitake, Leek & Bacon Dressing
Weelicious: Vegan Whipped Coconut Sweet Potatoes
The Cultural Dish: Pumpkin Risotto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Sweet Potato Biscuits
Red or Green: Cheese Ball with Everything Spice
Daisy at Home: Roasted Cranberry Pear Sauce
Swing Eats: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Rosemary
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Baby Lima Beans Salad with Bell Pepper and Pomegranate
Dishing With Divya: Ash Gourd Raita
Domesticate Me: 12 Easy and Impressive Thanksgiving Sides
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples | #FallFest
FN Dish: Colorful Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides — Fall Fest

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Fall Fitness Discussion

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image

 

See those front two gals crossing the finish line in that above photo? That’s yours truly and my friend Joy running our first 5k marathon a few fall seasons back. No, we didn’t come in first by any means,but but we did finish it!

Today over at the Oklahoma Women’s Bloggers site, I share some tips for how to get active in fall fitness! Join us and let us know what you do to keep active in the fall!!!

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Southern Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread made in iron skillet

Cornbread made in iron skillet

Seriously, I don’t think you can get away with living in Oklahoma and profess to be a chef or home cook extraordinaire without having a good solid cornbread recipe under your belt.  It pairs beautifully with beans and ham and chili and for gosh sakes, you must have this in your culinary arsenal if you’re going to bake cornbread based stuffing/dressing which I’ll be showing you later this week.  Oh yes, and in the name of all that is good and holy, you really need to make it in an cast iron skillet to be truly authentic.  Although I  confess that I made cornbread for years in a regular ol’ 9 x 9 baking dish and it was just fine, but if you happen to have an iron skillet, it’s all the better!

If there was a fire and I had to take one pot or pan with me, it would be a toss up between this iron skillet my mother handed down to me a few years back and my 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven.  The firemen would probably have to come in and rescue me to force me to decide.

The crispiness imparted on cornbread from an iron skillet is truly unmatched by an ordinary baking dish.  But you can also skip the whole preheat the skillet thing and just make this recipe in a regular 9 x 9 pan.

To start, preheat your oven to 400º and spray or oil your iron skillet with some vegetable oil and pop it right into the oven.  I don’t like to spray my cast iron, because I think it sometimes leaves a somewhat “gummy” residue.  I use about a tablespoon of oil and rub it around with a brush or paper towel. If you want to super authentic, rub some bacon grease around in the pan for a truly but slightly less-healthy experience.

season iron skillet

Now you’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients, dry and wet.

cornbread ingredients

Then it’s as simple as mixing together the dry ingredients – yellow cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, a tiny bit of sugar and salt.  Savory southern cornbread really should be super sweet.

Cornbread dry ingredients

Take a whisk and mix it all up really well.

mix dry ingredients corn bread

Then do the same with your wet ingredients.  Melt one stick of butter or 8 tablespoons, better known as 1/2 cup.

melt butter microwave

Pour it all into a mixing bowl along with the buttermilk and eggs.  You can buy a small container of buttermilk, OR you can do it the cheaters way and mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar into one cup of milk.  I think the real thing is just better though.

IMG_6175

Mix this all together.

Mix wet ingredients cornbread

And then simply pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones.

pour wet into dry cornbread

Stir it all up.  It will be a bit lumpy and almost sponge like looking.

mix cornbread ingredients

By now your skillet should be smoking hot and for the LOVE OF PETE make sure you use a hot pad to get it out of the oven.  I have permanent scars from not doing this.  It’s not pretty I tell ya.

Cornbread batter

Spread it out and you’ll probably start to hear a sizzle as the batter hits the hot pan.  You can also give the pan a vigorous shake to level it out which is much quicker.

Pop it into the hot oven and in 20 minutes, the top should be browning and cracking a bit, and the edges should be browning up and crisping as well.

Cornbread made in iron skillet

Let it rest for just a few minutes, and then cut it up and serve it hot with butter and honey or, if you live in the southwest like I do, some hot sauce on the side.

cornbread with butter and honey

We love us some hot sauce here in the southwest. It’s on every table of every restaurant everywhere and you will pry it out of our cold dead fingers after the next Civil War, which will happen if you try to take it away from us.

Now you have a tried and true basic southern style cornbread recipe.  Add a little more sugar if you like it sweeter, or add some chopped jalapenos and some canned corn and shredded sharp cheddar cheese if you want it to be heartier.  Crumble it into some navy  beans and ham and you’ll be a bona fide southern cook.

And for gosh sakes, sprinkle on some hot sauce.

Southern Iron Skillet Cornbread
Author: 
Recipe type: bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T. vegetable or canola oil (or bacon grease)
  • 1½ c. cornmeal
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ c. or 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 c. buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Brush or wipe iron skillet or 9 x 9 pan with the oil
  3. If using iron skillet, place skillet in oven while you gather and mix the ingredients together (or about 10 minutes),
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together (first 6 ingredients after the oil) with a whisk well
  5. Melt butter for one minute in microwave in microwave safe dish and then stir, microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each time until melted
  6. Mix wet ingredients - melted butter, eggs and buttermilk together'
  7. Pour wet ingredients in with dry ones and mix with wooden spoon or spatula.
  8. Remove iron skillet from oven and pour batter in.
  9. Return to oven and check at 20 minutes.
  10. Edges should be browned and crisp and top should be browning and cracking.
  11. Serve warm with hot sauce, butter or honey.

 

 

 

 

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