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Archive for the ‘Things to Eat’ Category

We here in Austin have had an unusually cool and rainy summer thus far—and by cool, I mean we have yet to hit 100º (I really am sorry for you folks on the east coast). Today, however, it is finally starting to warm up to those sweltering temperatures that have me craving nothing but ice-cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sadly, such a diet is not feasible, so I made popsicles instead.

Making Popsicles

Making Popsicles

Popsicle!

Fruit and yogurt popsicles, in fact, slightly sweetened and the perfect size for an afternoon snack. The idea and recipe came from the current issue of Everyday Food and was a snap to make—the hardest part was finding the dang popsicle molds (thanks mom)! I already had the blueberries and strawberries on hand, but this would taste delicious with just about any fruit.

Popsicle Recipe

Popsicle in the Sun!

P.S. Speaking of summer, I have a new spiffy blog header. Check it out!

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I was struck by an overwhelming desire yesterday for cornbread. I was shopping for my Tuesday night LOST meal (yep, I plan a themed meal for my friends and I, ’cause I’m a nerd) and I was going to take the easy route and buy some fresh rolls to go with our whiskey BBQ grilled chicken—when suddenly I felt rolls would not suffice. What this meal needed was real, southern, homemade cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet.

The thing is—I didn’t have a cast iron skillet and I honestly didn’t have the money to spend on a new pan. So I did what any thrifty girl would do: I went to Goodwill.

Now, I’ve been looking for decent cast iron pans in thrift stores for a while but had yet to happen upon one. But the thrifting gods were smiling upon me that day, dear readers, because right there on the second shelf of cookware was a 10″ cast iron skillet, perfectly seasoned and in amazing condition. The lady who rang me up even remarked on the quality. “You never find them like this! And only $5? Wow, you got lucky!” Oh, I know.

Dear readers, allow me to introduce you to the perfect cornbread.

{April} Tuesday the 6th

Not too sweet, not too dry and crumbly but not too moist. The perfect cornbread. I passed a wedge around to everyone to try while we waited for the chicken to finish and we all fell in love. “Where is the rest of this? ‘Cause I’m gonna eat it all,” was my brother’s response. This was so delicious I had to make a second batch immediately that we ate with honey as desert. Those three slices above are all that is left of two batches of cornbread. It was that good.

So, make sure you have a cast iron pan ready ’cause here is the recipe:

The Best Freaking Cornbread I’ve Ever Made

(found via The Tasty Kitchen)

  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ¼ cups Butter, Melted
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to an 8-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven (I used a 10″ and while it wasn’t as thick, it was still perfect). The oil and the skillet will get hot and this is how the crust gets so wonderfully crunchy.

In a large mixing bowl, add the first five ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt), stirring until well combined. Add milk, butter and egg, stir until just combined. Carefully remove the skillet from oven and pour in the batter, spreading around evenly. Place the skillet back into the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cornbread is lightly browned on top and an inserted knife comes out clean. Serve with butter. Then make another batch and serve with honey.

Go make it! Your belly will thank me, your hips may not.

Enjoy!

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Cupcake Cafe Cookbook

January is typically the month when we forsake the rich, unhealthy, fabulous foods of the holidays and make an effort to eat healthier. However, as you well know, I am not typical. This is why, on a ridiculously cold morning, I busted out The Cupcake Cafe cookbook and made doughnuts. I know, it seems odd to find a recipe for doughnuts, muffins and scones in a cookbook from a cafe renowned for its cupcakes, but trust me, these are delicious and simple to make.

Mixing the Dough

Long Island Crullers

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs plus 1 extra yolk

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 ounces butter melted (1/4 cup)

1 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Add the vanilla, melted butter, and milk.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up and make handling easier.

When the dough is not too soft or sticky, it is ready to roll out on a floured board. Roll the dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thick and cut rings using a doughnut cutter or two biscuit cutters – first a larger one (about 3 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter), then, inside that, a smaller one (about 1 1/4 inches).

Circles Within Circles

Meanwhile you can be gradually heating up your shortening (roughly 3/4 pound solid vegetable shortening per quart fryer capacity) to about 365°F – not beyond! Fry four or five doughnuts at a time for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a long-handled slotted spoon or spatula and place on absorbent paper (such as paper towels) to drain. Continue until all the dough is fried.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar or cinnamon & sugar (but it isn’t really needed as they are perfect plain). Devour quickly.

{January} Thursday the 7th

Enjoy friends!

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Christmas Cranberries

Christmas Cranberries

Everyone has their own favorite baked good and sweets to make (and consume!) this time of year. Perhaps you adore gingerbread men or you can’t get enough the delicious, buttery Norwegian cookies from your childhood (Hi Mom!). For me, Christmas means white chocolate cranberries. Friends, you have not lived until you have sampled this delectable delight. Thankfully, it is a snap to whip up—requiring only two ingredients and leaving you only one bowl to clean up. Hurray!

Christmas Cranberries

What you need:

~Fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried.

~White chocolate.

Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl (microwave or double boiler, whichever suits your fancy). Drop a handful of cranberries in the chocolate, toss to coat and transfer to the baking sheet. Allow the chocolate to set or pop the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes if you are too impatient to wait (like me). Keep the cranberries in the fridge and be sure to grab a handful every time you open the door. When the bowl of cranberries is nearly empty, transfer to a tiki mug, which, contrary to popular belief, is very festive. Enjoy!

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