MY Cornbread

I was watching the food network the day after Thanksgiving and every episode of everything was about leftovers and what to do with them. I, personally, just eat them. Whats wrong with eating dressing and mashed potatoes two, or even three, days in a row? It still tastes amazing (thanks mom).

Anyway, food network viewers were writing and videoing in asking for ideas about how to transform their thanksgiving leftovers into something unique and different. As you all may know by now, I am a carb fan. I am not afraid of carbs and no one should be, but what I saw Sunny Anderson do on the foodnetwork on Black Friday hurt even my carb-loving tummy. Deep fried stuffing balls with cranberry dipping sauce.

20121127-161045.jpg
(No this is not my picture, I would never make this)

So what she does is form the stuffing into balls, then coat them in more bread and then deep fry them. Too much, Sunny! Paula Deen could get away with that maybe, but not you!

A healthier idea that Bobby Flay had for using up leftovers was turkey chili. He even threw in some leftover steamed veggies and it seemed to come together pretty well. I don’t eat meat, so instead I make a pretty mean veggie crock pot chili.

20121127-161639.jpg

It has black beans, pinto beans, bell peppers, chipotles in adobo, onion, sweet potatoes, corn… And it only gets better with cornbread.

I have made gallons upon gallons of veggie chili in the past three years (since I owned a crock pot), and I have tried just as many corn bread recipes. This past summer I finally nailed down my own cornbread recipe. It is made for add ins; jalapenos, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, chives, fresh corn, even honey, whatever you want to add, it can take it!

If you hate shortening, you can try to replace it with something…? But I want to try to convince you to get over it, a little veggie shortening goes a long way in making fluffy, delicious cornbread.

Oh Dear Bakery Cornbread
1 cup flour
1 cup medium to coarse ground cornmeal
3 Tbsp sugar or honey
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (or milk alternative)
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup whatever add ins you want, I chose pepperjack cheese this time

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan.
This is one of those recipes where you just combine your dry ingredients then your wet ingredients…

20121127-162812.jpg

Then stir them all together until incorporated and add in whatever you like, dont worry about having a super smooth batter.

20121127-163005.jpg

Put the batter in your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

20121127-163217.jpg

20121127-163305.jpg

Dip it in something delicous, eat it by itself, just don’t give it to a kitten…

20121127-163631.jpg

Advertisements

Orange Cardamom Bundt

Today has been a food/laundry/organizing frenzy. And I’m not even the one making Thanksgiving dinner! So for those of you who are responsible for the big holiday feast – I commend you. I’ll be traveling home to Minnesota to be with family and eat all my mom’s wonderful food. I am in charge of making bread this year though, I’m pretty excited to share my challah with family.

I think I’ll bring some of today’s recipe home to share, along with other goodies. I got (and then adapted) the recipe from Ann Arbor Cooks. I recently started volunteering there and it has been a lot of fun. I get to learn from the professional chefs, do some dishes and then I get to taste all the food, plus once you volunteer for three classes you get to take a class for half price, it’s quite a deal. You can find info about volunteering on their website.

This recipe was a part of the “classic cakes” class I volunteered in. In class they used sour cream, but I never have that on hand, and I didn’t want to buy it because I would never use the left overs, so I used buttermilk and a little extra butter. Combinations of yogurt, buttermilk, butter and sour cream can frequently be used in baking to replace eachother. Check out this little cheat sheet, you can use a mixture of things you have on hand instead of taking a second trip to the grocery store.

Orange Cardamom Bundt
cake
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Zest from half an orange
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
Zest from other half of the orange
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon

glaze
Juice from 1 orange
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

For recipes with many components like this one, I always like to do a mise en place. A mise en place (literally: “putting in place”) is just a set up of all the ingredients you will need for a recipe, measured out and combined when necessary. I should always do a mise en place, but I don’t, and that’s how it goes.

So for this mise en place I:
Combined the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom
Combined and whisked the buttermilk and eggs
Combined the butter, sugars, zest and vanilla in the mixing bowl
And combined the filling ingredients

20121120-171237.jpg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees!
Then beat the butter, sugars, zest and vanilla on medium speed with a paddle attachment until fluffy.

20121120-171502.jpg

Now alternate adding in a little bit of buttermilk/egg mixture with a little bit of flour mixture until completely incorporated and smooth.

Spray your favorite bundt pan with cooking spray and put half the cake batter into the pan. Hit the pan on the table or floor a few times to get the batter into all the grooves and get out all the air bubbles. Then top it with the brown sugar filling.

20121120-171814.jpg

Add the rest of the batter on top of the filling and smooth it out (you can hit the pan on the floor more now if that was fun for you).

20121120-172002.jpg

Put it in the oven to bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

20121120-172205.jpg

Wait for the pan and the cake to completely cool before inverting. I cheated a little by putting the whole pan in the fridge for 30 minutes. During cooling time, make your glaze by whisking together the orange juice and powdered sugar.

Then invert the cake onto a plate and drip the glaze all down the sides. Yummm.

20121120-172534.jpg

20121120-172644.jpg

Lazy kitties love cardamom…

20121120-172838.jpg

Pumpkin Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones

I am totally pumpkining out right now. Official pumpkin baking season ends on Thanksgiving (although I’m sure you’ll see it from me afterward anyway) and I am so sad. So here I sit, at Sweetwaters with a soy pumpkin latte and one of my pumpkin scones with Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter on it (yes, I snuck my own treats into a coffee shop that sells treats, is it cocky of me to say mine are better?).

20121117-144450.jpg

Although I wish these scones were just a bit pumpkinier, they truly do have all of my favorite things in them: chocolate, candied ginger, pumpkin and lots of lovely fall spices. They have a lovely color and would make a perfect Thanksgiving or post-Thanksgiving breakfast.

But quickly, before I get to the recipe, lots of exciting news!
1) This week I supplied 16 loaves of challah to the Selma Cafe in Ann Arbor. The loaves were made into some absolutely delicious torrijas – a spanish version of french toast with spices and honey. The blog post can be found here.

2) I am in the planning stages of a few small catering events in early December and there is a possibility of a weekly Friday night market at the begining of next year! I’ll keep you posted.

3) My stamp came! Thanks to Hoot Owl Press for the beautiful custom stamp.

20121117-145844.jpg

I’ve had so much fun with it already. I obviously need to work on my stamping skills though…

20121117-145932.jpg

I’ll be using it on absolutely everything, and hopefully I’ll become a better stamper over time.
That’s all for news, now on to these little triangles of pumpkiny goodness…

Pumpkin Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones
makes 12 small or 8 large
2 3/4 cups AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/2 cups combination of chocolate chips and diced crystalized ginger, any ratio you please.
1/2 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs

Buttermilk, egg or butter for brushing
Turbinado or granulated sugar for topping

First combine all your dry ingredients and sift or “mock sift” them. Mock sifting is exactly what it sounds like, you don’t have to sift! Just whisk everything together instead to get out the bigger lumps and clumps.

20121117-150916.jpg

Now get everything else ready. Whisk together your pumpkin and eggs, cube the cold butter and chop up your ginger.

20121117-151101.jpg

Using your hands, squeeze the butter and flour together until it resembles semi-wet sand. Some larger chunks of butter are fine. Then stir in the chocolate and ginger.

20121117-151344.jpg

Now fold in the pumpkin and egg mixture until just combined and make the dough into a nice ball.

20121117-151538.jpg

Cut the ball in half and form the halves into disks about 3/4″ thick (if you want to make 8 larger scones, keep the dough as one ball and flatten to about 1″). Wrap them in plastic wrap and pop them in the refrigerator for an hour or two – just enough time for me to go to Zumba class ;).

20121117-151739.jpg

Now preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut each disk into 6 pieces and put on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Top each triangle with egg, buttermilk or butter, then sprinkle with sugar of your choice.

20121117-152008.jpg

Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Enjoy with a big mug of cider or coffee.

20121117-152213.jpg

The kitties really wanted to go to the grocery store with me today…

20121117-152317.jpg