Tuesday, February 23, 2016

me and oprah's corn fritters

John and I have been married 19 years this May.  Wow.  I've heard myself say that out loud a couple of times in conversation over the last few weeks, and it sounds really strange.  But what is even more strange is seeing it in writing.  Nineteen years?  Where did they go?

Right before we married, I graduated college and worked part time in the business office of my university, waiting as patiently as possible for a job in the music industry - landing one was a dream of mine.  In the meantime, I was learning to become a wife, and for me, that meant learning to cook.  On my days off, I would do everything I could to make sure and catch Martha Stewart in the morning and Oprah in the afternoon, hoping for anything "domestic" to increase my spousal aptitude.  With pen and paper in hand, I would madly write down the ingredients to an intriguing dish and add it to my stash.  You can find one of my all-time Oprah favorites, here!

This past New Years Day, I pulled out that stash and reminisced.  As crazy as it sounds, there are some pieces of paper with recipes of which I can remember the exact moment I wrote them.  Nineteen years ago...


Six months after graduation I did finally land my dream job, so Martha and Oprah were no longer a daily habit.  I worried about falling by the wayside when it came to my growing ability in the kitchen, but little did I know my new boss was a domestic goddess and food queen.  I learned so much from her that I carry with me to this day.  But once in a while, as I did here, I pull out an Oprah just for old times' sake.  Oh, how I love memories.

These corn fritters are a great addition to many tables.  Served under tangy barbecue, in a bowl of soup, or alongside a stew, they are super-tender and savory.  We recently enjoyed them with this soup I posted not too long ago.  A wonderful blend of flavor and texture, go ahead and add this one to the menu pronto!

Oprah's Corn Fritters

  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet corn (I prefer frozen or fresh)
1.  Preheat griddle or cast iron skillet.  

2.  Mix first four ingredients until smooth.  Stir in corn.

3.  Using "fat" of choice, melt butter/bacon grease or heat oil to medium-high.  

4.  Drop 1/4 cups full onto hot surface and let sit until bubbles form and edges start to dry (similar to pancakes).  Flip and cook until set and cooked through.  

5.  Remove from heat and place in warm oven to keep until ready to serve.

6.  Serve with butter, but for a sweet touch, serve with honey or syrup.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

chocolate cobbler

What do you get when you cross my puppy with my camera's SD card?  Yep.  No more pictures.  It was totally my fault.  I even told myself when I laid it on my nightstand that it could happen, but optimistic me thought it would be OK for one night.  And it was... until I heard crunching the next morning.

Ugh.  So disappointing.

I had several pictures of new recipes I was looking forward to posting, and I had only moved over a couple to my Google Drive.  There's just nothing I can do, so I have to choose to let it go.

As a result, I'm without a camera card for another day or two and used my iPhone last night to snag a picture of this dessert.  It is one of my favorite go-to's, because, more times than not, I have the ingredients on hand.  They're basic staples in many of our pantries.

I ADORE this dish for multiple reasons.  I love that it's fail-proof.  I don't have to worry about over- or under-cooking it.  And I truly, truly enjoy the consistency.  When you scoop into it, you will find a rich, creamy chocolate sauce under a tender crust.  It is kind of like a light brownie and fudge topping all in one.  We had it last night with snow cream.  Vanilla Bean ice cream is perfect any other time snow is not readily available. ;)

Chocolate Cobbler

makes one 9x13 pan

For the cobbler
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 3/4 T cocoa
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the topping
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cups VERY HOT water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place butter in greased 9x13 dish and put in oven while heating until butter is melted.  

2. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla.  Batter will be very thick.

3. Once melted, remove pan with butter from oven and spoon mixture evenly in pan.

4. Mix together sugar and cocoa for topping.  Sprinkle evenly over batter.

5. Pour hot water over all and bake 30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

saturday morning special ~ egg-in-the-hole sandwich

The speed of life has definitely returned to normal, and there have been far too many days since my last post.  But I couldn't think of a better one for a Saturday morning return than this one!
I've mentioned before how we love our Saturday breakfasts.  They're not always big, but many times they're more special than the bag of cereal or occasional sausage and piece of cinnamon toast we take in the car during the week.  

This sandwich definitely qualifies as special.  The combination of smokey bacon, slightly sweet and seared potato bread, all laced in warm egg and melted cheese... Yes.  Special.  That's a good word for it.  It is very easy, and so, very filling.  A great way to kick-start a day, for sure.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and a little more time to enjoy my boys and good food.  I hope you have a wonderful Saturday and can find a moment to fire up the griddle for something - and someone - special, too!

Egg-in-the-Hole Sandwich

  • 2 pieces potato bread (like this one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 slices bacon (I prefer thick-sliced for this)
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp real butter
  • salt and pepper
1. While griddle is heating, cook bacon in pan until done, remove from pan and lay on paper towels to remove excess grease.

2. Transfer about 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease to griddle, add butter, and heat until butter melts.

3. While butter is melting, cut hole in bread using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.  Of course a fun shape, like a heart, would be cute, too!

4. When butter/grease mixture is heated, spread on griddle to cover enough surface for mixture to cover bread pieces when flipped.  

5. Place each piece of bread on the griddle, making sure the hole has adequate butter/grease in it to keep egg from sticking.  

6. Crack eggs carefully, one at a time, and pour in each hole of bread.  Cook until slightly set and flip over, taking care not to bust yolks.

7. Place bacon slices on one slice of flipped bread.  Layer with cheese and top with second piece of bread.  Season with salt and pepper.

8. Flip sandwich one more time to make sure not to overcook bottom egg.  A perfectly runny yolk is key, here. Season again.

9. Remove from griddle once cheese is melted.  Cut in half and serve immediately.

Idea from Bon Appetit!