‘Snack’

To save our kitchen from unecessary heat, we took advantage of our meat grilling to also grill some skillet cornbread.  My parents gave me some locally ground cornmeal a month or so ago and it was perfect for this!  Was resulted was a slightly smokey, spongy, and quite tastey cornbread.  The key?  Making sure the coals are around the edge of the grill.  This creates the convection needed for “slow cooking” (which is how we cooked our meats that day) which makes it cook like an oven.  Perfect for baking things.  [This recipe is for a charcoal grill.  If you have a gas grill, I imagine it will work the same, but check out the internets just in case.]

Grilled Cornbread | doomthings

Ingredients (adapted from Better Homes and Garden):

  • cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or bacon grease)

Directions:

  1. Set up the charcoal grill such that the ready coals are sitting around the edges of the grill (none are in the middle).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs well.
  4. Fold the eggs into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.  Do not overmix.
  5. Place a cast iron skillet in the middle of the grill, add the tablespoon of butter (or bacon grease, if desired) and let melt.
  6. Once the butter (grease) is melted, swirl it about the pan and pour in the batter.
  7. Close the lid and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick put in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Donna Hay is our favorite cookbook chef.  What originally attracted us to her work was the gorgeous full-page food pictures in her cookbooks.  After browsing through one such book in our local bookstore, we decided we wanted to eat them all, and now we have three of her books.  What we like (and sometimes don’t like) is that some of her ingredients are, what we consider, unconventional.  This is because she is Australian and we are not, so some of the ingredients are different or unexpected (to us).  One such ingredient is sour cream.  Now, we use sour cream all the time in savory dishes, but we hadn’t used them in anything sweet.  Her muffin recipe changed all that.  Delicious, moist, dense, springy and flavorful are only some of the words that describe these muffins.

Fruit & Chocolate Chip Muffins | doomthings

Ingredients (adapted from Donna Hay)

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups  sugar
  • 1 cup (240g) sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups fresh fruit (chopped if necessary) [I used raspberries for one batch, cherries for another batch]
  • handful chocolate chips as desired

Directions

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, sour cream, and oil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg until smooth.
  3. Stir egg into sour cream mixture.
  4. Stir in fruit and chocolate chips.
  5. Divide into greased or papered 12-muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Yes, this is an actual thing.  I’m down.  It means I can focus some of my food energies for good and less for evil.  Bake one thing a month to share recipes and compete for prizes?  I can handle that. 

The First Rule of Back Club | doomthings

This is a milkshake without added sugar.  Yeah, yeah, bananas are lots of sugar, but the key here is no added sugar.

Behold:

  1. Make one (or two) servings of banana chocolate ice cream with desired add-ins.
  2. Transfer to blender (or continue in food processor) and add small amounts of milk between blending.
  3. Continue until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Transfer to glass and put in fridge for 10 – 20 minutes.  The longer you leave it, the more it will have a milkshake consistency.
I feel like making chalk drawings on the sidewalk.  And like I'm 5.

I feel like making chalk drawings on the sidewalk. And like I’m 5.

Real ciabatta bread is delicious; and complicated to make (or so it seems).  This one seemed way easier.  And it was!  It was supposed to use semolina flour, which I didn’t have, so I used cornmeal instead.  It gives it a slightly different taste than true ciabatta bread, but still is pretty tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 heaping cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast.  Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Add flour, cornmeal, and salt to yeast mixture.  The dough will be gooey.
  3. Let rise 1 – 2 hours.
  4. Turn dough out onto a cornmeal-covered surface and cut into 12 pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into a ball, sprinkle with cornmeal, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Re-shape balls into rectangles and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Let sit 20 minutes.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, or until bottoms are slightly browned.

Not having any idea how these would go, I was pleasantly surprised by the good taste and moist texture.  Next time I’ll try it with semolina flour like I was supposed to.  I’m ready for sammiches!!