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Back of the Box Recipe: Cornbread

Photo1252I had grand plans Sunday for some recipes but the computer was cleaned and cleaned of my blog cookies so only pieces of the website are showing up, making posting impossible. But I’ve managed to figure out some cookies so that I can post again.

Reviewing the ingredients for Cornbread, reminded me I needed to mix up a batch of baking powder (1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tarter, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch [for stability, eliminate if you are only making enough to use immediately].

CORNBREAD (adapted from Aunt Jemina Corn Meal recipe)

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten

1 cup corn kernels, canned is easiest but yes, you can use frozen or fresh (THIS IS MY ONLY ADDITION TO THE RECIPE)

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease 8 or 9-inch pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Photo1249

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Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If you find the mixture too wet, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour until it’s a bit thicker). I used the same pan I use for cream corn souffle and it puffs up like a popover in this picture below, huh?

I didn’t have any canned corn to use and as I often use frozen corn, I adjust the temperature and cooking time. Lowering the temperature to 375 degrees for UP TO 1 HOUR, it cooks to this:

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I haven’t frozen this recipe but I’m sure you could with varying results on when you use it. I’d say freeze and eat within a month. Um..better yet, make this recipe as muffins and that’ll do the trick.

You can also add herbs and spices to make it more savory even spice it up using yummy items like black beans, onions and Jalepeños! What’s your take on what to include in your cornbread?

Check out these fabulous link parties for delicious entrees and desserts to go with!

Back of the Bag Recipe: Banana Bread

Do you ever notice on the back of packaging there are “suggested” ways to use the product? Every so often you get a real winner, while others you wonder why they bothered because they were so bad.

I was wondering what I could make that would be sweet, easy to make, and quick to bake. I was wanting muffins and my eyes lighted on the banana nut bread recipe on the back of the flour bag. Why not? A new recipe is always welcome, right?

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Banana Nut Bread (from ConAgra Mills, Bakers & Chefs division “enriched &  bleached All-Purpose H&R Flour)

1 3/4 Cups flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Cup sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oil

3 Tbsp. milk

1 Cup (2 large) mashed bananas

1/2 Cup chopped nuts

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar. Blend in eggs, oil, and milk. Stir in banana and nuts. Pour batter into greased 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 1/2 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

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While I had 2 bananas on their way out I didn’t have any nuts except slivered almonds, which is what I used as a garnishment only on top. It didn’t taste too bad, it was still moist despite leaving it in the oven too long because I forgot to set the timer.

Cream Corn Soufflé

It is the accompaniment for Hubby’s birthday dinner and although the original recipe uses 1 can of creamed corn, you would quickly find out you’d wished you had QUADRUPLED the recipe. This delicious dish is actually called a corn pudding on the old recipe I have, but it really cooks as a soufflé: don’t peak!

Stokely Van Camp’s Cream Style Golden Corn…Real Corn Pudding

I’ve doubled the original recipe for you because it makes a great 1 cup serving. Makes about 6 servings in my house but the recipe says it serves 8-10!

  • 2 cans Stokely’s Finest Golden Cream Style Corn (any cream style corn will do)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, MELTED
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 large eggs, SEPARATED
  1. Boil Corn and milk together for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the corn burn on the bottom (it is the one thing that happens most often to me!) Photo1080 (2)Photo1083
  2. Stir in butter or margarine, sugar, salt, pepper, and beaten egg YOLKS. Photo1082
  3. Beat egg WHITES (but not too stiff) and fold into Corn mixture. (I once beat them to meringue stiff and they baked right out of the baking dish which then fell as it cooled!) Photo1086Photo1085
  4. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole.Photo1087

Bake uncovered in a moderate oven (375 or 400 degrees F – winter/snowy areas use higher temp, summer use the 375 at highest) for 35 minutes. There will be a nice golden browning and the serving “stiff, but juicy to the touch” when you cut into it.If you notice it is still liquidy, cook longer even to 1 hour. This is one of those dishes that you MUST let sit or it will “run”. (Do NOT PEAK WHILE IT IS BAKING, or it FALLS!!)

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http://asouthernfairytale.com/

Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 5 & 6 with Farm Fresh Eggs: End of the Road

English: Three chicken eggs of contrasting col...

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Um…I’d post new pics but I did them the same way I did previously. I wanted to make an omelet but I’m not a fan of the items I have in my fridge that would be its ingredients. I’m just not a fan of bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms!!

Let me change course and ramble a bit of the thoughts I’ve been having…and anxieties.

First, I thank this contest for bringing to focus an issue I didn’t know was possible to resolve for me personally. As we drew to a close on Week 1 – Farm Fresh Eggs I realized  I didn’t want to use store bought eggs because of the known gas and digestive problems it would give me in just one serving of an egg! And I mean, real sweaty palms anxiety. For as long as I can remember eggs on their own have made me sick to my stomach unless they were cooked in a dish. I have found now that the farm eggs I got from Doris are so unlike ANY egg I’ve eaten in, well, DECADES…that I don’t care to continue on with the contest because I don’t want to egg store bought eggs on their own for breakfast. Yes, I will provide a link for the ladies at Realfoodfreaks to see what has happened to me and why I must withdraw.

I’ve got some obstacles to overcome, 1) my husband, 2) the distance vs. quantity of eggs and 3) price of eggs.

I want to continue buying eggs from Doris. My husband disagrees with me on continuing to buy my Doris $1.50/doz eggs. His reasons are that at that price they are still expensive (it seems he’s out of touch with egg prices), but the distance of 25 minutes to obtain them makes them more expensive than store eggs. And as Glenrock, Wyoming, is concerned, it is such a small town that the only reasons I go are to pass on to Douglas, WY (or beyond), the doctor, the park, or dinosaur museum. If I coordinate my trips for eggs with another activity in the area and arrange for at least 6 dozen eggs that should outstrip the mileage costs, don’t you think? Doris only has 30 chickens…haha.

I agree that it makes them about as expensive, but with the in town local egg farmer (the one I mentioned in a previous post selling for $3.49/doz) becoming a larger and larger outfit intent on egg farming which may already be in a place where the eggs will cause me digestive issues. At $3.49/doz I don’t think I’m going to try out their eggs anytime soon unfortunately. My options are limited right now and having my own layers isn’t one.

I am also looking at food differently because I’m staying at home as a homemaker; I need to make food from scratch as store bought/prepared foods are getting expensive to mix with real fruits and veggies. By making from scratch I save “per unit” by buying basic ingredients at bulk rates. That allows me to purchase those expensive fresh fruits and veggies.

Another good reason is that when I had gestational diabetes with my second child (Baby) I learned a lot about how food is broken down by the body. I metabolize food differently than I did before I had my first pregnancy…and I’m at risk by family history too for Type 2 diabetes. I don’t want to be diabetic because for me that means that I’ve continued to live an unhealthy lifestyle (overweight and sedentary). I want to eat with an approach that is more “diabetic” which includes eating eggs for breakfast for the protein and nutrients, fresh fish (my husband fishing and fishing is allowed year-round) when possible, and dishes like Minestrone. Including farm fresh eggs alone and in dishes will make my food healthier at the very least and at the most, be a preventive factor in avoiding Type 2 diabetes.

What choices have you made when presented with costs vs. quality?

Saved: Red Velvet Massacre

Yesterday, I made The Pioneer Woman’s red velvet cake as cupcakes and my baking powder was flat – so were my cupcakes! It wasn’t her recipe, it was my ingredients but I needed an alternative for Big Boy’s cupcakes FAST. I searched for a recipe without baking powder to save me a trip to the store if possible today until later. Wow – now I understand the importance of “tags” in a post!!!!

Honestly? I could cry. I am hopelessly depressed when a recipe goes wrong. Do you feel the same way too? I was so depressed I let my son tear the things (which tasted horrible, by the way) out of the muffin pan and let the dog “clean” them up.

I came across White Whimsy who posted the recipe she uses for Red Velvet Cupcakes: (here is the recipe copied from her blog), if you try them please go to her page, leave a comment [I suggest, ‘thank you’], and follow her.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. red food coloring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 24 muffin tin cups or fit the cups with paper liners. (Wyomingstorygirl says: grease the paper liners because I hate cupcakes/muffins that stick!)

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In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs.  In a small bowl, make a paste of cocoa powder and food coloring; blend into creamed mixture.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Beat in buttermilk, vanilla and water. (Wyomingstorygirl says I didn’t have buttermilk so I put 1 Tablespoon into just under 1 cup of milk – sours it perfectly if you let it sit for a few minutes. Also, I didn’t have apple cider vinegar, so I used regular vinegar) In a small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda; fold vinegar mixture into cake batter just until blended. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin cups.

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Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the pans cool on  a rack for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from pans to cool completely.

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Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.  Beat together frosting (recipe follows) until smooth and creamy.  Spread frosting on cupcakes.  Serve promptly or refrigerate.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

I’ll have to update with frosting after they’ve cooled. I’m going to keep it simple with a toothpick decoration of a tiny heart and white frosting not quite as fancy as White Whimsy’s. I’m typing one handed so that I can enjoy a cool, unfrosted one right now.

 Smile YUM…because really I want to be that mom that everyone asks “what did she bring?” in anticipation…not fear!

I'm #356

Hop #49 and I’m #177
fingerprints on the fridgeI’m #437!

Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 4 with Farm Fresh Eggs: Hard Boiled

Hmmm…well, you saw how bad dirty my kitchen was this morning. I did figure out that the bottom part of the double boiler pan from yesterday was not dirty, and used that to boil eggs. Hard boiled eggs are a problem for me: Photo1015I never know if I’d gotten them DONE until they crack!

Anyway, here’s the egg:

I found that there was more of the white sticking to the shell than I’m used to. I tried to peel it away, but there wasn’t a thin membrane? between the shell and the white like I’m used to in store bought eggs.

Seriously, the TMI part here is that these farm fresh eggs haven’t given me gas of the magnitude of an erupting volcano. It’s not a problem when I cook them into foods, but I have the same problem with dairy/ice cream too. With store bought eggs, by a 4th day I’d have a gas mask on and my husband would have started divorce proceedings! It’s that awful. Okay, end of TMI….I would love to find out if raw milk has the same results as basically, eliminating sensitivity or lactose intolerance.

Has anyone had that experience? If so, please tell me about it.

An Oldie But Goodie Cookie: Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

IMAG0360One of my all-time favorite, reliable sugar cookie recipes is from Betty Crocker. (See photo on your right to try the recipe!) It’s the go-to sugar cookie my Mother used when I was a child to make rolled out sugar cookies. It’s the recipe I made for Big Boy’s preschool class Valentine’s Day party. I decorated them like flowers since I couldn’t find a heart cookie cutter.

This recipe is older than I am, hence the modifications to the recipe in my Mom’s handwriting! I like to work with room temp butter and lard (formerly I used shortening for a balance of crispy and soft cookie. I use Watkins’s vanilla flavoring and put the salt and baking powder in before the flour. At sea level I didn’t have to adjust the amount of flour I used by about 1/2 cup more plus the flour used when rolling it out, but I have had a lot of mixed results at high altitude with spreading (the butter/lard mixture) even when I’ve chilled the dough. It doesn’t end up tasting too floury for me. They are good plain or decorated!

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Making cookies was a special activity my Mom shared with me, and we baked cookies at least once a week. I have tons of wonderful memories of us baking and using this recipe. She grouped similar or holiday cutters she put in colorful bags we’d get at Hallmark when we bought stationary items. Orange for Halloween and Thanksgiving, Red for Christmas, Pink for Valentine’s Day, Green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. After Thanksgiving passed, we’d begin baking, almost spending 2 weeks straight making batch after batch of cookies for Christmas plates we’d give to neighbors, friends and family. Some of our cookie cutters were handmade and were from the 1920s, there is even one she made in shop class in high school! Baking was a special thing for us and I miss that with her. Baking and cooking is an activity I love sharing with my Big Boy and Baby. I hope my children remember our baking times as fondly as I do with my own Mom.

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Do you have special memories with a loved one baking or cooking?

Do you have a favorite recipe used in that special time together?

Here are some more of the decorated ones …

Flower power!

using homemade frosting for "sandwiches"

I’m linking to some great Valentine’s treats & ideas this week! Seriously, wow – how may Red Velvet recipes are there? All yummy!

I’m #30
I’m #359!
In Hop 49 I’m #118
fingerprints on the fridgeI’m #438!

Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 3 with Farm Fresh Eggs: Poached

I knew yesterday how I wanted to cook my eggs today! POACHED. This series reminds me of the scene in Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts character Maggie tries to find out how she likes her eggs. Trying out each until she found the one she liked best.

It’s my favorite way to have eggs ad I haven’t had poached eggs (made in a double boiler type) in years because most cooks poach them directly in water and I don’t like watery poached eggs. My Big Boy decided my method to my madness was so interesting he wanted an egg too.

I was kinda hungry but looking more forward to poaching, I guess. I filled one of my double boiler pans with water, placed the poaching mini pans plate on, and put in one of the mini pans. Well, I put in one because I could only find one. My kids love these mini pans and I’m always trying to locate them.

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Being high altitude it takes longer to boil water. At approximate height comparable to Denver it seems to take FOREVER. But it eventually does…so I slid in my egg.

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and waited…

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and waited…

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*sigh*

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So I put a lid on it. I should have before but I wanted to watch (the kid in me). That did the trick to get the rest of it cooked. Then I began to worry about whether the yolk was cooked too. So I let it bubble some more.

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Finally I poked it with a fork and it kept the fork. haha. Like good chili. So I flipped it out, or tried to, shoulda coated it with something beforehand. It turned out alright looking.

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It was pretty good tasting but I needed to cook it longer to make the yolk cooked perfectly to my taste. I think the lid would have come in to play more here…another day, another egg.

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Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 2 with Farm Fresh Eggs: Scrambled

I wasn’t very hungry this morning. Last night for dinner I made elk, baked potatoes and corn so it’s still processing. We also had  a homemade ice cream and a dessert recipe out of the first cookbook by The Pioneer Woman’s (Ree Drummond) for Oatmeal Crispies (check out my Reading Challenge post to find out what I’m reading!).

I pulled the carton of eggs out wondering what kind to make, finally deciding on scrambled when Big Boy said he wasn’t interested in any. My husband had already made his oatmeal and I was trying to stay out of his way in our small galley kitchen.

Once I was alone, I made this…

Scrambling eggs

and ended with a final product, garnishing with Tabasco and an orange sliver.

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It took longer to cook than usual which I attributed to the juicier content of the whites. I like my eggs scrambled really dry but I was too impatient to wake any longer… Once again, tasty and delicious! My husband liked the looks of my eggs so much he took a bite forgetting I like my scrambled eggs a bit spicy.

I was surprised at how “juicy” the whites are in the fresh eggs from the farm. I wonder how long it takes before they become less juicy?

Also, a reader commented that I should make boiled eggs to appreciate the differences of store bought and fresh farm eggs – I did right after this for a potato salad! I didn’t take a photo but yes, the hard yolk is very yellow. Much more yellow than my pale yellow store bought egg I boiled alongside for comparison. I thought that was interesting…I plan on making a poached egg for Saturday morning breakfast.

I have some digestive issues normally associated with even one serving of dairy or eggs…gas. *TMI ALERT* Nose hair curling gas. Yup. Oddly, I’ve found NO DIGESTIVE ISSUES with these fresh farm eggs. I’m very excited in this discovery. If farm fresh is all that resolves my flipping issues with gas after eating eggs then Doris is going to have one heck of a customer in me!

Is it true, fresh eggs/raw milk resolve digestive issues with eggs/dairy?

Egg-cellence Challenge & Essay Contest – Day 1 with Farm Fresh Eggs: Fried Eggs

Our first morning eating farm fresh eggs started a little late, 8:00 a.m., and we were hungry! My husband (the Daddy!) normally eats oatmeal with some granola (or whatever crunchy cereal we have on hand) on top so he passed on a plate.

From what  my husband says, former farm boy that he is, “fresh eggs like this….

 Farm Fresh Eggs!

….are richer and more nutritious.”

Well, he should have experience growing up on a dairy farm in a little town in Minnesota! His parents bought a 75 year old or so piece of property to dairy farm in the late 70s. Since then they run dairy cows, chickens, geese, ducks, and 4H animals like goats. To his baby sister’s dismay that never included horses.

I was nervous and a little anxious, I’m not sure why I was, but it was about cracking this first egg open! Dozens (pun intended) of questions ran through my mind…What would it be like? Would the yolk be bright yellow or pale yellow? Would there be more white than yolk? Would I get food poisoning?Photo969

Finally, I grabbed one of the loaves of homemade bread. I tried a new recipe out and wanted to slice a piece to use it for “Egg in the Basket.” My bread hasn’t gotten a “big rise” yet so it wouldn’t properly accommodate the way I wanted to use it. I set it aside to toast.

I pull the first egg out, looking at it, of course my husband says,

Photo979“I bet you can’t crack an egg open with one hand.”

A little snarky in the morning, isn’t he?

I got my pan nice and hot so it would cook quickly. Curious I sniffed to see if the egg smelled any different than my store bought eggs. A slightly different smell, not one I could readily identify but not unpleasant. I was glad to see the color of yolk wasn’t pale, but not a funny looking orange. I was pleased that the egg looked identical to the store bought egg.

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Big Boy was right beside me holding the spatula waiting to turn it! I handed the the pepper for him to season although sometimes he has a heavy hand. For a 3.5 year old he does a really good job but I don’t take a chance with the salt! It wasn’t cooking differently, but I’m not sure what I expected, say, mutant eggs?

FLIP!

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Not much left to do but put it on a plate, right? Before Big Boy gobbled it all up, I tried a bite..the yolk was “fuller, more enhanced tasting” and yes, richer, and the white was juicier than my store bought eggs are normally. Very tasty. I felt the early rumblings of hunger just as I was taking Big Boy to preschool at noon. I will also add that eggs I eat in restaurants are different tasting than both these farm fresh eggs and my store bought eggs.

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Although I’m excited for an excuse to buy farm eggs, I can’t wait to use them in other dishes. Although I appreciate a good contest it isn’t so much as to win eggs or a nod to how well I write an essay but I think the gals at RealFoodFreaks intent is for me to really “win” for my family – adding an ingredient fresh from a producer will provide us with a diet in fresh, real, identifiable ingredients. I thank them for adding to the spark that several others have contributed to over the last few months before I started this journey.

Yes, healthy eating is so much more important to me. Isn’t a healthy family that knows where their food comes from really “winning”?

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