Friday, January 31, 2014

Cornbread Poundcake

Last summer, we renovated our kitchen.  I know you know this.  But you don't know about the cornbread my mom brought us one night from the Fresh Market while our kitchen was out of commission.

She brought us a whole dinner to go with the cornbread, but really all I remember is the cornbread.

It was memorable, to say the least.  Almost worth renovating an entire room of my house again, just so I might get another delivery of Fresh Market cornbread.

The packaging of this cornbread is totally deceiving, too, because it looks completely innocuous.  Like just a regular chunk of cornbread.

It's so not.

It's so amazing.

So, being that it's January and cold and snowing and I'm pregnant and inside with three (wild) children, I thought it would be a good time to try to knock off Fresh Market's cornbread.

I stirred together some dry ingredients (using my favorite coarse-ground yellow cornmeal from Weisenberger Mill, naturally) and then stirred in some wet ingredients...

and while my girls licked the spatula (we have no fear of raw eggs in this house), the cornbread baked.

And when it came out, I put butter and honey on top.  And called it lunch.

This recipe makes a LOT of cornbread.  Fortunately, I was taking my friend half of it with some vegetable soup, so it was perfect for two families.  But if I were just making it for my crew?  I'd definitely halve it.

Lastly, this recipe isn't quite as heavy and dense as Fresh Market's, but I've decided that's a good thing?  It feels a bit less heavy.

Oh! And one more thing.  The original recipe calls for whole milk, but I subbed half of the milk for buttermilk (it was in my fridge and I was afraid it would go bad before I used the whole thing), and it was great.  But all milk would be great too.  Whatever you have on hand.

Cornbread Poundcake
Adapted from Daily Dish Recipes

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (I like coarse ground if you can find it)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 T honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk (use all whole milk or a combo of whole milk/buttermilk)

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until just moistened (there may be a few lumps left).

Pour the batter into a well-greased 9x13 baking dish (it would be a good idea to use parchment paper in the bottom...I'll do that next time).  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, until just set (a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cheeseburger Pie

Hey.  Have you had this before?  It's certainly not my original recipe, but it is a good one.

My husband and I had this as an appetizer at a Christmas party.  I was all, "What is this stuff?  Where has this been all my life?"  It was during a reprieve from my nausea and I'm pretty sure I could have polished off at least half of the casserole dish.  By myself.  But I didn't, because that would have been embarrassing!

And I try not to embarrass myself more than necessary.

So I asked for the recipe and came home and made it.  It's a great appetizer.  It also makes a great dinner.  I probably don't even need to tell you that this was a huge hit with my husband and kids.

That's a no-brainer.

So it's just a layer of crescent rolls (don't you like where this is going), a layer of ground beef mixed with onion soup mix (I love that stuff), American cheese, pickles (hang with me here) and a top crust of crescent rolls.

Bake it and voila!  Cheeseburger pie. Portable.  Delicious.

And here's the kicker: it's generally called White Castle Casserole.  But I just can't do it.  I. Just Can't.  So I renamed it.  Some people apparently serve it with yellow mustard.  The mustard adds a nice tang but isn't required.  It's your call.

Aren't you glad to know that.

Cheeseburger Pie

2 8 oz. cans crescent roll sheets
1 1/3 lbs ground beef (I used 80/20)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
Dill pickle slices (enough to cover the surface of a 9x13 baking dish)
10-12 slices American cheese
Yellow mustard, for serving

Grease a 9x13 baking dish and fit one sheet (from one can) of crescent rolls in the bottom.

Meanwhile, brown the meat in a skillet and drain any excess fat.  Stir in the onion soup mix and combine well.  Sprinkle meat mixture on top of the crescent roll crust.

Evenly spread the pickles on top of the meat mixture.  Layer the cheese on top.  Use the second roll of crescent roll dough to form a crust on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until golden.  Serve with yellow mustard.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spaghetti Pie

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to post all the recipes my mama made for us growing up.

Actually, that's not true.  While I do plan to eventually post all of my mom's recipes, I don't do New Year's Resolutions.

And here's why: I don't do resolutions because they're annoying.  And everyone's sound the same: lose 10 pounds, eat healthier, work out 8 days/week, drink more water, don't sweat the small stuff, etc. etc. etc.

Resolutions are either too vague to be measurable or too unrealistic to be accomplished.

And yes, I was raised by a father that said if you can't measure it, you can't reach it.  A goal, that is.

So where was I?  Yes. Spaghetti pie. I love spaghetti pie.  And I don't think it probably fits your New Year's Resolutions.  But since I didn't make any resolutions, I'm going to have some spaghetti pie.

My mom did make this for us.  A lot.  We loved it.  We still do.  It's so good.  What's not to love?  New Year's or not.

You've probably had this in some version or another.  It's called "pie" because you make a "crust" with the spaghetti, eggs and parmesan cheese.

Then you spread on a layer of sour cream.

And then you top it with sauce.  You can do any kind of sauce you want.  Sometimes I make my own marinara; sometimes I add ground beef to it; sometimes I use a jar of Prego.  Whatever you want.

And then you want to top it with cheese, of course.  I think my mom always used mozzarella, which is great.  But I usually combine mozzarella with cheddar.  Something about the cheddar sets it off, I think.  But you could also use a 5-cheese Italian blend.  Or colby jack.  It doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot. As long as you use a lot of cheese.

So good luck with those resolutions.  And eat a few carbs while you're at it.

Spaghetti Pie

12 oz. (or so) angel hair pasta
2 eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups sour cream
Marinara sauce (one recipe of homemade; if using jarred, you'll need 2 jars); add 1 1/2 lbs ground beef cooked with an onion if desired
4 cups (about a pound) shredded cheese - I like a combo of mozzarella & sharp cheddar

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for the recommended time on the package.  Drain it and return it to the pot.  Scramble together the eggs with the parmesan cheese.  Dump it on top of the pasta and quickly stir it around with a fork, tongs or a pasta scoop to coat the noodles (but stir quickly so the eggs don't scramble!).  Spread the pasta "crust" in a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Spread the sour cream on top of the pasta.  Top with marinara sauce.  Top the whole thing with cheese and cover loosely with foil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered until the cheese is bubbly.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.