Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bacon Cornbread

If your only experience with corn bread has been at an imitation "Country Cooking" restaurant (ie Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans), you probably haven't had corn bread at its best. I would never choose to eat corn bread at a restaurant, because it is either too dry and flavorless, or too sweet and gooey. This however, is the perfect combination of moist, dense, and slightly sweet goodness. Even better, it has an extra layer of flavor with the bacon.

This is a good side item, a nice breakfast bread, or you can make a (very traditional) meal out of it if you cover them with butter and white beans. The fiber in the beans cancels out the bacon and butter right?? :)


1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil (or comparable vegetable oil)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tbsp bacon grease
1/4 cup chopped bacon

1. Preheat oven to 350, and grease baking pans (I used three small loaf pans. You can also use a round cake pan or muffin tins)

2. Mix together dry ingredients. Add in milk, oil, egg and bacon ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

3. Fill cooking tins 2/3 cup full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Herbed Crust Pizza

Obviously over the last month I have been inactive in my blogeteering. Why? Because I have no time to be creative! 90% of the time I'm just trying to make sure I have some meal to put on the table, and the other ten percent of the time I've been making some sub-par, unoriginal baked goodness. Sigh! However, I'm trying to get back into the brainstorming mode for food, so that I can spice it up a bit at dinner.

This recipe is great if you're looking for something simple that will please anyone. Because who doesn't love pizza?? Feel free to switch up your herbs and toppings (of course). That's half of the fun of making a pizza, right?

Hopefully from now on I'll be able to get together some recipes with a bit more regularity. *crossing my fingers*


INGREDIENTS: (makes one 12" pizza)

For the crust:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of each: basil, oregano, and marjoram
1 egg white mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp corn meal

(As for the toppings, it's whatever your heart desires! I did 1/2 of the pizza with the good ole cheese and pepperoni for my husband, and the other 1/2 spinach and LOTS of fresh cracked pepper for me. I also (somewhat liberally) sprinkled sea salt on top, before baking, in addition to the minor salt in the crust.)

1. In a small bowl, mix together water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 3-4 minutes, or until a light foam appears on top.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and herbs.

3. Combine the yeast mixture with flour mixture, and add olive oil. Knead for 5-6 minutes, until everything is well incorporated. Place in covered bowl and let rise, until doubled in size.

4. Punch dough down and re-knead. Sprinkle the corn meal on the pizza stone, or cookie sheet if pizza stone is not available. Spread out the dough on the stone, until approximately 12 inches across. Add on toppings.

5. Brush egg white mixture on the outer edge to achieve a crunchy crust.

5. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until cheese has browned slightly.