Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wind chill 9 degrees, hot dinner required

After an extended balmy fall, old Mother Nature did a switcharoo and opened the door to the cold north winds along with a couple of snow flurries. More is predicted this weekend but we hope the weatherman is wrong. While I hole up in the house with the fireplace going, Bruce still has to do his outdoor chores along with a few wrenches in the works, like a frozen fountain this morning in the cattle yard.

I know the easy way to thaw him out, with a pot of beef stew, easy, hearty and oh so satisfying! When Bruce was dishing his plate up he said, "You need to take a picture of this!" That was all I needed to hear.

'Beef, it's what for dinner!'

Did you notice my new pan? Yes, it is the square deep Red Copper pan that is all over the infomercials on TV. I took a long time to finally order one, in fact I waited until Cyber Monday to get a discount and I truly love it! I've used it nearly every day since it came and it's winner and believe me, I'm not getting paid to say this. I've always loved all my cast iron but they are heavy, this one is so light and cleans up like a breeze.

What goes better with beef stew than cornbread? But this is no ordinary cornbread but a Thanksgiving Sweet Skillet Cornbread, compliments of Heather (Waugh) Bircher. She has a special recipe in each of her hubby, Aaron's, newsletters and I saved this one and decided today was the day, and was not disappointed. Baked in a cast iron skillet, served warm with butter and honey, it was more dessert than bread.

But Bruce is a tough sell, as I was 'm-m-m-ming' my way through my slice, I noticed he did not say much so I asked him what he thought. "It is alright." That means he would rather have the 39 cent Jiffy mix or 89 cent Betty Crocker mix from the store, a travesty!

For your own comparison, here is the recipe:

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large (French Farm) eggs
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream

1. Whisk the cornmeal, sugar, baking power, baking soda, flour and salt in a medium bowl. (plan ahead so you don't have to use yet another, bigger bowl, like I did.)
2. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Whisk eggs and honey in a bowl, and then mix in milk, sour cream and browned butter. Add to flour mixture and stir until batter is combined.
4. Melt the remaining butter over medium heat until it foams. Add to the batter. (I used my 10 inch cast iron skillet to melt the butter and then baked the cornbread in it.)
5. Spread batter in medium pan and bake at 400 degrees until the cornbread springs back when pressed, about 20 - 30 minutes. (20 was perfect for me. I learned the hard way you do not want to overbake cornbread or it is dry and unpalatable.)
6. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. (Ignore #6 and eat it hot with butter and honey.)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and I think Bruce is going to have to get used to it.

I hope you are have your tummy full of warm, satisfying food.


  1. your stew looks yummy.....and I have always wanted to try cornbread from scratch, I too am a fun of Jiffy mix. But this recipe does sound pretty easy. Stay warm my friend. Love ya.

  2. Humm, is this what you're serving at our next "Hallmark Movie Showing" afternoon?

  3. Totally trying the cornbread recipe! I'm so hungry for that! Growing up, we had cornbread (it seemed) every week as it was one of Chris' favorites and she made supper a couple days a week when mom was working. My kids aren't big fans, what a pity, 'cause it's what's for supper!I love your blog, Julie! Hope you are feeling well, you are always in our prayers!

  4. Seems I wait for a couple weeks then read all through your blog and get caught up again! To be fair, I don't think Bruce or I were very big cornbread fans growing up as mom seldom made it as we usually head her homemade white bread. Or buns. (Mm boy I miss those the most....) As for that copper pan I too have been oohing and aching over them and thinking can they really be that great? But maybe I'll have to see if I can find something on sale after Christmas. I am intrigued ---they say you can fry an egg and not use anything to do that--no butter, no oil, no nothing! Do you agree???