Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First attempt

I made two loaves of Grandma Green's bread this afternoon. I have always, for some strange reason, feared baking bread. It has loomed over me as this unattainable goal, only to be achieved by truly accomplished cooks.
Not so.
I have proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that even us amateur cooks can bake the perfect loaf of bread. I didn't start the dough till after we came home from picking Lillie up at school. And we were snacking on it for supper by 5:30.
It was a breeze.
 I started the dough rising and went to begin (admittedly late) the day's school work with Ian.
While he was coloring the letter of the week, I punched it down to rise again.
While he was making a vine out of a craft stick, construction paper and twine, I put it in the pans.
While he was coloring the illustration of the nursery rhyme for the week, I put it in the oven.
By the time school was finished, I was pulling out two golden brown, crispy, fragrant loaves.
My house smells amazing. Just the way Grandma's house smelled every time we would come over for family gatherings.
I made a half recipe, using only 3 cups water, 4 cups flour, half the oil, salt and sugar and 2 packages yeast. Next time, I might add more sugar back, since they are not very sweet at all. But Grandma was right. You can't ruin bread. All I had to do was add some butter and honey, and viola! Yummy city.
( I will post a picture here as soon as I can. Hold tight)
The 3 kiddos and I ate almost a whole loaf ourselves.
The result of this all being that, in good conscience, I feel that I have to start making my own bread. This recipe is too easy and too healthy to not at least try.
It is also very cost effective. I figured it up. It's about a $1.25 a loaf.
That's correct. You heard me right. A dollar and twenty-five cent a loaf! At the rate we go thru bread, I could save a small fortune. I also thinking about doing some variations. Grandma suggested cinnamon/sugar bread, adding herbs, or possibly maple flavoring or raisins. I am going to mess around and see what works. I'll let you know how it comes out!

Buttermilk Cornbread

This is my cornbread recipe. It is a huge favorite for my family. Quick and easy, you can pop this baby in the oven in about 10 min. Now, this is not original to me. I tore this out of a Martha Stewart magazine a while back. I have altered it a little bit in the cooking process to suit me, but the ingredients are all hers. Way to go Martha!

Buttermilk Cornbread
Serves 8
Prep time:10    Total time: 45 min
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for baking pan
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup AP flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Prehead oven to 400. I cook my cornbread in a cast iron skillet and I go ahead and put it in the oven so it is nice and hot when I put my batter in.
In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter and eggs (mixture might appear curdled). Add to flour mixture all at once and stir just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX!
At this point, your oven should be preheated. Open the oven and drop a few tablespoons of butter into the skillet. Watch very carefully so it doesn't burn and as soon as it is melted, pull it out of the oven and pour in your batter. You should hear the batter sizzling as it hits that butter in your skillet. It makes this wonderful crispy, buttery crust on the bottom of the cornbread. Smooth the top with a spatula and cook.
Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick instered in center comes out clean. Pop out of skillet and let cook on a wire rack about 10 -15 minutes before serving.
Serve with butter, honey, molasses or sorgum. Delicious!
Store in an airtight container on the counter.
This was a while back (as Ian is still a baby in this photo) but look at the height on that slice! I could barely fit it in my mouth.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weekly Menu Sept 16-22


B- Whole wheat Pancakes (double recipe and freeze some for later in week)

Sn- homemade popcorn

L- p.b. and honey sandwich
    carrot sticks
    red grapes
    cheese stick

Su- Chicken pot pie
      fruit medley


B- Banana bread muffins

Sn- Apple slices w/ p.b.

L- same as Monday

Su- leftovers


B- Banana bread muffins

Sn- sliced bananas w/ cinnamon

L- pancake sandwich w/cream chz filling
     apple sauce cup

Su- stir fry veggies with rice


B- toast fried in cast iron skillet topped with honey or molasses
     scrambled eggs

Sn- carrots and grahm crackers

L- Banana muffin
     carrot sticks
     hard boiled egg
     black grapes

Su- leftovers


B- pancakes

Sn- cucumber and cheese slices

L- p.b. and jelly sandwich
    cheese stick
    cucumber slices

Su- Baked potatoes
     green beans


B- homemade cinnamon rolls

Sn- ?

L- refridgerator cleanout

Su- Easy Lasagna
      Mashed potatoes
      green beans


B- pancakes

L- at church

Sn- fruit with crackers

Su- Spinach chicken quiche

This is not my best week by far, but at least it's planned out so I don't have to think about it. That/s half the battle to not spend money on eating out and junk food.

A slice of the past

My Grandmother is a wonderful cook. She grew up during the Great Depression and she can make food out of nothing...literally. One of the things she makes best is whole wheat bread from scratch. I called her today and had her give me her recipe. This is how she gave it to me.


Take 6 Cups warm water. Not hot, just baby bathtub warm. Add 2 or 3 packages of yeast. I use Hodgsons Mill yeast. You can get it for 33cents a package. (she is nothing if not frugal)
Stir gently till the yeast is dissolved and add 1/2 Cup oil.
Add 1/3 Cup or so of sugar, 2 t salt, and 6 or 7 cups of whole wheat flour. You'll know how much flour too add by sight. Just add flour till you can't stir it with a spoon. Also, I use honey instead of sugar.
(Grandma was health food conscience before it was cool.)
Dump dough out on a floured pan and knead till smooth. Put in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise till doubled in size. Punch down and let rise again.
Knead again then divide into 4 balls. Put each ball into a greased loaf pan, cover and let rise again till doubled in size. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes till brown on top.
Most importantly, if you think you messed it up, DON'T THROW IT OUT! Just butter it up and toast it. You can always use it somehow. About the only way to ruin bread is to add too much salt.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

         At the request of my sis, I am sharing some menu ideas. She and I have both complained heartily about how easy it is to get in a rut and cook the same old things week after week. Now, I am not claiming to be any kind of cook. But maybe you'll find something to spark your brain and your supper. Good Eating!


B- Pancakes

L- apple slices w/ p.b.
    carrot sticks
    grahmn crackers


Supper-company casserole
            fried okra
            garden fresh tomatoes


B- Pancakes

Sn- animal crackers and raisins

L-pb and jelly sandwiches
    carrot sticks
    apple slices

Su- Grandma meal


B-coffee cake

Sn- animal crackers and raisins

L- pb and jelly sandwiches
    bananas w/ cinnamon

Su- chicken and rice
      green beans
      corn on the cob


B- healthy morning muffins

Sn- cheese and apples

L- leftovers

Su- leftovers


B- pancakes

Sn- grahmn crackers w/ pb

L- healthy morning muffins
    hard boiled eggs

Su- chicken pot pie


B- skillet toast
     scrambled eggs w/ cheese

Sn-  bananas w/ cinnamon

L- leftovers

Su- Grandma meal


B- pancakes

L- salmon patties
    sweet peas
    candied carrots

S- leftovers

Let me explain something.
When I have "Grandma meal" listed,
what I am talking about is a supper like the ones I have eaten many
times at my Grandmothers house.
A quick, easy but hearty meal consisting of Grandma's
amazing skillet cornbread and any veggie she has on hand.
For example, the other night, we had cornbread, black eyed peas, sliced tomatoes and onion,
pineapple, rice, green beans and corn on the cob.
And of course the obligatory honey, butter and black strap molasses
 for the cornbread. Add some sweet tea and you have one
tasty, moderately healthy and light-weight meal.
It is a favorite of my family.
I honestly think my kids could eat their weight in cornbread.
Maybe next week I'll share my recipe.

We're baaaaccckkkk!!!!

it's been a very, very, very long time coming.
But we are back on the world wide web!!
(lots of faint cheering and hoopla)
I highly doubt that there is anyone out there still reading this, but if you are there, kudos to you Faithful Reader. You have stuck with us thru the long drought and now your loyalty shall be rewarded with a nonsensical post about nothing. Just what you were waiting for, I'll bet.
I don't have the foggiest idea what I shall post about on here. Maybe a cornucopia of family anecdotes, household helpfulness and fashion fun.
So thanks for waiting.
I've missed you.