Category Archives: breads

baking dish of triple corn spoon bread

Triple Corn Spoon Bread

May 30, 2024

baking dish of triple corn spoon bread

 

 

Laugh at my admission, but Fritos corn chips are my favorite salty snack. They contain only three ingredients (corn, oil and salt) and no hard-to-pronounce chemical additives. I decided to add them to one of my favorite quick breads and this is the result. Continue reading

sour cream chocolate chip muffins

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins

March 12, 2024

sour cream chocolate chip muffins

Muffins are little cakes. As in, I would like to enjoy a little cake without the fuss of actually making a cake. Standard muffin tins have space for twelve little cakes, perfect for sharing.

I was hungry for a small single serving treat. All ingredients, including semi-sweet chocolate chips and full fat sour cream (which gives a nice tender crumb to baked goods), were in my kitchen. Most certainly, happiness is found in a good chocolate chip cookie. Then again, cake was my stated goal and tiny cakes at that.

tin of baked sour cream chocolate chip muffins

twelve little cakes, for sharing

Now I needed willing tasters to give honest feedback for a new recipe.

Three tries later, these fragrant muffins emerged from the oven and were ready for giving away. Not all, of course, since I am the most senior Official Taster.

closeup of sour cream chocolate chip muffins

great straight from the oven with melting chocolate throughout the tender cake

Baking is a science. Getting the right types of sugar and leavening are keys to browning and rise. Light brown sugar gives a caramel touch. Baking powder and baking soda combine nicely with the acid of sour cream. One extra egg and a small amount of milk keep this batter soft and tender.

Trial and error can be the bane of bakers everywhere. Fortunately, sometimes the mistake batches fulfill your sweet tooth, too. Check my freezer for the remnants of the first two rounds.

Thanks to all tasters for their valuable thoughts!

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins

ingredients

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour – I like King Arthur Measure for Measure*
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup neutral oil like canola (can also use melted and cooled butter)
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
two large eggs at room temperature
1 ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
* can also use regular all purpose flour

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray (can also use paper cups to line tin).
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt.
  4. In larger mixing bowl, whisk together both sugars with oil or melted butter.
  5. Pour in sour cream, milk and vanilla, mixing well.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well.
  7. Dump dry ingredients into the bowl, followed by the chocolate chips.
  8. Allow chips to get coated with flour before mixing all with spatula until no flour streaks remain, but avoid overmixing which can make batter tough.
  9. Letting chips get coated with flour ensures even distribution and no sinking into the muffins.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  11. Make sure oven temperature is accurate; for me, 22 minutes at 350 was perfect.
  12. Tip out muffins onto cooling rack and enjoy right away or up to 3 days if covered well once cooled.
  13. If muffins have been frozen, consider a brief trip in the microwave (10-12 seconds) to soften the texture once you defrost them.

 

halved raspberry fresh corn muffin

Raspberry Fresh Corn Muffins

july 12, 2022

halved raspberry fresh corn muffin

Morning on a hot and sultry weekend. Hanging around the house for late breakfast appeals more than dressing for brunch at a cafe. You have all the fixings for a light breakfast, except muffins. If you have an ear of fresh corn and some summer berries, you will likely also have the basics for baking. Prep these Raspberry Fresh Corn Muffins the night before. After a quick stir and bake, you will enjoy warm fluffy fruit filled treats in the comfort of your home. Any left may be frozen to enjoy later. Continue reading

slices of pimento cheese cornbread

Pimento Cheese Cornbread

December 26, 2021

slices of pimento cheese cornbread

Enjoy foods for good luck this New Year’s. Not only Hoppin’ John, but also cornbread which symbolizes gold and prosperity. Black eye peas resemble coins and greens reflect paper money. Increase your chances with this Pimento Cheese Cornbread, combining two popular southern cooking exports: pimento cheese and buttermilk based tender cornbread.

Continue reading

Socca Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes

march 29, 2018

socca pizza with roasted tomatoes

The esteemed food writer Michael Pollan said it best : Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Starchy carbs are not my enemy, but I do feel better when I stick with Pollan’s suggestion to let plant based foods become the star in my meal planning. There is no substitute for my beloved potatoes and they are always welcome at the table. Grain based products like pizza and breads are an occasional craving, so replacing starchy grains and enjoying a quick bread made with almond flour, or this pizza made with chickpea flour, is the way I choose to enjoy the things I love.  Continue reading

Parmesan Spoonbread Souffle

september 26, 2014

parmesan spoonbread soufflé

 

Spoonbread is the ultimate Southern comfort food.  Served hot from the oven with a generous dollop of soft butter, it satisfies.  Creamy and hot, and quite possibly made from locally milled cornmeal, spoonbread  can be made plain jane, with sweet milk or buttermilk, studded with kernels of fresh corn or with any number of variations like the pumpkin spoonbread currently on the fall menus of The Good Eats Company.

The word soufflé can strike fear in the heart of even the most dauntless chef or home cook. Failure to rise.  Lumpen appearance.  Gritty texture.  Their mercurial nature makes soufflés poor candidates for make-ahead prep; they must be served right away, and like all things that go up, they must come down, and sometimes before they are presented.

I don’t miss soufflés on restaurant menus because I never much cared for super fluffy foods that lack a certain heft – too airy for my taste.  But I do love a good spoonbread,  and retooling my favorite vintage recipe to resemble a towering soufflé, while bringing it down to earth with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, suited me (and my tasters) just fine.

Today’s spoonbread features not only colorful pastured eggs from Teal Brooks’ Pine Fork Farm, but also fragrant white cornmeal from historic Woodson’s Mill in nearby Nelson County, Virginia.

Woodson's Mill white cornmeal and pastured eggs from Pine Fork Farm in Quinton, Virginia

Woodson’s Mill white cornmeal and pastured eggs from Pine Fork Farm in Quinton, Virginia

Fine in texture and nutty in flavor, it makes the perfect cornbread (I use it to make the skillet cornbread for Little House Green Grocery’s Sunday Suppers) and heavenly spoonbread.  Since the late 18th century, the millstones of Woodson’s Mill have used water power from the Piney River to grind corn and other grains, providing sustainable, preservative-free products sold locally and beyond. This quick and easy bread (don’t be put off by the electric mixer) makes a great breakfast entree and would make a fine accompaniment to entrees like chicken with wild mushrooms and carrot and chorizo sausage with lentils and tomato.

Here is your weekend recipe for southern comfort, y’all. Enjoy!

parmesan spoonbread souffle

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes four servings                                                            parmesan spoonbread soufflé

ingredients

four eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 cups milk, preferably whole
1 cup white cornmeal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons baking powder
directions

  1. Preheated oven to 350 degrees and butter four 10 ounce oven ready ramekins.
  2. In heavy two quart saucepan, bring milk to scalding (just to the boiling point) and gradually whisk in cornmeal to avoid lumps.
  3. Over low heat, whisk frequently and cook until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in butter, salt and sugar.
  5. Off heat, whisk in egg yolks.
  6. With electric mixer, beat egg whites just until peaks begin to form.
  7. Whisk parmesan cheese into cornmeal mix, then gently whisk in baking powder just until incorporated.
  8. With spatula, gently fold in about one third of the beaten egg whites, then gently add the rest until just combined – okay to see a few streaks of egg white.
  9. Working quickly, divide mixture between the ramekins and bake 20 minutes or until puffed and very lightly golden.
  10. Serve immediately with lots of good butter.

cook’s tips

  • eggs are easiest to separate while still chilled, but room temperature whites whip better
  • have all ingredients at room temp to avoid shocking or stiffening the cornmeal mixture
  • whip the egg whites just until they begin to hold peaks – overbeating gives a grainy texture
  • add part of the whites gently to lighten the cornmeal mixture, then gently add the rest, folding with a spatula and avoid whisking
  • baking powder, your leavening agent, is called double acting because it starts working when liquid is added, and when heat is applied; work quickly once baking powder is added to your recipe – letting mixtures sit on the counter will decrease rising power

 

Bacon Buttermilk Pancakes

february 21, 2014

bacon buttermilk pancakes

 

It was a pancake kind of day.  Chilly, with the last vestiges of snow tucked into the deep recesses of shrubbery.  Pancakes by a crackling fire, with hot tea, fresh citrus and bacon. Continue reading

fluffy breakfast muffins

february 1, 2013

DSCN1002

The shelves of my kitchen cabinet hold my mother’s tattered and dogeared copy of the 1940 American Woman’s Cookbook.  Quaint by today’s standards, this much loved book holds the promise of balanced, sensible meals prepared with thought, care and minimally processed foods.  How we long for the good old days!  Until the dawning realization that putting together three home cooked meals each and every day is a major undertaking and not for today’s time challenged kitchen denizens.  To paraphrase the old joke : what do today’s cooks make for dinner? Reservations.

Continue reading