Tag Archives: cornbread

Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron

Cast iron vessels have been used for cooking for hundreds of years.

In the early 19th century, meals were cooked in cast iron pots suspended over the fire in the fireplace.  In the 1960s cast iron became less popular as teflon-coated non-stick cookware was introduced.

I have to admit I have both types, but am leaning toward going to cast iron cooking full time.  I just got my Paula Deen cookware for my birthday, so it may be a gradual thing.

There are benefits in cooking with cast iron.   For one, it is very durable and can last a lifetime.  It can even be passed down to the next generation.   Cast iron retains heat and evenly redistributes the heat.  It’s even oven safe.  I have my favorite 10″ skillet for baking buttermilk cornbread and the cornbread just slides out of the well-seasoned skillet.

Cooking in cast iron actually adds iron to your food while avoiding the chemicals that non-stick cookware adds.  If it’s well seasoned, your food won’t stick.  The more you cook with it, the better it gets!  I even use it on my ceramic top stove.  I just try to be extra careful.

Cast iron is relatively inexpensive.  Most sets run around $100 and single skillets can run under $15.  This is for something that lasts for a lifetime!

Also, it doesn’t scratch so there’s no need to use the rubber coated cooking utensils, unless you just want to.  Sad to say, my large non-stick skillet is not looking too good, just after several months use.

It does get hot, so be sure and use a pot holder or handle mitt.

To clean and season cast iron, some people do not use soap.  If my pan was real messy, I have used soapy water and immediately dried and oiled the pan to prevent rust.  I have also cleaned with salt sprinkled in the pan and a scrubbie.  This works for pans that don’t have a lot of leftover residue.

Sometimes when camping I’ve used scrunched up  tin foil and some hot water.  So there’s several cleaning methods.  Just be sure to rub with a light coat of oil before storing.  I love my Dutch Oven for baking biscuits when we’re camping.  I’ve also fixed up a Beef Stew over the fire.

Lodge is my favorite cast iron brand.  There’s lots more cleaning and seasoning information found here on their site.

So enjoy cooking in your cast iron and think about all the healthy benefits that comes with it.  Pass some down to your children and grandchildren.  Tell them the history behind it.  Maybe generation after generation will benefit from your lovingly cared for cast iron.

Be sure and share any stories that you have of cast iron that’s been in your family, or how many pieces of cast iron you have.  I’d love to hear them!

DISCLAIMER: If you purchase from some of the links in this post you are helping support Heart of a Country Home at no extra charge to yourself.  Thanks for your kindness.

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Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

I usually like to serve Broccoli Cheese Cornbread when we’re having Fried Tenderloin and White Beans.

This year I made it to add to our family’s Thanksgiving feast.

Cheesy, moist and satisfying, this cornbread recipe is a winner!

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

2 packages (8.5 oz each) corn bread/muffin mix
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups (12 oz) 4% cottage cheese
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 large onion, chopped

In a large bowl, combine corn bread mixes.  In another bowl, beat
eggs, cottage cheese and butter.  Stir into corn bread mixes just
until moistened.  Fold in broccoli and onion.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350° for
40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
Yield: 12-15 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 196 calories, 13 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 323 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

 

An Unbelievably Snowy Morning!

Whiteout conditions!  😀

Photo courtesy of Steven C.

Our rain turned to snow early this morning.  It was coming down on my way to work and didn’t stop for the next 4 hours!   We just don’t see snow like this a lot, so it was exciting!  😀

My boss tried to make it to the post office and had to turn around.  She was so “spooked” after sliding around on our roads, she decided to  close the office and go home while she could.  It was only 9:30.

I did a little sliding myself on the way home and was glad when I finally pulled into the drive.

A friend of mine drives a school bus and they finally dismissed schools around 11:30.  Her students took some of these pics on the way home.

Photo courtesy of Holly F.

This pic shows a cross which is lit at night.    It sits high on a hillside and shines as a welcoming beacon at night.  Returning from a trip as a child, I would see this cross and know that home was near.

Photo courtesy of Holly F.

Now our roads are almost clear!  My Handyman and my oldest have gone sledding with instructions to stop by the store on the way home to pick up the ingredients for more snow cream.

Photo courtesy of Holly F.

Isn’t this a gorgeous picture?!

Photo courtesy of Chris B.

This snowy weather called for something to warm a tired and chilled body…Homemade Venison Soup with Veggies and Buttermilk Cornbread!

Hope you’re having a wonderful day no matter what kind of weather you have!

Fried Cornbread and Hush Puppies

Nothing goes with white beans like Fried Cornbread. 

At a restaurant not too far away this is called the “Po’ Boy Special”.  It comes with a slice of Vidalia onion and a tall glass of iced sweet tea.

Last week we had some white beans flavored with baked ham and some fried cornbread.  I like Aunt Mary’s Red Tomato Relish on my white beans.  Just a taste brings back sweet memories.

A couple nights later, my Handyman fried some fish and we made Hush Puppies.  Those were yummy, too.  My friend, Karen, has the best Hush Puppy recipe!

I’m sharing both these recipes today.

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 Fried Cornbread Fritters

1 cup of self rising white cornmeal
1 cup of buttermilk
2/3 cup of self-rising flour
1 egg, beaten

Mix the ingredients together and fry like pancakes on an oiled hot griddle or skillet.  Like pancakes, when you see the bubbles on top, it’s time to flip them.  Another minute or so on that side and they should be done.  Remove to a serving plate and try not to pinch off the crispy edge while the others cook.  Good luck. 🙂

……oOOo……oOOo……oOOo……oOOo……

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There are many opinions as to where the name “Hush Puppies” came from, but the general concensus is that the name has something to do with keeping dogs quiet.

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Hush puppies–golden-brown puffs invented to shush up the barking puppies at an outdoor feast; made by putting corn-bread batter into deep fat.”

American Heritage Cookbook, American Heritage [American Heritage:New York] 1964 (p. 128)

Karen’s Hush Puppies

2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix

3 tablespoons self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup green bell pepper (omitted this time)

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

vegetable oil for deep-frying

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In a deep fryer or a cast iron fryer heat 2 – 3 inches of oil over medium heat to 375°. 

In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, sugar, onion, and pepper. Add milk and egg; mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drop batter by tablespoons into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, turning several times. Drain on paper towels. Makes about 12 large  hush puppies.

Weight Watcher Skillet Cornbread

One of the Weight Watcher recipes I’ve tried recently…

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The cornbread was very moist and had great flavor.  I am a big fan of using buttermilk in baked breads and cakes and the buttermilk flavor came through strong for me.  I could’ve almost eaten this with a fork.  It was very good and I’ll definitely be making it as long as I do Weight Watchers.

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Weight Watcher Skillet Cornbread

1 cup uncooked cornmeal, yellow

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

14 3/4 oz cream-style corn, canned

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large egg whites

2 tsp corn oil

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Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan or 8″ skillet as I’ve done here, with cooking spray. (I used my pastry brush and brushed the skillet with oil.)

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Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix well with a fork, then make a well in the center; set aside.

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Combine creamed corn, buttermilk, egg whites and oil in a medium bowl; mix until blended. Fold mixture into dry ingredients; mix until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.

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Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely before cutting into 8 squares.

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Weight Watcher Points Value 3 per serving.

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Stay tuned for more great Weight Watcher recipes.

Vegetable Beef Soup with Southern Cornbread

soup

This soup began as a Pot Roast with baby carrots and baby whole potatoes

baked in the oven for 6 hours at 275º.  That wasn’t long enough or the temp wasn’t high enough.  It was supposed to cooked in the crockpot while I was at work until I discovered my crockpot was missing in action and left at the church after the last dinner.

My cupboard was nearly bare of soup ingredients except for the 2 home-canned jars of mixed veggies sent back home with us from a trip to Aunt D’s house in Kentucky. I also had a small can of tomato sauce, but no diced or whole tomatoes which I normally use in soup.

The soup turned out to be the best I’ve made in a while… it was delicious!  Very hearty and full of flavor.   Only from memory, since I didn’t write anything down; it goes something like this…

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Small portion of leftover pot roast
Whole new potatoes, from leftover roast
Onions, from leftover roast
2 cans mixed veggies
1 small tomato sauce
2 bouillon cubes
2-3 Tbs Flour or cornstarch for thickening
1-2 cups of water

Put all in a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes and until broth is thickened.  Serve with cornbread, breadsticks, or saltines.

Pacify your kids when they come asking for more, by informing them that soup’s all gone but homemade Pecan Pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream is coming up!