Cookin’ Like Dad

It’s Father’s Day weekend, and this time can be used to remind your dad how awesome he is by showing him up at cooking (which is a skill he taught you).  Plus, this dish goes awesome with BBQ. 

Today, we’re making green chile cornbread. 

Image

This recipe is mostly of my own design, combining aspects of several recipes to create this dish.  Creating this recipe was also difficult because this was basically the way my dad taught me how to cook: “Throw some stuff in a pot and go with it.” You’ll need:

1/2c. butter, softened

2/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk or soured milk

1/2t. baking soda

1 c. cornmeal

1 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

6 oz. fresh green chiles, chopped

1-15 oz. can creamed corn

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 c. shredded colby jack or cheddar chesse

**If you don’t buy buttermilk (like me), but still like the taste of it, simply pour some lemon juice into your milk and let it stand.  There’s an exact ration floating around somewhere on the Internet, but I just put 1/8 c. or so for every cup of milk.  Whisk it up with a fork, let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk it again**

Preheat your oven to 350. 

Heat up a small amount (like a pat) of butter in a skillet and saute your chiles and onions.  If you do not have fresh chiles, used canned chiles.  You can also use canned jalapenos if you want it spicier.

Cream together butter and sugar, then add buttermilk and eggs.  Stir in the dry ingredients with a spoon, leaving some lumps in the batter:

Image

Add the chiles, creamed corn, and cheese:

Image

Full disclosure: I’m from Wisconsin, which means I double the amount of cheese called for in any given recipe.  However, I care about your cholesterol and list the cheese amounts a reasonable person should use.  But, if you want to give your heart a good workout (which is what my dad says when we’re eating his cooking usually), don’t be afraid to be a bit heavy-handed. 

Now, I couldn’t decide if I wanted a nice, deep bread or more of a cake-like shape.  So, I dug around my cabinets and found a lovely little Pyrex dish that’s somewhere between 8×8 and 9×13.  I would recommend baking in a 9×13–it would take forever in an 8×8.  Grease your casserole dish liberally and bake for 45 minutes or so. 

Image

My dad would really like this.  Yours probably will too.  If you’re close enough, make something for him this weekend. If you’re not close enough to cook for your dad, send him a picture text to make him jealous–and then he’ll feel good he at least helped you not starve to death now that you’re out in the big-boy or big-girl world. 

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there–if you do cook for your pops, let him do the grill.  Even if he’s horrible at it.  Because dads have to run the grill and that’s just how it has to be.

Advertisements

When Left to my Own Devices, I can be Dangerous. And by Dangerous, I Mean Awesome.

High School Friends are coming to visit this evening.

High School Friends are the best, because they were friends with you when you are nerdy and awkward, and then they are still friends with you after that faze….

Who am I kidding, I am still awkward and nerdy…and they are still my friends, so I shall make them something awesome for dinner.

Image

Are you intrigued yet?

I do not have a biscuit cutter.  So I made do with this lovely mug from the Dollar Store.  A student gave it to me.

So what the heck are we making? I’ll give you another clue:

Image

Yeah Buddy.  We’re making mini pies.

Mini Strawberry-Rhubarb Pies to be exact.  The original recipe for this delicious recipe can be found here.

Now, I hate clicking on links to find what I need, so I will list them for you:

4 c. chopped rhubarb–if you have weeny rhubarb like me, you need about 4 stalks per cup, so there you have it.

2 c. sliced strawberries–although you could save yourself some trouble and just slice up a pint–this way you can have a few for snacking and not feel bad about shorting your pie!

1 1/3 c. sugar

1/4 c. cornstarch

1 T. lemon juice

1/4 t. cinnamon

Your favorite recipe for a double-crust pie

Mini pie tins (or muffin tins)

Now! First thing’s fist.  Mix your rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, lemon juice, and sugar, and do not panic when you think there’s not possibly enough liquid in there–there soon will be (it’s like magic!)

Image

After your crust has properly cooled, roll out 1/2 of the dough to make your bottoms.  Use a biscuit cutter if you’d like, but all the cool kids just use a cup with the biggest opening they can find.  Roll it out nice and thin.

Image

Full disclosure here, I am terrible at making pretty pies.  See that big lump of butter there? If you’re like me, just cut around it–there’s an upside of making mini pies!

Put your dough in your mini tins and fill with less filling than you see in this picture right here:

Image

(There are many aspects to pie-making that I am not too good at)

And…cover with a top crust (by this point you will have to roll out the second half)

Image

Why do I try lattice? I don’t know. But I try.  And see all that juice? That’s why you don’t fill the pies as full as I did.  And, although my photo shows eight little pies, I did have a bit extra filling and dough so I made two more little pies in a giant muffin tin, so either get more than eight tins or make a little tartlet.

Throw them in the oven at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Image

Yummmmmmmmm.  Nothing beats a mini pie.  Until you pair it with blueberry-rhubarb ice cream, of course.

The perfect weather for ice cream!

It’s been a long, long while, and I apologize.  I work in Student Affairs, and for those of you who are not on a school schedule, graduation also means falling off the face of the earth for a bit.  In an effort to apologize for my terrible long absence, I shall present to you a deliciously awesome recipe:

Image

Sweet Mother of Pearl, does it ever taste good.  What is “it,” you may ask? Well, It is blueberry-rhubarb ice cream.  I’ve mentioned Bountiful Baskets before, and it’s thanks to them I had blueberries in my fridge at all. 

Making ice cream can really be easy and fun, although it’s not complete instant gratification.  However, the old saying holds true–good things come to those who wait. 

To make your ice cream, here’s what you’ll need:

2 c. heavy whipping cream

2/3 c. half-and-half

1 1/3 c. sugar

dash vanilla (I’m pretty heavy-handed when it comes to my vanilla, so I would say a teaspoon or so)

3 c. rhubarb, chopped

1 container blueberries

You may use frozen rhubarb, but don’t thaw it first. 

Step one: put the rhubarb in a pan with 1.5 c. water and the sugar.  Turn on medium heat and let it come to a boil. 

Image

Once it’s boiled, throw in the blueberries, turn down the heat a bit, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, or until your rhubarb is nice and tender and your fruit mix turns a lovely color as seen here:

Image

Oh Nelly.  If my willpower wasn’t so strong, this pot would be gone in a flash! But then there’d be no ice cream, so…

Turn off the heat and take a potato masher to your concoction.  You want to break up the rhubarb a bit so you don’t have massive chunks in your finished product.  Don’t mash too vigorously, or else all your blueberries will be smashed too.  Put this in the fridge and find something else to do for about two hours.  Then take out your whipping cream and whip it into somewhere between soft-peak and stiff-peak stage:

Image

Some of you with much better spacial reasoning skills than me may be thinking, “that doesn’t look like 2 c. whipping cream.”  Well, it’s not.  I only had a cup, so I did what my favorite mother-in-law would do and I winged it.  I used 1 c. whipping cream, and because my math skills are so awesome, 2 c. half-and-half.  This altered the finished product just a bit: since there’s an extra 1/3 c. of dairy in it, the fruit flavor is a bit more subtle, and it will probably be more difficult to scoop after it’s been in the freezer for awhile. 

Back to the ice cream: after your whipping cream is nice and whipped, add the fruit mixture, half-and-half, and vanilla and mix it all by hand:

Image

Are you drooling yet? Because I am and I have easy access to the finished product. 

Once it’s all mixed, finish the process according to your ice cream maker directions.  Pop in the freezer for a couple hours, and enjoy!

Image

That extra 1/3 c. of dairy product in there made a lot extra, so I had to have myself a little bowl before it could be frozen…shucks.