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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Been watchin' all those Elvis tributes lately. Clambake last night was a hoot. Hard to believe the King has been dead since August,1977. I can still remember the moment I heard the unbelievable news. Dead at 42...
I was a young mom with two small kids and I was heartbroken that I would never make it to one of Elvis'
spectacular concerts I had always dreamed of attending. Procrastination, not a good thing. Do what you want when you are able because that dream could be taken away forever. Here's a special recipe in honor of the King.

How to make an Elvis Cornbread Waffle with Bacon Brittle, Grilled Banana, & Peanut Butter Sauce...Serves 2

First Do the Bacon...
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 slices bacon

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  In a large plastic zip-top bag, combine brown sugar and mustard. Add bacon and toss to coat.
3.  Remove bacon, cut in half, and place on a lined baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Do not roast without foil or paper (see third pic below.) Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Drain grease from pan, lay bacon onto a plate (do not drain on paper towels because bacon will set up crispy and stick to paper products) and set aside. Crumble when cooled.

For the Peanut Butter Sauce...
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water 
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce 
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1 tablespoon white vinegar 
2 teaspoons sesame oil 
1 cup warm water 

1.  Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/2 cup of cold water; set aside.
2.  Whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, white vinegar, sesame oil, and 1 cup warm water in a small saucepan over medium heat; simmer and stir until sugar has dissolved. 
3. Stir in the cornstarch mixture; simmer until the sauce is thick, 1 or 2 minutes and set aside.

For the Grilled Bananas...
2 bananas, firm
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar 
Butter and skillet for frying

1. Slice bananas length wise.
2. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Coat with brown sugar.
3.  Heat butter on high and fry bananas 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Set aside.

Last the Wafflle...
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 egg
2 Tablespoons shortening, melted
3/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat waffle iron (or griddle to make pancakes if you have no iron) to 350-375 degrees F.
2. Mix ingredients till large lumps disappear.
3.  Spray iron (or griddle) and pour batter.  Waffle is done when iron stops steaming.

For the Assembly...
1. Slather waffle with Peanut Butter Sauce and save the left over in fridge to use as an ice cream topper or dressing on an Asian salad.
2.  Next comes the out, it could fall apart on you while removing from skillet. 
3.  Last but not least, mound the crispy, crumbled bacon brittle in a heap on top.

Note...don't bother to brittle the bacon, just fry plain, tastes just as good. All the sweets with the savory cornmeal waffle are especially wonderful.

Until next time sweet Diary, long live the memory of Elvis and may all your cornbread dreams come true Love, Di

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

I am up to my sweet little pierced Southern ears in OKRA!!! So happy I love those little green pods. And we all know, down in the South, okra and cornbread is a match made in cornbread heaven. It's a sin to have one without the other. 

Will be servin' up some Stewed Okra and Tomatoes tonight with my Arkansas Golden Silver Dollars. So sorry y'all can't be here to enjoy these green delicacies and golden rounds...but I do have the recipes for you just below.

How to make Stewed Okra and Tomatoes...

3 Tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups okra pods, frozen
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes 
2 tomatoes, fresh and diced

1.  Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2.  Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
3.  Add remainder of ingredients, turn down heat to a simmer, and stew for 20 minutes.

How to make Arkansas Golden Silver Dollars...

1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk OR soured milk (to sour milk, add about 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and stir until it is lumpy)
oil and skillet for frying

1.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, batter will be thick
2.  Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil at medium heat on stovetop
3.  Fry until puffy and golden brown, turning only once.
Scrumptious! Serve hot!

Until next time darlin' Diary, may all your cornbread dreams come true...Love, Di

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Every summer 'bout this time of year I am so full to the brim of luscious homegrown tomatoes and I always make a dreamy Tomato Tart with my harvest. Maybe some Whole Fried Okra to accompany it. Red and green, my favorite colors from the garden. Yummy! Check my fave tart recipe below and my previous post for that delightful fried okra.

Until next time sweet Diary, may all your cornbread dreams come true...Love, Di

How to make a Tomato Tart...

2 prepackaged 9 inch pie crusts
4 large Beefsteak tomatoes, sliced, peeled, & cored 
1/4 cup mayo
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar 
4 scallions, sliced thinly

1. Arrange tomatoes on paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Let drain 30 minutes, then press tomatoes with additional paper towels until very dry.

2. Put one pie crust in 9 inch pie pan. I use a glass pie pan. Seems the glass generates the heat better resulting in a perfectly flaked crust. 

3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat to 450 degrees. Mix mayonnaise, cornstarch, and 1 cup cheese in bowl until well combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese over bottom of dough-lined pie plate. Arrange third of tomatoes over cheese. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture over tomatoes and sprinkle with half of scallions. Layer with another third of tomatoes, remaining mayonnaise mixture, and remaining scallions, then top with remaining tomatoes.

4. Arrange top crust on pie. Press crusts together, then trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cut four vent holes in top. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 3 hours. Serve at room temperature.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Down in the South we grow a lotta okra. Okra season is right upon us and I have been so hankering for some freshly fried okra. In fact, Dear Diary, I don't want the cut up kind, I want something more grand! I want some whole fried okra pods! Had some in a salad a few years ago and the thought of that Southern Fried Whole Okra on top of some fresh salad greens with some freshly cut tomatoes and onions and  topped with some homemade Ranch dressing...well what can I say. Dreams do come true...enjoy!

How to make Southern Fried Whole Okra...
Oil and Iron Skillet for frying
3 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
Batch of freshly picked, rinsed, and cleaned okra (leave tops on or cut off if you so desire)
1.  Hear oil in skillet to 375 degrees
2.  Whisk eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl
3.  Mix flour, meal, salt, pepper in another bowl
4.  Drop okra in egg mixture then in dry mixture till fully coated
5.  Fry until golden brown or about 3-4 minutes, drain on paper towel, serve in your fave salad fixins, and drizzle some homemade Ranch dressing all over!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Found the cutest little restaurant up on a hilltop in Pearcy, Arkansas the other day. I do declare if we had been going a tad faster down that old highway, I might have missed this top of the rock sensation. And, that would have been a major calamity. Because we were served some of the best food  I've eaten in a spell. Mouthwatering steak, fried catfish, delightful salads. And, the dear little server brought me my most favorite Southern delicacy. Dear Diary you know just what that is. Fried, tender, hot, and delicious golden brown hushpuppies. See the mouthwatering picture below if you don't believe little old me. Also check out my blog about this sweet little eatery on Urbanspoon or On A Quest For. I know you'll want to rush right up to the Rocky Mountain Grill Restaurant in Pearcy! Y'all come when you can...until next time sweet Diary, may all your cornbread dreams come true! Love, Di

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Was thumbing through a favorite cookbook just awhile ago and found this recipe called Cornmeal Pie. I just had to see if there were any mentions of this luscious sounding concoction on the Internet. Well, sure 'nough it was all over the Web. Cornmeal has been around sooooo long and is so versatile, that there are just not too many new recipes out there. But, aren't the old ones just fabulous! Anyway, one of the pics looked kinda like a chess or coconut pie because it had no nuts. Another said this pie was just like a pecan pie because nuts were added. Well, since my recipe calls for both coconut and pecans, I certainly can understand the resemblance.  But, I do like giving the glory of cornmeal the title, Cornmeal Pie. Such a lovely ring to it. Don't you think? Sooo, I will surely make this pie ASAP because you do know my enchantment for cornmeal is like no other liaison I have ever had...will post a pic when it's done. Betcha can't make it before I can!

How To Make Cornmeal Pie:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1 unbaked 10 inch pie crust
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Blend sugars and butter. Add beaten yolks, vanilla, cream, and cornmeal. Add nuts and coconut. Add lightly beaten egg whites and blend.
3.  Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Until next time sweet Diary, wishin' all your cornbread dreams do come true,
Love, Di

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

Today is First Friday Lunch @ Our House Shelter in Little Rock and I've been achin' for a mess of greens and some fluffy, sweet cornbread. Found the perfect  box of cornbread muffin mix with a hint of honey and there is always an abundance of freshly cleaned greens at the neighborhood WalMart. Along with a baked tater bar, creamed corn, and fresh fruit, it's gonna be heaven on earth today at Our House!  Check out dreamy pics below...

Until next time sweet Diary and may all your cornbread dreams come true...Love Di

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Dear Cornbread Diary...

These are a few of my favorite things...Golden Silver Dollar Corn Cakes!!!  So simple to make. Take one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1egg and 1/3 cup of water. Mix it up and fry in a little oil and yes, you have some delicious, savory corn cakes which just so happen to be a few of my favorite things. Not in a savory mood...try um with some butter and honey. WOW!!!

Until next time sweet diary, may all your cornbread dreams come true.

Love, Di