How to Use this Blog

This blog is designed to be used like a cookbook. I've put tags on each recipe so you can go to the section on that topic just by clicking on the word in the cloud or the list. Some recipes are under more than one category to help you find what you're looking for.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Corn Bread

I have to give credit to Paula Deen for this recipe.  I don't usually cook complicated recipes but this one isn't that bad and it's worth it. It calls for buttermilk and I don't usually keep that in my house.

(You can substitute by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in regular milk and nobody will notice.  It's really the acid in the milk that counts.)


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt the butter in an iron skillet in the oven. Take it out when the butter melts and pour the melted butter into a bowl to let it cool slightly.  Put the skillet back into the oven.  This will grease the skillet and heat it at the same time.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the skillet.

Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Now--if you want to make this in a dutch oven over a campfire, which I highly recommend--because this is one recipe I have done this with several times and had great success with-- here's how I do it:

Since you are outside and things are a little more rustic...….

  • You will be using a dutch oven:  the cast iron skillet with (1) feet and (2) a cover that has sides to hold the coals.  It is easier to use charcoal because you can regulate the temperature by counting the charcoal but with experience and some abandonment you would just throw coals around trust it all to work out. Coal counting comes later in the recipe.
  • You can just throw the whole stick of butter in the skillet and it won't really make any difference.
  • Instead of a mixing bowl, you can mix everything together in a ziplock bag with your hands. Measure it all ahead of time back home and transport in the ziplock bag.
  •  It's great to have one of those chimney charcoal starters.  They aren't that expensive and use newspaper to start the charcoal and really work.  Then you can put things on top of it like a little table to keep stuff out of the dirt. 
  • Make sure you have good pot holders--at least two--thick ones.  And something to lift the lid.

Dutch Over Method:

  1. Melt butter in hot skillet
  2. Mix everything else in ziplock bag
  3. Slowly add butter to mix
  4. Add mix to skillet and cover
  5. Put skillet on top of 16 red hot coals.  Put 20 hot coals on lid.
  6. After about 15 minutes check inside.  Add coals or adjust as needed. 
  7. Enjoy!

Monday, July 1, 2013

German Potato Salad

I got this recipe from a friend who grew up in an old-fashioned German family from Illinois like my grandmother. It's just as good cold as hot.

Also, note that the recipe calls for two teaspoons of salt, not two Tablespoons like I read it one horrible morning that I made it for a church potluck lunch.  It was a good thing I tasted it before it packed it up for church.  And it was a good thing I had enough time to run by the store and buy an emergency-back-up-salad.  Also, in God's gracious mercy someone else had also made German Potato Salad that day so it all worked out.

5 large potatoes
4 slices thick-sliced bacon
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/3 teaspoon dried (powdered) mustard

boil the potatoes.  Set aside and cool a bit

cut the bacon into pieces and cook in an iron skillet-- take out of skillet and set aside

pour out all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat
add the onion and cook until soft 

add 1 Tablespoon flour to make a roux
when roux is cooked and smooth (as smooth as it can be with onion pieces in it)
add 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
cook until thick gravy-like consistency

peel and slice the potatoes
add to the roux
add the reserved bacon pieces

You can eat this either hot or cold.