sage brown butter + cheddar skillet cornbread.

I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving sides. I mean, the holiday is less than two weeks away (what??), and aren’t we all hyped about the dinner for the sides? Don’t get me wrong, I love the turkey, smattered with cranberry sauce, but the sides always to tend to steal the show. If you serve this dressed-up-in-its-Sunday-best cornbread, you’ll steal the show, too!

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Cornbread is one of my favorite side dishes to make, and it’s so easy! It saddens me that it’s often regulated to buffets and as a throwaway to chili. Not so! There are so many ways to make it; Northern recipes often call for a bit of sugar, where Southerns would balk at such a thing. Or so I hear… you can find recipes with the inclusion of creamed corn, fresh corn kernels, jalapeños, peppers, you name it! And cheese. Mm. You do not need to ever reach for the boxed mix AGAIN.

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I took a decidedly autumn twist by the inclusion of sage butter (<– when is this ever a bad thing?), and cheddar cheese. Don’t like or have cheddar? Use anything you like! Parmesan? Fontina? Monterey Jack? Sure! I use a coarse ground cornmeal, I love the texture in the finished bread. If you prefer a smoother texture, use a fine ground cornmeal. Make sure to preheat your cast iron skillet – the sizzle and toasty/golden brown edges are not to be missed.

Serve this anytime you’d serve bread, and enjoy!

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sage brown butter + cheddar skillet cornbread.
adapted from Bobby Flay. 

ingredients
1.25 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
1 cup non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 sage leaves
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put an 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.

In a different skillet, combine the butter and sage leaves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and begins to darken, and the sage leaves are dark and crinkly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, removing the sage leaves.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and melted and cooled sage butter. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined. Do not over mix.

Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven (carefully!), and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush with additional butter. Scrape the batter into the hot pan (it will sizzle) and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and cooked through.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then serve.

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no-knead english muffin bread.

This is a bread recipe for bread-making phobics. Is that you? It was definitely me for a long while…. for some reason, despite the simplest of ingredient lists, the whole kneading, resting, kneading process for most breads made me nervous. The recipe I have for you today however, is as easy as it is delicious! If you like english muffins, well, I guarantee you’ll be delighted by this recipe. Add a small pat with butter, jam, or my personal favorite, a drizzle of honey. Mm. Just try to not eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

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This bread needs about an hour to rest and rise, and then 35-40 minutes to bake. Check the bread at the 20 minute mark; if it looks golden brown, lightly tent foil over the bread for the remainder of the time.

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I think this will be your bread making gateway recipe. There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread – intoxicating!

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no-knead english muffin bread.
slightly adapted from Kitchen Parade. 

ingredients
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/4 cups reserved
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4-1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

directions
Fit a stand mixer with the bread hook. In the mixer bowl, add 1 cup of flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and water together. Turn the mixer onto medium, and let mix for three minutes (set a timer to ensure your are mixing for the entire time). *You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl down to incorporate all the flour*.

After the three minutes, add the additional 1 1/4 cup of flour slowly, allowing to mix together. Meanwhile while the dough is coming together, spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cornmeal.

Once dough is done mixing, dust your hands with flour, and remove the dough from the bowl. It should be slightly sticky but pliable. Shape into a loaf in the pan. Cover with a damp paper towel and let rest for 1 hour to rise. Dough should rise just above the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, covering the bread with tented foil if the bread is becoming too dark.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Makes one loaf.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.

I’ve been ALL about meyer lemons this winter. Normally quite expensive, I’ve been finding bags of them for $2 at Trader Joe’s. So affordable, that they’ve currently replaced regular lemons in my morning warm water and lemon juice routine! I’m sure that’ll stop once they fall back out of season, but I’ve been relishing their sweet, bright, charming flavor as much as I can. One way I’ve done that is use them in this spin on lemon poppyseed bread.

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If you’ve never had meyer lemons, well, you’re in for a real treat! They are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin, and have a lovely, bright yet sweet lemon flavor. If you cannot find them, you can certainly just use regular lemons, and maybe swap up some of the lemon zest and juice for orange. That would be divine!

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As with most quick breads, this is definitely better the next day. To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Enjoy a slice with your coffee or tea!

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meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.
slightly adapted from NY Times Cooking. 

ingredients
1 cup coconut palm sugar
3 tablespoons zest; two-three meyer lemons
1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub in 2% yogurt)
3 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon poppyseed
2/3 cup grapeseed oil

directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 45-1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. If top begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up, and let cool completely before slicing.

Best when served 1-2 days after making.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

my favorite banana bread.

There are about a zillion banana bread recipes out there in the blogosphere. And even more stowed away in homemade recipe books, on index cards, or haphazardly written down from memory in an effort to recreate your great-grandmother’s recipe. I’ve tried just about all of them, and have finally settled on my favorite version of this beloved bread. It’s incredibly simple, and I *always* have all the ingredients on hand whenever I’m faced with a surplus of bananas, and allow a few to turn almost overripe in preparation to make this delicious bread.

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No shame, I can polish off an entire loaf all by myself in just a few days. It’s just so good! The best part about breads like this (and especially banana bread) is that the flavors meld together and intensify over a few days post-baking. I can barely make it to day 3, but I encourage you to do so! You’ll thank me.

This is delicious to take to a friend, or invite one over and share it with some coffee or tea. There is a reason banana bread is such a classic. Enjoy!

banana bread.
adapted from Williams Sonoma. 

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ingredients

1 2/3 cups all purpose, unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

directions

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla and beat with the wooden spoon until well blended.

Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the wooden spoon. Put the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 45 -50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

To store, wrap tightly in cling wrap and then wrap again in foil. Keeps for about a week. Makes one loaf.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

 

simple + easy cornbread.

Sometimes you just crave simple and comforting food. For me, that means bread of any kind. I rarely keep any in my house because freshly baked bread never lasts longer than a day or two. Last weekend I was going to a family get together and the main meal was a hearty beef and vegetable stew. I offered to whip up some type of bread to bring along and immediately thought of cornbread. This is simple, unfussy, and that sweet flavor and crumbly texture is always so satisfying.

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I used coarse ground cornmeal but if you’d rather have a finer texture in the finished bread, use a fine milled cornmeal instead. This is ideal warm out of the oven with a smear of butter, or crumbled right into a steaming bowl of stew. It’s delicious the next day with leftovers, too!

Sometimes simple really is best.

easy cornbread. 

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ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from the carton, not the can)
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon wildflower honey

directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan or an 8×8 baking dish.

Melt butter in a small saucepan, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together milk, egg, butter and honey until pale yellow and frothy. Add in sugar, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Smooth batter until the top is even.

Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Serves 6-8 people.