Chili and Cornbread Weather

This rain and chill have been hindering my running plans lately. It’s frustrating, but I’ve just been trying to give myself grace in it all. I’m also at a particularly tough part in my training schedule, I’m having to really push through a mental wall. The delays don’t help. Another thing about this time of year is that the fridge, freezer, and pantry are a touch sparse. I’ve been trying to back off my grocery list a bit since I know the sheer volume of leftovers that are soon to ensue. I love Thanksgiving leftovers! So at the end of the week, we’re sometimes scavenging in the kitchen to throw something together.

Last night, I managed to find a can of vegetarian chili in the pantry (don’t ask me why). Not satisfied with just any plan bowl of chili, I kept rummaging until I found some Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal! I have a special appreciation for many of Bob’s products and the company has a really neat story too! I knew some form of cornbread was in my sights. Introduced to explorers of the “New World” by indigenous peoples, cornbread is uniquely “American” and I am so happy for this gift. I typically like to make cornbread in my cast iron skillet, but I was feeling a tad lazy and knew I wouldn’t want to clean the cast iron after.

Instead of making traditional skillet cornbread, I made Corn Muffins from my copy of Good Housekeeping Cookbook: The Bridal Edition. It’s just a tiny bit easier to wipe clean my non-stick muffin tin than my cast iron. Sadly, the recipe is no longer on their website, so you’ll just have to settle for a picture of my messy cookbook page. (That’s the thing about messy cookbook pages, though. The messier they are, the more you can see the love!)

Another stage of the great store clean out was finding a purpose for the soured remainders of a container of milk in the fridge. Truthfully, I try to never throw out soured milk because, though it’s not drinkable, it still has purpose remaining in it. There are so many uses for sour milk, one of which is baking. I wasn’t planning on making a cake anytime soon, so I opted to use the sour milk in place of the milk called for in the recipe I chose.

Corn Muffins are just as perfect an accompaniment to chili as regular cornbread with the added advantage that they’re easy to handle and great for little hands too! The one issue I had with these was that the cooking time indicated was a tad too long resulting in slightly tougher muffins. In the future, I think I would either add more fat to the batter, back off the heat by 25°, or back off the time by 5min. Regardless, these corn muffins were pretty, popped right out of the pan so easily, and incredibly delicious slathered in my favorite Kerrygold salted butter.

With so many variations out there, this simple recipe still hit the spot. What are some of your favorite cornbread recipes?

Currently Reading: Bon Appétit magazine, December 2013 issue


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