Cornbread Salad for the Weekly Cookbook Challenge – Part 3


As I mentioned earlier, I also made a half recipe of the vegetarian version of the salad this morning. If anything, it received an even warmer reception from my (expected and unexpected) audience. My husband and I work for a small church-related camp, and on Sunday, our next camper groups come in to begin their week. Which means lunch is the last meal our paid staff has alone together. Normally. So I thought I would bring these salads to share with everyone. Well, some of the campers arrived early, and so we had a lot folks who had a chance to try these out, and I have to say, I’ve had more requests for recipes after serving these than anything else I’ve made in a long time. And even more surprising—this vegetarian version seemed to be the favorite—seems to be the jalapeno!   So, here is the process for this version:   First, crumble the (nicely and unnecessarily cubed) cornbread into a large bowl: Cover with all the chopped and shredded goodies: Pour dressing over, mix and serve and devour again: Here’s the actual recipe—in the cookbook, there is just a paragraph telling you which ingredients are added, which are left out, but I thought it might be easier if you just had it laid out like the other recipe. Oh, and Elayne is a friend of the author who came up with this variation.   ELAYNE’S VEGETARIAN VERSION OF PATSY’S CORNBREAD SALAD         1 skillet of cornbread 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained ½ cup … {Read on...}

Cornbread Salad for the Weekly Cookbook Challenge – Part 2


Okay, so I should read recipes more carefully—in looking at the recipe for the original cornbread salad recipe, I see the instructions ‘coarsely crumble the cornbread into a good big bowl and let it dry for a few hours.’ So my careful slicing and cutting into cubes was definitely wasted effort. I salvaged it this morning by coarsely crumbling my nicely cubed bread into a bowl: I then put the bacon on to fry, and while that was going on, I chopped all the veggies and made the dressing. Veggies done, bacon fried till crisp and drained on paper towel, dressing all mixed, I was good to go. First, add all the chopped veggies and bacon to the cornbread--Before:   And after being tossed together with my impeccably clean hands:     Next, pour on the dressing and mix (with an impeccably clean spoon!), place yummy portion on plate, decorate with a couple bits of reserved crispy bacon:     And devour. This is absolutely delicious, and definitely needs the southern cornbread to make it work. The johnnycake of my youth would utterly fail here. Unless, of course, you add it as a dessert course drizzle with melted butter and maple syrup….mmmm….getting dizzy….love that cornbread! But we’ll save that for another post…   I’ll follow up with the vegetarian version 2 later today… Oh, and here’s the recipe! Nearly forgot—and remember, for my purposes, I used half recipes so I could try both kinds of salad with one pan of cornbread!   PATSY’S CORNBREAD … {Read on...}

Cornbread Salad – Part 1


As part of my wanderings through the internet world of food, I came across a site that hosts a monthly cooking challenge:   Every month a new challenge is issued around a certain theme—either a particular chef, a certain kind of food, etc. I believe the goal is to either use a cookbook you have but from which you have never (or rarely) used a recipe. Anyway, this month’s challenge was "Salads"—a challenge for me since I’m not much of a salad maker over all. And for my first time participating I wanted to do something different than the few salads I usually make—veggie salads, pasta salads, salads made with various fruits, etc. For some reason, a memory of Tuscan Bread salad popped into my head, but having no Tuscan bread, nor time to make it, and not knowing of anyone who makes such a product within 200 miles of here, I found myself contemplating other possibilities.   I’d recently purchased a cookbook by veggie author Crescent Dragonwagon (love her name!) called The Cornbread Gospels; our family loves cornbread and other things made with good stoneground cornmeal, and I thought perhaps she might have something that would serve the purpose. At first I just found side dish salads to accompany whatever cornbread you might be making, but then I struck gold: Patsy’s Cornbread Salad, a non-vegetarian recipe, contributed by a Tennessee woman by the name of Patsy Barker.     The salad (and its vegetarian … {Read on...}

Mario Batali’s twin?!?


Ty needed some new summer shoes.  I scoured the internet for bargains.  It ain't cheap to shoe 5 kids, let me tell you.  I briefly toyed with the idea of learning to make shoes and then came to my senses and clicked my way over to eBay.  Two minutes later I had purchased a bright orange pair of Crocs.  Mercifully, Ty loves orange.  It has been his favorite color for a very long time.  I told him he could expect the shoes to come in the next week or so.  Every five minutes for the next 10 days he asked when his Crocs were coming.  When Mr. UPS -as our kids call the UPS delivery guy- pulled into the driveway Ty was waiting for him.  He eagerly reached for the box and said, "Now I'm gonna look like Mario Batali."  Oh really?   I'll let you judge for yourself.  Does Ty look like Mario Batali?  (You have to click on the pictures to see them full-size.  I'm not sure why, but you do!)     … {Read on...}

That explains a few things…


I've been experimenting lately with trying to motivate the kids into helping me keep the house cleaner. I was slightly tired of having things stick to my feet as I walked through the house and having to move multiple bionicles in order to find a seat on the couch. I think I have finally stumbled upon a quasi-solution. Zones! Each child has been assigned their own zone. Liam has the living room. Aidan has the dining room. Ty has the dishwasher (*this has changed as of today, but more on this as the story progresses...) Leif has the shoes. Rowan has the "sit out of the way in the chair with a book while we clean" zone.   Today, Ty offered to clean the mudroom. He carefully moved the shoes away from the wall, swept and arranged the shoes back neatly. He brushed off the dogs' bean bags, put them neatly against another wall and swept the rest of the floor. He swiffered (this is why I keep the bloody thing!) the floor and then called me to check it out. I was effusive enough in my praise that his brothers came running to see why Momma was making such a fuss. They were impressed with Ty's work, but were clearly calculating whether it was good or bad for them that their 6 year old brother had just one-upped them in the cleaning category. They all settled for lukewarm congratulations and walked away. Except for Leif.   Leif put his hands on his hips, paced the entire mudroom, turned around and fixed me with a very hostile look. He said, "Dis is not good for my … {Read on...}