Cornbread

There is a recipe on allrecipes.com that is my all-time favorite. It’s called Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread. If there were a scorecard for recipe awesomeness strictly based on the recipe’s name, this one would be a winner. First, the word “Grandmother.” Any recipe that comes from any grandmother’s kitchen is sure to be tried and true and yummy. Can I get an “amen”? Second, the word “butter.” Enough said. And third, “bread.” Nothing says comfort food like bread, warm our of the oven. Especially when it’s coming out of grandma’s oven. And there’s butter involved.

I’ve made this recipe a few times. Usually with chili. This time, I thought I’d change it up. You see, on Saturday morning, I ended up at Meijer, and found their not-quite-dead-yet veggies rack. If you get there at the perfect time, you can buy almost-expired, fresh produce at steep discounts.

Sixty-eight cents for almost 2 lbs of peppers? Yes, please!

So, I invited a few friends over to join me+family, and we made fajitas with all the fixings. The plan was to make mild fajitas; family isn’t a huge fan of spicy food. Despite my best efforts to cook family friendly food, the peppers I got to supplement the bag of peppers you see above were the wrong kind. They looked like bell peppers and were labeled bell peppers, but were so spicy. Not bell peppers. Family wasn’t thrilled. The result: I got to take home all the leftovers.

Instead of just buying more tortilla shells for the leftovers (boring), I figured cornbread would be the ticket.

I was right. Magical. Cornbread, topped with spicy peppers and onions and fajita sauce, and then a dollop of sour cream. A big dollop.

Yum yum! A note about the cornbread: I substituted buttermilk for 1 cup whole milk+1 Tbs. lemon juice. Instead of lemon juice, you could use vinegar. Weird, but it works just fine!

Not feeling fajitas or chili for your cornbread? Make tacos or barbeque chicken! If you’re in more of a dessert mood, cornbread tastes great slathered in honey or jam, topped with fruit and whipped cream, or eaten plain.

I wanna know: What do you do with cornbread?

Veggie Fajita

This basic recipe got me through college. It takes about 10 minutes. It’s cheap. And it’s nutritious.

What you’ll need:

  • Chopped veggies (or a frozen veggie blend). I used Kroger’s 3 pepper and onion blend.
  • Olive Oil
  • Spices (sea salt, cumin, and fajita seasoning)
  • Garlic-1 clove, or the equivalent of minced garlic
  • Tortilla shell of choice

In addition, you could add mushrooms, salsa, sour cream, etc….whatever your little, hungry heart desires.

Y’all ready for this? OK, sautee up your veggies of choice in a skillet with the olive oil and spices.

I decided I wanted mushrooms and garlic at the last minute. It was a great choice, and one I recommended. Since they were fresh, and the above veggies were frozen, I sauteed them second.

Put a tortilla in the microwave between two sheets of paper towel for 15 seconds, then plate it up, and put your toppings on.

Seriously. So easy. So customizable. You could add more and/or different veggies. You cuold add meat. You could change the spices. Be warned: don’t make it too juicy, because then it just oozes everywhere, and that’s not fun. No matter what, though, you can’t really go wrong with this one!

I wanna know: Did you have a go-to meal when you were in school?

Mine alternated between this one and stir-fry.

Farmer’s Market Salsa

I know that fall is technically here. I really do. The calendar hanging in my office tells me so. I wanna know why in the world it’s so stinkin’ hot out! Honestly, I am not going to complain about summer sticking around. It will never wear out its welcome in my book. But 90 degrees seems a bit excessive. Can’t we settle at a nice and comfy 78? Is that so much to ask?

Today, over my lunch break, I made salsa. It was now or never, as my green pepper was on its last legs. It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I wasn’t too careful to chop things super-fine, so it’s more of a pico de gallo consistency. But I’ve always been a fan of chunky salsa, so it’ll be more than OK.

I definitely just winged this process, so I recommend that you do the same. You will need, in general, tomatoes, peppers, an onion, lime juice, cilantro, and spices. Here’s what I used:

Alright. I started with my peppers, and chopped one of the yellow sweet peppers, and half of the green, red, and orange bell peppers. I’m not a huge fan of spicy foods, but if you wanted, you could add some jalapeno pepper as well. Then I diced half the onion.

Now, chop your cilantro. I used about a 1/4 of a cup, give or take. I just love cilantro. So much flavor packed in just a few little leaves. Do yourself a favor, and use the fresh stuff. It’s not that expensive.

Alright, then your tomatoes. The tomato will be, in general, the main base for your salsa. When you’re chopping the tomatoes, they will ooze juice. Try to retain as much of the juice as possible.  I put in 3 red zebra tomatoes and 1 green zebra. Check them out…aren’t they great?

OK. Dump all of the chopped and diced yumminess in a bowl. On top, add:

  • 1 Tbs. EVOO
  • 1 tsp. adobo
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. pepper

And mix it all up! Taste test to make sure that you didn’t leave out anything vital, and you’re good to go! I love salsa for all of the different purposes that it can serve: salad dressing, condiment, chip dip, sauce, vegetable dip….The possibilities are endless, and all for just a few calories!

I’m recycling an old salsa jar to store this new batch, that way I don’t use up a tupperware for weeks on end.

What else do you like to put in your salsa? What should I do next time around?