Cheesy Maple Cornbread

October 31, 2009

I have made this cornbread twice in the last weekend. It is super tasty. I first made it to go with the black bean and pumpkin soup as part of Operation Get Warm. And then a couple of days later to go with some veggie chili since I still had some buttermilk in the fridge. Apparently, it is the perfect accompaniment to warm liquids.


Cheesy Maple Cornbread

Adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (plus 1/4 cup for topping)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

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

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, corn, syrup, eggs and oil. Pour into the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9×12 pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.


Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

October 27, 2009

Fall has definitely arrived in Vancouver. It is chilly outside and I am trying very hard to abide by the programmed settings on the new thermostat. But it is set for 21C and more of a 23C kind of girl, so I have two solutions: fire and soup. Our apartment has a lovely wood-burning fireplace that gets me nice and warm, especially when I curl up right in front of it. That just leaves the soup. Given the aforementioned chill, I needed to make something with ingredients that I had in the pantry so that I didn’t have to leave my fire-warmed house. This recipe was just the thing. The soup turned out very tasty and hearty. I served it with some cornbread and it was perfect!


Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 20 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the cumin, chili, cinnamon, salt, pepper and black beans. Stir until everything is mixed together and then mash with a potato masher.

Add the pumpkin puree and beef broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for at least 5 minutes.

Just before serving, add in the cider vinegar.

Super Easy Tomato Sauce

October 26, 2009

So last month I went a little bit – okay a LOT – over the grocery budget. There was a couple of dinner parties and a few more regular ones. I had to atone this month and that meant cooking with what we had. We have a lot of pasta in the freezer and the pantry. But with a jar of pasta sauce running over $4, I had to make my own. No problem. I have been making this sauce since I was in high school. It is quick. It is delicious. It is cheap.


Super Easy Tomato Sauce

1 large onion, diced
1 head of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 796-mL cans of crushed tomatoes
2 150-mL cans of tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup of fresh oregano (or 1-2 tablespoons dry)
1/2 cup fresh basil (1 tablespoon dry)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper

Heat up the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, around 7 minutes.

Add the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes.

Note: This makes a LOT of sauce. Scoop it into freezer bags and pull them out the day you want to use it.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

October 14, 2009

On Monday, we trekked out to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Mum prepared the whole works – turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, bread stuffing, sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly and brussels sprouts. Granny made the gravy (with Bisto that she brought particularly for that purpose as according to Granny OXO is no good). We even had a pumpkin pie taste-off with two different pumpkin pies to choose from. And of course, a blackberry apple pie just in case there wasn’t enough food for the 7 of us.

So not surprisingly there were leftovers. Included in my package full of food was a bunch of uncooked brussels sprouts since apparently not everyone loves them as much as I do. I decided to try them roasted. I have seen recipes for roasted brussels sprouts floating around the internet, but there is never enough room in the oven with the turkey to actually make them on a main turkey day. So with a turkey and stuffing already cooked and just needing reheating, leftover day was the perfect time to try roasting them. It turned out great – very flavourful and I loved the crunchiness of the outer leaves. I think I will have to pick up some more brussels sprouts and make this again.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Adapted from Ina Garten

2 to 3 cups brussels sprouts
4 carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.Cut the carrots into medium-sized strips.

Mix the vegetables in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the vegetables evenly.

Serve immediately.