Category Archives: Recipes

Sour Cream Corn Bread


My Southern born husband loves this corn bread.  The key is the whole cup of sour cream that gives it a moist, tender crumb. This is not Yankee corn bread, with a sweet and cakelike texture, and it is not Southern corn bread that has virtually no floor or sugar and winds up being being grainy and crumbly. I got this recipe from the out of print Mennonite Community Cookbook. If you want to gild the lily, get your hands on toasted corn meal. The Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market usually carries this flavorful Lancaster County version of cornmeal.

Sour Cream Corn Bread

3/4 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

Combine flour and corn meal.  If you have toasted corn meal, use half regular corn meal and half toasted corn meal. Add baking soda, cream of tartar (if using), salt, and sugar.

Add beaten egg, sour cream, milk and melted butter. Whisk together and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan, or a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 425˚ for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Corn bread makes a perfect sidekick or foundation to chili.

Web recipes I just had to share

These five dishes looked so good I wanted to go into the kitchen and start cooking immediately.  Alas, there other things in store for me today.  Maybe you will want to make:

o Sautéed Kale with Tahini

o Carrot Slaw with Cranberries and Toasted Walnuts

o Paula Wolfert’s Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives and Nigella Seeds

o Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie

o Pumpkin Mousse Pie


Thanksgiving Menu Planning

How is your Thanksgiving meal planning going?  I am lucky that I fly off to Dallas and play sous chef to my sister-in-law, but don’t have to be responsible for the overall meal plan.  If you are needing to fill in with a recipe or two, one of my favorite websites “the bitten word,”  has mined 6 or more food magazines and picked recipes that might just be what you need to help you finalize your menu.  Here is their introduction:

Below, you’ll see the initial list of recipes we started with: more than 250 Thanksgiving recipes from 10 magazines. To be included in the index, the recipes had to be part of the magazine’s Thanksgiving coverage. So this is not meant to be comprehensive — there are many more recipes in this month’s magazines. If the recipe is hyperlinked, it is available online. If not, it’s not there yet.

In preparation for this year’s Thanksgiving coverage, we’ve also created a page of Our Favorite Holiday Recipes. There, you’ll find a collection of dishes from Thanksgivings, Fakesgivings and holiday dinner parties past. We’ll be updating it as we introduce new content and recipes on the site.

Enjoy the index! 



Bolognese In Memory of My Mother

It has been exactly 4 weeks since the death of my mother and some of my favorite memories of her are around food.  She graduated as a registered nurse, practicing just a year until her marriage and pregnancy with me, her oldest of a brood of seven.  As we sorted through her things, I came across her nutrition class notes.  Those principles stayed with her as one of her highest priorities was nourishing us with homegrown food.  Our parents planted a huge garden each spring, and summer brought weeding, shelling, husking, snapping and freezing on a Laura Ingalls Wilder scale.

We especially appreciated her love of baking and I will be sharing our most treasured treats in the coming weeks.  Today I am going to start with an homage to her way with hamburger.  As many moms on a budget, she offered ground beef in various guises.  One of my favorite “recipes” was what she called “Poppy Seed Stuff” that contained cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and yes, poppy seeds.  I will spare you the details, but in her memory, I am going to share with you my favorite way to use ground meat:  Bolognese.

Almost year around, I have a serving for two stashed in my freezer, so dinner can be ready in the time it takes to cook some pasta and dress a salad.  I’ve tried several Bolognese recipes and my favorite is from Mario Batali as found on Food Networks website.  I substitute one pound of ground dark turkey meat and one pound ground beef for the veal and pork.  Why?  Because that is what I can easily get at Weaver’s Way and I think that it healthier, though delicious nonetheless.

This recipe says that it feeds four, which gives a huge serving per person, so adjust according to the appetite of the lucky people you are serving.

Ragu Bolognese – Recipe courtesy Mario Batali

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 carrot, finely, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound veal, ground
  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan-Reggiano, for grating


In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and toss so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.