Tag Archives: corn

Green chili cornbread

It finally feels like summer. And this gal has been soaking up every instant of her crazy long, 4-day weekend. I can tell you, not one moment of this weekend wasn’t put to good use, including those frequent moments where it may have looked like I was lounging in the sun. Oh, no I was not lounging. No, mam, it is a well proven fact that this gal doesn’t even know how to lounge. Instead, I was awaiting photo opportunities. And look at my rewards!

Hummingbirds-2

Ok, I may have found a moment in there for relaxing. Just a moment, mind you, I mean there was gardening and outdoor work to be had (things ever so near and dear to my heart). And the weather, well, it just doesn’t get more perfect. It’s weekends like these that convince me anew that we live in the best place on earth. 80’s during the day, chilly enough for blankets at night. Welcome to the rest of the summer.

So there two food things that make my frozen heart so happy during these warm months. Smoked meats and green chilies. Weird, right? Don’t judge. Every summer, Himself shows off his prowess with the smoker, and I plant too many banana pepper plants and buy way too much sweet corn. Every single summer, and yet, we never get sick of it. As if to reinforce that statement, the wind chose that very moment to shift directions, bringing me the amazing, tantalizing scents of pork tenderloin adrift on cherrywood smoke woven in with fresh mowed grass.

Where do the green chilies come in, you ask. Well, after planting far too many, I find myself roasting them (and roasting and roasting) at the end of the summer. You’d think I’d learn, but nope, not only did I plant a ridiculous amount of banana peppers, I also found a black Hungarian version, and planted those. And after a lot of setbacks, weather- and self-induced, those plants are finally in the ground.

Oh, but wait, we still want those flavors at the beginning of summer too. Enter this cornbread. Adapted from my mom’s recipe, it’s a real cake-like corn bread with bites of corn and chilies studded throughout. And it’s the perfect, perfect accompaniment to any BBQ meal, or if you’re lucky (and obsessed) like me, the best accompaniment to a meal of smoke meats. Smoked meats, c’mon it’s just so fun to say, let alone eat. But we’re talking cornbread here. This, like yours truly, is of northern stock, meaning a hint of sweet and a lot of “bread” to match that cornmeal. Doesn’t matter if you’re a northern or southern cornbread lover though, you’re going to love the addition of fresh corn and green chilies!

Enjoy!

Green chili cornbread from thePenandthePan-1

Green chili cornbread

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ butter, softened
1 cup milk
Kernels from one ear of corn, about 1 scant cup
½ of a 4-oz can of green chilies, about 2 scant tablespoons

Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together butter and egg. Add milk and mix well.

Add wet ingredients to flour and cornmeal mixture. Mix well. Add corn and chilies and continue mixing until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Bacon, tomato, and corn pasta

Is it creepy that every day I’m more and more convinced that I moved to the best place on earth? Are you tired of me going on and on extolling the virtues of living in the woods? Well, tough! Cause I love it here, and you get to hear all about it.

That’s not to say that there aren’t things that are tough, but everything seems so much more balanced than previously. I worked crazy long hours this week, but that just means I get a three day weekend. It’s been cold and gloomy this week, but last weekend was gorgeous and this one promises more of the same. We have a lot of yard work and cleanup on the agenda in the coming weekends (having moved into a place that was vacant and had the bare minimum done to the landscaping) but we have a hot tub to sink into after completing the work. See, it’s hard to get cranky when you’re surrounded by awesome.

I also continue to be amazed at the wildlife that surrounds us. Take for example this adorable (and nuisancey) deer. Sure, it means extra protection on the garden and apple trees, but that sight there still takes my breath away. Ok, maybe it’s because I’m screaming, “Cripes! Watch out for that deer!” but still.

Deer-1

So yeah, it’s been a busy, busy week, and I’m ready to collapse with a book (perhaps into the aforementioned hot tub). But that’s ok, because this tasty-asty pasta comes together in a snap. The bacon, of course, is amazing, but the balsamic cuts the richness. And fresh corn and tomatoes, yum! Even if it doesn’t look like spring yet, delish produce is making it’s way into the stores up here. Normally, you’d find me going on about the importance of local vegetables, but let’s be honest, it’s been a long winter, and that “fresh” sweet corn is starting to look awfully good. So don’t wait until high summer to make this, in fact, don’t even wait until tomorrow!

Enjoy!

Bacon tomato corn pasta

Bacon, tomato, and corn pasta

3 ears corn
8 ounces spaghetti
1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 – 1 inch slices
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper diced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes halved
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove corn from cobs and set aside. Place cobs in water and add pasta. Cook pasta to desired doneness. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water. Toss pasta with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Return pasta to pan, covering to keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium high heat until browned. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel. Drain all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat from pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and green pepper. Cook 1 minute. Add corn and cook about 3 minutes more. Add tomatoes and basil and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in vinegar.

Add vegetables and bacon to pasta, toss with reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with Parmesan.

Fresh corn and zucchini quiche

Well, he did it. Himself is jumped into a frozen lake! We have the greatest friends and supporters. With matching funds, he raised over $1,100! Color me super impressed.

As for me, this girl is going to take a much needed breath. I’m still not quite recovered from that terrible sick, but I’ve managed to be quite the go-getter regardless. Himself and I had a rad dinner with some of his friends on Wednesday, followed by a little exploring where we found that a neighborhood bar has a BEAR PIT, you can enjoy an adult beverage and watch BEARS eat (not that I’m excited or anything). Thursday was all Hibbing and hanging with the grandparents, and last night was date night happy hour with fancy pants gin drinks and pie, it being Pi Day! Whew.

Speaking of pie, I still haven’t managed to master a pie crust. Ok, if I tell the truth, I haven’t even made space to try. So, for now, this delicious quiche I have for you was made with a store-bought, frozen pie crust. I know, shame, shame. But after taste testing a few, I found one that is pretty dang good, so let’s just focus on the quiche filling, mmmmkay?

I’ve spent a little time lately pouring through all of my pins on Pinterest (how in the world did I think I was ever going to make all of that?). Anyway, one of the pins I had marked ever so long ago was a quiche with corn in it. Now I pinned that so long ago that the original link has disappeared, so here’s my version. Corn, turkey sausage, zucchini, YUM! Here’s the thing, though, you need to shred that zucchini AND give it time to drain. Trust me on this, you don’t want a big sloppy mess of a quiche. I just use my big ‘ol box grater and then transfer the shredded zuch to a cheesecloth lined colander. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, a coffee filter’ll do in a pinch. I set a bowl on top of the zuch to help squeeze even more water out. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup shredded zucchini, but an average zucchini will give you about 2x that. Simply put the rest of the drained zucchini into a freezer baggie, and pop it into your freezer. Add it to your next omelette, quiche, or soup.

Now, you guys are going to think I’m a terrible cheater, but I used a pre-cooked sausage (Jimmy Dean’s pre-cooked turkey sausage), and it was surprisingly delish. Not to mention sped up the on-hand time enormously, allowing me to bask in a feeling of well-being and early evening sunshine. Not a bad trade off, I say. If you do cook your sausage fresh, just make sure to let it cool slightly and drain on a paper towel before adding to your pie crust.

Enjoy!

Corn and zucchini quiche

Corn and zucchini quiche

Deep dish pie crust, unbaked
¾ cup shredded zucchini
¾ cup fresh corn
¾ cup cooked sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread zucchini, corn, sausage, and cheese evenly in layers on the bottom of the pie crust.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and a pinch of salt and pepper, mixing well. Pour evenly into pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees 40 – 50 minutes or until the middle is set. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Let me start off by saying, dear reader, how much I appreciate you coming back week after week to peek at what’s going on in this gal’s life. Oh sure, I’ve got recipes for you, but I like to think that I’m at least entertaining you a wee little bit with my ramblings on. And for that, my little chickadee, you shall be rewarded with tales of my embarrassment. How better to get over those things that make me cringe than by putting them upon a stage for all the world to ridicule?

Ok, now it’s like I’ve built up some sort of expectation of embarrassment for you. Luckily, I’m not continually a fool, so we’ll start with a small bit of foolishness on my part. Guess who’s got two thumbs and fought her way through a terrible snow storm only to find out that she didn’t actually have to work that day? Oh yeah, this girl. This shamefaced, white-knuckled, overly exhausted girl. Yeah, I may have forgotten that it was President’s Day on Monday. Le sigh. To be fair, I did have a couple of tasks that were better completed right away on Monday, and my mistake made me look like the hardest of workers, so it’s all winning. Still though, everyone that I mentioned the story too (including my dad, of all people) was like, “Uh goofball, you forgot you didn’t have to work?!” I may need to scale back a little on all those projects I’m trying to tackle.

Luckily, this recipe comes together super easy, allowing me a little space to carve out for said activities. Because I think we both know that scaling back my to-do list will never make it on the list. So, bear with me, elaborate recipes have their place, but it’s not here right now.

Besides, if there’s anything Himself loves it’s meatloaf. Make the meatloaf slightly meatball shaped, and I suddenly become the best wife there ever was. Me, I was happy to have a meatloaf that cooked super quick. Plus, a couple of things will help elevate your tried and true meatloaf into awesomeness. I’ve taken to making my own croutons whenever I have bread that’s past its prime. I keep the croutons in the freezer and grab a few out whenever I need them. I highly recommend you start doing the same, because these croutons will make the best breadcrumbs you ever did taste. Likewise, the BBQ sauce is best when you’ve made your own. And, the garlicky bite of the breadcrumbs and sharpness of the cheddar are perfectly balanced with the sweet you get from the BBQ sauce and the corn. See, even meatloaf can make a foodie happy!

Enjoy!

Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Mini BBQ meatloaf cups

Adapted from Taste of Home’s BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

1 lb ground beef
¼ finely chopped onion
⅓ cup sweet corn
¾ cup homemade breadcrumbs
¼ cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg
2 teaspoons hickory seasoning or BBQ rub
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Shape into ⅓ cup balls and place in an ungreased muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately with additional BBQ sauce if desired.

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