Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gluten Free Rosettes and Patty Shells #SundaySupper

Rosettes and Patty Shells are words that, when spoken a few years ago, I would have had to store in my memory and return home to "google".  I did not grow up with such fancy and delicate desserts in my home.   Don't think ill of me for pointing out the obvious, but it's true.  I grew up on fudge, cakes and dense cookies.  Nothing to balk at, yet, not the same as say a bratzeli, a rosette or a patty shell.

Phone Photo
In December, That Skinny Chick Can Bake by Liz, shared her recipe for rosette's.  I was mesmerized by these frail and lacy cookies.  What were they and could they be made gluten free?  Two common questions in my quest to find fun and challenging items to prepare and bake in my little white kitchen.

The cyber world is full of explanation as to what and how these cookies are made, served and traditionally celebrated.  I turned to Wikipedia and to discover the story behind this simple cookie.

It took me roughly 5 minutes to read Liz's post and have my Rosette and Timbale set ordered and on its way to my doorstep.  Timbale is another name for Patty Shell.  I was so excited to have something so unique in my own kitchen.  I know that these are a tradition in some cultures for Christmas but I saw them as a fun way to celebrate birthdays, Valentines and Mother's day.   All three holidays, of which,  I have on my horizon, as all three of my kids were born in January and February, and May is right around the corner.

I soon discovered that my eldest daughter, Rye, was a sneaker of rosettes.  I call her this because she is a very healthy eater and to have something before her that is so tempting as a fried cookie was beyond her self control.  Each time I turned around I noticed that my pile of freshly made rosettes was diminishing, one cookie at a time.

Phone Photo
I knew immediately who the culprit was, there is no denying the white fluffy powder of confectioner's sugar on her chin.  She grinned when confronted and we laughed that this cookie was too good for her to resist.  I dare say, rosettes and timbales are hit among my family and friends.

I experimented with two batches, a gluten free version and the recipe that I found on Liz's site.  I needed my family to experience the "real" version before I attempted a gluten free cookie so we could match the texture and flavors.

I am happy to report that they are very similar, and to my delight, they disappeared just as quickly as the original batch had on those first few days of making them.  Yes, you read that right, days.  I made these three days in a row when I received my set in the mail--how could I not?  The rosettes were fun to create, the family enjoyed them and I loved using all of my cast iron molds.

I don't collect many things, but the cast iron molds are abundant in size and shape. I hope to add a snowflake to my box of goodies in time for Christmas 2013.

 Sunday Supper is a wonderful group of bloggers that has been organized by Isabel of Family Foodie.  You can read her story here and learn about how it was started and why by visiting this link HERE.  You can also follow along every Sunday on twitter with the handle, #SundaySupper.

I was thrilled to be invited to participate towards the end of last year and decided to start in January.  This is my first post.  My first experience of a Sunday Supper with a talented group of friends.  At the end of this bit of writing you will find the links to all of the participants and the recipes that they are sharing.

This week is special because we are celebrating Sunday Supper's birthday.  One year ago the idea of a seed grew into a sprouting and vivid garden filled with the choicest of recipes and friends.   We have been asked to choose a past recipe from the 52 weeks of Sunday Supper for 2012 and share our version.  As mentioned above, this decision was an easy one for me because Liz's recipe for rosette's was a great inspiration in my journey of cooking simple and yet gourmet recipes.

I decided to make the timbale/patty shells and share my gluten free version of the recipe used for the batter.   The cookie is delicate and holds its shape well.  There is a fine line between frying them though-- too little and they become chewy and too long and they become dark and brittle.

My suggestion is to have a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. It should hold steady around 350 degrees.  This may require that you turn the heat up or down on your stove top to maintain the desired frying temperature.

In my attempt at creating something new and beautiful, I followed the picture on the box of my molds--the cups are filled with fruit.  I added a bit of custard to the bottom of my patty shells but this is something that should not sit or they become soggy.  The fruit filled cups with custard would need to be made just before serving and then served with a plate…they are messy after the first bite.

I would suggest a fruit bar with the shells on a plate, the fruits diced and ready to serve.  Have the option of a filling (pudding or yogurt) available and let your family and guest create their own works of beauty.

The patty shells are just as delicious on their own with a bit of confectioner's sugar sifted over the top as the rosette cookies are. The shells just give you more options and designs to choose from.

You can find my recipe for the gluten free batter at the very end of this post, but I really want you to see the talent and the recipes that have inspired the other submitters in our group over the past 52 weeks.

Happy Birthday Sunday Supper!
In Isabel's own words, "how do you choose just one recipe from 52 weeks of fabulous Sunday Supper Recipes?"  

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:
 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 
Sunday Supper Veggies: 
SundaySupper Desserts and Snacks: 
 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:
Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog 
I am excited to announce a New Addition:  Tablescape by An Appealing Plan, Anniversay Dinner featuring Cheesecake with Fresh Berries orginally posted by The Messy Baker Blog
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

Recipe:  Rosettes and Patty Shell Batter, Gluten Free
Adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Makes about 40-50 cookies

oil, for frying

2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup of milk, luke warm
1/2 cup of rice powder (this is finer than rice flour, see note below)
1/2 cup of arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon of coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt

For Patty Shells-- a variety of fresh fruit: whole, sliced or diced
For Patty Shells-- any filling: pudding, whipped toppings

For Patty Shells and Rosettes:  confectioner sugar to sift over the top

While preparing batter, start oil on stovetop.  In a pot, add 2 inches of oil.  Heat until a temperature of 350 degrees is reached.  Do this slowly, if you try to heat the oil too fast then the oil will get too hot .

In a small bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together to combine.

In a different small bowl, add wet ingredients and whisk well.

Combine the two bowls and whisk until you have a smooth batter.  

Check oil to see if it is ready.  If not, cover batter and let sit until the oil is ready--this is okay to do because it lets the gluten free batter have a chance to "marry" the flours together.

When the oil is ready, add the mold with handle and preheat the mold in the oil.  You want this to be hot enough so that when you dip the mold into the batter it sizzles and sticks to the mold.

Please follow directions on box as to how to cook the rosette or patty shell.

I found that I would have to stir the batter every once in a while to reincorporate the ingredients.  You will also find that the last bit of batter will be wasted because the oil from dipping the molds in and out is too much to withstand the balance of ingredients.

Do not put the batter over the top of the mold--you will not be able to remove the cookie without tearing it.

It is better to go half way up the mold with the batter because when the cookie is submerged in the oil it walks up the side of the mold.

It is a fast process to fry the cookie--it may take you a few tries to get the rhythm and cookie just right. 

I use a cookie cooling rack to set my rosettes or patty shells on right out of the frying pan.  I then transfer them to paper towels to dust with confectioners sugar.

Store in an air tight container, they will be fresh for 2 days.

NOTE:  I buy my rice powder at H Mart, a national asian food chain across the country.  You can make rice flour finer, if the powder cannot be found in your area, by putting a small amount at a time in a blender, vitamix or blendtec and pulsing for a few seconds.

Written by Sherron Watson


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bacon, Jalapeno and Onion Jam

A few years ago I clipped a recipe from the Martha Stewart magazine for Bacon Jam.  I have kept that recipe this whole time and drooled over it from time to time as I flip through my binders.  I have a few white binders filled with recipes that I clipped from magazines, newspapers and ads.

That sounds like such an old thing to do these days.  I rarely buy magazines anymore and the "clipping" that I did has changed to "pinning" on Pinterest.

On occasion I miss the feel of a paper magazine in my hand, the glossy pages and vibrant images; what I don't miss are the stacks and stacks of used magazines floating around in my home.

I was never one to keep a magazine for a length of time. I would take what I wanted and then share it with my neighbors and friends.

We went on a mini vacation this past weekend and I checked a book out of the library.  As I sat there reading my book, I noticed that I was one of the only ones with a real book in my hand.  Those to my left and right were using notepads or their phones.  I kind of felt old for the first time.

This recipe had me so excited the whole time I was away. I made it on Friday so that when I returned on Monday to the kitchen, I could photograph it and get started on my week with Isabella.

While she was at lunch I worked fast-I had maybe 20 minutes-to eat, I mean, photograph the jam.  I do have to add that by letting the jam sit for a few days in the fridge, it set up nicely.  The thick jam sat perfectly on each cracker.  I could taste the jalapeno in every bite and feel the chewiness of the bacon too.  Delicious is what came to mind with each bite.

This combination was so good!  If you don't want it to be spicy, then don't add the jalapeno's.  I think they are what make the jam but I understand that not everyone enjoys spicy food.

To temper the kick from the jalapeno's, I served this with a bit of cream cheese on a cracker.  In my mind I see this jam as the perfect companion to a hamburger, stuffed into meatballs or served warm on its own with a variety of crackers or veggies.

I could also see this being made as a vegetarian jam.  The flavor is sweet and spicy like a chutney and the bacon could be omitted and substituted with zucchini or carrots. Something that is firm and would add body to the jam.  I would cook the carrots and zucchini until al dente before adding to the final simmer stage.  I will make it this way soon and let everyone now how it turned out.

I can't wait to make this again, and it will be soon, and to experiment using it in a variety of ways.

Recipe: Bacon, Jalapeno and Onion Jam

9 slices of thick bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices, cooked until brown (not crispy)
4 tablespoons of bacon grease, reserved from frying up bacon
1 large red onion, diced into 1/4 inch squares (yielded about 2.5 cups)
1 tablespoon mined garlic
dash of salt
1/4 cup diced jalapenos (this amount makes it spicy, use less if worried about the temperature)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (don't use imitation or artificial syrups)
3/4 cup brewed coffee

NOTE:  I did not cook my bacon until it was crispy. I wanted it to be brown and chewy.  This allows the liquids in the recipe a chance to flavor and marinate the bacon.

In a medium size saute pan, add 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease.  Wait until it is hot enough to saute and add the diced onion and garlic.  Cook until the onions are clear-8 minutes- on medium heat, stirring every once in a while.  If they start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a bit more grease.

In a medium sauce pan, add the vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, coffee, jalapeno's and bacon.

When the onions and garlic are done, add these to the medium sauce pan too.

Bring the jam to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low--the jam should simmer for 45 minutes.  I would check the jam every 15 minutes and stir once.

You will know it is done because almost all of the liquid is gone when the jam is stirred.

Store jam in the refrigerator for one week.

I served the jam on crackers with cream cheese.

Written by Sherron Watson

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tomatillo Cilantro Salad Dressing

This recipe is such a wonderful color of green.

I love how the cilantro and tomatillo work together to create a green that reminds me of something I imagine from the rain forest-possibly the feathers of a bird or the belly of a lizard.   Lime green is too bright, jade is too dark--according to Crayola, the color is granny apple green.

I can see that….it is similar to my bowl of green apples.

The fusion of two green ingredients create a woodsy and earthy flavor that also carries with it a hint of garlic, onion and a variety of spice.   This combination sets it apart from the others.  I like this dressing because it can be used on a variety of other entree's, not just for salads.

I especially like it over this recipe HERE.

While living in Utah we fell in love with a restaurant that served a very similar salad dressing.  Cafe Rio was unlike any place we had eaten before. Moving to the Provo area provided us with many new experiences and this was one of our favorites.  The ingredients were fresh, the flavors spicy and our portions were huge.  We new we could always split a meal and save a few extra pennies for our next great adventure by frequenting Cafe Rio.

The original recipe did call for a packet of ranch dressing.  I try to not buy too many packaged food items and so I have adjusted mine so that you can use the spices you have in your cupboard and not worry about wether you have a "packet" at home.

Enjoy this refreshing dressing for your next party, outdoor gathering or simply for your own simple pleasure.

Recipe: Tomatillo Cilantro Salad Dressing
Makes about 2.5 cups

3-4 tomatillo's, cut into fourths
1 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup of buttermilk
1 cup of cilantro ( I use more for a stronger flavor)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of lime juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon on onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients into a blender.   Blend until tomatillo's and cilantro are chopped into small and tiny specks.  (see pictures)

Taste you dressing.  Add more salt if needed.  The dressing should be allowed to sit over night or a minimum of 4 hours so the flavors have a chance to fuse and combine.

Written by Sherron Watson

Friday, January 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

This new year has brought several changes into my life.  I value change because it usually means that I am evolving, life is moving and my future is progressing.  

I tend to make very few New Year resolutions because with change can also bring uncertainty and I want to be open to all of the opportunities that come my way whether they are for professional or for personal reasons.  I think to myself, if I make a list then I am disappointed at the end of the year because I failed or that this list will cause me to be focused in one area of my life and I will miss out on something else.  It is probably my mind over thinking the simplest of things: a list.  

Lose weight.

Exercise more.

Learn a language.

Try yoga.

Play my flute more.

These are just a few things that I have had on my list in previous years, then again, these are things that I am always trying to work on and squeeze into my life.  

It's funny how in the process of not writing a list of resolutions, and chatting her about not having said list-that in turn, I have started a small list of goals, resolutions or ideas to improve my life.  hmmmmm

Some of the things on this list will be a little bit harder to find the time for than last year because of the changes I referenced above.

The one change that will affect me the most, is our decision to homeschool Isabella.  We hummed and hawed about this over the summer and opted to have her start at the elementary school near our home.  I needed those few months to work and to figure a few things out with Simply Gourmet, but once my work load eased up I  missed her.

I missed teaching her and spending the hours each day watching her blossom into a reader, a writer and the unrelenting desire, that she possesses, to learn.  Most kindergarteners are eager to learn new things and she is no different.  My Mom asked me if my 24 hour a day homeschooling was going well.  I laughed because she knows Isabella well---she never is not learning, or doing, or asking questions, or still---her little mind and body are a constant train of motion.

I love to learn and I hope that she never loses that desire.  Our week has started off well; I feel good about this change.  She is also enjoying the process of having more time to spend on certain subjects, more art projects and more reading.  

It has required that I change the way I work at home a bit, but to me it is worth every late night or early morning.  It may sound strange, but I am actually accomplishing more in one day with her home than I did before.  I am organized and on top of my schedule-two things I struggled with before Christmas.  

I could organize Simply Gourmet, but not the house work; or the house was clean but I had not cooked in a week.  I was concerned that if I added one more item onto my to do list, it would sink me-I learned that it was what tipped the scale and allowed me to strive and be organized.  I think before, I had too much time on my hands and therefore found reasons to not do things because tomorrow was always around the next corner.

As you can see, time management will be something that I should add to my list and that is where recipes like this one come in to play.  I have heard of making macaroni in the slow cooker before but wasn't sure if it was something I would find appetizing.  Not to mention, I was not sure that gluten free noodles would hold up under the heat of being cooked for so long.  

I thought that the whole dish would turn to mush.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the cheesy macaroni and cheese turned out creamy, cheesy and full of whole elbow macaroni pasta pieces---not mush.

I do believe if you over cook the macaroni and cheese this could be the case, so be careful to not over cook the pasta.

I will be honest, if you are looking for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese--this is not the recipe for you.  The flavor is mild, the texture creamy and the ingredient list is not long.  

Using a variety of cheese can change the flavor of this dish so I do encourage you to change those every now and then so that you can find the best blend of cheese for your family.  We love combining these types of cheese into ours: cheddar, jack, swiss, fontina, cream cheese and cottage cheese. Not necessarily all at the same time, usually choosing three of the six listed.

I can't wait to see what doors will open this new year and how my family and I will respond to the changes that are sure to come.  I hope that we will embrace them with open arms, open hearts and with a diligence to persevere--I may be optimistic but I know that not all change can be what we seek or want at any given time.  Life can be challenging, that is a given.

Recipe:  Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

1.5 cups of whole milk
1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
1/4 cup of melted butter
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
3 cups of  grated cheese: cheddar, swiss, jack, etc (see note above)
1/2 pound of elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top

Boil a large pot of water and cook your noodles for 5 minutes.  Do not over cook or cook until tender.

Drain and add to the bottom of the slow cooker.

In a bowl, combine milks, butter, salt, eggs and cottage cheese.  Add cheese and mix.

Pour over the elbow noodles and stir.

Cook on high for 30 minutes.  At the end of the 30 minutes, stir a few times and lower heat setting to low.

Cook for 2 hours.

NOTE:  During the two hours I usually stir it one more time.  This is because my slow cooker has a tendency to over cook things around the edges.  After the two hours you may see a little bit of the milk liquid still on top.  Turn heat off, stir this in and let sit for 15 minutes.  The mac and cheese will get thicker.  If you choose to let it continue cooking, the noodles will get very soggy---still taste good just not texturally pleasing to some folks.

I like individual portion sizes and this is how I served mine.  See below.

I portioned the mac and cheese into white ramekins, added a bit of parmesan cheese and broiled until the cheese started to brown and melt OR you can add the parmesan cheese to the slow cooker during  the last 30 minutes and let it cook into the macaroni and cheese.

Written by Sherron Watson

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wasabi Cucumber Salad

Our favorite Sushi restaurant in Annapolis is not downtown, but up by the Annapolis Town Center.  Yama Sushi is amazing!  The restaurant is long and narrow with bright orange walls.  The staff are all young and greet you with a smile.

It used to be that we could go in and find a seat without little delay.  It seems each time we go that it is seeing a greater rush of business.  I am happy for them.

This wasabi salad is something I came home and made after visiting them one night last month.  I love the flavor of wasabi and vinegar together.  If you enjoy spicy and sweet then these cucumbers will fit the bill.

In my opinion, the longer they marinate the better they become.  The slices will loose some of the bite and crispiness that the first few days have to offer, but throwing a spoonful of them onto a salad or over an avocado---is wonderful--no matter how crispy or not, they are.

Recipe: Wasabi Cucumbers

1 English Cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder
2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
dash of salt
2 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

In a container, add all of the above ingredients.  Cover and let marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.  I think they are best after 24 hours.  They will last a good month in your fridge.

This recipe has a lot to do with taste.  I have used the Japanese rice wine but find it not sweet enough and this is why I like to use the red wine vinegar---but please try your favorite wine vinegar.

Wasabi powder is strong---start with the recommended amount and if you want it stronger, please add more.

Sugar is the sweetener and again--is a starting point for the recipe--if you need the cucumbers sweeter, then add more sugar.

The key to this recipe is finding YOUR favorite balance of sweet, sour and spicy.

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Written by Sherron Watson

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chicken/Tuna Melts

December is coming to an end and with that we must face a New Year.

2013 almost did not happen-according to the Mayan calendar or those that predicted the end of the world in previous years.  Personally, I never believed any of the dates or calendars.

I won't judge, though if you did.  We are each entitled to our own belief.

I will have to share a funny story with these events in mind.

On December 20, my family and I were enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas celebration (we each were given a white shirt and asked to decorate it).  Having just finished and restoring the caps to the markers, the lights began to flicker.

We live in a very wooded community and so this is not unusual.  We roll our eyes and jokingly say, "not again?".

This time, it was different.  The lights flickered off and on at least 10 times-fading in an out-not the usual on and then off again motion of previous outages.

Eventually they were out.  I mean OUT OUT-for 6 hours OUT!

We looked outside and the darkness was so black.  Usually when we lose power you can see a glow in the distant and we know that the big city is still bright and merry.  Not this time.

It was silent, dark and very cold.

We decided to light our candelabras and sit around the table.  I have had these candles since we were married.  They are silver and have been used for every Christmas and important holiday.  They are showing their age and yet I cannot depart from them.  As I watched the wax roll down the side of each candle, heard the laughter of my children and saw their smiles--I knew that I was being given a very special memory to archive for future story telling opportunities.

Little did I know that our night would get even better.

We thought it strange that we did not hear any fire trucks or sirens.  When the power has gone out before we hear these in the distant and this will sometimes give us a clue as to why we may have lost power- a fire, a car accident or something else.

What we did hear was a hum.  A low hum coming from outside.

Drake walked to the front door, opened to find a green glow over in the direction of the high school.

We all quickly ran to the windows and peered outside.

For the first time, I thought the Mayan's might have been right.  I know it's funny but when you see something that you have only seen in movies before your eyes, your mind does strange things.

Mine did.

I really said this, "Cory, are those aliens?"  Silly, huh? For a few seconds I thought the Mayans had predicted the end of the world and it was going to be at the hand of little green men.

It made me anxious, Isabella was in tears and the big kids thought they were in for the ride of their lives.  Dad was just cool and sat there working on his shirt, by candlelight and taking in the conversation at the table.

We mentioned more than our fair share of Zombie and Apocalypse type jokes through out the rest of the night.

To end the night we brought out our Tarot cards and had some fun.  This is something that we enjoy doing as a family.  I know that many don't understand the cards, don't believe in them or may even think they are evil.

To us, they have been a fun way to see our lives, think about the possibilities of our future, help understand the past and refine things in our present day.

It's not for everyone, but our family, on this night, drew comfort from being together and doing something that sparked great conversation and a memory that none of us will soon forget.

I awoke the next day thinking to myself, that I had just partook of the best day of my life for the year 2012.  My Christmas gift came a few days early and I can still feel the gratitude I will forever hold to; that for a few hours, the lights went out, technology turned off, the candles were lit and we enjoyed each other uninterrupted.

With the memories of 2012 still close to our hearts and our future before us,  my goal to simplifying my life is one that I will take with me into 2013.  This recipe is an easy one that I hope will lighten your load on a busy night.

I am sharing with you a biscuit idea that I first tried for my family a few years back.  I am pretty sure I found the recipe on the back of a Grands biscuit tube.  You can use tuna or chicken to make the salad.  My family prefers chicken.

If you need to use gluten free biscuits, HERE is an easy recipe that I make.  They will need to be precooked as the recipe below suggest.

Recipe:  Chicken/Tuna Melts

1 (13 oz) can of diced chicken, drained
1/4 cup of green onions, diced
1 celery rib, diced finely
salt/pepper to taste, usually just a dash of each
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of red pepper, diced finely
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese + more for topping
1 can of Grand's biscuits or a batch of Gluten free biscuits

Preheat oven according to directions on biscuit can.

Bake the biscuits according to those directions.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.

After the biscuits have cooled for a few minutes, cut in half.

Turn oven to broil.

Put a small scoop of chicken salad on top of each biscuit halve with a bit more cheese.

Place each halve on a cookie sheet and broil until cheese has melted.

Remove and serve.

Written by Sherron Watson

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gluten Free Cornbread

Some days I just want comfort food.  Something warm, and filling.  I want to feel and taste my blues away.

Why does food have the ability to offer comfort when sometimes a hug or a kind word does not?

I think of corn bread as comfort food because it reminds me of days spent with my family growing up in California.   It stirs a memory of my family being snowed in to our home in Utah during a winter storm.  I am instantly thinking of the chili recipe that my brother n law shared with me last year.  He was so proud that he created a dish that won first place.  I was able to recreate it for my family and make this cornbread to go with it.

This past week we have, as a nation and country, felt great sorrow and pain.  We see ourselves in the shoes of those parents that lost loved ones.  We remember a time that fear was felt in our spines.  I, for the first time, thought about my safety and that of my family, in greater detail.

I became more aware of my surroundings.  I noticed every person in line.  I watched with an uneasy eye as I entered the grocery store.

I cried.  I tried to reason in my mind why something of this nature could and would take place.  I was at a loss for words.  It hurt to my core.

All this emotion and I was someone on the outside looking in through the media, internet and personal stories being shared with friends.   I cannot even begin to understand the emotion and loss that the town in CT felt or those affected by the Clackamas Town Center shooting in Oregon.

Clackamas Town Center is a place that I worked when I graduated from high school, I sat numerous times on Santa's lap, I enjoyed ice skating with my family and friends on weekends, I visited See's Candy more than was necessary; this was my neck of the woods growing up, and yet, I have not lived there for many years and the shock of what happened still confuses me.

I never heard of Sandy Hook Elementary before Friday but I can guarantee to you that I will never forget the school or the poster of those that lost their lives.

This week has left me questioning everything.

With this questioning I know some things for certain.  I know that I love my family.  I know that there are many many good people in this world.  My hope is that I and my family will not live by the fear that is so easy to feel at times like this.  I want my kids to understand that bad things happen but from them we must learn and see the good.  I know that the loss and heartache will ease with time.  Never forgotten, not buried but put into a special place that can be visited with fond memories and joy deep within our souls.

Our world is changing.  I would hope for the better but I don't know.

Words are hurtful and mean or they can be comforting and caring.

I have seen the hurtful words a few times this past week and it makes me sad especially during such a sorrowful time.  We all have opinions and ideas of what should be the change to come and how it should manifest itself; we all have varying ideas that make discussing these items challenging.  We all come from different experiences and lives.

So it is because of the events of the last few weeks that I needed some comfort food.  I wanted to escape for a few minutes into a few memories that brought a smile to my heart.

Enjoy this easy cornbread recipe the next time you make chili or beef stew.  It would also make a great brunch item served with honey and butter.


Recipe:  Gluten Free Cornbread

1 cup of corn meal
1/3 cup of sorghum flour
1/3 cup of tapioca starch
1/3 cup white rice flour
1.5 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of oil, I used sunflower oil
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup of corn, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If using a cast iron pan, put into oven now with 2 tablespoons of butter.

While your pan and oven are preheating, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl.  Whisk to blend.

In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, fold in the corn.

Remove hot pan from oven and add cornbread batter.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown on top.  the middle should be firm to the touch.

Written by Sherron Watson

Donut Breakfast Casserole

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1.  Share  this pos...

Popular Posts