Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zesty Little Corn Muffins

Very close to where we live, we have this amazing neighborhood market, Piedmont Grocery, where we buy a majority of our groceries, especially meats and seafood. The butcher counter and display case is probably around 40 feet long, fill with the freshest looking meats and seafood, and makes my mouth water every time I gaze upon it.

Anyway, because of our busy schedules, I like to throw a few ingredients in the slow cooker, and have an easy meal the next day. One of my favorite things are split pea soup with ham. It is so simple and delicious! All I put in the cooker is one beautiful ham shank I buy from the butcher (I always have them cut in half), a bag of split pea, then fill the crockpot up with water. Since the shanks have been smoked already, it gives enough flavor to the soup that I don't have to add any salt to it.

So, long story short, I started the soup last night, and I decided to make some corn muffins today to eat with it. I thought that the savory of the soup and the sweetness of the bread might go well together. I did follow the directions on the box (I had no corn in the house!), but I added some orange zest to the batter before I baked it. It was really yummy! A little on the spongy and fluffy side, and not too dense, just the way I like my cornbread!

Read on for the corn muffin recipe if you happened to have thrown the box away...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Mushroom & Onion Pizza w/ Cilantro Pesto

It has been awhile since I've posted. Work has been busy and my computer just had a week-long battle with some virus. It was frustrating not being able to do my usual computer stuff, but I took advantage of this and took a mini-vacation from the online world. I wasn't as productive as I should've been, but I got to spend more time in the kitchen, took cat naps with Odin, and read some books...

I've been fascinated by bread-making lately. I can't say that I have too much success, but there were a couple of things that I was pretty proud about. With every bread-making project I embark on, the less and less I am afraid of using yeast. Now, I can't even remember why I hesitated to use yeast in the first place. If you remember a few posts before this, I made some yummy homemade English muffins. Strangely enough, that was one of my first attempts using yeast! Not even just regular bread, but English muffins! Sometimes I'm more ambitious than am practical.

Anyway, I've been making homemade pizza dough lately, even though it takes a little bit of time, but it's totally worth it! I love that I can have any topping I want and that I can make the crust as thin as I like! Now that I have had some experience with making dough with yeast, I find that it's very easy to do.

Read on if you'd like to see how I made my dinner last night...