Yearly Archives: 2014
Post by Alison Hein.
I have been remiss. I’ve shared with you my recipes for Toasted Maple Corn Muffins and for Corn Bread Hot Browns. Even Fried Cornmeal Mush! But somehow in all this corn madness, I’ve neglected to provide my favorite recipe for simple Corn Bread.
This sturdy but crumbly quick bread can be whipped up inside 30 minutes. It’s nearly as easy as a boxed mix, and much more delicious. I like to break up the sugar content with a little honey, with its old-fashioned sweetness, texture and depth. Then, I like to reprise that flavor with some homemade, spreadable Honey Butter. There’s nothing like a gooey glob of it melting into some oven-hot corn bread.
For best results, use a pure, stone-ground corn meal. I sometimes buy it from a local living history farm, where they grind organic corn into meal in a 300-year old working gristmill. The rich, coarse meal, ground fresh, makes the perfect base for a batch of bread.
My husband always enjoys a basket of fresh corn bread beside a bowl of spicy chili, and I often make some to go with dinner, when I’ve forgotten to buy bread or rolls. But best of all, I like to cut a thick yellow square of bread in half, toast it to a crumbly gold, slather it with honey-sweet butter, and enjoy a crazy, corny breakfast in bed.
1½ cups corn meal
¾ cup white flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup corn oil
⅓ cup honey
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350°. In large bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, mix together milk and eggs. Stir milk mixture into dry ingredients. Add corn oil and honey, mixing in well.
Spoon into greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown, or until toothpick in center comes out clean. You can also use 2 cast iron mini-corn molds, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
To make Honey Butter, add softened butter to small bowl. Stir in honey and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
When it comes to hanging art above the bed, the possibilities are endless. Introduce pattern by hanging multiple, coordinating prints; create height by utilizing a single large, vertical piece; or, add vibrant color to an otherwise neutral scheme.
Given that a bed is usually the focal point in most sleeping quarters, artwork is a vital element in the overall design of the bed wall and the bedroom itself. Often, we tend to play it safe and hang a single frame, or merely two side by side, but there are a plethora of other arrangements to explore when hanging art above the bed.
I love each of the options below. Whether you’re moving into a new room or redecorating your existing space, use these as potential inspiration for your bed wall.
These whimsical statements look fantastic above a bed. The tightly stacked frames create pattern and give you something to ponder each night before turning in, or make you chuckle upon waking. Are you really hustlin’ every day?
The pieces above the bed in this modern mountain house line up with the other windows and continue the rhythm around the room. They successfully bring the outside in, and are almost like make-believe windows.
The color scheme in this room is so lovely and soothing, it makes me want to nap right now. The geometric creates pattern but also does a great job of pulling the lavender colors together within the scheme, while the pale green wall acts as a contrasting background.
This bedroom proves that a traditional headboard is not always necessary. The tall artwork not only adds height to the low platform bed, but also gives the illusion of a grand headboard. The monochromatic gray color scheme is sophisticated, and the picture lights enhance the drama. This designer took a risk, and the space works beautifully.
What’s your preferred way to hang art above the bed?
Post by Alison Hein.
We were preparing for our last outdoor party of the season. I always like to have at least one hearty vegetarian dish. This time, I was making Baked Vegetable Enchiladas – pure corn tortillas filled with a medley of vegetables and cheese and baked in a spicy tomato sauce. As I was mixing up the filling, I thought, why not save some of this for a spicy, Latin-style egg bake?
So, out came my cute little mini-cast iron pots (easy to buy from Lodge or use other small baking dishes). To my mixture of cumin-spiced black beans, spinach, corn and green onion, I added a little Monterey Jack cheese and a few eggs. I poured the concoction into the pots and covered them with a crumbling of Mexican queso fresco (you can substitute any kind of semi-firm cheese). Then I popped them in the oven and made a cilantro-lime sour cream sauce as a topping.
A quick thirty minutes later, we were enjoying a vegetarian, Mexican-style breakfast in bed.
1 tablespoon black beans
1 tablespoon chopped spinach
1 tablespoon corn kernels
1 tablespoon sliced green onion
1 tablespoon Monterey Jack cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons queso fresco, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 mini-cast iron pots (or substitute any ½-pint baking dishes, such as ramekins)
Preheat oven to 350°. Add black beans, spinach, corn kernels, Monterey Jack cheese, and cumin to a large mixing bowl and stir together. Crack eggs into medium bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Add to vegetable / cheese mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover tops with crumbled queso fresco.
Lightly oil mini-cast iron pots (½-pint baking dishes). Pour egg mixture evenly into each pot. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until eggs are cooked through and puffed up.
While eggs bake, make sour cream cilantro sauce. Add sour cream, cilantro and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well.
To serve, remove eggs from oven. Place an equal amount of sour cream cilantro sauce on each and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.
NOTE: If you would like a spicier, non-vegetarian version, add a little chopped chorizo to the mix before baking.
Makes 2 servings.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
M is for Monster: a fantastic creatures alphabet
There are a lot of alphabet books out there. Some of them are good, some are entertaining, and a very few of them are both well-done and informative. Sleeping Bear Press publishes the lion’s share of the good and informative ones. From A is For Axel: an ice skating alphabet to Z is Zeus: a Greek mythology alphabet and all the letters in between, this publisher has probably released an alphabet book on a subject of you or your offspring’s interest at some point or another.
There are also all manner of books about monsters. Not all of them are so culturally-leaning as this one. Not only does it mention the classic Western monsters like werewolves and vampires, it also dips into Eastern and Native American legend as well. From the Chinese story of Xing Tian to the giant bird known as Roc, this book covers a wide range of mythical beasts in twenty-six short letters. Each creature is accompanied by a short rhyme as well as an in-depth discussion in the side bar. We learn about the origins of Frankenstein, cultural aspects of Baba Yaga in Russian literature and television, and anecdotes about the Hippogriff.
We have read this book every day since I brought it home from the library. It’s informative and a little creepy without being downright scary. It is an excellent find for kids who like to be spooked a little bit.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
A spacious bedroom often boasts a sitting area, which can double as a place to read, relax or watch TV, as well as a spot to put on socks and shoes each morning. In a corner, at the foot of the bed, or even placed just beyond a half wall, a sofa and a club chair can add an element of comfort to an already restful room.
These are four different examples of sitting rooms within bedrooms.
A knee wall with columns designates this sitting area as separate from the bedroom, yet it’s still within view. The master provides plenty of space for one person to snooze while another dives into his or her favorite book. The coffered ceiling, soothing blue/green walls, and the view to the outside make this space a winning design.
This Minneapolis transitional bedroom is spacious enough for a seating area without compromising the king bed or the practical layout. Bold, horizontal-striped drapes frame the windows and create a backdrop for the sofa. The tufted ottoman functions well as a coffee table here.
This contemporary sleep space soars with exposed beams, a large picture window, and a fireplace. Although I love the overall feel, my one critique for this room is the placement of the furniture in the sitting area, which neither faces the fireplace/TV nor the breathtaking view. Perhaps shifting the sofa to be parallel with the television wall would be more successful, if the space permits.
The nook in this all white bedroom is a lovely addition. Overlooking the pool, the alcove is a terrific spot for morning coffee and a croissant, don’t you think? The outdoors adds color to the monochromatic modern cottage design in this Boca Raton home.