Honey Corn Bread


This is the first time I made homemade corn bread.  I wanted to make it to go along with the Gumbo I was making.  I knew the gumbo was going to be spicy, so I thought the sweetness of a honey corn bread would nicely offset the spice of the gumbo.  When it's finished, the corn bread has just the slightest hint of honey.  The original recipe  says that it is similar to corn bread served at Tippin's restaurants.  I've never had Tippin's corn bread, so I don't know.  

I ended up eating this with the Gumbo, but I also added some peanut butter and honey and had it for a dessert a time or two.  And, I substituted this corn bread for pancakes or toast for at least one Sunday breakfast.  This recipe ended up being a lot more versatile than I would have initially imagined.  

Source: Dine & Dish

What you need:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups AP Flour
2 cups Cornmeal (I used yellow)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Kosher Salt
4 Large Eggs
2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Honey  

What you do:
1.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. 
2.  Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1/2 cup of honey, and 1/2 cup of butter. 
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 
5.  Poor into prepared baking dish and bake for about 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven when the cornbread turns a nice golden brown. 
6.  While the bread is baking, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of butter with the remaining 1/4 cup of honey.
7.  Immediately after you remove the corn bread from the oven, brush the honey/butter mixture over the top of the bread.  Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting. 



Crock-Pot Gumbo


I had homemade gumbo once a few years back and fell in love with it.  I've bought store-made gumbo since then and it just hasn't quite stood up.  So, I decided to give making gumbo a shot myself.  I'm not sure why, but I was very intimidated by the idea, thinking it was surely going to be quite complicated.  Turns out, it wasn't.  And, for bonus points, I made mine in my crock-pot so it's totally a set it and forget it gumbo which makes it doubly easy. 

I will warn you, though, that this recipe is quite spicy.  If you are shy about spicy food, I suggest you cut down the cayenne pepper a bit.  If it's too dull for you in the end, toss in a bit more cayenne pepper to spice it up.  I served my gumbo with homemade honey corn bread, which was a bit sweet and complimented the spicy gumbo very well.  Yum!

Adapted from: Cats and Casseroles

What you need:
1 lb. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
14 oz Andouille Sausage
28 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
1 Large Onion
1 Large Green Bell Pepper
1 Cup Chopped Celery
2-3 Cups of Chicken Broth
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
2 Tsp Dried Parsley
2+ Tsp Cajun Seasoning
2+ Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Chicken Bullion Cubes
A Touch of Kosher Salt
1 Cup Cooked White Rice

What you do:
1.  Chop the onion, bell pepper and celery into large chunks.  Place in crock-pot.

2.  Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of chicken broth, oregano, parsley, 2 tsp Cajun seasoning, 2 tsp cumin, cayenne pepper, and chicken bullion cubes to the crock pot. 

3.  Season both sides of your chicken as you would like.  I used a bit of kosher salt, Cajun seasoning, and cumin.  Wrap the chicken in foil.  Place the foil-wrapped chicken on top of everything that is in the crock-pot. 

4.  Put the lid on your crock-pot and cook for 3-4 hours on low heat or 7-8 hours on high heat.  Cooking time will vary depending on your crock-pot. 

5.  After the cooking time has elapsed, remove the foil-wrapped chicken from the crock-pot.  USE TONGS!  It's hot in there, folks. 

6.  Set the chicken to the side to cool for a couple of minutes.  Meanwhile, add an additional 1-2 cups of chicken broth to the crock-pot if you would like for your gumbo to have more liquid. 

7.  Thinly slice the sausage and add it to the crock-pot. 

8.  Unwrap the chicken and shred it using a fork and knife.  Add it to the crock-pot. 

9.  Let the contents of the crock-pot continue to cook while you make the white rice according to the instructions on the package.  

10.  Serve the gumbo by putting some gumbo in a bowl and then adding a bit of rice to each serving. 


**Tip**  If you add the white rice to the gumbo, the rice will absorb a lot of the liquid if you store leftovers.  That's why I tell you to make it separately and add a bit as you serve it.  Be sure to store the rice separately as well and your gumbo will remain moist. 

**Tip** Cooking the chicken in foil on top of the rest of the gumbo prevents the meat from deteriorating and become tough or dry.  A lot of people dislike meat cooked in a crock-pot for those reasons.  Trust me on this one -- cook the chicken in foil and you'll have super tender and delicious chicken for your gumbo.