Monday, September 26, 2011

Mama Loves Shortnin'

So, last week, we waxed eloquent about our love of beans.

This week, we will introduce you to its partner in crime, Ree Drummond's Skillet Cornbread (p. 102). Like the beans, this recipe is straight-forward and simple. This recipe has a one-up on the beans, though, in that it is very corny. Like our jokes. Moving on.

We started by combining flour, salt, baking powder and cornmeal.

Into a separate bowl went buttermilk and an egg. These were whisked together. We then added baking soda to the milk mixture.

The buttermilk was added to the dry ingredients. Everything was mixed together.

Here's our favorite picture in the bunch.

What is it?

That's right. Shortening.

We melted shortening in a warm skillet, then added the cornbread mixture to the pan.

We used a spatula to spread it evenly.

Ree recommends cooking briefly on the stove top about one minute, then baking for 20 minutes in the oven at 450-degrees.

Badda-bing. Badda-boom.

This beauty was sliced into pie-shaped pieces and served with the beans.

This combination is hard to beat as far as comfort food is concerned. Not glamorous, but just plain ol' good. Kind of like we are looking today if you saw us. Not too glamorous. It's Monday. We're rock-paper-scissoring to see who gets to be the glamorous beans. We'll let you know how that turns out.


...Happily full,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happiness is a Crock of Beans

If you're from Kansas and have driven west on I-70 heading to Colorado, you might have noticed a large sign over a set of silos featuring a gentleman stirring a pot with a sign that says, "Happiness is a crock of beans." We quite agree.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lofgren, by the way. Thank you, Google Images.

Now before you go rolling your eyes and think, "You haven't blogged for three weeks, and now you're talking about beans!?" - allow us to explain, or rather, give our excuses. There are none. These beans are awesome. The homemade beans and cornbread, which we'll feature in a future post, are delicious, filling and simple. And relatively healthy, if you don't count the bacon fat.

So here we present Ree Drummond's Beans (p.100).

We started by rinsing the beans and placing them in the Dutch oven.

Pour enough water to cover the beans by about an inch.

Bacon was sliced into one-inch pieces and added to the pot.

These simmered for approximately three hours, really four, because Jo added more water when she didn't need to. At this point the house was smelling quite wonderfully.

We stirred the beans to make sure they were soft. This is where you get to start having fun. Imagine your beans to be a blank canvas, upon which you splash colors of your favorite spices. gourmet.

Ree suggests chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and oregano. We added the first three, and since we didn't have oregano, we decided on Senor Chipotle Powder, our spicy boyfriend. Never a dull dinner with El Senor. Or Lou and Jo. We also added kosher salt to taste.

It's really that simple, folks.

We topped our beans with sour cream, cheese and fresh cilantro.

We also topped it with a slice of cornbread.

Cool beans, y'all.

Happily full,