Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Honey Jalapeno Cornbread

I have made cornbread many times and this one is by far my favorite. It's sweet and moist with just a bit of heat and flavor from the honey and jalapenos. I made collard greens and wanted some cornbread with them so I searched for jalapeno cornbread recipes since I had two leftover in my fridge.
I saw iowagirleats recipe on Pinterest and modified it. Thank you Iowa girl for the recipe. I loved it. She uses unsweetened apple sauce but I used regular apple sauce which is what I had. Therefore, I may reduce the sugar next time to be more savory and less sweet but it was delicious the way it was. I didn't have butter either so I used olive oil and it turned out just fine and moist. I plan to just use olive oil next time too. Also since I used regular apple sauce it was already sweet enough that we didn't need more honey to drizzle

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sugar (will reduce or omit this next time)
1/4 cup honey
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup low-fat buttermilk ( I used 1 TBS lemon juice and fill up one cup with whole milk )
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8×8 or equivalent sized baking dish well with nonstick spray then set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and applesauce. Add sugar and honey then whisk to combine.  Add eggs and buttermilk (or sour milk) then whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk into dry ingredients in two batches. I took some batter out to make a mild version the added jalapeno to the rest of the batter.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 Below is a non spicy version in cute littles ramekins I made before I added jalapenos for my baby girl so it wont be too hot for her. She loved them. They were only in the oven for about 22 minutes since they were smaller and baked faster.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Homemade Fig Preserves

Figs are truly a rare treat whether you enjoy them fresh or preserved. There are so many varieties of figs and I am not sure what kind of figs my in laws have but I was lucky enough to receive tons and tons of figs this year from their tree. They are greenish on the outside with pink flesh inside. We had fun picking them before the birds get to them. I made several jars of preserves to keep and to give away.

Fig Preserves Recipe

Makes 3-4, 8 oz jars

Prep time 35-40 minutes
Cook time about 1 1/2 hour
  • 8 Cups whole fresh figs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 1tsp minced ginger or powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Zest and juice from 1 Lemon
  • Hot tap water

  • Dissolve the baking soda in hot tap water, and gently stir to wash the figs in it.
  • Then rinse the figs thoroughly with fresh cool water. 
  • Slice figs in half. (leave whole for whole fig preserves)
  • In a large stock or canning pot, combine figs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger and 1 cup hot tap water bring to a boil stirring frequently. ( I used a Dutch oven)
  • Note: if using whole fruit gently stir in order no to break fruit.
  •  Reduce heat and continue cooking until mixture is thick and gooey. (about an hour)
  • I also cut the figs more while they are still in the pot with shears towards the end to get smaller pieces.
  • Add cinnamon and vanilla in the last 20 min of cooking.
  • Watch closely in the last few minutes to keep bottom from burning
  •  Fill sterilized jars with hot preserves leaving 1/4 inch head space and cover with clean tops and rims cook in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Follow manufacturer's canning instructions for more details in canning. 
  • Open jars can be kept up to a month in the refrigerator.

The fun part now that I have all the preserves in the jars is to decorate and give them as gifts. These make great gifts and many people love fig jam. I used brown paper, some pretty scrap booking paper and bakers twine to decorate the jars. My daughter helped me with the decorating part and we had a great time.

I enjoy my preserves on a piece of toasted crusty rustic bread with some mascarpone or cream cheese. It should be yummy on a bagel or on an english muffin as well. How about on pizza with some goat cheese? I will have to try that soon.