April 17, 2014

Homemade Cornbread Muffins

I recently made a big pot of Ham and Bean Soup. Of course, nothing pairs better with ham and beans than cornbread. I grew up eating ham and bean soup with cornbread at my Kentucky-born grandmother's house. She'd make a big pot of the soup and a large pan of cornbread. We'd eat the leftovers for days.

This cornbread recipe is a simple one. I love that actual corn is added to the mix. I use a minimal amount of sugar because I don't care for overly-sweet cornbread. But, if you do - feel free to use a little more sugar than is called for.

I often make this in a cast iron skillet, but love making the recipe into muffins sometimes, too. The kids seem to enjoy it more this way and I don't have to mess with cutting the cornbread into pieces.

Yields 12 muffins.

April 16, 2014

Sea Salt Nutella Pistachio Puppy Chow

I often browse other recipe blogs in my (not so) spare time. One such blog - Layers of Happiness - has quickly become a favorite. Their photos are stunning and their recipes all sound amazing.
Recently, I was inspired by LOH to make the most-delicious puppy chow I've ever put in my mouth! When I came across their post for this insanely tasty treat, I could not look away. There on my computer screen was the most amazing looking puppy chow I had ever laid eyes upon. It was everything I never knew I wanted in puppy chow and somehow more.

April 15, 2014

Ham and Bean Soup

Yes, spring has arrived. Soup and stew recipes will soon be tucked away for the summer for most of us. But, I wanted to get one last winter recipe hoorah  in during a recent cold spell last week. I grew up eating A LOT of Ham and Bean Soup. It was always served with a big pan of cornbread. It's pure comfort food for me - one that takes me back to my childhood and one that I love still to this day.

This recipe is, also, an excellent one to make to use up leftover holiday ham. (A leftover ham bone can be used, too - see note at bottom of post.)

I tend to prepare this the way my Kentucky-born Granny did. I start with just basic ingredients, then taste and "doctor" as needed towards the end of cooking time. (Salt should be added once the soup is about done since you never know how salty the ham is.) The recipe requires only a short list of ingredients, but the amounts may vary depending on your preference. For example, I like a strong vinegar taste in my bean soup, but you may prefer only a faint vinegar taste.

Yields 8 - 10 servings.

April 14, 2014

Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan & Garlic Aioli Dip

If you're an asparagus lover, this is a must-try recipe! And, if you've been tentative about asparagus in the past, this just may be the recipe that will convert you into an asparagus lover.

Grilling asparagus brings out its sweetness and depth of flavor. The stalks cook up crisp-tender and are simply amazing paired with this creamy dip enhanced with the flavors of Parmesan cheese, garlic and lemon.

(P.S. This dip is, also, amazing with fresh veggies or served for dipping with oven-roasted fries.)

April 11, 2014

Friday Foodie Favorites - April 11

Salty Date and Almond Crisps, Coconut Oil Biscuits and in-season asparagus are just a few of the things that I'm totally diggin' this week.

1. I am insanely in love with Raincoast Crisps from the Lesley Stowe company. (You can read all about my love affair with these lovely crackers in my recent First Trip to Williams-Sonoma  post.)

2. I'm currently having a lot of fun working on some asparagus recipes for the blog. One of my favorite veggies!

3. My hubby and I have fallen head over heels for these KIND bars. Our favorite is the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt variety.

4. I just made a batch of Gimme Some Oven's 3-Ingredient Coconut Oil Biscuits. To die for!

5. I am loving the Kale-ribbean Breeze Smoothie at Jamba Juice. It's a blend of passion fruit, mango, kale, nonfat Greek yogurt and chia seeds. It powered me through a four-hour trip to the mall with the family recently. Super yum!

6. I've made two batches of my Veggie Overload Pasta Salad in the last week. It makes me feel all summer-y and ready for flip flop season.

April 10, 2014

My First Visit to Williams-Sonoma

I visited a Williams-Sonoma store in person for the first time last Sunday. I've browsed their website several times in the past, but had never stepped foot into an actual store.
While we were recently shopping at a mall out of state, I about died when I spotted the store. (Thank you to my hubby and kids for allowing me to drag them through the store for almost an hour.) It was  seriously way more amazing than I ever imagined. (Wow - could you be any more overly dramatic, Angela ?)
I tried to explain to my eleven-year old son, Zayne, that me visiting WS was the equivalent of him visiting a Lego store. I was a kid in a candy store, so-to-speak. I'm sure I embarrassed my children slightly when I, literally, sang a line from The Little Mermaid to them while holding a Garlic Press in one hand and a Double Mezzaluna in the other hand ... they've got "gadgets and gizmos aplenty."

April 09, 2014

The Top Ten Essential Ingredients I Always Have on Hand

I thought I'd share a top-ten list of the ingredients that I find essential to have on hand in my Joyously Domestic kitchen these days.  If you are a long-time reader of the blog (love your guts!) or a new reader who plans to stick around (that would be fabulous!), these are ingredients that you are apt to find in many recipes that I share here.

April 08, 2014

Get Ready for Grilling Seasoning: 3 Homemade Seasoning Blends

Spring has sprung. Grilling season is just around the corner and I couldn't be more thrilled. I love to grill just about anything - steak, chicken, burgers, fish and even veggies. For my monthly contributor Kitchen Made Simple  post on Teal and Lime, I shared three super simple homemade seasoning blends that I use often throughout grilling season.
My Basic Grill Seasoning Blend works perfectly on most any meat, fish or veggies. My Seasoning Blend for Fajitas is a favorite in our household for grilled skirt steak, chicken or shrimp that can be used in fajitas, taco salads or Mexican rice bowls. (It's, also, the spice blend that I used in a recent post here on Joyously Domestic, Slow Cooker Kickin' Mexican Pulled Pork.) Lastly, my Seafood Seasoning Blend is fabulous on fish or shrimp.

April 07, 2014

Hot Corn Dip

This dip is to die for! It's almost dangerous because it is so incredibly simple to whip up and uses ingredients that I seem to always have on hand. I could probably eat the entire dish - it is that good! (Well, not the dish itself - the dip IN the dish!) It makes a great hot dip for parties, game day or just for snacking during movie night.

The recipe call for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These can be found usually in the Mexican foods aisle. They are inexpensive and come in small cans. They are essentially smoked jalapenos in a tomato and vinegar sauce.

They are potent - beware! The recipe only calls for using one pepper (use half of a pepper if you have a super sensitive palette and your peppers are on the larger side of the spectrum). Do not use the whole can. (A lady actually wrote me recently to inform me that she had accidentally used an entire can in my Chipotle Chicken and Corn Chowder recipe. It was supposed to be one PEPPER and not one CAN. Can you believe that she and her hubby actually choked their way through the chowder! Bless her heart!)

If you don't desire to use the chipotle peppers, you could sub in a teaspoon or so of ground cumin. I highly recommend using the chipotle peppers, but cumin will bring some great flavor and smokiness to the dip, too.

TIP: I freeze the leftover peppers in little freezer baggies - one or two per bag - for later use.

April 04, 2014

Blogger Spotlight with Tux from Brooklyn Homemaker

Last month I started a new monthly series here on the blog - Blogger Spotlight.  In last month's post, I introduced you to Lori from Foxes Love Lemons.  This month, I'm featuring Tux from Brooklyn Homemaker. I was first introduced to his cooking, homemaking and lifestyle blog while I was checking out the finalists for The Homies on The Kitchn. I started following BH's Facebook page and have enjoyed what I've seen so far. Tux seems like a pretty fun, charming guy with lots of creativity and personality. His home decorating style is super inspiring and his recipes are ones that I think will inspire you in the kitchen.