Bacon Shallot Cornbread

24 Nov

It’s just a week of recipes up in here, y’all. But this one, you’re gonna wanna pin. Seriously. I’ve made this cornbread twice already in the past week, and I’m making it again on Thursday. Every time it’s been greeted with rave reviews.

Here’s the picture tutorial, and I’m getting fan-cy and putting an actual recipe at the end. Just like a real blogger.

First, chop six pieces of bacon and fry ’em up. While they’re cooking, dice two shallots.

Then use kitchen tongs to remove the bacon pieces and put them in a small bowl. Reserve two tablespoons of bacon grease and call your mom because you can’t remember what you’re supposed to do with the bacon grease you don’t want. (I’ll save you a call – put it in a small bowl covered with foil until it hardens up, then throw it away.)

Cook the shallots in the remaining two tablespoons of bacon grease. Give them about four minutes. Also, preheat the oven to 400.

While the shallots are cooking, mix up your cornbread batter according to the box. That’s right, the box. I use a Jiffy cornbread mix. Add the bacon.

Mix in the shallots – pour the whole pan in, including any remaining grease. Let it sit for a bit – I don’t understand why, but you’re supposed to let the batter sit for a few minutes because it will rise and make a nicer top.

Pour it into a greased eight inch cake pan. You can also use a cast iron skillet. I don’t have one, so I used a cake pan. I’ve made this before in a cast iron dutch oven, using the same pot to cook the bacon and shallots and then bake the cornbread. Both were delicious, but the cake pan is easier to transport than a Le Creuset that weighs roughly eighty pounds.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, stick a butter knife in the middle – if it comes out clean, you’re done.

Now all that’s left to do is sit back and bask in the compliments.


(I don’t know how to make it all fancy so you can print just this part. I guess just copy/paste if it’s that important to you.)

You will need:

6 slices of bacon
2 shallots
1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk

Mixing bowl
Cake pan
Wooden spoon
Balloon whisk

1. Slice up the bacon and fry

2. Reserve two tablespoons of grease

3. Dice shallots and cook in reserved bacon grease for about four minutes

4. Preheat oven to 400

5. Combine Jiffy cornbread mix, egg, and milk in mixing bowl with whisk, then add bacon

6. Add cooked shallots and any remaining bacon grease and combine

7. Pour batter into greased 8″ cake pan

8. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until butter knife inserted in center comes out clean

16 Bean Soup

23 Nov

This post is sponsored by Foster Farms.

The holidays are a great time to indulge, but you don’t want to over do it and go crazy. Want to know a great way to achieve that tricky balance? Swap out ground turkey for ground beef! Did you know that this simple switch can save you over 100 calories per serving? Ground turkey has fewer calories, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol than ground beef.

So I decided to make one of my favorite recipes, my mom’s 16 bean soup, and swap out the ground beef! Here’s how I did it, tweaking my mom’s recipe a little.

You’ll want to start with, duh, one package of Foster Farms ground turkey.

Heat up your soup pot and add the ground turkey, two diced white onions, and one diced shallot.

Note that since this is poultry, it’s really important to make sure you cook it all, all the way through. While that’s cooking, gather the rest of your ingredients. You’ll need one bag of bean soup mix, garlic powder, three chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper to taste, and (not pictured) five quarts of water.

*At this step you’ll want to switch out your spoon. Take the one that was touching all the raw turkey and put it in the dishwasher and grab a new one.

Add five quarts of water, the bag of beans, about one teaspoon of garlic powder, and the three chicken bouillon cubes and bring everything to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and put a lid on slightly askew so it will vent, but you won’t lose too much water. Simmer for 8-10 hours, stirring every hour or half hour. When you stir, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing gets stuck and burns.

And then you’re done! This soup is great as a side, or as a meal on its own with a hunk of crusty bread.

Since I won’t be eating this right away – I personally believe that soup is best as leftovers because it just keeps getting better – I filled up some Pyrex, let it cool, then put it in the fridge.

Yes, all of those are full. This recipe makes a lot of soup! And I will be eating well over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Happy Friday, Teddy!

20 Nov

It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I’ve had a Teddy post over on this here blog, so I decided to feature photo collages of two of Teddy’s favorite activities, sleeping and begging for belly rubs.

Sorry about the vaguely obscene photo in the belly rub collage. Focus on his cute paws and fuzzy belly and not the Bear boy bits. There’s also one where he looks stoned, so maybe it’s not the most appropriate collection of images.

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is relaxing and you have a snuggly bear to spend it with.

A “Real” Gift Guide

19 Nov

I’m assuming everyone has seen the crazy gift guides that start to pop up at this time every year. A $40,000 chess set? A Himalayan sea salt grater? Listen, if these are the people you’re shopping for, just assume they have literally everything and make a charitable donation in their name. But if you’re shopping for real people, I have some ideas.

Glade Winter Collection

$2.99 – $4.89 at Target
Because everyone wants that fresh-cut-tree scent without the mess of tree sap all over the living room.

Home Goods Gift Card

Any amount
It’s a nice way of saying “your house is such a hot mess I don’t even know where to begin and I know you’re cheap, so here.”


$2.97 for a 3-pack at Target
Listen, it’s winter and it’s dry out there and you need an old standby. Something that will reliably moisturize your lips without gunk or glitter.

Hair Ties

I don’t know how much these cost, just grab some at Target
Because these disappear into the ether on the reg.

Clorox Wipes

$2.49 wherever you buy groceries
No matter who you buy these for, they’re guaranteed to say, “Oh, I needed this!”

So go forth to shop with confidence! And you’re welcome.

Go Rustic for Dinner

16 Nov

I love entertaining, and if I’m being honest I really do like to go big. Decor, a fancy menu, everything painstakingly planned out to the last detail. But you don’t have to! It doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun, memorable, and special. So I was thrilled when the fine folks at Rustic Crust asked to send me some goodies to help me loosen up.

What is Rustic Crust? A collection of organic and all-natural pizza crusts and sauces. They’re idea starters and meal starters to help you loosen up and try something new. I embraced this spirit by inviting my friend Lisa over for weeknight dinner.

And here’s what’s great about me, as a friend. I invite someone over for dinner, and then make them cook. I don’t like cooking chicken because it freaks me out. I’m always afraid I’ll kill everyone with salmonella. So I made Lisa do it, which really endeared Teddy to her.

Teddy’s easy, he loves anyone who’s cooking.

So here’s what we had… Rustic Crust Sea Salt & Basil Ciabatta brushed with olive oil and baked according to directions, chicken cooked so as not to kill anyone, roasted zucchini, Rustic Crust sauce, fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

We were going for a deconstructed flatbread kind of thing. Here’s what’s so great about this meal – it’s easy to feed a crowd because everyone can build their own based on their dietary needs. If I was doing this for a bigger crowd I would add more variety – maybe some sausage, mozzarella, and a whole bunch more veggies.

You can find Rustic Crust near you so you can spark creativity and make dinner fun.