Blue Cornbread

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Not only is this a delectable treat, but the color of this blue cornbread is always so captivating to me. Now is the perfect time to share this recipe, because it can be paired with any stew or chili of the season. It’s been quite cold in Austin lately.

On that note, I am ready for spring. I like this blue cornbread, but I prefer to see bluebonnets!

I bid you good eating and please stay warm!

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12-14 minutes for loaves (or 18-20 minutes for glass pan)

Makes: 3 mini loaves (or one 9 x 9 inch glass pan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic blue cornmeal
  • 1 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. organic sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. iodized sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup oil

 Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and sea salt together.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until all is incorporated.
  • Grease and flour pan(s) lightly.
  • Evenly disperse batter among mini loaves or pour all into the one 9 x 9 inch glass pan.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes for mini loaves or 18-20 minutes for glass pan.
  • Check for doneness before removing from oven, insert a toothpick into the middle of the bread and make sure it comes out clean.
  • Remove bread from oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes before cutting and serving it.

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Gustoception and Chocolate Mousse

Back in April, I participated in an art show at The Museum of Human Achievement here in Austin, Texas. The art exhibit was called “In The Dark”, which was a multi-sensory exhibit minus the visuals. Basically, people were blindfolded and led through the museum in groups of four to experience pieces ranging from audioception to even thermoception.

In March, one of my best friends from Victoria called me and asked if I was interested in participating in this art exhibit at a new museum he was opening up with some friends. I was asked to write a proposal for the “gustoception” (taste) piece. As soon as I learned that I would get to feed blindfolded people, I was very intrigued. Immediately, I had so many ideas going through my head. I decided to go with a chocolate mousse with pop rocks as garnish. I wanted the bite to be tasty, yet surprising.

Needless to say, they happily accepted me into their exhibit and it was such a great experience. As the groups came to my station, I read this piece of prose (pictured below) to them, fed them, and they were on their way. The best part of all of this was seeing the look on everyone’s faces after they were spoon fed by yours truly. Some people really liked it, some people had squinty faces, and others had big smiles after they discovered the pop rocks.

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I had a couple of good friends come to the exhibit and listening to their experience after the fact was awesome. To be blindfolded and led through a building that you are unfamiliar with, with people that you have never seen before, will leave the imagination to so many things.

I recreated the recipe, wrote it down, and made it for my roommate’s birthday back in August, which is what you see photographed here. Mousse is super rich and decadent, so it’s not something I do very often, but I thought I would share this recipe anyway. The recipe here doesn’t use pop rocks, since that was just a garnish that I used for the purpose of the art exhibit.

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If you happen to find yourself interested, please feel free to read MOHA’s “In The Dark” showcase program.

Mousse(Click on the image to enlarge the recipe.) 

Photo Taking and Impulsive Baking

So far this year, my life has been pretty crazy.  The first half of the year came with many changes and misfortunes. The good news is that things are really starting to look up for me in some magical ways.

I haven’t blogged since March, isn’t that wild? Back in April, I was a part of an art exhibit where people were blindfolded and led through the museum in groups of four. I was the “gustoception” (taste) piece. I am going to dedicate my next blog to talking about that experience, because it was really interesting. The following weekend in April, my dad passed away. As a result, April was unexpectedly a busy month for me.

In May, I took my first photography course to learn my camera a little better and I’m so glad I did. The quality of my photos has improved tremendously. The class has already paid off and it has made me even more excited about my trips to Colorado and Europe. I plan on doing another food porn blog when I return from Europe in September. I just know I am going to consume lots of yummy food and wine.

I spent most of June helping my new boyfriend find a place/get settled in Austin. Now it’s July and it’s getting really hot in Texas. Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday month, but I have been baking a lot lately: cheesecake, blueberry muffins, cherry cobbler, cookies (of many varieties) and even a lemon blueberry cake.

Though I am not posting a new recipe here, I wanted to share a couple of photos from my photography class and re-blog the cookie recipe. During the first class, the instructor (Carlos Austin of Austin Photography) and I made a deal — if I brought food to the last class, he would show me how to photograph it. I showed him my post from the loaded oatmeal cookies that I like to make on the regular, and we both agreed that I needed better photos. Practice makes perfect, right?

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This is a photo of what we did to set up our station. I took this photo on my phone, so please don’t judge the quality. My real camera is the one you see on the tripod.

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This is the final product with my crazy cloth.  

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This is the final product on a black cloth, with interesting lighting techniques.

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This is a photo of the lemon blueberry cake I made for a birthday. Thank you, Carlos, for the mad skills.

Those are candied lemon peels that I made for the garnish. I am thinking about posting this recipe, because it was super deLIZcious. I wish I would have taken a photo of it when it was sliced. That just might be a reason good enough to make it again. We’ll see, because blueberries are rocking right now.

My next post will be about the art exhibit that I was a part of back in April. I have already started it, just need to get my chocolate mousse recipe together. Chances are, you will see that post from me sometime in August. I am heading to Colorado this Saturday with my new boyfriend for a week. Should be back in full swing and hopefully posting monthly again when I return. Cheers and happy eating!

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

If you happen to be a fan of carrot cake and have some leftover (fresh) pumpkin, you are definitely going to enjoy this recipe. The only thing that I would do different to this, is add some big golden raisins to it. I opted out of raisins, because I have a friend that is not a fan.

Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble until you wobble.

IMG_2086[Photo Credit: Roy Peña Photography]

Recipe

Pumpkin Dip

When I first discovered pumpkin dip, it changed my life. Of course when I had it for the first time, the pumpkin came from a can, which I did not approve of. Though the dip was tasty, I knew it would be so much better if I used freshly cooked pumpkin. Also, when I had this dip in the past, it was prepared with cool whip. Since I am also not a fan of cool whip, I use the real stuff. Therefore, this recipe is simply a pumpkin whipped cream.

Like all of my other pumpkin recipes, I follow the Pumpkin Basics to cook the fairytale pumpkin (my favorite). The color of the pumpkin meat is a bright orange and the flavor is so delectable. This recipe is so easy, that it only took about 10 minutes to prepare it for a party (that is, if your pumpkin meat is already cooked).

Once you whip this pumpkin dip up, serve it with graham crackers. It is definitely a crowd pleaser. Happy pumpkin eating!

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Pumpkin Dip Recipe

pumpkin-dip

[I borrowed this photo from another website, since I forgot to take a photo with the graham crackers. For the photo & another version of this recipe, please click here.]

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

I realize that this is probably a beverage that I should have posted in the summer, so my apologies for just getting around to it. The good news is, I live in Texas, where it is almost always hot enough to make this refreshing beverage.

To spice things up, try this lemonade with vodka. This last time I made it, my friend Natalie mixed it with a little bit of white wine and it tasted very similar to Sangria. Both great ideas, if you feel that this beverage is a little too virgin for you.

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SBL Recipe

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Model Citizen-don’t leave home without it. Another way to devirginize your lemonade.

Green Bean Casserole

Last night, I had the pleasure of entertaining two beautiful little girls in our kitchen. Steve, Kyle’s friend from work, brought his daughters over to help me make a green bean casserole. Shania and Ariana happen to love green bean casserole just as much as I do.

As soon as the girls came over, I had them help me trim and clean the green beans. They were thrilled to see the whole process. They were excited to stir, add the ingredients, but were most thrilled to eat the final product.

I have promised this recipe to a few people and I am happy to finally post it with some quality photos. The only part of this recipe that is not homemade is the French fried onions that top the casserole. Though I know how to do the onions, it would have added a lot of extra time onto the prep work.

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Green Bean Casserole Recipe

[Click on the photo to enlarge the recipe.]

GB Casserole

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The little ladies definitely enjoyed the casserole; they both asked for seconds. My apologies to their father, Steve, I am sure they will expect him to make it this way more often. The good news is, they both enjoyed helping and had a great time learning. Chances are, they will not let Steve do it alone.

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Mustard-less Potato Salad

I have tried so many kinds of potato salad in my life and I didn’t like many of them. I simply find it painful to enjoy a potato salad that is overwhelmed by mustard. You will never see me buy potato salad from the store either, especially when it’s really yellow. I just can’t help but think it’s going to taste like straight mustard, yuck! Store bought potato salads just aren’t made this way.

Growing up, my family made potato salad with mayonnaise, pickles, boiled eggs and maybe just a couple of teaspoons of mustard. Once my palette became a little more refined, I decided to try mine without the mustard and pickles. To make it a little fancier, I like to use shallots and olives.

Try this out for your next BBQ and just wait and see, it’ll be a hit! Some people have found it interesting that I don’t use mustard. Don’t get me wrong, I like mustard, but my potato salad can live without it. I have been asked for this recipe a few times, so I decided it was time to post it for the virtual world to try out.

Happy cooking, Friends!

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Asian Green Beans

These green beans are pretty awesome, if I can say so myself. My apologies to the ladies that have been asking for this recipe. I am so glad that I finally got around to posting it.

Not only are these green beans tasty, but they are super simple to make. I would say that the most laborious part of making these are cutting and cleaning the fresh green beans. This is definitely a recipe that you will enjoy, crave, and do more than once. [Just ask Emily. ;)]

I hope the fried garlic is not hard for you to find. I usually get mine at the Asian market. Also, if you don’t have a wok, just use a non-stick pan that has a lid. Consider getting a wok, you will love it! Happy cooking!

Asian Green Beans

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Almond & Banana Pudding Cake

As promised from the NYC Food Porn post, I made my very own version of a Banana Pudding Cake. When I started to think about how I wanted to do it, I knew that I would use a banana nut cake. Banana nut bread is one of my favorites, but too dense to be a cake. I decided to make some modifications and came up with something delicious.

My big brother, Lawrence, had his birthday on April 12th. Lawrence’s favorite dessert happens to be banana pudding. In fact, right after I ate a piece of the Banana Pudding Cake in Harlem, NY, I texted him and told him how amazing it was. I just so happened to be going to Victoria on the 13th (this past Saturday). So, my excuse to make the cake was well planned out. I made the cakes and icing, put them on ice and traveled to my hometown ready to build it.

When I asked Lawrence if he preferred walnuts or pecans, he responded, “almonds.”  When I thought about how the almonds would crunch inside of the cake, it didn’t go well in my head. I guess because almonds can go stale, it’s not the same as baking in pecans or walnuts. Therefore, I decided to use almond meal in place of some flour and almonds for garnish instead of crushed up vanilla wafers. Thus, I present the Almond & Banana Pudding Cake by Dutch Lovin’.

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Cake[Click on the recipe to enlarge it.]

icing and garnish

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 Kyle and I made this much smaller version on Friday night and shared it with my little brother and friend. I still have some, come and get it!

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