Skillet Cornbread


Cornbread holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons. I went to elementary school in San Antonio, where the cafeteria would serve cornbread the way rest of the country served plain bread.  I also grew up the grandchild of Olga Mae from Noxubee County Mississippi, who made Skillet Cornbread almost every day of her life.  The best part of her Skillet Cornbread was a not so well kept secret in the South – bacon fat.  Olga Mae, like most resourceful Southern women of her time, kept a coffee can full of bacon fat on her kitchen counter that found its way into most of the foods she cooked, especially her Skillet Cornbread.  Why buy butter or oil when you get bacon fat for free every time you cook bacon?  So when I think of my Ultimate Skillet Cornbread, it has to include bacon fat. I’m not saying anyone should go on an all bacon fat diet, just don’t throw it away the next time you cook a few slices.  There’s a cornbread waiting to bake (Read more…)

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I may have mentioned this before (see my Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake), but I am not the biggest fan of bananas. They are singularly squishy, make a horrible noise in my mouth when I eat them, and the smell seems to be everywhere when you throw away the peels  (I mean, can we just take the trash to the curb? 😖)  But The Boy continues to buy bananas whenever he goes to the store. He rarely eats them, but oh man does he buy them.  Like buying bananas is required by law.  Go shopping, buy bananas, no jail time.  I don’t know what to do with all the freakin’ bananas!! I just can’t freeze any more bananas that he will ultimately forget to use in smoothies, so I’m always trying to find ways to hide them in baked goods.  I may have finally found the ultimate solution.  A chocolatey brownie that stays extra moist thanks to mashed up bananas, gussied up with swirls of peanut butter, and topped with another banana for fancy reasons.  Plus, the combination of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter is delicious enough to bring Elvis out of hiding!  (Read more…)

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


I grew up a child of the 60’s and 70’s, a time when fresh baked pastries meant whacking a tube of Pillsbury  Cinnamon Rolls on the edge of the kitchen counter and hearing the sudden POP that meant sticky goodness was only 13-17 minutes away!  If you didn’t eat the frosting out of the little plastic tub while you were waiting.  Which I usually did.  It wasn’t enough to cover all the cinnamon rolls anyway, so…

But I’ve been a grown up for awhile now and, although Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are delicious (still not enough frosting though tbh), it was long past time I learned how to make my own cinnamon rolls.  This recipe is basically a  cinnamony brioche dough slathered in butter, sugar and more cinnamon, and rolled up and baked into puffy, gooey delights that you can cover in all the frosting your heart desires.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that! (Read more…)

Pear Frangipane Galette

A galette (or crostini, to the Italians) was the first “successful” pie I ever made, and I made it with a store bought crust.  That’s not a bad thing, but honestly, it was because I was afraid of making my own.  You’d think Olga Mae’s granddaughter would come out of the womb rolling out pie dough and making all the pies, but I wasn’t.  I might be a Southern woman’s granddaughter, but I was raised by a Korean mom that I can’t ever remember making a pie.  Did we even eat pie?  🤷🏻‍♀️ We eat pie now.  Boy, do we eat pie 🙄  (Read more…)

Maple Butterscotch Cookies

I feel like a recurring theme in this blog, and in my life, is things I hated as a kid that I love now.  Butterscotch is one of those things.  To me butterscotch evokes memories of that etched glass candy bowl that all grandmothers had in their living rooms with hard candies in them.  If you were lucky, your grandmother had lemon drops or Jolly Ranchers.  My Grandma Olga Mae kept plastic wrapped butterscotch candies.  😖  In MIssissippi, plastic wrapped meant the plastic was perma-stuck to the now sticky, overly sweet, weirdly savory tasting candy. Poor eight year old me.  Fast forward many, many (many) years to randomly hearing someone on TV say that the quick cheater caramel I’ve always made with brown sugar, butter, and cream is actually butterscotch?! 🤯  You mean butterscotch isn’t that sickly sweet little sticky disc Olga Mae kept in that bowl for years on end?  So when I saw a bag of Nestlé Butterscotch Morsels, I instantly wanted to try them!  And what better way then to add them to a cookie?  A rich Fall Maple Butterscotch cookie!!  No sticky plastic wrapping required. (Read more…)

Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

I don’t recall eating a lot of fish in my childhood.  I know I had fried catfish when I visited Grandma Olga Mae in Mississippi.  I remember my brother and I lying that we caught some rainbow trout in Yellowstone (we paid a guy five bucks for his) and our mom cooking it.  I also recall my mom catching a bucket full of sun perch in Canyon Lake, Texas when I was a kid, but I think I was too traumatized by her killing them by hitting their heads on a rock to remember  if I ate any.  So yeah, other than whatever fish they use in the Fish and Chips at Long John Silvers, I really don’t remember a lot of fish in my life.

And then I moved to Oregon and ate salmon.  Oh my, The Salmon.  My gateway fish.  The fish that opened the the flood gates for fish to enter my life.  And still my absolute favorite fish to cook and eat.  This recipe is kind of an homage to the Parmesan Baked Salmon  my oldest daughter loved from The Mesquitery in Hood River, Oregon.  It’s lightened up with lemon juice and fresh herbs, but I think she’ll like it.  I think you will too! (Read more…)

Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp

America.  We love our shrimp.  I read a statistic once that said the average American eats over 4 pounds of shrimp per year.  Per person.  Amateurs 🙄.  But I get it, shrimp has a lot of things going for it.  It’s a relatively inexpensive seafood that has a kind of luxury reputation.  It’s also high in iodine and protein, and has a ton of those fancy omega-3 fatty acids everyone is talking about, so it’s a bit of a nutritional show off!  From a culinary standpoint, shrimp has a great sweet flavor, is available year round and is easy to prepare.  It can be served hot or cold, poached, baked, fried, grilled… the choices are endless.  As Cady Heron said in Mean Girls, “The limit does not exist.” (Read more…)

Halloween Candy Cookies

When I was a kid, eating my Halloween candy was a science.  I divided my stash into groups: 1. Eat right away, 2. Not as good, eat anyway, and 3. Raisins.  Right?  Sometimes I’d have the wisdom to save one or two “eat right away” candies for the end, like dessert candy.  Not usually.  Sorting and eating usually took place within 12-24 hours max.  On the other hand, my big brother hoarded his candy, doling it out to himself so slowly that he would still have candy left THE NEXT HALLOWEEN 😱.  And he didn’t share.  He gleefully didn’t share 😠.  Anyway, I’m totally over that.  As I’ve matured 😉, I eat less candy and it lasts much longer.  Also, my kids are grown, we don’t get as many kids ringing our bell on Halloween, and I have too much candy leftover at the end of the night.  Enter my Halloween Candy Cookies.  Even the “not as good” candies are given a new and exciting life inside of a cookie!  (Read more…)

Sweet and Smoky Dry Rub Wings

In the chicken wing world, there are two distinct camps: dry rub or wet wings, or as I like to call them: Right or Wrong.  With the exception of Korean Fried Chicken, which is its own category that we will explore in depth in a future post, I am firmly on Team Dry Rub.  With wet wings you fry or bake your wings in advance and toss them in a sauce.  Big whoop 🎉  With Dry Rub Wings, you are curating a blend of seasonings and spices, with just enough heat and the perfect balance of sweet,  and cooking them into the wings with the intention of developing an exceptionally textured and flavorful wingsperience 🔥 Or you can, you know, flop your wings in some wet stuff.  Your choice (pick dry rub! pick dry rub!) (Read More)

Mini Cast Iron Dutch Babies

I love breakfast.  I really, really do.  Sometimes I want something savory, like biscuits and gravy or anything with bacon.  Sometimes I want something sweet, like pancakes or waffles (and also bacon).  One problem:  when I wake up, I usually just want my cup of coffee and breakfast to magically materialize in front of me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook.  You know this about me.  But there are those mornings, you know the ones, where it would sure be awesome to have someone to take care of those little details for you.  Well, these fluffy Dutch babies are a compromise.   Dusted with powdered sugar and filled with citrus marinated fruit, they take only 10 minutes of hands-on time and bake up in a mere 20 minutes.  They’re also easy enough for someone else to make for you, and they take just enough time for you to drink enough coffee to make you… nice to be around.  (Read more…)