Southern Cornbread

Let it be said that I like all kinds of cornbread from the sweet cornbread muffins I got with my meal at the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine to the Southern cornbread served by little old blue haired ladies at ‘dinner on the grounds.’

My recipe is a traditional Southern Cornbread with a little dose of healthy.

Here’s a photo of the hot cornbread I just pulled out of the oven. I cooked it in my old 9″ cast iron skillet but you can use muffin tins or whatever pan you have available.

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If you could just smell it – it smells so good that I couldn’t resist, I just had to cut myself a little slice and smear on some fresh butter – yummy!

Southern Cornbread

Start heating your oven to 450.  Grease or spray your pan or muffin tins.  I pour a little olive oil in my Iron Skillet.  I put my skillet in the oven to ‘heat’ while I mix the cornbread.

Wet Ingredients:

1 egg

1/4 Cup Oil (I use Olive oil because it’s supposed to be healthier – see notes below)

1 & 1/2 Cups Butter Milk (I use non fat Buttermilk)

Mix these wet ingredients together.


2 Cups Martha White Self Rising Corn Meal Mix

Stir just until the corn meal is incorporated into the wet ingredients.  Pour this mixture into your hot pan – I like to hear a sizzle when I pour the cornbread into the pan.

Bake about 20 minutes or until the bottom is brown and you start to see the top browning a little.

Notes:  I have used melted bacon grease and I have used Crisco and other solid shortenings in my cornbread and I can tell you that both of these options make a great cornbread!  I just wanted to be a little bit more healthy so I used Olive Oil.

Now spread on your butter and enjoy!


It must be Apple Harvest Time!  The markets have an abundance of all different varieties of Apples.  I don’t think that apples grow in Florida or if they do then it’s not the wide variety of apples that come from ‘up north.’

I love to see a Vermont Apple Farm with a vintage red barn in the background, an old tractor, various baskets for collecting apples and a group of ruddy faced toddlers ready to ride out to the orchard to pick some apples.

As a result of my apple shopping trip today’s breakfast was an Apple Smoothie and here’s the recipe.

Apple Smoothie

1 Banana Peeled

1 Apple – cored and the stem removed – leave the skin intact

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt – unsweetened, unflavored

1 Cup ice

1/4 Cup Cranberry Juice

1 Tablespoons Protein Powder

1/2 Cup Granola

2 Tablespoons Honey (from local bees)

Dash Nutmeg

Big Dash Cinnamon

Splash of Vanilla Flavouring

I whirled all the ingredients around in the Vitamix until the ice was well blended.

I enjoy a smoothie that has bits of fruit and crunchy surprises.  If you don’t like chunks in your smoothie or you prefer to drink your smoothie through a straw you might want to omit the granola or you could put it in the food processor for a few seconds.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I Love Fall and Halloween.  It’s my favourite time of year and look – I think I am ready for the little ghosts and goblins!

I love the beautiful rich colors of fall.  There’s nothing prettier than an orange stack of pumpkins among the beautiful varied colors of falling leaves.  Last weekend we visited St. Augustine and during our visit we just happened to ride by a church that was selling pumpkins.  The lawn was covered in pumpkins in all the shapes and sizes and colors that you can imagine.

Not those kinds of pumpkins!  Though I do love seeing a bag of these yummy Brach’s Mellowcream Pumpkins.  I usually eat enough to make me not want anymore until the next fall crop!

This is the pumpkins I was talking about…

So what could I make with pumpkin that didn’t involve a pie…hummmm…  I wonder how a pumpkin smoothie would taste?

I thought to myself  ‘let’s give it a whirl and if it’s yukky then I don’t have to ever tell anyone that I tried to make a pumpkin smoothie and it was an epic fail.’

Here’s what went into the trusty old Vitamix:

1 Banana Peeled

2/3 cup Greek Yogurt – unsweetened, unflavored

1 Cup ice

1/2 Cup Soy Milk

1 Tablespoons Protein Powder

1/2 Can Pumpkin

2 Tablespoons Honey (from local bees)

2 Tablespoons Unsulphured Molasses

Dash Nutmeg

Dash Allspice

Dash Cloves

Big Dash Cinnamon

Splash of Vanilla Flavouring

I whirled all the ingredients around in the Vitamix until the ice was well blended.

I have to admit when I poured this mix into my glass it was a pale orange – almost tan color.  But the taste more than makes up for the appearance.  This smoothie is like pumpkin pie in a glass.  WOW!  It is really yummy.  I let the hubby taste it and he declared it to be delicious and then I proceeded to drink it all myself!

I love a good smoothie.  Smoothies are so quick and convenient.  OK, yes, I admit it.  I work from home about half the time.  But when I am home I sometimes work harder than I do when I am traveling the country (and a couple of other countries as well).  I don’t want to take the time to stand in the kitchen and cook myself something for breakfast or lunch so my ‘go to solution’ is a smoothie.

I have made smoothies for my friends, my children, and my spouse and people are always saying ‘wow, its so good, what did you put in there?’  I run down a list of ingredients including the phrases ‘whatever fruit you have on hand’ and ‘whatever liquid you would like’ and my audience starts to get that glazed look in their eyes.  So here’s one of my best all time favourite smoothie recipes and I will add some alternate ingredient ideas as well.

The first thing you need is a Vita Mix or a really good blender.  My vita mix is over 30 years old and it still sees daily use.  The only thing showing wear is some cracks in the rubber gasket inside the plastic lid where the lid sits on the metal container.  I’ve seen these gaskets for sale on the internet but I haven’t remembered to order one…  If you don’t have a Vita Mix or a blender that can handle the ice cubes you might want to substitute crushed ice in the recipe.

Peach Smoothie – list of ingredients –

1 Banana starting to get brown spots – nice and ripe

2/3 cup Greek Yogurt – unsweetened, unflavored

1 Splenda packet or other sweetener

1 Large ripe peach – my peach was really big

1 Cup ice

1/2 Cup liquid – I used soy milk this time

1 – 2 Tablespoons protein powder – optional (my daughter the nurse says I don’t get enough protein)

Cinnamon or other spice – optional

Put it all in the blender or Vita Mix.  I put in the banana (peeled of course), slice the peach and put in next – catching all the wonderful juice, then add the ice, yogurt and the rest of the ingredients and then I sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.  Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and ENJOY!!

My base for a Smoothie recipe  Always includes the following

1 Banana

2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt (you use any yogurt you like, flavored, sweetened, regular, Greek… I like Greek because it’s thick)

1 -2 Tablespoons protein powder

1 Cup ice

I use a peach, strawberries, blueberries, an Apple (cored and stem removed), plums, spinach, beets, whatever you have on hand.  My smoothie depends on what fruit is in season so when I go to the market I get the freshest cheapest fruits available.

I add whatever juice or liquid seems to ‘go with’ my fruit of choice.  I have frequently used carrot juice in a smoothie with strawberries and blueberries, I use cranberry juice, soy milk, etc.

For my spice I also use what would complement my fruit.  I like cinnamon and vanilla for apples or peaches and with strawberries or blueberries I may not add any spices.

My daughter uses peanut butter in her smoothies but to me the peanut butter taste overpowers everything else.

Use your imagination, experiment and let me know when you create something delicious so I can try it too!

Drink UP!  A smoothie like this one keeps me full for hours!

My pound cake turned out perfect!   It tastes as good as it looks too!

1967 Fudge Recipes from a newspaper clipping that I found in my Better Homes & Gardens vintage cookbook.  The newspaper is the Miami Herald dated December 17, 1967.   I have never seen ‘Blond Fudge with cherries & pecans’!   Maybe I should try it.

Have you ever had a terrible kitchen disaster?  One of my most memorable was when I got my first microwave and I was learning how to use it.  I read the book on how to microwave oatmeal and I proceeded to make breakfast.  The directions in the book were for one serving and I was making four servings so I put all of the ingredients in the bowl, put the bowl in the microwave and I set the timer for Four times the time specified in the recipe (it was four servings right?).  The oatmeal bubbled along nicely and I spooned it out into bowls for the family and oh their faces when they took the first bite of my microwave oatmeal…   I wish I had my camera ready because the oatmeal was terrible.

We couldn’t eat the wallpaper paste that was trying to pass itself off as oatmeal.  My daughter put her oatmeal in the dog’s bowl.  The unsuspecting dog took a big bite of the oatmeal and her face was priceless too.  For the rest of the day our Scottish Terrier was seen in the yard wiping her tongue on the grass trying to dislodge the oatmeal.  I’ve never seen a dog wipe it’s tongue on the grass and I asked her to stop since the neighbors were giving us strange looks but she continued to drink water and wipe her tongue on the grass.

So my first microwave lesson was – don’t increase the time based on the number of servings – increase the time just a little…

Oatmeal – the real thing – not wallpaper paste masquerading as oatmeal

This is the first loose recipe that fell from the pages of my new (vintage) Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book ca. 1946 so this recipe gets the honor of being the first recipe posted here!

Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book 1946

I don’t know the name of the lady that previously owned my Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book so I am going to call her Susan – at least until I find her name on something in the cookbook.  She had a beautiful handwriting and the first recipe card that fell out of the cookbook today is handwritten on a 3×5 recipe card.  The recipe is for Mary Warren’s Pound Cake and it is from the kitchen of Peggy Harrie.  The recipe seems to be a basic pound cake recipe and I bet it would be wonderful with some fresh berries and whipped cream.  I will let you know after I make the cake!