Corny Cornbread

Corny cornbread. There should be a joke. It seems like it would be really easy to come up with one or write one from memory. I’m much too tired to do it. Three hours of sleep will do it. And going up to the barista and saying ‘give me something with  a lot of caffeine doesn’t help much.

I had my first open water certification scuba class last night. It was just classroom and playing with some equipment. Then I was on the phone with a friend until after 11 pm. Then I kept waking up until about 3 am and was wide awake at that point. Three hours of sleep may be over-generous.

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The cool thing {and I can admit it may only be cool to me} is that scuba is a lot easier than it seems. Last December I went on three dives. Prior to the dives, I had to demonstrate competency of some skills in a pool (or confined water as they say in the scuba world). Once I actually dove, I realized even though it sounds complicated everything they teach you comes naturally once you are in the water. However, one thing I did not learn in December was how heavy all the equipment weighs. In December, the dive team did everything. Last night we learned how to assemble the gear, again it’s pretty easy, but sounded complicated reading how to do it in the book.It’s just heavy.

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Now I know I should make a connection between scuba and The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Cornbread here, but with lack of sleep the only thing I can come up with is that making cornbread is as easy as it reads, but because it is a Peter Reinhart recipe there is a required overnight step~soaking cornmeal in buttermilk~to get more flavor. Making cornbread is not like scuba at all. Actually, if I think about it more, making bagels is more like scuba. They sound more complicated to make and there is buoancy and float testing involved.

Or maybe the connection is that I made the cornbread more complicated than I needed to. I decided to make 1 1/2 times the recipe and bake the cornbread in a jelly roll pan so I would have a lot of cornbread that is a little flatter. I also made the cornbread without the bacon. I made it more complicated by forgetting that I only increased the recipe by half and would add in double the ingredients. Sometimes this was easy to correct and sometimes it was a little trickier, like with the baking powder.

In spite of my mistakes,  the cornbread was a success. The fresh corn makes it wonderful. Like one of my eaters said, it’s like eating a garden. I thought it needed a little more salt (I should have accidentally doubled that ingredient), but everyone else thought it was perfect.

In addition to serving it straight, I made some cubes, toasted them in the oven, and made a Caprese salad panzanella. Delicious!

If you would like more information about The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, please visit HERE.

my typical vegan tuesday

Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad

Now that I’ve been doing Vegan Tuesdays for awhile, it has become a bit of a routine. I figure out what I ‘m going to make by looking through my cookbooks or searching through recipes I’ve ripped out of magazines. I make the dish or dishes on Monday night. Sometimes I eat some then, but most of the time I box up a portion for work lunch and plate a portion for pictures the next day.Yes, pictures for the blog.

It’s become a little bit funny this new hobby of mine. My days start off as usual. I get up at 5 am and rush to the gym, eating a homemade powerbar on the way. I do my workout and stop off at Coffee Bean on the way home.  They know me at the Coffee Bean. They have my nonfat milk ready to dump into my coffee before I’m done paying. And on Tuesdays they know I get soy milk.

I get home about 7 am, jump in the shower, and get dressed for work. All the while I’m looking out the window hoping for the sun to come out so I can take some semi-decent food pictures. Once dressed, I run downstairs finish packing my lunch. Grab the picture food and run back upstairs. Yes, the room with the best natural light for pictures is upstairs in my office, or what I now call my “studio”.  I take a few pictures, hoping I get a good one. I need a better camera. Because I’m usually rushing, I don’t have time to set-up a good shot.

Once I’m done taking pictures, I run back downstairs and put the plate back in the refrigerator for dinner that night. I’m out the door on the way to work by 8 am or 8:15 am. I start work at 9 am  and leave work at 6 pm. Home by 7 pm, rinse and repeat. Weekends are a bit different obviously, but with errands and things to do the days (and daylight) can and do slip away.

Now that I’ve said all that, here are these week’s selections.

I made a Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad with a recipe from Veganomicon. The recipe calls for frozen shelled edamame. I only had the kind still in its shell. I tried to peel them while still frozen, which was nearly impossible. I steamed them as usual and then peeled them. Much better.  Once I got past the whole peeling thing, the recipe was quick and easy. It’s so light and fresh tasting. I can see myself eating it all summer long. I can’t wait to make it again using kernels from summer fresh corn.

I also made a Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf, also from Veganomicon. You can find the recipe here. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. It’s warmly spiced and reminds me of chili–it’s got cumin and coriander and tomato paste. It’s very satisfying.

It was especially great because I had all the ingredients on-hand to make both of these dishes. Everything was either in my pantry or in my freezer.

Corn & Edamame-Sesame Salad

Adapted from Veganomicon

Note: The original recipe calls for tamari or soy sauce. I’ve been loving shoyu, which is an unpastuerized soy sauce that is very delicious. Feel free to sub if you don’t have it.

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 cup fresh corn, or partially-thawed frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Generous pinch of salt

Add edamame to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add the corn and boil for another 2 minutes. Strain into a colander and run under cold water until cool enough to touch. Set aside.

Whisk together seasame oil, rice vinegar, shoyu, and lime juice in a medium size bowl. Mix in edamame and corn and then stir in toasted sesame seeds. Salt to taste. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld.

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