How To Take Your Cornbread To A Whole New Level

Read how to take your favorite cornbread recipe to the next level! #castiron #cornbreadrecipe #comfortfood

Cornbread.  It’s a welcome addition to every Southern meal.  But, I’ve noticed through the years that people are very loyal to their favorite cornbread.  Some have a favorite mix, while others swear by their grandma’s time-tested recipe.  Some like it unadulterated, while others like to dress it up with everything from jalapenos to blueberries.  

No doubt, our strong feelings about cornbread  stem from nostalgic childhood memories around the dinner table.  It takes us back to a simpler time of conversation, food, and family–uninterrupted by constant busyness and electronic devices.  No matter what recipe or mix you love, these tips can take it to a whole new level!   

Find out how to take your favorite cornbread recipe to the next level! #comfortfood #cornbreadrecipe #cookingtips #castironcooking

First of all, when it comes to cornbread (or a lot of things for that matter), you can’t beat a cast iron skillet!  In fact, I have a skillet reserved just for cornbread.  It’s seasoned just right, and I only have to wipe it out and  rub on a little oil between uses.  🙂  Just find a skillet that is the right size for your recipe and your family.  I use a 12″ skillet for two boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.

Here’s how you can take your favorite cornbread recipe to the next level:

  1. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat.  
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cornbread batter as recommended.  
  3. When the oven reaches the desired temperature, carefully add 3/4 stick (6 Tablespoons) of butter to the skillet and return it to the oven.  (This is the amount of butter I use for a 12″ skillet.  You may need to adjust the amount for your skillet.  But, remember, lots of butter is key!)
  4. Watch the butter constantly.  As soon as it melts, remove the skillet.  
  5. Pour the cornbread mix in the middle of the skillet.  As the mix spreads, it should push the butter against the edges of the skillet.  This will create a buttery, crispy edge!  
  6. Place skillet on the middle oven rack and cook for the appropriate time.    

How often do you have cornbread at your house?  Do you have a favorite recipe or mix?  I’d love to hear it!

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18+ Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas To Make Your Morning Better

It can be hard getting a healthy breakfast and getting out the door on time in the morning! Check out over 18 great make-ahead breakfast options! #recipes

As I’ve mentioned before, breakfast is always the hardest meal for me to get on the table.  We have a couple of make-ahead breakfast recipes, like crockpot oatmeal and breakfast burritos, that we enjoy frequently, but I still turn to cereal more often than I like to admit. 

We’re trying to cut down on processed foods and reduce our grocery bill and saying good-bye to cereal is a good way to accomplish both of those goals.  I needed more make-ahead options, so I asked my friends at the Homestead Bloggers Network to share their favorite make-ahead breakfast ideas!

It can be hard getting a healthy breakfast and getting out the door on time in the morning! Check out over 18 great make-ahead breakfast options! #recipes

Not surprisingly, egg recipes were high on the list of favorite breakfasts for homesteaders (made with their farm-fresh eggs, of course)!  Check out these 5 reasons you should eat more eggs too!  In order to make scrambled eggs fit into your busy morning, make your own healthier and more economical “egg beaters” by cracking several dozen eggs into a clean container (like a milk jug or mason jar), shaking, and refrigerating.  The eggs will stay good for several days.  

If you’re tired of eggs and toast, try making up these sourdough pitas or English muffins the night before.  Both of these recipes can be stuffed with scrambled eggs and frozen–just follow the same instructions for freezing as these make-ahead breakfast burritos!

And who doesn’t love recipes that you can put together the night before and pop in the oven as you get ready for your day?  It’s the best of both worlds–a hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven breakfast with no prep time!  Breakfast casseroles are so versatile with options for eggs and fixins only to recipes that add in hash browns or bread!  Speaking of eggs and bread, overnight french toast is another great make-ahead breakfast option.  Try is as-is or with raspberries (or another fruit of your choice)!  If you need grab and go, try these mini quiches!  They’re totally easy to customize, and I would even let my kids eat them in the car if needed!  

Even cooking pancakes or biscuits can be quick and easy with a little planning.  And, I’m not talking about store bought mixes here.  Check out these great mixes for biscuits and pancakes, plus the handy-dandy printable labels!  Then, smother your biscuits with this freezer sausage gravy.  If you’re really strapped for time in the morning, make and freeze these waffles.  Simply pop a couple in the toaster in the morning!

Are you still missing your boxed cereal?  Give homemade granola a try!  Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds.  Here’s a great basic recipe to get you started.  Also, read about the benefits of soaking your grains first and how to do it.  If you are gluten-free, this raw buckwheat granola is a great option.  Enjoy any of these recipes on there own, as a cereal, or sprinkled over homemade yogurt!

I hope you give some of these options a try and they give you an easier, more peaceful start to your day!

Do you have a favorite make-ahead breakfast?  I’d love to hear it!

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Breakfast Burritos (And The BEST Way To Freeze Them)

Every spring, we go from hoping that our chickens will provide enough eggs that we don’t have to buy any from the store to an egg explosion!  And, I always want to scream, “How do I turn these chickens off?”  

Need to use up lots of eggs? Check out this freezer breakfast burrito recipe! #frugalrecipe #eggs #farmfresh #farmtotable

Unfortunately, chickens don’t come with on and off switches!  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a good problem to have, but until our normal egg customers get back into the habit of getting eggs from us, it can be overwhelming!  So,  I always try to take an afternoon, and make up a huge batch of breakfast burritos for the freezer.

Need a quick and easy breakfast to keep you out of the drive-thru? Check out this freezer breakfast burrito recipe! #frugalrecipe #eggs #farmfresh #farmtotable #makeaheadbreakfast

Without these pre-made breakfast burritos, we would probably end up going through the drive-thru on mornings that we have to get out the door.  And, of course, it’s always nice to have them on hand when I just don’t feel like making breakfast or in the dead of winter when we’re missing our farm-fresh eggs!

By the way, if you would like an alternative to store-bought tortillas, check out the easy 4-ingredient recipe at the bottom of this post, or these recipes for whole wheat or sourdough tortillas!

Breakfast Burritos (And The BEST Way To Freeze Them)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Taco sized tortillas
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cooked bacon, sausage, or other meat (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream and picante sauce for topping, if desired
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet.
  3. Fry eggs and set aside.
  4. Place one tortilla on a plate (or a paper towel for freezing).
  5. Add fried eggs, cheese and optional meat.
  6. Microwave for 15-30 seconds (or heat on griddle) to soften tortilla and melt cheese.
  7. Fold up bottom of tortilla and roll into a burrito.
  8. Add any desired toppings and enjoy!
Notes
To freeze, wrap burrito in paper towel after you fold it. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before placing in freezer.

To re-heat, remove plastic wrap and microwave in paper towel.

Do you have a favorite make-ahead breakfast recipe?  

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Dessert For Breakfast? Try these 12 Make-Ahead Recipes

What could be better than dessert for breakfast? These 12 make-ahead recipes will make you think you're having dessert for breakfast, but without the guilt! #breakfast #makeaheadrecipes #fromscratchcooking

A few days ago, I posted over 18 breakfast ideas that could be prepped ahead of time from my Homestead Blogger friends.  Today, I want to share 12 more recipes that, in my book, take the cake.  What makes these recipes so special?  Well, they all make me feel like I am having dessert for breakfast!  And, who wouldn’t want to have dessert for breakfast?  

What could be better than dessert for breakfast? These 12 make-ahead recipes will make you think you're having dessert for breakfast, but without the guilt! #breakfast #makeaheadrecipes #fromscratchcooking

We’ve all seen the pre-packaged breakfast cookies at the grocery store.  But, check out these homemade versions!  These Healthy Breakfast Cookies are full of fruits, yogurt and nuts, and these Sugar Free Breakfast Cookies are sweetened with natural sweeteners and are egg, fat, and sugar free.  Both options let you eat cookies for breakfast without the guilt!

Toss the packaged muffins that are packed with preservatives and check out these recipes.  If you’re looking for hearty muffins packed with fruits and veggies, try Morning Glory Muffins!  And, next time you’re making oatmeal, cook an extra cup for these Leftover Oatmeal Muffins.  (While you’re at it, make 9 extra cups and save 8 of them for this Tropical Baked Oatmeal.)  These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Zucchini Bread recipes can both be baked in muffin tins, frozen, and sat out the night before for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Speaking of taking the cake, how about cake for breakfast?  You can with this Sourdough Breakfast Cake.  And where there’s cake, there’s “ice cream.”  This Breakfast Banana Split is close enough–just be sure to save a few bananas for Chocolate and Granola Covered Bananas.  Pudding is not something you would normally consider a breakfast food.  These healthy Breakfast Pudding recipes could change that.  Even Lemon Berry Scones hot from the oven are not out of reach with a little planning!

So, there you have it–12 recipes that will make you feel like you are having dessert for breakfast!  Do you have a favorite “sweet” breakfast treat?

While you’re here, be sure to check out this post with over 18 quick breakfast ideas!

It can be hard getting a healthy breakfast and getting out the door on time in the morning! Check out over 18 great make-ahead breakfast options! #recipes
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How To Chop An Onion Like A Boss (And Without Crying)

You don't need a special kitchen gadget to chop an onion, just a good knife, a cutting board and this technique. #kitchenhack #kitchentip #onions

Years ago, at my wedding reception, I sang “Any Man Of Mine” by Shania Twain to my very surprised new husband.  I don’t think he understood the full weight of the line “When I cook him dinner and I burn it black, he’d better say, ‘mmm, I like it like that.'”  In addition to multiple burned meals, he endured very garlic-y salsa because I didn’t know the difference between a clove and a bulb, gravy made with wheat flour because it was all I had and didn’t figure it really mattered, extra trips to the grocery store because I was convinced that I couldn’t make grilled cheese sandwiches or toast without squeeze Parkay, and then there was that sauteed burned onion…

You don't need a special kitchen gadget to chop an onion, just a good knife, a cutting board and this technique. #kitchenhack #kitchentip #onions

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and choose to make a purchase, I may (at no additional cost to you) receive a sales commission.  Your support allows us to continue bringing you great content.  🙂

Even though I don’t consider myself a great cook, I’ve definitely come a long way, baby.  And, along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things that have made my life easier and my time in the kitchen more enjoyable.  A faster way to chop onions has definitely been one of those things, along with the fact that chopped onions can be frozen.  Simply chop the onion, put it in a Ziplock freezer bag, squeeze the air out, flatten, seal, and freeze!  Next time you need onions for a soup or casserole, they’re ready to go!  Now, that’s just crazy talk!

Check out the video!

By the way, if chopping onions makes you cry, check out these onion goggles!  If goggles in the kitchen aren’t your thing, try one of these techniques.  

Did you know how to cook when you moved out of your parents home?  What tips have you learned to make your time in the kitchen easier?

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Easy Sausage Gravy (Plus A Freezer Recipe)

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

I love old movies!  I love getting a peek into how life might have been before we became so industrialized as a nation.  One thing that has always fascinated me is how the whole town seemed to look forward to the County Fair.  The whole family would load up their buggies with their best animals, quilts and mama’s famous pies.  The anticipation was so thick that you couldn’t help but be drawn into the excitement on the screen.  The day was full of rides, interesting sites, and sweet treats for the kids.  The ladies took their placement in the domestic arts competitions very seriously.  And, the men enjoyed a little gambling on the buggy races.  I don’t know how historically accurate those movies are, but the nostalgia of everyone taking a day away from their incredibly hard work to come together for fellowship, fun and friendly competition always puts a smile on my face.

So, this year the kids and I gathered up our creations and submitted them for display and judging at our local county fair.  The entry part was a little tedious–filling out what seemed to be 100 tags and standing in line multiple times with four kids to submit our items in the proper categories.  However, I chalk a lot of that up to lack of experience.  We’re going in with a plan next year!  And, Saturday morning, when we walked around as a family seeing our goodies on display and finding some of them with ribbons (and even cash prizes), it was totally worth it!  The kids were thrilled with their ribbons, and all have plans to come back next year with even better entries–including rabbits and chickens!

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

That morning, I also competed in the gravy cook-off and Towhead showed his eggs.  We were both happy with the results.

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

I have to admit, winning meant quite a bit to me.  More than anything, I want to be a skilled homemaker, but I grew up in a generation that didn’t really value those skills.  For years, making anything without a recipe scared me–especially gravy!  Trust me.  If you had witnessed some of my failures in my early years of marriage, you’d understand.

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

Anyway, years ago I read a newspaper article written by a Home Economics teacher.  She shared a gravy recipe that she has been teaching students for over 25 years.  There’s even an option to freeze the cooked sausage and flour, then just add milk and cook for a quick breakfast!  Nowadays, I don’t stress so much about the measurements, but the basic idea is still the same.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  🙂

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

Easy Sausage Gravy (Plus A Freezer Recipe)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound sausage
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Brown the sausage in heavy skillet.
  2. Pour off grease and add 6 tablespoons of flour.
  3. Stir until the flour is evenly distributed.
  4. Add 3 cups milk, ½ cup at a time.
  5. Stir to make a paste, as you add the remaining milk, evenly mix the milk throughout.
  6. Cook until thickened.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes
To make ahead of time, brown the sausage, drain the fat and coat it with flour. It can then be frozen. Just add milk and cook until thickened.

 

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Grandma’s Chicken Salad: A Perfect Use For Leftover Chicken

chicken recipe

Years ago, my grandma put together a recipe book.  Not only did she collect recipes from everyone in the family, but she also wove family pictures, special dates, and other fun tidbits throughout the book.  Today, my copy is well-worn, and many of the recipes on it’s pages have become staples in our home, including this chicken salad.

This easy chicken salad recipe is can be made with chicken breats or leftover chicken! It makes a great light lunch when served on potato bread or kaiser buns! #chickenrecipes #shredded chicken

There’s something very special to me about a shared recipe.  I may forget to preheat the oven to 375 degrees or beat the eggs before dumping them in, but I never forget who shared that recipe with me and the circumstances surrounding the occasion–the chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe that a sweet neighbor brought over in an envelope filled with recipes printed just for me, the chicken spaghetti that a friend served one evening when my husband and I came over for dinner, the macaroni and cheese that my aunt has brought to Thanksgiving and Christmas for as long as I can remember….  Every time I prepare a shared recipe for my family, I think of the person who shared it with me, reminisce just a little, and smile.  

My hope is that you will enjoy this chicken salad as much as we do, and that, when you prepare it, you’ll think of our little family and our connection (even if it’s only through this blog) and smile.  And, that–just maybe–you’ll share a favorite recipe with me.  🙂

Grandma's Chicken Salad
Author: 
 
This chicken salad is perfect for a light lunch served on potato bread or kaiser buns.
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts (or leftover shredded chicken)
  • 18 ounces mayonnaise
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 1½ cups seedless grapes (cut in halves)
  • 1½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup halved pecans
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil chicken breasts and cut into small pieces. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix in remaining ingredients and chill.
  2. Enjoy!

Use your kitchen shears to make quick work of shedding the cooked chicken:

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Dutch Oven Cobbler (For the Wood Burning Stove Or The Oven)

Even though I’m anxious to start construction on our house, I am grateful that we have lived out here for a couple of years first.  Our lifestyle is so different than it was when we drew our first house plans that those plans wouldn’t have worked well for us.  One of the many things that I’m excited about is installing and learning to cook on a wood burning stove!  But, the other day when I saw this Wood Stove Dutch Oven Cobbler on Appalachia’s Homestead, I just couldn’t wait for my wood burning stove to try it.  I had to find a way to make it in my oven.

This easy dutch oven cobbler can be made with your favorite fruit and is super fast to put together!  #dessertrecipes #dutchoven #castiron

 Now she mentions in the video how to make it in a 13″ x 9″ pan, but I wanted to cook it in the dutch oven like she did.  🙂  So, I gave it a try.  I followed her directions exactly except I used my oven at 350 degrees…  And oh my!  So yummy!  The only thing that would have made it better would be a big ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It’s simple, delicious and all of the ingredients are easy to have on-hand for a last minute dessert.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Dutch Oven Cobbler
Author: 
 
This Dutch Oven Cobbler is easy to make and is sure to impress your family and guests!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of self rising flour (or all-purpose flour with 1½ t of baking soda and ¼ t of salt)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 21-Oz cans of your favorite fruit pie filling
Instructions
  1. Place your dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl.
  3. Put the stick of butter in the dutch oven and allow to melt.
  4. Carefully pour the flour mixture into the dutch oven.
  5. Dollop the fruit pie filling on top. (Do not stir.)
  6. Cover and cook for 55-60 minutes.

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Oatmeal. It’s Not Just For Breakfast.

Check out all of the uses for oatmeal!

When many people think of oatmeal, they think of those little single serve packages–you know, the ones that are loaded with lots of junk you can’t pronounce and a few rolled oats.  But, it is so much more than that!  With uses from the kitchen to beauty products to the garden, oats boast a cheap price tag while being loaded with health benefits.  

Oatmeal is healthy and inexpensive! Check out all of it's uses both in and out of the kitchen! #frugalrecipes #homemadebeautyproducts #oatmealrecipes

Whether you’re trying to eat healthy or feed your family on a budget, oatmeal needs to be a staple in your pantry.  If you’ve never cooked it before, don’t worry.  It’s super easy to cook on the stove top, in the crockpot, or in the oven.  You can serve it unadulterated or topped with fruit, honey or even pb&j!  However you serve it, be sure to cook more than you need so you’ll have leftover cooked oats to make this Tropical Baked Oatmeal.

This tropical baked oatmeal is a great twist on plain oatmeal and makes a great, hot breakfast. #oatmealrecipe
Of course, you can’t think of oats without thinking of homemade granola.  Throw it on some yogurt or in a bowl of milk and you have a healthy, filling breakfast or snack.  Another magical power of oatmeal is it can make cookies into breakfast food!  These Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies and Campfire Cooking Rob Roy Cookies are both chock-full of yummy, healthy goodness!

And, it’s not just for breakfast!  Oatmeal makes a great replacement for bread crumbs to create gluten-free meatloaf.  (Be sure to buy the gluten free rolled oats if you have a gluten intolerance.)  Or, whip up a batch of these smokey meatballs!  You’re sure to be the hit of the party!

As I mentioned earlier, oatmeal’s not just for the kitchen!  In addition to having exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties, it also contains a mild cleansing agent, helps improve skin tone and texture, reduces pore size, and repairs damage from some chemicals.  

To gain these benefits for your face, use one of these facial scrubs daily and treat your skin to a weekly Yogurt and Oatmeal or Honey Facial Mask.  And, since the rest of your skin needs some love too, try making this Oatmeal and Honey Soap.  If you’re new to soap making or are uncomfortable working with lye, check out this tutorial for Making Goat Milk Soap Without Lye!

This Goat Milk Soap contains oatmeal to gently exfoliate your skin and doesn't require lye! #oatmealrecipes

And, while you’re making all of these products for YOUR skin, don’t forget Fido!  Next time you give your dog a bath, treat him to this Natural Dog Shampoo.  It’s great for sensitive skin and takes care of any funky dog smell!

Finally, did you know that oatmeal is even useful in the garden?  Check out this post on grocery store gardening to find out all of the things in your pantry, including oatmeal, that are useful in your garden.

As you can see, I’m sold on oatmeal and it’s frugal health advantages!  What about you?  Do you have a favorite oatmeal recipe?  Do you use it for anything besides food?

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Crockpot Oatmeal in 60 Seconds

In a rush every morning? Prepare this crockpot oatmeal the night before and wake up to a healthy, hot breakfast! #crockpotrecipes #crockpotoatmeal #frugalrecipes

It happens every morning.  My family gets up, and they want to eat.  I get it.  They’re hungry, but I’m SO not a morning person.  So, our options are eat expensive and not-so-healthy cold cereal, eat breakfast at 11:00 when my brain turns on, or I can prepare breakfast the night before.  When I discovered this crockpot oatmeal recipe, it was an instant hit! 

In a rush every morning? Prepare this crockpot oatmeal the night before and wake up to a healthy, hot breakfast! #crockpotrecipes #crockpotoatmeal #frugalrecipes

My family loves having a hot breakfast waiting for them, and I love the fact that it’s quick, easy, and healthy.  I buy organic steel cut oats from a coop for 87 cents a pound!  And, we never get bored of it because there are so many ways to change up oatmeal!

Here’s a quick tutorial video.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!

What does your family do for breakfast?  Do you ever make it the night before?

Check out these other uses for oatmeal!

Oatmeal is healthy and inexpensive! Check out all of it's uses both in and out of the kitchen! #frugalrecipes #homemadebeautyproducts #oatmealrecipes

Would you like some more tips for saving money on food?  Check out this post!

Great tips for saving on food! #savingmoney #debtfreedom #frugalliving

Here’s another great oatmeal recipe!

These Italian Meatloaf Balls are made without pre-made bread crumbs and cooking them in a mini muffin pan allows the grease to drain off. Plus, they're delicious! #beefrecipes #comfortfood