Moist Sour Cream Cornbread

I bought some delicious sour cream cornbread at the Farmer’s Market over the summer and have been trying to replicate it since.  This is the closest I have gotten, but it still isn’t all the way there yet!  Still delicious though!


  •     1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  •     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  •     1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •     1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     2 heaping tbs white sugar
  •     1 cup sour cream
  •     1 can (approx. 15 ounces) cream-style corn
  •     3 eggs
  •     6 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine mixtures, stirring until all ingredients are moistened.
  4. Spread in a greased and floured 8×8-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.
  6. Test with a toothpick before serving.


I first had home made spatzel in the Czech Republic.  I was a guest in the house of a local restaurateur named Pavel.  I don’t recall when the spatzel came out, but I remember that the rich taste of half dumpling, half noodle was amazing.  I was able to recapture it with this recipe.  You may be tempted to skip the saute step with the butter, but DON’T!  The saute makes the spatzel.  One of the biggest tricks is forming the spatzel for boiling.  The recipe I used was very wet, so I added flour.  Still, the best trick I found was to put the dough in a quart Zip-loc bag, cut a corner and drip it into the pot.  Worked like a charm!  Once, boiled, you can set it aside and saute it right before you are ready to serve it.

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dry parsley shaker


1.  Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.

2.  Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

3.  Press dough through spaetzle maker, or a large holed sieve or metal grater. (Note – see plastic bag trick in notes)

4.  Drop a few at a time into simmering liquid. Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

5.  Saute cooked spaetzle in butter or margarine for about 5 minutes.

6.  Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top, and serve.

Speedy Dinner Rolls

What happens when you discover that you are having two more people at dinner than you planned for?  Well first you make a big salad and hope people eat it.  Next, you add a bread course.  But if all you have is a loaf of white bread, what are you going to do?  Oh yeah, and it’s only 90 minutes before they arrive.  Well, you search the internet for a quick dinner roll recipe and trust that you can pull it off.  The boys declared it a success!  Their girlfriends were at least nice enough to agree to my face.


  •     1 package quick-acting active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) ( 7 grams)
  •     1 1/3 cup milk (105º to 115ºF degrees)
  •     3 to 3 1/2 cups flour or whole wheat flour
  •     3 tablespoons oil
  •     1 tablespoon sugar
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 tablespoon melted butter
  •     coarse salt

1.    Dissolve yeast in warm milk in large bowl.
2.    Stir in 1 cup flour. Beat with mxer until smooth.
3.    Stir in enough remaining flour, oil, sugar and salt.  Mix on low electric speed until soft dough forms.
4.    Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
5.    Heat oven 400ºF degrees.  Prep a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. (Two muffin pans for 12)
6.    Punch down dough in center and fold over a few times.
7.    Pinch off 1 inch balls of dough and quickly roll in palm of hands.
8.    Put 3 balls to one muffin cup; brush with melted butter; sprinkle with coarse salt.
9.    Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is light golden brown.  Immediately remove from pan.

Homemade Bagels

Making bagels at home was something I had always wanted to try.  Finding an easy to follow recipe was the trouble.  Over on Hubpages, someone had posted a tutorial complete with pictures.  It was a great help, and now I can make them very consistently.   Here is the recipe.  If you don’t follow the  instructions precisely, you will have some trouble, so pay close attention!


Fresh out of the oven!

Homemade bagels are better than any I ever buy in the store!

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbls sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps instant yeast
  • 1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dry ingredients before adding oil and water.  Use instant yeast and you don’t have to soak it first. The dough should feel stiff.  I start with 1 1/4 cups of water and slowly at the rest until the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Knead for about ten minutes on the counter, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
  3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Take  each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together.  This is essential to make sure the dough is well fused, otherwise, your bagel will separate while boiling!!
  5. Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly with Olive oil spray.  I like to put the bagels over by the boiling pot of water as the steam will help them rise a little.  Not too close though!
  6. Pre heat your oven to 425.
  7. After the 20 minute wait, add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute.
  8. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
  9. Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they’re done!
  10. Let them cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.

Old Fashioned Pancakes

Very simple and quick pancake recipe.  Try it with maple syrup or fruit toppings.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbs butter, melted (can sub 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk


  1. Combine egg, butter and milk in mixing bowl
  2. In separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder
  3. Stir dry ingredients into mixing bowl and stir until entirely moist.  Do not whisk or beat the flour in, some lumps are good.
  4. Grease a skillet, place over medium heat and pour batter in 1/4 cup at a time
  5. Turn when bubbles form and break on top side.  Watch after turnig so as not to burn.

Arepas con Queso

These tasty fried corn breads are a staple of the Colombian diet.  They are served at breakfast or as a side dish during any meal.  My boys would eat these every day if I would cook them.  I had the chance to serve a few to non-Colombiaphiles the other night and they loved them as well.  Best served hot with soft butter spread across them!  This recipe uses some special ingredients.  Arepa flour is essential.  Cheese can be substituted.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10-12 arepas


  • 1 cup arepa flour (this is precooked cornmeal, available in most ethnic markets – see note below)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup campesino cheese, crumbled (Colombian style is best but Salvadoran also works)
  • 1 cup water (will need an additional 2 tbs)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  1. Mix together arepa flour, crumbled cheese, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in first cup of water, then add the 2 tbs of water as you mix by hand.  Dough should be soft, but cohesive.
  3. Let dough stand for 2 minutes
  4. Form 10-12 equal sized balls of dough, press them flat, shaping them to form a round patty.  Eliminate all cracks in the sides by pressing with your fingers.  Set finished patties on wax paper.
  5. Heat oil over medium hear in cast iron skillet until it shimmers.
  6. Fry in two batches, turning only once.  Approximately 4-5 minutes per side
  7. Set finished arepas on paper towel to drain
  8. Serve hot with soft butter spread across top.

Notes:  You must use precooked cornmeal flour to get the right arepa.  Masa or cornmeal will not work.  I recommend Donarepa brand.  P.A.N. is another good brand.

If you can’t find campesino cheese, you can substitute mozzarella or even monterey jack cheese shredded.  The best arepas use a cheese that crumbles!

Sweet Cornbread (Vegan)

Sweet Cornbread

This is the recipe for the sweet cornbread I used to serve the Ranchero Shrimp over.  The original author suggests that leftovers can be enjoyed for breakfast with maple syrup.  Tempting!  It’s a little high on calories, but worth it!
Makes 12 pieces (227 calories/piece)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2  tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup wesson oil or vegetable oil

1/2 cup plain soymilk

1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom of baking dish with a little oil. I used an 8 X 8  dish.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl with a fork or a whisk.

3. Stir in wet ingredients but don’t mix too much.

4. Pour into baking dish and bake for about 30 min or until the edges are a little brown and tests done with a toothpick.

5. Take out and let cool for 15 min or so.

Source of recipe: Slightly modified from
Preparation time: 10 min, Cooking time: 30 min