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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Friday, April 9, 2010

BACON-BUTTERMILK CORN BREAD (from Art Smith's KITCHEN LIFE)

Hot, piping corn bread is one of my favorite accompaniments to almost any main course, especially stews and chilies. Don't forget, I was raised in the South where hot breads are part of everyday life, and this corn bread, packed with bacon and made with buttermilk, does the tradition proud. Shake the buttermilk well before using, and if you prefer, substitute 3/4 cup of plain low-fat yogurt whisked with 1/4 cup of milk (whole, skim, or in,between) for the buttermilk.

4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, as needed
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning once, until crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels. Cool and coarsely chop the bacon. Measure the bacon fat and add enough oil to make 1/4 cup.

Pour 2 tablespoons bacon fat into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Bake until the fat is very hot, about 2 minutes.

Whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, egg, and remaining 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Stir just until the batter is barely smooth-a few lumps can remain. Quickly stir in the bacon. Do not overmix. Spread in the hot baking dish.

Bake until the top of the corn bread springs back when pressed in the center, about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot.

MAKES 9 SERVINGS

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