“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all the other virtues.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
This was a really fun challenge for me as a recipe for the magazine. I don’t eat spicy food so I choose peppers that are mild when I need them. It was time to break out my hazmat suit and tackle jalapeños. This is a basic cornbread recipe but with the goat cheese, and a touch of cheddar, it’s really moist with a wonderful taste and texture.
First, we char the jalape os. I placed my cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and added coconut oil. You can use other oils but coconut is a great high-heat oil. Use “refined” otherwise, the peppers will taste like coconut. To char on a stove, one must have a powerful fan. If not, not only will the smell of jalapeños be in the house but also some of the sting. I will say that my eyes hurt a little for the rest of the day until I could air things out. I highly recommend charring them on an outdoor grill. Whatever you decide, don’t skip this step because it’s totally worth it.
I cut the peppers in lengths for thinner slices, using the largest middle slices for the top of the cornbread. The peppers may be cut in half and charred on each side, if preferred.
Once you have some of that great charred jalapeño oil in the skillet, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and place in the oven while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
When adding goat cheese, leave small bits unmixed.
Top cornbread slices with pats of butter and drizzle with honey.
This is a great recipe for a family meal. Using a large 12 inch cast-iron skillet will give the cornbread more flavor with a moist center. You may cut this recipe in half and use a smaller skillet but watch your cooking time to retain moisture in the center.
Nothing says “holiday” like pecan pie. The taste of rich flakey crust, a gooey, sweet pecan filling with a touch of bourbon brings back childhood memories. Maybe not the bourbon part, but you get the idea. It’s a fairly easy pie to make and a big hit with family and friends.
For the crust, I used a recipe that is super close to the crust my Nana used to make. The difference is the egg. I've never added an egg before but I really like it! It’s been a fool-proof crust for me for the last year. Not that Nana’s recipe isn’t close to perfection. This recipe makes two 9-inch crusts but I used all of the dough in the bottom of my pecan pie.
Once you’ve made your pie filling, use pecan halves to make a design on top. I like to start with a cross in the middle and continue to add…like cutting a pizza. You can also start with a circle around the pie’s edge and continue in a circle (spiral) until you reach the middle. Just make sure you have extras on hand. The two cups in the recipe will be in the filling. You do not have to make a design. That’s just something extra.
I used local Georgia grown pecans. Check your own local growers. There are many types of pecans and flavors.
Hang on to any leftover dough. If you have leftover filling, you can make a mini-pie and get a taste before the family gathering. Pie dish sizes vary so I usually have extra.
Nothing like getting together with friends and family for homemade pie and hot coffee.
I could hardly contain myself during this shoot, and yes, I ate this piece when it was over.
Treat your pup to some home made goodies this Thanksgiving. Of course, you’ll be very busy roasting turkey and toasting the marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole, but these are really easy and with some cool cookie cutters, a fun project to keep the little ones busy.
When finely grating a fresh apple, it can turn in color and look more like apple sauce. This is fine and will not affect the final results. I used a Gala apple.
MAKE OAT FLOUR
Make your own oat flour by placing 2 cups of organic rolled oats in a food processor and pulse until ground. Small bits left in the flour are fine as dogs don’t mind it. For a finer flour, add 1 cup of rolled oats to a blender. Process in small batches for better results.
If you need to freshen your dog’s breath, split the dough in half before rolling and add 1 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves and 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley leaves to one of the halves. I think mint can be overpowering and I would only feed my dog 1 – 2 treats each week. I’m lucky, being that Zu eats a raw food diet, he doesn’t have bad breath.