Loaded Cornbread

Remember my cornbread and chili cook-off post? Well I made both for our church Halloween party and while the chili recipe I used was really good (and mostly gone before we left) it didn’t win. My cornbread however, won second place! I combined 3 recipes and then added bacon, haha, how can you beat that? This cornbread is super fluffy but with the jalapenos, green onions, bacon, and cheese it isn’t crumbly at all. It is super delicious. I made it again last night purely for picture/research purposes…
 Loaded Cornbread Recipe  I  Wildfire Kisses

Loaded Cornbread

Makes 1 – 9×13 pan

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup cornmeal (best if freshly ground)
  • 2 cups flour (cake flour if you have it)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 small can diced jalapenos, drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and melted butter and stir.
  3. Mix in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt – stirring to incorporate, but do not over mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the batter.
  5. Mix in bacon, green onions, jalapenos, and cheese just until combined, try not to over stir.
  6. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. It should be lightly browned on top and check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through.

Here is what the egg whites should look like before you mix them in

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And here is what it looks prior to cooking.

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Then look how much it rises, those egg whites really give this cornbread some lift.

Loaded Cornbread Recipe   I   Wildfire Kisses

We may or may not have been eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning, but it’s definitely best when warm and gooey. If you try it out, let me know what you think! This cornbread is going to be a staple around here.

Chili and Cornbread Cookoff

I am dreaming of scenes like this photo from my seat in this season-less desert. We’re still in the 90’s lately, can you imagine! But the nights/mornings are cool and we open the windows to get the slightest of fall chill.

Halloween is fast approaching and with that comes the annual church trunk-or-treat, and Chili and Cornbread competition! My dad usually entered the competition with the spiciest chili recipe he could think up—I get my love of spicy foods from him—but this is the first time I’ll be entering on my own.  As for cornbread, well, on the off chance I make any it is from a box and far too crumbly, so this is the perfect chance to find a fabulous recipe.

Here are my top three cornbread recipes to try:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Bread –uses cake flour instead of corn meal, but has whole kernels of corn in it, so technically it’s still cornbread right?

Sweet Cornbread — a classic cornbread recipe, but you whip the egg whites separately, almost creating a meringue, and fold them into the batter last.

Pumpkin Cornbread — I love anything pumpkin related, but does it go as well with chili? It uses cornmeal and creamed corn, so plenty of corn flavor still, but it also uses molasses which I don’t keep on hand, and I kind of hate buying an ingredient for just one recipe.

Navajo Cornbread –Has diced jalapenos, green onions and cheese in it and I love all things spicy and cheesy

And here are my top contestants for chili recipes to try:

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili — Um, it has jalapenos, bacon, and cream cheese in it–enough said.

Crockpot Chili — It has just about every spice out there in it, plus cocoa powder (apparently it’s the secret for getting a smoky taste?). It also mixes sausage with the ground beef, and says it’s best when cooked for essentially 2 days!

Quinoa Chili — A very different direction, since it’s meatless, and I love meat, but quinoa is a good protein too, so it’d still be hearty. Plus it also has a good list of spices.

 

Odds are, that whichever chili recipe I choose I will up the spice factor. And for cornbread I don’t have any fantasies that I’ll win the contest, but I am excited to simply find something more edible than the box mix.

Which recipes would you choose?

Blood Orange Rolls

Blood Orange Rolls Recipe I Wildfire Kisses

I like the average orange rolls, but I love this recipe so much more. The average orange roll is a sweet roll recipe with an orange glaze on top. They are good when warm but not so much later on. This recipe puts the orange flavor throughout—from dough to filling to glaze. It’s sweeter, softer, and much better.

I used blood oranges because I now live in Arizona and a friend gave us a bunch of them. Any oranges will do of course, but the blood oranges are what gave these rolls such a pink tinted glaze. In fact try this recipe out with lemons or even grapefruit in place of oranges and I bet they’d be just as delicious.

Blood Orange Rolls Recipe I Wildfire Kisses

 

Orange Rolls

Ingredients:

Dough

1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbs sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup butter melted
1 egg, room temperature
1/2  (3.4 oz) pkg instant lemon pudding
3 Tbs orange zest (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour

Filling

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs orange zest
2 tsp orange juice

Glaze

1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly juiced is best)
powdered sugar

Directions:

In large bowl combine water, milk, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add slightly cooled melted butter (if it is too hot it will kill the yeast), and the egg.  Add salt and flour, combining well, and adding additional flour if needed. Dough should be only slightly sticky to the touch. Place dough in warm oven and allow to rise until doubled in size. If you are in a hurry you can set a bowl of hot water in the oven as well, the extra moisture will help the dough rise faster.

Mix filling in small bowl, creaming together sugar, butter, zest, and juice. You can add more zest or juice for a stronger flavor, but be careful not to make the filling runny, it should be a thicker consistency.

Once dough has risen, divide it into 2 and place the first half on a floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangular shape about a 1/4 inch thick. Spread half of the filling on the dough making sure to get it all the way to the edges. Roll up dough lengthwise and use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to gently cut the log into 1-2 inch sections. Place rolls onto a buttered cake pan or cookie sheet with an edge, about an inch apart. Repeat with 2nd half of dough and filling. Allow the rolls to rise again until about doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once rolls are risen, bake one pan at a time for 15 to 20 minutes–they should be barely golden colored when finished.

While the rolls are baking make the glaze. Use a hand mixer to beat together the softened cream cheese, zest, and orange juice until smooth. Add in enough powdered sugar to thicken the glaze to a medium consistency. Spoon glaze over rolls while they are warm out of the oven.

Eat warm, if you can wait that long, while gooey and super soft. Or eat them the next day, if they last that long, because the dough stays soft for a few days if kept in closed container.

These rolls are clearly a bit time intensive, but are so decadent that they are worth the wait.

 

 

Blood Orange Rolls Recipe I Wildfire Kisses

 

Blood Orange Rolls Recipe I Wildfire Kisses

 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Recipe

Salted Caramel Cheesecake I Wildfire Kisses

I am a big fan of all things cheesecake. So when my sister-in-law requested a cheesecake for her birthday lunch I knew I wanted to try out a salted caramel variation. I altered this recipe which had too much salt throughout for my taste. Instead I added Coarse Sea Salt over the top of the caramel for that salty/sweet, but not too salty taste. It turned out decadent with the perfect amount of caramel to salty ratio. And so very creamy! It disappeared within minutes in the crowd we had over here today.  

Salted Caramel Cheesecake I Wildfire Kisses

 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake 

Crust:
  • About 15 graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, grind graham crackers to crumbs, or do it by hand with a potato masher and build those arm muscles! Mix in sugar and salt, and then the butter.

2. Transfer the mixture to a 9” spring form pan greased with butter. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan, and up the sides about 2”. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly even around the top.
3. Bake crust until slightly brown. You’ll just be able to smell it. This will take anywhere from 10-12 minutes. Remove crust from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Cheesecake:
  • 3 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 13-14 oz. can dulce de leche
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

 

1. With a mixer beat cream cheese until smooth, add dulce de leche and beat to combine.
2. Add flour and salt, beat to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. There should be no lumps.
3. Add the sugar and beat to combine.
4. Add the vanilla, and then beat in the eggs one at a time until just combined, about 30 seconds each. This is key! Don’t over beat once the eggs are added; the cheesecake will puff up too much while baking, and the top will crack.
5. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
6. Bake at 300 degrees F for 55 – 65 minutes. The center will seem to be only slightly set, and will be wobbly if you nudge it. The sides will puff slightly.
7. Cool completely on a rack, then cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
 Caramel:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir as little as possible while it is boiling.

2. Continue cooking until the sugar turns golden brown, swirling occasionally. The problem with caramel is that it goes from perfect to burnt in the blink of an eye, so just watch carefully! It should take 3-5 minutes.
3. On super low heat, carefully add the butter, then the cream. Toss in the butter, give it a whisk, then pour in the cream. It will foam up, seize, and otherwise look like a total failure. Persevere! Add the vanilla extract and salt and continue whisking. Even if your caramel crystallizes, keep stiring it with the cream and butter over heat until it melts back down.  
4. Return to medium low heat and whisk until smooth. (Added note: if your caramel is too thin, let it cook for awhile over medium heat.) Allow to cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator and pour caramel over the top letting it drip over the sides for that pretty messy look. 
6. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator to let the caramel set, about 30 minutes. Once caramel is set, sprinkle Coarse Sea Salt over the top for that extra sweet and salty taste. Add more if you really like it salty. 
7. To serve, cut in smaller slices—it’s quite rich—with a sharp knife, wiping the blade clean after every slice. Then go back in 15 minutes for another piece. 

Salted Caramel Cheesecake I Wildfire Kisses

Easy French Bread Recipe

I love to bake. I love everything French. Naturally this is one of my favorite recipes, and we make it almost weekly—Wallaby and I can eat half the loaf straight from the oven!

I used to always cook alone—The Grizzly Kid is not a fan of the kitchen—but lately Wallaby insists on being my helper. In fact, he often requests to help cook by going into the pantry and patting the flour bag, or pulling a chair from the table over to the counter. So I give him his own measuring spoon and a little bowl with some flour, water, sugar, to stir up on his own and then he’ll reach over and poke his spoon into the big bowl helping me to stir it up.

Wallaby baking

Wallaby baking

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It gets a little messy, but we have fun. Anyway, onto the recipe! I have been using this recipe for years, so I don’t remember where I got the basis of it, but I’ve changed it a little along the way. It results in a fluffy center and a chewy, crusty crust. It smells heavenly and tastes even better!

French Bread Recipe    

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1 Tbs sugar

1 ½ tsp yeast

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp salt

 Directions:

-In a medium bowl dissolve sugar into warm water, add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.

– Add remaining ingredients, knead well for a few minutes adding more flour if needed—the dough should not be sticky. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

– Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Roll up dough from the long side pushing out any air bubbles as you go. Once rolled into a log, tuck each end under, just enough to cover the appearance of the layers from rolling it up.

-Place on lightly buttered cookie sheet and make deep diagonal cuts into the loaf using a serrated knife. Let rise in warm place for 30-40 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes. A few minutes before it is done pull the bread out and lightly spread butter over the top and return to oven. Watch carefully as it finishes cooking as the butter will make it brown faster. Remove once golden brown and let cool in an open space to allow it to develop the chewy crust.

It’s that easy, and takes less time to rise and bake than traditional bread. Plus if it lasts to the next day it can turn into french toast, a sub, or a yummy BLT:

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I hope you’ll give it a try! It is 100% Wallaby approved.

Wallaby baking

Recipes

I believe you can tell a lot about a person by what recipes they have memorized—the recipes that are so ingrained in their weekly meal schedule that they could make them blindfolded. For my part I have these recipes down pat: pizza dough, pancakes, frybread (here in Utah they are called scones), cream cheese frosting,  potato salad (I don’t make this often, but it was a staple growing up and too easy to mess up), and this broccoli cheese soup (no gross velveeta in this recipe).

In the Grizzly Kid’s cooking arsenal are spaghetti and popcorn. It’s a good thing I like to cook or Wallaby would starve ;).

What are your most recruited recipes?

Shortbread and Jam Filled Cookies

I have been looking for an excuse to make my favorite shortbread cookies this holiday season, but with all the yummy goodies that have been brought to us I really couldn’t justify making another sweet temptation, so when The Grizzly Kid asked if I could make a treat for a work Christmas party I knew exactly what I would be making.

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These Shortbread Cookies are buttery, crisp, and as close to the cookies that come in the tins at Christmas time as I have found. I could eat them by the dozen. But I especially love making them with a cutout on the top cookie and filling them jam, because those little holiday cutouts filled with red jam are just so festive!

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However, even without the jam these cookies are delicious and I would love something like this Springerle rolling pin to make them even more special. If you give them a try you will be hooked, and you can’t beat how simple this recipe is.

Shortbread cookies