Fresh Corn Cakes with Spicy Shredded Beef

Fresh Corn Cakes with Spicy Shredded Beef

Confession: I hate eating corn on the cob. The kernels get in my teeth and the butter always drips off – a cardinal sin in my book. My mom always cut her corn off the cob, so I blame her. At any rate, we always end up with a bunch of leftover sweet corn at our house and these corn cakes are a great way to use up the last of those lingering ears. If you haven’t had pancakes in a savory variation before, please try this recipe. It’s easy to make the beef ahead of time, and the apple cider will get you in the fall spirit!

Fresh Corn Cakes with Spicy Shredded Beef
Serves 4

For the Beef:
3 lb. beef brisket or chuck roast
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup apple cider

For the Corn Cakes:
1 pkg. corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
2 T. melted butter
2 ears fresh sweet corn, taken off the cob

For Topping:
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
Handful chopped cilantro
Your other favorite toppings: avocado or guacamole, tomatoes, or hot sauce

In a crock pot, toss in all the shredded beef ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until meat is fully cooked. Take the beef out and shred it, then return it to the crock pot so it can soak up all those juices!

Spicy Shredded Beef

Whisk together the corn cake ingredients in a large bowl. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes to thicken. Next, cook and flip the cakes until crispy on a greased and heated griddle, just like you would pancakes. There should be enough for 8 generous corn cakes.

Corn Cakes with Spicy Shredded Beef

Plate up the corn cakes next. Layer two cakes with the beef, a ladle of the crockpot sauce, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro. Pile it high with the fixin’s of your choice, and gobble them up!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Fresh Corn Cakes with Spicy Shredded Beef
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lb. beef brisket or chuck roast
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup apple cider
For the Corn Cakes:
  • 1 pkg. corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. milk
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, taken off the cob
For Topping:
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • Your other favorite toppings: avocado or guacamole, tomatoes, or hot sauce
Instructions
Beef
  1. In a crock pot, toss in all the shredded beef ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until meat is fully cooked.
  3. Take the beef out and shred it, then return it to the crock pot so it can soak up all those juices!
Corn Cakes
  1. Whisk together the corn cake ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. Next, cook and flip the cakes until crispy on a greased and heated griddle, just like you would pancakes. There should be enough for 8 generous corn cakes.
  4. Plate up the corn cakes next.
  5. Layer two cakes with the beef, a ladle of the crockpot sauce, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro.
  6. Pile it high with the fixin's of your choice, and gobble them up!

 

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

Video Post

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

I loved the sweet and salty cookie skillets recipe so much that it’s time to bust out those mini cast iron skillets again! This time though it’s for breakfast, and it’s super easy to make. The dish is completely customizable, so add your own flair with additional veggies or swap the sausage gravy for bacon pieces. This is one of my go-to lazy weekend morning recipes!

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

Ingredients:

Skillets
2 cups cubed bread
1 c. sausage gravy (recipe below)
4 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. chives
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Hot sauce, for topping

Evenly distribute the cubed bread inside of two mini cast iron skillets. Place the skillets in the oven to toast the bread until just browned; then remove them from the oven. Add 1/2 cup sausage gravy on top of the layer of bread. Next, crack 2 eggs into each skillet and place the skillets in a 350 degree oven until the eggs are cooked as desired, about 10 minutes.

When the eggs are cooked, remove the skillets from the oven and add the chives & cheddar cheese. Place the skillets back in the oven until the cheese is just melted.

Finally, remove the skillets from the oven and place a dash of hot sauce on each. Enjoy!

Gravy
1 lb sausage
1/3 cup flour
3 cups 2% milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Brown the sausage
2. Sprinkle in the flour and cook mixture until flour is absorbed
3. Slowly whisk in the milk and seasonings and let mixture thicken

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Cornbread in all its forms is near and dear to my heart. There is nothing better than a piping hot wedge of cornbread, just removed from a cast iron skillet, and I love a breakfast of leftover cornbread mixed with milk and brown sugar, just like my dad taught me. And nothing is better than a meal of cornbread and BBQ. But have you ever used cornbread as a base for appetizers? This recipe is super simple, and it starts with City Barbeque (or your favorite pulled pork) and Jiffy corn muffin mix. A quick drizzle of some homemade white BBQ sauce jazzes up these tasty bites.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites

Ingredients

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City Barbeque)
1/4 c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
1/4 c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
Chopped chives, for garnish

Yield: 16 mini bites

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over-fill.  Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.

While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.

Mini Corn Bread Cups

Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat. I like to use a sweet BBQ, but spicy sauce would be great too! Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Cups

White BBQ Sauce

1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. sugar
1 dash hot sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine all ingredients with a whisk until well-incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.  This sauce is also great on burgers or french fries!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ c. milk
  • 1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City BBQ)
  • ¼ c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
  • ¼ c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed.
  3. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over fill.
  4. Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.
  5. While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.
  6. Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat.
  7. Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups.
  8. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.

 

Sweet and Salty Cookie Skillets

Sweet & Salty Cookie Skillets
If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am obsessed with sweet and salty combos. Adding a little bit of salt to any dessert makes it better in my book, so I am excited to share this recipe with you. It is the ultimate indulgence consisting of pretzels, caramel, chocolate, and a lava flow of melty peanut butter in the center. It all comes together in the end, trust me! The whole thing is topped off with Velvet Elephant Ear ice cream (http://velveticecream.com/), and it will be everything you’ve ever wanted in life. The Elephant Ear ice cream was last year’s Ohio State Fair flavor, and is now available in stores. It has swirls of caramel and nuggets of real cinnamon sugary fried dough tucked inside. Brace yourself for the gooey sweet and salty explosion!

Velvet Elephant Ear Ice CreamSweet and Salty Cookie Skillets

Serves 2

Ingredients

6 tsp. softened butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
1/3 cup peanut butter
12 pretzels
2 scoops Velvet Elephant Ear Ice Cream
Caramel sauce for drizzling

Start by dividing the peanut butter in half and placing a dollop in the middle of a cast iron skillet which has been lightly greased with cooking spray. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to cream together the sugars, salt, and the butter. Add in vanilla and the egg. Slowly add in the flour and baking soda, mixing until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then separate the dough into 2 equal portions. Spoon the dough over the peanut butter, covering it completely.

Cookie Skillets Desert

Atop the cookie dough, press 6 pretzels into each skillet. Bake the cookies in a 375° oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookie just starts to brown at the edges. Place a scoop of the ice cream on each of the warm cookie skillets, then drizzle some caramel sauce on each. Devour these treats right away, for maximum ooey-gooeyness and enjoy!

Ice Cream Cookie Skillets

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Sweet and Salty Cookie Skillets
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tsp. softened butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 12 pretzels
  • 2 scoops Velvet Elephant Ear Ice Cream
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling
Instructions
  1. Start by dividing the peanut butter in half and placing a dollop in the middle of a cast iron skillet which has been lightly greased with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to cream together the sugars, salt, and the butter.
  3. Add in vanilla and the egg.
  4. Slowly add in the flour and baking soda, mixing until incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks, then separate the dough into 2 equal portions.
  6. Spoon the dough over the peanut butter, covering it completely.
  7. Atop the cookie dough, press 6 pretzels into each skillet.
  8. Bake the cookies in a 375° oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookie just starts to brown at the edges.
  9. Place a scoop of the ice cream on each of the warm cookie skillets, then drizzle some caramel sauce on each.

 

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
I will be totally open about my love for all things buffalo. I am obsessed with buffalo cauliflower, buffalo chicken dip, and of course, (boneless) buffalo wings. My new appetizer addiction: buffalo chicken meatballs stuffed with a perfect nugget of blue cheese! One thing I am not crazy about though, is making a grocery run, so I was super excited to partner with Shipt to create this recipe. Shipt is new to Columbus, and the best way to describe it is like Uber for your groceries.  I will whip up something crazy out of my fridge in order to avoid shopping, and this is a perfect solution. I made these tasty meatballs using ingredients from Kroger, which were purchased by a Shipt shopper and then delivered to me. It was heavenly to cut right to the part I love best – cooking (and eating) up a storm. Find the satisfyingly spicy recipe below, followed by some more info about Shipt and how you can try it too.

Blue-Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

1/2 lb. ground chicken
1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage
1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
1/2 c. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
3 T. melted butter

First, using a spoon and your hands, form the blue cheese into 15 dime-sized balls and set aside. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together ground chicken, sausage, Panko, egg, and parsley until just combined. Don’t overwork the meat mixture or it will become tough.

Stuffing the meatball with blue cheese

Next, pinch off some of the meat mixture and flatten it into a small pancake shape. Place one of the blue cheese balls in the center of the meat mixture, and fold the edges around the cheese, sealing the cheese inside. Don’t let any of the cheese show; otherwise it may leak out in the cooking process. This recipe will make around 15 meatballs,  each around the size of a half dollar.

Meatballs ready for the oven

Bake the meatballs at 425° for around 20 minutes on a wire rack, until cooked through completely. In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and the melted butter. Using a pastry brush, slather hot sauce mixture on each meatball, thoroughly coating the entire surface. Return meatballs to the oven for 5 more minutes to help set the sauce.

Blue Cheese Chicken Meatballs

To cool your mouth down, dunk these babies in ranch dressing if desired. Enjoy!

Blue Cheese in the Meatball

GIVEAWAY: I also have a free yearlong trial of Shipt to give away! It’s $99 for the membership normally, so it’s a great deal. You can register to win HERE.

See if you are in the delivery area by visiting the site: https://www.shipt.com/columbus-grocery-delivery/?

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. ground chicken
  • ½ lb. ground Italian sausage
  • ½ c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¾ c. crumbled blue cheese
  • ½ c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 3 T. melted butter
Instructions
  1. First, using a spoon and your hands, form the blue cheese into 15 dime-sized balls and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together ground chicken, sausage, Panko, egg, and parsley until just combined. Don't overwork the meat mixture or it will become tough.
  3. Next, pinch off some of the meat mixture and flatten it into a small pancake shape.
  4. Place one of the blue cheese balls in the center of the meat mixture, and fold the edges around the cheese, sealing the cheese inside. Don't let any of the cheese show; otherwise it may leak out in the cooking process.
  5. Bake the meatballs at 425° for around 20 minutes on a wire rack, until cooked through completely.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and the melted butter.
  7. Using a pastry brush, slather hot sauce mixture on each meatball, thoroughly coating the entire surface.
  8. Return meatballs to the oven for 5 more minutes to help set the sauce.

More about Shipt, straight from the source: Through the Shipt app, members create grocery lists, note any preferences or substitutions, choose a one-hour delivery window and pay for their order. Shipt connects members with local Shoppers to shop at the nearest grocery store, hand picking the items and delivering to the member’s home or office within hours of the order.

Disclosure: I was given a Shipt trial in order to provide an honest review of the service. Any opinions expressed within this review are my own unbiased views.

One-Pot Sausage Penne

Video Post!

One-Pot Sausage Penne

One Pot Sausage Penne

We’ve all seen them while scrolling through Facebook: the instructional cooking videos that quickly show you how to prepare a meal from start to finish. I absolutely love sharing and reading recipes, so I thought that making one of these posts of my own could be a fun side experiment! With the help of my husband’s iPhone prowess and a foolproof recipe, we were ready to tackle this project.

My mother-in-law first gave me the idea of cooking the meat, pasta, and sauce all together in one pan, and I have modified it for my own preferences. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am the laziest person ever when it comes to dishes. I hate them SO MUCH. I refuse to buy almost anything that isn’t dishwasher-safe, and my husband and I have a standing agreement that I cook and he cleans up. So the idea of dirtying only one pan and one spatula to whip up a full meal has me totally sold. Because this recipe has so few ingredients and steps, it was an ideal choice for our foray into food filmography. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but I hope you enjoy!

One-Pot Sausage Penne

Ingredients:

1 16 oz roll of Italian sausage
1 24 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce or marinara
3 cups water
1 16 oz box penne pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
More Parmesan and parsley, for garnish

In a large, deep skillet, brown the sausage until cooked through completely. Add the pasta sauce to the pan, along with the 3 cups of water. Stir to combine with the sausage. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Next, pour the penne into the pan. Keep the mixture at a gentle bubble, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the penne is cooked through and the water has reduced out of the pan, about 12-15 minutes.

Add in the Parmesan, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes, stirring until well-incorporated. Scoop the pasta into bowls, and sprinkle with more cheese and parsley as desired. Enjoy!

You could also add other veggies or garnishes to this dish and it would be super tasty; make it your own!

Let me know what recipe we should make into a cooking video next in the comments below.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

One-Pot Sausage Penne
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz roll of Italian sausage
  • 1 24 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce or marinara
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 16 oz box penne pasta
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • More Parmesan and parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep skillet, brown the sausage until cooked through completely.
  2. Add the pasta sauce to the pan, along with the 3 cups of water.
  3. Stir to combine with the sausage.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Pour the penne into the pan.
  6. Keep the mixture at a gentle bubble, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  7. Cook until the penne is cooked through and the water has reduced out of the pan, about 12-15 minutes.
  8. Add in the Parmesan, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes, stirring until well-incorporated.
  9. Scoop the pasta into bowls, and sprinkle with more cheese and parsley as desired.

 

Top Secret Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love to bake almost anything, but these cookies might be my favorite concoction ever. In life. There’s something so satisfying about a chocolate chip cookie, warm and gooey from the oven. And I’m going to put it out there – I am a soft cookie girl. It’s a polarizing topic, but you won’t find any hard or crispy cookies in my kitchen. I like to bake these until they’re just firm enough that they won’t fall apart when you pick them up. The cookies stay tender and soft for days in a container, and will please any crowd. The proof (and the secret ingredient) is in the pudding!

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 package instant cheesecake pudding mix (I used Jell-o brand)
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and butter until sugar is fully incorporated. I like to mix up these cookies by hand, because I think it keeps them from being over-worked. They come together pretty quickly with a simple rubber spatula.

Mixing the cookie dough batter

Next stir in the pudding mix. This is the key element to the cookies: cheesecake pudding. It sounds crazy, I know. But you don’t taste the cheesecake part, and the pudding mix keeps the cookies super soft. I’ve tried other puddings to mix in, such as coconut and white chocolate, but cheesecake is the best. Don’t question it.

The Secret Ingredient

Add the eggs and vanilla. Once mixed, add the flour and baking soda in as well. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. If you put in more chocolate chips, you won’t get any judgment from me. I mean, is there such a thing as too much chocolate in a cookie? I think not.

Cookies on the baking sheet

Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake until the first hint of golden brown appears on the tops, about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 20 minutes to firm up before removing them from the cookie sheet. Gobble them up! Warm or cooled, these are bound to be one of your new favorites.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Check out some of my other baking adventures here:
Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler
Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Scones

Top Secret Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 package instant cheesecake pudding mix (I used Jell-o brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and butter until sugar is fully incorporated
  3. Next stir in the pudding mix.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Once mixed, add the flour and baking soda in as well.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake until the first hint of golden brown appears on the tops, about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Let the cookies sit for 20 minutes to firm up before removing them from the cookie sheet.

 

2015 Year in Review

2015 Year in Review
2015 has been a spectacular year for so many reasons, but deciding to start this blog has been one of the most fulfilling. It’s provided me with a creative writing outlet and been a way to document my favorite hobby. So as I reflect on all of the fun I’ve had this year, here are some of the Columbus Culinary Connection posts that you as readers have loved the most, and a few of my favorite snapshots from my first year as a blogger. This is a lengthier post, but it’s too challenging to narrow down my experiences!

Eats and Treats

Year in Review - Hot Chicken Takeover
Doing so much writing forced me to discover new restaurants that I’d never set foot in previously, and I’m so glad it got me out of my usual rotation. I unearthed gems like Hot Chicken Takeover and Veritas Tavern, and became a regular at places such as 101 Beer Kitchen, Harvest Pizzeria, and Harvest Moon Cafe. I want to take up residence at Fox in the Snow. I also started a food truck series that has been super entertaining; you adored posts about Por’Ketta and Tortilla Street Food the most.

Brews and Bottles

Year in Review - Rockmill

I relished getting the chance to chronicle my most-loved watering holes, and add some new ones to my list as well. From wineries like Buckeye Lake to campus-area meadery Brothers Drake, it was a joy sampling local spirits! I upped my craft beer numbers too, by picking up rare finds at Crafted Drafts and Rockmill Brewery. Curio curated one of my favorite cocktails, the Dapper Dan, and I began writing monthly boozy recipes for Drink Up Columbus.

Local Love

Year in Review - Liberty Pottery

Columbus as a community is all about helping others and supporting local, family-owned businesses. There are so many options for gifts, tours, or non-chain spots to grab a bite. In 2015 I featured joints like this in one neighborhood in particular, Grandview. Next year, look for a neighborhood guide on a new section of Cbus! I also started a “5 to Try” column, highlighting topics like products or pizza. I had a blast visiting the Ohio History Center Speakeasy event, and traveling to South Carolina, Biltmore Estate, and Pittsburgh, with a few other quick jaunts in between.

Recipes

Year in Review - Pork Tenderloin

Sharing new cooking creations and my family’s favorite meals was very personal for me. Grilling pork tenderloin with this marinade proved tasty beyond belief, and this easy sweet Italian salad dressing was also a hit. My mom shared the first guest post on the blog, detailing our Christmas cookie traditions.

Instagram is a platform that truly lets food photos shine, and it’s been so enjoyable sharing a photograph each day as I eat my way through the capital city. Below, you will find my most memorable Instagram shots and a few extra pics sprinkled in. Follow along at @cbusconnect :

2015 Photos in Review

It’s always been my mission to share my love of all things culinary and all things Columbus, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store! I am so humbled and grateful that so many of you have taken the time to read the posts, send me emails, and promote this brand.

What has been your favorite post this year? Is there a can’t-miss restaurant you want to see featured? Let me know in the comments!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

My Family’s Christmas Cookie Recipe

My Family's Christmas CookiesThis post is one that is very personal for me, as it chronicles one of the family traditions I relish the most: making Christmas cookies. I am equally eager to share this post because it is a guest post written by my mom! She is the reason that I love to cook, and I am so excited to share her Christmas cutout recipe with you. The cutout cookies are buttery and beautiful, and always get eaten quickly.  At Valentine’s Day, she also uses the base recipe to make heart cutouts and dip half of each cookie in chocolate. My mom is the best cook around, so I’ll leave it to her to tell you more!

My name is Jennifer and I am Caroline’s mother.  I was thrilled when she asked me to be a guest on her blog, and since it is Christmas time, I decided to share our family tradition of baking Christmas cookies together.

Christmas Cookies

Cooking is one of my hobbies and I feel nothing brings a family together more than sharing a meal.  Fortunately, our family loves to eat and try new recipes.  Many of our get-togethers are centered around food.  Sometimes we even have a theme: for Christmas Eve we all bring an Italian dish to share, we honor my husband’s German heritage with a German feast for Father’s Day, and we even had a Derby-themed party for the Kentucky Derby.

My first experience with cooking came when I was five and Santa brought me an easy-bake oven. I’m sure my parents and brother got very tired of eating my cakes and cupcakes.   As I grew older, I learned from helping my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. Every Christmas, I can remember helping my mother bake cookies to share with family and friends.  When I married, it became a tradition to still get together for a day of cookie-baking.  When my daughters were old enough, they also joined in on the fun.

Cutting out Christmas Cookies

My mother is no longer with us, but we continue what she started many years ago.  We honor her by still using her buttery sugar cookie recipe and many of her cookie cutters.  The baking and icing is done at my house now, and our baking group has changed over the years.  What used to be an all-girls activity now includes my husband and son-in-law.  They only like to help ice the cookies and come up with some very unique ways to decorate snowmen and trees; some of those cookies don’t make the give-away trays and have to be eaten by us.

Christmas Cookies on the baking sheet

This year I made 12 different kinds of cookies along with the iced cookies we made together. Almost all the trays of cookies will be given away to neighbors, friends, teaching colleagues, my husband’s basketball team, and my daughters’ offices.  Many people have been receiving cookies for years but there are always new names to add to the list!

Christmas Cookie Stockings and Trees

I have included below my mother’s cutout cookie and icing recipe.  During this holiday season, my wish for you is to share your memories or create new traditions with your own family and friends.  The food is important, but it is also the time you spend with others!

12 Kinds of Christmas Cookies

Happy Baking and Eating!!!

Jennifer

Butter Cutout Cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas. salt

Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until just combined. Flour the rolling surface and a rolling pin to prevent dough from sticking. Turn out dough onto surface and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters and placed on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees.  I bake small cookies about 7-9 minutes and larger ones 8-10 minutes.  Cool and ice as desired.

Icing

1 stick softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teas. almond extract
1 Tbsp. milk or more as needed

Beat butter, sugar and extract together, adding milk as needed to make a creamy icing. Divide into bowls and add food coloring as desired to achieve colored frosting.

Icing for Christmas Cookies

Butter Cutout Christmas Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ teas. baking powder
  • ¼ teas. salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer until just combined.
  2. Flour the rolling surface and a rolling pin to prevent dough from sticking.
  3. Turn out dough onto surface and roll to ¼ inch thickness.
  4. Cut with floured cookie cutters and placed on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees.  I bake small cookies about 7-9 minutes and larger ones 8-10 minutes.
  6. Cool and ice as desired.

 

Door to Door Organics Recipe: Overnight Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding

Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding
I am a total morning person, and one of my favorite times of the day is sitting down and eating breakfast. But as the weather turns colder, it gets harder and harder to drag myself out of bed to make a meal before work. So, I love any recipe that you can just pull out of the fridge and enjoy! I was skeptical about chia seed pudding at first, but give this recipe a try. If you’ve never tried chia seeds before, a little goes a long way. The seeds have more uses than just being the basis for the “hair” in those goofy planters we all had in the 90’s! They plump up after sitting in the milk, and become nutrient-packed deliciousness, almost the consistency of tapioca pearls.

This pudding is healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s a hearty breakfast that is ready when you wake up in the morning. There is just something comforting about anything centered around PB + J! Best of all, this recipe is created entirely using Door to Door Organics products, which are delivered right to your home. You can learn more about my Door to Door Organics experience here.

Door to Door Organics Ingredients

Ingredients

1 cup Milk (I used Hartzler Dairy 2%)
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional, for extra sweetness)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint raspberries

Place milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup (if desired) into a large container with a lid. I find that a large Mason jar works best for this; that way all the ingredients can be shaken to easily combine them. Stir or shake milk mixture to incorporate.

Adding the chia seeds to the pudding mixture

Next add the chia seeds to the milk mixture. Again vigorously shake the jar to make certain all of the seeds are covered by milk. Take the covered jar and place it in the fridge overnight.

Pudding mix for Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Seed Pudding

The next morning, you will find that the chia seeds have soaked up all of the milk, becoming a thick pudding. Stir in the raspberries to incorporate. Sprinkle a few more berries and a drizzle of peanut butter on top to garnish, if desired. Gobble this healthy treat for breakfast, or even a light dessert. What’s not to love about a childhood favorite like PB + J?

PB & J Chia Seed Pudding

 

To make this recipe from Door to Door Organics, all Columbus Culinary Connection readers can get $10 off their first order by following this link – https://ohio.doortodoororganics.com/signup?gift_cert=CBUSCULINARY15O.

See if you are in the delivery area by visiting the site: https://ohio.doortodoororganics.com.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Door to Door Organics Recipe: Overnight Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast,
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional, for extra sweetness)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 pint raspberries
Instructions
  1. Scoop peanut butter into a bowl.
  2. Microwave until the peanut butter is smooth and liquefied.
  3. Place milk, melted peanut butter, and maple syrup (if desired) into a large container with a lid.
  4. Stir or shake milk mixture to incorporate.
  5. Add the chia seeds to the milk mixture.
  6. Again vigorously shake the jar to make certain all of the seeds are covered by milk.
  7. Take the covered jar and place it in the fridge overnight.
  8. The next morning, you will find that the chia seeds have soaked up all of the milk, becoming a thick pudding.
  9. Stir in the raspberries to incorporate.
  10. Sprinkle a few more berries and a drizzle of peanut butter on top to garnish, if desired.

Disclosure: I was given a Door to Door Organics trial in order to provide an honest review of the service. Any opinions expressed within this review are my own unbiased views.