{Recipe} Honey Sweetened Skillet Cornbread

{Recipe} Honey Sweetened Skillet Cornbread

{Recipe} Honey Sweetened Skillet Cornbread

{Recipe} Honey Sweetened Skillet Cornbread

I like to drizzle a little more honey on top for good measure…

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with honey, and this cornbread is one of my favorite ways to indulge my obsession. It’s moist and delicious with a golden brown crust. It’s perfect alongside a bowl of soup or a simple salad. I made it last week to go with my ‘Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette’ and everyone in my house loved it. My kids both asked for seconds, and we finished it off for breakfast the next morning!

Honey Sweetened Skillet Cornbread

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Warm up a 10″ diameter cast iron skillet in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt (if using) in a large bowl. Pour milk, honey, and egg into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add to the milk mixture. Stir to blend.
  4. Remove skillet from the oven and add the other 2 tablespoons of butter. Return briefly to the oven to melt the butter.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Remove skillet from the oven and swirl to distribute the melted butter. Pour batter into the hot pan and return it to the oven. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 22 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with butter and honey.

You can bake this cornbread in any ovenproof skillet or even a cake pan, but you won’t get the same crispy, golden brown crust. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you should really consider adding at least one to your cookware collection. I like this one – Lodge Logic 10″ Chef’s Skillet. Lodge Logic cookware lasts forever and is very affordable. In fact, my Lodge Logic dutch oven is, hands down, the most frequently used piece of cookware in my kitchen (Just between you and me, I’m a little bit in love with it! Don’t tell my husband…)

The recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine via Epicurious.

Enjoy!

xo~

Stacey

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{Recipe} Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

{Recipe} Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

{Recipe} Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

I absolutely love this time of year! The garden is full of fresh greens, the raspberries are just starting to ripen, and the weather is warming with the promise of summer.

This salad is made mostly from things growing in my garden. The greens are a wild garden kale mixture from Territorial Seed Company. Picked at just a few inches long, the leaves are tender and mild and just slightly piquant – perfect to offset the sweetness of the fresh raspberry vinaigrette.

{Recipe} Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

Aren’t the raspberries pretty alongside the dark green of the kale?!

Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4 - 6 side dish servings, 2 main course servings
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

For the Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups baby kale (or other salad greens), washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup fresh baby dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh ripe raspberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • raspberry vinaigrette (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Toss kale and dill together in a large bowl. Pour the desired amount of vinaigrette over the top and toss to coat.
  2. Top with raspberries and pecans.
  3. Serve immediately.

 

For the Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh, ripe raspberries
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and process until well combined.
  2. Extra can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several days.

 

{Recipe} Wild Kale & Baby Dill Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is one of my favorite salad dressings of all time. So. Incredibly. Good.

The addition of dill may seem like an odd choice, but trust me, you HAVE to try it! Several years ago I bought a bag of mixed greens at the farmer’s market that included baby dill. I couldn’t get enough of it. Sadly, the farm that sold the mixture of greens that I had become addicted to, stopped selling at the market last year. So, now I make my own. I grow dill right alongside my salad greens, and harvest it when it’s tiny (4 – 6 inches tall). A few sprigs of it added to a salad makes such a difference. Try it, and let me know what you think!

If you want to serve this as a main dish, slices of grilled chicken breast would make a nice addition. Crumbled goat cheese would also go well, although this salad was pretty perfect just as is!

xo~

Stacey

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{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

I have a fun DIY project to share with you today! This super simple fresh flower crown was made using flowers from my yard, and just a few other basic supplies. You can whip one of these up in under an hour, creating a perfect, one-of-a-kind accessory to complement your summertime ensemble.

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms ~ Side View

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms ~ Basic Supplies

You could conceivably make this using the branches or sturdy stems of your flowers as the crown’s ‘base’, but it’s easier to start with a wire base. I used the same bark-covered wire that I use for my silk flower crowns, because it looks and feels natural and is very easy to work with. The florist tape is essential, as that’s what you’ll use to attach the flowers to the base. The sealant is optional, but (after much experimentation) I found that it can be used to seal the pollen in, thus saving you from having to dust pollen off your face all evening…or worse yet, getting pollen stains on your dress (yikes!).

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

And last but not least…the flowers! Mine were snipped from this lovely ‘mock orange’ growing in my front yard.

This is a ‘mock orange’ that I have growing in my front yard. It’s a plant that grows prolifically here in the Pacific Northwest, and I believe is fairly common in many parts of the US. Here it blooms in early to mid-June. It has a wild growth habit, forming tall clumps that look like a cross between a shrub and a tree. The flowers are white with yellow centers, and they have the most amazing smell. It’s reminiscent of citrus, hence the name ‘mock orange’…

The flowers themselves are relatively fragile, making them slightly difficult to work with. The larger problem, however, is that they have copious amounts of dusty yellow pollen that falls off when you handle them. I found that a quick spray of sealant effectively traps the pollen, preserving the pretty yellow color, but keeping it from falling off all over the place. Apply the sealant VERY sparingly, aiming for the flower centers, and avoiding the petals and leaves as much as possible. Let dry for 15 minutes or so before you start making your crown.

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

  • Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Collect your flowers. Any type will work – have fun and experiment!
  2. Snip flower stems to desired length(s). Remove damaged petals & leaves. Coat flower centers with surface sealant, as described above, if necessary.
  3. Cut wire so that it’s about 3 inches longer than your head circumference. Twist the ends together securely (don’t worry, this will be easy to hide under the flowers).
  4. Strip flowers and/or leaves from the bottom 2 – 3 inches of each piece of stem. The number of stems you use will depend entirely on what type of flower or flowers you are using, and how full you want your finished crown to look.
  5. Start with one flower stem, and carefully attach it to the wire base by wrapping with florist’s tape. I find it helpful to work with pieces of tape that are about 4 inches long, and to cut them in half, so that they are only 1/4 inch wide. This allows you to weave the tape around the flowers more easily and provides a neater finish.
  6. Continue working your way around the crown, adding more flower stems, until you have achieved your desired look.
  7. At this point, I always try the crown on in front of a mirror. If you don’t like the way the flowers lay, adjust as necessary by either adding more or snipping some off.
  8. Wear immediately, as the flowers will eventually start to wilt. Be prepared for all the compliments you will no doubt receive about your absolutely darling flower crown. “What, this thing? It’s just a little something I threw together before I ran out the door…”

 

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms

{DIY} Fresh Flower Crown with Mock Orange Blossoms ~ With my cute little chocolate-smeared helper ;)

Since Olly helped with the photo shoot, he insisted that he should get to be in at least one of the photos. A sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agreed. Fair is fair, after all.

I had so much fun working on the crown for this post! I have made LOTS of flower crowns, but usually with silk flowers, so it was a nice change of pace to work with the real deal. If you like this crown, but want something that’s going to last more than a couple of hours, take a peek at the newest silk flower crown in my Etsy shop – it’s VERY similar to this one :)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I would love to hear from you!

xo~

Stacey

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{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd

{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd ~ Sweet Little Sparrow

{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd

Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd

  • Servings: Yields 6 Cups (enough for two 9 inch tarts)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

  1. Mix lemon zest, juice, sugar, butter, and eggs in the top of a nonreactive double boiler. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp paring knife, and scrape the seeds from the inside. Add both the seeds and the pod to the lemon juice mixture. Whisk all ingredients to combine.
  2. Bring to a low boil and simmer, whisking the curd almost constantly until it begins to thicken (about 20 minutes). At this point, the curd will be about the consistency of heavy cream – thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but still fairly runny. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  3. If you’re planning to use the curd within the next 2 weeks, simply pour it into jars (or another airtight container), cover, and store in the refrigerator.

Canning Directions:

For longer storage, or to give as gifts, lemon curd can be canned using the boiling water method. Ladle into clean, hot, half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Release trapped air, adjusting headspace if necessary. Wipe rims clean with a damp cloth. Center lids on jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let sit, undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals. Wipe jars clean. Store in a cool, dark place, and use within 1 year. 

{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd ~ Sweet Little Sparrow

{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd

{Recipe} Decadent Vanilla Bean Lemon Curd ~ Sweet Little Sparrow

This stuff is so good, you’ll want to eat it straight out of the jar!

I initially made this recipe as a tart filling. My grandmother just celebrated her 86th birthday, and she loves all things lemon, so I decided to try my hand at a lemon tart. I used a new crust recipe, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. I should have stuck with my old standby that always gets rave reviews. But I like to experiment and try new recipes, and this crust intrigued me. It was made with roasted almonds, pureed in the food processor, along with a little flour, sugar, and olive oil (click here to see the recipe via Epicurious). I really wanted to like it…but it just wasn’t the right texture or flavor combination for me. It got mixed reviews at my table. Some people loved it and others (like me) did not. C’est la vie. Next time I make a lemon tart, it will be with a nice flaky, rich, pastry crust and I’ll be a happy camper.

The lemon curd itself though was absolutely to die for! I highly recommend the addition of the vanilla bean. I have made this recipe many times before – and it is always very good – but the vanilla takes it to entirely new heights. The recipe, as written above, makes about 6 cups – enough to fill two 9 inch tarts or eight 4 1/2 inch tartlets. Leftover curd can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or canned as described above. If you canned the entire batch, you would end up with approximately 6 half-pint jars. This recipe can also be halved, if desired.

My personal serving suggestion – scoop up a big spoonful of lemon curd, top it with a dollop of whipped cream, and enjoy! Makes a perfect midnight (or really anytime) snack ;)

Recipe is adapted from one of my favorite canning books, Put ‘em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton.

Stacey_Sig_laurel

{Recipe} Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze & Nectarines

{Recipe} Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze

{Recipe} Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze & Nectarines

My little boy turned 6 on Friday. He requested chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting for his class party, and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting for his ‘friends party’ at the children’s museum next weekend. So, for his ‘family party’ (yes, that’s a total of 3 parties…and yes, I know it’s ridiculous) I wanted to make something completely different. My dad always reminisces about the amazing chiffon cake that his grandmother would make him every year for his birthday, so I thought I would see if I could recreate it!

All the recipes I found for ‘chiffon cake’ were fairly similar. Lots of egg whites, whipped to form ‘stiff peaks’, provide the leavening agent. Cake flour ensures that it stays light and fluffy. The finished cake must be inverted while cooling so it doesn’t collapse under it’s own weight. Sounds a bit daunting, no? I was willing to give it a try though, and I’m glad I did. This cake was absolutely delicious, and really not all that difficult. I’m not a huge fan of angel food cake, but this is a nice compromise between the light, spongy texture of angel food and the rich flavor of a traditional layer cake. I definitely recommend giving it a try!

{Recipe} Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze

Chiffon Cake with Lemon Glaze & Nectarines

Chiffon Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour (5 1/3 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 large eggs, 2 whole, 5 separated, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 5 egg yolks (reserving the whites), water, oil, and extracts. Stir just until the batter is smooth.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a standing mixer or with a hand mixer on low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tarter. Increase speed to medium high and continue beating until the egg whites are very thick and stiff (7-10 minutes).
  3. Pour batter into an ungreased, 9 inch diameter tube pan. Don’t be tempted to oil the pan – it’s important that it’s ungreased so the cake will stay in the pan when you invert it during the cooling process. Tap pan on the counter 5 times to eliminate air pockets in the batter.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, approximately 60 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert it onto a wine bottle or large funnel. Let cool completely (approximately 3 hours).
  5. Turn the pan upright. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert onto a serving plate. Scrape the ‘crust’ off the top if you’re planning to glaze the cake.
  6. Glaze and serve. Or, wrap in plastic and store for up to 2 days.

Lemon Glaze

  • Servings: enough to glaze one, 9 inch cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter, 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Let stand 1 minute. If the glaze is too thick, add up to 1 tablespoon more lemon juice.
  2. Spread glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down the sides. For a smooth coat, spread the drips evenly over the sides before they have a chance to harden. Let glaze dry (about 30 minutes).

I used slices of nectarine and fresh mint leaves to adorn this cake. You could top it with any type of fruit – strawberries or raspberries would be particularly tasty – or nothing at all. If you’re not using the glaze (or even if you are), I would recommend some fresh whipped cream to go along with it!

Recipe adapted from “The New Best Recipe, Revised Edition” from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated (a book that I *highly* recommend adding to your collection).

Stacey

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{Recipe} Grilled Rainbow Carrots

{Recipe} Grilled Rainbow Carrots

{Recipe} Grilled Rainbow Carrots

Ok, so I feel like I can’t actually call this a “recipe”, BUT it is a super scrumptious way to prepare carrots, and quite possibly the easiest side dish you will ever make! Drizzle on some olive oil, throw them on the grill, and enjoy. They get this delicious carmelized flavor, as the natural sweetness of the carrots is brought out. They really don’t need anything but a sprinkle of salt, but you can add some fresh herbs if you want (thyme works especially well here).

Rainbow Carrots

Colorful Carrots

Don’t you just love ‘rainbow carrots’? I’m partial to the purple ones myself. Of course you could use regular orange carrots for this dish, but the mixture of colors makes for such a pretty presentation.

{Recipe} Grilled Rainbow Carrots

{Recipe} Grilled Rainbow Carrots

Grilled Rainbow Carrots

  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds carrots, preferably in a mixture of colors, and under 1 inch in diameter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Wash carrots and remove green tops if still attached. There’s no need to peel them, just give them a good scrub if they’re dirty. Leaving them whole gives them a pretty, rustic look.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the carrots and turn to coat.
  4. Reduce grill temperature to medium. Arrange carrots perpendicular to the bars of the grill rack so that they won’t fall through. Cook for approximately 7 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally. The smaller ones may need to be removed sooner than the larger ones if you’re carrots are not uniform in size.
  5. Remove to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme and salt if desired.

Stacey

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{Kitchen DIY} Rhubarb Simple Syrup & Free Printable Labels

{Kitchen DIY} Rhubarb Simple Syrup & Free Printable Gift Tags

{Kitchen DIY} Rhubarb Simple Syrup & Free Printable Gift Tags

This rhubarb simple syrup makes a great gift, especially when you add a pretty label & gift tag with a tasty drink recipe! Click on the link below to download a free printable version of the tags.

Rhubarb Syrup Labels & Gift Tags

Rhubarb Syrup Labels & Gift Tags

{Kitchen DIY} Rhubarb Simple Syrup & Free Printable Gift Tags

{Kitchen DIY} Rhubarb Simple Syrup & Free Printable Gift Tags

Supply List:

For the Packaging:

For the Syrup:

—> Click Here to Download & Print Labels <—

Instructions:

  1. Download the PDF file for the labels & gift tags. Print on 8.5″ x 11″ kraft cardstock paper.
  2. Cut out tags. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top of each tag.
  3. Fill bottle(s) with syrup (this is much easier with a small funnel). Attach label and recipe card to the neck of the bottle using baker’s twine.

Note: Syrup should be stored in the refrigerator.

This is a great way to use up extra rhubarb, and there are so many fun ways that you can use this syrup! It is a wonderful addition to all sorts of cocktails, although the recipe I included on the gift tag for the ‘Rhubarb Fizz’ is my personal favorite. I have also added it to cake batter, drizzled it over waffles, and frozen it into ice pops – all with delicious results :)

What’s your favorite rhubarb recipe? I love it, but always end up with more than I can use in the summer!

xo~

Stacey

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