Tag: Cooking

Old Fashioned Cornbread | 101 Cooking For Two by Gordon Ramsay


Great old fashioned cornbread like grandma would make. Adapted from the 1972 Betty Crocker Cookbook. Full flavor and a little crunchy texture are welcome at almost any meal.
Cornbread on plate

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Cornbread is an excellent change of pace from the usual bread for a down-home meal. You can whip it up in a jiffy and always keep the ingredients on hand.

I went old school and used our much-loved 1972 Betty Crocker’s Cookbook. Only a few changes were needed but it is still full of that old fashioned goodness.

Betty Crocker's Cookbook 1972

My Rating
My rating system of a 4 out of 5 so very nice.


A very nice 4. Nothing more since it is just cornbread.

Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Old Fashioned Cornbread

Cornbread is classified as a quick bread meaning the leavening of the dough comes from baking soda and/or baking powder, not from yeast.

Cornbread Variations

Southern cornbread has traditionally been made with little or no sugar or flour. It is also frequently made with white cornmeal and buttermilk.

Northern/midwestern cornbread does have more sugar and flour, so it is sweeter and more cake-like. Also, usually made with yellow cornmeal.

Many of the more modern recipes for cornbread will have more sugar. I like the 1972 version.

Cornmeal Variations

The color. Cornmeal comes in yellow and white colors. You can also find blue if you look hard enough. Yellow cornmeal is a bit sweeter and will provide a bit more taste. But all are used interchangeably.

The texture. Most cornmeal will be a medium grind. But a finer grind will provide more of a cake-like texture to your cornbread. Course grinds are used more for hot cereal but can add more texture to your cornbread.

What Pan to Use?

You can use standard baking pans. 8 to 9-inch square or round will do nicely. I prefer an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan. Or you can use a smaller cast-iron skillet or even cupcake tins.

The smaller the pan, the thicker the cornbread. That is why we cook to an endpoint and not by time alone. Never by time alone.

When is Cornbread Done?

Cornbread will cook quickly, usually in about 20 minutes, but you have variables that will make time unreliable. The pan material, the pan size (thickness), and the oven. All these things plot against you, so time alone will not do.

toothpic coming out clean

You will need to go old school and use the “toothpick” test. This is where you use a clean toothpick and insert it into the thickest part of a dish and see if it comes out clean.

How to Store Your Cornbread?

Wrap your cornbread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It can be left at room temperature for 1-2 days. Refrigerated for up to a week. Or frozen for 2-3 months.

Other Cornbread Recipes You Will Love

Cornbread Drop Biscuits

Easy Grilled Cornbread

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Corn meal and ingredients for cornbread

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep an 8-inch square baking pan with a heavy spray of PAM.

ingredients in a lorge bowl

Microwave 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter until just melted. About 20-30 seconds. Combine in a mixing bowl: butter, one egg, and one cup of milk. Whisk to combine. Add one cup of cornmeal, one cup flour, two tablespoon sugar, four teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until flour and cornmeal are all moist. Do not over mix.

pouring dough into pan

Spread into prepared baking pan.

toothpic coming out clean

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. About 18-20 minutes usually.

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Old Fansoned Corn Bread

Great old fashioned cornbread like grandma would make. Adapted from the 1972 Betty Crocker Cookbook. Full flavor and a little crunchy texture are welcome at almost any meal.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course : Bread

Cuisine : American

Servings/Adjust Amount: 9

9

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter1/2 stick
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Corn Meal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prep an 8-inch square baking pan with a heavy spray of PAM.

  • Microwave 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter until just melted. About 20-30 seconds.

  • Combine in a mixing bowl: butter, one egg, and 1 cup milk. Whisk to combine.

  • Add one cup cornmeal, one cup flour, two tablespoon sugar, four teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until flour and corn meal is all moist. Do not over mix.

  • Spread into prepared baking pan.

  • Bake until toothpick comes out clean. About 18-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Pro Tips

  1. Use yellow or white cornmeal.
  2. The baking powder should be alunimun free.
  3. I suggest 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan but other sizes can be used. See discussion in post.
  4. Bake until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. To store, wrap with plastic wrap or foil. Good at room temperature for 1-2 days, refrigerated for up to 7 days and frozen for 2-3 months.

 

Check Out Other Great Recipes

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Make it Perfect First Time and Every TimeDon’t miss out, check the full post above. Almost every recipe includes easy step by step photo instructions so you can visualize yourself cooking this recipe along with helpful tips and options.

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Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1mg

 

Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.

 

All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.

Originally Published December 20, 2014. Updated with expanded discussion and clarified instructions along with refreshed photos.

Molly and Lilly at play

Molly and Lilly at play

Easy Basic Sugar Cookies | 101 Cooking For Two by Gordon Ramsay


This easy basic sugar cookie recipe is a delicious classic that every home cook needs. Once you have the basic sugar cookie dough, the possibilities are endless for holiday treats. Just follow these simple step by step photo instructions.
sugar cookie on spatula

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‘Tis the season for… COOKIES. So here is an excellent quick and easy basic sugar cookie recipe that even the cookie rookie can handle.

I love a good sugar cookie with icing, so I’m suggesting a starting spot for that but use your skill and imagination for creative shapes and decorations.

My Rating
My rating system. Great 5 out of 5


This is an excellent cookie.

Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Easy Basic Sugar Cookies

All sugar cookie recipes are similar, not identical, but just very similar. The inspiration recipe is The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies from All Recipes.  I cut the recipe in half, expanded the discussion/options, and added an optional glaze to get you started.

The Ingredients

Sugar cookies are not and can not be made into health food. Don’t even try.

The butter needs to be the best butter you have. So real butter, not fake. A few recipes will suggest salt-free, but your normal butter with salt will be fine.

The last butter note is it needs to be soft. Room temperature is fine or even a little softer with a few seconds in a microwave. This soft butter will whip better with the sugar and give a nice soft texture.

This recipe has two eggs, so it holds together better than some recipes.

The two other ingredients of note are the baking powder needs to be aluminum-free to avoid any aftertaste, and the real vanilla will make a real difference.

Baking Sheets

Plain baking pans will work fine, but I like to add some parchment paper or baking mats. Use the baking sheets you have but the thickness, material, and even the color can affect the cooking time some. See the section on cooking time.

The Dough

The final dough should have a texture close to Play-Doh. Not sticky and wet but also not hard.

If the dough is sticky and wet, add a little flour. If dry, than a touch of milk.

Flour is usually recommended to help roll out the dough. Use powdered sugar instead. It will just blend in and no danger of flour spots on your beautiful cookies.

Cooking Time

Cooking time will vary some. The usual thickness cookie will be about 8 minutes while if you go thicker, it may take a minute or two more.

Other variables are your baking trays and your oven.

Do not overcook sugar cookies. Look for the edge of the cookies turning a bit brown, and they are done.

cookie edge browning

Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to the cooling rack.

Storage of Cookies and Dough

The dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days before use. It should be sealed tightly since it can pick up flavors from other foods easily. Raw dough can also be frozen for 2-3 months.

After cooking, the cookies are really good for about three days. Sealed airtight, they are very good for a week. After that, they will start to dry some. Two weeks is about the maximum time.

Cookies will freeze well for 3-4 months.

Other Easy Sweet Recipes

Christmas Candy Recipes
Easy Cheesecake Cupcakes
Healthier Low Fat Brownie with Cream Cheese Frosting Under 200 Calories
Berry Crisp for Two
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Sugar, eggs and ingredients

Start with 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter. Soften a little either by resting at room temperature or 10-15 seconds in a microwave.

sugar and butter in bowl

Add one cup sugar to the butter in a larger bowl. Cream together with a mixer.

eggs added to bowl with mixer

Add two eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

dough in bowl covered with wrap

Add 2 1/2 cup flour, one teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep baking sheets. I suggest covering with parchment paper or a baking mat.rolling dough on floured surface

Dust a prep area with some powdered sugar. I used a larger baking mat for my area. Form the dough into a ball and place it on the mat. Flatten and then roll out with a rolling pin. Use lots of powder sugar on the mat and top of the dough to prevent sticking. Roll to a thickness of about 1/4 inch or a bit thicker.

cutting dough into shapes

Cut with a cookie cutter. Here I’m using boring 3 inches round since I couldn’t find the Christmas cutters.

cut dough on baking sheet

Layout on a cookie sheet, keeping them about one inch apart. They will spread out during cooking. Work quickly reusing the scraps and keep dusting the surface and dough with the powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Continue to cut cookies until done.

cookie edge browning

Bake until the edge of the cookies is starting brown a little. About 7-8 minutes. Do not over bake.

cookies cooling on rack

Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes then move to a cooling rack.

common ingredients for frosting

After cooled, it is time for decoration. I went with a simple glaze. Mix one cup powdered sugar, one tablespoon butter, two drops vanilla, and 3-4 teaspoon milk. Add a few drops of food coloring of choice. Mix well.

 

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Easy Basic Sugar Cookies

This easy basic sugar cookie recipe is a delicious classic that every home cook needs. Once you have the basic sugar cookie dough, the possibilities are endless for holiday treats. Just follow these simple step by step photo instructions.

Prep Time1 hr 15 mins

Cook Time8 mins

Total Time1 hr 23 mins

Course : Dessert

Cuisine : American

Servings/Adjust Amount: 24

24

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttersoftened – 1 1/2 stick
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 drops vanilla
  • 3-4 teaspoon milk
  • food coloring as desired

Instructions

  • Start with 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter. Soften a little either by resting at room temperature or 10-15 seconds in a microwave.

  • Add one cup sugar to the butter in a larger bowl. Cream together with a mixer.

  • Add two eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

  • Add 2 1/2 cup flour, one teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep baking sheets. I suggest covering with parchment paper or a baking mat.

  • Dust a prep area with some powdered sugar. I used a larger baking mat for my area. Form the dough into a ball and place it on the mat. Flatten and then roll out with a rolling pin. Use lots of powder sugar on the mat and top of the dough to prevent sticking. Roll to a thickness of about 1/4 inch or a bit thicker.

  • Cut with a cookie cutter.

  • Layout on a cookie sheet, keeping them about one inch apart. They will spread out during cooking. Work quickly reusing the scraps and keep dusting the surface and dough with the powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Continue to cut cookies until done.

  • Bake until the edge of the cookies is starting brown a little. About 7-8 minutes. Do not over bake.

  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes then move to a cooling rack.

Optional Frosting

  • Mix one cup powdered sugar, one tablespoon butter, two drops vanilla, and 3-4 teaspoon milk. Add a few drops of food coloring of choice. Mix well.

Recipe Notes

Pro Tips

  1. An easy recipe to cut half. But I want more cookies.
  2. Room temperature or slightly softer butter is important to get the right texture.
  3. Real butter is not required but you will be happy if you do. Salted is fine.
  4. Use real vanilla if possible.
  5. Never use alunimun containing baking powder for anything.
  6. The dough should have a texture close to Play-Doh. If stick and wet, add a bit of flour. If dry, the a touch of milk.
  7. I suggest a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Thinner will cook faster and thicker will take longer.
  8. I recommend powdered sugar, not flour, on the surface when making out the dough and on the top as your roll out the dough.
  9. You oven and the pans will also affect cooking time so watch the lower edge of the cookie for a hint of brown. Usually about 8 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK.
  10. Allow to cook on the tray for a few minutes before moving to the cooling rack.
  11. Good at room temperature for about 3 days. Sealed air thight for 7 week really well but up to 2 weeks. They will freeze well for about 3 months.
  12. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days but can easily pick up odors from the refrigerator. Dough can also be frozen for about 2-3 months.
  13. Nutrition includes optional frosting.

 

Check Out Other Great Recipes

Graphic for visual directory

Make it Perfect First Time and Every TimeDon’t miss out, check the full post above. Almost every recipe includes easy step by step photo instructions so you can visualize yourself cooking this recipe along with helpful tips and options.

Blue ribbon divider used for visual effect

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

 

Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.

 

All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.

Originally Published December 3, 2014.  Updated with greatly expanded discussion and refreshed photos.

molly and lilly dogs running in snow

Pretzel Candies | 101 Cooking For Two by Gordon Ramsay


Super easy chocolate pretzel candies are a great sweet and salty combo. They are perfect for “take a treat” to school, an office party, or even give them as gifts. Just three ingredients and no skill will get you these delicious candies.Pretzel Candies on mat

I call this holiday cooking for the non-cook. Spread some pretzels on a cookie sheet, top with a chocolate kiss. Soften the chocolate in a low oven for a few minutes and press in an M and M and allow.

Skill level 1/10. If you can’t do this one, you need to stop reading food blogs.

My Rating

My rating system. Great 5 out of 5

5-ish. I really can’t live on them but good.

Banner for Christmas Candy RecipesThis recipe is part of Christmas Candy Recipes. Check out other easy candy recipes.

Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Pretzel Candies

While several blogs have done variations, I’m going with Chocolate Pretzel Treats at allrecipes.com as the inspiration piece.

The Pretzels

A small pretzel is mandatory to get this right. The square pretzels are an excellent choice, but a more traditional shape will work fine since we are going to let the candies cool before moving them.

The Candies

I am using “hugs,” but regular candy kisses will work fine. Hershey Kisses are brown chocolate and Hugs are white with stripes.

Hugs are a little more interesting and add some holiday cheer. There were 78 Hugs in the package.

Then top with an M & M candy. Again regular, but I’m using the holiday colors here.

The Oven

Oven temp recommendations vary some from 175 to 300, with the most common being 200. I’m going with that. I feel higher temps will melt the outside before the inside of the hug is soft.

You are NOT trying to melt the chocolate. Just soften it. Bake for a few minutes and as soon as they kisses are shiny, remove them and press in the M&M’s.

If not soft enough, pop them back in for 30-60 seconds.  When done, they can firm up at room temperature or faster in a freezer.

Non-Stick is Needed

Use parchment paper or oven baking mats. These candies will stick to trays.

Other Sweet Treat Recipes You May Enjoy

Spicy Candied Bacon

Old Fashion Popcorn Balls

Homemade Candied Nuts

Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Clusters

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ingredients for pretzel candies

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pretzels with candies on to on tray


Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Spread pretzels on the sheet spaced not to touch. Top with an unwrapped chocolate kiss or hug.

pressing candy into melted chocolate


Bake until chocolate is shiny but not melted. Watch continuously, and it should be about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and press M&M into the kiss. If not soft enough, then place back in the oven for 30-60 seconds.

pretzel candies on tray

Allow to cool. Room temperature is alright, but the freezer is faster.

img class=”alignce,nter size-full wp-image-8459″ src=”https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Pin-Me-Chocolate-Pretzel-Buttons.jpg” alt=”Chocolate Pretzel Buttons from 101 Cooking For Two” width=”320″ height=”1170″ />

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Pretzel Candies

Super easy chocolate pretzel candies are a great sweet and salty combo. They are perfect for “take a treat” to school, an office party, or even give them as gifts. Just three ingredients and no skill will get you these delicious candies they can’t stop eating.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Total Time10 mins

Course : Appetizer

Cuisine : American

Servings/Adjust Amount: 78 pieces

78

Ingredients

  • 1 Snyder pretzel ‘snaps’or other small pretzel
  • 1 Hershey kisses or Hugs
  • 1 M & M

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

  • Spread pretzels on the sheet spaced not to touch.

  • Top with an unwrapped chocolate kiss or hug.

  • Baking until chocolate is shiny but not melted. Watch continuously and it should be about 4 minutes.

  • Remove from oven and press M&M into the kiss. If not soft enough then place back in the oven for 30-60 seconds.

  • Allow to cool on the tray. Room temperature is alright, but the freezer is faster.

Recipe Notes

Pro Tips

  1. Preheat oven. The melting time is short and you need to know what you are doing.
  2. You need to use small pretzels.
  3. Keep a very close eye on the candy in the oven. When it is shiny, pull it out and try to press the M & M into it. It may need another 30-60 seconds back in the oven. You are NOT trying to melt the chocolate, just soften.
  4. Good covered at room temperature for 3-4 days.
  5. Do not try on a tray without parchment paper or a baking mat.
  6. Let the candies cool some on the tray before trying to remove.

 

Check Out Other Great Recipes

Graphic for visual directory

Make it Perfect First Time and Every TimeDon’t miss out, check the full post above. Almost every recipe includes easy step by step photo instructions so you can visualize yourself cooking this recipe along with helpful tips and options.

Blue ribbon divider used for visual effect

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 5g

 

Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.

 

All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.

Originally published December 7, 2014. Updated with increased cooking options and refreshed photos.
Molly and Lilly in snow

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