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Southern style cornbread and a pot of beans

Well the weather around these parts has been a little less than ideal.  Temps have ranged from in the teens to the low twenties, with lots of ice.  And more snow is on the way.  Fantastic.

Getting to work has been slightly hazardous this week, resulting in a snow day and a couple late mornings. One nice thing about this is it gives me lots of time to play in the kitchen.  I have more food right now than I can handle.  
On my list of things to make this week was southern cornbread and pinto beans.  Both of these got accomplished yesterday.  They turned out to be the perfect match for this weather: warm, flavorful, and very filling.
I made up a really simple bag of pinto beans yesterday.  Instead of soaking the beans over night, I took a little shortcut.  Instead of soaking the beans overnight, I boiled them in water for about 3 minutes, turned off the heat, then let them sit for an hour.  Once that was done, I rinsed them off, covered them with water, and let them come to a boil again.  This time, I let them simmer after boiling for about 2.5 hours.
Once all the water has been absorbed, I poured in various spices including:
cumin
cayenne 
oregano
garlic powder
s&p
red pepper flakes
To accompany the beans, I wanted the perfect cornbread and I may have found it.  Wes said this cornbread was the most “southern style” homemade cornbread he has had. I have to admit that it is pretty yummy.  And it’s easy.  Score!  The recipe came out of my PW cookbook, but I modified it slightly adding a few little things.  
Here’s the recipe
Modified from Pioneer Woman’s skillet cornbread
Southern Style Cornbread
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp shortening
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium size bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.  
In another glass, combine buttermilk, milk, and egg.  Whisk together.  Add baking soda and stir.  
Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Add in creamed corn and sugar.  Slowly pour in 1/4 cup melted shortening and mix together.
On the stove, melt the 2 tbsp of shortening in a cast iron skillet.  Pour in cornbread mix and let cook on stove top for about a minute and a half.
Finish in over for approximately 22 minutes.
Serve warm with beans, or by itself.  I personally love smearing my cornbread with honey. It is the perfect treat.  
So far “no restaurant Feb” has been going well.  Of course we are only three days in, but so far it hasn’t been bad at all. No starbucks cravings yet, which is amazing given the weather. Honestly I’ve just been so scared to drive on all this ice, that going out anywhere besides work just isn’t going to happen. My pocketbook appreciates this. 🙂
Not to mention, the Superbowl is slowly starting to take over Dallas this week. I foresee a very low key weekend for me.  But I do have plans to start redoing the guest room downstairs.  I think we are going to add a “reclaimed wood wall” to one of the walls.  I’m excited for a new project!
Pinto Beans on Foodista

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