Pumpkin, Leek, & Pecan Cornbread with Spicy Honey

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Guys, this is the prettiest cornbread I’ve ever made. I first saw it on Megan’s blog and thought it was such a stunnner back then, and I finally got around to making it. I’m so glad I did!

I decided to adapt this recipe to be baked in a cast iron skillet because the fine people of Finex (forged right here in Portland!) gifted me with one of their gorgeous skillets. I mean, look at that iron-beauty down there! I especially love that the cooking surface of the pan is smooth, instead of rough like most cast iron skillets, and the octagonal sides make for easy pouring. Anyway, it’s perfect for this recipe because we start  by browning butter–always a good idea–and the butter that coats the pan after pouring it out for the batter acts to make the surface even more non-stick. Plus, the pan stays hot, since we all know cast iron holds heat like a dream, creating a little sizzle when the batter hits the pan making for a nice golden-brown crust on this cornbread. Obviously, you can use any trusty cast iron skillet you have for this recipe and it will be just as delicious.

The pumpkin in the cornbread makes it so moist, with extra tenderness from the addition of buttermilk. In addition to the brown butter flavor punch, we have lots of leeks, sliced super thinly, throughout the batter and on top. Along with pecans for a sweet and nutty bite. The leeks on top get crisp and sweet and so perfect. I’m sort of obsessed with them (I’ve been using them as a pizza topping lately, too…so killer!). But, the thing that really makes this cornbread sing is the spicy honey drizzle. It’s a sweetly spiced, sticky counterpart to the earthy-sweet and savory cornbread…and it’s SO simple!! It’s just honey and tabasco. Done.

Anyway, I urge you to make this cornbread sooner than later. Don’t wait a whole dang year like I did. And, I have to say it, it’d be a great addition to a Thanksgiving spread. Hint, hint.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Pumpkin, Leek, & Pecan Cornbread with Spicy Honey 

Makes 8-12 servings

Adapted from Take A Megabite

Leeks can be super gritty, so I like to clean them by slicing them and swishing around in a large bowl of cold water. Then I scoop them out and pat them dry on a clean tea towel.

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown butter

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1 large leek, sliced thinly into rounds and rinsed well

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spicy Honey:

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet until it gets foamy, once it begins to foam, continue to cook the butter, stirring until the solid bits in the butter turn deep brown and smell fragrant like toffee (if you aren’t using a cast iron skillet, refer to Megan’s recipe for alternate instructions). Pour the butter into a dish and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and cooled brown butter. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold until just combined, then fold in half of the leeks. Scrape the batter into the cast iron pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining leeks, as well as the pecans. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool at least 10 minutes before serving with the spicy honey.

To make the spicy honey, stir together both of the ingredients until combine.

[/recipe]

Full disclosure, Finex sent me one of their skillet to use. I was not compensated for this post, I just really like this skillet! As always, all opinions and words are my own. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

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So, I have never been a fan of oatmeal, it’s always been a little mushy-mushy for me. However, these days, I’ve been eating it a lot lately because I know oats are super good for you and it’s a hot, easy breakfast to make on these chilly Michigan mornings. Since I’ve been forcing myself to embrace oatmeal, I usually have it with a little maple syrup and maybe a few pecans or walnuts mixed in, for a bit of sweetness and texture. The other day, though, I was out of my usual mix-ins and opted for a spoonful of peanut butter…and it was so good! So, it got me thinking that peanut butter might just be a great addition to my favorite granola.

And, surprise, it totes was.

I mean, you can’t really go wrong with nutty, creamy peanut butter, crunchy oats, and little chocolate chips. Can you? I don’t think so.

[recipe]

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

I use both honey and maple in this recipe, though you could use just one sweetener if you like. The coconut oil can be subbed for olive oil, if you prefer. Also, chia seeds can be substituted with flax and the mini chips can be replace with whatever chip or chopped bar you like. 

3 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Pour the oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a bowl.

On the stovetop in a saucepan heat the maple syrup, honey, peanut butter and coconut oil until the peanut butter and oil are melted and the mixture is nicely combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes so the peanut butter does not burn, until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely before mixing in the mini chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container for well over a week. [/recipe]

Apple-Honey Quesadilla and a Giveaway!

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Hi, frens! Let’s do lunch, okay?

I love, love, love going out for lunch…probably more than any other meal. It’s social and a nice break from the grind of the day-to-day. I mean, what’s better than a long lunch with a friend and some good conversation? Well, maybe lunch with drinks…

My love of lunching out can only be eclipsed by my apathy for making lunch at home. When I was a kid, my mom always made my lunch and packed it up real cute in my My Little Pony lunch box with thermos. As an adult, I really struggle with coming up with easy, quick, and wholesome lunches. Often I find myself snacking on popcorn or hungrily devouring a stick of string cheese…or, skipping lunch all together. That’s why when Catherine of Weelicious asked me to review her book Weelicious Lunches, I was all over it.*

This books is FULL of super easy, healthy lunches that appeal to the palates of children and adults alike! With over 160 lunch ideas, there’s something for everyone. I chose to share this Apple-Honey Cheese Quesadilla with you because I love a melty, cheesy, quesadilla any day and the addition of honey and cheese intrigued me. I love apples with cheddar, so the leap to a quesadilla wasn’t that far of a stretch. The sweet honey in combination with the rich melted cheese, tart-crisp apple, and crunchy tortilla is a total win. I added a few dashed of hot sauce to the honey to turn it into a sweet-spicy drizzle and it paired wonderfully with the cheese and apples.

To enter the giveaway use the form below and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite, easy, go-to lunch is! Giveaway closes Wednesday 10/2 at midnight.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

[recipe]

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Apple Honey Cheese Quesadilla

From Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord

Aside from adding a few dashes of tabasco to the honey, I followed Catherine’s recipe pretty closely. 

1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced thin

4 whole wheat tortillas

1 1/3 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

1 tablespoon honey, plus as many dashes of hot sauce as you like

Place half of the apples and half of the cheese on a tortilla. Drizzle with honey. Top with another tortilla and slide the quesadilla into a saute pan. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes each side. Cut into wedges and repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve warm with leftover spicy honey. [/recipe]

*I was provided with a copy of Weelicious Lunches free of charge to review. I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.