Second Annual Cornbread Potluck: All-Star Edition

There is nothing better than a good, old-fashioned Southern potluck. Gathering with friends and family amongst a bevy of dishes is just plain good for the soul.

While we can’t all physically gather around one table, today we invite you to pull up a chair to the second annual Martha White® virtual potluck.

If you haven’t heard, the 19th Annual National Cornbread Cook-Off  is bringing back 10 past winners to compete against the best of the best. In honor of this All-Star competition, I am participating with 10 other blogger friends in a special edition potluck to share our all-star main cornbread dishes. I’ve linked to their blogs below, so make sure you check out their delicious creations. You may even win a prize!

The all-star dish I am bringing to the potluck is the BLT Cornbread Salad. This is one of my favorites because it uses cornbread in such a unique way. I think that’s also why it continues to be a hit at the potlucks I attend.

I hope you enjoy our virtual table today, and happy baking!

Your Virtual Potluck Hosts:
Robyn – Add a Pinch: Stuffed Peppers with Cornbread Crust
Paula – Call Me PMC: Cheesy Chorizo Cornbread
Melissa – Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen: Kickin’ Crab Corn Muffins
Tina – Mommy’s Kitchen: Mom’s Meaty Cornbread Skillet
Jenny – Picky Palate:  Chicken Taco Cornbread Wedges with Ranchero Cilantro Drizzle
Stephanie – Plain Chicken:  Taco Cornbread Muffins
Stacey – Southern Bite: Mom’s Mexican Cornbread
Christy – Southern Plate: Cornbread Pan Sandwiches
Christin – Spicy Southern Kitchen: Mexican Chicken Cornbread Casserole
Brandie – The Country Cook: Cornbread Waffles with Chili & Fixins’

Make Fall Muffins with Ingredients Already in Your Pantry

We are continuing our What’s In Your Pantry series for fall baking. I love this idea because it brings back sweet memories of my mother. She was a wonderful Southern cook who could always create a delicious meal, snack or dessert with ingredients she already had on hand. Rather than figuring out what she wanted to cook beforehand, she’d take inventory and cook with what she had.

It’s a great concept because it gives you peace of mind that you can come up with something in a pinch. Of course, you will usually have basic staples on hand. And if you keep a variety of Martha White® Muffin Mixes in your pantry, there are a lot of quick and easy recipes you can make.

Here is our recommendation for fall baking.

Stock up on:

• Martha White Apple Cider Flavored Muffin Mix or Martha White Apple Cinnamon Flavored Muffin Mix
• Apples
• Caramel topping

With these ingredients and a few other kitchen staples, you can whip up Caramel Apple Muffins, perfect for the fall season and a crowd pleaser for any age. Adding a little sour cream and vanilla extract to muffin batter produces a rich flavor that complements the addition of chopped fresh apples. We topped the muffins with a salty caramel glaze made with caramel topping and a sprinkling of chopped salted peanuts.

You can have a batch of these ready in no time, just right for an after school snack or unexpected company.

NEW Blog Series: What’s In Your Pantry?

I’m excited to tell you about some helpful tips to help you in your kitchen. We have a new series called “What’s in Your Pantry?”

We know no matter how good a meal planner and how good a shopper you are, sometimes you need a last-minute dessert, quick after-school snack or a homemade goodie for unexpected company. We want to show you what you need to have in your pantry to make delicious quick-and-easy snacks and desserts.

Now we’re assuming that you’ll have some kitchen basics like sugar, milk, butter and eggs. But it’s always nice to have an assortment of Martha White® Muffin Mixes on hand, too. They’re a convenient shortcut to a number of delicious recipes.

For fall recipes, stock up on this Martha White Apple Cider Flavored Muffin Mix or Apple Cinnamon Flavored Muffin Mix, and have apples and caramel topping on hand. These key ingredients will help you make:

Caramel Apple Muffins
Caramel Apple Muffins
Apple Cider Upside-Down Cupcakes
Apple Cider Upside-Down Cupcakes
Dulce de Leche Swirl Cheesecake
Dulce de Leche Swirl Cheesecake

Check back to see more recipes using fall ingredients from your pantry and check out our video series, too.

And we want to hear how your dishes turn out. Reach out to us on the Martha White Facebook page or tweet us using these hashtags: #SouthernPantry #MarthaWhite

Three Crust Styles Create Variety for Southern Cobblers

When my mother took me blackberry picking, it was an adventure. The blackberry plants grew wild among the weeds along old fence rows behind our house. Because there were briars, mosquitoes and Alabama sun to contend with, we suited up like bee keepers and trudged over to the pasture. Every summer she had enough blackberries to make several cobblers and enough jelly to last us through the winter.

Blackberry cobblers were our absolute favorites. Mother made them with flaky pie crust – bottom and top – baked in a large pan. Another easier version is made by topping the fruit mixture with rich biscuit dough.

And the easiest cobblers of all are made with a pour batter. Some recipes call for pouring the batter over the fruit. Others call for spooning the fruit over the batter which miraculously rises to the top and bakes up crisp, buttery and golden brown like this Lazy Days Blackberry Cobbler.

No matter what style cobbler you choose, just remember this is the time of year to take advantage of the fruits and berries at the peak of their flavor and celebrate summer with a fruit cobbler.

Tell me about your favorite cobbler flavors and styles.

Refreshing Key Lime and Macadamia Bars

Several years ago I was working on some recipes for summer entertaining and decided I wanted to include a bar cookie. First of all, let me just say that I’m a huge fan of bars. They are so easy to make. You don’t have to roll out, drop or shape the dough and they are baked in one pan. No endless batches in and out of the oven.

The other thing about dessert bars is that many recipes combine layers of complementary textures and flavors. I especially love the ones that have a buttery crust layer pressed in the bottom of the pan topped with a sweet filling, like lemon. The result is a bar with a salty, buttery, crisp crust topped with a sweet, tart, creamy filling. Delicious!

Lemon is a good summer flavor, but I’ve already shared a good lemon bar recipe. Lime seems to offer a uniquely refreshing flavor to many summertime recipes from key lime pie to a glass of cold limeade. So why not simply convert our favorite lemon bar recipe to a lime bar by using lime juice in the filling and macadamias in the shortbread crust? Key Lime and Macadamia Bars are one of my favorite summer desserts and I’m happy to share it with you.

Do you have a favorite bar cookie that you like to make?

How About Rocky Road For Labor Day?

Need a fun dessert for a Labor Day Cook-Out or baking project for the kids? Cashew Rocky Road Bars are easy to make and irresistibly delicious. By my own definition, Rocky Road is a bumpy texture created by miniature marshmallows, nuts and sometimes chocolate chunks. It’s easy to understand why it’s a favorite!

Making our rocky road bar recipe is simplified by using a Martha White® Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix for the base. Just blend the mix with butter until crumbly, press in a pan and bake. The filling is equally as easy. Melting chocolate chips with a can of sweetened condensed milk creates a candy-like mixture. Combine marshmallows and salted cashews in a large bowl and stir in chocolate mixture. Spread over the crust and chill. That’s all there is to it!

Rocky Road 1

Here are a couple of tips:

Use salted peanuts, pecans or walnuts instead of cashews. Or create your own flavor combination.

The recipe suggests lining the pan with foil or parchment paper leaving about a 2-inch overhang. When the bars are firm, simply lift the whole thing out of the pan. Place on a board and use a knife to cut into even squares. I like to use a chef’s knife and just cut straight down rather than using a sawing motion. Remember, for this to work, the bars usually need to be chilled.

Rocky Road 3

Have a wonderful Labor Day! Let me know what you made in the comments below.

Reinvent Corn Cakes as Stylish Appetizers

As many of you know, Martha White® has been associated with bluegrass and country music for many years beginning in the early 50’s. During that time, we were planning a release party for a new bluegrass album. We wanted food reminiscent of the roots of Bluegrass, but with a little flair, too. My friend Mindy suggested we serve mini corn cakes topped with barbecue. I thought it was a fabulous idea and so did the guests.

Of course, in the intervening years, we’ve seen creative chefs reinvent traditional Southern recipes in an amazing variety of creative ways. I’ve been so impressed by young cooks who are serving traditional Southern food, like grits, collards, fried green tomatoes and catfish, in their trendy restaurants. These talented chefs, along with cookbook writers and traditional home cooks, have reminded us to pass on our food heritage to the next generation.

There are so many wonderful examples of how simple recipes like corn cakes can be transformed into a delectable appetizer. My favorite is Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Corn Cakes with Avocado Salsa. Enjoy!