Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Cornbread with Cayenne or Dill

Thanksgiving is almost here and since I joined my CSA, I’ve been looking for great ways to use the lovely flours from Cayuga Pure Organics in unique and delicious ways. I’ve been making versions of this cornbread for three years now and I think it’s finally ready to be shared because it is bonkers good.  Plus, it’s relatively easy to make – no mixer needed!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

ImageCheddar Cheese Cornbread (with Dill or Cayenne)
2C bread flour (or all purpose – mix of white and wheat or all wheat is fine)
2C cornmeal
3T baking powder
1/2tsp kosher salt
1/8C sugar
1/2tsp cayenne pepper (optional) or 1c well chopped fresh dill
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
2C milk (1% or other lowfat is fine – use regular if you wish)
4 large eggs
8oz aged cheddar cheese – grated

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar – plus cayenne if using). In a separate bowl, melt butter and stir in the milk and eggs. Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until ingredients are mostly combined and lumps are pretty much gone but don’t worry too much about getting them all (and please don’t over mix). Stir in 1/2 the grated aged cheddar (and dill if using). Rest mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees while mixture is resting.

Spoon batter into prepared, smooth the top and evenly distribute the rest of the cheddar on the nicely smoothed top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Mine took about 40 minutes but my oven runs cool. And I do love a little bit of a golden top – yummy!

Cool and cut into 24 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Helpful hints:
— Feel free to make the cornbread the night before – tastes great the next day!
— If your aged cheddar cheese is salty, feel free to eliminate the salt. The original recipe called for 2tsp of kosher salt, which made for a really, really salty batch.
— I hate chopping dill at times and have found that if you pulse it in the food processor a few times, it give you a perfect chop!
— For the cheese, a grate will give you more consistency in the melted cheese on top. I shredded the dill version and the cheese never quite fully melted, which was disappointing. A finder shred (like on a zesting microplane) works perfectly too.


Based on Ina Garten’s Cheddar Dill Cornbread with some modifications for more cornbread taste/texture and other bits. Original recipe can be viewed at this link.


Hurricane Sandy – Please help us recover! Rockaway Update


I spent today out on Rockaway Beach with a group of students, a teacher and other volunteers with Bona Responds ( working on three homes that were badly damaged in Hurricane Sandy.

We went in with the intention of helping a current student’s family whose house was badly damaged in the Hurricane. The water came up more than four feet into the house and all of the walls needed to be gutted. And everything wet needed to be tossed. Including the new kitchen and newly renovated floor (that was just finished on December 15!). They also lost both of their cars.

I know this is just one story but everyone on the block had similar if not worse stories. We’re going back again tomorrow and Sunday to volunteer again and you are more than welcome to join us.

If you haven’t yet, please do get involved in this recovery. We can’t do it without you. There was so much damage that your fellow Americans (and for the foreign folks, your fellow human beings 🙂 ) really, really need help.

By the way, the picture on this post shows just one of the houses we helped to clean out today — and this overflowing curb of stuff is the second full load out of the house. There is still a little more to remove and a hell of a lot to do to help them recover.

Can you pledge to do something today to help everyone impacted by Hurricane Sandy?




Rockaway Taco …. drool …. yum … summer fun

Yesterday was another glorious day at the beach. This time, went to Jacob Riis in Rockaway. Like usual, arrived mid afternoon but with a touch of a crew this time. I brought some vanilla curry caramel popcorn that I made that morning – it was a little curry and lot of sweet crunchiness. (and thank you Cat Cora / Oprah for the recipe – I use a lot more curry than she does and it turns out brilliantly every time)

The water at Jacob Riis was lovely. Good gentle waves and pretty warm. You could easily stay out there for an hour and bask in the salty but beautiful breakers.


After, we stopped by Rockaway Taco for some delicious fish tacos (dear God are they bonkers good). There is a green salsa on the table in the picnic area – add some of that to whatever you get because it is absolutely worth it


The guacamole (on the deluxe fish taco) was added a nice accent too and it even matched my friend Stef’s new fancy pants green gingham manicure (yeah Sally Hanson manicure strips — we did those on the beach while (theoretically) drinking wine)…..


Oh and note the adorable surfing Hello Kitty — who is also wearing a lime green bikini! Yeah matching! Yeah summer! Yeah fun nails. Here are mine — so surf beach inspired.



Hello Rockaway Beach!

I love the beach so much. Today it’s a simple trip to Rockaway Beach – just a bus ride away…



Who needs lemons …

Source: via Deanna on Pinterest


Who needs lemons … I do love espresso.

CSA Delivery: Watermelon, Tomato, Feta & Arugula Salad

Another week, another amazing CSA delivery. Today, I received my first ever yellow watermelon.  This delicious baby melon needed some special attention so I immediately popped it into a simple and delicious salad using all CSA ingredients (plus a little feta and balsamic vinegar).


  • arugula – enough to make a bed on the plate
  • sliced tomatoes (red ones this week — used for contrast and saving the lovely yellow one!)
  • sliced yellow watermelon
  • crumbled feta 
  • balsamic vinaigrette

Arrange arugula on plate. Alternate tomato and watermelon slices. Sprinkle on feta to taste.  Add balsamic vinaigrette if desired.  ENJOY!




For the past year, I’ve been really into doing fun designs on my nails. This week, I combined the Sally Hanson Salon Effects that I applied on Sunday with some black tips (to, um, cover up the little nicks). The black polish is the Sephora by OPI “What’s a Tire Jack?” (brilliant name!) Semi-stylish with a touch of edge. What do you think?