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Tuesday Recipe Club: Mexican Cornbread Pie, THE POUND CAKE, and Almond Butter Balls

August 29th, 2006

I got this one from FamilyFun.com. We all love cornbread, but only one of us loves meat. Excuse me, two of us love meat, if you count chicken nuggets.

So I created my own variation. I would have added Boca Burgers but we ran out. The kids refused to touch it, but Hockey God and I gobbled it up. You could grate cheddar cheese over the vegetables, then spoon on the cornbread batter, but the way I made it was almost vegan. You can make it completely vegan by adding a little extra oil and omitting the egg in the cornbread batter, and using soymilk instead of cow’s milk. I used taco seasoning instead of mixing up the spice mix because I was in a hurry.

Bon Appetit!



Bake in a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.


2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour

1 can black, pinto or refried beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium zucchini or two small1 cup green beans, cooked
2 cups frozen corn, thawed, or 1 can (15-ounce) corn, drained
2 cans (14 1/2-ounce) Mexican or chili-style diced tomatoes (I subbed two small fresh tomatoes)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Lightly oil the dish. Combine the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl. Mix beans with spice mix and spread in pan.

2. Saute onion, garlic, bell pepper and zucchini. If using fresh green beans, steam lightly. Add beans and corn to sauteed vegetables; mix together and spread over beans in dish.

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the egg, milk, and oil in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture to the eggs and whisk until evenly blended. Spoon the batter over the filling and spread it evenly with a spatula.

4. Bake for 22 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


Wacky Girl’s seventh birthday is coming up, complete with fairy birthday party and seven or eight little guests, plus a sibling or three, and all the glorious cake and ice cream they can smush into the carpet. At our house that means one thing: More Valium for Wacky Mommy. Ha! I jest. I would never use drugs or alcohol to pad the sometimes sharp edges of domestic life. For that, we have the Wacky Family Pound Cake. It pads the edges, and my hips. I love adding chocolate chips, only they don’t mix in quite right, because of the consistency of the batter, and they bake into a brittle layer of chocolate lusciousness. Ah, The Pound Cake. My father-in-law loves it with vanilla ice cream; I insist on chocolate. Or chocolate syrup. Or a large mug of cafe au lait and a slice. Nummy.

It’s not a true pound cake, some will say, cuz it doesn’t have a pound each of butter, flour, milk and sugar. No matter. Try it and you’ll love it as much as we do. Here is our coveted family recipe, directly from my father-in-law, complete with his instructions.

Note 1: Not sure why you said you wanted to make this thing, but you certainly don’t need to make it for our visit… we don’t need it. That said, I’ll eat all I can get my hands on because we never have it here anymore. But I’ll eat it only if you do it the way the directions call for… i.e. … don’t change or cut the ingredients so as to cut calories, fat, or bad substances!

Note 2: This cake and its attendant frosting are NOT foodie-approved or even appropriate, I suppose. Nor is it vegan. That said, it’s delicious, but only with lots of high-fat vanilla ice cream to make the texture right in the mouth.

3 cups cake flour (I use Softasilk)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups granulated white sugar
6 eggs
1 cup milk (I use low-fat — 1 or 2 percent — but it’s better if you use whole milk, which we never have in the house. I’ve toyed with the idea of using half-and-half, which we usually do have around. If you use soy milk, I’ll never speak to you again)
1/2 cup butter (NOT a butter substitute)
1/2 cup Crisco
2 tsp vanilla (real vanilla extract. I always use more)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream shortening; add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add one egg at a time; beat after each addition. Add flour alternately with milk and vanilla.

This amount of batter fits well into two 8″ x 1 1/2″ round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes; check with a toothpick.

1 box (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 tsp. vanilla (the real stuff; I usually add more)
6 T milk

Beat long and spread all around… use it all on the cake… don’t save any… don’t toss any… it’s barely enuf anyway.

If you want to make additional icing for decorating the above icing, then you need to make a


This is the same as above except you leave out the milk, and add one egg white (Edited by WM to say: I used powdered dried egg whites, cuz of the kids) and a bit of water. Mix and beat until fluffy. Add water SPARINGLY. Then you can add various food colors if you want to get really creative in decorating. What you don’t use you can store in a covered jar — it’s a great spread on graham crackers for me and the kids.

Me again — don’t you feel chunkier already? I do. I love that cake, I’m telling you. Also, Hockey God does the honors of baking and decorating the cakes or cupcakes on our birthdays, so bonus for me, eh? Now, for a more earthchild alternative…

This one came from Paula Vanenkevort, who posted it on the Mothering.com discussion boards.

WM likes it because it’s not peanut butter. Wacky Kids like it because no eggs = you can eat all the dough you want.


Stir together:
16 oz. almond butter
One-half cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups granola (without nuts)

The mixture should be stiff and difficult to stir. If it is still runny, add more granola.

Roll into snack-size balls. Put each ball in a mini-cupcake paper. Store in the refrigerator.

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