I would like to entitle this mini series over the months to come: Me and my handy dandy cast iron skillet.
You see, when I made this move to Chicago, of my kitchen items, I only packed a few things. Those included: some of my cooking utensils and measuring spoons, 1 large mixing bowl, and an 10 inch diameter cast iron skillet. You might wonder why, but the explanation is simple. We were able to take only what would fit inside the van. I was more willing to pack my sewing machine, silhouette, and guitar than all my cooking dishes and tools. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy cooking, but not as much as I enjoy creating something that is lasting. So the cast iron skillet was an obvious choice since I could use it on the stove and in the oven.
The only thing I didn't consider was that it is difficult to boil noodles, when you make pancakes they are a little black, and how do you make all the dishes you are used to without more than one pan. Let me tell you, it has been a learning curve, but also a fun adventure. Every time I talk to Jo and Scary I make them laugh with the funny stories I have to tell from it.
The biggest challenge thus far was when I made mac and cheese for dinner. I didn't have very much room for the boiling water and I had to make sure the noodles didn't stick to the bottom. In the end it worked out just fine, but I spent a lot more time in front of the stove keeping an eye on things.
Anyway, getting back to things. Almond Poppy Seed Bread is probably in my top 3 favorites for comfort food. While I am missing being close to Scary, Jo, and Nae I can't also be without this regardless of the pan situation.
Speaking of comfort food. If you are into it, you should be stopping by our blog the week of March 4th; we will be doing a mini feature and linkin party (click here for a schedule of the linkin parties and their themes for the next few months).
I will be using a recipe from Our Best Bites that I have modified for the right amount of batter and because I really like poppy seeds. Also I'm not as into the sweet as the savory so I don't make the orange glaze to go on top. And here it is:
2 C flour
1 2/3 C sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 T poppy seeds
3/4 C oil
1 C milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. butter flavoring (McCormick brand- we've tried other brands and trust me they aren't quite as good)
1 tsp. almond extract
Prepare your pan by rubbing it with butter or Crisco then covering it with flour and dumping out the excess. Preheat oven to 330 degrees. 1. Add and mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Beat with electric mixer for 1 minute. Then use a spatula to scrape around the bottom and edges of the pan to get any last bits of flour off. Mix for 1-2 more minutes. Your batter should be smooth (minus the poppy seeds) and even. Pour into your prepared cast iron pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until done. Pull out of oven. Run knife around the edge of the pan. Flip onto cooling rack or plate and then flip it over so it's right side up. Finally slice and add a bit of butter. You are sure to love it.
If you happen to only have 1 cast iron pan for whatever reason, then this is sure to be a real pleaser.
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