Sunday, May 31, 2009

Painted Bread for breakfast

Look what we had for breakfast. It would make a beautiful and light dessert, don't you think? This is a painted shortcake with rhubarb and fresh cherry filling. New territory using the painted bread method on a quick bread, but the channel 10 segment has made me think about some quick and easy desserts people can make. That is what they want the segment to be on. I do what they need. Right?! With pleasure!! And I mean that most sincerely. I am honored that they want me to be on the show.
I would love to show everyone how to paint this bread with all natural ingredients. What do you think? Is is time to finally share a few of the secrets I use for painted breads? It's so easy you will be floored. I swear! I will be posting the full tutorial on this a week following my TV broadcast. I will also be sure to post a link to this segment as soon as possible so you can see me (so exited to be on TV!)... demonstrate it a little. It should be amazing!...I promise not to wet my pants.

In the meantime, don't hesitate to make the shortcake. It is delicious.

For shortcake, make the Homemade Bisquick (or buy the mix.) For store bought, use the directions for making 8 biscuits. With the homemade I use 2 1/4 cups mix, 5T sugar and a dash of cardamom. For the liquid, use 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg and a tsp vanilla, mixed well. Then add to the dry ingredients. Follow biscuit directions for forming and baking.
For rhubarb and fresh cherry filling combine:
2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup apple jam or green tomato marmalade(or flavor of choice...strawberry would be divine.)
In a microwave safe dish, place rhubarb and jam. Cook on high 3-5 minutes until tender.

Remove from microwave and fold in 1/2 cup fresh pitted and chopped cherries.

Serve nestled between the gorgeous shortbread. I look forward to sharing a lot more with you in the near future. Full Tutorial Tuesday will be June 16th. Come back and see me!

There you go.

Bread of Life Section...Dreams.

Sunday morning means I share a little bit of the spirit behind my blog. These are the inner workings of my soul (so to speak). I think it helps everyone to see that I am real. So this is just a once a week glimpse into what motivates me.
I once mentioned that I dream of chocolate. Thus the picture of the brownie. What does that have to do with my Spirit? Well...let me tell you. I read a really amazing statement yesterday about Dreams. It said, "God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe." - Jeffrey R. Holland".

I'm not sure if the chocolate dreams need to come true, but the dreams I've held onto my entire life that are for the benefit of God's children, should come true. What do I dream of most? I see my life touching and lifting everyone I meet in one way or another. I see myself being a great catalyst for good. I dream in vivid color about what this world can be if I do my part. I dream of a bright and glorious days ahead.
I listen to those who believe in me. Thanks mom and dad. Ace. Em.Tara. Dear friends. I try to ignore the pessimists--not always easy.They talk really loud sometimes. I have to remember the opinion that matters most. Yes...most especially I try to listen to the One who put those dreams in my heart in the first place. Whenever I think of God, I imagine Him cupping my face in His hands and smiling at me with those encouraging eyes. I see a loving Father. My prayers always include this phrase, "Dear Lord...thanks for believing in me."
Dream big. I will too.
There you go.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Here's some News!

Coming up in the next couple of weeks I have been asked to do a morning segment(s) on our local TV station. Fox 10. After I stop squealing...I'll let you know all the details. Well, as soon as I have an exact date. Looking like early June. The first will be a few fun and light summer dessert recipes. Probably going to do the grilled pound cake. Oh my heart. It is divine.

If they love and adore me... I will do more. Cross your fingers. I think I'm zany enough to get a return visit. Tara will most likely be going with me to help out. Now that will be awesome. The Evil Think Tank meets the airwaves. Watch out world.

Here's a link to some of their fun stuff. I think I'm going to fit in just fine.

Homemade fruit and nut granola

Little man turned 10 this week. Yikes. I refuse to get old enough to have a teenager. I'm holding on to each and every day! His party is tomorrow...breakfast at a park instead of later in the hot parts of the day. We're having some of this granola. One of his favorite breakfast foods is granola. Oh heck. We have it on ice cream, broiled fruit, yogurt. In other words, it's not just for breakfast. Love it. One of the reasons I was and am able to be a full time mom is because of the money we save having me make a few convenience cereal and graham crackers. Great way to cut back and still be creative. I recently found this awesome recipe for Extreme Granola...and changed it to fit my family's needs. One change was a lot less sugar. You can omit the butter or add less. I think in moderation, it isn't too bad. It is awesome added to a purchased cereal to stretch it out (like corn flakes...which then makes them more of a honey-bunch-o-oats type cereal without that price.) I think it tastes a lot better than any granola I've tried.

Homemade Fruit and Nut Granola
yield: Makes about 6 cups
active time: 10 minutes plus cooling
total time: 50 minutes
1/2 cup natural almonds (or pumpkin seeds)optional.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted (or EV coconut oil)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins (optional)

Combine the butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl place your nuts, oats and seeds. Mix all up except for the dried fruit (add that after baking). Honestly that is as hard as it gets to make! Are we scared? Gasping...passing out? What is the deal with buying the expensive box of glorified oats that may or may not taste good? I'm not sure.
Bake 300 degrees 30 minutes. Solar oven bakers, add 10 extra minutes here.

Bonus of making your own waking up to the cinnamon and vanilla wafting through the house. It beats using curse words to get them out of bed...or worse, my rendition of "Good Morning" from Singing in the rain. That comes complete with tap dancing, flailing arms and a cheese grin. Scary. Guaranteed to cause deep emotional scars. Try it sometime.
Wow...all that to say "bake it". I need to stop rambling.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Yes I hate waiting too. we really want hot chunks of molten granola stuck to our lips? I'm not risking looking like that big of an idiot...again.
Keepin' it real folks...
Granola. It's love for-eeehvaaa Little Man. There you go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tomatoes Blanched in the Sun Oven

I can't even see the ceiling of the greenhouse any more...and I am getting really excited about the growth of the tomato vines. Look at these beautiful little love bombs. I just gasp with joy seeing them glisten in the sunlight! Hooray for organic tomatoes! For those just joining me, I have been working at a local organic tomato farm learning a little bit more about the natural food world.( Organic Tomato Farming) This has by and far been one of my favorite experiences with food. I don't know if it's just the calming hummm of the greenhouse fans or the gentle tug the plants have on my soul but I adore it! It's like having a few hours a day in the garden of Eden and my father back next to me. Heavenly paradise. Look at this non-forbidden fruit.
I have some serious fun with tomatoes. One of my least favorite projects is taking mass amounts of skin off the little lovelies though. Up until recently when I discovered the power of the sun to help this process. I love how convenient my Solar Oven is at blanching mass amounts of tomatoes.

I put the pristine clean tomatoes in a heat resistant dark pot in my solar oven. Close the lid and let them bake for 1 hour.

The natural heat of the sun bursts the skins and then I can easily peel them. It's a beautiful thing. Hello gallons and gallons of homemade salsa and chile sauce.

There you go! Have fun with peaches, apricots, tomatoes and any fruit you normally have to blanch. Love the sun! Love it!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberry tropical pizza

I made a fruit pizza with Face while his big brother was away at a friend's house. It was a sweet experience. It was our first Evil think tank and I think he did a really good job at being a wicked apprentice. I don't care how righteous you are...this stuff is wrong. Just wrong. So every now and then we do splurge and make something totally wicked. My little evil genius was on full power. Including but not limited to his brainstorms where the cornmeal key lime cookie crust and the mango cream cheese sauce. I usually just do a plain sugar cookie crust. He wanted it to have some "zing" (yea that's the word he used). He kept getting all these great ideas. Could I be more proud?! Seriously this was a good one. Good enough to blog and make over and over again.

Cornmeal Lime Cookie Crust
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp rum extract
zest of one lime
juice of one lime (about 1 T)
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat works fine)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream sugar and butter. Add the egg, rum extract, lime zest and juice. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Chill about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly oiled pizza stone, roll out the dough to the shape of a pizza, about 12 inches in diameter. Bake 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden.

Mango cream cheese sauce:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1T lime juice
1 tsp mango kool-aid powder (yes...I know it's not natural! Face wanted to use it...)

Mix until well combined. Spread on cooled cookie crust.

Top with 2 pints of slices strawberries and 1 cup of shredded coconut. Enjoy.
This is a great one to do as a cooking class with kids, especially if you bake the crust first so all they have to do is arrange fruit and help mix the cream cheese sauce. Have fun!
There you go. Yea...not even going to add up the Weight Watcher's points on this one. Sorry.

Homemade Pita Pockets

I had a reader from Virginia Beach ask me about pita bread. Thank you Christine! Ironically I was already thinking of doing a tutorial. I loved hearing from her though and she had some great questions on pita bread. One of the questions was in regard to cooking pita pocket bread in a solar oven. So far, I haven't been able to pull it off. It just doesn't get to the 500 degrees necessary for pita bread in my solar oven. This may be one of the few things I still have yet to do solar. But now I have a challenge and I won't be letting go of it until I have been able to figure it out. Most of the time I use a frying pan instead of my oven anyway. It just gets too freaky hot in Arizona! Why would I heat up my house? The point of making pita pockets is to have a light and cool dinner or be sweating like a hog when I'm eating it. Yikes. There's a visual. Hogs in my kitchen.
You will need:
1T dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1T olive oil (I used a garlic infused oil)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour

Combine the salt and flour in a mixing bowl.
Combine the yeast and water. Allow to bubble. In fact, you will know the yeast is good if it floats at the top and looks like this: (click on the picture for a closer look)

Add the yeast/water to the flour/salt and then add the oil.

Mix up really well, then move to a lightly floured counter top or board and knead.

When I knead, I do a series of folds.

Pita bread doesn't need to be kneaded very long. About 20 turns, or 2 minutes. Not very long at all. I then make it into a dough ball. obsessive need to have dough wads around my house is getting a little sick. Really sick. How can I help myself? Is there a 12 step program?
Place in a covered bowl and allow to raise about 1 1/2 hours.
See how fast that was?
I lightly flour the counter top little dew drops...but dry and made of wheat.

Divide the dough into two logs, then cut the logs.
10 pieces. Yes...we will have 10 pita pockets when we are done. Magical isn't it? Great way to teach my kids simple math too.
Roll each piece into a ball. This is a weird thing I do, but if I start with a circle, then when I roll out the dough it is usually circular.

Ooooo. circle...
Roll into an oval then a circle. Basic shapes, basic math. Wow. We are covering it all today.

Basic pan. Okay this is my frying pan. I got it about 8 years ago from my local Amway/Quixtar distributor. It was once called "Queen cookware", but this is the newer model called "Icook". It has this cool feature where once the lid is on, it acts as an oven. Very cool stuff. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. I don't sell them either but here's the link: Pampered Chef cookware does pretty well for pita bread as well. can bake it in the oven on a hot stoneware pan. Heat the stone in the oven. Then put the pockets on the stone. Watch your eyebrows. 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I prefer the fry pan. I said that already huh?
Now here's the secret. Put the stove on medium heat. When the pan is hot, put a piece of pita bread in the pan. This is where I get technical. Count to ten, turn over the bread, and then cover with the lid. Don't open the pan for about 2 minutes. Then it will puff up like this:
Repeat this 10 times. It took me just over 2o minutes to bake all this pita bread.

Fill with the pita filling of your choice. I personally love them with just lettuce and tomatoes and a sassy dressing. Usually Homemade Ranch Dressing with some Herbs de Provence from Penzey's. Mmm. Great stuff. One of my all time favorite fillings is a chicken peach salad with roasted bell pepper relish sauce. That stuff knocks my sock off.
There you go. Homemade pita pockets.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Homemade Bisquick

On my sister site,( ) I posted a recipe for Bisquick and then followed it with the recipe for an amazing pancake mix :Lemon Nutmeg and Cardamom pancakes...from a mix. I often give away biscuit mixes and soup mixes together as a special "thank you" gift or for most any occasion. People love getting something homemade. I think it is a sign I put thought and effort into something for them. I also love using them at home. The great thing about making your own mixes is that you can control the ingredients if you have a food allergy or just want to cut out chemicals.'s just cheaper! Here is one I really use a lot and have on hand constantly. Biscuits made from my own baking mix. The ones pictured have cheese folded into the dough and are just dropped onto the pan instead of rolled out. Cheese biscuits. Mmmm.

Baking Mix (my version of "Bisquick")

9 cups all purpose flour (organic whole wheat, use pastry wheat flour, and replace one cup of wheat flour with cornmeal or barley flour)

1 cup butter, cold (or I have used extra virgin coconut oil*, 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup baking powder
4tsp salt
1 cup fat free powdered milk (optional)

Put all ingredients in a kitchen-aid mixer and blend with the paddle attachment until consistency of Bisquick. If you use butter, store the mix in the fridge to avoid getting unwanted bacteria growth...away from the onions too (to avoid unwanted bad flavor growth).

For biscuits: 2 cups mix, 1/2 -3/4 cup cup cold water (depending on the flour*), Mix just until blended then roll out onto a lightly floured counter top or board about 1 inch thick. Cut into 12 little circles and bake 425 10-12 minutes on a heavy pan or stone.

There you go. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bread of Life Section--- Hunger

What a glorious new day! It's Sunday morning. I try to have a little more of the spiritual on Sunday. I think it helps ground me a little more and remind me where my inspiration originates. If you don't want to read it...there are plenty of wonderful food recipes and items on my blog. Don't be afraid to look around. I love having you here for a visit.

I wanted to go back to this picture Ace took in Germany of a bread store. I may be lame. I studied it very carefully and loved adored seeing what they where selling. Even here in Arizona, where I couldn't buy any of it. It brought a lot of feelings to my heart. Love and adoration to Ace for thinking to take a picture for his foodie wife. Thoughts of how universal bread is and how it reaches every society in one form or another. I thought of how universal hunger is. How so many need bread. Then I came to the most amazing thoughts of all. Thoughts of how I need to be better at feeding my soul and the soul of others. I was thinking of Mother Teresa when I saw this picture. Let me explain.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was amazing. One correspondent recalled her saying that as severe and wrenching as physical hunger was in our day—something she spent virtually her entire life trying to alleviate—nevertheless, she believed that the absence of spiritual strength, the paucity of spiritual nutrition, was an even more terrible hunger in the modern world. Remember the prophecy from the prophet Amos, who said so long ago, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

With all we have in the way of modern food and nutrition, it is easy to focus on the physical body. Get it nourished. Get it strong. In the process of taking care of the body...don't miss taking care of the energy that flows in your soul. I believe that the body and the spirit together are what make up the "soul" and that only when both are strong can you really able to bare our trials. George Q. Cannon said, “No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is [against] His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable being. … He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and the purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments.”

I pray this morning that all who are hungering and thirsting, and sometimes wandering, will hear this invitation from Him who is the Bread of Life, the Fountain of Living Water, the Good Shepherd of us all, the Son of God: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, … and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt. 11:28–29.

There you go. I love you all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Taco Shells and Italian Shells

What is it about stuffed shells that make my kids go nuts. They aren't rocket science to make. They are in fact one of the simple dishes on my list of things to make. I love them as a freezer meal. My recent production of Italian shells ended on a very good note. Face asked if we had leftovers he could take to school for show and tell. What?! Do you know any kids on earth who WANT to take leftovers for show and tell?! Oh he is MY son. there wasn't any left overs, but I did have a picture since I "show and tell" all the time on the blog. This one is for little Face. Now go get Mrs. Shasta and have her come look at the computer. Tee hee.

For everyone else who may want to make these I have to admit this picture doesn't go with this first recipe. These are Italian. I will of course tell you how to make the Italian version as well.

This first recipe is a great way to use up some taco meat for a freezer dinner. Freezer meals rock! If your a vegetarian you may substitute tvp for beef or chopped mushrooms.

Mexican Sea shells
Taco filled Pasta shells (yield 2 casseroles, 6 servings each!)

2 pounds lean ground beef (or vegetarian equivalent)
2 envelopes taco seasoning (or 4T Steph's taco seasoning. I make my own)
1 package 8 oz low fat cream cheese
zest of 2 limes
24 cooked jumbo pasta shells (under cook by 2 minutes for freezer meals so they don't get soggy)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Additional ingredients for each casserole:
1 cup each, salsa and taco sauce (I love greeen salsa!--or homemade from my tomatoes)
1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips (can use baked)
3 green onions, chopped

In an deep skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink and drain. Add taco seasoning. Add Cream cheese and lime zest and stir until melted. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge 1 hour.
Cook the pasta according to package directions but lower cooking time by 2 minutes. Gently toss with butter. Fill each shell with about 3 T meat mixture. Place 12 shells in a non-aluminum freezer container You are making 2 casseroles. Repeat and put the remaining 12 in another casserole. Spoon half of salsa over one casserole and half over the other, repeat with the taco sauce. Do the same with the cheeses, tortilla chips (you may keep the tortilla chips separate if you want a crunchy topping and put them on just before you bake it) and onions. Freeze covered with plastic then foil, up to 3 months. To prepare. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Bake 350 degrees 35-40 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered. top with sour cream at service. It is possible to make one casserole now and one for the freezer! Just bake one and put one in the freezer for later!

To bake in a solar oven, uncovered bake 1 1/2 hours full sun if defrosted, 3-4 hours from frozen.
For Italian...
Filling:Use 4T Italian seasoning (or just use lean turkey sausage instead of beef)
omit the lime zest, though I love orange or lemon zest in my Italian shells.
add 2T minced garlic and 1 onion, chopped to the Italian version.
For Italian sauce:
Use 2 cups Homemade Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
2 cups mozzarella
omit tortilla chips and green onion.
There you go! Two great freezer meal ideas.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rice Patties

I love to do the fancy stuff...but I am also a simple girl from simple roots. Working in the greenhouse lately has made me terribly homesick. I miss my dad. Have I mentioned my dad is a gardener by trade. I spent a lot of time at his feet watching him tend plants. Now he runs our church's greenhouse growing literally thousands of flowers a year. He is probably the reason why my soul is so creative. He is amazing. One of the most calm and gentle men on earth. What does this have to do with my food? When I was growing up, we had these little rice patties for breakfast all the time. Dinner too. In the giant world of culinary arts, I realize they aren't really high up there on the scale of difficulty...or complexity of flavor. They are however, one of my most cherished comfort foods. On any given day I can be instantly transported back to my childhood kitchen and see my dad smiling over a plate of fresh rice patties. Heaven on earth. I have more memories of my dad making this dish than any other food. Well, these and fried 'taers and onions with egg. Ironically, my mom was the one who first introduced my dad to this dish. My Grandma Dorothy used to make them. However they came into the family, they are still a part of me. So, in honor of my dear ol' Pappa (and Mama for showing dad the way)'s how to make rice patties. They taste a lot like fried rice, but hold their shape and are a great way to use up leftover rice. I love them made with rice-a-roni too. Yes, very fancy-schmancy.

You will need:
cooked rice (chilled 3-4 hours in the fridge... so great for leftovers...see?)
1 cup cooked rice (measure after cooking) to one egg.
I use 1/4 cup eggbeaters so it's heart healthy. Yes, you can use brown rice or pretty much any cooked grain. Barley is amazing. My mom uses cold cooked cracked wheat. Yea, those are good too.
Here's the difficult part...mix it up.
In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, cook over medium heat. Make sure you use a non-stick pan, or one you have oiled well. I scoop them into little patties like this little artistic dude. See how it looks like the sunshine. Yea, it is happy isn't it? Cook 3-4 minutes on one side and then carefully slide a spatula under the pattie and turn over gently. Cook 3-4 more minutes. We also like them with a slice of cheese on top...Top with butter while hot and season well with salt and pepper. Hello daddy.
There you go. Simple, comforting and easy. What a wonderful world.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Homemade English Muffin tutorial

This Tutorial Tuesday I wanted to show a little bit of fun with something that seems to be one of those "lost arts". English Muffins. I promise if you can make bread dough, you can make these. It's not rocket science. I have found a few tricks and have also found this recipe to be pretty good for light fluffy muffins. Auntie Em sent me a recipe book that had this recipe in it, and the directions. My mouth dropped when I saw how easy they where. Why had I not been making them for years?! So, I started practicing. I love this recipe, I do however also use the overnight started bread dough for these too, and it works really well for great flavor. Make the dough as usual and when it comes time to shape into loaves, shape and cut into English Muffins instead.
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins
3 cups bread flour (if you use whole wheat, add about 1/4 cup more liquid)
1 teas. Salt
1 T. Dry yeast
1 teas. Sugar
1 cup Warm milk (I have a friend who uses buttermilk...mmmm)
1/2 cup raisins (optional. apparently some people think raisins are of the Devil)
1T cinnamon (I add clove, ginger, and nutmeg as well)
2 oz. Butter, melted

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and leave in a warm place. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm (105 F) milk (M−Waved). Let froth, then mix in the butter. Stir all the liquid into the warm flour and beat well until smooth and elastic. More complete directions for forming dough and proofing can also be found in the overnight started bread tutorial. Cover and proof in a warm place for 50 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Turn onto a well−floured board and
knead, working a little more flour if necessary to make the dough easier to shape. Round up the dough, roll into a thick sausage shape. I use a lot of flour to coat these. Some people don't like to do it that way but I think it makes them look really cool...and not stick to my counter tops. Always a plus.
Using the sharpest knife you have, slice into 8 to 10 portions, each about 1 1/2
to 1 3/4 inch thick. Shape each one into a round with straight sides
I usually score my bread with the knife so I know what the heck I am doing. Really scientifically calculated too(...oh come on). It sounds smart. I just eyeball it. It should make about 10. I doubled the recipe so if it looks like I got a ton... I did. My kids love them.
Put onto a greased baking sheet. Personally, I love the cornmeal coating so I lightly (very lightly) mist the pan with a little oil and then sprinkle it with a good coating of cornmeal. Then I put some cornmeal on the top of them too. Cover (use plastic wrap) and put in a warm place to proof for 30−40 minutes or until springy to the touch. Leave room for expansion and be careful not to over−proof, as the muffins will get flabby and lose their shape. Big words for saying..."don't let them get super pooofy". I know a lot of things that get too poofy and lose their shape. NO comments on my thighs. None. Random moment there sorry.
The cornmeal on top keeps it from sticking to the plastic while it raises. Sorry I didn't get a picture of the plastic wrap covering the muffins. You will just have to use your imagination.

Lift the muffins carefully onto a cast iron skillet or a thick bottomed skillet (like the 12 inch Pampered Chef family skillet--I love mine.) and cook over very moderate heat for 5-7 minutes until pale gold underneath. Turn and cook the other side 5-7 minutes as well. Moderate heat for me was medium heat (#4 on my dial) but every stove is different, so try not to get it too hot. It took me about 40 minutes to make all of mine. We made 20. Days like that I wish I had an electric skillet or something. However, it did make me think that if I was camping...I could totally make these since they don't need an oven!

One secret I found to getting them to bake really well, was to use a tight fitting lid. Oh...and if you can, dump out as much of the stray cornmeal as you can between batches. It will burn a little and add a not-so-amazing flavor.

Enjoy. Wrap in a cloth and keep warm if cooking in batches. To serve, insert a knife in the side, pull the top and bottom slightly apart,and insert slivers of butter...or just crack them open and dig in.

There you go. Happy Muffin making.