Often times I am brought into a project for a kitchen renovation and through the initial consultation process the Powder Room, more often than not, is mentioned at the end of our meeting. It goes something like this, " Oh, before you leave can you please take a look at our Powder Room? I cannot stand it, it's tired and I have no idea what to do? Can we add that to the list? " For me having worked on hundreds of Powder Rooms it still is one of my favorite spots to renovate. Maybe because I grew up sailing and love small efficient spaces or perhaps it was my fascination with the interiors of Jeannie's bottle from, "I dream of Jeanne" where you could pop into a spaces that was so vibrant and different from the rest of the home... ...
One of my favorite times of the year in New England is Halloween. I went to college at the University of Maine and I just returned home from attending homecoming, it was great fun and I am reminded about how much I love this amazing state. Maine was my play land during my formidable youth and college years and thankfully continues to be a place that I retreat to for inspiration. When I was at college it was a tradition with me and friends to dare one another to visit Stephan Kings home in Bangor at Halloween, the undisputed King of scary novels... Hard not to let your mind drift to Spooky thoughts standing outside his home with that amazing rod iron work of bats and spiders...Something about a big old Victorian filled with decaying plants and leaves that gets the imagination rolling.... The brilliant colors of Autumn have now turned to rusty umber tones dabbled with yellow and muted reds. Leaves are dropping, wind is kicking up and temperatures have begun to plummet. Harvest Moons illuminate fields and wood smoke fills the cold air...Pumpkins are set on stonewalls and steps throughout the region carved in creepy sliver smiles.... When it comes to Halloween entertaining and decorating it is great fun to think outside of the box! Put on a creepy movie like Stephan Kings The Shining...and mix up this great cocktail I found from www.liqculture light a fire and invite a few friends over to share a few ghost stories! ...
So delicious and easy. Baked in my favorite cast iron skillet!
I serve it right out of the skillet to the table, the butter in the pan and heat of the cast iron creates a perfect crust.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
10" or 12" Cast Iron Skillet will work just fine.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal ( I like Bobs Redmill but any Cornmeal will work)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Sticks of unsalted butter, melt in cast iron skillet. Evenly coat bottom and sides with melted butter. I love Kate's Home Made Butter From Maine. https://www.kateshomemadebutter.com/
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated.
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish (3 scallions)
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Keep it lumpy and do not over mix. Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I like to serve right of the Skillet. Remember to warn guest the handle is hot! Enjoy! ...
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