Posts made in October, 2013

Cornbread Love

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Holiday, Side Dishes | 4 comments

Cornbread Love

This is my 300th post.  For those of you who subscribe and hang in there with me—thank you!

As a milestone to mark the occasion, I thought to pluck my beloved moments from the archives and revisit them.

Nope, what you need is this cornbread recipe.








I worked this recipe out a zillion years ago after experimenting with lots of ingredients, including sweet potatoes.  I wanted to use whole grains, and little fat with a substantial outcome, not a brick.

Everyone has his or her favorite way of making cornbread.  It can be sweet and more cake-like with a delicate crumb or like my dense, savory, and not particularly sweet corn child.  This alone makes it the perfect vehicle to deliver sweet honey, homemade jams or apple butter; or to crumble into your bowl of chili before heading out to a Halloween carnival.








It is a sort of one-bowl wonder.








Dry ingredients








Wet ingredients








Make a well








Combine the wet into the dry








Slide into a well oiled pie dish, baking dish, or iron skillet.








Creamed Corn Cornbread








Yes, it has a special place at Thanksgiving too…

Creamed Corn Cornbread


  • 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can cream-style corn
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Mix well with a fork, and then make a well in the center.
  3. Combine creamed corn, buttermilk, egg whites, oil and applesauce in a medium bowl: mix until well blended. Pour liquid ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and fold until well combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 35-40 minutes until the cornbread tests done in the center and top is lightly golden brown.
  5. Brush the top with a glaze of honey while the cornbread is still warm.
  6. Serves 8
  7. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved

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Pumpkin Poetry

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Desserts | 2 comments

Pumpkin Poetry

Among my treasured recipes, is a slightly sweet pumpkin square perfumed with homey spices and topped with a cream cheese leaf design.

I clipped the original recipe, contributed by a reader from a Sunset magazine over 2 decades ago.

Originally called Fall Leaf Bars, I tweaked the formula to make it my own by adding and changing a few ingredients.

Solitude - Frederic Leighton


   --Solitude by Frederic Leighton

I was awake exceptionally early one morning last week seeking solitude.  I baked up a batch of these soft and springy treats in slow motion.  For one thing--I used the hand mixer--adding each ingredient with deliberate purpose.  Prayer time.








Snow-white butter








Sweet sugar and farm fresh eggs








Organic pumpkin








Orange juice and vanilla








Flour, leavening, and spices








are creamed, sifted, and rippled together to create the batter.








Spread the batter evenly onto a sheet pan.






















Get out the big gun to make the cream cheese topping.








This is the crafty fun part.  Dollop a spoonful of the topping onto the batter in 24 sections.








I use a skewer to create the leaves.  Don’t be too fussy unless you are a persnickety artist.








Beautiful huh?















Thank you Renee Murdock of Kent, Washington (wherever you are).  Your Fall Leaf Bars are a legacy in my recipe repertoire.

All is well with my soul.

Autumn Pumpkin Squares


  • Batter
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup unbleached flour
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Topping
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a large mixer, cream sugar with butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Add pumpkin and orange juice.
  3. Sift together flour, spices, soda, and baking powder with salt. Add to wet ingredients and combine.
  4. Spread batter into a buttered and floured 10- by 15- inch pan.
  5. Combine topping ingredients and mix until smooth. Drop cheese filling in 24 equal portions (about 1 tablespoon each) over surface of the batter. With a knife tip, pull edges of cheese to form a leaf pattern.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until center of cake springs bake slightly when touched. Let cool.
  7. Cut into 24 squares
  8. --Adapted from Sunset Magazine September 1992

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Remembering Gray

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in New | 8 comments

Remembering Gray


October lasts all month.

Today would be Gray’s 33rd birthday.

Let me introduce to you—

Julianna Gray

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope--Romans 15:13




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Chilly Days

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Chicken and Turkey | 1 comment

Time slides by quickly.

Mondays were hectic when our sons were young especially in middle and high school.








Super simple soothing Turkey Chili was on the stove every Monday afternoon in the fall and winter in our home.  The “if it’s Monday” chili was there-- geared up to scoop into a shallow bowl for an early supper before a swim or soccer workout, scout meeting or a late dinner after a class or church.







Ground turkey, roasted red peppers, canned beans, a warm dose of spice; and a secret ingredient makes it surprising light and full of flavor.








Recently I gave it a makeover when I prepared it for the girls at Heritage House.








Build the chili in layers.  Saute  and season the onion and garlic in oil before adding your favorite spices. I always use straightforward chili powder and cumin.








Crumble the lean ground turkey into the pot and cook it until it is no longer pink.  Drop in the roasted pepper pieces.  I love the jarred fire roasted red peppers from Trader Joes's.








Add 2 cups turkey or chicken stock.  Toss in 8 ounces of tomato sauce. Then stir in 1 can diced tomatoes; 3 cans (14.5 ounce) drained and rinsed beans.  I use pinto, kidney, and black beans.








Lastly stir in 1/2 cup of good quality tomato ketchup.

There you go.  Cover the pot.

It can be ready in an hour or simmer away all day. Make it in a slow cooker or make it for a crew.








We kept it simple without adornment.  Add cilantro, sliced scallion, sour cream, avocado or cheese to make it a game day rush.








Gotta serve it with Creamed Corn Cornbread and homemade apple butter folks.

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Morel Madness

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Special Occasion | 0 comments

The garage sale was over.  The haul to Salvation Army was in process.  I wanted the day to be over and done.  We wanted to go to the sea.

When I was cleaning and organizing the "lighter leaner" cabinets I remembered two food gifts yet appreciated. 








A lovely box of saffron threads from my cooking friend, Linda (she walked the Camino de Santiago last spring).








Then there was nearly an ounce of dried morels waiting patiently for a spectacular duet, a gift from Todd, also known as the Orange County Cheese Guy. 








MP filled in the blank with ten soft fleshy sea scallops.








I wrote the chorus, hummed it a few times and the verses sang along in time.

Risotto is one of those dishes that soothes my soul.  There is no actual recipe.  It begins with a tentative map then transcends when it is ready.

Until then, stir, stir, and stir.








Begin by reviving the morels in 2 cups of boiling water.








A little browned compound butter and olive oil ready for the shallot and first addition of salt and pepper.  Remember to taste and season each layer.








Saute the shallots until they are sheer; then add 1 cup carnaroli  or arborio rice.








Let the stirring begin-coat all the grains well before








adding a glug of white wine.  It will begin to release a fantastic smell as it is absorbed.

You are adding enough liquid to be absorbed-- just to keep the rice from drying out-- before adding another ladle.  Have ready 2-3 cups more boiling water or stock to add when the mushroom liquid is gone.








Drain the mushrooms and begin adding the strained soaking liquid ladle by ladle.















This slow selective method is what creates the creamy texture.  The gentle simmer and stirring causes a friction between the grains.  Which is the reason you stand there lovingly for nearly a half an hour.








When the risotto is cooked, slice and stir in the prize plumped mushrooms and the saffron threads.








Behold the exotic~ you are almost there.








Stir in Parmesan or  Pecorino and chopped chives.  Stud the risotto with seared scallops and grab a fork and a fine heirloom napkin (the kind you have to iron).







Rich fancy woodsy mushrooms, plump rice, and mild star struck shellfish.

Phil Collins testified,

“Every heart that’s been broken

Knows these things must not go unspoken

Giving yourself, giving each other

The strength to lean on each other

I’ll be there for you; you’ll be there for me.”



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