I enjoy trying new recipes and between blogging and my newspaper column I’m challenged to find exciting and new things to share every week.  However, it’s hard to beat a good home cooked meal with a meat and vegetables and cornbread.  Those are usually the meals that please my family the most.

Here is my favorite cornbread recipe.  This is moist, grainy, and it isn’t sweet.  It’s just like the cornbread I grew up eating.  It’s perfect with soup, chili, vegetables or like my mother eats it, with a glass of milk.


  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a cast iron skillet with the shortening. Place in the oven to heat the skillet.
  2. In a large bowl beat the buttermilk and egg together. Add the cornmeal, salt, and baking soda and mix.
  3. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the melted shortening into the cornbread mix. Stir and pour into the hot skillet.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned. Turn out onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
Share Button

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Updated 12/22/13

As I’ve mentioned many times before, weekday breakfasts are a constant headache for me.  I’ve got Greg that wants carb free, Wes that usually likes some sort of breakfast sandwich and Savannah who don’t even want to be asked what she wants for breakfast until she’s been awake for at least 30 minutes.

When my cousin, Nancy, shared this recipe with me she said that these muffins are so delicious she makes a double recipe and freezes some.  I made them last week and they are great!  I didn’t double the recipe but got about 18 muffins!

When I first made these muffins there were really good.  However, I did like Nancy said and I put some in the freezer.  I actually forgot that they were in there until a couple of weeks ago.  OH MY, what a sweet surprise!!!  I must say that these muffins get even better while frozen.  They are SOOOOO delicious taken from the freezer and heated in the microwave just long enough to warm and melt the chocolate chips slightly!  So delicious that I will for sure be making that double batch that Nancy makes the next time I make these!  I had lunch with Nancy over the weekend and she mentioned to me that she now adds a handful of walnuts to her batter and likes them even better.  I can’t imagine that they could get any better, but I’m going to take her word for it and try it too.


Brandi's Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
  • 2 c. butter, softened
  • 2½ c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp. instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp. hot water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners (which I spray with cooking spray). Set aside.
  2. Dissolve instant coffee in hot water, set aside.
  3. Blend butter, sugar, eggs, bananas, dissolved coffee, and vanilla extract. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and blend just until flour disappears. Add chocolate chips and mix just to combine. Spoon into muffin cups.
  4. Bake 25 - 30 minutes.
Share Button

Mojo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

My family loves pork tenderloin.  It cooks up fast and is always tender and juicy.  It’s impressive enough for guests yet it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner.  I have a growing collection of pork tenderloin recipes and this is one of our favorites.  I found this recipe on  I love the mojo marinade with the fresh fruit juices and cilantro.  This recipe recommends that you marinate the tenderloins in half of the mojo sauce and use the other half when serving.  My favorite sides for this Cuban influenced tenderloin are mango salsa, black beans, and rice.

I have read that it is safe to eat pork cooked to a medium temperature (145 degrees F).  However, we like an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees F.  Pork tenderloins are typically sold with two in a package.  If you are unsure at which internal temperature you prefer, you could always try cooking each tenderloin to a different temperature to determine your favorite.


Mojo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 (12-16-oz.) pork tenderloins
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ⅓ c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ⅓ c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ⅓ c. water
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground oregano
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from heat, slowly pour in the juices and water. Stir in salt, pepper and oregano. Return to heat; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute to blend flavors. Let cool to room temperature; stir in chopped cilantro. Pour half of the mixture into a resealable plastic bag, add pork tenderloins. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight (8 - 12 hours). Turn bag to ensure even marinating. Refrigerate the remaining Mojo Sauce to serve with the grilled pork.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the grill on high. When the grill is hot, brush the grates with oil. Remove tenderloins from the marinade; place on grill. Discard the bag of marinade. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Grill pork 10 to 12 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees F, (I prefer 155-160 degrees F), as measured with an instant read thermometer. Remove tenderloins to a pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice tenderloins crosswise to serve. Spoon reserved Mojo Sauce over sliced tenderloin. Serve immediately.
Share Button

Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich

Updated September 18, 2013

I became I fan of the grilled panini sandwich a few years ago while Greg and I were traveling in France.  There’s just something about a sandwich warmed through with a gooey cheese and toasted bread that makes you feel good inside.

This Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich is a great way to use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I first had this combination in a little restaurant in Louisville, Georgia.  It is so yummy!  I can honestly say that I like the turkey better in this sandwich than I do on my plate beside the dressing and sweet potato casserole.

Make sure you choose a bread that will hold up during the cooking process.  Some breads just aren’t sturdy enough to be pressed and grilled.  If you don’t like cranberry sauce, this is great with pepper jelly too!


Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich
  • Ciabatta bread or bread of your choice
  • sliced turkey breast
  • whole berry cranberry sauce
  • cream cheese, softened
  1. Split bread and toast.
  2. Assemble sandwich as follows:
  3. Spread softened cream cheese on bread (both pieces if you're waiting until "Monday" to start your diet).
  4. Add sliced turkey.
  5. Spoon whole berry cranberry sauce on turkey and spread.
  6. Top with bread, grill on the panini press and serve.
Share Button

Mango Salsa

mango salsa


It wasn’t until recently that I really started to like mangoes.  I know our taste change, because my mom loves them and I have tried them numerous times over the years.  I literally thought they had the taste of a pine tree.  Now I seem to be obsessed because I eat mango almost every day!  Here’s an easy Mango Salsa recipe that we love with fish and pork.

Mango Salsa
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. chopped purple onion
  • ¼ c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped fine
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches granulated sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for a hours before serving.
Share Button