By Terri Windover, Connect Columnist
I had friends over for dinner last week. They were the couple that I stayed with on the night of May 3rd in Anzac. They took in myself and six of my friends, along with their multiple dogs and cats. This on top of sheltering their own children and their friends. We were sleeping on every available surface in their home, including the floor.
I moved on early the next morning to join up with my own family that I had become separated from. Liz and John offered to put us all up, but we decided to head for Calgary. Needless to say it was a good choice on our part as Anzac was evacuated the next day. I hadn’t had a chance to see Liz and John since our return to Fort McMurray, so I was excited to have them over and get them to guinea pig test a few recipes.
My menu that night was the delicious and easy-on-the-eyes stuffed acorn squash (which was featured in Status Fitness magazine), slow roasted spiced chicken legs and this delicious jalapeno cornbread. I made two versions of the cornbread, one with cheese and one without. Both were yummy in the tummy and I’ll be making them many times in the future. More than likely with a lot more of the seeds left in from the jalapenos. I love a lot of heat in my dishes, but try not to fry my friends’ taste buds off when they visit. I think that’s pretty nice of me in this me, me, me world we live in. (THAT is a whole different article I’ll write one day…)
Of course, after dinner, the wine and beer started flowing and we ignored the dirty dishes piled in the sink and spent time talking about a multitude of subjects. I was surprised that although the fire and its aftermath crept into the conversation a few times, we actually spent most of the evening talking about a multitude of other issues from politics, sports, our children, our jobs and of course food!
It was by far one of the more ‘normal’ get-togethers I’ve had since the fire. It’s not that we have forgotten the fire and the havoc it has wreaked. I think it is that as individuals, we have decided to face forward, put our heads down and work very hard physically and mentally to look to the future. And that my friends is a good thing.
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1 cup buttermilk (I use almond milk)
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar or substitute
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup cheese of your choice (I use a smoked cheddar)
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced (For the love of avoiding second degree burns to your eyes, please wear thin plastic gloves.)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix together the milk, oil and eggs in a large bowl.
3. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
5. Add jalapeños and cheese, if using.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean
– Connect Weekly –