It’s better with Butter

Down South, even our vegetables have some pig hidden somewhere in it.
A vegetable isn’t a vegetable without a little ham hock.

American celebrity chef and cooking show television host, Paula Deen, was born on this day in 1947.

Deen lives in Savannah, Georgia where she owns and operates The Lady & Sons restaurant and Paula Deen’s Creek House with her sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen. She has published fifteen cookbooks.

Here’s Paula’s recipe for Moist and Easy Cornbread

Ingredients
6 tablespoons melted, plus butter for baking dish unsalted butter
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425º. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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But first, coffee

“Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Coffee. Is there a better way to start your day?

The smell of coffee, the warmth, the caffeine.

Much has been written about coffee. No one knows exactly where the first coffee was brewed. The cultivation and trade of coffee began in the Arabian

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

Peninsula.

Soon there were coffee houses.

Today from Starbucks to the local boutique coffee houses, the sharing of a cup brings many folks together.

Let’s meet for coffee.

Writers find solace and inspiration in the warm cup.

Employers even provide for coffee breaks.

Whether you like it strong and black or whether you need to add a little coffee to your cream, it’s a drink to be savored. A drink to inspire. A drink to warm.

What’s your favorite way to brew or drink coffee?

Let us know in the comments.

Today is Irish Coffee Day

irishcoffee

True, you don’t have to wait until January 25 to celebrate and enjoy Irish Coffee.

The origins of Irish Coffee go like this. In 1942 some weary travelers visited a pub operated by Joseph Sheridan in a southwest Ireland airport. To warm them up he served them Irish Coffee topped with whipped cream. There’s a lot of speculation on how the drink got to the United States, but it was introduced in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe in 1952.

The original recipe as described by Joseph Sheridan went like this:

“Cream as rich as an Irish brogue; coffee as strong as a friendly hand; sugar sweet as the tongue of a rogue; and whiskey smooth as the wit of the land.”

There are plenty of Irish Coffee recipes out there on the Internet. Have one of your own? Share it in the comments.

Five Blogs About Brownies that We Love

brownies

Today is National Blonde Brownie Day. We’ll take it. It gives us an excuse to point to give blogs with great brownie recipes.

My Baking Addiction
Jamie has a whole page dedicated to delicious brownie recipes. We’d like to try the Peppermint Cocoa Brownie Cups right about now.

Browneyed Baker
Check out the Chocolate Frosted Brownies with a delcious chocolate buttercream frosting.

Susan Branch
Susan shares her Mom’s homemade brownie recipe for chewy brownies filled with walnuts and love.

Sally’s Backing Addiction
Fudgy, chewy, homemade brownies.

Shari’s Berries
You know all about the delicious treats you can get from Shari’s Berries, but check out their post of the 50 Best Brownie Recipes…Ever.

Have a favorite brownie recipe? Share it in the comments.

National Hot Buttered Rum Day

hotbutteredrum

Here in the Mid-Atlantic we’ve already had our share of winter weather. But while it’s mild as we write this, winter is far from over.

That’s why it’s good to celebrate things like National Hot Buttered Rum Day. Sometimes coffee or hot chocolate isn’t quite enough.

Hot buttered rum is a mixed drinking that containes rum, butter, hot water or cider, sweetener, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves).

The history of this drink dates back to America’s colonial days when shipments of molasses from Jamaica gave the colonists the chance to add some distilled rum and create such beverages as toddies and nogs, and thus hot buttered rum.

If you fancy the chance to try some hot buttered rum, check out this recipe from Epicurious.

Have a favorite hot buttered rum recipe? Share in the comments.

The Wines of Winter

winter-wines

Here at Historic Occasions we enjoy a good glass, or bottle of wine. But we must admit that we’re not experts in wine selection. We know a few good things we like.

So, instead, let’s turn to some others for the best recommendations in what to pour this winter. Check out these links:

Best Wines to Drink This Winter
Fortune
When the weather forecast resembles something out of The Day After Tomorrow, generally only two kinds of people are happy: Those who have a ski trip planned and would love two feet of fresh powder, and those who know that “polar vortex” is really just code for “stock up on snacks, shelter in place and open that Zinfandel, stat.”

Wines By Season
The Biltmore
For many of us, the changing seasons come with changing preferences in wine. The crisp whites we crave in summer give way to heartier reds in fall and winter months. As usual, personal preference trumps everything else, but here are some general guidelines for serving wine with the seasons.

7 Best Wines for Waiting Out Winter
Wine Enthusiast
Winter’s here to stay for a few more weeks, but these fresh, bright wines will help us survive our late-season doldrums.

The Best Under-the-Radar Red Wines to Serve This Winter
Travel and Leisure
…many Austrian reds also have quirky, witty labels, demonstrating that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Why not get a laugh from what’s in the bottle before you taste what’s inside? At the holidays, we take any mirth we can get.

8 Delightful White Wines for Winter
VinePair
Yes, white wine is that thing we all sip while sitting on the bow of our yachts, mulling which pair of topsiders or wedge sandals to wear to the cabana dinner. But once summer’s over, and we’ve all put our yachts back into the yacht yard, we don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to white wine. Believe it or not (actually, we’d prefer you believe it), white wine can even have a place in your winter dining. (On the winter yacht, of course.)

Have a favorite winter wine? Share a virtual glass with us in the comments.