soul-food [cornbread & cookies]

26 Feb

Also known as: I will find any excuse to bake.

One of my friends is one of the event planners for my school’s “Black Student Union”-type club (technically called Igwebuike). I was stalking her on Facebook when I saw their event today was a large “Soul-Food” potluck. I was intrigued by the idea of free food coupled with the fabulous opportunity to bake and share fabulous food, so I talked another friend into making something with me.

My crazy, awesome partner-in-crime

Of course, I had very little idea of what exactly “soul food” was… I still am not entirely clear on it, but this Wikipedia article was informative. While I would have loved to come up with some great vegetarian dish that fit the bill, we decided to go with something a little easier to make with stuff I mostly already had… CORNBREAD.

The usual offenders…

Actually, cornbread was one of my favorite foods when I was in Kindergarten… That and tomato soup. I was a cool kid… I also hated french fries. Go figure. So we bought an enormous box of cornmeal and just used the recipe on the back. But we used Earth Balance spread, melted, instead of the oil (I was almost out!) and Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, because I didn’t want to buy eggs. I also sprinkled some Daiya on part of it, which was semi-successful. Oh, and I had to improvise an 8×8 pan using my 9×13… College baking is always a little bit improvised.

Cornbread
Adapted slightly from Albers cornmeal

1 cup corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (I used 1/2 tsp because my “butter” was quite salty)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
~1/2 cup corn kernels (optional, my addition!)

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

COMBINE meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

They were pretty good… A little less moist than the cornbread of my youth, but I think it’s just a slightly different type than the kind I used to have (which was also somewhat sweeter). I really enjoyed these!

Of course, I’m of the belief that cookies are soul food, no matter what Wikipedia might say. Because baking and eating them totally nourishes the soul.

I had some Dark Chocolate & Mint chips left over that I decided to use up… Again, I just pulled the recipe off the back of the bag. Again, I used Earth Balance and egg replacer. This made them significantly more crumbly than usual (I’ve made this recipe before) but still delicious. I mean, really, how can you go wrong with mint & chocolate?

They’re called Mint Chocolate Delights, apparently! For the recipe, click here.

There was tons of food at the event itself… All kinds of sweet potatoes and yams and collard greens (prob my fave part!)! Oh, and lots of chicken, but I didn’t partake in that… Here’s one of my plates.

I definitely hit the fruits hard. Meaning I probably ate half of a watermelon (I’m not even exaggerating). I just have no self control with fruit, it’s actually kind of a problem (pretty sure there IS such a thing as too much fruit… they’re still sugars!).

We ate well, and it was another welcome break from dining-hall food. Plus it was just fun to be in the kitchen with people!

Good friends + good food = love

Here are some of the other desserts people brought… There were some killer pies (especially the sweet potato pie, OMG!)

Have you ever had “soul food”? What’s your favorite kind?
What kind of food nourishes YOUR soul?
What would YOU do with a ginormous box of cornmeal? I need ideas!

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19 Responses to “soul-food [cornbread & cookies]”

  1. This Italian Family February 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    What a fun idea! I love it! Looks like you had a great time (and learned a lot too)! :)

  2. Tara February 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    My favorite soul food is hush puppies. They remind me of my trips to north carolina!! When I was little, my favorite cornbread was the kind they still sell at whole foods today. I haven’t had it in ages!

    I’ve used cornmeal to make pizza crust, which was different, but delicious nonetheless!

  3. Christine February 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Well cornbread is mighty good — you can just make more of that! Otherwise — polenta is good and you can top it with a million differnt things!

  4. whatkateiscooking February 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve ever had soul food before, but I’ll try anything once :)

  5. kissmybroccoli February 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I LOVE hush puppies…and cornbread…and biscuits! What can I say, I’m a carb queen!

    Mmm, howabout using this recipe with some more of those $2 bloobs?!

    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/05/blueberry_cornmeal_cake

    It sounds delicious!

  6. mindrunningwild February 27, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    a couple of the dining rooms at my school are having a soul food night on monday!! Let’s see how it goes.
    My soul is nourished by food that fuels my body. this varies based on what I need that day and what I am fueling.
    cornmeal…I’d probably make a sweet cornmeal cake or some fluffy cornbread to go with homemade chili!

  7. movesnmunchies February 27, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    omg mint and chocolate is AMAZING together!
    and I LOVE CORNBREAD!!!!!
    soul food for me is definitely mac and cheez! (vegan of course! )

  8. Picky Nicky February 27, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I’ve never even had cornbread :O What am I even waiting for? lolll, it looks so yummy and fluffy! So I guess if I had a big bag of cornmeal, I would make cornbread!!

  9. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 27, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    My brother would love that cornbread!! I don’t normally like cornbread, but because it’s one of your recipes, I would probably love it! :D

    It looks like you had a lot of fun with your friends! There’s nothing like spending time with friends!!

    I have NO self control when it comes to fruit either!! But at least it’s natural sugar, right? ;)

    <3

  10. Jess@HealthyExposures February 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Looks like so much fun!! I’m a cornbread fan, too – but I have it nowehere near as often as I should!! Also – YES to the chocolate and mint ;)
    When I think soul food I think baked mac and cheese! Er – maybe that’s just because I have some in the oven right now, and that’s all I can think about :P

  11. BrittFit February 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    MmMmMm this looks delish!!! My favorite soul food is corn on the cob!

  12. Jenn @ Peas and Crayons February 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    awww I miss college potlucks! Those were always my fav! Esp the ones at the multicultural building b/c I could eat vega indian dishes until I turn blue in the face!

    Hooray cornbread! its my fav thing to pair with tomato soup to!!! <3

  13. paijery February 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    I’ve never had conbread before!
    Soul food for me is def some mac n cheese! The white cheddar kind :D

  14. Kristina February 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I’m obsessed with cornbread so I would be making cornbread and cornmuffins and everything else that can be morphed into some sort of cornbready-concotion, haha

  15. leashieloo February 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Soul food is sooo comforting, I love the copious amounts of mashed potato and chicken!

  16. christina February 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    haha, that picture of your partner in crime is so cute. those cookies…oh man. i really love cornbread too. i like the moist kind!

  17. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Loving this recipe. I have cornmeal sitting around and now I know what to use it for! :)

  18. MegSmith March 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Hahaha I could totally join you on the too much fruit wagon…fruit and veggies are all I eat, I love it….I have a 5 lb bag of clementines, two packs of strawberries, blueberries, and 1 package of way too expensive raspberries all in my kitchen right now…most likely will all be gone by the weekend!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WIAW: another wacky wednesday. « Of Cookies & Carrots - April 20, 2011

    […] I don’t have cornflour (though I have a ton of cornmeal, remember?) and I wanted a small snack, not a huge breakfast. So I took the general idea and changed it […]

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