Monthly Archives: September 2010

Voting times two!

Well, well, well. Here we are again. Anyone else have that creepy deja vu thing going on. No? Just me?

Alrighty then.

It’s that time again. Time to vote! I was so honored to be chosen to move on to round two in Project Food Blog, thanks to YOU! You guys rock my socks. For realsies. 😉 Now let’s see if we can go for the three-peat here.

If you liked what you saw with my Dobos Torte, a classic Hungarian dessert, click on over here and give a little votey-poo to your cake-loving bloggy friend.

Ahem. That is, vote for me.

If you do it, I will love you more today than yesterday…but not as much as tomorrow. 😉 Thanks again!


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Filed under Uncategorized

Project Food Blog Challenge 2: The Classics

First off, THANK YOU to all for the votes and the support in the first round of the Project Food Blog challenge!! I am so thrilled to be moving on the next round. It’s been so great discovering new blogs and making new friends. Thank you everyone! Best of luck to all in Round 2!

The challenge this time is recreate an authentic recipe from another culture we are not familiar with. That means by passing the standard Italian and French fare for something outside our comfort zone.

Oh boy.

If I’m to make a recipe from another culture I’m not familiar with, how am I supposed to know for sure it’s authentic?! The Interwebs may tell me a recipe is authentic, but the Interwebs also tell me if I don’t forward an email someone close to me will die! Clearly, the Interwebs cannot be trusted.

After tossing and turning in an insomnia-induced fit earlier this week, it finally hit me. I can’t believe what I read on the internet but I can believe what I read in BOOKS! To the Library, Batman!

Oh, how I love the library. Sitting on the floor in front of the cookbook shelf, I marveled over Mediterranean street food. Drooled over the colors and textures of the cuisines of India, Thailand, China and beyond. I learned about South African cookies and the flavors of Brazil, Peru and Venezuela. How am I supposed to decide?!

And then I saw it. The One. Flipping through an unassuming book featuring recipes from Eastern Europe, I came across the Dobos Torte – a classic Hungarian dessert featuring layers of sponge cake, chocolate buttercream and crunchy caramel. It was the chocolate and caramel that lured me in, but it was the story behind the recipe that sealed the deal.

Invented in Budapest by Hungarian baker József C. Dobos in 1885, the cake quickly became revered all across Europe not only for it’s taste, but also because it kept so well. It was shipped all over the continent during his professional career. Dobos kept the recipe a guarded secret until he retired in 1906 when he presented it to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member could use it how they saw fit.

Perfect. Why? Because if ever there was a recipe that embodied the spirit of the food blogging world, it’s this one. We all have recipes that are near and dear to our hearts, but when we share them in our blogs, we open them up to hosts of others and allow them to add their own interpretation. Tweak this, twist that until a recipe becomes their own. That’s how recipes stand the test of time.

In my research, I found many variations of the Dobos Torte. Expected, given the recipe’s origins. The number of layers varied from 5 to 12. Some featured nuts, some didn’t. Some had a solid sheet of caramel on top, some had broken shards. I combined a couple different sources to make the one that was right for me.

This recipe…is not for the faint of heart. The parts themselves are not difficult to make, but the entire process is time consuming. I found the most difficult part to be trying to make my layers as even as possible. The recipe below makes a enough for six layers of cake. My finished product ended up being seven. I actually lost two of my layers due to operator error (oops) so I made half the recipe a second time around and got three more. Even though the layers are thin, they are light, spongy and not too sweet. The cooked chocolate buttercream is one of the creamiest, dreamiest, richest frostings I’ve ever made. It’s a sin. Really. You’ve been warned. But WOW! And the caramel adds great crunch and texture. This is a special occasion dessert worthy of a special person.

I always find myself humbled and honored to try a recipe from another culture. It makes the world feel a bit a smaller, like we’re all connected through each others food and traditions. I am so glad I got to try this and I hope you will too. Enjoy.

DOBOS TORTE (Based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague as seen at The Daring Kitchen. Topping from

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster sugar

For the sponge cake layers:

1.    Position the racks in the top and center thirds of the oven and heat to 400F.

2.    Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit two cookie sheets. Using the bottom of a 9″ springform pan as a template, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn’t touch the cake batter.)

3.    Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner’s sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes.

4.    In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in;
repeat with the remaining flour.

5.    Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the center and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet. When the first cake is done, put in the second cake and repeat. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers.

6. Using an 8″ springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

For the chocolate buttercream:

1.    Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.

2.   Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes.

3.    Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.

4.    Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.

5.    When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

For the caramel topping:

1.   Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper or silpat. Have an offset spatula or large metal spoon standing by.

2.   In a non stick skillet over medium heat, begin heating the sugar without stirring. Watch closely for slight melting and golden brown around the edge. Then begin stirring. Stir constantly until smooth and a deep amber color, taking care not to burn the sugar.

3.  Pour the sugar onto the lined baking and immediately spread into a thin layer. Allow to cool and harden. Break into small pieces with your hands and sprinkle over frosted torte.

4.  Chill torte until ready to serve.


Filed under cakes, chocolate, Project Food Blog

Ready, Set, VOTE!

Hi Friends! And we’re off! Voting has begun for the 2010 Project Food Blog competition.

And I do mean competition! Wow!! Tons of talented bloggers out there. Even if I don’t make it far in this competition, I can’t wait to see the challenges unfold. Everyone has so much to offer, has such different personalities and talents. It’s really quite amazing! I am in such awe of all of them.

So. Now. You can at least help me get a smidge farther in this competition…by voting for me to advance to the next round! All you have to do is CLICK RIGHT HERE and cast your vote. You do have to be registered with Foodbuzz to vote (click the little Join Foodbuzz link at the top right of the screen) but it’s super easy to sign up AND you’ll be a part of this awesome foodie community. So, really, It’s a win/win (WIN!)

Hope you’ll vote! I wish I could send cookies to everyone who casts a vote for me, but obviously that’s not realistic. What I can do is give you a big virtual hug and a huge THANK YOU in advance, for reading, for voting, for just being your awesome self.

Let’s do this! Boo-ya!

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Filed under Just for Fun, Project Food Blog

Project Food Blog: Ready, Set, Blog!

::tap tap tap::

Um. Hello? Is this thing on?

Okay. Wow. Hey there, Readers. Welcome. I’m a little nervous here, hope it’s not too obvious. Don’t worry, I’m not imagining all of you in your underwear or anything!

::chirp, chirp, chirp::

Crickets. Awesome.

Tough crowd.

So anyway, the reason we’re here. Well, I’m here because I want to WIN the very first EVER Foodbuzz Project Food Blog competition.

Maybe you’re here because you got lost on the way to the proverbial Internet bathroom. Either way, let’s be friends! I have cupcakes! You like cupcakes, don’t you? Sure ya do.

Where to begin. Let’s see… I’m Erin, also known ’round these parts as The Milkman’s Wife. I live in  Heaven. Erm, I mean Iowa. 😉 I’m a (late) twenty-something, and four years married to Eric the Milkman. The two of us have been hanging around this blog here for two of those four.

I gotta say, I’m pretty psyched for this whole Project Food Blog business. I’m thinking it fits right in with my rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, which, judging from some of the stories and recipes I’ve shared in my blog, is the definition of EPICALLY AWESOME! 😉

I once rode a whale across a lake in Wisconsin…to get to the DONUTS on the other side.

I was an early 90s fashion icon. A real trend setter. The puffy gold sleeve and matching slap bracelet? Yeah, that was all me, friends. My must-have accessory? The CHRISTMAS COOKIE!

I had a near-death experience when I was 12. I saw the light. If anyone has come close to actually dying because they got cut from the cheerleading squad, it was me. The PIE brought me back.

I once fell over backwards in my chair in a very crowded college library. In front of a lot of people. When life hands you a lemon like that, make LEMON BARS.

With the help of an extensive, rigorous twelve-step program, I successfully beat a debilitating fear of homemade PIZZA that plagued me for years.

I came. I cooked. I conquered. BEEF BOURGUIGNON. Julia’s, of course. Like there’s any other. If there’s anyone kickin’ butt and takin’ names it’s my girl JC. I think I was officially in with the in-crowd for the first time in my entire life after this meal. And Julia is our Queen Bee.

Clearly, I’ve seen and done a lot of exciting stuff. I mean, you haven’t lived until you’ve fallen over backwards in your chair in the library. I’ve certainly had my ups and had my downs…but I haven’t won Project Food Blog. Yet.

Together we can change that, friends. You and me! Let me see if I can convince you, fair readers, to give me a shot at this.

With my blog, what you see is what you get. What you get is the uncensored, unedited version of me. I’m proud of that. I’m just an ordinary girl that likes to cook and write about it. I’m no expert and I don’t pretend to be. I don’t have expensive tastes or perfect technique. I don’t take life, dinner, or blogging too seriously. I just love good, home cooked food. I like to have fun with it. And I absolutely love sharing it with all of you.

Food and life are so intricately intertwined, there is no possible way to separate them. I serve up delicious, approachable, tested recipes with a side of self-deprecating humor (because if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?), a sprinkling of childhood memories (because I was such a geeky kid, it’s too embarrassing NOT to share), and a slice of what it’s REALLY like living with a grown man who still gets nervous in the presence of vegetables. Every recipe has a story and every story has a recipe. As soon as I find a recipe to go along with the time I fell in a pond on my birthday, I promise you all will be the first to know!  😉

As I began this first challenge, I started thinking about how far I’ve come as a blogger in two plus years. I literally grew this blog from nothing by just throwing caution to the wind and putting myself, flaws in all, out there for the world to see. And by golly, it worked! Believe me, no one is more shocked by this than I am. My readers mean the world to me (props to my peeps!) and I got to wondering what keeps them coming back. I believe the reason they keep coming back is the same reason I deserve to win Project Food Blog.

It’s not because I ooze charm, grace, and charisma. Ha. Certianly not. It’s not because of the gallery-worthy photographs that accompany each post (although I am still working to improve my skills there). It’s not because I’m some kind of foodie idol.

It’s because my readers relate to me, in the kitchen and out. I use strawberry ice cream as a way to distract myself from the weed patch that is our front yard. I make chocolate chip cookies instead of scrubbing shower tile grout. I drop entire bags of lentils on the floor and make huge, embarrassing messes in the kitchen. I screw up. A lot. And from what I can tell so do others. This makes me smile. You have no idea how glad I am to hear I’m not the only one. For real. Thank you.

I’m excited about this journey because I want to share good food and be the blogger others look to and say “HEY! She’s just like me! I do stupid stuff and fall down a lot too! SCORE!”

If you do stupid stuff and fall down a lot, and even if you don’t, I encourage you to vote for me to advance to the next round. Voting begins Monday, September 20th. I’ll be posting again on Monday with more details.

Be sure to tip your bartender! Good night! 🙂


Filed under Just for Fun, Project Food Blog

Hail to the Orange…

My dad says you can’t “quit” your team. Whatever team you cheer for, if you are true fan, it doesn’t matter how bad they do, how much they frustrate you, how much you want to hurl more than just a few choice words at the television set, you will love them always and forever. No matter what. They are in your blood. No. Matter. What.

This is a man who has spent his entire life devoted to a certain Chicago baseball team that shall remain nameless. Let me give you a hint…the last time this team won a World Series was in 1908. Yeah… I think he knows his stuff.

My dad has another team in his blood and it’s one we share. Easy to do, considering we are both very proud alumni of the same school – the University of Illinois! And we BLEED orange and blue!

Okay. I know, I know…so maybe there were a couple seasons here recently where they didn’t win a single conference game. Maybe they’re never ranked. Maybe there’s no national championships in the near future. There may not even be a cut rate bowl game in the immediate future….we haven’t opened Big Ten play yet this year.

Doesn’t matter. Still love them. Still tune in every Saturday without fail. Still wear my orange and blue loud and proud. No matter what!  I just can’t help it!

When I saw that Amy from Sing for Your Supper picked FOOTBALL as the theme for this month’s You Want Pies with That? I just knew I’d have to create a Fighting Illini themed pie. How fun!

When I was in school in Champaign, we always, ALWAYS, saw the game on Dad’s Day. Two Illini side by side (and Mom too! An Illini by association.) in the Horseshoe cheering on our boys in orange and blue. Dad and I always ended up hoarse from cheering.


So maybe we haven’t played the best ball in the last ten years (save for that AMAZING victory over Ohio State three years ago) but I think that is the BEST cheer in college sports. Not that I’m biased or anything. 😉

Anyway, I put on my UIUC-issued thinking cap and got to brainstorming my football themed pie. Did I want it to be inspired by the school, the teams colors or a football experience I had there? Could I turn the night the fans turned on the Michigan marching band after a terrible call, grabbed a tuba and tried to drag it into the stands into a pie? Hmmm. That sounds like something… Or did I want it to be tailgate friendly, crowd friendly, or college kid friendly?

We don’t live in Illinois anymore and haven’t been back to campus is over two years (BOO!) so it’s not like we’re tailgating every weekend. And since I feel like a tiny, homesick Orange and Blue fish in a giant Black and Gold sea and was once booed at while wearing my Illini hoodie in the Wal-Mart by a guy in Hawkeyes cap, it’s not like we have throngs of fellow fans coming over to watch the game. 😦

Man, it’s getting whiny and sad in here. I know what will help…PIE!

I decided to go with a pie inspired by the colors that always make me smile and remember good times…ORANGE AND BLUE. Nowhere are the colors orange and blue more prominent on t-shirts, in wigs and in crazy body paint than in Block I – the student cheering section at Illini home football games.

Here’s a couple collegiate fun facts for you – did you know, started in 1910, Block I is one of the oldest student cheering sections in the US? Did you know the practice of holding up colored cards to make words or pictures in the stands was done for the first time in 1926 by…you guessed it, Block I! Block I is all about camaraderie and tradition and so is the University. That’s why, my daddy and me (and my husband too), we are pretty darn proud to be able to say we’re a part of it.

So without further ado, I present my Block I Pie! A graham cracker crust filled with a creamy, no-bake ORANGE filling and topped with sweet BLUEberries. And orange and blue treat fit for any Illini fan. 🙂 It’s easy to make and tastes amazing. I like the addition of a bit of cinnamon to my graham cracker crusts for an additional level of flavor, but feel free to leave it out if you’re not a fan. The filling tastes like a dreamsicle and the blueberries are the perfect accompaniment. A real WINNING combo!

A note on the recipe below. I found a no-bake cheesecake filling that sounded promising and could easily adapt into an orange flavor. Then I tried to halve it. Considering I have a degree from such a fine institution and everything, you would think I’d be handle that.

Well. Apparently not. Perhaps I skipped one too many math lectures in my time because I screwed up the proportions and ended up with filling that was a tad soft. I think I added too much juice. It firmed up just fine after a trip the freezer (and was subsequently fine stored in the fridge), but I’m going to share the full recipe below so that you don’t end up with mushy filling too. I’ll let you halve it on your own. 😉 Put those degrees to work, people!

Note that the full recipe will yield TWO 10-inch tarts or ONE 9-inch springform pan.


BLOCK I PIE (Recipe inspired by: Martha Stewart)

For the crust:

  • 2 sleeves honey graham crackers (about 18 full crackers), crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (more if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cracker crumbs, cinnamon, sugar in a small bowl. Add butter and stir until crumbs are moistened. Pour crumbs into your pan of choice and firmly press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and set, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

For the orange cheesecake filling:

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the zest, orange juice and vanilla.
Pour the filling into prepared crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
For the blueberry topping:
*Note: if making the full recipe in two tart pans, I would double this if you want to spread it on top of each one. If you’re just spooning it over the top of each slice, this is probably enough. This will also be enough topping to spread on 1 9-inch pie. Adjust to meet your needs! 🙂
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the berries reduce and thicken, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving or spreading on top of chilled pie. Garnish finished pie with whipped cream, orange zest and orange slices.


One Year Ago: Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles with Grilled Eggplant
Two Years Ago: Spaghetti with Salami and Peppers


Filed under desserts, fruit

Whatchya Makin’?

By the time Eric gets home from work, I’m usually already up to my elbows in dinner. I like to use the hour between when I get home and start making it until he gets home to sneak a vegetable or two into the meal. 😉 Quick! Pulverize this pepper, spinach, carrot and zucchini to a pulp and dump it into the chili before he gets here…

Oh no, there’s the garage door going up, his truck’s in the driveway! Dispose of the evidence! Throw the food processor bowl out the window! Hurry, hurry! 😉

He strolls in, says hey in the worn-out-after-a-hard day way he has about him. Looks through the mail BEFORE putting his laptop bag down. Empties his pockets on the edge of kitchen table. Tosses his button down shirt over the back of a chair. After a hug and a kiss hello, he peers over my shoulder into my various pots and pans and asks innocently “Whatchya makin’?”

If it’s something I know he enjoys, I come right out and say it. “It’s a steak with a side of bacon covered in nacho cheese sauce, babe! Your favorite!”* 😉

*Note: Ahem, I don’t actually feed my husband a steak with a side of bacon covered in nacho cheese sauce, but you get the idea. He’d probably worship me if I did though!

If it’s something new and I’m not sure what kind of reception it’ll get, I whip out my stealthy dinner information tactics:

1. Tell him what it is without really telling him. “It’s chicken. In a brown sauce. With cashews. Over rice.” That’s Cashew Chicken to you and me.
2. Change, leave out, or whisper important information and hope he doesn’t ask anymore questions. “It’s like chicken parmesan,” I tell him innocently. “Except with eggplant.” Hey, not my fault he’s halfway to the recliner by the time I get to the eggplant part and misses my semi-audible whisper. 😉

Seriously though, I’m just teasing. He’s very good at eating what I put in front of him, even if he may be a bit nervous at first. He gobbles up the cashew chicken and really enjoyed my recent venture into baked eggplant parmesan earlier this week. I just have to give him a hard time.

It’s what I do. He doesn’t call me the Pest for no reason. I own it, man!

I was unsure how to describe this meal to my husband when he walked in. It’s beef, that’s always going to be a thumbs up for him, but I wasn’t sure what he’d think of combination of spices.

What’s a girl to do?

Think fast!

Me: “Um. It’s like a meat pie…thing. With chili meat except not. And cornbread on top.”
Him, nodding in approval: “A meat pie, huh? Sounds good.”
Me: “Erm. Yeah. Except there’s no, like, crust or anything. It’s like a cobbler….a meat cobbler.”
Him, completely straight faced: “Oh, sure. A mobbler. Sounds great.”
Me, in hysterics at this point: “A WHAT?!”
Him: “A mobbler. A meat cobbler. Get it?!”

Ah, such classic Eric humor. He’s so good at breaking the ice. That’s when I knew all was right with the world. We sat down to this delightful Spiced Beef and Cornbread Cobbler and enjoyed every last bite. It’s easy but unexpected, warm and flavorful but quick to put together. I will be making this again as we start bracing for cooler weather ahead.

When you present this dish, you’d expect to find some sort of spicy chili concoction under the delightful, golden topping. It is, to a certain extent, but instead of the usual chili powder and cumin, you’ll find a warm, spicy mix of cinnamon, ginger and cayenne. It’s really very delicious. I used fire roasted tomatoes for an added flavor punch and tossed in some chopped carrots. It’s pretty customizable too, which is always a plus. Sub ground turkey or chicken for the beef or toss in some extras to bulk it up. Corn, peas or beans would all be great additions.

SPICED BEEF CORNBREAD COBBLER (Recipe adapted from: Gourmet, December 2009 via


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (cut in half for less spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) – I subbed pepper jack because that’s what I had on hand.


  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 9 1/2-inch (6-cup capacity) pie plate.
  2. Cook onion in 2 tablespoons oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking up large lumps, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and briskly simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. While beef simmers, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, egg, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl, then stir into cornmeal mixture until just combined. Fold in 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Spoon cooked spiced beef into pie plate with a slotted spoon, reserving juices in skillet. Skim off and discard fat from juices if desired, then pour juices over beef in pie plate.
  5. Spoon 4 mounds of corn bread batter over beef, then sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese over batter. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of corn bread comes out clean, 15 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.


One Year Ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Two Years Ago: Bacon Cheeseburger Calzones with Spicy Cajun Ketchup


Filed under beef