The Task Tamer

My all Knowing Friend, the Internet

Teri 10/24/2016 Comments

The internet: the land of wasting time watching cat videos, playing games, getting more information about any subject than you can read in a lifetime and seeing a glimpse of lifestyles we can never hope to live. Instant data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with my devices. I can sit down with the intention of getting some work done and the next minute I am clicking on the link to a cute pair of boots or the headline that promises to lead me to a story that will be life changing or a link that proclaims it has dog videos, so funny they will leave me on the floor laughing. I find it difficult to stay on task (ironic considering I call myself the Task Tamer). Despite all the distractions of using it, today I want to tell you about my favorite way to use the internet. 

 

One service I offer in my business is helping people to use their Apple devices. I am not an expert, but I do like to know how to use my phone for more than texting or my iPad for more than reading email, playing solitaire or shopping. I often get asked how I know how to use Siri or how to keep apps organized or how to get a software update, etc. My answer is to use the internet. I figure if I have a question regarding my computer, someone else already had the same question and asked the internet for an answer. I type in “how do I connect my iPhone to my printer?” or “why doesn't my email send blind copies on my Mac Book?” or “what is new with the latest iPad update?” and I am instantly linked to multiple answers. I read or watch a video and I practice. Then I am happy to share what I learned with my clients.

 

This also works with cooking! I always encourage people to change recipes to suit their needs, preferences or available ingredients. But what do you do when a recipe calls for a staple, such as an egg, and you are all out? Or if a recipe uses a spice or herb that you don't have? Or you need to know how many tablespoons are in a quarter cup? Ask the internet! Some of my favorite videos are called hacks. There are a lot of creative people who have come up with innovative ideas to various problems and have put them on video available to anyone with a computer. Just google “lifestyle hacks” and you get over 900,000 results. (Not going to lie, I just spent 30 minutes reading through some hacks!) A couple years ago I wrote a blog about kitchen hacks I use regularly. I also wrote about an experiment I did subbing better-for-you ingredients in a recipe for snickerdoodle bread. If you are not used to making ingredient exchanges or swaps, grab your smart phone or tablet and ask the internet. I promise you will find multiple answers to whatever question you ask and then someone will ask you how you got so smart! 

 

This week's recipe uses a couple substitutions that I use frequently. Whenever I have a recipe that calls for buttermilk I make my own by mixing an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, with milk (non-dairy or dairy). If it calls for heavy cream I will stir some yogurt into milk (again, non-dairy or dairy) or use light cream or half-and-half. The original recipe used bacon, I used smoked paprika and smoked olive oil to get the flavor without the meat. The recipe calls for a cast iron pan, but I am sure you can use any oven-safe, non-stick skillet you have. Use my substitutions or find your own (next time I will try applesauce instead of butter in the batter). As always, remember this is an indulgence, an occasional treat, even if you use healthier ingredients!

 

Caramelized Onion Cornbread

original recipe from Elizabeth Karmel

 

Ingredients:

1 large Vidalia onion, carefully sliced into thin rounds and not separated

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 teaspoon smoked olive oil OR regular olive oil

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional

1/2 cup milk (I used cashew milk)

Juice from half a lemon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup corn meal (I use polenta)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup light cream

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup vegetable oil

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil until foaming subsides. Carefully place onion rounds in bottom of pan, keeping them together. Cover bottom of pan but make sure onions stay in contact with pan to ensure they will brown. It will look like large polka dots. Cook until onions start to brown being careful not to move them. Remove from heat and sprinkle onions with smoked paprika.
  3. While onions are cooking, mix milk and lemon juice together in a bowl and allow to sit while you prepare other ingredients (the milk will look curdled, this is what you are aiming for). Also, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter 
  4. In a separate bowl, blend flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a third bowl, whisk cream, eggs and vegetable oil. Add milk and lemon juice mixture. Lastly, whisk in melted butter until the ingredients emulsify (they will look well blended with no separation).
  6. Mix wet ingredients into dry, stirring just enough to combine. Batter will be lumpy. 
  7. If your skillet with the onions has cooled a lot, place back on heat to warm the pan. Carefully pour batter over the onions in hot pan. Place pan in oven in center and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around edge of bread to loosen from pan. Place a serving plate over top of pan and carefully turn over to invert the bread onto the plate. 
  9. Slice and enjoy!

 

 


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