Corn Bread & Chili

I blame it on the cold, snowy weather, but all I've been in the mood to do this week is hibernate. And bake. And eat warm, hearty meals.

That's why I made corn bread and chili on Sunday night, because few things are as warm and hearty and satisfying in the wintertime.

My chili recipe isn't anything fancy. It's a basic one from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. I like it because it's ready in less than half an hour, which is pretty swell. At the same time, it isn't the sort of wow-worthy chili I'd rant and rave about.

(If you happen to have just such a wow-worthy recipe, I'd be most obliged if you'd share it with me. I'm looking for one good enough to paste in my must-save cookbook.)

The corn bread recipe, on the other hand, is a must-save.

Corn bread is one of those things that you can make from a box, but why would you when the from-scratch version is so easy?

Particularly when the recipe is from a fabulous little cookbook like The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. It's a favorite of My Sister, and when she found a copy at a secondhand store when she visited L-Town, she bought it for me and filled it with little notes about which recipes she likes best.

This is actually the first recipe I've tried from the book, but I can promise you it won't be the last.

All you do is stir together 1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour, 3/4 cup whole-grain corn meal (stone-ground, if possible), 4 tablespoons sugar, 5 teaspoons baking powder (yes, it really calls for 5), and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Beat one egg with 1 cup milk and add it to the flour mixture, along with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Stir, stir, stir.

Spread the batter in a buttered dish. (The recipe recommends a 9-inch pie dish. I opted for a rectangular dish.)

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned around the edges.

Serve with butter and honey. Enjoy!

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