dinner pie fit for a crowd

Today I had the most amazing ice cream.  Ever.  And I forgot my camera.  Shame on me!

Despite leaving my camera, I can still tell you a little about it.  It’s called Jeni’s Ice Cream, and was started in Columbus, OH.  The business has expanded to almost 1 dozen locations, all around Ohio.  You can order it online, and I also found it at our local Whole Foods.  Jeni has created some of the most creative ice cream flavors I’ve ever seen.  The stores offer signature + seasonal flavors.  You must check out the flavor list!!  I had about 6 samples [including a chocolate cinnamon cayenne pepper!] and was blown away by them all.  I decided on salted caramel and Ugandan vanilla bean.  I’m a sucker for vanilla ice cream. :)

This was the creamiest, milkiest + most perfectly sweetened ice cream I’ve ever eaten.  The milk is fresh from Snowville Creamery, in Ohio.  The quality of this ice cream surpasses all others!  If there is a location in your area, you must check it out!!  I’m hoping to get there one more time before I leave.  I’ll bring my camera next time, as I love promoting outstanding small businesses!

In other delicious news….

I didn’t forget to take photos of Mama Pea’s Tamale Pie, that I made last week.  I figured this would be a great recipe to stock the fridge with for Chris, while I was away.  I think I ate 1/3 of it before leaving.  In 1 day.

It just has that delicious, comforting, can’t-stop-eating, kind of thing going on.

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It’s like a Mexican taco filling with cornbread on top.  I mean, what could be bad about that??


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Oh, and there’s cheese on top too.  Are you making a shopping list yet?

With prep and initial cooking, it took about 20min to throw in the oven and then only 20min of baking. 

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I made only a few changes + additions for what I had on hand and was trying to use up!

The recipe calls for cornmeal + whole wheat pastry flour.  I needed to make it GF, so I used a mix of corn flour + masa harina for the flour, and the hot cereal instead of some of the cornmeal.  I thought the hot cereal mix would add a little texture, similar to cornmeal.  It worked! 

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At the end of baking, I broiled the cheese, because what is better than melted slightly crusty cheese?  Okay, salted caramel ice cream, might be better. ;)

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I’m a sucker for cornbread and loved it as a topping for this meal.  Definitely a crowd pleaser!

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Head over to Mama Pea’s site for the full recipe + details

my changes/additions:

  • 25oz can black beans instead of 15oz pinto [I figured I would just use the whole large can]
  • used 1, 15oz can organic corn + used added what was left after making the cornbread to the filling mixture – delish!
  • added chopped red + yellow peppers [was trying to use them up!]
  • added 1/2t cumin
  • used 1/3c Mighty Hot Tasty Cereal + 1/3c corn flour + 1/3c masa harina

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I made this the day I was leaving and ate it all day long!  Even right out of the fridge.  I almost packed it in tupperware to take on the plane, but it would have had to be out of the fridge for a little too long. :)

My craving was satisfied again tonight, when I made it for my family!

More cheesy goodness!

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This time I made the cornbread mixture with 2/3c corn flour + 1/3 corn grits.  It’s what was available in the bulk bins at WF and worked perfectly!!  I also used the roasted frozen corn, Mama Pea mentioned finding at Trader Joe’s.  I didn’t add any peppers or cumin but did add about 1/4-1/2t smoked paprika, which gave slight smoky flavor. 

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The family loved it!!  It was everyone’s first time eating tempeh, and no complaints.  It’s pretty well hidden in this recipe, but add delicious texture + tons of protein.

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Can’t wait for leftovers!!  Or maybe a midnight snack….

Relaxation time!