New book: “The Recipe Girl Cookbook: Dishing Out the Best Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day” by Lori Lange (336 pages, $24.99, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).
About the book: Lange is the creator of RecipeGirl.com, where you’ll find more than 2,600 recipes and menus for special occasions. Chapters include Stocking Your Kitchen: The Basics; Hungry Mornings; Let’s Do Lunch; Happy Hour; Salads & Sides; Dinner at 6; Sweet Treats; Let’s Party; and 20 Themed Menus for Entertaining.
Recipes indicate whether they are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or a web favorite
I want to try Turkey Sliders with Bacon, Avocado and Homemade Barbecue Sauce (Page 98); Blueberry-pineapple Tequila Punch (P. 118); Chilled Strawberry and Coconut Milk Soup Shooters (P. 145); and Cherry Limeade Pound Cake (P. 278). Cooking and entertaining will definitely be more fun with this cookbook in my collection.
In her own words: “I like to think of The Recipe Girl Cookbook as a cookbook for home cooks — at all levels — who might like to entertain once in a while.” — Lange
What we made:
CORN DOG MINI MUFFINS (P. 150)
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
5 hot dogs, diced
Ketchup, mustard, sour cream and/or honey mustard for dipping, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan generously with shortening or nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar baking powder, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk, butter and egg. Stir in the dry ingredients and cheese just until combined. Spoon a generous tablespoonful of batter into each muffin tin. Add a few pieces of hot dog to each muffin cup.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the muffins cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing (see tip). Serve warm with desired dipping sauces.
Tip: For easy removal from the pan, slide a sharp knife between the outsides of the muffins and the pan, working the knife around the pan, then tip the pan upside down onto a large cutting board and urge the muffins out of the pan using the knife to tap the bottoms of the muffin tins. They should slide right out.
Change it up: Use your favorite cornbread mix in place of homemade. Follow the instructions on the box, add in 1 cup of cheddar cheese and mix in chopped hot dogs too. If your favorite cornbread mix doesn’t have a sweet element to it, add in 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
Our assessment: “These are fun,” said one of my taste-testers. Another said, “They’d go great with beer.” A third added: “My kids will love them.” People liked the sweet-salty combination. And if you use a cornbread mix, be sure to add sugar if it doesn’t have much already in it. And here’s the downside: One taste-tester was woefully disappointed in the muffin’s texture: She expected light and fluffy, and that’s not what she got; instead, the grease from the pieces of hot dog make it a bit heavy and reminiscent of a real corndog. But overall, my taste-testers really liked this recipe. Besides making the muffins, I also tried the batter in a loaf pan, which worked out just fine.
SEVERAL RECIPES IN TODAY’S LIFE
Every Wednesday in Life, you will find recipes and cooking advice to inspire every at-home cook. Inside today’s life section, we offer you at least five recipes to try at home.