Southern Fried Hoecakes

I like to call myself a Southern girl that just happened to be born in the city.  Since I was a child I’ve been making annual trips down to Mississippi to visit family and learn the history of my descendants that lived there.  Don’t tell anyone but I can fake a country accent better than those folks on the show Nashville, lol!  But seriously I love all things southern and these hoecakes make me feel like a country girl.

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while you know that I love my family in the south and all the food that comes with it!  Hoecakes are one of those foods that instantly makes me think of being in the Mississippi country surrounded by family and love.  My cousin Sherry actually made these for Thansgiving one year and I’ve been addicted ever since.

Never had hoecakes? It’s basically taking cornmeal batter and frying them in butter similar to how you would make pancakes.  And in case you were wondering where the name came from check this article on Wikipedia.  They can be a side item for dinner or served for breakfast with fresh fruit and honey.  Either way I hope y’all enjoy.  What’s your favorite southern dish?


1 cup AP flour

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup butter, melted

Oil or butter for frying


In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt.  In a small bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, water and melted butter.   Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, by full tablespoons, into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. Remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.


Recipe adapted from The Food Network


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Banana Nut Bread

So I’m sitting here in my kitchen enjoying a warm slice of banana nut bread and french vanilla coffee.  It’s one of my favorite things about the Fall…pulling a warm loaf of bread out of the oven and enjoying it while relaxing.  I normally am not a big fan of bananas but the combination of spices and warm bread just make my taste buds tingle.

The key to making a delicious banana nut bread is using over ripe bananas.  I would advise buying them a week in advance and putting them in a paper bag.  There is a gas they release that will help them ripen faster.  This also works if you have other fruit like peaches that you want to ripen faster.  Place the fruit in a bag with some bananas and in a couple of days viola, ripened fruit!


1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf with butter and sprinkle lightly with flour.

In a standing mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium speed (I use the 4 speed on Kitchen Aid mixers) until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until well blended. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don’t worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a cake dome. The banana bread is best if served the next day.


Recipe adapted from The Food Network


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Late Night Baking Party – Cheddar Chive Cornbread

The first Late Night Baking Party on Nina’s Cooking Journey was a huge success!  There were submissions from several bloggers and NCJ Peeps and I cannot thank you all enough for joining me in this weird experiment of mine.  All the recipes looked amazing and I can’t wait to try some of them myself.  I even Ustreamed during the party and got to know some of you all a little better and hopefully you got to know me.  I will definitely be hosting another party so if you have any ideas for a fun virtual party please let me know!  I wasn’t able to share all of the posts but here are some of the recipes from some of my favorite blogger friends.  Feel free to check out a few more posts from NCJ Peeps on my Facebook Page.  A big thanks to you all…you rock!


Banana Pumpkin Nutella Bread from Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles


Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce from Noshing with the Nolads


Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes from Tortillas and Honey


Maple Bacon Busciuts from Dixie Chik Cooks


Chickpea Chocolate Cupcakes from I Breath…I’m Hungry

Apple Spice Cake from Cooking with Elise


And finally, my contribution Cheddar Chive Cornbread.  My mom makes THE BEST cornbread from scratch and usually doesn’t deviate from her recipe.  So I was extremely surprised when she put this on the dinner table one night.  I thought it would be perfect with the Spicy Chili I made the other week and I was right.  It adds a Tex-Mex feel to a traditional southern dish.


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 3 tbsp yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1¼ cups buttermilk
¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks), melted over low heat and set aside
½ cup sliced scallions (about ¼ inch wide)
4 oz. sharp yellow cheddar, shredded (use more if you prefer)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Using a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.   Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, whisking well to combine.  Add melted butter to the batter, stirring slowly to incorporate.  Finish by folding in chopped scallions and cheddar cheese.

Grease a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and then pour in batter.  Bake until edges are a little crispy and top is golden brown, about 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and place skillet on a cooling rack.  The cast iron retains its heat and will continue to cook the cornbread.  Let cool a bit before serving to allow the cornbread to set.

Recipe adapted from Garden & Gun

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Cheese Biscuits

Ok, I’ll admit it…I’m a Hunger Games nerd and I love any and everything related to this awesome movie.  I read all 3 books in less than a week and when the movie came out I camped out in the lobby of the theatre for 3 hours just so we could be first in line to see the premiere.  Hey don’t judge me…I know I’m a little obsessed but hey I could be addicted to worse things right??  Just when I was coming off my HG high and life was returning to normal I saw an article about “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook” I literally jumped out of my seat!  Okay maybe not literally but you get my point.

For those who’ve read the books, and not just seen the movie, you all know that food plays a HUGE role in the story line.  I think the author was trying to highlight some of the food/hunger plights going on in the world today.  I could go deeper but instead I’ll point you to this interesting analysis:

These biscuits were all I could have hoped for.  Warm right out of the oven they were fluffy and melted in my mouth.  If you like the biscuits from Red Lobster these are pretty darn close.  Emily does a great job at transforming the most popular recipes, like lambs stew with plums, and making them into actual recipes that taste good.  It’s like seeing fiction come to life right before your eyes.  I can’t wait to make some more recipes from this cookbook!



2 cups Bisquick

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup butter

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 tsp kosher salt



Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet with butter.  Combine Bisquick, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, sugar, milk and cheese until well blended.  Use ice cream scoop or large spoon and drop batter by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.

Combine butter 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning and kosher salt in small bowl. Microwave about 30 seconds until butter is melted.  Stir butter and seasonings and brush tops of biscuits with butter mixture.


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