Monday, February 16, 2015

A Corny, Mushy St. Valentine's Day

We celebrated St. Valentine's Day over the weekend. The hubby and I had a nice date night and Sam enjoyed his school party. For Valentine's morning I decided to make a special breakfast for the family that included a blast from my past I've been making a lot lately, corn meal mush.

Sure fancy people may call it "polenta," but to me it will always just be delicious mush. Cue my dad yelling at the food network whenever they talk about polenta, "Oooo, polenta. It's corn meal mush!"

Corn meal mush can be eaten as a hot cereal like oatmeal, topped with a little honey and milk, but you can also chill it, slice it or cut it into shapes, and then fry it up in a pan. This is known as fried mush.

The ratio for corn meal mush is 1-1-2. One part corn meal and one part water added to two parts boiling salted water. I usually use 1/4 to 1/3 a cup cornmeal when making a bowl for myself. Since I was cooking for more on Valentine's day I upped it to a full cup.

Fried Cornmeal Mush


In a bowl, add 1 part corn meal to 1 part water. Bring 2 parts salted water to a boil. Add in corn meal/water mixture and stir together. Lower the heat and put the lid on the pot and cook for a few minutes until thick.

Pour and spread the mush into a baking dish and then let it chill in the fridge until it gets firm. You can then cut into squares or use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes, (like hearts for Valentine's day!).

Put oil or butter in pan and cook the mush until it is golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Serve with honey or syrup and other breakfast items like eggs and sausage. I hear that this also works well in savory applications, but I've never tried it that way.

As for the preschool Valentines, since Sam goes to a Catholic preschool I like to incorporate the saints and the faith into his school treats when I can.  I included a poem about the trinity when passing out candy corn for Halloween, and we made these saint themed valentines last year.

We had some fun selecting a maze toy made out of chocolate, since there are only 6 kids in his class and we could splurge on something a little bigger then normal. Then all we did was glue the Happy Saints St. Valentine prayer card to the inside, and there you have it, a super simple way to help remind everyone that Valentine's day is a saint's feast day and the importance of showing others God's love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Girly...Hip Hop Cake!

As some of you may know, my dance studio hosts birthday parties for children who love to dance, and I'm the in-house baker who provides the cakes. Most of the time the birthday girl wants a ballet cake. Feel free to take a look at girly ballet cakes one, two, and three!

The ballet cakes always turn out so pretty, but this past week week I got to mix up a little bit with a hip hop cake. I just love the way it turned out! I wish I could take credit for the great colors, but that was the birthday girl's request.

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