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Home Cooked + Cast Iron Cheddar Cornbread Recipe

It was too much to combine the family love and food love into one post yesterday. Especially given that I whipped up the best corn bread that I ever baked. I am very fortunate to come from a family that enjoys planing and preparing meals. Growing up my dad did most of the cooking (he’s a self-taught amazing cook!) and always planned our menus for the week and posted them on the fridge. I used to love accompanying him on his weekly grocery trip and riding on the edge of the buggy (yes, I call it a buggy and not a shopping cart and yes, I was barefooted sometimes). We sat down for dinner at the table every night as a family. Whether we wanted to be there or not. This was the soundtrack of dinner…

– “No smacking.” 
– “No reading at the table.”
– “Get your elbows off the table.”
– “You can’t get up until you finish your broccoli.”  

I kid, I kid. There was plenty of that but also lots of conversation.

So in my adult life, I get really excited about dinners with my family. I called my dad yesterday as he was driving back from Florida and told him that I had our menu set for the night. This is monumental in itself because I am usually the most indecisive person ever when it comes to menu planning, what restaurant to go to, etc. but there was no questioning what I wanted last night.

Dad’s Big Green Egg grilled barbecue chicken, my dad’s amazing baked beans (seriously, the best I have ever tasted) and my grandmother’s kale. Remember how I told you how hip my grandmother is? Let me give her even more cred. She was cooking kale before mainstream yuppie America knew what kale was. I grew up eating her kale. She’s always preferred it over collards. I contributed cornbread and an apple crisp to the feast.

I made my way around my plate tasting everything and declared that it was the best meal that I’d had in months. I wish I could jump into the screen right now and pull this plate out for dinner again.

I was craving cornbread. I usually go for sweet cornbread with butter and honey but a big bag of shredded cheddar cheese in my grandmother’s fridge inspired me to step outside of the box and try a new recipe. It was a very good decision. This cornbread was perfect. Not the slightest bit dry, spongy, buttery and cheesy. I am a firm believer that a huge part of the success of cornbread is baking it in a cast iron skillet. The crust was perfect and crisp while the inside was soft and perfectly cooked. Here’s the recipe!

Cast Iron Cheddar Cornbread
(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)


1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture and add buttermilk and eggs. Whisk the buttermilk and eggs together and then gently incorporate dry ingredients. Mix in one cup of cheese, reserving the last 1/2 cup.

Place the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and bake in preheated oven until butter is melted. Remove the pan from the oven and tilt to coat bottom and sides.

Pour batter into prepared skillet over the melted butter and top with remaining cheese. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Start checking it at 20 minutes. It’s ready when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cornbread is golden brown. Let it cool in skillet at least 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Yield: 8 wedges

We dug into the apple crisp a couple of hours later. I liked this recipe. It tasted like there was an oatmeal cookie baked on top of the apples.

A la mode. It’s the only way!

Did you grow up with parents who cooked? Did you do family dinners? And the most important question…buggy or shopping cart!? 😉

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Ali September 4, 2012, 8:30 pm

    Bahaha I literally laughed out loud when I read, “riding on the edge of the buggy”. I am not sure I have ever called it a shopping cart and riding on the edge of the buggy was my favorite thing about grocery shopping with my mom. So glad you had a great trip!

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:12 pm

      that’s what happens when you grow up in south georgia! 😉

  • jennyv September 4, 2012, 8:34 pm

    My mom always had home cooked meals prepared for my dad, sister, and me… something I took for granted at the time! I’ve never called it a buggy — I’m from the Midwest and I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard it called anything but a shopping cart.

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:12 pm

      i think it’s a southern thing.

      and yes, it’s easy to take the family meals for granted until you move away and don’t have that luxery anymore!

  • Courtney @ Fitness With A Fork September 4, 2012, 8:46 pm

    Buggy! lol!

  • Mila September 4, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Oh please oh please post your apple crisp recipe!!!! OMG – that looks so good!!!

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit September 4, 2012, 8:56 pm

    definitely always have and probs always will call it a buggy 🙂

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 4, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Cheddar cornbread? I’m game.

  • Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles September 4, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I love any and every chance to use cast iron skillet to cook/bake! Yummy looking corn bread! 🙂

  • Laura September 4, 2012, 9:44 pm

    How can we convince your dad & granny to share their recipes, too? Dying over your meal! What is it about home cooked meals reminiscent about our childhood? I swear my mom’s food tastes a million times better simply Bc she makes them! Also, do you have that crisp recipe? Looks divine

  • Kimberly September 4, 2012, 10:05 pm

    MMM – looks soo good 🙂

  • Paige September 4, 2012, 10:54 pm

    When I was in elementary school we moved from the Midwest to the South. I’ll never forget the day my mom came home from the grocery store and told me that a worker had offered her a “buggy” and that it took her several minutes to realize the individual was referring to a shopping cart! Ha!

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:08 pm

      hahahaha!!!!! that is awesome!

  • Pam September 5, 2012, 7:19 am

    I’m from the south!
    Cornbread in cast iron skillet and kale was a staple at our house
    Family dinners with rules, great food and loving conversations.
    Love your sharing!
    Grandmothers are special!

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:08 pm

      woohoo for buggys! thanks for the kind words!

  • Elisse September 5, 2012, 8:35 am

    We definitely had to eat as a family growing up. No tv, no elbows on the table. And no religion or politics! It used to drive me crazy, but looking back, those family dinners are my favorite childhood memory. I will be doing the same with my family someday.

    The cornbread looks amazing! I need to get a cast iron skillet!


    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:07 pm

      you do need to get a cast iron skillet. i do so much with mine – bake, caramelize onions, grill paninis, toast nuts, etc.

      and yes, the family dinners are such an awesome tradition!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) September 5, 2012, 9:20 am

    I say cart, but kinda wish I said buggy 🙂 PS- I, too, want to reach through the screen with a fork and eat your dinner!

  • Katie September 5, 2012, 9:59 am

    That cornbread looks so good! Well the whole dinner looks so good!

    Growing up, we ate dinner together pretty much every night–no tv, no reading, etc. My dad also made my brother and I tell him 2 things we had learned everyday at school and when we said we hadn’t learned anything (which we almost always did), he would threaten to call our teachers. ha, that always scared us at the time but looking back he obviously never would have.

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:05 pm

      aw, that is sweet! 🙂

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets September 5, 2012, 10:29 am

    Buggy! I swear its a Southern thing.
    My dad always cooked, but both of my parents are really great at cooking. We always ate together, but in the living room. My parents always made sure I ate most of my food though, I couldn’t get up until certain items were gone.

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:05 pm

      it is so a southern thing!

  • Laura September 5, 2012, 11:28 am

    Can you tell us how to make the kale and the beans?!

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:04 pm

      i don’t really have exacty instructions. my grandmother cooks her kale a lot longer than traditional recipes call for until it’s really tender. she seasons it with goya. and my dad’s baked beans are a mystery to me. i can never recreate them and he does not write it down. just a little of this, little of that! 🙂

  • Miriam@Bellaspire September 5, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Shopping cart sounds so formal and awkward. I definitely say buggy! I’m so excited for this recipe because I’ve never been able to find a good corn bread recipe. This one gets Google starred and pinned 😉

    • Miriam@Bellaspire September 5, 2012, 12:25 pm

      Wait, how do you pin your recipes?

      • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:03 pm

        i put the “pin it” button on my shortcut bar and just click it when i’m on a site and there is something i want to pin.

  • Cath September 5, 2012, 3:18 pm

    It’s a trolley! Definitely a trolley.

    Thanks for the cornbread recipe! Been looking around for a good one. We don’t really have it here but I’m keen to try making it.

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:02 pm

      a trolley!? that’s a new one. love it!

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes September 5, 2012, 5:33 pm

    My mom always cooked meals for the family, unless something grilled was on the menu; the grill was my dad’s territory. And I say shopping cart! 🙂

    • Jen September 5, 2012, 6:02 pm

      i think it’s pretty common for the man to be the griller! haha 🙂

  • Joanna September 5, 2012, 6:49 pm

    I call it a buggy too and these Midwesterners look at me like I am nuts. A shout out to your gma and the kale…and for rocking the Toms! Good ideas always come from folks like her 🙂
    P.S. I was a little happy to know Omaha had a Whole Foods first… that doesn’t happen often!

  • Lauren K September 5, 2012, 8:46 pm

    Yum! I want to reach through and eat that as well. Apple crisp is a holiday tradition in our house!

  • Brittany September 6, 2012, 7:30 am

    I actually didn’t grow up in a family that cooked much – maybe once a week. I was always at the dance studio or gym for gymnastics and such. That said, I now have a boyfriend who is a classically trained chef and cooking is much more of a priority 🙂
    I say shopping cart, but my boyfriend (from Ireland) says buggy. I did a double-take the first time I heard it!

  • Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit September 10, 2012, 1:29 pm

    DROOL. That plate full ‘o delish bbq and the cast iron cornbread. O my!! We had family dinners growing up, but somewhere over the years I have developed this aversion to hearing the sound of people eating. I seriously can’t stand it. Maybe family dinners with music playing in the background? 🙂

  • cast iron plate December 5, 2012, 6:13 am

    Now this we called something different..Cast Iron Cheddar Cornbread is seems to be a delicious one.Thanks for sharing its ingredients and making process with us..

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