Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'll Get You, Magic Noodles, and Your Little Sprouts, Too!

Our return to the Cookbook Challenge brought me back to that handwritten legal pad that had been haunting me for a few months......Aunt Bonnie's treasured recipes. I was a master of avoidance when it came to her noodles in particular. It seemed almost sacrilegious to even attempt them; as if only Bonnie should be making them. Her recipe seemed easy but also a tad vague, possibly deliberately so. I don't actually think that's the case, though. I believe she's just been making them for so long that the noodles come second nature to her and that she really hasn't had to think about the logistics for a long time. Attempt them we did and in the end, I decided there is even more a reason I call them Aunt Bonnie's Magic Noodles.

The noodles took a fair amount of preparation and I followed her recipe to the letter. The final result yielded maximum flavor but the texture stilled seemed a tad al dente and the noodles were cut a bit too thick. We are thinking the noodles just need extra TLC....a long and slow simmer and maybe a little sweet-talk. We also decided that once we perfected the noodles (and we will get you, my pretties), we might kick it up a bit with a hit of white pepper.

We also made Vidalia Onion Cornbread from Paula Deen's cookbook Paula Deen and Friends. The sharp cheddar cheese and fresh dill made this cornbread a keeper.....delicious. Vidalia onions were not available but the divine Ms. Deen says any sweet onion will do. It was a bit underdone when we finished....we thought the outside was getting too brown, only to discover the inside was a little undercooked. This presented no problem for K and I; we actually preferred it that way. I would re-examine it were we to make it for anyone else, however.

We completed the meal with roasted brussel sprouts. We used the Eating Well: Healthy in a Hurry cookbook as a guide. We used one small container (around 12 sprouts) and cut each in half. We placed them on a small baking sheet in one single layer. Topped them off with a tablespoon of olive oil, a smattering of lemon pepper and a smooch sea salt. Placed them into a preheated 500-degree oven and roasted them for 20 minutes, turning them once.

Best brussel sprouts I've ever had.

The recipe for the cornbread is at the end of the post. These will count as Cookbook Challenge #11 and #12. I'll hold off on posting Bonnie's recipe, as there are a couple of missing details and we want to perfect them first. When we perfect them; IF we do, I'll post the recipe. I still believe Aunt Bonnie weaves a wee bit of magic in those noodles and that's one part of the recipe I won't be able to duplicate.

Vidalia Onion Cornbread (Paula Deen and Friends Cookbook)


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cornbread/muffin mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until tender, but not browned, for about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the muffin mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the salt, and dill weed. Stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.


Lisa Mandina said...

Those noodles look yummy! The cornbread sounds pretty good, other than the onions. I might try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Kudos for trying Bonnie's noodles. You are probably spot on--likely some kinda magic going on with the preparation.

As a fan of Brussel Sprouts, I will definitely try this version. We need to figure out a way to grill them. I will work on that.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Keith.


Anonymous said...

Holy moley. That looked amazing. Some comfort food on a cold day.

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