Cornbread You Won't Believe

I recently watched an episode of Giada at Home where Giada made a cornbread that I knew I could improve on. So here’s what I did – I experimented with different ingredients and I came up with a most delicious cornbread you can serve with soup or stew or anything else.

Becky’s Deluxe Cornbread

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix (see I told you this was good and easy, plus Jiffy is only $.50 here in Rochester)

½ c. milk

3 tbs. butter, melted

2 eggs

10 large pimento stuffed olives, coarsely chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced

½ red pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray – Giada used an 8x8 but that was too small for me after adding all the additional ingredients, so I used my 11x8 dish which worked perfectly.

In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together. The batter will be very thick and lumpy but you can spread it easily in the pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It will be crunchy on the outside and wonderful and soft on the inside. Give this a try. You will love it.


Baby Andy is Christened

Last weekend, our family traveled to Boston for the baptism of little Andrew Joseph Gerlach. Andy, our son and his wife Stephanie and their adorable baby, Jackson came in from Los Angeles as well as all of Jimmy’s family from Philadelphia.

Adrienne and Jim asked “big” Andy to be the baby’s godfather and Beth, Jimmy’s sister to be godmother. The baby was christened at a 150 year old church in Boston’s Back Bay area that had recently been restored to its original grandeur. Of course I figured they mounted a capital fund raising campaign to restore it once they knew little Andy was born, but I found out the plan had been in the works for the last few years. Apparently they knew my family would need it soon enough. The church is stunningly beautiful and the pastor amazing.

Adrienne and Jim requested the baptism be part of the mass, so our baby (and another gorgeous baby, Maya) were both anointed with oil at the start of the mass, then the official christening took place midway through. We all walked down the center aisle and watched as Andy held little Andy as the priest poured water on his sweet bald head. He wore his daddy’s christening dress, complete with eyelet coat and satin shoes with crosses. Both babies were so wonderful and at the end of the ceremony, the priest held both of them high into the air and welcomed them into the Catholic community. Seriously, there were way more people crying than just me and Jimmy’s mom. At least I think they were – they may have been crying since the ceremony lasted so long!

Afterwards, Jim and Adie hosted a wonderful brunch. We enjoyed visiting with all their family and friends and toasted the new baby. Baby Andy never stopped smiling (or drooling) and it was a day to remember. It is very rare for Mike and me to see both our children and now their children together so it was doubly special for us.