Friday, July 24, 2015

Traveling for Work

I have a job. I love the people I work with and the products we make.  Not to mention the dress code of t-shirts and jeans when we don't have customer meetings.  Even more incredibly, the office is a three minute walk from my house*.

Some days, though, work does take me a little farther away from home.

Shop Window - Shibuya District - Tokyo | Cheesy Pennies
Dumplings in the making - Tokyo Food Hall |Cheesy Pennies
View from the train - Tokyo | Cheesy Pennies
Making Omelets - Taipei night market | Cheesy Pennies
Camo bunny - Taipei night market | Cheesy Pennies
Steak and scallions on a stick, Taipei night market | Cheesy Pennies
Late night games - night market Taipei | Cheesy Pennies
Shrimp dumpling from Cantonese feast, Taipei | Cheesy Pennies
View from car window, Shenzhen China | Cheesy Pennies
Stoop sitters, Shenzhen China | Cheesy Pennies
Container ship, Hong Kong harbor | Cheesy Pennies
Escalator love, Hong Kong | Cheesy Pennies
Hong Kong skyline | Cheesy Pennies

It's a really, really good job.

I haven't yet figured out how to duplicate the astonishing cheese and custard filled cake from the night market in Taipei, or the perfectly fried chicken with hot chiles from Hong Kong.

Custard and cheese pancakes Taipei night market | Cheesy Pennies
Shanghai style fried chicken with chiles | Cheesy Pennies

But the killer sweet-spicy skillet cornbread with maple butter I had in Eden Prairie, Minnesota?

Skillet Cornbread with Maple Butter | Cheesy Pennies

I could google that one.

Skillet Cornbread | Cheesy Pennies

Skillet Cornbread a la Redstone American Grill

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
The best thing about being a known foodie around the office is that people take you to great places when you hit the road.  I had this spectacular cornbread at Redstone American Grill in Minnesota.  I'm never making another version again. It is beyond tender, full of corn flavor, a little sweet with a tiny bite from the chiles. The cheese just disappears into it and makes every bite that much more delicious.  And don't get me started on that crust with the maple butter melted into it...!


For the cornbread:
  • 3⁄4 c. cornmeal
  • 3⁄4 c. flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 3⁄4 c. sugar
  • 7 ounces creamed corn (half of a 14.5 oz. can)
  • 2 ounces diced mild green chilies, drained well (half of a 4 oz. can)
  • 1⁄2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened, cut into smaller pieces, plus extra for prepping the pan
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese, or a colby-jack blend
  • About 2 tsp. raw turbinado sugar, for finishing
For the maple butter:
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, very soft
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked salt (or regular kosher salt)
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400. Generously rub an 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet with softened butter, and set aside.

Corn meal box | Cheesy Pennies

In a large mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the creamed corn, chiles, eggs and softened butter, mixing well until completely combined and no chunks of butter remain.

Turn batter into prepared cast iron pan. Sprinkle the top with the raw sugar, and pop the pan into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While cornbread is cooking, prepare the maple butter by mixing softened butter, salt and maple syrup together until smooth.

Maple butter in the making | Cheesy Pennies

Allow the cornbread to cool for just a few minutes, then serve warm in the skillet with a scoop of maple butter on top.

Skillet Cornbread II | Cheesy Pennies

* Yes, you read that correctly. A three minute WALK.  In LA. This, and the fact that I always seem to get parking spots when I do drive anywhere, has convinced my husband that I have sold my soul to the Devil.


  1. Wonderful photos, Sharon! I have travel and food envy.

  2. Coming from you that means a lot! It was a whirlwind trip through Asia, my first. The photos were all taken with my phone. The food was beyond amazing, except for the strange fish nugget pizza I had in Shenzhen. That one I could skip!

  3. Love that picture of Hong Kong at night.

  4. A trip to Asia, especially Japan and Hong Kong, is on my 'Someday List,' I really want to wander the night markets and take in all that food. Great photos.

    1. Hopefully 'someday' will be soon for you. I could have stayed much much longer, and cannot wait to go back. Thanks for stopping by!