Cast Iron Cornbread

Cornbread is one of our go-to winter side dishes. After experimenting with different ways to prepare cornbread we have settled that the best way to cook cornbread is in a cast iron pan. Pouring creamy batter into a scorching hot pan gives it an instant crust and a chewy center which screams “dunk me in chili!” There are plenty of great cornbread mixes out there, but if you’re looking to put some extra love into it, make it from scratch. Minus the buttermilk and the cornmeal, you probably already have most of these ingredients in your pantry. We love serving it hot out of the oven with homemade honey butter.

Cast Iron Cornbread

  • Servings: 10
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Our favorite homemade cornbread recipe that puts a box mix to shame.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbs melted butter, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the cast iron pan in the oven while you make the batter.
  2. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a second large bowl. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven place the butter in the pan. Put it back in the oven for a minute or two, or until it is completely melted. Add the batter to the pan and cook the cornbread for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  4. Carefully remove the cornbread from the oven and serve it hot with butter.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

You might question “needing” a bread item as you plan your Thanksgiving menu this year, particularly with all of the other side dishes that will likely grace your table. At Tuck & Tate, we think the more the merrier! We will gladly cook extra if it means there will be leftovers later on. Over the years we have served croissants and traditional Parker House rolls, but this year we wanted to try something different and do a pumpkin cornbread muffin. This is a great alternative for people who like cornbread but aren’t including it in their stuffing recipe. We love these muffins all throughout the fall because they can easily swing from sweet to savory depending on what we serve them with. For Thanksgiving we are serving them with whipped cinnamon honey butter, but the muffins are great with chili and the leftovers make amazing cornbread croutons for a kale caesar salad.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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The perfect sweet & savory muffin to accompany your Thanksgiving menu, your next barbecue, or chili on a cold night.

Ingredients For The Muffins

– 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/4 cup + 2 tbs brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
– 3/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1 tbs baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 4 tbs butter, melted

Ingredients For The Cinnamon Honey Butter

– 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– sea salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk the pumpkin, buttermilk, honey, brown sugar, and 2 eggs together in a large mixing bowl until they are well combined.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Gently mix to combine, being careful to not over mix, as the muffins will be tough if you do.
  4. Add the melted butter to the cornbread mix and gently mix to combine.
  5. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour a just heaping 1/3 cup of batter into each of the 12 muffin cups. Bake the muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.
  6. While the muffins are in the oven, make the honey butter. Use a hand mixer to whip the butter, honey, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt. Serve the muffins hot with the butter at room temperature.
  7. (If you bake the muffins in advance, reheat them at 300 degrees, covered, in the oven for about 7-10 minutes before serving.)


Nana’s Challah

There is something very zen and therapy-like about baking bread. Watching the ingredients bubble, patiently waiting for the dough to rise, the kneading and braiding…. we love it all. We don’t bake very often, but every time we do, it is such an enjoyable experience. For our readers that don’t know, challah is an egg bread. It’s a fluffy and rich dough that is traditionally braided before baking. Overachievers can braid it in a multitude of ways, but an old fashioned three strand braid is a great introduction to making challah. 

Recipes like this are great to have in your back pocket. You can gift a loaf has a hostess gift over the holidays, make stupidly delicious sandwiches with it, and turn it into decadent french toast. We wanted to include it in our Hanukkah menu for anyone who celebrates and needs a go-to recipe, particularly for nights when Hanukkah falls on Shabbat. 

Makes: 1 very large challah or 2 medium challahs 
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Inactive Time: 3 hours   Total Time: 4 hours 


  • 3 packages dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water 
  • 1 tbs sugar 
  • 8 cups  flour 
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 tbs coarse salt 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 ½ cups luke warm water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp water 
  • Garnish poppy or sesame seeds 


  1. Combine ½ cup warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small cup.
  2. Make a well into center of flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture. Let stand until bubbly. Add eggs, oil, salt, and sugar into yeast. Mix together with a bread hook, gradually adding water.
  3. Knead until smooth and satiny. Let rise one hour covered in a greased bowl in a warm place (warmed but off oven) covered with a towel or cheesecloth. 
  4. Knead again and let rise until it’s doubled in size (approximately one hour). 
  5. Punch down and divide into four equal portions. 
  6. Take three sections and roll each piece into a rope. Braid the three to create a thick braid. 
  7. Take the fourth section and divide into three equal portions. Roll each into a rope and braid, creating a 1/3-size braid of the first. 
  8. Place little braid on top of the big braid.
  9. Place on a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let double again (about an hour). 
  10. Combine beaten egg with water and egg wash challah twice. 
  11. Sprinkle with seeds and bake at 350 degrees for 15 min, then 325 for 20 min. 
  12. To see if it is done, tap on the bottom. It will sound hollow. 

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

There is nothing better on Thanksgiving than soaking up gravy with fresh, warm biscuits. We love this recipe because it is so simple and quick to put together. They give your house that fresh-baked smell that instantly welcomes guests into your home. You can make these biscuits a few days in advance of Thanksgiving to take some of the load off your plate and can reheat them in the oven Thanksgiving day. They also make great leftovers (stay tuned for a post-Thanksgiving recipe).  

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits 
Makes: 16 biscuits
Prep Time: 10 minutes         Total Time:  25 minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 and 1/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon juice in a bowl.
  3. Use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the dry ingredients. This helps to evenly breakup the butter into the dough and is most easily done if the butter is cold. If you don’t have a cheese grater, you can cut the butter into small, pea sized squares.
  4. Add the milk and egg to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine the dough. You want to try to keep the butter in small pieces so don’t go overkill on mixing the dough. Just mix it until combined.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter or, if you don’t have one, use a drinking glass. 
  6. Place the biscuits on a sprayed baking sheet or silpat cooking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. The biscuits will be flaky, warm and ready to serve immediately. If you are reheating for Thanksgiving dinner, brush with a little bit of melted butter. Reheat at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. 

Homemade Pretzel Bites

Tate’s dad loves a good football Sunday, and as a result, a number of amazing game day appetizers have been created over the years in the spirit of feeding the inhabitants of the man cave. He is famous for his homemade pretzels, but the epitome of the Tuck & Tate dream team came when we mixed his homemade pretzels with our kale and artichoke dip. This, people, is what appetizer dreams are made of. 

This pretzel recipe originally came from Pinch of Yum– a food blog that we have obsessed over for a few years now. We tweaked her recipe to fit our football needs and present you with this crossover version below. 

Homemade Pretzels
Makes: 24 pretzel bites 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Inactive Time: 60 Minutes   Total Time: 95 minutes 


  • 1 package quick rising yeast
  • 3 tbs brown sugar 
  • 1 cup whole milk (warmed)
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups warm water 
  • 1 egg, whisked in a small bowl 
  • Everything Bagel seasoning 
  • Kale and Artichoke Dip (or your favorite dip to bake in the center) 


  1. Put the warm milk, sugar, and yeast in a standing mixer bowl. Let the mixture set for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. 
  2. Add the melted butter, salt, and flour to the yeast mixture. Use a dough hook to blend the mix until a dough forms. Most of the dough should be balled together- this will take approximately 3 minutes on low speed.  
  3. Sprinkle extra flour onto a flat countertop. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead with your hands a few times- until it is a ball. Clean the original mixing bowl, grease it with cooking spray, and put the dough into the clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 60 minutes. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
  5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 24 balls (we divide the dough in half, divide each half into 3, and each 3 into 4 to get this without our brains exploding). 
  6. Combine the baking soda and 4 cups warm water. Dunk each of the pretzel balls into the baking soda/water mixture and place in a ring in a cast iron skillet. You will have too many pretzels for the skillet; any extra can be placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  7. Brush the pretzels with the whisked egg and top with everything bagel seasoning. (Carefully) pour your dip of choice into the center of the pretzel ring and bake for 12-13 minutes. Let the pan sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking before serving.