Say it with food.


I curled up to the fleece blanket a little closer as I flicked through the channels. Food Network seemed like a safe choice for binge watching that January afternoon, now almost ten years ago. Post-college life only allowed a few days at home at a time, and although the entire four years prior I had been thinking of ways to get out of the house when I was home – now that the time was limited I wanted to stay in as much as possible.

I remember my first episode of Barefoot Contessa as plain as day. Say it with Food is the name of the episode, and Ina brings a breakfast basket to a friend filled with fabulous things because, well, she’s fabulous.

Yesterday I did my first craazy long Instagram story about making Gluten Free Corn Muffins for my friends. Each Tuesday we host community group/small group at our house and we use to just randomly here and there do a potluck. But I realized it stressed everyone out to run and pick up something right before our 6:30pm group time, and our group FAR TOO MUCH enjoyed the eating and socializing and we’d be left with 30 minutes for our actual Bible Study. So when our church announced it would be doing a church-wide small group study called “40 Days of Community” I decided we needed just that – community.
So we opened our house up even earlier than before (doors open at 5:45pm!) and dinner would be ready and waiting – please just bring yourselves.

Here’s the trick.

A couple of folks in our group have food allergies…and everyone is a little bit of a gourmand so pizza every week would not do. So using my new favorite website called Plan to Eat, I plan each week to have a gluten free, highly delicious and super simple meal for my people. It’s my way of serving. It’s my way of loving. I just say it with food.


Ina’s Gluten Free Skillet Corn Bread

Last week we had a crazy lake effect snowstorm that dumped almost 2 feet of snow on little ole’ Racine. So the big pot of chili I had made needed to be frozen and saved for next week (when you’ve just finished making dinner for 14 people – you gotta save that puppy for when the 14 people are actually coming). So this week, as the chili thawed, I whipped up my favorite corn bread recipe, minus the gluten. A simple swap of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour did just the trick.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (regular or gluten free!)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup medium cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 extra-large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with your skillet inside to get hot.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, and eggs.
4. With the mixer on the lowest speed, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until they are just blended.
5. Remove the skillet from the oven and grease the pan one of two ways. Either a) spray with cooking spray or b) place a tablespoon of butter in the pan and spread it around the hot skillet until it melts.
5. Spoon the batter into the skillet, filling it almost to the top. (there is enough batter for two batches…I just baked my second half in a cake pan).
6. Bake for ~20 minutes, until the top is crisp and a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool slightly and remove from the pan.


Author: Alicia Sturdy

Fan of cities, the beach, wild curls and Ina Garten. Photographer and owner of Hither & Hold.

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