I am going to make this post short and sweet, because I’ve given you an awful lot to think about in these two One Simple Change posts recently.

This week, my challenge to you is simple: let it go.

What do I mean? What is it? Well, that depends. For me, it right now is something that’s been on my mind for more than a week…something that got me quite fired up in emails and on the phone with friends…something that even kept me up at night a few times.

But you know what? This it wasn’t worth any of my time/energy in the first place. So I am letting it go.

How about you? Is there something you are stewing over that isn’t worth your time and energy? Something you can’t change or control no matter how much you dwell on it? I suggest you let it go.

Don’t have any emotional baggage to dump right now? How nice for you! How about you clean out your pantry, then? Or your refrigerator? What about your clothes closet? We’ve all got things we don’t need…clutter in our minds, homes, cars, etc…stuff we can let go.

Along with letting go of what I’ve been dwelling on lately, I spent some time this week taking stock of what was in my pantry and my refrigerator. I tossed everything that was past it’s prime, along with, ahem, a few unhealthy items that had found their way into my house. The result was a cleaner, more organized kitchen, of course, and I also found a few things I didn’t even know I had…like a package of organic medjool dates.

With those dates in hand, I recalled a recipe I’d seen from Molly O’Neill in the The New York Times archives: I was really quite intrigued by the idea of adding dates and rosemary to cornbread (the bacon sounded great, too, but I decided to leave it out).

I changed up the recipe a bit, and decided to make it in my cast-iron skillet (a technique I learned from Deborah Madison’s The Savory Way). I was very pleased with the results, and I think it would be just perfect with a bowl of this black bean chili on Superbowl Sunday or on any day, really.

Recipe for Skillet Cornbread with Dates and Rosemary

Yield: serves 8-10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

This recipe is pretty versatile: add a bit more rosemary and cayenne if you like, or leave out one or the other. I found the taste of the dates to be subtle; their natural sweetness plays nicely with the maple syrup, but if you don't have any, they can be omitted.

Ingredients:

*1 cup organic cornmeal
*3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
*3/4 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
*1 cup buttermilk
*2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range
*1/2 cup pitted and chopped organic dates
*4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or honey)
*2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, rosemary, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together with a fork.

3. In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, eggs, dates, and maple syrup.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon until combined.

5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat. Add butter to the skillet and allow it to melt (but not brown). Tilt the pan so the entire bottom and the sides of the skillet are covered with the butter. Pour the batter into the skillet.

6. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are starting to brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Serve slices warm...they're delicious when spread with just a little more butter.

So what do you think? Are you “in” to this week’s One Simple Change? Ready to let go of one piece of emotional baggage? If not, how about cleaning out your pantry? Take the opportunity to toss out any processed foods and unhealthy oils. Take stock of items you may have hidden away: can you put them to use? Or should you let them go? If you have time, do the same with your refrigerator. Then move on to your clothes closets. There’s no point in keeping things around you never wear: it’s better to give them away to someone who might actually be able to use them.

I love the feeling of getting rid of clutter in my mind and in my home. If you are comfortable sharing what you are letting go of, please do. I love hearing about how One Simple Change is making a difference in your life :)

 

24 Comments

  1. 1

    LiztheChef — February 3, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Hey, mind-reader, thanks for the good advice across the miles. I really need that this morning!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

      That makes me so happy to hear.

  2. 2

    Chelsea @ Naturally Sweet Recipes — February 3, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Awesome! This looks delicious. LOVE the maple syrup- that sounds fabulous!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

      I just love it Chelsea.

  3. 3

    jenn — February 3, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    i feel the same thing going on right now. i have been in the state of letting go via accept-release; accept-release. it feels so good to take note of what is, and then just let it go..or as i say EVOLVE it! thanks for the delicious recipe! warms my heart just reading all the yummy ingredients. can’t wait to try it.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Thanks so much Jenn ;)

  4. 4

    Kathryn — February 3, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    Such good advice, it’s not always easy but you do just have to let things go sometimes. I think I have decluttered everything I can in my flat right now but I need to start the mental process of decluttering too.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Go for it :)

  5. 5

    Paula — February 3, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    I learned many, many years ago not to hang onto things emotionally, that it only sits in the back of your mind and festers and before you know it, your physical self begins to be affected. Like Jenn, we need to accept things. Acknowledging that most fall into one of two categories, things we can control and things we cannot. If we can, we grab the bull by the horns and deal with it. If it is something beyond our control, then we have to be smart enough to realize that, let go, move on from it and don’t look back.

    Now to the cornbread…A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! Love that it was cooked in a skillet and that is has a mix of sweet and savory. I want to be in an old farmhouse kitchen eating this ;)

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

      Me, too ;)

  6. 6

    Bethesda Locavore — February 3, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

    Recipe looks delicious!

    I love that advice – let it go. Definitely something I’m not always great at. Working on it – I’ll keep it in my head this week as a mantra. I have been decluttering too — so, so liberating, tackling the long-neglected junk drawers (and junk piles) during my son’s naps. I look around and wish I could just cut our belongings in half!! The pantry is my next project. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

      You are welcome. Good luck with your pantry!

  7. 7

    Hilary — February 3, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    :) Thanks Winnie, you are awesome!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

      Aw, thanks Hilary!

  8. 8

    Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z — February 4, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    I love the analogy of the extra baggage in the closets. Never though of it that way. Thought my emotions were under control, but I guess I’ve got some cleaning out to do. ( yikes, those closets)
    Love the recipe too. Great post.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

      I think we’ve all always go cleaning to do Judee ;)

  9. 9

    Anna @ the shady pine — February 5, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    I always find it helps me to clean things out literally (like the sock drawer or paperwork) when I need to also let go of an issue. It must be the whole cleansing process.

    This cornbread looks great and I especially like the addition of the dates!

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

      Thanks Anna!

  10. 10

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — February 5, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    I’m terrible at letting things go. I remember every moment (especially the bad) and I let it get to me. These are words to live by and I thank you for reminding me of this! Wishing you a wonderful week.

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

      Aw, Brian. Letting stuff go definitely helps you enjoy the present all the more. But I too am guilty of letting things get to me at times ;)

  11. 11

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — February 6, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I am definitely one who holds onto things instead of just letting them go… Especially when I get frustrated. I can certainly stand to let a few things go!

    And, love the look of that cornbread… Yum :)

    • Winnie replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

      Thanks Jen!

  12. 12

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — February 8, 2012 @ 3:23 am

    Letting go is something thing I really have to make a conscious effort to do. I try to tell myself – “it is what it is” and just let go of trying to change things. It’s a work in progress for sure. :-)

  13. 13

    One Simple Change: Pantry Revamp (and Coconut Oat Sesame bites) | Healthy Green Kitchen — April 17, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    [...] been following along since the beginning of this series, you might remember that I wrote about “letting go” a while back. If you’re new to my blog or simply need a refresher, feel free to go read that [...]