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chili cookoff

Last week, my office held its 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off at work. It is a friendly competition where the staff submit their best chili and also vote for the best ones. All chili variations are welcome; winners are awarded with bragging rights. This year, the winners (out of ten entries) were: a unique chicken chili (my favorite), re-fried beans & beef chili, and a pork & sausage chili. Although I didn’t participate in the chili competition this time, I made a dessert for the event: blueberry cornbread. This is not the typical cornbread that’s usually served with chili since it contains blueberries. It was different and everyone really enjoyed it. This recipe is definitely a repeat for me in the future, especially when blueberries will be in season come summertime.




Recipe for blueberry cornbread (yields 16 servings):


  • 1 Cup yellow cornmeal (I used Quaker Oats)
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour (I used Gold Medal)
  • 1/4 Cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square pyrex or metal pan with nonstick spray
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Melt butter in saucepan.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, then pour in the melted butter too. Mix until incorporated (don’t over-mix). Stir in 1 cup of blueberries. Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries on top.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges turn golden and it passes the toothpick test (clean toothpick after inserted into center).



Jamie’s tips for this recipe:

  • If you don’t have buttermilk at home, you can make a substitute. For 1 Cup of buttermilk substitute: stir in 1 teaspoon of distilled vinegar into 1 Cup of whole milk and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
  • I made a delicious cinnamon honey butter that went very well with the cornbread. Just mix 1 stick unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon honey + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until combined; refrigerate for a few hours.
  • Feel free to use muffin pans instead (serving size will be 16 cornbread muffins).
  • This can be served as breakfast, a side dish, or a dessert!


blueberry cornbread muffin

Are you a cornbread fan? What variations have you tried?

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