We have chili and cornbread almost once a week in the winter. The chili can easily be vegan, to satisfy Mariah, it's quick and easy, which satisfies me, and if it's not too spicy Nick will (usually) eat it. Everyone loves the cornbread. (No, it's not vegan, but until she moves out Mariah makes an exception for baked goods, to my immense relief.) I'll post a chili recipe soon, though most often it's just "dump a can of this and a can of that into a pot," but I thought I'd post the cornbread recipe we like the best now, so that I can remember it and you can share it, too. This is a slightly sweet, very moist cornbread: it keeps well (though we usually eat it up in a day or two) and is as good split and toasted with jam in the morning as it was under or next to the chili in the evening. It comes from a fabulous bread book, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan or an 8x8 square cake pan. I have a pottery bread pan that's perfect for this.
Mix together in a large bowl:
1-1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (I use brown sugar)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend together in a large pitcher or bowl:
1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Pour the milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just enough to incorporate and moisten all the ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.