Gluten Free Skillet Corn Bread

Gluten Free Skillet Corn Bread, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Phew! It’s been a week! And not just since I last posted – sorry! – but rather it’s been one heck of a busy week around here!

Beyond work, etc, we just received letters in the mail from the US Citizen and Immigration Office (aka “INS”) regarding our fingerprinting appointments. Who knew that a single piece of paper containing the words “biometrics” could make a gal so happy? Silly me, I know, but it all just means that the adoption is one teeny step closer on the path to family-hood.

What can I say? My love has barely touched ground since hearing the news that we should be getting our referral any day now (read: any day from this moment until eternity….. or several months, etc, from now). He floats through the winds and the raindrops by thinking of and planning for his Little Kidlet’s arrival.

The other day we drove up to a “Little People”-R-Us (aye aye aye! – sensory overload!) to check it out and I convinced him that we should start a registry. NOT because we expect anything from anyone, but that it certainly is a MUCH easier way to organize all of the purchases we need to make after doing all the research. (And egads, am I glad he is loving doing the research!)

I was a bit shocked, however, when I approached the “Registry” counter and a rather startled woman assumed I must be there to buy gifts for someone else. When I told her that I wished to start a registry, she then asked again if I would be completing the work for someone else or “where is the mother to be?”, she queried.

“Um. That would be me.” I replied as she glanced toward my belly with surprise. (I’m sure she was thinking that I was registering MUCH too early… or, well, I HOPE that was what she was thinking when looking at my belly! By God! That gym membership better be paying off SOMEWHAT by now! LOL!)

The awkward moment that followed that millisecond of a stare at my tummy taught me that comfort and love for adoptive families doesn’t always come in the same packages.

The other adoptive hurdle at the registry counter was the paperwork upon which we were required to pick our “due date”. We both eyed each other to see what to write. It was hard. Not only do we, of course, NOT have a “due date” but a little part of me felt a little superstitious about writing anything down.

I wondered if I wrote a hopeful date (one that was close to today) and if that day/date arrives and we are still waiting, I might feel a bit crushed or saddened by my self-imposed “due date”.

On the other hand, if I wrote down a date far in to the future (or early next year which now feels like light years away), I might be delaying everything and telling the Universe to put it all on hold or slow it down.

OH! Writing a “date” was painful!

And yes, I know how silly this sounds in comparison to the real pains and sadness in life. I know that there are many more things that will challenge my core and test my endurance and strength. Writing a date on paper was nothing.

But then I got to thinking about the number of times as a child I was comforted by my mom’s buttered toast when I was sick. Or the ginger ale with a straw at my bedside.

And those thoughts brought me to think about Thanksgiving and other holidays. How the tastes of the foods were a comfort when combined with the company and family. How the expectation of turkey just seems to soothe. And corn bread…. yes… how corn bread can just fill a hole in your tummy when toasted and tossed into a fabulous stuffing for your turkey dinner.or served the next day along side a nice bowl of turkey soup.

Oh yes, fall is here. And me? I’m losing my mind with the numbers of twists and turns my brain is taking as I begin to reassess and reformulate my life to welcome in another voice and treasure.

It’s time for some good old, skillet corn bread. (Gluten free, of course.)

This recipe makes a dense, moist corn bread that is a cross between the corn sticks we love and the spoon-corn bread that we like. Make it in a gluten-free cast-iron skillet and you are set. The only other thing you need is a little chicken soup and a green salad. Then it will be perfect!

(Follow the links in the directions to see a picture of that step/that item.)

Gluten Free Skillet Corn Bread
3 Tablespoons butter, softened + 1 Tablespoon of butter for the skillet
4 Tablespoons low fat cottage cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1, 15 ounce can of corn kernels (not creamed corn…but that would be good too)
1 jalapeño (or 2! or 3!!), seeded and diced
3/4 cup masa harina (corn flour for tortillas)
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/4 cups non-fat or low-fat milk (or rice milk)


  1. Preheat 350F
  2. Beat together butter (reserve 1 Tablespoon), cottage cheese and sugar.
  3. Add corn and jalapeños.
  4. Separately, mix together masa harina, corn meal, xanthan gum, baking powder, and pepper.
  5. Add cheese to mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix until even.
  6. Add milk. Batter will be thick/heavy – like a soft cookie dough.
  7. Preheat cast iron skillet over medium flame.
  8. Melt reserved 1 Tablespoon of butter in pan.
  9. Scoop batter into preheated cast iron skillet and use a wet spatula to spread it evenly in the pan.
  10. Remove from flame and bake at 350F for 45 – 60 minutes or until an internal temperature of 210F is reached.
  11. Flip on to a serving dish and slice into 8 pieces.
  12. Serve warm with your favorite meal – we had fresh green salads and pork chops with ours.

Happy Fall Gluten Free Comfort, All!


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh I am making this as soon as I get back home to Philly!!!!!!

  2. Gluten Free Steve says:

    You’re serious – divide into 8 pieces? More like two – one for me, one for the artist! I’ve always loved corn bread and this sounds yummy.

  3. I think I’m going to try this to go along with the chili simmering on the stove.

    “And yes, I know how silly this sounds in comparison to the real pains and sadness in life.”

    As a therapist once told me about my frustration over my disorder and my thought that I shouldn’t complain because my life could be much worse: “You are allowed to feel sad or short changed, or confused. Just don’t let those emotions rule your life.” It is amazing at how set in norms our society is. It can be hard to (have to) deviate from that. I hope that you can avoid more awkward situations and that your waiting period will go FAST!

  4. Kate- I just found out that an old friend adopted a baby locally after waiting for a foreign adoption to go through for 9 years. Two months after getting the local baby the foreign adoption agency called to tell them their baby was available!!! So, after thinking about it they have chosen to adopt baby #2. Life works in strange and wonderful ways sometimes. : )

  5. I had to search this out, having seen it when I had no time and still drooling. I will make it soon!
    Even when I ate wheat, I had trouble finding a cornbread recipe that still tasted good on day 2. It gets so dry! This looks absolutely beautiful and moist, with staying power if it lasts. And NOT a ton of butter.
    2 questions: Do you think it would work as muffins? And would buttermilk be a good twist or not?

  6. Made it! YUMMY!!! Moist and delicious. My only critique: it needed salt. This might be because I used a salt-free canned corn, of course 🙂 But I actually liked the salt on top–so I guess it worked fine!

    We ate it with fajitas, and it was most as leftovers today, too! I’m excited for chili time!

  7. I soooo hear you on the registering. I am an adoptive mother (welcome to the ranks!) and while registering didn’t raise any obvious eyebrows as you experienced, I could sense them nonetheless. I happened to be really slender at the time, and I felt like a fraud as I walked the aisles. I actually felt embarrassed and left the store to register online! Silly of me, I know. Even after my son arrived (adopted at birth), I felt the glances at him, then my waistline, and the puzzled looks. It was as if I hadn’t “earned” him by going through the physical trauma… well, as you certainly know, we earn it in many other ways. Best of luck on your journey. It is the GREATEST thing you will ever, ever know.

    (I know, I know. Everybody tells you that, right? You will be amazed at how inadequate that statement is!)

    • We ended up registering online too.
      I was really uncomfortable – I agree!

      When we found our pediatrician, we could sign up online for his office but i was completely off-put by the registration form asking for the “Birth Mother” information rather than Parent #1 and Parent #2. There are many families that don’t fit the 1950s model any more… I was rather shocked, to be honest. So, I emailed his office a request to reword that registration. We’ll see what happens!

      Thanks for the good wishes! I’ll take as many as I can get on this lost wait and process! 🙂

  8. “But then I got to thinking about the number of times as a child I was comforted by my mom’s buttered toast when I was sick. Or the ginger ale with a straw at my bedside.”

    Ok, I am nor sure why I am posting this (!) but when I was a young person (junior high age or so), I was sick and mom brought me something hot to sip on and at about the same time, brought me a thermometer to take my temperature. Without thinking, or, more accurately, with what passed for thinking at that time, I decided to dip my thermometer into my hot drink because I was getting a sub-normal temperature. Note to self, and anyone else thinking of doing this: don’t. The thermometer broke off at the surface of my tea and dropped to the bottom. Of course, I didn’t drink it (and furthermore, I don’t remember what my mom did with the resulting mixture). I guess these days there is no such thing as a glass mercury thermometer. But your picture of the comfort that comes from even the simplest gesture from mom or dad. Thanks.


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