Ready for a recipe that has been passed down for generations? This recipe was so engrained into the souls of this family’s kitchen and matriarchs that, despite an over-stuffed, over-noted recipe book that is essentially sacred text to this family. But this cornbread was written into their very DNA – and it never fails.
Now, you can make it for yourself.
Cornbread makes for one of the most ideal blank slate loafs when it comes to embracingly absorbing different seasonings and ingredient additions, which means anyone making it should feel encouraged to experiment a here and there to keep the recipe exciting. But according to this old family recipe, there are 3 rules that everyone needs to abide by every time, without fail:
1. Preheat the cast iron skillet in the oven to ensure that it is as hot as it can get. If the batter doesn’t sizzle when it gets poured in, you’re doing it wrong. 2. Right before you pour anything in, salt the skillet. A little pinch thrown onto the bottom of this sizzling pan gives the soon-to-be deliciously crispy crust into a heavenly crunch in its own right – forget the rest of the loaf.
3. This sounds weird, but it’s a must: when you pull that cornrbread out of the skillet, turn it over immediately onto a rack and let it cool bottom side up. You’re probably raising an eyebrow, and that’s okay. But this will protect that crust crunch that makes this recipe so flawless, rather than letting the bread steam and cause the bottom to soften.
So turn this cornbread into whatever you want it to be – just make sure you don’t break the trifecta of rules, and we promise you’ll be happy.
Prep Time 20 MIN Total Time 50 MIN Serves: 8
Ingredients * 2 tablespoons peanut oil * 2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal * 1 cup all-purpose flour * 1 tablespoon granulated sugar * 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided * 2 teaspoons baking powder * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda * 2 cups well-stirred whole buttermilk * 2 large eggs, * lightly beaten * 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Step 1 Add peanut oil to a cast-iron skillet; we recommend 10-inch, but cornbread works in most shapes and sizes that can hold this volume. Place skillet in oven, and then preheat to 450°F (yes, the skillet stays in during the pre-heating!)
Step 2 During preheating, take out a medium bowl and whisk in the cornmeal, flour, sugar, 21/2 teaspoons salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then stir in buttermilk until smooth; then the eggs; then the melted butter.
Step 3 (Be careful, it’s hot!) Carefully remove your skillet from the oven. Then, transfer the hot skillet oil into the cornbread batter and stir it in. Quickly toss the 1/4 teaspoon of leftover salt into the skillet and pour the batter in on top. Return the skillet to the oven without stirring.
Step 4 Without adjusting the temperature, bake for 22 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Step 5 Immediately invert cornbread onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
13 Celebrities Who Look Amazing After Their Transformations
Losing weight while you’re a celebrity has its pluses and minuses. You have access to trainers, chefs, and expensive treatments. However, you always have the unforgiving glare of the media on you…
Jonah Hill rose to fame in Superbad. He reminded us all of that chubby class clown in high school. The funnyman, however, turned heads after his appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he strutted down the red carpet looking sleek and trim in a fitted black suit! Though everyone agrees that women are more heavily scrutinized than men for their appearance, Jonah said he was shocked how many more roles he was offered after the weight loss.
Keely Shaye Smith
Keely Shaye Smith is a former model married to Pierce Brosnan. Over the years though, fans have noticed that her weight has fluctuated a tremendous amount. In recent times, the loyal wife of the former Bond man changed her lifestyle and diet drastically and lost a whopping 120 pounds in the process. She was dedicated to exercise and eating well. Brosnan has always stuck by his wife’s side, through thick and thin.
Ever since she captured America’s heart on the show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, Jessica Simpson has been considered a blonde bombshell. She showed off her killer curves when she sported iconic Daisy Dukes for her role in The Dukes Of Hazzard reboot movie. But like most women, after two pregnancies, she gained a little bit of baby weight. With the help of Weight Watchers (and a trainer), Jess dropped 80 pounds and got back into fighting shape.
Love her or hate her, one thing everyone can agree on is that Rosie O’Donnell is an open book! She is happy to speak publicly about herself, especially on her talk show Rosie. She has spoken about always struggling with her weight, but in 2013 she decided to make a change. She lost 70 pounds in two years!
No, you’re not going crazy. That really is John Goodman – he’s just undergone a crazy transformation! He rose to fame as Roseanne’s husband Dan on Roseanne then went on to a movie career. After wrapping up filming the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane, John decided it was time for a major lifestyle change. Slow and steady wins the race, and it took John several years, but he lost a whopping 100 pounds by skipping unhealthy food and working out consistently.
Tyra Banks became a professional runway model at the tender age of just fifteen and immediately went to work smashing barriers. Famous for her killer curves, she was the first African American model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and GQ. After some unflattering paparazzi shots on the beach in 2009, Tyra spoke out against pressure for women to be thin on her talk show Tyra. However, she’s been hitting the gym recently and is looking fit.
Christian Bale is known for his work ethic – he began acting at the tender age of thirteen, playing the lead to perfection in Empire Of The Sun. Whatever the role he takes on, he researches the role and changes his physical appearance in order to perfectly portray the character. But one transformation was Christian’s most radical. The actor dropped a whopping 63 pounds and sported a shockingly thin frame to play Trevor Reznik in the indie Spanish film The Machinist.
Oprah Winfrey is the ultimate rags to riches tale. She perfectly embodies the American Dream – rising from an impoverished childhood where she faced racial discrimination in the South, she’s now a billionaire media mogul and one of the most successful women on the planet. But she’s always struggled with her weight and decided to join Weight Watchers in order to slim down. Since starting the program, she shed 30 pounds and says that she feels better than ever.
Kirstie Alley shot to Hollywood stardom after a breakthrough role in Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan and a career-making part as Rebecca Howe on the iconic ’80s TV show Cheers. However, as Kirstie put on the pounds, her acting opportunities started to dry up. She decided to get serious about slimming down and joined Jenny Craig. The actress dropped an astonishing 50 pounds and made good on her promise to fans to appear in a bikini on Oprah!
Shonda Rhimes is a major Hollywood power player and the namesake behind the successful TV production company ShondaLand. The brilliant barrier-breaking woman is behind such smash hit shows as Private Practice, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How To Get Away With Murder. But her entertainment industry success was hampered by the fact that she felt uncomfortable in her own skin. She adopted a healthier diet and began working out consistently, which led to an absolutely jaw-dropping 117-pound weight loss!
Carrie Fisher became many a school boy’s first crush when she played iconic Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. But as her Hollywood career slowed down, she gained some weight. She decided to stay out of the spotlight. After a lot of coaxing, George Lucas convinced Carrie to reprise her role for the Star Wars reboot films, and Carrie lost 35 pounds to play the part!
He might not be a household name, but you’ve definitely heard Kevin Liles’ music before. He’s responsible for the song “Girl You Know It’s True,” which became the hit song that shot Milli Vanilli to international fame. He became the president of Def Jam Records in 1999, then subsequently moved on to become executive vice president of Warner Music Group. After a career that’s spanned more than 3 decades, he’s finally in the spotlight for his incredible weight loss transformation!
Wendy Williams was originally known for her career as a popular radio host, which led to her smash hit daytime talk show The Wendy Williams show. However, she’s always struggled with her weight. It might sound too simple, but Wendy explained in an interview with Us Magazine that she lost weight by telling herself: “Just push back, fatso. Just stop eating so much.” Her tough self-love worked, and she dropped an amazing 50 pounds within just a few months!
Jordin Sparks rose to fame after winning season six of American Idol at just 17 years old. While the beauty is known for her impeccable voice, she also underwent a huge transformation back in 2012. The singer-songwriter lost 50 pounds in 18 months by prioritizing her health and not her “jeans size.” When asked about her journey with weight loss, Sparks was quoted saying “I never felt like I was suffering by eating less and exercising more.”
Perez Hilton shot to fame as a gossip columnist, with his eponymous website usually not having kind things to say about celebrities and other pop culture icons. Many sniped back at him by making fun of his weight. After a few online insults too many, Perez made the decision to slim down and prove the haters wrong. There was no magic pill – after eating right and exercising consistently for a year, he lost 70 pounds. Try making a fat joke about him now!
Talk about a Jack Of All Trades – Queen Latifah has done everything from rapping to singing, to modeling and acting. However, she wasn’t happy with her figure and decided to slim down a bit by working out with a personal trainer 5 days a week and eating more vegetables and fresh fruits than she had been previously. She hasn’t gone 100% Hollywood though, don’t worry – she’s still got some meat on her bones, and we’re grateful for that, she still looks stunning!
Mariah Carey defines the word Diva – known as much for her incredible vocal range as her outrageous demands for her dressing room, she’s captivated America for nearly two decades. After marrying Nick Cannon, Mariah became pregnant with twins. Many mothers have a problem shedding the pregnancy weight, and Mariah was no exception to the common issue. Like Kirstie Alley previously on this list, Mariah decided to slim down by partnering up with Jenny Craig and now looks totally fit and healthy.
Jennifer Hudson first captured our hearts when she competed on American Idol season 3 in 2007. Despite placing seventh in the singing competition, she still rose to fame, and by the age of 30 had won the Golden Trinity – a Golden Globe, Grammy, and Academy Award were all under her belt. She put her efforts next on losing weight, dropping 80 pounds using Weight Watchers. Her real-life success story of using the program meant that she was the perfect spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi shot to fame on MTV’s reality show Jersey Shore. Even though she had a well-deserved reputation as a wild child, she settled down after marrying Jionnie LaValle and having kids with him. After putting on some baby weight from her two pregnancies, Snooki decided to focus on living a more healthy lifestyle, complete with a balanced diet and less drinking. She lost an incredible 42 pounds and looks better than ever!
Rebel Wilson is known for her comedic roles in movies like Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids, and The Hustle, but as of 2020, the star turned her focus primarily onto her health. She revealed to Women’s Health that it was her “year of health” and that she managed to reach her goal and lose more than 60 pounds. She accredits her transformation to exercising with her trainer and following the Mayr method diet.
Anna Nicole Smith
You may have forgotten this, but being declared 1993 Playmate Of The Year is how Anna Nicole Smith’s career began. She wanted to get back to her figure, which brought her into the spotlight. After using dietary supplement Trimspa, Anna Nicole shed an astonishing 69 pounds. Tragically, the beauty is no longer with us, but will always be remembered for her good looks and killer body.
Kevin Federline rose to fame as the backup dancer who pursued a career with superstar Britney Spears. After having two sons together, the couple separated, which meant Kevin packed on the pounds due to stress. But Kevin accessed his dancer’s discipline and began waking up before 6 a.m. every day to do military-style exercise drills. He lost a whopping 50 pounds and looks years younger!
Khloe Kardashian was originally the “ugly duckling” of the Kardashian sisters. Overshadowed by her petite sisters Kourtney and Kim, Khloe towered above them at a height of 5’9 and always felt awkward about her body. She married NBA player Lamar Odom in 2008, and later she decided to put her best foot forward by getting the ultimate “revenge body.” Khloe worked out with a personal trainer daily and lost a whopping 40 pounds!
Renee Zellweger is a serious actress, and she’s not afraid to drastically alter her body in order to perfectly embody a character. For the movies in the Bridget Jones’ Diary trilogy, Renee committed to the part of the British journalist who struggled with her weight by putting on approximately 20 pounds. She followed that up with toning up and dropping the pounds again for her lead role in 2003’s Chicago. But whatever her weight may be, she always looks gorgeous!
Rob Kardashian is mostly known for three things. One, being the sole brother in the Kardashian clan of sisters. Two, having his own designer sock label called Arthur George. Three, unfortunately, for being obese, especially when compared to the rest of his fitness fanatic family. However, falling in love did Rob good – he lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 pounds after Blac Chyna came into his life. She reportedly encouraged him to pursue working out and eating healthier.
Christina Aguilera grew up in front of our eyes, in the harsh glare of the spotlight the whole time. She was known for her fit physique, but after pregnancy, she put on some weight. Christina explained that she got back into fighting shape by not drinking and sticking to a strictly regimented healthy diet plan. Of course, she also enlisted the help of one of the top personal trainers in Hollywood.
Kelly Osbourne is literally unrecognizable from the time when she was first introduced to us on her family’s reality show, The Osbournes. Rockstar Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter Kelly became one of the most beloved family members by the show’s fans but faced a lot of flak for being overweight. After the show ended, she committed to getting fit and lost over 70 pounds. She’s looking happier and healthier than ever today and is now the host of E!’s Fashion Police.
Seth Rogen is yet another lovable everyman. Like his contemporaries Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt previously on the list, he made his name as a schlubby Joe Schmo type with the body to match. After being cast in the superhero flick The Green Hornet, however, he decided to buckle down and get the ripped body that a superhero deserves. The film wasn’t a box office smash, to say the least, but he did shed an incredible amount of weight.
America Ferrera captured America’s attention playing the lead Betty Suarez in the sitcom Ugly Betty, but in reality, America is a head turner. She’s always been bigger than your average Hollywood starlet since her debut as Carmen in The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. Now that she’s a leading lady on Superstore, America has committed to leading a healthier lifestyle. America has said she uses running as a form of stress relief, and that’s clear from her fabulous figure!
Kim Kardashian West
Kim Kardashian is known for her famous curves and hourglass figure but after giving birth to two children (North and Saint), she embarked on a dedicated journey to get her body back. She revealed to People magazine that she lost a whopping 70 pounds. She focused more on what she ate this time around and followed the Atkins 40 plan to keep her on track. Kim also incorporated intensive workouts into her daily routine.
Simon Cowell is renowned for being the toughest judge on television but in addition to being this TV personality and record executive, he underwent a big dieting change in 2019. One year later, the now vegan Cowell has lost over 60 pounds. Simon revealed that a health scare is what prompted the celeb to begin his journey with plant-based foods. He was quoted about his weight loss journey saying that “The most dramatic period was the first month where most of the weight comes off and you look at yourself and think ‘wow’.”
50 Cent has always been known for his killer physique, which he showed off in the iconic music video for his breakthrough song In Da Club. He’s a big fan of lifting up his undershirt and showing off his 6 pack, but he stunned fans back in 2013 when he appeared to have lost a ton of weight. Not to worry, though – it was just for his role as a football player in Things Fall Apart and he’s back to his old self now.
Boy George rose to fame as the leading made-up face of the ’80s group Culture Club. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for him – he explained that he went on an unhealthy streak at one point. In 2013, Boy made serious changes and began working with a nutritionist and personal trainer. With their help, he’s gotten to the healthiest point in his life at the age of 50.
Adam Richman is the only celebrity on this list to get famous because of his eating habits. He made a name for himself in local eating competitions, which eventually attracted the attention of the Travel Channel. His show on the network was called Man vs. Food, and predictably he packed on the pounds. Recently, he decided to do a 180 and lose weight. The transformation from a glutton to a committed vegan has been a hard pill for his fans to swallow.
Amber Riley is best known for her singing and dancing on the hit teen show Glee. She went on to compete on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, which led to an increased interest in working out and pushing her body to its fullest potential. After her time as the lead role in the stage production of Dreamgirls came to a close, Amber shifted her priorities and went down a stunning two whole dress sizes. She looks amazing now!
Sara Rue began her Hollywood career at the tender age of nine, making her debut as Kevin Costner’s daughter in the 1986 movie Rocket Gibraltar and as a young version of Roseanne on the sitcom Roseanne. But the actress was always uncomfortable in her own skin. Like Kirstie Alley and Mariah Carey previously on this list, Sara enlisted the help of Jenny Craig to get her on the right track. She shed a whopping 50 pounds and looks better than ever!
Josh Peck’s claim to fame was when he starred opposite Drake Bell as Josh Nichols on the Nickelodeon original program Drake & Josh. Josh was previously featured on The Amanda Show as well. As his Hollywood career stalled, he decided the solution would be losing weight for more opportunities. The young thespian dropped an absolutely incredible 110 pounds, all by using the classic formula of cutting out junk food, adopting a healthy diet, and working out on a regular basis.
You know him as one of the funniest men in Hollywood. From the 2000s classic Wet Hot American Summer to his hilarious performance as Phil Wenneck in The Hangover, Bradley Cooper always ends up stealing the scene. Nevertheless, his ultimate transformation came when he portrayed Iraq War sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper. To play the macho man, Bradley had to stuff a whopping 5,000 calories down his throat every day and put on an incredible 40 pounds of muscle.
Hillary Swank is known for being one of the most chameleon-like actresses to ever grace Hollywood. She was unrecognizable as Brandon Teena in her breakout role as Boys Don’t Cry. But there’s one physical transformation that stands out in her career. She perfectly embodied boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby, right down to her ripped physique. For the role, Hillary consumed a minimum of 210 grams of protein every day and worked out intensely six times a week.
Charlize Theron began her career as a professional ballerina in South Africa before becoming an international model. Once she started acting in films like The Italian Job, she was well known for her drop dead gorgeous looks. But when she decided to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the biopic Monster, she had to undergo a stunning physical transformation. Charlize gained 30 pounds in order to play Aileen, and was totally unrecognizable to fans when she appeared in the movie.
Raven-Symone grew up in front of the cameras. Her first role came at three years old on the hit series The Cosby Show. Going through puberty is tough enough, but Raven-Symone had to do it in front of all America as she was starring on her own show That’s So Raven. She faced tons of flak and media scrutiny for being overweight. Eventually, she began working with a trainer and lost 35 pounds.
Janet Jackson was in the spotlight from a very young age as a member of the Jackson family. She’s known for her weight ups-and-downs, and the self-admitted yo-yo dieter took a turn for the worst back in 2006. Tabloids crowed that the superstar had ballooned to a weight somewhere north of 200 pounds! Now, the actress is in her 50s and more health-focused than ever and has been keeping to a strict diet and exercise routine to maintain a toned physique.
Melissa Joan Hart
Actress Melissa Joan Hart partnered with weight loss program NutriSystem to lose an incredible 40 pounds. After giving birth to three children, Melissa was unhappy with her weight and was initially inspired by her sister to start shifting the pounds. Taking to social media at the age of 40, the Sabrina the Teenage Witch star could not be more confident in her body. Although a busy mom, Melissa has made a point that it is important to keep active and train well.
Girls star, Lena Dunham, shocked fans in 2017 when she revealed her dramatic weight loss to the world. With the help of trainer Tracey Anderson, Lena lost a lot of weight. However, despite being “complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work,” it was not Lena’s initial intention to lose weight. She has revealed her best treatment for her overall health was through exercise.
You probably know him as Turtle from the HBO smash hit series Entourage, but there’s more to the actor than just being a funny guy. He got a reality check when a doctor told him his weight endangered his health. As the old saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race” and Jerry took that to heart. He lost an impressive 60 pounds over the course of 10 months and has said in interviews that he feels like a new man.
Gabourey Sidibe captured audiences’ attention after her harrowing depiction of a 16-year-old pregnant teenager in Precious. In fact, her performance was so amazing that she was nominated for an Academy Award, and it was her first professional acting job ever! However, it wasn’t smooth sailing from there – after some health issues, she decided to try surgery. She’s already dropped an amazing 50 pounds and looks great!
Austin “Chumlee” Russell
Austin Russell, better known as Chumlee, rose to fame as the charismatic star of the Las Vegas-based reality show Pawn Stars. The show focuses on the pawn shop where he works. Chumlee finally reached his breaking point after a lifetime of struggling with his weight and decided to get serious about shaping up. He began working out religiously and cut red meat and all junk food out of his diet. The result was a staggering 100-pound weight loss!
You probably don’t recognize his birth name – Andre Romelle Young – but you definitely know who Dr. Dre is. The hitmaker and creative genius behind the careers of artists such as Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, and a founding member of the iconic rap group N.W.A., Dr. Dre is one of the most successful moguls in hip-hop. However, as he aged, he decided to prioritize his health and staying in shape. At 49 years old, he boasts a stunning physique!
Zach Galifianakis is everyone’s favorite funny man, oftentimes playing awkward, quirky, and zany characters in films like The Hangover and Dinner For Schmucks. But after making it big on the silver screen, Zach’s body has undergone its very own Hollywood transformation. In the last few years, Zach has dropped an estimated fifty pounds of fat! Zach credits his amazing transformation with a few simple changes – he cut out alcohol completely from his life and started walking more often.
There was a time when Delta Burke was one of the most recognizable faces in the country. When people thought of Designing Women, they thought of Delta Burke. Since then though, the actress has gone through some radical changes. When the show was over, Burke weighed 215 pounds. Burke made some changes to her life and has since lost a staggering 65 pounds. With loving support from her husband and grit and determination, Burke has bounced back.
Susan Boyle when she took the world by storm with her beautiful voice. Now, it seems like the Scottish singer has been stealing the headlines for different reasons. Boyle has managed to lose 50 pounds after readjusting her lifestyle and working out. She got her wake-up call when she was informed about health issues that she wanted to fix.
Adele made a name for herself as a confident, plus size singer, but after having a baby she decided to slim down. It’s not uncommon, however, for many new mothers to decide to make a change after having children, if only to know that they’ll be around for longer.
We all fell in love with funny lady Melissa McCarthy after her breakthrough roles in Bridesmaids and Tammy. She’s always been positive about her body, but as she’s gotten older she’s shed some pounds in order to protect her health. Melissa credits her massive 75-pound weight loss with making a few simple changes for a healthier life – she now makes sure to go to bed early and get enough sleep! She also exercises regularly. Seems obvious, but these small changes really made a difference!
Honey Boo Boo
Honey Boo Boo is yet another girl on this list who’s growing up in the spotlight. She was such a fan favorite on the show Toddlers And Tiaras that the TLC network decided to give her and her southern fried family their very own reality show called, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. While the child beauty pageant star is still far too young to officially start a diet, her mom June says she’s been playing outside more lately.
For most of his career, Chris Pratt has been known as the lovable schlub, a Joe Schmo every-man with a regular dude’s body to match his roles. He rose to fame in films like Zero Dark Thirty and Moneyball and on the TV show Parks and Recreation. But after his role on the show ended, Chris decided to expand his horizons and take on a more leading man role. He shed an astonishing 60 pounds in 6 months and got cast in Guardians Of The Galaxy.
June “Mama June” Shannon stole the country’s heart on her reality show with her daughter, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but it’s her drastic weight loss that’s captured our attention. Mama June dropped an absolutely staggering 150 pounds – that’s basically an entire human being! She went from a size 28 down to a sleek size 16. She’s still working with a nutritionist and personal trainer on an ongoing basis to make sure that she keeps her svelte figure for the future.
After a Hollywood career that spanned several decades, Alec Baldwin was on top of the world, enjoying his fame as an A-List celebrity. Alec stuck to a strict no carb, no sugar diet and lost 30 pounds within a few weeks, bringing his blood sugar down back into normal range. Alec credits the episode with making him realize that he’s “mortal.”
Better known as The Governess through her trivia mastermind credentials, Anne Hegerty has been defeating members of the public, week in, week out, on the British trivia show, ITV’s The Chase. What fans might not realize though is that Anne has been working hard and has lost a lot of weight over the last couple of years – 13 pounds, to be precise. “I lost weight, replaced my glasses with contact lenses and felt a lot more confident,” she said after her appearance on reality show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!