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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I decided to return to the land of the living.  It certainly has been an adjustment since Jeff died.  What a long few months.  I’m slowly but surely making my way back into the fold.  A lot of adjustments have been made.  My daughter has taken on a second job to help out, my son is getting ready to finish high school then will be moving to Milwaukee with his friends.  A lot of change…all at once.  Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around it all.  But I digress.

What I did notice as the dust was settling was I missed cooking.  I missed my alone time in the kitchen.  I miss the time I would take to pray, ponder and reflect. I now work only half days on Thursdays with not much to do in the afternoons.  With that being said, the sun is shining on this Thursday afternoon and  the air is cool. What a perfect day to bake!

I had some really soft bananas, less than half a bag of chocolate chips and one fierce craving for banana bread.  After a look-see to make sure I had butter and eggs (farm fresh even!) I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

The recipe I have makes a large, rich, moist loaf with just enough sweetness from the chocolate chips.  I use butter instead of oil and I added sour cream to give it a teeny bit of tang.  It’s wonderful.  Slather a warm piece with some butter and you will have a religious experience 🙂

Supplies:

  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease the bottom and side of a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In your mixer cream together butter and brown sugar.  Add mashed bananas, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Gently add flour mixture until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and enjoy!

Ohhhhh yeah baby…

 

 

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4 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Zucchini-Coconut Bread w/ Coconut-Lime Glaze

It has been a whirlwind month for me.  My boyfriend went in for routine surgery just to find out he has cancer.  Malignant Melanoma to be exact.  Two surgeries, buckets of tears, and a whole lot of worry later I find solace in my kitchen.  My sanctuary, my oasis. Oasis had me thinking of sun, which had me thinking of palm trees, which led my mind to coconut. Inspired!  I perused the internet looking for something tropical.  Something a little different, but not really (if that makes sense).

I found a recipe that was coconutty, lime-y and best of all, called for zucchini (which just so happened to be in my CSA box this week). Score! I found the recipe here. I knew this recipe was a keeper when I couldn’t stop sticking my finger in the batter bowl.

Let’s talk about the glaze. Oh that glaze!  A perfect balance of sweet and tart. I love how the coconut and the lime play nice together.  The recipe makes lots of wonderful glaze and I let every last drop ooze down the sides and all around the loaf of bread.  Sublime is putting it mildly.

This recipe is easy. I know, I say that all the time. It’s true.  I whipped this together in less than 30, let it bake for 60, scarfed down a piece in less than 1 *blush*

Supplies: (Recipe copied and pasted)

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar (you might want to increase the amount, if you like yours more sweet)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe zucchini, grated (about 2 zucchinis)
  • 1/3 cup plain Low or No-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Rum or Rum Extract (I don’t have rum, so I used coconut extract)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup flaked sweetened Coconut
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar then beat in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add zucchini, yogurt, vanilla and the rum. Beat until well blended.
  4. Stir in coconut and all dry ingredients until just blended. Don’t over stir.
  5. Spoon batter into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the bread.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to serving plate.

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Rum or Rum Extract (again used coconut extract)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed Lime Juice
  • Milk to get glaze to the right consistency (you can use coconut milk, in case you have that in hand)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  1. Mix all ingredients except milk in a medium bowl. Add milk until it becomes a thick but smooth glaze. Set aside.
  2. Toast coconut under the broiler until just browned. Set aside.
  3. Drizzle glaze over bread. Top with toasted coconut and lime zest.

I used the largest bread pan I had, I suggest you do too. My batter came a little over the sides. No biggie.  I also added the zest to the glaze itself instead of sprinkling it on top to give the glaze an extra lime punch.

I really hope you try this and love it as much as I did.  If you change it up, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Panzanella Salad

A panzanlla salad is comes from the Tuscan region of Italy and is basically a bread salad.  Typically a panzanella includes day old bread, tomatoes, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Since the wonderful HighCross Farm had some sexy lemon basil, cucumber and red onions in the box, I decided to throw those in as well. The best part was  I didn’t have to go anywhere near my stove. Score!

Since I used lemon basil, I decided to keep with the fruity flavor profile and made a vinaigrette with some orange olive oil and strawberry balsamic I got at  Oro Di Oliva.  Fantastic!

For the Panzanella:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled/seeded and diced
  • 4-5 small-medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of lemon basil
  • 5-6 sliced of day old Italian bread, cut into 1 inch sliced and diced

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablepoons, balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoons, honey
  • 5 lemon basil leaves, chopped
  • S&P to taste

In a large bowl add the cucumber, tomato, basil, and onion.  Chill in the refrigerator for an hour to let the juices of the tomato draw out.

While that chills whisk together your vinaigrette.

Add the bread and vinaigrette to cucumber/tomato  mixture. Mix well. You want the bread to sop up the vinaigrette and juice from the veg.

Note: Make sure your bread is good and stale. If you use soft bread you will get nothing but mush. You want good hard, stale bread for this salad.

Let chill again for another 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Warm Eggplant & Summer Squash Bruschetta

I love, love, LOVE bruschetta.  I normally go for the typical tomato, basil, mozzarella bruschetta.  This time I decided to go with a super chunky, ultra rustic, warm bruschetta to put atop my fresh loaf of Italian bread.

This is rich and full of flavor without being too heavy for a summer dish.

I think I used 90% of my CSA box with this recipe.  This was a total experiment that pleased me to no end.

This recipe makes quite a lot, so grab a big loaf of fresh bread, a handful of good friends, a beverage of your choice and ENJOY.

Supplies:

  • 1 large zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized egg plant, roughly chopped
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and you guessed it, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c red wine of your choice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh basil. I received some beautiful lemon basil in my box this week.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • S & P to taste
  • Fresh bread, toasted
  • Grated Parmesan, optional

In a large dutch oven sweat your diced onions in heated olive oil.  Sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sautee until fragrant.  You want to be able to smell the garlic, but be careful not to burn the garlic.

Once you are able to smell the garlic add the squash and egg plant.  Sauté until they start to get golden brown.

Add the wine, tomatoes and basil and let simmer for about 3o minutes; stirring often.You want the liquid to reduce by half. Salt and pepper to your taste.

The squash and eggplant will be soft and you will be left with this delectable sauce to sop up with your bread.

Top your toasted bread with some bruschetta and top with grated parm.

Side note:  If you can get lemon basil, I suggest you do so.  The aroma and flavor it gives this dish is out of this world. Sublime.  If you want a little heat, go ahead and add some crushed red pepper flakes or thai chilies.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Green Onion Flat Bread

There were some green onion in my CSA box this week.  I normally use them for stir fries or salads.  I decided to break from my norm and try something totally different.

I have been seeing Chinese green onion pancakes all over the internet.  Interesting concept, but most of the recipes involved frying.  I pretty much have cut out fried foods from my diet, so I played around and came up with a flat bread.

This recipe is super simple.  It takes five minutes on the grill to cook them, and they are absolutely fantastic.

I plan on making these again when cucumbers start showing up in my box.  Ever since I went to Greek fest in Milwaukee, I’ve fallen in love with Souvlaki.  These would be perfect with some grilled pork and Tzatziki Sauce. (Stay tuned for that recipe.)

Supplies

  • 3 C of flour (I used bread flour, but AP would work just fine)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 bunch (5-6) green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 C water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put the dough hook on your kitchenaid mixer, if you have one.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix with the dough hook until combined.

Add the wet ingredients and onions and let the dough work for 5 mins or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 30 mins.

Cut dough into equal pieces and roll into balls.

Roll balls out with rolling pin into discs of desired thickness.

Put on hot grill and grill for 2-3 mins on each side. Once you get good grill marks on one side, flip over.  These do not take long to cook at all.

I topped this batch with sour cream and left over onions.  They were amazing.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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