Monday, June 24, 2013

Secret Ingredient Zucchini Bread

I had a few zucchini leftover from one of our dinners last week, so I decided to try and make zucchini bread.  I found this recipe online, but I wanted to make it healthier.  I cut out a lot of the sugar, added whole wheat flour and flax, and subbed apple sauce for the oil.  Here is my version:

Makes 1 loaf (12 servings)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup ground flax
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 eggs 2 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini 2 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Grease and flour 8 x 4 inch bread pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, flax, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, slice, and enjoy!
The bread was super moist, had a nice crust on top, and was just sweet enough. Leah really liked the bread (another great way to get her to eat vegetables)!  And on a side note, I ran out of apple sauce, so the secret ingredient was a jar of apple cinnamon oatmeal baby food ;)   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day!  We celebrated by having our parents, siblings and furry friends over for a BBQ yesterday.  Sadly, we were missing my older brother (who was celebrating his first Father's Day), my sister-in-law, and 1 month old nephew who are out on the east coast.  But we toasted to them anyway :)

Leah surprised her Daddy, Poppee and Yei Yei with handprint and footprint mugs she made all by herself.

She also made them personalized cards.  Here is the one she made for Daddy.

And my little brother showed me how to use the timer on my SLR - so we finally have a group shot!  Leah is actually looking at the camera, but too bad the doggies were too busy playing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cheese, Please! Part II

I love cheese.  And if you didn't see my first cheese, please post, I recently received two cookbooks  "Mac & Cheese, Please!" and "Grilled Cheese Please!".  What more could a cheese lover ask for?  After making Zesty Kale Two Ways & Fontina Mac & Cheese I was ready to try out a grilled cheese recipe.  The Havarti with Balsamic-Glazed Carrots sounded interesting as I never thought of putting vegetables in a grilled cheese sandwich. The hubs and I had it for lunch one day and it was delicious!  The carmelized carrots and the creamy havarti melted together to make the perfect, unexpected pairing.

Makes 4 sandwiches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 4-inch-long segments
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices rye, whole-grain or Italian bread
  • 8 ounces Havarti

To make the carrots: Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low and add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

To assemble: Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Place carrots on bread. Distribute cheese over carrots. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Put sandwiches into pan, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip sandwiches, pressing each one lightly with the spatula to flatten slightly. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Turn 1 more time, and cook for about 1 minute, or until cheese has melted completely. Remove from pan and cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half and serve.

I served the grilled cheese sandwich with a side of mixed greens dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.