Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

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Until last week, I had absolutely no idea that I liked zucchini. I had never ordered them at restaurants; I was never served them as a child (at least that I can remember). And when Kevin and I subscribed to emeals, we were sent a basic tomato and zucchini salad recipe that I absolutely fell in love with, so I’ve been on a huge zucchini binge the last week.

But, since it’s me, I have to bake something to truly love it.

Introducing my Cinnamon Zucchini Bread recipe, adapted from Ettie’s Fail-Proof Zucchini Bread recipe.

Cinnamon Zucchini Bread
Yields 1 loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon for garnish

3 eggs

¾ cup vegetable oil

1¼ cup white sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups zucchini, grated

½ cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and zucchini. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine. Mix in the walnuts.

4. Pour the batter into a prepared bread pan. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of batter.

5. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes before removing the bread from the pan.

Chocolate Chip Scones

Chocolate Chip Scones

My dear co-worker Morgan brought chocolate chip scones to work last week for our fearless editor’s birthday (I brought marble cupcakes for the afternoon). After one bite of these soft and delicious chocolate chip scones, I knew that I had to have the recipe. She graciously shared her recipe, which actually turned out to be her mom’s. But I give you the best, simplest scone recipe I’ve ever found. For a healthier take on this simple recipe, Morgan suggests throwing in a tablespoon of protein powder and substitute chocolate chips for dried fruit. Or, use a cup of Activia plain vanilla yogurt. For a not-so healthy version, I added a tablespoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of cinnamon. But this is one of those scone recipes that you can play with and make your own, and I know it’ll stay in my recipe box for a long time.

 

Chocolate Chip Scones

yields 2 dozen small scones

2 1/4 cups Bisquik Baking Mix
2/3 cup milk (whatever you type you prefer)
1 plain yogurt cup
3 big spoonfuls of sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. First, mix dry ingredients. Then, add wet ingredients and combine. Place 1 spoonful of batter onto an un-greased cookie sheet, sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the tips and tops of the scones are golden. Place on a cooling rack after three minutes and let cool until warm. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold orange juice. Divine.

Beer cornbread

To liven up a Southern buffet, sneak in this cornbread with a little something extra. For the beer, we suggest the Rye Pale Ale from Broadway Brewery. Or if you can’t make it downtown, half a bottle of any pale ale you have will do. A word of caution, however: this cornbread does not keep very well or for very long, so make sure you put it in a tupperware or airtight container after it cools if you’re attempting to keep it for even a couple of hours. The air reacts to some of the ingredients in a way that it becomes very hard very quickly. But otherwise, it’s a delicious cornbread that would pair very well with a Southern cup of chili or a homestyle soup. The beer is a very light touch and hardly noticeable, but a fun addition in flavor.

 

Beer cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup Rye Pale Ale beer
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 cake pan. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the milk, eggs and beer. With a spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Be careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares or triangles.

[Originally posted here]

Baked bruschetta

Photo by L.G. Patterson

Well, in case you haven’t heard, I accepted a job offer from Inside Columbia magazine as their editorial assistant in July. I had been working there as an editorial intern for a little over two months, and the at-the-time editorial assistant was moving to New Orleans to be with her boyfriend and start a Southern adventure. Thankfully for me, Inside Columbia is a lifestyle publication that focuses on food and wine — and when I pitched back to school recipes on my first day of work as an intern for the August issue, I wasn’t quite aware that I was starting a new section: Recipes, in our back of book department.

But, to get to the point: I’m baking and getting paid to do it now. This is the first of three recipes included in the August issue, baked bruschetta. It’s a salty, savory appetizer that can be made the night before and is both easy and delicious.

Baked Bruschetta
Serves 4 to 5 people

For the kid at heart, try a sophisticated but oh-so-simple bruschetta recipe to tide you over until dinnertime. Want to make it the night before? Mix up the spread and refrigerate it overnight in an airtight container.

1 loaf Italian or French bread
½ cup Italian salad dressing
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tomato (seeded and chopped)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
Optional: additional mozzarella cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread into thin slices. Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl, mixing gently but completely. Spread mixture over slices of bread on a foil-lined cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle an additional ½ cup shredded mozzarella over all slices. Bake slices for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serve fresh from the oven.

[Originally posted here]

Classic Banana Bread

Does your mom have those old and yellowing cookbooks tucked away in her kitchen? My mom has had this cookbook, the Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook, since she married my father in 1983. She was given it by her old sister Julie, the best cook out of the three sisters by far, as a wedding gift. The book is about 300 pages with over a thousand recipes in it, about six a page with no photos (just clip art) or real step by step instructions, and is extremely straight forward. I was flipping through the yellowed and dusty pages and stumbled on a banana bread recipe that seemed simple enough, regardless of the fact that it needed a blender to complete. The first time I pulled out the ingredients from my pantry to bake the bread I realized that we only had one banana, and the recipe called for two. Tonight, though, I conquered this recipe.

Classic Banana Bread 

  • 2 ripe medium DOLE bananas, peeled
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Slice bananas into blender; whir until pureed (should have about 1 cup). Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Beat in bananas, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to banana mixture. Beat until blended. Stir in walnuts if desired. Pour into a 9 x 5 x 2-inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for around an hour, give or take 5 minutes. Check the bread with a toothpick inserted in its center, if it is done it will be clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, invert on wire ack to completely cool.

Pumpkin Bread

On Friday night, when I got home from Christmas Break (finally!) I sat down with my mom and dad and started chatting. My parents always like to catch up with me as soon as I get home. Of course our hour long sit-on-the-couch-and-do-nothing-but-talk talk involved me going in and out with the last two weeks of school, all the fantastic happenings in Columbia, and ended with my mom asking if I could bake something for her Saturday night that she could take to church Sunday morning for her Sunday School class. I, of course, obliged happily and asked what she would like me to bake.

She brought to the family room her recipe tin, her wedding present from my Frink great-grandparents that contains all of the recipes we have left as a family from my incredible cook and baker of a great-grandmother. She sifted through the recipes and my dad requested my grandmother’s breakfast casserole recipe, but my mom overruled, saying that another member of their class would be bringing a casserole himself. So, she pulled out the recipe for my great grandmother’s Pumpkin Bread, something that I honestly can not remember her ever baking before and asked if I could. I, of course, obliged, and it was beyond delicious. The pumpkin made it perfectly moist and the nutmeg I sprinkled on top made it perfectly festive.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 16 oz can of pumpkin (or 2 cups pumpkin)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup Crisco (vegetable) oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  2. Optional: 1/2 cup shopped raisins (gross)

Mix as listed. Butter and flour the pans, sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter after poured into pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until done. Yields two loaves.