Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

I haven’t made a “new” bread at my house in quite sometime.  I have to be honest I have been playing with/obsessing over new essential oils for my peeps….yup going all earthy on you guys!  😉  Well, I am only half kidding.  I mean this whole idea of less chemicals and less medicine is really something I am aiming for.  Nothing against it but I am not a big fan of popping a pill for every little ache and pain….but this isn’t about me hugging trees and making magic potions….although a good quick bread could be considered a magic potion that would heal many many ailments if you ask me.  Then again I think food is love so what do I know?

Let’s not waste anymore of our valuable time and let’s see what this magical bread is all about!

DELICIOUS!

DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup oats (regular not quick)

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup butter melted

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup (or more depending on how crazy your day has been going, see note) semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and oats.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter and your sugar.  Add your eggs and combine well. Add your mashed bananas.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined.  Using a spatula fold in your shredded zucchini.  Finally add your chocolate chips (if using).  Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool completely.

before....

before….

after!   <3

after! ❤

Note: I was going to say the chocolate chips were optional but by 6am I was dealing with: broken TV, an over-flowing toilet, two cranky teenagers, one crazy dog and spilled coffee….then by 10am: went for a run, fell at mile 1, broke skin on hands and right leg, kept on running (and bleeding…gross) to 5 miles, broke my favorite water bottle, 3 phone calls from the Canadian Passport office (as if I am applying to be the Prime Minister!)…this day needed CHOCOLATE!

AND THEN….I got stuck on the phone with the TV guy for what seems like an eternity and he told me his life story…I wish I was kidding: he has a wife named Miracle and a daughter named Isabelle….what are the chances?!

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped  ;)

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped 😉

Printer Friendly: Banana Zucchini Bread

Peace and This Day Needed Some Magic,

Isabelle

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp with Israeli Couscous

Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp with Israeli Couscous

First off; the “real” name of this recipe: Grilled Chile-Lime with Israeli Couscous, Mango, and Zucchini.  I ran out of space (and patience) for my title.

Second; as you know I am a visual person.  Guess what?  Yep, didn’t read the whole recipe (again).  Saw the picture and fell in love.  It is now 9:25pm and dinner isn’t served.  Welcome to the madness!

Let me paint a picture, if you will.

10:30am Chiropractor appointment.  I show up at 10:00am because I am a nervous wreck and I think I might chicken out.

11:15am still alive walk out of Chiro’s office….with my cookbook in hand, page folded, heading straight to the grocery store even though I can’t stand straight and look like I am 105yrs old!

1:30 leave said grocery store because tomorrow is the Fourth of July and people think they have to stock up like it’s then end of the world…oh and I ran into people I know and I talk too much.  Go home have lunch, laundry, tend to chickens (not children)…blah blah blah…

4:30pm take girls to 4-H meeting, go home feed dogs, go back, pick up, go back forgot something, go???  Anyway it’s 7something and I finally am back home.

7:30pm make cocktail and read recipe.  BRILLIANT

7:45pm make another drink (don’t judge) start cooking….I wish I was kidding.

So bottom line Matt and I didn’t eat until almost 10!  Which worked out because he had to work late and I…well…I was in lala land!

This is a fresh and flavorful recipe I found in the new Ted Allen cookbook, find it: here

Feel free to read to whole recipe from start to end before you make it…it will help, just sayin’ !

Ingredients:

Shrimp:

1  teaspoon grated lime

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp in the shell

Coucous:

2 cups Israeli couscous

1 mango

1 medium zucchini

Vegetable oi, from brushing

2 1/2 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

How to:

Marinate the shrimp: In a medium bowl, stir together the lime zest, juice, olive oil, soy, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, sugar, chili powder, and cayenne.  Peel the shrimp leaving on the tail and de-vein.  (I didn’t leave the tails on)

Rinse and then pat completely dry with paper towels.  Put the shrimp in a large zipper bag, pour the marinade over, close the bag, pushing out any air, and rub the marinade into the shrimp.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes. (don’t leave in there longer you are not making cheviche!)

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Make the couscous: in a dry, medium saucepan over medium-low heat, toss the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Peel the mango, stand it on its end with a skinny edge facing you and run your knife close to the seed core to cut 2 slices off each of the two sides, making 4 slices each 1/2 inch thick. (as it turns out I am really bad at this and I need practice!) Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/3 to 1/2-inch slices.

Brush the mango and zucchini pieces with vegetable oil on both sides and grill until charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool, and then cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

it looked like I had a fight with the mango…and won…poor mango!

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the toasted couscous, stir, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 7 minutes.   Add the mango, zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the butter, and parsley: cook for 1 minutes  Taste for seasoning and doneness.  Keep warm.

Put the shrimp on a cutting board and nestle them together in groups of 6.  Using 2 skewers for each group (this keeps them from falling into the grill and makes them easier to turn) (you will see by my pictures that I skipped/didn’t read that part!) skewer the shrimp.  Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, 2 minutes per side, and serve on top of the couscous.

evidently I can’t follow directions…but the shrimp did get grilled perfectly!

I love this dish, just a touch of sweet with the right amount of savory….the perfect bite!

Wheeeeew….I am out of breath…and words 🙂

Most flavorful shrimp on this lovely planet!  DELISH!

Printer Friendly: Grilled Chile-Lime Shrimp with Israeli couscous, mango and zucchini

Peace and Read it all,

Isabelle

NOTE: I know, I know, I have said a lot already BUT if you are looking to make a delicious simple appetizer this summer: make the shrimp only.  The marinade gives them the most amazing flavors and so simple to make for a cocktail party!

delightful shrimp= perfect summer appetizer

I shared my recipe here as well:

Fried Zucchini…it was a gift!

The gift in fact was a HUGE zucchini given to us by my oldest daughter’s “sweetheart”….wow…that wasn’t easy to say.

I have a hard time thinking of her (and her sister) in “terms” of having boyfriends.  YUCK!  I mean, I tell them all the time that boys are gross, messy and smelly.  Sorry, but I gotta work with what I have.  If you have boys in your house, please feel free to tell them girls are demanding, emotional and all around too much to handle!

Said zucchini....pic doesn't do it justice!

Said zucchini….pic doesn’t do it justice!

So, this zucchini has been taunting me…in fact it puts my garden to shame.  How can a zucchini this big exist in a garden 20 acres away from my own and all I have are minuscule vegetables?  I need to go investigate this pretty soon.  What are they putting in this garden that I am not aware of?….intriguing.

Also, the thought of me going over to her “friend’s” house is simply mortifying for Sunshine….ha ha ha…it is so cool to have that power….ooops was that my outside voice?

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini (see pic) or 2 normal size ones

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you might need more)

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (you might need more)

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)

Canola oil for frying

Sea Salt (or kosher) for sprinkling

Spicy Dipping Sauce (recipe to follow)

How to:

OK, so first thing first, I like to peel “most” of the skin off my zucchini (see pic).  If you like the skin on then go ahead leave it on…or peel it all off.  It’s all good. Cut your zucchini the size of large cut fries (see pic).

My super duper technique for peeling a zucchini

    Size: 4-5 inches long by 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick

Size: 4-5 inches long by 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick

Take a large cookie/baking sheet and line with 2 layers of paper towels, set aside.

Next set up your assembly line.  1.  Flour (a touch of salt and pepper goes a long way) 2. Egg (whisk please) 3. Panko breadcrumbs with a touch of parmesan (you may as well add a touch of salt and pepper!)

In a large pan, add your oil.  I like canola oil for this but since I won’t be in your kitchen supervising then use what you like but please NO olive oil…it just won’t work.   Don’t start your burner just yet.

Working with a few pieces at a time, dip your zucchini “fries” in your flour, then your eggs and finally your panko.  Set aside until you have a few to start frying.

Heat your oil.  CAREFULLY place each piece in your hot oil and DO NOT leave this program (it’s the fat happening but it’s oh! so delicious!).   Turn each piece once to get a nice golden color.  Place your paper towel lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

If you are doing a large batch of these you may want to turn on your oven to a low 200 degrees and keep your zucchini sticks warm while finishing the rest.

I made a LOT...hence the paper towel lined baking sheet!

I made a LOT…hence the paper towel lined baking sheet!

Time to serve.  Put your fried zucchini on a serving platter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

that's good stuff!

that’s good stuff!

OH MY! OH MY!….this is so crunchy and full of flavor.  The zucchini is tender yet still has a great bite to it, and the touch of sea salt just adds enough punch for me to eat a whole bowl full.  Move over french fries, mama’s got zucchini…..I need to stop typing this is disturbing at best.

Spicy Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup light mayo

1/2 cup sour cream

2 small banana peppers diced finely (I usually have the pickled banana peppers)

1/4 teaspoon adobo or chipotle  chili powder

How to:

Mix all ingredients together and serve with Fried Zucchini (also great on sandwiches)

Have fun with this, make as much or as little as you want.  I know the fat, the frying….I get it.  Indulge a little…it’s worth it! 🙂

Printer friendly: Fried Zucchini

Peace…girls rule & boys drool,

Isabelle

Falling for the Book: Spicy Zucchini Quick Bread

Spicy Zucchini Quick Bread

Let me now explain the title, it’s so me….some of you might relate….some of you might think I am crazy. (I’m good with that!)

I love public libraries.  I could spend hours…HOURS in there.  I get my love of books from my dad.  He loves to spend time in libraries and book stores.

So, I got this text from Heather (Basilmomma) telling me that my Bear is on the cover of the Indiana State Museum flyer for their summer program.  She also told me that I can get the flyer at the library.  Great, since I am there practically everyday during the summer, I will get a copy (or 3) for myself.  I mean the kid is cute and she is now famous (!).  Also, I know my mom will want to have one as well. (nerds unite!)

My bear is the “bottom” one, she is holding up her friend! 🙂

While at my lovely library with my sweet daughters (at that moment…you know it’s summer…kids don’t always get along!) I was walking and found myself in the cookbook aisle…what a shocker!  I just happened to grab this book….2 minutes later, I am sitting in the middle of the aisle falling for this book…hard!

The book: Back To The Table; The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith

Confession: I almost put the book back…because right on the inside of the cover the first thing was: “From Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef….blah, blah, blah”  Again please DO NOT send me hate mail but….I have never really been a follower of O.W..  I am sure she is as awesome as they get.  I just don’t watch TV during the day.  I might have seen her show 2-3 times at best.  It’s just not for me.  I am not saying the fact that he is or was her personal chef is bad.  I am simply saying that I don’t “like” stuff because it is in relation to a famous person.

BUT the book is awesome!  Nicely done Mr. Smith…nicely done 🙂  Here again, the first thing that jumped out at me: Spicy Zucchini Quick Bread!  Oh! come on, I haven’t made a quick bread in a while….

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons five-spice powder, pumpkin powder spice, or ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil (I only had canola oil)

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini (2 large)

1 cup chopped pecans (I didn’t put them in because Mr. Man and Sunshine don’t like nuts in their sweet breads!)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Mr. Smith also said you may want to position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube (Bundt) pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your flour, five-spice powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center.  In another bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and pour into the well.  Mix well, then stir in the zucchini and chopped pecans.  Spread evenly in the pan.

My zucchinis (I do think this looks like more than 2 cups but it was 2 zucchinis so I am using all of it)

Ready for the oven (isn’t my pan cute? I found it at a yard sale for $.50! Not bad!)

Bake in your preheated oven for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool completely and enjoy!

My afternoon treat 🙂

Printer friendly: Spicy Zucchini Quick Bread

Note: AWESOME bread.  I didn’t have Five-Spice powder so I did the cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper!  Still delicious!

Peace and Not Famous by a long shot,

Isabelle