Friday, July 30, 2010

Carrot & Zucchini Bread

Call me 'picky' but for a long time now, I've been hunting for the one go-to zucchini bread recipe to call my own. This recipe has it all: a generous measure of grated zucchini, bright color from grated carrot, spice-forward from pantry spices. Most of all, this zucchini bread stays moist and fresh for a long time.
Some times? It pays to be picky.

Carrot & Zucchini Bread


TESTIMONIALS
"This is wonderful! ... I followed the recipe to the letter and it was dead on perfect." ~ Anonymous


“Just so you know,” she warned as we walked into the mall on a summer Saturday, “I’m a really picky shopper.”

‘She’ is Kerrin, the almost-21 chemical engineering student who visited for the weekend a couple of weeks back. ‘She’ is the daughter of my dear friends from way-way back, Gary and Lisa (yes, that would be Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme). ‘She’ is the confident young woman who somehow remains, in voice and energy, a grown-up version of the girl I last saw, then eight years old and a wild risk-taker at farkle.

No wonder Kerrin is ‘picky’. For work, she wears steel-toed boots and a hard hat, safety requirements at the water treatment plant where she has an internship this summer. For play, she leans toward the feminine and the comfortable.

So I happily joined the other ‘moms’ hanging around outside the dressing rooms at Macy’s, H&M and Forever 21, wondering how such little bits of cloth can cost $15 and $30 and even $60 even while appreciating Kerrin’s well-developed sense of style. If that’s ‘picky’, picky is a good thing.

Me, I’m picky about zucchini bread. I want it slightly rustic, that means a good measure of whole wheat flour. I want it moist, no miserly portion of grated zucchini here. I want it pretty, with grated carrot for whimsical color; and slightly zingy with spices, cinnamon and ginger both. After many trials over some years, I’ve finally settled on my go-to ready-for-sharing recipe for zucchini bread, this is it. I think you just might become picky about your zucchini bread too.

ALANNA’s TIPS Day One, the candied ginger can feel superfluous. But by Day Two, its gingery bite adds welcome texture contrast. It really does move this zucchini bread from "very good" to "great" territory, do try to use it.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

CARROT & ZUCCHINI BREAD

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 2 loaves, each 12 slices (easily halved to make a single loaf, 1 egg works fine)
  • 1/2 cup (116g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (212g) buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup (172g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (172g) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (use 2 eggs for a half recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) vanilla
    DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 254g
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, fluffed to aerate or 142g
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 cups (200g) grated zucchini from 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup (100g) grated carrot 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, optional but recommended (see TIPS)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 bread pans with baking spray such as Bakers Joy, my favorite.

In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil and buttermilk with an electric mixer until well-combined. Add the sugars and mix in until well-combined. One at a time, add the eggs, beating until well-combined. Mix in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture, mixing in until just combined. With a spatula, gently stir in the zucchini, carrot and ginger.

Transfer to the two pans, bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, turning after 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes, then gently turn over to remove from the pans. Let cool completely, slice and serve.

To store, wrap well and do refrigerate – if any is left after the first day, that is!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Carrot & Zucchini Bread? How many Weight Watchers points in Carrot & Zucchini Bread?) Per Slice without/with candied ginger: 164/173 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 27mg Cholesterol; 156/157mg Sodium; 26/28g Carb; 1g Fiber; 14/15g Sugar; 3g Protein; Weight Watchers 3.5 points
Adapted from several recipes, including my favorite Autumn Pumpkin Bread and Eating Local, an inspiring cookbook from Sur La Table. DISCLOSURE A complimentary copy of this cookbook was provided by publisher Andrews McMeel but the recommendation is entirely my own. My Disclosure Promise

More Recipes for Quick Breads

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Cheery Cherry Banana Bread Black Walnut Bread Quick Brown Bread

Zucchini Glut?
More Zucchini Recipes



Recent Favorites from A Veggie Venture



If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, visit A Veggie Venture, my food blog, home to the Alphabet of Vegetables where there's a vegetable in every recipe and vegetables in every course.


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cold-Brewed Coffee for Iced Coffee

How to survive a steamy summer: Brew coffee in the refrigerator, creating a smooth and low-acidity coffee concentrate for making iced coffee and coffee smoothies.

Cold-Brewed Coffee
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

How can we get up in the morning, knowing what we do? But we do, put one foot after the other, open the window, make coffee, watch the steam curl up and disappear.
- Excerpt from poet Barbara Crooker
via Writer's Almanac

It happens every summer, some years during an unseasonably hot June, some years in always-steamy July.

Predictably, even if the timing is inexact, one morning hot coffee suddenly offers no pleasure. On that morning’s dime, I switch from hot java to iced coffee.

For years, I brewed hot coffee, then chilled it in the fridge. Last year, praise be and thanks to Dinner with Julie, I discovered cold-brewed coffee. What a revelation.

How easy is this? Simply mix ground coffee with cold water and let it rest for a few hours.

But cold-brewed coffee is more than 'easy'. The coffee is smoother and less acidic. It’s easy to make just enough for one or two. It's oh-so-sippable, a cool treat to accompany the soundtrack of a steamy summer.

I love the rhythm of cold coffee. Day One, I mix the first batch of concentrate in a glass jar. Day Two, I strain the coffee through the coffee maker’s filter into a second glass jar, freeing up the first jar to make a fresh batch for tomorrow. While tomorrow’s coffee brews, I sip on today’s iced coffee all day long.

Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, all summer long.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. How do you stay cool in the hot summer? Share a quick idea via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture.

COLD-BREWED COFFEE

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 8 – 24 hours
Makes 1-1/2 cups coffee concentrate (easily multiplied for more)
    COFFEE CONCENTRATE
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup ground coffee (that’s 5 tablespoons or 4 of those little funnel-shaped coffee scoopers)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • Pinch of cinnamon, optional
    ICED COFFEE
  • Water or milk
  • Palm sugar or sweetened condensed milk
    COFFEE SMOOTHIE
  • Cream
  • Sugar

COFFEE CONCENTRATE Stir the water and ground coffee in a glass jar, making sure to wet all the grounds. If you like, stir in sugar and a little cinnamon, especially if you are a fan of flavored coffee. Cover and let steep in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours. Drain through a coffee filter. If drinking later, refrigerate.

ICED COFFEE Combine equal parts coffee concentrate and water or milk. Pour over ice and sweeten as desired.

COFFEE SMOOTHIE Combine ¼ cup coffee concentrate, 1/4 cup cream, 2 – 3 tablespoons of sugar and five ice cubes in a blender. Yum!

ALANNA’s TIPS Brew the Coffee Concentrate with fresh-ground coffee beans if you like. But I stick with my everyday coffee, the wonderful Folgers 100% Colombian. Yes, I know: Folgers and ground coffee, cancel my foodie credentials. But this stuff is good – and affordable, $7 or $8 on sale for a huge tub. A little coffee grit will accumulate in the bottom of the jar and even the cup. But it’s no more than, say, what you’ll find at Starbucks. Via SFGate, the San Francisco Chronicle has published still more ideas on variations of cold-brewed coffee.


Ways to Strain the Coffee Grounds


Straining Coffee Grounds Through a Paper Filter

There are different ways to strain the coffee grounds to make the Coffee Concentrate.
As pictured, use a paper coffee filter tucked into a strainer. Just be sure to pour the liquid in slowly, otherwise, it'll spill all over.
My coffee maker has a metal filter that works great for straining the cold-brewed coffee.
Jennie from In Jennie’s Kitchen uses a French press for brewing and straining, brilliant! I loved this idea so much that I bought a French press and so far, use it exclusively for cold-brewed coffee.


Summer Savers:
More Cold Drinks for Hot Summers

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mad for Mangoes (Mango Smoothie Recipes) My Perfect Sangria Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade
~ more drink recipes ~





© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust

This recipe won first place in my town's peach pie contest and oh my! what a pie! Imagine no blanching and no peeling, the secret to unforgettable peach sweetness. This is a blue-ribbon pie, for sure.

First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust

“Baby don't you cry, gonna make a pie
Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle
Baby don’t be blue
Gonna make for you
Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle
Gonna be a pie from the heaven above
Gonna be filled with strawberry love.”
~ Quincy Coleman song from the pie-inspiring film Waitress

(To listen along as you read, open this page in another window.)


In 2008, I judged my town’s first-ever peach pie contest. What a kick!

The organizers expected local grandmas to appear bearing pies oozing peach juice, filling the air with the scents of cinnamon and nutmeg and hmm, would anyone choose a pinch of ginger?

Instead, there were seven entries, including yes, a nice grandma or two. But then the young pie bakers arrived. A mother-daughter team was inspired by the movie Waitress, right down to the heart-shaped pastry in the center. A pair of giggly twenty-somethings entered on a lark, looked up recipes online and made not one but two very creditable pies; they laughed that their mothers don’t make pie – but now, thanks to the contest, they had!

My fellow judges and I nibbled at pastry and swooned over sweet peaches. Second prize went to a girl only 15 years old.

But first prize was no contest, all of us were seduced by one pie with an over-the-top, picked-prime peach flavor. Pie baker Chris Berg’s trick for capturing peach flavor? Cook the peaches with their skins on! Imagine, a recipe that is simpler (no blanching and no peeling) and better (oh-so-peachy).

SAVE the SCRAPS Don’t waste the leftover pastry scraps! But don’t re-roll the pieces either. Just arrange all the odd-shaped scraps on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon, bake until golden and crispy. I usually stick the scraps in with the pie, setting the timer for about 10 minutes, then checking every minute or two until done.
ALANNA’s TIPS For consistency, Kitchen Parade recipes slice pies into eight pieces. But this pie is so rich and good, no one will feel cheated if it’s sliced to serve 10 or 12. I use 6 cups of peaches for a shallow pie pan, 8 for a deep-dish pie. I’ve adapted the filling recipe, cooking the syrup alone for a bit, adding the peaches at the last. This creates a thick syrup without overcooking the peaches. Should a lattice top be woven? Sure, if you insist. But to my aesthetic, weaving the lattice is more fuss and fret than fetching.

FIRST-PRIZE PEACH PIE
with LATTICE CRUST

Hands-on time: 35 minutes (plus the crust)
Time to table: 4 - 5 hours
Serves 8 (see TIPS)
    FILLING
  • 6 – 8 cups (see TIPS) ripe peaches, skins on
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour (use 6 tablespoons for 8 cups peaches)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter

CRUST Mix the pastry dough, let chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the bottom crust and arrange in a pie plate. Trim the pastry, leaving an inch hanging over the side. Refrigerate.

FILLING Slice the peaches in six or eight pieces lengthwise, then each piece into three or four pieces. In a large saucepan, gently stir together the peaches, sugar, flour and nutmeg. Let rest at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes until a peachy syrup forms. (See TIPS.) With a slotted spoon, move the peach pieces to a bowl. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low, cook for about 10 minutes or until just beginning to thicken. Stir in the peaches; stirring often, cook for another 10 minutes or until the peaches are tender. Take the pan off the heat, stir in vanilla and butter, stirring until butter melts. Let cool to room temperature. (The peach filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.)

ASSEMBLE Preheat oven to 425F. Roll the top crust, cut into nine long narrow strips. Working quickly, pour the filling into the bottom crust and arrange the pastry strips in a lattice, five strips running left to right, four strips running up and down (see TIPS). Turn the overhang over to form the crust’s edge, pinch to seal.

BAKE Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F, bake for another 25-35 minutes or until the crust is golden on top and bottom and the filling is bubbly.

COOL & SERVE Let cool for 2 hours or more. Slice, serve and savor. For extra decadence, top the slices with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Slice, assuming the pastry is my Flaky Tender Pie Crust and 8/12 slices: 378/252Cal; 29/19g Tot Fat; 16/11g Sat Fat; 49/33mg Cholesterol; 257/171mg Sodium; 27/18g Carb; 2/1g Fiber; 21/14g Sugar; 2/1g Protein; Weight Watchers 9/6 points

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite summer pie recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

A Small-Town Peach Festival


Kirkwood Peach Festival

Left - Chris Berg and her prize-winning peach pie.
Top Center - A pastry heart in the center of the peach pie, inspired by the movie Waitress.
Center - Pie bakers Morgan and Rian, helping Morgan's mom Ashley Herrick bake a peach pie filled with love, recipe here.
Bottom Center - The 2010 Kirkwood Peach Festival is Saturday, July 17
Right - Peaches from Missouri and Illinois are 'the best'!


More Peach Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Savory Peach Appetizer Peach Un-cobbler Peach Blueberry Cake
~ more peach recipes ~

More Recipes for Summer Pies

Fresh Peach Pie Summer Berry Pie Blueberry Sour Cream Pie


Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





© Copyright 2010 Kitchen Parade