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SRC: Zucchini Bread

I feel like everyone has a favorite, go-to, recipe for things like zucchini and banana bread…except me.  I always have to go searching for a recipe every time I want to make either of those quick breads. Even when I do have a favorite recipe for something, I’m a sucker for anyone’s family recipe so while I was browsing Jenni’s blog The Gingered Whisk for my Secret Recipe Club assignment I saw that this recipe came from her Grandmother and I was sold.

The bread was delightful; crunchy top,  very moist and tender insides. I forgot the nuts in half of them and then remembered to add them before the next batch went into the oven and I think the nuts really added flavor to the bread.

Instead of making loaves, I made them into muffins. I like muffins better because they’re much more portable and easier to transport. Also, when I bring them into work people can just grab one and wander away rather than having to slice the bread.

So if you have an abundance of zucchini coming out of your garden, or your neighbor is leaving bushels of them on your doorstep, or you’re just a sucker for zucchini bread try out this version. You won’t be disappointed, because Grandmother’s always have the best recipes :).

The recipe was quick and easy, especially if you use a food processor to shred the zucchinis. One batch will yield about a dozen muffins and you only need 1-2 medium zucchinis to get two shredded cups.

Zucchini Bread

From The Gingered Whisk

Makes 1 loaf or 12 muffins

Zucchini Bread

3 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
½ cup veggie oil
½ cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnut

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake/muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl beat eggs until frothy. Add in sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix until everything is combined.

Then mix in zucchini, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Fold in walnuts.

Evenly fill cupcake/muffin tin to just about full and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of each muffin.



SRC: Homemade Palmiers

Secret Recipe Club

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, which is like a monthly secret Santa blog hop, I was assigned More than an Occasional Baker by Ros from England (Hi! I’m going to be visiting Britain in the fall! Suuuper excited!) I knew once I saw homemade Elephant Ears I had to make them.

My office this morning is going to alternatively love me for bringing in free cookies and hate me for bringing in cookies.

My mother, on the other hand, is probably going to send me a strongly worded email after she reads this post. You see, Palmiers, or Elephant Ears as I grew up calling them, are probably one of my mother’s favorite cookies. And I was supposed to go home this weekend to watch the Olympics since I don’t own a tv. Even though she didn’t know then I was going to make these cookies…she does now and I’m fairly certain that she’s going to be miffed about missing out.

Why didn’t I go home this weekend you ask?

Better plans with friends in Sacramento, perhaps?

Nope. I got lazy half way through packing and decided to go shopping. Which leads me to hating Target. I go in to Target for a $10 plastic bowl and leave $63 later. Stupid Target. They should employ an anti-personal shopper whose sole job is for me to tell them what I’m there to buy and then not allow me to buy anything else. Forcibly if needed.

Anyway, back to cookies. These were SUPER quick to make. Seriously. The longest part was allowing the cookies to chill after rolling. I totally used store bought pastry dough though. I was just too lazy this weekend to make my own. If you want to go the store bought route, find a brand of puff pastry that uses only butter! It’s soooo much better! I used Dufour which can be found at Whole Foods, and I’m sure at restaurant supply stores. There’s only one sheet of puff pastry per box though – so plan accordingly!

I got about 30 Ears out of one box and boy are they delicious and bake quickly! They only need 10-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven and they burn quickly. Although those are still delicious. I may have burnt the last batch of 6….and may or may not eaten them all…someone had to right?

The cookies are overly simple to make and like Ros, I also did a cinnamon sugar version of them. I was kinda hoping they’d taste like baked churros but no dice. Oh well. Disneyland will still have to be my churro dealer.

I’m seriously going to have to keep a box or two of puff pastry in my freezer now to make these up for when I go to party or bbq and don’t have time to make anything involved! I wonder if you could make these up and then pop them back in the freezer and then just bake them as you need them?

These were so much better than store bought Elephant Ears, I think I’d rather make them then buy them in the future! Go, try them! You won’t be disappointed! Thank you Ros for the recipe!

Homemade Palmiers (Elephant Ears)

From More than an Occasional Baker

1 box all butter store bought puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix together sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar onto a clean work surface. Unfold the puff pastry and roll out to about 8 (or 10)x12. So a little bit larger than a piece of paper. If you’re using Dufour, your puff pastry is just about this size. It only needs a little bit of rolling.

Once the puff pastry is rolled, sprinkle the other half of the cinnamon sugar onto the puff pastry. Starting at the longest edge, roll towards the middle. Once you hit the center point stop rolling. Repeat this process for the other edge. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about an hour or until the puff pastry is chilled.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep your cookie sheet: silicon mat, parchment paper, or greased and floured. Slice the now chilled puff pastry into half inch slices. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes every minute or so! The go from delicious to burnt in a blink of an eye! The bottoms should be golden brown.

If you greased your pan remove your cookies immediately from the pan and place on cooling rack. If you’re using parchment paper or a silicon mat, you can let them cool on the pan.



SRC: Lemon Thyme Chicken

Secret Recipe Club

Yikes, another month has already gone by?! Yikes. I thought I had no time during busy season. Ha! Jokes. Now I’m studying for the CPA exam and still working full time (obviously) and I really really have no time. I’ve been living off of oatmeal for breakfast and then PB&Js for lunch and dinner since the office always has the fixins for it and I study after work…at work. I’m fairly certain I spend more time at work still than at my apartment.

Last month I’d decided I wanted to make something sweet for SRC so I could bring it in to work, but after living off of the aforementioned PB&Js I wanted something savory so I could make it and bring it into work for lunch/dinner. And I definitely found a winner!

I got assigned Fried Ice and Donut Holes by Melissa and I had so much fun looking through her recipe index! I finally settled on her Lemon Thyme Chicken, and boy am I glad I did!

Even though I’m a total sucker for lemon anything, this was absolutely delicious. Melissa was completely right when she said it was something straight out of a restaurant. It was delicious and I followed her advice and also made the baked garlic rice pilaf, and I’m so glad I did, the whole meal was delicious. Lemony and garlicky.

I started the rice first, since that took the longest and once that go into the oven, I cooked the chicken in batches. I can happily report that the recipe scales up nicely – just make sure you cook the chicken in batches! Everything was very simple and very delicious. I’m totally looking forward to having this for lunch or dinner next week in the office!

The recipe called for butterflying the chicken breasts which I didn’t do. Instead I pounded it flat because there’s something therapeutic about pounding those things flat. Too bad I can’t do it with my financial accounting review book. That would have been way more therapeutic. Le sigh. The only other change I made was to add capers to the pan sauce, because I love capers!

So, while I go back to living under the rock that is the CPA exam – go make this for dinner tonight! You won’t regret it!

Lemon Thyme Chicken

From Fried Ice and Donut Holes

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, butterflied or pounded flat
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves, minced
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 tablespoon capers
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
Juice from 1 Lemon
3 tablespoons Butter (I used about 1 1/2 and it was just fine)
Either butterfly your chicken breasts or pound them flat until they’re about half as thick.

In a large skillet (or sauce pan, just make sure it has sides, you’ll be making a pan sauce!)  heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Salt and pepper each breast and then dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.

Place chicken breasts in the pan  — if they’re large chicken breasts (like the ones from Costco) you’ll want to do them separately – and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken breast over and cook for another three minutes. In the thickest part of the chicken breast insert a thermometer to make sure the chicken as reached 160 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut the chicken at the thickest part and if it’s white all the way through it’s done.

After the chicken has been cooked, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the yummy bits of food. Return to heat and bring to a simmer. Add in the chicken broth.

Cook for another 4-5 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce. Add in butter and lemon juice and stir until the butter has completely melted. Salt and pepper if needed.

Spoon over chicken and enjoy!

 

In case you make your dinner plans based off of what cats like to eat; I give you a cat approved meal:

Although, he does like green beans so I don’t know if we should trust him. His taste buds seem a bit off for a cat.