Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cheese and Stuff Quick Bread

So last week was Ty's birthday and we did up a big cheese plate for nibbles. Leftovers are to be expected but we had even more than I thought. Plus Ty is now off dairy for a bit and my parents have gone to Europe and asked me to bring the last of the food in their fridge home, which of course included cheese as well as some veggie odds and ends.

Speaking of cheese, our rotary grater broke (well one piece did) and when I contacted the company to ask if I could buy a replacement piece, they told me they would send a whole new grater free of charge. Thanks Fox Run brands!

Right, back to the loaf...

Well we had a bunch of cheese, and Ty wasn't eating any so I needed to bake something with it, preferably that I could freeze. I was originally thinking about cheese scones but then drifted to quickbread. After double checking my solid to liquid ratios this delicious taste of using up stuff was born.

Cheese and Stuff Quickbread

1 3/4 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar and local gouda)
2 tbsp white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1 1/2 tbsp fresh dill
1/4 tsp granulated garlic (or 1 fresh clove, minced)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 F and grease an 8x4 (or 9x5) loaf pan.

Combine first 8 ingredients in medium bowl and mix well. Combine egg, milk, and oil in small bowl and beat together. Add we ingredients to dry and stir until just combined (do NOT overmix). Pour mix into loaf pan and bake for 35 or until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Spice Rack Challenge - Dill Batter Bread

All right, spice rack challenge time.

April is Dill and I have it growing fresh in my Areogarden. Did you know that you actually need more dill when fresh than dried because the flavour is more subtle, unless of course your dried dill is years old and then there's no flavour at all.

A few years ago one of my friends gifted me a copy of the Joy of Cooking, the 75th anniversary edition. I was pleased with the gift, but it has sat on my shelf now without me really using it. I'd flip though it for a specific recipe now and then and then use one from elsewhere. The other day however, I watched an episode of Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag where they tested reviews from the book.

It inspired me to get out the book and have a serious read through it. I decided to try the Portuguese Greens Soup along with Dill Batter Bread and oh my, were both delicious. The recipe for the bread is listed below.

Dill Batter Bread - from the Joy of Cooking
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour (I used a whole wheat/white blend)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dried dill)
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg

Mix yeast and water in bowl and let stand 5 minutes.

Combine all other ingredients ASIDE from cottage cheese and egg. I mixed mine in my stand mixer. Add cheese, egg, and yeasty-water. Mix on low speed (or by hand if you don't have a stand mixer - you poor poor soul) until it comes together. Add additional flour or warm water if needed.

Swap to dough hook and knead about 10 minutes on medium-low until dough is smooth and elastic. Oil dough and trasfer to oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise somewhere warm) until doubled (1-1 1/2 hours).

Grease 9-x loaf pan. Punch down dough, form into loaf and place in pan seem side down. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on rack.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

When you have a great crop of zucchini (or a coworker shares from their garden with you a good way to handle excess zucchini is to grate and freeze it in the quantities you typically bake with/use it for. Just flip through your recipes and determine if you need 1 cup, 1.5 cup, or 2 cup portions. I measured mine and then plopped portions in Ziplock bags, flattening the packages out for stacking. I froze 6 cups in three portions for baking throughout winter though you could also add a package to soup or stew for some extra veggie nutrients.

Recipe Adapted from Baking Illustrated
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 ts baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Set aside.

Grate the zucchini, using a medium sized grater (If not pulling yours from the freezer and thawing it.) Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well blended (about 2 minutes). Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.

Makes one loaf.

Corn Chowder and Cookies

Last week Ty decided to take on a few nights worth of dinner (okay two, but he'd planned on three and is making his planned meal for that night tomorrow). His first night cooking he made this corn chowder.

It was delicious.

Later that evening I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies using a recipe from Tasty Kitchen that I forgot to save. They were quite good considering I forgot to add the cup of brown sugar to them. The only sweetness was a 1/2 cup of white sugar and the chocolate chips. See, I made them healthy without even

Today has been laundry, repotting seedlings, and baking a chocolate zucchini loaf. Picture and recipe to follow.