Top 5 of 2015

As we ring in another new year, I thought to look back on the passing year with a post of my favorite recipes of 2015, that I know I’ll be coming back to.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year! See you all in 2016 😀

 

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Lemon Zucchini Bread – delicious and easy quick bread with lemony zing

 

 

 

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Pop Quiz – all you need to know about popcorn and making it from scratch

 

 

 

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies – a hit with your non-dairy, gluten-free, and omnivore friends alike

 

 

 

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White (Chocolate) Drizzled Lavender Shortbread – attractive and attainable party goals

 

 

 

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Dad’s Mango Bread – a new family recipe that’s always a good idea

 

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Dad’s Mango Bread

mangobreadgifMango bread…does that sound strange and exotic to you? I was pondering it while sharing mine with friends and I heard them say it. For my own family, mango bread was a standard, normal thing to have in the house, though I do realize that this may not be the case in most American households. For a time we always had a loaf on hand, and three in the freezer. My dad would make big batches of the stuff to make breakfast during the week a little better. I never made it myself, but got to experience the different adjustments with every few rounds of baking. In honor of Father’s Day, and mostly because I was reminded of this bread when prompted at work to share our fathers’ recipes, I decided to have a go myself. Disclaimer: neither name spelling nor ingredients are 100% accurate in that article. In any case, it was a great opportunity for me to buy some mangoes and fire up the oven for a better-than-banana quick bread of champions.

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Fresh mangoes are the best mangoes! Also ripe, but sometimes you just can’t wait.

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You’ll need some for puréeing and some for chunking.

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Immersion blenders are fun, but occasionally messy. If you have the right bowl, you’ll be in good shape.

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Not-so-secret ingredient:coconut

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An important step here is combining the baking soda with the mango purée. Read below for more info…

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Dad’s Mango Bread
Makes one large loaf

1 large mango, puréed (about 1 1/4 cup purée)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 sweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup yogurt
Place the mango purée in a large bowl. Separately, combine the baking soda and water, then mix into the mango purée. Let sit for 5 minutes*. In the meantime, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and coconut in a new bowl until well incorporated. Mix this into the mango purée. Stir in the flour and baking powder, one third at a time. Add in the chopped mango and yogurt last, then place in a bread pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350° for 60-70 minutes, until the top is plenty browned and looks like it might burn (ie – more brown than mine, so the top doesn’t collapse). Take out and let cool. Best served slightly warm!

*u wot? You want me to add the baking soda to the mango? This is so that the mango acidity slows its roll so your bread doesn’t come out too strong or sour, but instead mellow and rich 😀

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Enjoy, and happy Father’s Day!

Lemon Zucchini Bread

     On Tuesday, I made some zucchini bread, and there’s half a slice left on the kitchen counter.

     I know zucchinis are not in season, but I really wanted to try out a classic recipe on my own and see what happened. The first time I heard about zucchini bread, I was very skeptical. VERY skeptical. I was unaware of the concept of a vegetable being used to make a sweet bread. But boy, am I glad I gave it a try! If you’re having your doubts about such a beast because of your past dread of sliced squishy, oily zucchini on your dinner plate, prepare to have your mind blown with this incredible loaf of dense, flavorful, and extremely moist quick bread! Plain old zucchini bread would have been great, but there’s nothing like a good old kick of lemon to make your life a little happier. Trust me – you’ll want to stay with the portion size on this one (two loaves!).

It’s such an easy thing to make! Wet ingredients, sugar, dry ingredients, zucchini, oven.

See for yourself when the first turns to the second in an hour.


Lemon Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Sunset Breads
Makes two loaves
Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
Two large zucchinis (about 1 pound)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and lemon zest in a large bowl until combined. Gradually add the flour, salt, and baking powder. When well incorporated, grate the zucchinis into the bowl and mix occasionally until all the zucchini has been added.

Pour the batter into two greased and floured 4×8 inch loaf pans. Bake loaves for about an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool in pans, then carefully flip onto cooling racks to let cool completely.
Look at that texture.
The zucchini just does something wonderful where it distributes all
of its magical zu-juice throughout the bread to make it superbly moist.
No chocolate necessary for this thing!