Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Baking

We are enjoying The Sono Baking Company Cookbook to bake up some goodies featuring fruits and veggies from our garden and farmers' market. We adapted the recipes to use whole wheat flour and a lot less sugar (the original recipes are very sweet).

Emily made the Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle (we added strawberries too). And here is my variation of the Zucchini Carrot Muffins (the original recipe was Zucchini, Carrot, and Cranberry Muffins, which I'm sure is delicious . . . but we loved this version).

Zucchini-Carrot Muffins
This makes 12 large muffins . . . you might want to make these as mini muffins to add to school lunches. These freeze very well.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup natural granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oil (safflower, canola, etc.)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
3/4 - 1 cup grated zucchini (about 2 zucchini)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan. Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. In a large mixing bowl, whisk sugars, oil, and eggs together until smooth. Stir in zucchini and carrots. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Divide batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out dry. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a table knife, gently remove muffins from tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sea Salt Brownies

I was at someone's house and they had these little brownie bit things with sea salt from Trader Joes and they were so good I thought I'd try to recreate them. I used the brownie recipe from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook (I used whole wheat pastry flour and cut down the sugar) and then sprinkled the top with coarse sea salt. They were TO DIE FOR!!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peach Frozen Yogurt

We made a batch of peach frozen yogurt today with fresh, local peaches. We served it with Trader Joe's gluten-free ginger snaps. Yummy!

Here's the recipe from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love:

Peach Frozen Yogurt
Makes 1 quart
Use ripe, juicy peaches and the peel will slip right off as you slice them--don't worry if you don't get it all though. It's fine to have some of the peel.

2 cups vanilla or peach yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
2 cups peeled and diced peaches
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or agave syrup, if needed

Combine the yogurt and peaches in a blender and process until smooth. Sweeten to taste, if needed. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Approval of GE Sugar Beets Rescinded

Although the USDA had previously approved Monsanto's genetically engineered sugar beets, a Northern CA federal district judge issued a ruling that prohibits future planting and sale of "Roundup Ready" beets. The court found that the USDA had approved the beets without an Environmental Impact Statement. The beets are genetically engineered to resist Monstanto's Roundup herbicide. Other Roundup Ready crops have already let to increase herbicide use, herbicide-resistant weeds, and contamination of non-genetically engineered products. For more information, check out The Center for Food Safety.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zucchini Bread

I don't know how those zucchinis manage to hide but there are always a couple that get HUGE before we notice them. Great excuse to make some zucchini bread though. Aimie made a couple of loaves yesterday using Ken Haedrich's Country Baking. The only change we made to the recipe is to use half the sugar . . . oh yeah, we didn't have any lemons so we used blood orange vinegar instead of lemon juice. They came out delicious.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our favorite summer breakfast

I love the delicious variety of fruit available right now--berries, peaches, plums, etc. When I was a kid, my mom would make big batches of muesli on hot summer days and we'd eat it all day long. My daughters love it as much as my siblings and I did. The following recipe from The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook is really general . . . use whatever fruit you have available.

Summer Müesli

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups milk (dairy or nondairy)
2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
1 peach or nectarine, diced
2 apricots or plums, diced
1 cup berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped almonds

Mix oats, milk, and optional juice together in large bowl. Let sit while you prepare fruit. Mix in remaining ingredients. Eat immediately or refrigerate for later.

Makes 6 servings

Variation: Replace 1/2 to 1 cup milk with yogurt or kefir.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Amazing Bean Recipe

I've been so enjoying cooking this summer--actually having the time to browse cookbooks and try some new recipes. I was intrigued by a dish I found in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking for Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans. I didn't have the exact ingredients she called for, but I did use her idea. Below is my version. Thanks Heidi for the great idea--the beans come out crispy on the outside, but creamy on the inside. My family LOVED these and it was so easy to do.

Crispy White Beans

1 (15-ounce)can large white cannellini beans
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
sea salt
2 cups baby spinach

Empty the can of beans into a colander. Rinse well to remove all the bean juice. Let sit to drain. Meanwhile, pour olive oil into a large skillet—just enough to cover the bottom. Place over medium-high heat. Let oil heat for a minute or two until hot. Pour the beans into the skillet—be careful not to get splattered. Spread them out so that beans are in a single layer. Let the beans cook without stirring them for 4 to 5 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. Use a spatula to flip the beans. Let cook about 3 more minutes, or until browned on that side. Sprinkle the spinach over the beans. Drizzle the spinach with a little olive oil. Gently fold the beans and spinach together until the spinach is wilted. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Monday, August 02, 2010

Backstage Radio Show

I will be on the Backstage Radio Show today at 1 p.m. PST. Go to and follow the instructions to listen live . . . or if you missed it, get the podcast.