Posts Tagged ‘quick bread’

Happy Zucchini Bread Day!

Today is both National Zucchini Bread Day and Administrative Professionals Day. What better way to combine the two “fun holidays” and make mini zucchini breads to take to work with you and share with your fellow co-workers! This recipe is a fun spin on plain zucchini bread. The sweet potato and adds some extra moistness and nutrition to this perfect loaf of not-too sweet quick bread perfect for sharing.

Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread

(slightly modified from epicurious.com)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups zucchini (grated*, you can leave the peel on)–one medium/large zucchini
  • 1-2 cups sweet potato (peeled and grated*)–one small/medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

To make:

*Note: To grate the zucchini and sweet potatoes, you can either use a box grater (large holes) or use a grater attachment for your food processor

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans (or a regular 9 x 5 loaf pan) with non-stick cooking spray. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until well combined using whisk or electric mixer. Stir in zucchini and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients and walnuts and stir well. Pour or scoop batter to pans. Bake for about 30-45 minutes (if using a full size loaf pan the cooking time will be approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). Either way use a toothpick or sharp knife to test the center–when the tester comes out clean the loaves are done. Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes. Slide knife around bread to loosen. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Feel free to bake this bread a day ahead. Once completely cool, cover in plastic wrap and foil. Keep at room temperature. The mini loaves transport easily for sharing 🙂

Delicious mini Zucchini Bread Loaves to share!


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Molasses Breakfast Roll

This is one of the easiest recipes for making a sweet breakfast treat. The star of this recipe is molasses. The molasses glaze spices up the mundane cinnamon roll and adds a wonderful layer of caramelized flavor with a hint of smokiness. I’d put this recipe in a “semi-homemade’ category. If you really want to be fancy feel free to make your own dough, but I cheat and use Pillsbury crescent roll dough. I love to cook but I also love using pre-made doughs when I want to feel like I’m making something special but not put in the extra time of dough prep. The homemade glaze is the highlight of these breakfast rolls…the dough serves merely as the vessel 🙂

Molasses Breakfast Rolls

  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter–for the glaze
  • 1 Tbsp butter–for the rolls
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp plain white sugar
  • 1-2 cans crescent roll dough (press together along seams)

To make:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a round baking pan with foil, spray lightly. In a small saucepan combine molasses, butter (for sauce), and brown sugar over medium heat–stir constantly to melt sugar and cook down until bubbly. I use a small whisk for this stirring to help break up clumps and make a smooth, caramel textured sauce. Pour sauce into prepared baking pan. Roll out crescent dough (you can do one at a time) and press seams together. Brush a light layer of melted butter onto the rolls, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the dough. Gently roll lengthwise then slice into individual rolls and place into pan with sauce. Repeat until pan is filled–do not over stuff the pan as the rolls will rise and spread a bit. I used only one can of crescent rolls and this did not fill the pan completely–so feel free to use an additional can of dough if you prefer. If not…that’s just more sauce for the rolls 🙂

Bake for 10-13 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand 2 minutes then flip pan upside down onto a serving plate. Serve alongside a fresh cup of coffee and you’ll have the perfect sweet start to your day!

Let cool just a bit...then flip!

Sticky, sweet Goodness!

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"Official" Yorkshire Pudding > 4 inches tall!

Christmas dinner has come and gone. This year I decided to make a Sunday Christmas dinner that was an ode to Old English traditions: roast beef, gravy, glazed carrots and Yorkshire puddings. The star of the night was certainly the Yorkshire Pudding. Making these fatty little delights was much easier than I had expected and quite fun. Seeing them rise then slowly fall (which is quite sad, but inevitable) is a wonderful example of the science of cooking. A trick to getting the most height out of your puddings is to use a popover pan. The recipe below, using a popover pan, definitely yielded a Yorkshire pudding above the official 4 inch tall requirement for an “official Yorkshire pudding.” The recipe calls for drippings from the “roast beast” a.k.a roast beef. If you do not cook a roast feel free to use olive oil as a substitute.

Yorkshire Pudding with Herbs


1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

fatty goodness...prep for puddings

1 1/4 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsps (total) savory, thyme, and rosemary–in any combination you prefer

approx. 1/4 cup reserved pan fat from your “Roast Beast” (roast beef)

To make:

In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Add half the milk and all the eggs into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk, and then the herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and  let batter sit at room temperature, for approximately 45 minutes (30 if you are in a rush). This is a great time to roast your beef 🙂

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Divide and pour the beef fat or oil into the popover pan (or muffin tin if you do not have a popover pan–the rise will be less with the muffin tin) to fill each container about 1/4 inch of oil. You will probably use less than the full reserved amount of fat–you just want a nice coating on the bottom to crisp up the sides of the pudding as it rises. Heat in oven until the fat is almost smoking hot; approximately 5-10 minutes. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any fat drippings – this will help prevent any oven fires!

Uncover batter and whisk one more time. Pour batter into each cup, about 3/4 full and immediately place back into the oven. The batter will sizzle when being poured into the hot fat. Bake until risen and golden brown in color (takes about 20 minutes). Turn oven off and leave puddings in the oven for just 5 more minutes to help set. Remove puddings carefully to maintain the most height possible. Serve while still hot and puffed–a perfect bite paired with your “roast beast” and gravy!

work fast...they will deflate soon!

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Making yeast-based bread is something that I have yet to master. I am continuing to attempt smaller versions such as pretzels or yeast rolls, but an actual loaf is beyond my bread-making skill set at the movement. In the meantime I found an alternate “bread” that has a nice yeasty flavor due to the beer and is a quick, simple bread to make when you are still working on your yeast bread skills. Quick breads are a go-to for a weeknight meal that needs a nice carbohydrate to sop up any soup, gravy, or sauce that your main meal has. I served this bread along a smokey, beer and beef chili and it led to many perfect bites!

Cheddar Beer Bread

Cheddar Beer Bread

Adapted from a sweet beer bread  recipe I found in Southern Living Sept. ’03.


  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Dough ready to bake @ 350 degrees F

  • 1 (12 oz. bottle of beer) –any beer will do here. I chose Trader Joes Amber/Dark Lager. I prefer cooking with darker ales or lager to give the food a little more richness in the beer flavor, but if all you have is a trusty PBR or Bud–go ahead and toss it in.
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

To bake:

Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and cheese. Pour in beer and gently mix until combined. Try not to over mix. Pour dough into lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes. Pour melted butter of the top then bake an additional 10 minutes.

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I absolutely love Nutella…straight from the jar, on top of toast, really with just about anything! It has the perfect balance of sweet chocolate’y flavor combined with a hint of hazelnut to cut the sweetness. This is a very easy, simple recipe that combines several of my favorites into a not-so-healthy snack.

Not exactly "Heart Smart"...but tastes good!

Banana Nutella Biscuit Roll

2 1/2 cups Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk


1 thin sliced banana

To make:

Heat oven to 375°F

Dough prepped...ready to spread Nutella and add banana slices

In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, 2/3 cup milk and 2 tablespoons sugar until dough forms. If dough is too sticky, gradually mix in enough Bisquick mix (up to 1/4 cup) to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto surface well dusted with Bisquick mix; gently roll dough in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into ball; knead 10 times.

Instead of making biscuits, roll the dough out into a rectangular shape. Spread Nutella on the dough and top with thin slices of banana. Roll the dough into a log roll form, seal edges and seam.

Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet seam side down. Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan and slice.

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As much as I love fall, winter, and Thanksgiving treats there is always leftover canned pumpkin that you just don’t know how to get rid of it. I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Bread and decided to adapt it a bit to capture all of the fall spices I love like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Although this recipe makes Pumpkin bread that resembles pumpkin pie to a “T”, I would certainly bake this bread any time of the year as an easy way to get that comfort food feeling without having to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal.

Pumpkin Bread


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp fine salt (the one time I do NOT use Kosher salt is for baking–regular fine salt is the way to go here)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin spice)

6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×5 loaf pan on all sides well with butter. This next step may sound weird but it really works–spread pumpkin on a baking sheet in thin layer, top with several layers of paper towel to absorb most of the excess moisture from the pumpkin. This will prevent the end result from being “soggy pumpkin bread”.

____In a medium-large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, baking soda, clove, and nutmeg together–this will make up the “dry ingredient mixture”. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium high speed for about 3 minutes (it will turn lighter in color). Add sugar and beat until clumps of the butter/sugar mixture form. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add eggs one at a time; add puree and vanilla. Turn speed to low and add dry ingredient mixture slowly–I like to use a paper plate to help guide the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and reduce the flour spray that usually occurs when adding dry ingredients to a mixer that is on 🙂

Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

Cook for about an hour (knife/toothpick will come out clean). Set on a cooling rack and let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. For those of you (like myself) who cannot wait, if you cut earlier…say after 5 minutes…the loaf may not hold up against the blade and your slices will tear–it will still taste good but not be as pretty if you wait.

Enjoy…make everyday a taste of the Holidays!

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Dinner last night was one of those “clean out the pantry” type nights. Cooking on a budget is kind of like an adventure–open the fridge or cupboard and see what you can whip up. The main course was a choice between leftover soup or baked beans. Although they are delicious alone I needed something for dipping and scraping that last bit of goodness out of the bowl. Sliced bread sounded boring, so I looked around and realized I had no eggs or milk “Oh no!”

Quick Mayo Biscuits

Then, I luckily found a recipe for mayonnaise biscuits. The thought of it sounds odd, but if you think of what mayonnaise basically is–eggs, oil, lemon juice, salt, maybe some seasoning such as dry mustard–you have the essentials for baking. So I figured I’d give it a try…surprise, they worked!

These biscuits go great with a little dab of butter and along with anything that requires a good dipping vessel. They also went perfectly with some butter and strawberry preserves for a quick breakfast. For the best taste and texture always serve warm–either zap in the microwave for 30 seconds or re-heat in the oven on 350 until warm.

Quick Mayo Biscuits (makes about 12 biscuits)


2 1/4 cups of self rising flour (if no self rising flour see conversion here)

1 1/4 cups milk (I didn’t have milk, I used rice milk and it was fine)

4 rounded Tbsp mayonnaise (you can use the light version)**

1 Tbsp sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Spoon into  a greased muffin pan (Optional: dab a little olive oil or butter on tops to give a golden top when they bake).  Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Serve immediately!

**Cooking note: this recipe is almost vegan–substitute the mayo for “veganaise” and you’ve got yourself a vegan biscuit!

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