Friday, August 11, 2017

Zucchini Season

Welcome to August and zucchini season. I used to make a version of this bread for an afternoon snack for my girls when they were growing up. My loaf pans were being used for another zucchini bread recipe, so I doubled the recipe and broke out my Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Cake Pan I wisely bought from William Sonoma last year. It makes everything prettier. 

               Zucchini Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
3 cups plus 2 tbls organic all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
Scant 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze out excess liquid)
2 cups mashed banana
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8.5″ x 4″ loaf pans or a bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat together canola oil and sugar. Add eggs and continue mixing. Add zucchini and mix on medium until well blended. Starting and ending with the flour, alternate adding the flour mixture and the mashed banana, a little at a time, while the mixer runs on low. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared loaf pans or cake pan. Bake 60 minutes or until golden brown and firm on top. Cool for ten minutes then turn out of pan.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Eggs en Cocotte

This is a simplified version of baked eggs, with multicultural ingredients, because that's what was in my fridge. Traditionally you would use a bain marie (placing egg filled ramekins in a shallow pan  half filled with hot water while baking). I like this version because the whites are cooked a little more while the yolks are as runny or hard as you like. And its easier.

For 1 serving.

2 eggs
2 - 3 tablespoons Crema Mexicana (or crème fraiche) This is going to be a staple in my fridge from    now on! It's technically a sour cream, but its so creamy and rich and a great sub for heavy cream, crème fraiche or yogurt when cooking.
1/2 tbls butter
1 - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and thyme
1/8 cup chopped fresh spinach
freshly grated parmigiana reggiano
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Crack eggs gently into a ramekin or small bowl. Set aside.
Mix herbs, spinach, some grated parmigiana reggiano (about 1/2 tbls), salt and pepper.
In an oven proof gratin or cocotte baking dish add the butter and 1 tablespoon crema, and place in the preheated oven for 3 minutes or until butter is melted.
Pull out oven rack and while baking dish is still on rack, slide eggs from ramekin onto the butter and crema, sprinkle herb and cheese mixture on top, add another dollop (1 tbls or so) of the crema on top, and slide the baking dish back into oven. Bake for approximately 5 min depending on your oven and how cooked you like your eggs. The whites should be set and the yolk set but still runny. Grate some additional cheese on top and some freshly ground pepper and serve - ideally - with crusty French bread. And white wine. White wine goes well with this. ;)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Afternoon Pick Me Up

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you are not going to stay where you are"    - unknown

I noticed so many things on a sunrise excursion last month down by the water in San Francisco. Things I don't know that I would have seen with the same eye and mind if it had been the middle of a crowded day. Sometimes I feel like this dry docked boat - a change is so close you can almost feel it - you're just not quite there and you're a little stuck.

Morning Wake Up Call

Escape to Alcatraz?

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."    
     - Nelson Mandela

Early morning kayakers from Aquatic Park, San Francisco

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sweet Dreams

"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds." - Carl R. Rogers
Sunset at Baker's Beach, San Francisco

Afternoon Pick Me Up

"Humbleness, forgiveness, clarity and love are the dynamics of freedom. They are the foundations of authentic power."   - Gary Zukav

Spring Break 2015 boogie boarder, Baker's Beach. San Francisco



Lunch Break

Wherever you are, take your lunch and yourself outside and breathe some fresh air.

-John's Pass Village, Florida

Morning Wake Up Call

Sunrise from our deck near Clearwater, Florida

"There was never a night or a problem that could defeat a sunrise or hope"
                                                                                    - Bernard Williams