Smoky White Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Smokey White Cheddar Zucchini Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

Another year and I am the recipient of a baby sized zucchini from a friends garden; this time around 4 month sized. I had the opportunity to make zucchini bread many years ago for a cooking club; but the idea of zucchini bread never appealed to be. I still feel the same way; but I am willing to give it a try now. Who knows I may just like it right.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 medium zucchini, grated
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups smoky white cheddar cheese, grated
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray mini loaf pan with a non-stick spray.
3. Grate unpeeled zucchini, squeeze out any excess water with your hands, and then pat dry using a clean kitchen towel. Zucchini should come to about 1 cup.
4. In a large bowl, pour flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda and nutmeg and combine with a whisk.
5. Add in the sugar, zucchini and 1 ½ cups of the cheese.
6. In a small bowl whisk eggs and oil together and then pour over flour mixture and combine until mixed.
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth down the tops and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let loafs remain in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The one thing I like about this recipe is I don’t have to be pre-planning getting butter to room temperature. This tasted much better than I expected and this vegetable loaf was loved by my taste testers.

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco

Asparagus & String Beans with Smoky Romesco – Candy Coated Culinista

Having a BBQ? Try this interesting grilled appetizer for your guests.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Food 52 Any Night Grilling

Ingredients
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 1 pound, green, purple or yellow wax beans (preferably a combination)
• 1 thick slice country style bread
• 2 large red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
• 2 fresno chilies
• ½ red onion, cut into thick wedges
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 2 plum tomatoes, halved
• ¼ cup skinned roasted hazelnuts or almonds
• 1 tsp sherry vinegar, plus more as desired
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme or marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp smoked garlic (from book)
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat and coat the gill pan with extra virgin olive oil over high heat using a paper towel. If you are using a grill basket allow to heat for 10 minutes prior to use.
2. Snap ends of asparagus and trim beans and set aside.
3. Grill the bread over direct heat until grill marks appear, about one minute per side.
4. In a bowl lightly toss bell peppers, chilies and onions in olive oil.
5. Place over grill on in grill basket turning and rotating for 6 to 7 minutes for the onions and continue to char the red peppers.
6. Cover peppers in a kitchen towel (to make it easier to remove the skin)
7. Grill tomatoes and when cooled enough remove skin also.
8. Using a food processor add peppers, chilies, onion, tomato along with nuts, thyme and paprika and salt into a thick puree. Drizzle in olive oil as you go.
9. Grill asparagus and beans and serve warm or at room temperature with romesco.

Tips
• Sprinkle some flaky finishing salt and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipes was super simple and very easy to complete. The only thing here is you have to be a fan of romesco. I had heard of romesco before; but never had tried or made it. It reminds me of a salsa or pesto of sorts. Typically it is served with meat or fish; but today it’s served with grilled veggies and totally works. I added some finishing salt and it really rounded out the taste of the veggies.

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad)

Deconstructed Levantine Fattoush with Chickpeas (Pita Bread Salad) – Candy Coated Culinista

This is salad with a twist. I love to make this recipe when I want something light yet flavourful. Fattoush is an Arabic dish that likes to make use of pitas that have gone stale. So when I came across this recipe it was right up my alley as I hate wasting food. You can use any vegetables you want or have on hand; which is why I love this recipe so much.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Salad

• 270g chickpeas rinsed & drained (half a can)
• 175g of grape tomatoes. Halved
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• Radishes, trimed and thinly sliced`
• ½ English cucumber, quartered
• Romaine lettuce, shredded
• Kale leaves, shredded
• Handful of spinach, rough chopped
• 1 sprig of mint, chopped
• 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
• Pomegranate seeds, (optional)
• Carrot ribbons, (optional)
• Handful of whole black olives, (optional)
• Mini pita’s
Vinaigrette
• The juice of 1 lemon
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tsp sumac
• 125 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• 10 ml (1 teaspoons) fresh mint, chopped
• 5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh thyme, chopped
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Tips
• Serve pita on the side so you can have non-soggy leftovers or toast them in oven at 350°F for 5 minutes if desired to warm them up.
• Add chicken breast for some protein.

Assembly/Method
1. In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
2. In another bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine.

My thoughts
This is a quick, fast and always tasty recipe. Now I must admit I have only even made it once with stale pita’s. Pitas never go stale in my house because I love a carb. Every time I make it, I find another ingredient to add in like the optional ingredients listed above. I have been making this recipe for 5 years now and now that I am starting to enjoy chickpeas I thought this would be the perfect recipe to incorporate them into as it works with Middle Eastern dish. The combination of ingredients add a freshness and that lemony sumac is splendid.

Banana Carrot Apple Bread

Banana Carrot Apple Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Banana Carrot Apple Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been craving my super moist carrot cake; but as per my usual I hate repeating recipes over. This means I’m putting a spin on it with bananas.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• 1 cup mashed bananas ( 3 ripe bananas)
• ¼ cup fresh applesauce (1 red delicious & 1/3 cup water – blended)
• ½ cup golden brown sugar
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• ¾ tsp vanilla bean paste
• 2 cups grated carrots (4 carrots)

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a pan with vegetable oil spray.
3. In an electric mixer bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the bananas, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla paste.
5. Add wet ingredients into the electric mixer at medium-low speed alternating with the carrots until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from baking pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I finally got to grate some carrots using a proper grater; it made my life easy for sure. My arm still hurt but it was much easier which I was thankful for. I love making breads; but I always forget that the prep time is so much longer than cake for me. An hour into prepping and I was even saying to myself how long have been prepping. This cake was so moist I had to double check the doneness of it. It indeed was fully baked it was just that moist and dense. I could taste the different spices and it wasn’t sweet at all. My taste testers loved it and were very happy I thought of them and brought and saved them some bread. Even one taster that isn’t keen on fruits and veg in their baked goods even eagerly asked my to save a slice and it was enjoyed.

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

This new recipe was intended to be for St. Patrick’s Day, but then the recipe didn’t turn out and I was left very disappointed…then I said a week later I am going to try this one more time and I’m happy to say my Lemony Letdown turned into a fairly decent whole wheat bread. See my picture here apart of the Cooking Club Gallery.

Attempt #1

Yield/Serving: 14 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Should be easy, or rather looks easy

From Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
1. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
2. Stir ½ cup water with molasses and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
3. Let stand for ten minutes.
4. Stir in flour, remaining water and salt using a wooden spoon until combined.
5. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
6. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
7. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
8. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
9. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
10. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
11. Slice and serve.

Attempt #2

Yield/Serving: 8 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, for me

Altered from Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 2 ½ – 3 cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 1 tbsp honey
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
12. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
13. Stir ½ cup water with molasses, honey and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
14. Let stand for ten minutes.
15. Stir in flour, and add in the remaining water using a wooden spoon until combined. You may not need it all, but I did.
16. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
17. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
18. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
19. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
20. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
21. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
22. Slice and serve.

Tips
• If the bread looks too crumbly and is not coming together, like the picture below; the dough is too dry and for some reason more water is needed.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Attempt #1
What a disaster! Who would think such a simple recipe would have such a disastrous outcome. When I was mixing in the flour the dough was crumbly and not coming together at all. I still kept going hoping it would still rise and turn out ok. Of course it did not and I really don’t know what went wrong as I followed the recipe precisely. Usually I try to redo a recipe again, but I’m not wasting more flour. The recipe is what it is and once it baked the crust was rock hard but the inside wasn’t absolutely terrible, but still it was bad, you’d think I didn’t put yeast in at all and I made sure the active yeast wasn’t expired and it did bloom properly.

Attempt #2
I decided to suck it up and waste more flour to give this another go. My second try turned out much better, but I added a lot more water than listed in the recipe and I really don’t know why it was needed. I just went with my instincts and it turned out better, the crust may have been a touch hard, but compared to my first try it was leaps and bounds better. I omitted the salt as I don’t see the point to adding salt to bread because I can never detect the salt in the bread I consume regularly; butter and other food going on the bread will always have salt in it. I added honey on a whim to add another layer of flavour and I was debating adding some whole oats, but then I thought that would be too much experimenting when I don’t know what the outcome would be. I’m so happy I didn’t give up; sure I was up till 11:30pm making and sampling a slice of buttered bread but it was worth it. Truth is I probably will never make homemade bread again, unless I make a gluten-free or another other type of bread as I have never liked whole wheat bread since my childhood.

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough – Candy Coated Culinista

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