Monthly Archives: January 2012

Zucchini Bread

Never tried Zucchini Bread? That’s just too bad. I grew up eating zucchini bread and just assumed it was as popular as banana bread until I mentioned it to a few people and they looked at me in horror and asked “zucchini bread?” All I can say is, you have to try it!

It really isn’t any different than banana bread (besides the obvious) – it’s moist, hearty, nutty, and flavorful. Think about it like this – if you like carrot cake, do you really taste the carrots? Not really. This is the same way. It’s a delicious quick bread that gets a nutritional boost from zucchini which melts into the bread. This is a great way to use up any leftover zucchini tucked away in your veggie drawer. Trust me. Don’t knock it until you try it!

The ingredients:

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.

Mix egg substitute, oil, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg in another large bowl. Add in sugar.

Add shredded zucchini (make sure to squeeze out excess moisture from the zucchini first) and stir to combine.

Combine zucchini mixture with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Add in toasted walnuts.

Pour batter into a loaf pan and bake at 350°F for one hour.

Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Lemon zest

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Sausage and Spinach Risotto

It snowed in the Philadelphia region this past weekend and it was icy, gray, and cold.  Saturday was the kind of day where you didn’t want to go outside but stay curled up on the couch with a warm bowl of something and a cozy blanket.  I wanted something a little more stick-to-your-ribs and comforting than soup so I decided to make Sausage and Spinach Risotto.

This risotto is made with arborio rice, mushrooms, spinach, and sausage and cooked slowly until creamy and dreamy.  (I used Thin ‘N Trim’s Spinach & Red Onion Chicken Sausage but I bet sweet turkey or pork sausage would be good here too.)  I messed up making this and left the mushrooms in the pan the whole time (the recipe says to cook them, set them aside, and add in at the end) but it turned out fine.  I love the salty addition of the cheese at the end too so don’t leave that off or you might need to add in some salt.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love risotto and don’t mind that it takes time and patience to make.  It was exactly what I wanted while the sleet fell against my windows and I stayed nice and warm inside.

The ingredients:

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a small pan and keep on low heat.  Add oil to another pan and cook mushrooms and salt over medium-high heat until browned (about 8 minutes).   Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add sausage until browned.  Then add shallots and garlic, cooking 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium and add rice, cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in wine, and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed.  (Ahh, fragrant!)  Stir in 1 cup of broth mixture and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Continue adding remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until each portion of broth mixture is completely absorbed.  Stir constantly.

Once all of the broth has been absorbed, remove the pan from the heat and add mushrooms and spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

Serve topped with cheese.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Pre-cooked chicken sausage for sweet sausage
  • Shaved parmesan cheese for Romano cheese

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Salty Chihuahua

Salty what?!?  Yep, this cocktail is called a Salty Chihuahua.  Apparently it was created by a bartender in Chihuahua, Mexico in the 1940’s.  This is the first cocktail I’ve made so far with tequila and it isn’t because I don’t like tequila, it’s just not my favorite.  Tequila feels heavy to me and, aside from the occasional margarita, I prefer my cocktails lighter so I usually stick to vodka (or bourbon!). 

My staff at work got me a bottle of white tequila for my birthday in July and it’s been sitting there unopened begging to be given some life.  This cocktail gave me a reason to open it.  Although the recipe calls for silver tequila, I didn’t see why my tequila blanco shouldn’t work.  I have to say that this cocktail is pretty good.  With the salt around the rim, it’s pretty much like a shaken grapefruit margarita.  And there is something about the tanginess of the grapefruit juice that almost makes you forget you are drinking tequila.  Almost.

The ingredients:

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • White tequila for silver tequila
  • Bottled grapefruit juice

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:    Cooking Light Magazine

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