Eat. Drink. Love.

Flashback Friday: Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This bread is so good, it’s explosive.

No, seriously, it is. I decided to whip up a loaf last week and after inserting a knife to see if it was done, it must have released a lot of steam and pressure because my loaf pan exploded! Yes, it really did. Everywhere. I’m lucky none of it hit me in the eyeballs. It was the scariest thing ever. You may think I am just being dramatic, but really, it totally freaked me out. I was just going about my day, taking a quick break from a Buffy marathon and BAM! I had been using that same loaf pan forever. My husband came running downstairs because he thought I dropped the pan, but nope. We had to spend a good 30 minutes cleaning up tiny pieces of shattered glass in every nook and cranny in our kitchen.

Generally, I don’t really like eating shattered glass so I started over and made a new loaf. In a metal loaf pan. One that would not explode.

This bread is full of moisture thanks to the freshly grated zucchini. If you have never tried baking with zucchini, you are missing out! I have been kind of obsessed with blueberries lately too and I just adore the tart and sweet flavor they add to this bread. I used a combo of whole wheat flour and all-purpose and cut down on using a ton of sugar so this is really a nice wholesome quick bread recipe that you can enjoy any time of the day!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie. No food blog is complete without it and these have been on my blogging bucket list since I started this blog.

This recipe was originally published in New York Times back in 2008 and it took the internet world by storm. People will tell you that these truly are the best chocolate chip cookies that have ever existed.

So, what makes these chocolate chip cookies different than the average/traditional homemade chocolate chip cookie? There are a few things. First, the flour. Most chocolate chip cookies use all-purpose flour. This version uses a mix of bread flour and cake flour which make a perfectly chewy cookie. These cookies also use a high quality dark chocolate. I didn’t get the exact type they recommended, but I did splurge a little some that my local store had. And lastly, this recipe requires that you let the dough chill for at least 24 hours. According to David Leite from the NY Times, this allows for the dough to soak up all of the liquids (mostly the eggs) and gives a better consistency when baked. If you want to know more about these special cookies, I highly recommend reading the article linked above. It’s a great read!

Ok, so what do I think about these cookies? Well, I think they are pretty fantastic. I loved using the darker chocolate. It made the cookie taste much richer. I also loved the touch of sea salt on top. The hardest part about making these cookies? Waiting 24 hours for the dough to chill.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Vegetarian Fried Rice

You know how when you plan out a dinner, take out the meat to defrost, then proceed to go to work and then think about the delicious dinner you are going to have all afternoon? And then you get home only to realize that you actually never took the chicken out to defrost and now you have no meat for your dinner? Major dinner fail.

Usually when that happens, it results in take-out for dinner as there is nothing else in my freezer I can get defrosted quickly enough.

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods recently asked me to try some of their all natural frozen foods. The brand was new to me, but after poking around their website, I pretty much wanted to try everything! Dr. Praeger’s has so so many different products ranging from veggie burgers, fish sticks, pancakes, and kid-friendly nibbles. Many of their products are also vegan and gluten free too!

Low-Fat Pasta Primavera

Low-Fat Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera means “Spring Pasta.” Thus, it’s a must-make for the season! I love pasta primavera because you can add any and all of your favorite vegetables and there is no right or wrong! Pasta primavera can be made in a couple of ways, some people just cook the veggies with pasta with no sauce (which is obviously healthier), and some like to make it nice and creamy. I decided to take the creamy version and lighten it up so we can have the best of both worlds!

Low-Fat Pasta Primavera

Another way to lighten the dish up is to use less pasta and load up on the veggies. You won’t feel cheated. This is a great dish to enjoy during Lent as well since it’s meatless, but if your family is anything like mine, some don’t consider a dish like this a full meal with no meat, so you can add chicken, shrimp, or salmon to make it heartier if desired.

Look at all the veggies!

Low-Fat Pasta Primavera

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Cups

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Cups

Candy, candy, candy!!!

Today we are making our own candy. It only takes 3 ingredients too. Just some dark chocolate and dried fruits and nuts of your choice!

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Cups

My husband and I have recently discovered the wonderfulness that is just eating a handful of plain chocolate chips straight from the bag for dessert. I mean, obviously we still love actually using them in cookies and other goodies, but for a quick sweet tooth fix, they certainly do the job!

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Cups

When it comes to chocolate and candy, I’m all about texture. I love nuts in my candy, my husband is the exact opposite, but I love the combination of sweet and salty. Sometimes I will eat chocolate chips with handful of nuts too, so why not just melt them all together?! And for me, I’m a dark chocolate girl all the way. I prefer the richer taste and that it’s not overly sweet.

Here’s what I love about these: 1. They take like 10 minutes to make, and 2. There’s no rules with these. Got a particular favorite nut? Add it! Have a favorite dried fruit? Add it! You really can’t go wrong here. I added pistachios and a mix of dried fruits. You don’t need to add any extra ingredients! I do highly recommend using good quality chocolate here, trust me when I say it does make a difference!

Grilled Salmon Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

Grilled Salmon Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

Whenever Lent rolls around I always try to think of new ways to enjoy fish. We do like fish in this house, but I tend to just grill it and eat it with rice or veggies which can get kind of boring after a while.

I would definitely say salmon is my favorite type of seafood. It’s lean and works with a lot of different flavor profiles.

Grilled Salmon Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

It should be no surprise that I gave these sliders are southwestern flair. I mean, it only happens maybe like once a week on this blog. What can I say? We love these flavors in this house. We also love chipotle mayo. I like to make batches to store in the fridge for sandwiches and it works so well on these sliders. And it’s actually the only thing I need to say to my husband to get him on board with a new recipe. If it has chipotle mayo, it has to be good.

Grilled Salmon Sliders with Chipotle Mayo

You can use whatever toppings you want, but I went with some broccoli slaw, it added a nice crunch to the sliders for texture, but typical burger toppings would work well too. These salmon sliders are easy to make and perfect for a Friday night during Lent, or heck, any day of the week!