Stuff and Nonsense: mom's recipe


Showing posts with label mom's recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mom's recipe. Show all posts

9.03.2019

Mom's Zucchini Bread


It is that special time of year, when an overwhelmed gardener's thoughts turn toward zucchini bread. I am not even growing zucchini this year and I still have too much. Thankfully, there's always Mom's zucchini bread recipe to fall back on. My mother baked this spicy zucchini and walnut bread for as long as I can remember. Dad and I love it for breakfast, but it also makes a great mid-afternoon snack. The bread bakes up light and fluffy on the inside while the outside is delightfully crunchy. Below is an image of the recipe she wrote down for me a few years ago and I've followed that with the tweaked version I made this weekend.



I was careful not to fiddle with the original recipe too much, because I still needed it to be Mom's bread. If I don't want to bake Mom's bread, well, there are eleventy million zucchini bread recipes on the internet -- I don't need to go inventing my own. Basically, I:

  • Didn't peel the zucchini
  • Toasted the nuts
  • Added more ginger
  • "Fancied up" the flour
  • Baked it in a bundt pan
  • Glazed it

While I don't usually glaze my quick breads, I was taking this bundt to work and felt like going the extra mile. The glaze is dairy-free, consisting of powdered sugar, water, Mexican vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Then I threw some organic flowers on, because I'm a show-off.


Mom's Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 6-cup bundt

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple flour blend [Nature's Earthly Choice]
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F°. Grease and flour a 6-cup bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until foamy then stir into the large bowl until just moistened.
  4. Gently fold in the zucchini and walnuts.
  5. Bake in the 350F° for an hour or until done.
  6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I came across the apple flour blend in the clearance bin at Shoprite and it really intrigued me, so I had to buy it. It bakes well, doesn't taste like apples, and has quite a lot of iron -- something I am low on -- but, honestly, it's just not wow enough that I feel a need to pay full price for it. Tl;dr: feel free to use all white wheat or all-purpose.

5.27.2019

Mom's Stuffed Peppers

Everyone, I'm sure, has dishes they most associate with "home" and these stuffed peppers are one of mine. I remember coming home from school and the whole house would smell so distractingly delicious that it would be difficult to concentrate on whatever new novel I was currently devouring.

When I hear talk now about getting kids to help out in the kitchen to make them more conscious eaters and give them the skills they'll need to make good food choices as adults, I'm always a little amused (and surprised), because that's how I grew up and it just seemed like the "normal" thing to me (although I recognize that due to contemporary constraints on time and family member availability, I am probably wrong).

I'm sure my mother never thought twice about putting me to work in her kitchen as there was no reason a clever child such as myself couldn't peel vegetables, mash potatoes, empty the compost bin, and set and clear the table. None of these were particularly difficult or strenuous activities -- although I strenuously objected to emptying the (gross!) compost bin -- and I managed to do them with a certain amount of competency considering my brain was almost always only half-concentrating on the task at hand.

I did not actually learn how to cook from my mother -- oh, how I resisted what I thought of as "girlification" -- but I was aware that the foods I ate at home were frequently "better for me" and more "real" than food I saw on the tables of friends and relatives. This awareness has, no doubt, served me well as an adult, but caused some resentment in my childhood when I realized my cousins did not view pizza or fruit roll-ups as once-a-blue-moon treats!

Admittedly, my parents didn't have a lot of disposable income so my mother's restriction on junk food might have been more fiscal than nutritional. And that is probably also why we ate a lot of things like meatloaf, roast turkey, stuffed cabbage, and stuffed peppers -- cheap, filling, and good for leftovers.

Regardless, I am grateful I had a mother who cooked (and who shared her recipes with me).


Mom's Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 large green bell peppers, topped & seeded
  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F°.
  2. Parboil peppers in salted water for 5 minutes or until bright green and slightly tender. Drain. Cook beef and onions in a sauté pan until browned. Add salt and pepper, garlic powder, rice, and 1 cup of sauce. Mix well.
  3. Lightly stuff meat mixture into peppers. Stand peppers up in a greased pan about as deep as the peppers are tall. Top peppers with remaining sauce. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more.
  4. Serve with mashed potatoes and a tossed salad.

I will admit that, as much as I have fond memories Mom's stuffed peppers, I tend to tweak the recipe when I make it -- increasing the chopped onion and seasonings. Mom herself probably used more garlic powder and onion than her written recipe lists as she definitely a "more garlic is better" cook.