Zucchini Bread

Summer squash is at the farmer’s markets. Or, if you have a garden and have ample zucchini, this is a delicious way to use the squash. It makes 2 loaves. You can eat a slice as a snack or put two thin pieces together with cream cheese and cut into small strips for lunch. Good for a picnic also. These loaves freeze well wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a plastic sealed bag.

3 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups coarsely shredded, unpeeled raw zucchini
2 Tablespoons grated orange peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts

Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Stir in salad oil, vanilla, zucchini, and orange peel. Sift the dry ingredients and stir in. Add walnuts. Turn into 2 greased 9” x 4” loaf pans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes or until bread test just done. Do not over bake.

Cool on rack and while still slightly warm, remove from pan.

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Senape Spread

We discovered a sandwich spread in Italy that was very tasty. It had mustard, mayonnaise, and horseradish. We have played with this combination and here is the recipe that is quite close to the one we liked. Senape is the Italian word for mustard and this is what our guide called the spread.

¾ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 to 1 ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish

Whisk the mayo, mustard, and horseradish together until smooth. Taste and add more horseradish if preferred.

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Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

I have been trying brownie recipes to find a more fudgy style. I enjoy my mother’s chocolate brownie cake (found on my blog in the category “cake” on July 13, 2011) but it is more of the cake-like style brownie.

Here are our two favorite recipes for delicious fudgy brownies:

1) The Bittersweet Cocoa Brownies from “Fine Cooking” are excellent. The recipe is found at the link below. Serve with vanilla ice cream and you have a dessert for company.


2) Also, the chocolate brownies in Dorie Greenspan’s, “Dorie’s Cookies” are excellent. The recipe is called, “Classic Brownies” on page 33. She lists variations on page 34 and the Orange Brownies are wonderful.

You can borrow the cookbook from your local library but you will be tempted to purchase this excellent cookie cookbook.

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Tarragon Chicken and Mushrooms

Chicken breasts or large thighs can be used in this recipe. This is perfect for company. Each guest has his/her own gratin dish. Serve with you favorite vegetables.

2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
6 skinned and boned chicken breast halves (or substitute 6 large chicken thighs)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
¼ cup finely chopped onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced
1 clove shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock or broth
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
½ cup light sour cream
¼ cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter with the 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown the chicken about 5 minutes on each side. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Transfer chicken to 6 medium (4” x 6”) gratin dishes that are coated coat with oil.

Add remaining 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat and sauté onion, mushrooms, and shallots about 5 minutes until tender. Add tomato paste and four and stir to blend. Add stock and wine and stir until thickened, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Add sour cream and stir until smooth. Pour sauce equally over chicken in the gratin dishes. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake uncovered until bubbly and chicken is cooked through – about 30 minutes.

Serves 6

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Fennel, Red Onion, and Arugula

Arugula is available in most good grocery stores. If you can’t find it, substitute with baby spinach.

2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (or tear larger leaves into small pieces)
2 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium bulb fennel, cored and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 cup red onion, ¼ – ½ inch thick slices
~ ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
~ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove shallot, minced
¼ cup fresh orange juice

Place arugula in a wide serving bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the fennel and onion. Season with salt and pepper and brown the vegetables for about 2 minutes. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes until the fennel and onion are tender and golden brown. Lower the heat if the vegetables are cooking too fast.

Clear a space in the center of the pan and add the remaining ½ Tablespoon oil and the shallots. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the orange juice and stir with the vegetables.

Immediately pour the vegetable mixture over the arugula and toss to combine and wilt the arugula. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

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Versatile Vinaigrette

This salad dressing can be altered to your tastes and preferences. Use the vinegar (or combination of vinegars) of your choice and the oil of your choice. Dress salads or vegetables with this vinaigrette.

1 part vinegar (Balsamic, apple, distilled, rice, etc.) to 3 parts oil (mild olive, vegetable, etc.)

Example: ¼ cup vinegar to ¾ cup oil. Whisk the oil into the vinegar slowly.

The following can be added:

Add ½ Tablespoon to Dijon mustard
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt or Kosher salt
Pinch of sugar

Whisk in the mustard, pepper, salt, and sugar. Taste the vinaigrette and add lemon juice or more vinegar if needed.

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Ham Recipes (to make with leftover ham)

This Sunday is Easter and many families will bake a ham. The recipes listed below all use leftover ham and are found on my blog. The soup uses the ham bone and some remaining ham. The Waldorf salad with the addition of ham is delicious and nutritious. The ham spread is excellent for sandwiches or as an appetizer on crackers.

* Waldorf Salad with Ham: Category: Salad, Feb. 9, 2012

* Ham Salad Spread: Category: Salad, April 11, 2013

* Ham and Bean Soup: Category: Soup, Jan. 6, 2011

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