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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Zucchini Bread

It is that time of year again...zucchini seems to be everywhere!  This is a moist and flavorful sweet bread recipe that Jonna Roper shared with me when we lived in Sacramento,CA over 30 years ago.  Thanks Jonna! So happy I found this recipe again--hope you are doing well!

Put dry ingredients into a large bowl set aside:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans & sunflower seeds) 

3 large eggs
1 cup of oil (can use liquid coconut oil too)
2 tsp. vanilla

Add to egg mixture:
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.  Grease & flour 2 medium-sized loaf pans (I used 1 regular loaf pan & 2 small loaf pans).  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Cool and wrap well in plastic wrap.  It is delicious anytime but tastes even better day 2.

This bread freezes well and makes a great addition to a tray of other fruit/veggie sweet breads.

Macaroni Gratin

  • SERVINGS: 8 
I had too much milk in the frig!  Rather than waste it, I tried this mac & cheese variation--creamy throughout, cheesy on top.  This deliciously moist macaroni gratin (with a mild garlic flavor) is a far cry from American macaroni and cheese. Chef Benoît Guichard cooks the pasta in milk, then cools the cooking liquid down with ice cubes, a technique that keeps the macaroni from drying out. The dish can be served as a main-course pasta for four with a salad or as an accompaniment to roasted meats or poultry.
3 quarts whole milk (I used 2%)
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream (use milk for a lower fat option)
3/4 pound ridged penne pasta
2 trays of ice cubes (I used 4 cups--who has ice cube trays??)
1 cup freshly grated imported Gruyère cheese (3 1/2 ounces)  (I used sharp cheddar & fresh Parmesan)
2 tablespoons minced chives
In a large saucepan, combine the milk and garlic. Warm the milk over high heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Measure out 1 cup of milk and reserve; set aside the rest.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, without browning, for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the reserved 1 cup of milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is completely smooth. Season with a large pinch of salt and generous gratings of white pepper and nutmeg. Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, whisking constantly, until it's thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt.
Preheat the oven to 500°. Add 1tsp of salt to the remaining milk and bring back to a simmer. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, over moderately high heat so the milk is just simmering, until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the ice cubes to stop the cooking. Once all of the ice cubes have melted, drain the pasta in a colander and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the white sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by13-inch gratin dish. Sprinkle the cheese all over the top and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges. Turn on the broiler and (carefully) broil, rotating the dish, until the cheese is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the gratin stand for 5 minutes, then season generously with white pepper, garnish with the chives and serve.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bread (or muffins)

Moist & flavorful!  I throw everything into my Bosch mixer and give it 3-5
minutes to combine. 

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar (I use dark here; either light or dark work)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional; I skip it)
1 cup all-purpose (or gluten free) flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup (about 6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. (My cocoa is almost always lumpy, so this is essential for me.) Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, (or 12 very full muffins--bake @ 350 25-30 minutes) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. I keep mine wrapped in foil. It goes without saying that it has never actually lasted that long.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lemon-Fruit Punch Cake

Lemon-Fruit Punch Cake -- only 3 ingredients!! 1 cake mix, 12 oz. soda (choose complimentary flavors) mix together (that's right no eggs or oil). Pour into greased 9x13" baking pan Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool, then "frost" with Cool Whip or whipped cream. Keep refrigerated.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Turkey Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

Ready for the oven--cover with foil & bake

Sweet potatoes and cranberries add a distinctive flavor to this baked turkey dinner!
1 (2 to 3-lb.) boneless turkey breast
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed (5 cups)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
6 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup apple juice concentrates
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Arrange potatoes & sweet potatoes on bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish. Place boneless turkey breast on top of potatoes. Add cranberries and onions Pour apple juice concentrate over top of turkey breast. Sprinkle with marjoram and salt. Cover with foil.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 1 hour. Uncover. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until turkey is fork-tender and juices run clear, spooning pan juices over turkey and vegetables once during baking. Serve turkey and vegetables with pan juices.

Serving Size: 1/8 of Recipe

Nutrition Facts 

Calories  300

Calories from Fat  60
Total Fat  7g
Saturated Fat  3g
Cholesterol  115mg
Sodium  170mg
Total Carbohydrate  23g
Dietary Fiber  2g
 Sugars  11g
Protein  35g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A 200%
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 4%
Iron 15%
1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 4 1/2 Very Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat;

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Creamed Corn

Delicious--different than any other I have tasted--definitely not like the stuff from the can!
Chef Lacey Lee Berry
Full recipe                                       Half recipe
2 lbs. sweet corn (frozen is OK)
8 oz. milk
8 oz. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt

2-3 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 lb. sweet corn (frozen is OK)
4 oz. milk
4 oz. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼  tsp. salt

1 ½  Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. corn starch
Pinch of cayenne pepper (just a pinch—it will not be as good if you skip it)

Mix corn, milk, heavy cream, sugar, pepper & salt together in heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often.  Bring to boil.  Cook 7-10 minutes.  Reduce heat.

Melt butter, add corn starch & stir well to create a smooth “slurry”.  Add slurry to corn mixture, stir well.  Bring back to boil.  Cook 3-5 minutes.  Add pinch of cayenne pepper, stir well.  Serve.

In the video, Chef Lacey shows Texas Beef Brisket, rolls, cole slaw & creamed corn—the creamed corn starts at about the 16 minute mark.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Barbecue Beans

Red or Pinto beans are particularly good with this smoky barbecue taste.  Can multiply this recipe x2, x3, x4 or more with good success.  (I always at least double the recipe.)

1 cup dried beans (red, pinto, pink, kidney or lima beans)
water for soaking*
2 1/2 cups water
2 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. ketchcup
1-2 Tbsp. your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
optional:  dash of liquid smoke

Sort/clean dried beans.  Soak overnight (8-10 hours).  Drain beans.  In a medium saucepan, combine beans and 2 1/2 cups water.  Slice bacon in 1" pieces.  In a small skillet, fry bacon until crisp.  Drain on paper towels; crumble.  Saute' onion and garlic in bacon drippings until onion is tender.  Add sauteed onion mixture, bacon and salt to beans.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until beans are just tender--1-1 1/2 hours.  Drain, reserving cooking liquid.  In a small bowl, combine ketchup, BBQ sauce,  vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt pepper and liquid smoke (if desired).  Stir sauce together well.  Add to beans, mix well.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes longer, adding more cooking liquid as needed.  Makes about 2 cups of prepared beans.

*Soaking beans--soaking is not an essential step in bean preparation.  Use room temperature water.  The purpose of soaking is to begin rehydration before cooking, thereby reducing cooking time.  Unsoaked beans take longer to cook and require more attention so they won't cook dry. DISCARD the soak water to decrease some of the bean's natural side effects.
During soaking, beans take up their lost water, increasing up to twice their dried size.  Enough water must be used to keep the beans covered while soaking.  Once rehydrated, beans cook in 1-3 hours, depending on the type of bean.
Quick soak: rehydrates beans in a little more than 1 hour.  Bring the beans and soaking water to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove the beans from the heat and cover the pot.  Let the beans soak in the hot water for 1 hour.  At the end of the hour, discard the soak water and cook the beans.  Beans soaked in hot water longer than 2-3 hours can spoil.
Cooking without soaking:  Use twice the amount of cooking water specified in the recipe.  Combine the water and rinsed beans in the pot and bring to a boil.  Some cooks like to bring the water to a boil first, then drop in the beans a few at a time so the boiling doesn't stop.  Cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.  Watch closely and add more water to keep them covered during the cooking process.  Most beans will be cooked tender in 2-3 hours.

adapted from Bean Cookery, Sue & Bill Deeming, HP Books, 1980 Fisher Publishing, Inc.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

French Bread

plain loaf       -         lame'  -         lame' used to cut slits in dough before final rise
(yield 1 loaf)  EASY to mix by hand--no special equipment required!
3-3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 packages active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
1.  In a large mixing bowl stir together 1 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt. Add the warm water to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
3.  Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add parchment paper to a baking sheet.
4.  Roll the dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side; seal well. Pinch ends and pull slightly to taper. Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Let rise until nearly double in size (35 to 45 minutes).
5.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife (or lame'), make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across the top of each loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes more or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove bread from baking sheet. Cool on wire rack.  Spread butter over top just out of the oven for soft crust.  Makes 1 loaf (14, 1-inch slices).

Nutrition Facts (French Bread)
  • 85 kcal cal.;
  • 18 g carb.;
  • 1 g fiber;
  • 3 g pro.;
  • 0 mg Riboflavin;
  • 1 Starch; 
  •  0 mg Thiamin;
  • 0 mg Pyridoxine (Vit. B6);
  • 2 mg Niacin;
  • 52 µg Folate;
  • 37 mg Potassium;
  • 128 mg sodium;
  • 1 mg iron

The Purpose of Scratch Only

The purpose of Scratch Only is to share recipes and ideas. Not all of these are my original recipes (and I know not EVERYTHING is from scratch), I have made these over and over and will not post anything that I do not make and enjoy first (sorry, but you won't find any seafood here). This blogger reserves the right to edit or delete posts with content deemed inappropriate or unwanted for any reason. If you have questions, please e-mail.