I've been watching a fair amount of Call the Midwife lately. One of the many things I enjoy about the series is the culture, specifically, the practice of offering tea to all visitors. I appreciate the little rituals of hospitality and how second-nature they become if you practice them frequently. If you came to visit us, I'd make you coffee or tea—your preference—but I'd also want to have a little something ready to munch on as your enjoy your drink. Last time we visited my family in Minnesota, my mom made us homemade zucchini bread. I love the idea of having a go-to recipe for when we have guests (see this recent post for more of our favorite go-to recipes). And for our visitors? I think that homemade zucchini bread is just the thing (thanks, mom, for the inspiration)!
This bread is perfectly fall-ish with just enough spice, and it's hearty enough for breakfast or a snack with your coffee or tea.
Zucchini Bread (gluten-free)
adapted from Cooking Light
- 1.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I like King Arthur or the blue Bob's Red Mill blends)
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3/4 c. coconut sugar
- 2 c. shredded zucchini
- 1/2 c. olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of a standard loaf pan (9" x 5" x 3") with a tiny amount of olive or coconut oil and a pastry brush (a paper towel works too).
Carefully spoon flour into measuring cups and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk the contents of the bowl together.
In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together the sugar, zucchini, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Make a well in the dry mixture and add wet ingredients, stirring until just combined (take care not to over-mix at this point).
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. The batter will be relatively thick. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour, or until very firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Slice, serve to people you love, and enjoy! Makes one loaf.
I love the cooler months for the feel of them, in every way. I love cold-weather clothing, and candles, and the idea of slower, soothing months, where life doesn't feel so hectic. I love the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I love a good comfort food meal, that you can start in the afternoon, and let it simmer while doing laundry or a pre-dinner tidy of your home. This chili is that food for me. It's not altogether pretty, but you could always add some color by way of green pepper or jalepenos, etc. It's very mix-and-matchable and well-suited to whatever you have in your pantry. For us, that's chickpeas and lentils, since Nicholas isn't a huge fan of pinto/navy beans, etc. These ingredients afford a "traditional" enough chili for me, with a texture he enjoys as well.
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.
Yesterday, I stopped by my friend Jessica's house to see her and her son. I played with her little boy while she chopped veggies for a meal she was bringing to a friend that night. Whereas I prefer to follow a recipe, since I'm nervous that my kitchen experiments won't turn out, Jessica is naturally good at using up all the food in the fridge, coming up with new combinations and just "throwing together" a meal, or following a recipe with modifications, based on what she has on hand.