Fun Fact #1 - I really love Girl Scout cookies. More specifically, I really love Thin Mints. A little girl came knocking at my door a month or so ago, so of course I bought cookies from her.
The other weekend I was lucky enough to spend a full 4 days at my parents house. It was so nice to spend time with them and relax before I started the craziness of planning for my new job. While I was there, my mom and I cooked and baked, per usual. We even had a request from one of my aunts to make a batch of my delicious peppermint patties. They were just as yummy as I remembered. I learned a lot of what I know about cooking and baking from my mother. Actually, my mom also taught me how to completely destroy my kitchen while cooking. She is a pro at that, among other things.
On Saturday morning, my mom and I stopped by the local farmer's market with my aunt and cousin. The options were fantastic. I decided that I wanted to try out a new gluten free, lower carb, zucchini bread recipe. 1) Zucchinis are in season like crazy right now and 2) My uncle follows a gluten free diet and I love giving him new recipe to try. He was also a taste tester of my sugar cookie recipe.
I was happy (and shocked!) to have this bread come out so moist. Usually, when I attempt gluten free baking, my recipes crack and crumble. Not this one. This one was perfectly delicious.
- 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 very ripe banana
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine well.
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl, add a spoonful of the the dry ingredients to the chocolate chips and toss to combine. Set the chips aside. This will help keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the bread.
Add the sugars to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add 1/4 cup of the grated zucchini to the dry ingredients, and mix gently to combine. Set aside the dry ingredients.
Place the remaining grated zucchini, the eggs, banana, and vanilla in a blender, and pulse until well-blended and begins to emulsify.
Create a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredient mixture. The batter will be very wet. Add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and reserved dry ingredients to the batter and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top and press down lightly.
Place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; About 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the loaf pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
A few weeks back I had a co-worker approach me and tell me that she has officially stopped counting calories. She was tired of answering to an app and she had made a commitment to just start eating better but not worry about the calories. And guess what- she lost 4 pounds in one week! She had given up most sweets and processed junk and made a really positive change for herself. I totally agree with her mentality. It is taxing on your mind when you have to constantly record every single thing you eat.
I have vivid memories from when I was young of being at my grandma's house and picking strawberries in a small strawberry patch next to her garage. I remember how tiny the strawberries were - they were nothing like the strawberries sold in grocery stored. We would pick the strawberries (& I would eat half of them), take them inside, wash them, and mix them with lemon juice & sugar. Later, they would be used to top shortcake for strawberry short cake. I love that young summer memory.
Happy Independence Day, America!
Today, we are celebrating the 4th of July & I hope you are too. Maybe you have been celebrating all weekend and are relaxing today. Maybe you are getting together with friends and family for a cookout. I feel like every time I attend a summer cookout there is always so much food – Americans just love food!