Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread

The New Year is a great time to try new ingredients, like healthy and gluten-free coconut flour for this delicious Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread recipe.

#twelveloaves is a great group where we bake a bread with the addition of the monthly theme flavor or ingredient. Since we are in the New Year the theme this month was to make a bread with a New-to-You flour. I knew exactly which flour I was going to pick. I bought it a while back and I had yet to open the bag. My flour is coconut flour and I made a Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread.

Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread

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Pick your own Squash in the Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend in Canada was Thanksgiving. Many families and friends gather around a wonderful meal, celebrating the bounty of the summer. In my family we throw in hard labor work: we close the cottage down for the winter. Thankfully we still find time to play.

The fall colors were at their peak and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. On top of great food, the menu also included a gorgeous hike and a visit to a squash farm. Nothing says autumn like a stroll through the pumpkin patch at La Courgerie! No recipes today, just lots of great fall photos and a little squash crash course.

La Courgerie

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CCC: Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Smoothie-aholics, smoothie fans or the curious: win 2 free books through my Smoothie Book Giveaway. Enter by July 21st, 2013 11h59 pm!

At 5pm last Friday night, a wonderful thing happened: the begining of 2 weeks on holiday! I will be in and out of town but still prepared a few posts ahead for you. And if you are stuck at home and work, well go stuff it!

No not in the mean insult way silly! That is the theme for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew: Stuff It! So many options but inspiration struck while at a farmer’s market. Delicate zucchini flowers. I have not worked these much and this was the perfect challenge for this delicate flower. A lighter version than the fried kind, I prepared Baked Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.

zucchini blossom 05

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Cretan Memories with Boureki

Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet which celebrates my 5th Blogiversary? Ends June 22 2012…hurry do it now!

As I was dusting my bookshelf my attention was focused on a series of 6 huge photo albums. Yes the actual printed pre digital kind. All of these albums are exclusively trips. When I was younger I did a lot of backpacking trips or loner road trips across Europe and North America. I could not help but pick an album up and go down memory lane. It hit me it could be cool to tell you a little bit about these trips and share a recipe from that destination…those are some pretty Ethnic Eatz, Cheap too hi hi. And the recipe for this trip is Boureki. This is a classic Cretan dish made with sliced zucchini, sliced potatoes, mizithra or feta cheese and mint. This may look simple and not too pretty but wow it is ever flavor packed.

So this time around I picked up an album from a Greek island cruise I took back in 2001. I am a fan of archaeological sites and there are plenty in that part of the world. Let’s look today at the Palace of Knossos, a mus destination for your holidays to Crete. I took digital pictures of some prints I have from that trip…check them out. Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization, a sophisticated Bronze Age culture from 2600-1150 BC. The largest archaeological site is the Palace of Knossos home of King Minos. Built very much like a maze, the palace inspired the myth of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, one of the most famous tales from Greek mythology.

The king of Crete, king Minos, refused to sacrifice the beautiful snow-white bull sent to him by Poseidon and had a plain bull sacrificed instead. Poseidon found out about the switch and exacted his revenge by forcing Minos’s wife to fall in love with the bull (oh those liberal Greeks). Their copulation resulted in the birth of the mythical beast, the Minotaur. Minos had a gigantic labyrinth constructed to hold the Minotaur captive. Minos sent seven boys and seven girls every seven years to be sacrificed by the Minotaur. When the third sacrifice approached, Theseus, son of king Aegeus, volunteered to slay the monster. Ariadne, daughter of Minos, fell in love at first sight, and helped him by giving him a sword and a ball of thread, so that he could find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Theseus killed the Minotaur. On his return home, Theseus neglected, however, to put up the white sail, indicating his victory. King Aegeus, from his lookout, saw the black-sailed ship approaching and, presuming his son dead, committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea named after him, the Aegean Sea.

Photos from my trip in 2001 to Crete and Knossos Palace

So now you can say you learned something new today. No go make some Boureki while you contemplate!

Ξ Boureki Ξ
adapted from Explore Crete

1.5 zucchini
1 big potato
1 tomato
150gr feta
1/2 bunch mint or 1 tsp dried
8 tablespoons yogurt
1/2 wineglass olive oil
Salt, pepper, oregano
All-purpose flour

Cut zucchini, potatoes and tomatoes into thin rounds then sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Toss potatoes and zucchini with flour in a zip-lock bag. In an oiled medium sized pan, layer half of the potatoes and zucchini. Then spread half of the feta and half of the mint over the top. Repeat the procedure with the remaining potatoes, zucchini and tomato. Spread the remaining feta and mint over the top. Spoon on yogurt and drizzle olive oil. Add enough water to almost cover. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about two hours. Serve warm.

 

Delectable BBQ Sliced Rosemary Lamb

I am away for a little bit to frolic in the country…..enjoy this scheduled post and I look forward to posting upon my return.

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Have you learned to love a certain food over time…a food you really disliked at first that now you enjoy? I like best the descriptive Acquired Taste expression to explain this phenomena.  I know I have my fair share of such foods I rejected on firts bite as a child and now adore. My part list includes blue cheese, oysters, anchovies, eggplant and lamb by a long shot.

Oh that repulsive wooly gamey taste in my youth, I hated it. Now I know that lamb only tastes like that when the lamb is slaughtered past the 1 year mark. That is when the taste gets stronger and the meat tougher. I clearly remember the day I was courageous and ordered the first piece of lamb I loved. It was at a restaurant specializing in cuisine from Brittany. The Lamb came from l’Ile Verte, an island in the Saint- Laurence river, where the lambs fed in a salted march. It was also served like a filet mignon. It was divine and I have eating lamb without fear ever since.

I was preparing a very simple dinner with lamb,  a meat I do not buy often but it was 30% off. It turned out to be one of the best lamb dishes I have ever tasted in my life. It was a Foodgasm! The incredibly easy  and quick to prepare marinade knocked my socks of and paired with lamb perfectly. Let the meat marinate for one hour and them cook 3 min on each side on the BBQ.

Ξ BBQ Sliced Rosemary Lamb Ξ

4 slices of lamb leg butt
2 clove of garlic cut in 2 lengthwise
4tsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut excess fat around the slice, rub each side of the steaks with the halved garlic
  2. Mix well remaining ingredients in a bowl. Marinate the meat in the sauce for 2 hours
  3. Pre-heat your BBQ to 400F.
  4. Cook for 3 minutes on each side – this timing will give you a medium rare meat.

I bought this weekend some zucchini flowers for the first time ever. Now I realize they were maybe not bloomed enough beauty wise and since they may not be good upon my return I decided to do a quick grill with them since I could only find fried or stuffed recipes online which was not going to happen at 9 pm at night!

All I did was mix a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, with a touch of garlic salt and pepper and them dipped the blooms in like a paint brush to coat the flowers. After 3min on the BBQ they are done. They were very tasty and I look forward to experimenting more with this flower. how pretty are they with red currants lazying about the dish.

Daring Cooks: Edible Savory Container

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! is our Daring Cooks April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://www.thedaringkitchen.com/!

This is a very special challenge indeed for both Renata and myself as we will be hosting a DUAL challenge since I am hosting the April Daring Bakers. We’re challenging the Daring Cooks and Bakers to make EDIBLE CONTAINERS. it is all very exciting as it is the first time both monthly challenges cooperate.

I decided to go with a Zucchini Ricotta Roll-up that was part of my mother’s Italian birthday feast. Now I went really loosely with my container idea. Some may debate if it is a container at all…but I say it is since the zucchini holds the ricotta mixture that you eat. Renata had fabulous ideas of her own as suggestions like a stew in a squash, breaded cups, and bread soup bowls. If you want to see the actual whole challenge you can download the printable .pdf file HERE. The only mandatory items was to make a SAVORY edible container and fill it with something appropriate. So I present to you my entry….

Zucchini Ricotta Roll-ups by CookItaly

Ingredients:

250g ricotta
2 medium zucchinis
2 sprigs fresh mint
4 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:

Clean the zucchini and slice thinly length wise. Heat a ridged grill pan or a regular frying pan with a bit of butter and cook the zucchini slices dry for about 2 minutes on each side. Let cool to handle.

Clean the herbs, strip the leaves from the stems and chop or snip with scissors. In a bowl mix the ricotta with the chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and the olive oil.

Lay the zucchini  slices out flat, place a walnut sized piece of the herb ricotta mix on each and roll up. Add a dab at the end to glue the roll together. If you have cherry tomatoes or radishes you can top with a little slice to add a touch of color. Cool in the fridge for 1 hour.

For presentation I served my rolls  on a bed of pureed snow peas. I just cooked a handful of peas in a bit of vegetable stock until soft…adding a bit of garlic salt and pepper. I passed this through the blender and got an amazingly colorful shiny dark green puree.