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Tag: quick bread

Brendabread: The Only Zucchini Bread Recipe You Need

Yes, I know. Another quickbread. Nothing like finding a theme and sticking to it, right? Right! In any case, I am SO EXCITED to share the best. zucchini bread. evar. This is a family heirloom recipe that I have been dying to get my hands on, literally, for years. Of course, the family in question is not quite my own, so that probably has something to do with how long it’s taken me to extract the recipe. That, and having to rely on teenage boys to do… well, just about anything.

This recipe, you see, comes from Brenda, mom to the WonderTwins’ friend-since-childhood, Mikey. And we’ve been the lucky recipients of a  ”brendabread”–so called by WonderTwin A–every Christmas since forever. Even now that even the WonderTwins and their friends are, well, if not ALL, then mostly grown up, a long, foil-wrapped loaf of brendabread will still magically appear right before Christmas, where it is usually demolished in seconds… by wolves. We have nothing to do with it,  I swear.

This Christmas, however, I was smart enough to hide our annual brendabread  in the back of the refrigerator behind some very suspect leftovers, so we could enjoy it on Christmas morning. And enjoy we did, because as always, it was SO GOOD. Really. I mean, Proustian nonsense aside, this is really great stuff. Even better, I finally managed to get the recipe itself thanks to Mikey’s very organized wife. (There’s just something about blonde first-born children, isn’t there, Martha?)

Anyway, the recipe! Its success is all about balance and a restrained touch, I think. While the bread could accommodate far more of just about everything (spice, zucchini, raisins, nuts), it’s really perfect as is. Lushly moist with an even, tender crumb, it’s not too sweet and has just enough mix-ins to keep things interesting. Their relative sparseness makes it all the more exciting when you run across a plump raisin or toasty walnut.

As always, be sure to read the notes after the recipe for additional info.

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Not-So-Southern Cornbread

So, I really wasn’t meaning to continue my ramble through Southern foodways, but here we are. I had some buttermilk leftover from my red velvet cake-making adventures and was looking for a good way to use it up when my daily Tasting Table email dropped fortuitously into my inbox with the perfect recipe for cornbread-one that called for buttermilk–courtesy of the chef at Carriage House, a restaurant in Chicago. And, for real, this is some EXCELLENT cornbread right here.

Southern purists will likely have to look away, though, as this is a sweet, light cornbread–more in the Northern style–that remains nonetheless redolent of corn and full of flavor. I happen to find it better than the more austere Southern versions, and really, how could I not with the embarrassment of riches stirred into the batter–honey, eggs, butter, butermilk, AND sour cream. Not so much healthfood, then, but there’s kale salad for that.

I also ended up baking it in a 9×13″ baking tin rather than a 12″ cast iron skillet, which shockingly even I do not possess. The world didn’t end, however, and I imagine that it’s actually easier to portion than the round would be.

Lightly sweet, lightly savory, totally delicious–and like all quick breads, absolutely dead easy. We’ve been enjoying it for several days now, with salad, with chili… just about anything, I think, could be improved with a few of these golden yellow squares served along side.

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新年快樂! Ginger Scones and the Year of the Tiger

Despite the distractions of lingering snow and Olympic excitement (though Bob Costas could fall into a crevasse somewhere and I don’t know that I’d complain…) life does go on. Life, of course, includes having my friend Kate for tea  to plan our menu for a Lunar New Year dinner. While we’ve yet to settle on a date at this point, at least the menu’s going to be hot. One cannot, of course, have someone to tea without something nice to go with it. In honor of our Asian endeavor and the newly-minted year of the tiger, I decided to make some rich and zingy ginger-vanilla scones.


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