Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Part II, Molly’s Blueberry Zucchini Bread

A few weeks ago I asked my sweet friend, Molly, if I could take a few pictures of her summer garden and animals for this blog. She agreed.

We’ve been enjoying fresh and beautiful eggs from Molly’s hens for months and I wanted to meet them. Turns out the hens had nothing to say to me - but they sure are pretty, aren’t they? And look at this zucchini – blossom and squash!

And Molly had just added two furry babies to her house – Peaches and Ron (Weasley). They are soft and sweet and hoppy as can be!

How do you prepare summer squash? Or, what’s your favorite way?

I like to take a combination of zucchini and yellow squash, cut them on a diagonal in medium slices, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and sauté in olive oil until crispy and golden brown on both sides. Just don’t crowd the pan – if you do, they steam (and I make a frowny face) - work in batches until all the rounds are done. Then I arrange the slices, slightly overlapping in concentric circle in my sauté pan, sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan and stick the pan under the broiler. Yup. That’s what I do. Watch the pan carefully and please-oh-please have those oven mitts handy to remove the pan when the cheese is crispy and golden brown!

Beautiful yellow squash. Love how different the blossoms are from zucchini blossoms.

Molly has a GREAT tip for all that extra zucchini. She grates it, measures out servings and puts them in individual plastic freezer bags for the winter. As needed, she adds the frozen zucchini to pancakes and baked goods for her kids. Garden zucchini in the darkest days of winter would make ME smile!

I had a few recipe ideas for this post, but Molly gave me some loaves of her quick bread to take home that day and I quickly lost interest in my own recipe ideas! Here’s the recipe for her Blueberry Zucchini Bread. It’s delicious and I’ve left the recipe as is – no tinkering, no inspired by, just a lovely recipe from her home to mine and now to yours.

Thank you, Molly! I've known you since our first born babies were in pre-school together and you are a wonderful mother and friend. Not to mention a fabulous gardener and cook. XO

Molly’s Blueberry Zucchini Bread
Makes 4-5 mini loaves or 1 8 x 4-ish loaf

Preheat oven to 350°
Prepare loaf pan(s) by lightly greasing with vegetable oil.
[If you’re using bake-and-serve-loaf pans, skip this step.]

3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
(or, 2 cups all purpose unbleached, 1 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over

Combine with a whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and and cinnamon and set aside.

In the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the zucchini and beat until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Remove attachment and work bowl and with a spatula or wooden spoon gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini loaf pans.

Bake 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans then turn onto wire racks.


Avocados are my favorite fruit. So good! In a perfect world, I would have avocado with every meal. So, no surprise, I love guacamole. I take ripe avocados, sprinkle them with lemon juice and sea salt and then mash them up with a fork. That’s it!

What about lime juice? Glad you asked. I’ve experimented with lime juice and it adds a whole different quality to the guacamole. Although equally delicious, and I used it in the picture below because that's what I had on hand, my preference is lemon juice. The lime can overwhelm the avocado, so use less to start than you think you need.

I don’t particularly care for guacamole add-ins like chopped tomato, garlic, onion, or cilantro, though I understand those are components of an “authentic” guacamole. If you like those, go for it!

If possible, I highly recommend a sunny summer afternoon, an ocean breeze, music and a good friend or two to go with the guacamole and corn chips. And don't forget a couple of cold ones. Just sayin'.

Serves 4-6

3 ripe avocados*
Lemon juice to taste
Sea salt to taste

Halve, pit and peel avocados.
Put avocado halves in a work bowl.
Add lemon juice sparingly (you can always add more).
Add sea salt to taste.
Mash avocados lightly with a fork, taste and adjust lemon/salt.
If you like your guacamole smooth, keep on mashing.
If you like your guacamole chunky, stop when the texture looks good to you.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or tightly cover with plastic wrap (pressing the wrap on the guacamole) and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Don’t forget the tortilla chips!

* When is an avocado ripe? Good question. A ripe avocado should be firm but give easily to light pressure from your finger tips. To hasten ripening, try placing your avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana for a day or two. Do not store avocados in the fridge or in a plastic bag.