Zucchini Bread

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We have a great farmer’s market in Franklin and I might go a little bit over board when I visit them on Saturdays. We roast or grill zucchini on the regular and it is so good that it never even makes it to our plates.
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Recently, I was thinking of a different way I could use it. It occurred to me that I had never made zucchini bread and that all the times I had tried it, it was dry and tasteless. I wanted to like it though and so I set out on a quest to make it delicious.
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I love any green vegetables and now I have found a way to sneak them into a sweet snack! Now granted, this snack is also packed with oil, sugar and carbs, but there is zucchini tucked away in there.
I rest my case.
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I really don’t consider myself a baker, but this bread was not at all difficult and we ate every crumb!
Zucchini Bread 
ingredients: 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
instructions and directions: 
heat oven to 325 degrees
grease and flour a bundt pan or two 8 x 4 inch pan
sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl
beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. add sifted ingredients to the mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. pour batter into prepared pan(s).
bake bundt pan for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. bake loaves for approximately 50 minutes. i like to peek at and knife test mine about 10 minutes before i think i may take them out. i would rather they be a little under done, than over done and dry.
adapted from an all recipes recipe

Welcome Back Tostada Suiza

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I’ve been traveling the world and I just couldn’t find the time to write to you along the way. Or, I moved twice and my kitchen situation has been dicey, so I haven’t been sharing what I have been cooking between unpacking boxes and occasionally dining out 3 times a day. You take your pick.  And by you I mean all three of my readers.

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For my unofficial “welcome back to the blog world” party [really-you shouldn't have], I decided to make something that was Mexican themed, naturally, and something really easy. It’s a take on one of my favorite dishes at our local Mexican haunt. It’s called Enchiladas Suiza. It was a week day though and I had already had too many Negra Modelos  couldn’t swing the enchilada part, so I give you: Tostada Suiza. You can thank me at my next surprise party.

De nada.

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gathering of just a few ingredients

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if you see this brand of tostadas, i would highly recommend them. not too salty and very crunchy.

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TOSTADA SUIZA

a hungry apple original 

ingredients: 

1 pound chicken breast, raw

1 bell pepper, chopped (i used red)

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos, more or less to taste

sea salt and pepper

pepper jack cheese, grated

pineapple tid-bits (or delicious pineapple salsa if you have a whole foods)

salsa verde

avocado, to garnish

cilantro, to garnish

instructions and directions:

heat oven to 350 degrees.

in a slow cooker, combine raw chicken breasts, tomatoes, pepper, jalapenos, chicken broth and the s&p.

cover and cook on low, for 6 hours. confirm that the chicken is done and shred.

lay out parchment paper on a cookie sheet and top tostada shells with: chicken and grated cheese.

bake for 5 minutes on 350 degrees.

top with salsa verde, pineapple and garnish with cilantro and avocado.

restaurant worthy asian seared tuna

photo 1At our house, the highest honor that my expert taster can bestow on a meal, is the phrase “you could serve that at a restaurant”. I’m not sure when we started that, but if those words cross his lips, it’s pretty damn good.

And today i definitely agree.

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This fish has so many great flavors going on, that you pretty much look forward to every bite.

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I didn’t stray much from the recipe either, which is rare.

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Sushi grade tuna is key here.

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Fast hot cooking creates a delicious exterior. It serves one, so double, triple or quadruple, if needed.

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I might have cried a little when it was all gone.

 Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger, and Lime

ingredients:

1 big handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeno, sliced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 limes, juiced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Pinch sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 (6-ounce) block sushi-quality tuna

1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced

instructions and directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the tuna generously with salt and pepper. Lay the tuna in the hot oil and sear for 1 minute on each side to form a slight crust. Pour 1/2 of the cilantro mixture into the pan to coat the fish. Serve the seared tuna with the sliced avocado and the remaining cilantro sauce drizzled over the whole plate.



recipe by tyler florence 

Dining Out Lately-Nashville

I haven’t blogged about my recent eats lately. Not because I haven’t  been dining out, just because I haven’t gotten around to it. But I have really enjoyed some local spots. Some new, some not so.

As I normally do, I am leaving off places that I didn’t enjoy. So, if you were with me and you think some places are missing, this is my way of not throwing certain spots under my bus of disapproval.

In random order:

Otaku South: Ramen

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Whoa. This place was off the chain. They started as a pop up style restaurant and they seem to have a fairly normal gig in the Nashville Farmer’s Market on Wednesday and Thursday nights right now. We tried just about everything on their menu from pork ramen to pickled vegetables. I loved it so much I have been dreaming about it ever since.  I follow them on instagram because they go neat places to learn all about ramen and I like to pretend I am tagging along.

update! you can now get this ramen here as well!

Pinewood Social: A little bit of everything

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I dig this place. Although bowling and karaoke were available, I stuck with eating and drinking since it was early in the day. We were there for brunch but I thought the food was fantastic.  Big ole delicious anchovies sat atop their kale caesar and the beef tongue reuben was one of the most unique sandwiches i have ever had. their drinks were creative and not at all too sweet.  if you’re wanting something boring dependable, they make a great cheeseburger.

Rotiers: Burgers

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i am not sure how i have missed this place all these years. i enjoy places that haven’t changed AT ALL since the 80’s? So, i should have wound up here sooner, but  will make up for it now. i selected the grilled cheese cheeseburger and i see no reason that i should ever stray from it. other people rave about other burgers on their menu but this, to me, is the best one.

the glow in the pictures is from the neon signs that adorn this place. i assure you,  these colors cannot be duplicated.

notice the not-so-kool cigarette machine. haven’t seen one of these in years. it’s like posing with an old, very disgusting, selfish, fr-enemy from your past. but funny to see, none the less.

Cafe Fundamental: French Cuisine

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The service on the day we went, was laughable which made it entertaining. But the food was scrumptious.

Martinis as dirty as Christina Aguilera. Duck Confit Hash. and Beignets.

Chicago

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We went to Chicago this summer. I had so much to say about this wonderful city,  that I decided to stew on it and come back later to give my report. And later is now. 8 months later. I have a friend who is traveling to Chicago this spring and I promised a post.

Now, we didn’t do anything tremendously educational. It was mostly touristy sight seeing, a whole lot of the culinary scene, staying out late and sleeping late to recover. Taking in as much as we could in a short amount of time.  The trip was nothing short of legendary.

I want to go back as soon as possible. That’s the thing about traveling to cool places. I’d like to find new cities to love but there is always so much that I could still discover about the cities I have already been to. First world issues to be sure.

Sometimes I am just baffled that all my pictures are taken with my phone [and some, not so much]. But…it is the hungry apple after all.

Among my city favorites were:

the bean

adventures in babysitting building:  (Elizabeth Shue: what is it really called?!)

Ruxbin Restaurant: the greatest dining experience of my life thus far. byob.

Mott Street: restaurant whose a/c was broken and it was still a blast. that’s saying a lot in 90 degree weather.

Girl and The Goat: Bucket list restaurant where we were placed in outdoor seating no less. Check. This is also the place where I had goat cheek for the first time. how could that not be memorable?  it was delicious.

The J. Parker: bar on top of hotel. views of lake and city.

Hotel Lincoln: the hotel that the bar is on top of.

La Vieille Ferme: this wine was 6 bucks at trader joes and somehow it was so delicious. not really chicago related, but I did have it for the first time in chicago and Ruxbin is byob. i’m just sayin.

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Basic Waffle Recipe

photo 4Leggo of that Eggo. There’s a new waffle in town.

Having a basic waffle recipe in your arsenal is clutch. This one should suit most tastes, it’s not too sweet but it’s fluffy and doesn’t take long.

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They have a high calorie count (at 300 calories per waffle) but they are from scratch and could easily be made organic.  They also freeze beautifully, wrapped in wax paper and stored in a ziploc bag.

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Adding the milk.

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Here is what the whites should look like.

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You can make them as thick or thin as you like. I use a half cup measure for each waffle. I prefer that they not spill over the edge. Waffle makers are a bitch to clean. Am I right?

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For fun, i combined 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch in a small pan and simmered it over low heat until it had the consistency of jam.

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Then i topped my waffles with it.

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Basic Waffles

ingredients: 

1 1/3 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

instructions and directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together. Stir well.

Separate the eggs. Put the yolds in the dry ingrediens and the whites into their own small mixing bowl.

Beat the whites until they stiffen.

Add milk, vanilla and melted butter to the dry ingredents and blend together until combines.

Fold in the egg whites and set aside for 5 minutes.

Ladle into waffle iron and cook until desired.

Makes 6-8

adapted from food.com

Valentine Menu

If you think going out on Valentine’s Day is as silly as I do, but you celebrate it because if you didn’t you’d send the wrong message then here are some delicious recipes for staying at home and making yourself (and/or someone you love) something delicious.

 OR

You could go out and fight crowds into restaurants with marked up menu prices while making kissy faces at someone you either love today as much as you did yesterday or someone you don’t really care for, you just didn’t want to spend this fake holiday alone.

Your choice…but I’d make some of these if I were you.

Salads and Apps

caesar

Healthier Caesar 

brussels

Warm Brussels Salad

butternut salad

Butternut Squash Salad

10 minute crostini

10 Minute Crostini

Mains

picatta

Chicken Piccata

fish

Fish with Grapefruit Avocado Salsa

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Grilled Sirloin with Anchovy Butter

shells

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Dessert

cheesecake

Easy Cheesecake

Chicken Noodle Soup

Hello People!

My world, like everyone else’s, has been nuts-o. 2013 ended with lots of change and 2014 has begun with too much loss and a scattered schedule. Having said that it’s freaking 2014. More than 20 days into in, in fact and I have yet to blog.

You may notice that these pictures (in particular the lighting) are much different. That is because we moved! Yay! For fun, we are now renting in east Nashville for a while and therefore the kitchen isn’t exactly what my old one was but I’m just ever thankful for a big kitchen to cook in.

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To regain order-what do you say we start off with a delicious version of an old staple? Chicken Noodle Soup.  It’s been frigidly cold here and this soup really hit the spot. I served it up with this grilled cheese and everyone was pleased.

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Start out with chopped carrots, celery and green onion.

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After you saute the veggies, add the seasonings.

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I have no idea how I came up with this recipe. It was half researched half a combination of recipes. So I don’t really feel the need to give credit anywhere. However, the secret to this recipe was taking half the veggies out and blending the rest with an immersion blender. I don’t know where this came from, but they deserve credit-so if whoever did this is reading. Tell me it was you!

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Here are me and my boobs and a bunch of tiny birds, ladling out half of the vegetables.

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After the veggies are all blended, add the chicken and veggies that were maintained.

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Add the ditalini and simmer until the pasta is done. You could really use any short pasta but it wouldn’t be as fun to say.

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This soup is so hearty and doesn’t even compare to the canned stuff.

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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

ingredients: 

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, shredded/pulled

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced carrots

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

6 cups chicken broth (plus more if needed)

1 1/2 cups ditallini (uncooked) pasta

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon thyme

salt

pepper

6 dashes of Louisiana hot sauce

the juice of half a lemon

instructions:

saute carrots, celery and green onion in a large dutch oven or stock pot until tender, about 5 minutes. add garlic, parsley, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 10 twists of pepper. cook one minute more.

add chicken broth and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

using a slotted spoon, remove 1/2 of vegetables and set aside. blend remaining broth and veggies with an immersion blender. if you don’t have an immersion blender, blend the veggies you removed with some of the broth, in a standing blender.

add veggies back to the pot along with the shredded chicken. bring to a simmer and add ditalini. when the ditalini is al dente, about 8 minutes, taste the soup. if too much of the broth has evaporated, you may want to add a little more to your liking. add salt and pepper to taste as well as the lemon juice and hot sauce.

Even Better Jiffy Muffins

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Some times I just don’t have the time for from-scratch recipes. For example, when I want cornbread, it is just easier (and delicious!) to use a box of Jiffy. I still feel the need to do a little something extra though. So, while this isn’t really a recipe, per say, it is a way to make Jiffy even better.

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1/4 cup of cheese and a 1/4 cup of sour cream is all there is to it

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the two additional ingredients make the muffins bigger, cheesy and less crumbly

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Even Better Jiffy Muffins

ingredients: 

1 box jiffy corn bread

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 ounces of sharp cheddar, grated (about 1/4 cup, heaping)

1/4 cup sour cream

instructions and directions: 

Heat oven on 400 degrees.

In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Let sit on the counter in the bowl for 5 minutes. Spoon into greased 6 cup muffin tin. Bake 15 minutes or until muffins begin to brown.

Turkey Day and Leftover Recipe Ideas

Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.

If you are needing help with your Thanksgiving Day recipes, here are some ideas!

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Butternut Squash Pasta Bake 

Mac and Cheese 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins 

Pumpkin Waffles 

OR

If you need something to do with your left overs…

Thanksgiving Grilled Cheese

Chicken Turkey Pot Pie

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