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Zucchini Banana Bread

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Is it just me, or is anyone else drowning in overripe bananas?  I've resorted to freezing these bananas so I can use them another time.  The issue is that I tend to "freeze it and forget it".  My tipping point came last week when I went into the freezer to retrieve something and all I could find were containers of mashed bananas.  Seriously?  Perhaps it's time to do something about this.

So what are we about to make?  Banana bread of course!  I then realized I didn't want to make a regular banana bread.  There's nothing wrong with it, but if I can add all the things to my banana bread, then why wouldn't I?  Junk up all the things!  I decided that zucchini should be the addition.

Now, here's something shocking.  I managed to refrain from adding chocolate chips to this bread.  Say whaaa?  Right?  I'm shocked too, but I was really trying to step out of my comfort zone and let's be honest, my comfort zone is covered in chocolate.

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Spiced Pear Quick Bread

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Another month, another Secret Recipe Club post!  It's May!  How did we get here already?  I'm not a fan of this "time travel" thing we seem to be doing.  Something I AM looking forward to, however, is the warmer months.  Let's move it along Winter.  Let's allow Spring to have a few weeks so we can smoothly usher in Summer.  I need to come out of hibernation soon!

 

As I'm trying to move this process along, I figured I'd see if making a summer-y quick bread would help Mother Nature out.  Makes sense, right?  Please say yes.  Yes.

I was paired up with Renee from Renee's Kitchen Adventures this month.  Renee and I both love cooking and baking, though she has been doing it since she was a teenager and I've been doing it for only the past 8 years or so.  Renee has been on a quest to serve healthy and delicious dishes to her family.  Over the past few years I've come to feel the same way.  However, this blog DID start out as a cupcakes blog, so let's just say that I come from "humble beginnings".  And you will definitely find desserts scattered among my recipes because I am in a long-term relationship with sugar.

Several of Renee's recipes stood out to me: Crockpot Chicken Chili (I don't care if it's not crockpot weather!), Fresh Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread (I love quick breads and cannot get enough), Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (chocolate and pumpkin - I want!), Peanut Butter & Banana Streusel Muffins (have I mentioned how much I love muffins?).  The Spiced Pear Quick Bread eventually won out above all the other choices mostly because I wanted to incorporate a summer fruit into the mix.  Mother Nature needs a gently nudge!  Thanks so much for the recipe Renee!

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Cheesy Garlic Monkey Bread


My apartment has been super hot lately, but it's all my fault.  I've been using my oven constantly for the past few weeks.  I just can't stop.  Why didn't I have this great desire to bake every food item during the cold, brutal winter?  Now that it's getting to be summertime I've decided that it's perfect weather to hotbox my apartment.  Fabulous.

No matter how much I dislike sitting in a steamy, warm apartment, getting to indulge in this amazingly cheesy garlic monkey bread helped to make up for that.  I can't tell you how much I love carbs.  I really try to tone down this part of my diet, but man, is it TOUGH!

Now I know that monkey breads are typically sweet treats, but let's not underestimate how delicious a savory version can be as well.  Melted butter and melted cheese?  Yes, thank you!  I'll take both.

I also can't get over eating things with my hands.  That makes this a perfect snack (also known as "dinner") for me.

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Caramelized Onion Beer Bread

Alright, one more beer-related recipe because 1) St. Patrick's Day is still on its way, and 2) I just can't help myself.  Can I ever post too many beer recipes?  Nope.

This time, I wanted to make something savory.  I also wanted a new way to incorporate my balsamic caramelized onions into another recipe.  While I love them slathered over meat or piled on top of toasted bread, I decided I wanted to try something new.  Why not put them into a bread instead of on top of it?  Also, add beer.  This is basically how my mind works.  I throw all the things together.

I found a recipe that was pretty close to what I was looking for, and I modified from there.  In the end, I must confess that in addition to easting this warm and slathered with butter, I may have spread a little honey and cinnamon on top of a slice to make it sweet.  No judgements, right?

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Jamaican Beef Patty Flatbread

I don't even know how this thing happened.

My work schedule was a bit wonky last week, and at the last minute I ended up working from home the entire week.  On or about Tuesday, I realized that I didn't have enough real food to sustain me much longer.  I had to go to the grocery store.  But, for various reasons (most of which had to do with something called "laziness"), I never made it.

And so began the process of existing on coffee, Babybel miniature cheese, and turkey wraps from the restaurant across the street.  Yeah.  Low points.

So I did what I do best: I raided my freezer.  In it, I found 1/2 lb of ground beef, two flatbreads, and frozen peas.  Things were not looking up...until I found a recipe that would let me use all of this good stuff.

OK, I tweaked a few things, but are you surprised about that?  You shouldn't be.

Growing up in the Bahamas, I have been eating Jamaican beef patties as a snack since I was a child.  They will always take me back to the time of carefree living and remind me of being back in Nassau.  I figured I should probably take a stab at my own version of this recipe.

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Beer Batter Bread

Can we just get ready for St. Patrick's Day already?  This is pretty much my most favorite holiday of the year, primarily because it's a day to celebrate drinking.  Yes, I'm sure there is another, deeper meaning behind St. Patrick's Day, but that's not where this blog post is going.

For the past few years, my roommate and I have had a St. Patrick's Day morning/brunch party in Hoboken.  Hoboken's St. Patty's Day is celebrated on the first Saturday of the month of March.  It's a long story, but that's how it is.  We didn't do that this year since my roommate is in the process of selling the apartment.  We wouldn't want a repeat of that wine-on-the-ceiling incident that occurred a few years ago...That would be no bueno.

But what I could have is this beer bread.  I whipped this up in a matter or minutes, and uh, it didn't actually make it to any parties anywhere.  I sort of ate it.  Could you blame me?  It's all buttery and beer-tasting and stuff.  So go make your own.  It takes no time at all.

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Bahamian Johnnycake

I recently went home to the Bahamas and each time I've been with my family lately, I've been trying to snag another recipe to post on the blog. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I think it's pretty cool to make food from different parts of the world and learn more about other countries. The second reason is purely selfish. Since most Bahamians tend to cook without recipes, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to recreate my favorite dishes years down the road. So I guess I'm also trying to record as many recipes as possible for posterity.

The latest installment in this series is a something called a johnnycake. I looked up the word "johnnycake" online and Google came back with some cornmeal- or cornbread-type thingy. Let me assure you that this is not what we make in the Bahamas. Apparently the term johnnycake has different meanings in different countries. (Although this does make me want to try the American version of johnnycake. I gladly accept gifts of food, just so you know.)

The Bahamian version of johnnycake is a cross between a dense bread and a slightly sweet cake. It's best served warm, slathered with butter and accompanying a soup or stew. However, if you're anything like me and my family, you can have it anytime of the day.

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