Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: quick breads

Generous Red Raspberry Muffins

Chock-full of fresh raspberry flavor and so comforting, these moist raspberry muffins are great for breakfast or a snack.  I call them ‘generous’ because so much about them is plentiful and bountiful–the size of them, the portion of juicy raspberries, the richness of the batter, and the cozy, abundant flavor when you take a bite.  And there’s enough extra batter to make a mini loaf of raspberry bread, perfect to give to someone who might need a homemade treat.

Continue reading

Zucchini Banana Bread

This zucchini banana bread is moist and delicious. Extra-virgin olive oil and Greek yogurt give it extra richness, and with both a fruit and a vegetable in there, you can feel good about eating it! Perfect as a snack or part of breakfast, this bread is satisfying without being heavy, and it’s full of cinnamon and vanilla flavor.  Your kitchen will smell so comforting and good while it is baking!

DSC_0028 (1)When I am trying to figure out what to make for myself and my family, often necessity is my best guide.  Because I needed to use a zucchini, and because my husband and I accidentally both bought bananas on the same day, I made this great bread that I will definitely make again! Though I have made zucchini bread and banana bread separately many times, those two ingredients are a great combination.  I am especially pleased with this recipe, because the moistness seems just right.  I have had zucchini breads that are too dry or too oily, but this one tastes very well-balanced.  The recipe is a combination of lots of different recipes I have used over the years, and it is definitely a keeper.

zucchini and banana in sunThis is the time of year when zucchini starts to roll in around here, and I feel like it is one of the vegetables most frequently given away.  It seems like someone is always passing out zucchini, and I am happy to use it!  With a break in the heat wave, I finally felt like turning on my oven to bake. This bread makes a great gift, and it freezes really well too.

I woke up this morning to the sound of soft rain and distant thunder.  It has been a long time since we have had rain in the morning, it seems.  I am sure the parched earth is enjoying it.  It definitely puts one in a more contemplative state of mind.  Our daughter is away at cross country camp for a few days, and though I know she is having lots of fun, I miss her.  Our son is getting lots of attention though. 🙂 I hope you are all enjoying your weekend, whether in the rain or the sunshine! Though I’m a bit late to Fiesta Friday, I am joining the great bloggers there, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love.zucchini banana bread on tray 1

Zucchini Banana Bread

  • Servings: 2 loaves
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup of grated zucchini
  • 1 cup of mashed banana (about 2 bananas)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large mixing bowl, first stir the eggs vigorously with a fork.  Then add the sugars, Greek yogurt, olive oil, and vanilla.  Stir again (with a fork or whisk) to thoroughly combine.  Hold the cup with the grated zucchini over the sink and gently squeeze the excess water out of the zucchini.  Add the grated zucchini and mashed banana to the egg mixture and stir with a spoon to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Then pour the batter into the two prepared loaf pans, distributing as evenly as possible.

Bake in your 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a couple crumbs attached–just not with wet batter).  Let the bread cool before removing from the pans. Enjoy!

 

Citrus Nut Bread

Orange zest and a half cup of lemonade infuse this bread with a subtle zing, balanced by the creamy flavors of walnuts, pecans, and milk.  Moist and subtly sweet, this citrus nut bread is a tasty snack, with nutritional benefits from the nuts and orange zest.  Savor a slice with a cup of coffee or tea, as an after-school snack, or even just grab a piece on the go.  Some may like to spread cream cheese or jam on a slice; I like it just as it is.  There is something joyful and energizing about citrus flavors.  As we wait for seasonal fruits to become ripe here, citrus can do wonders to tide us over.  Though it takes almost an hour to bake, it takes just a few minutes to zest some orange peel and mix up the batter.

DSC_1155This recipe is adapted from a favorite orange walnut bread recipe in one of the many cookbooks I have collected from various churches over the years.  Once I got started making the bread, I realized I didn’t have the orange juice the recipe called for.  I also didn’t have enough walnuts.  My husband suggested I use lemonade instead of the orange juice, and I used a combination of walnuts and pecans.  The bread turned out great! I actually like it better than the traditional orange walnut bread.  The lemonade gives it a sunny flavor and such a pretty, delicate color.

citrus nut bread on bench 2The making of this bread helped soothe my nerves.  I made it a day or so before my daughter was to leave on her overnight class trip to Chicago.  I know she loves this bread, and making it for her made me feel like I was giving her an extra hug before she waved goodbye and hopped on the bus.  It is true that food can express love in ways that words sometimes cannot. I look forward to hearing all about her trip when she gets back!

citrus nut bread on porchMeanwhile, spring marches on with warm days and cold days, bright sun, rain, and wind.  The key is to dress in layers, since it changes so quickly!  The scene around us is becoming more colorful by the day.  After the browns and grays of winter, it feels good to see such bright colors.  Our cherry trees are starting to blossom! Bright yellow dandelions decorate bright green grass.  I hope you are all having a great week!cherry blossomscherry blossoms against blue sky

Citrus Nut Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly
  • 1 tablespoons of orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of a combination of walnuts and pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to combine.  In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, lemonade, butter, egg, and orange zest.  Add those ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Stir gently until just incorporated and a batter forms.  Stir in the chopped nuts.  Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.  Bake in your 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden and the top cracks just a little.  Test to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When the bread is done, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy!

Brown Soda Bread With Molasses

This rich, hearty, earthy bread is so satisfying, so delicately flavorful, that you will find yourself enjoying every bite.  With just a few ingredients, it is very easy to make, and you can have a homemade loaf of bread on your table in a little less than an hour.  It’s delicious for breakfast with a little butter or marmalade, or with dinner alongside a bowl of stew or soup.

soda bread with hands 4Sometimes the best things happen as a result of necessity.  I often freak out when life throws me a monkey wrench or a curve ball, but really, often, something good comes of those curve balls.  Discovering this bread recipe was one of those good things.

Yesterday, the kids and I were snowed in with no bread in the house.  After a winter with a relatively small amount of snow (for Michigan anyway), we suddenly got hit with a big snowstorm, and it snowed all day and all night.  My husband went to work amidst snow drifts and howling wind, but the kids had a snow day off of school, and I stayed home with them .  My husband barely got out of our driveway, so I knew I had a lot of shoveling to do before we went anywhere or he got home.  We also lost electricity for a few hours.  My original plans for the day vanished into the winter wind.

soda bread against whiteWhile the kids and I were sitting close to our gas fireplace to stay warm,(thank goodness for that during power outages!), I found the recipe for this tasty bread in a cookbook my mom recently gave me called The Irish Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Everyday Cooking from the Emerald Isle.  As soon as our electricity came back, I made this bread, and then made another loaf this morning.  We had it with soup last night, and with breakfast this morning.  I am really excited about this bread, because everyone in my family likes it, and it is so versatile.  It tastes rustic and homemade, yet only takes around an hour to make, including baking time.  There is just the tiniest hint of sweetness from the molasses.

DSC_0945And after raging for a few minutes about losing electricity for the second time this week due to the weather, I found myself enjoying the quiet time.  My kids and I ate pretzels and pistachios for lunch, sat around the fireplace together, and listened to music on our hand-crank-powered radio.  They went outside and built a fort in the snow, and when they came in, all their wet things dried quickly by the fireplace.  Our power came back within a few hours.  I didn’t get a lot done that day, but had quality time with my kids and made this awesome bread.

I hope you all have a great weekend! soda bread with dogsnowy pines 2I am sharing this recipe with the group of amazing bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.

Brown Soda Bread with Molasses

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, salt, and baking soda.  In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and molasses.  If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute with regular milk and a tablespoon of vinegar.  Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well.  Gently stir the mixture together, until well combined.  Using floured hands, form the batter into a soft ball.

Shape the dough into a circle and place it on the lined baking sheet.  Press the ball gently to about 2 inches thick.  With a sharp knife with a long blade, cut a deep cross across the top.

Bake in your 450-degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 400 degrees.  Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom of the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Cool slightly on a wire rack, and slice.  Serve warm.  Also tastes great the next day, warmed up or toasted, or just as is. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from The Irish Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Everyday Cooking from the Emerald Isle.

 

Oatmeal Gingerbread

Ginger, molasses, cinnamon, and cloves give this bread a deep, rich, classic gingerbread flavor.  The addition of whirred oats to the flour increases the nutritional benefits, as well as making each slice hearty and substantial.  Serve it with your favorite hot drink, and possibly some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream , and it is the perfect snack or dessert. (It works for breakfast too!)

Below, I am sharing another recipe based on one I found in Susan Wittig Albert’s fascinating book, “China Bayles’ Book of Days: 365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs from the World of Pecan Springs.”  The recipe is for a form of traditional Scottish oatmeal gingerbread.  I substitute blackstrap molasses for the treacle and bake it in a standard-sized loaf pan instead of a 7-inch square baking pan, but other than that, I stick pretty close to the recipe in the book.  And my gingerbread has come out delicious every time.  ginger oat bread with pansies 7I love the fact that this gingerbread tastes sweet and full of richly spiced flavor, yet has good nutrition in it too.  The molasses and oats contribute all kinds of good things, including iron, magnesium, manganese, not to mention fiber and protein from the oats.  When I cut a slice of this bread, it is dense and substantial.  I feel like I am doing something good for both my taste buds and my body.  And my soul too, because gingerbread is a delicious solution (however temporary) to a soul’s longing for comfort.  The smell of gingerbread baking is the iconic cozy smell, and it brings back all kinds of memories for me, of wandering through my mother’s kitchen after spending time outside in the cold.

gingerbread and teaThis is the perfect time of year to make gingerbread.  (Actually, any time between now and spring is a good time.)  When the wind is gusting right through our coats and the leaves are swirling around, we need something warm and comforting.  As I am writing this post, the wind is blowing so hard that it is rattling the windows and making the house creak.  We lose electricity quite frequently out here where I live, among so many trees, so I am hoping to get this post done before we lose power.  And hopefully, we won’t lose power.  All this dramatic weather is enough to make one feel kind of moody, wistful, nostalgic, and excited, all at the same time.  It’s a good time to indulge in the more complicated aspects of our personalities.  Maybe that’s why the multi-layered spicy taste of the gingerbread is so appealing.

gingerbread with pansies 4There is something cleansing about going out in the crazy, windy weather, especially if there is something warm waiting on the other side of the door.  This quote by L.M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series (one of my favorite sets of books when I was a girl), says it perfectly:  “It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.  Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”

I hope you all have a great weekend, and that the wind blows the fogs out of your souls as well.  And that you have a hot drink and a warm piece of gingerbread waiting when you come in!  This recipe will be shared at Angie’s festive Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi@Cooking With Aunt Juju and Stef@The Kiwi Fruitbutter meltinggirl holding gingerbreadgingerbread with whiteNovember skywind in the oaks

Oatmeal Gingerbread

  • Servings: 8-12 pieces
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2  cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses (I prefer blackstrap molasses)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of whirred oats (make this by whirring 1/2 cup of uncooked, old fashioned rolled oats in your blender)
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a standard-sized loaf pan with butter. (You can also use a 7 inch square baking pan).  In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, granulated sugar, and molasses over medium to low heat until the butter is just melted.  Stir to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.  Add the whirred oats, brown sugar, and spices.  Stir to combine.  Add the melted butter mixture and the milk, then stir in the beaten egg.  Stir until all combined.  Pour into the greased pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then cool completely on a wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.  Enjoy!