Category Archives: Breads and Baked Goods

Carrot Parsnip Zucchini Bread

After all of the chocolate action that happened over the long weekend, I decided to go with something a little bit lighter this week for the 2015 cookbook challenge.  So I consulted my favorite True Food Kitchen cookbook and whipped up some Carrot Parsnip Zucchini Bread.

carrot parsnip zucchini breadThe name is a bit of a mouthful and I was quite skeptical of putting parsnips in bread, but you know what?  It worked and was delicious.  This bread is packed with veggies, has minimal sugar, and I even lightened it up by swapping non-fat plain Chobani Greek yogurt in place of the apple butter.

I haven’t gone wrong with a True Food Kitchen recipe yet and this one did not disappoint.  The yogurt gave the bread a nice moist (I know) texture and it became the perfect afternoon snack to enjoy with a cup of tea.

carrot parsnip zucchini bread and teaThe original recipe called for the bread to be divided into two loaf pans, but I decided to roll with just one large loaf and it worked out great – just be sure to allow a little extra baking time.

Carrot Parsnip Zucchini Bread (makes 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves)

Adapted from the True Food Kitchen Cookbook


1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium parsnip, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
3 large eggs
¾ cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons slivered almonds


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan with cooking spray or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix until well blended.

In a smaller bowl add your carrot, parsnip, zucchini, eggs, greek yogurt, olive oil and vanilla and blend together.  Gently fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and continue to mix until the dough is nice and wet.

Scoop your batter into your loaf pan and top with silvered almonds (the original recipe called for pumpkin seeds).

Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes if you are doing one large loaf; 35-40 minutes if you are doing two smaller loaves.

carrot parsnip zucchini bread slicesRemove from the oven and let the bread cool for 10 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

Any other True Food Kitchen fans out there?  What’s your favorite recipe?

Ways to use Tillamook Cheese

I really like cheese.  And I really, really like Tillamook Cheese.  I wanted to make the trip out to Tillamook last time we were in Oregon to tour the cheese factory but we just ran out of time.  So in honor of Tllamook and my love for their cheese, here are some ways to use Tillamook Cheese.

tillamook cheese cheddar loaf

The Englishman makes a mean loaf of bread, and we decided to take it to the next level by adding a layer of Tillamook Cheddar on top of it, so when the loaf was done it was filled with cheesy goodness.

tillamook cheese breadThe great thing about this cheese bread was that since the cheese was just on top, this bread was quite versatile – it made a great grilled cheese (see below), was perfect with a smear of butter and jam, and even made an excellent stuffing for meatballs.

One of the other ways to use Tillamook Cheese is to make yourself a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  For this one we kept it simple: grilled onions, a bit of ketchup, and lots of cheese.  It may not have been the prettiest thing to look at, but it was quite tasty.

tillamook grilled cheese

Growing up my dad always made tacos with cheddar cheese on top (I know, not Mexican at all but roll with it), so one night when we made fish tacos, I knew I had to bust out some Tillamook Cheddar as an homage to my childhood.  Say what you will, but cheddar on tacos is pretty fantastic.

tillamook tacosJust some delicious guacamole, fish, beans, slaw and cheddar cheese.

fish tacos and cheese

What’s your favorite way to use cheddar?  I’m thinking I need to try a cheddar and apple galette soon!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Christmas is just a little over a week away, so obviously we need to talk cookies! This year I participated in the great food blogger cookie swap and not only was it a lot of fun, but by participating you helped raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which was the main reason I signed up for the swap.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

I’ve done a few cookie swaps already with some of my fellow blogger friends, but for this one we were assigned people based on our dietary needs which was awesome.  Since the bloggers I had couldn’t have nuts, I went with my favorite tried and true recipe: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies adapted from the Tartine cookbook (seriously, if you haven’t made these yet, DO IT).

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Close UpMy first set of cookies I received came from Heather from Majorly Delicious.  She made salted caramel bars, and as expected, they were amazing.

My husband pretty much devoured two right on the spot, and we ended up freezing a couple to have as a frozen treat when the mood strikes as well.  Heather was also SO great in listing out all the ingredients she used as well as the brand so I could double-check to make sure there weren’t any hidden allergens in there.

Our next batch came from TammyJo from the Chocolate Cult, and they were chocolate banana cookies. Banana and chocolate are pretty much a harmonious combo (as is banana and pb) so these were great.  Loved the tin they came in as well!

Last but certainly not least, Betsy from Java Cupcake sent her easy chocolate chip cookies with holiday sprinkles!  And really, you can’t go wrong when sprinkles are involved.

I loved that the 3 batches of cookies I received were all so different and I felt really reflected each blogger’s personality.  The cookie swap definitely got me in the holiday spirit and I can’t wait to do some more holiday baking this month.

Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan Cookies (adapted from the Tartine Cookbook)

Makes 24 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup coconut oil, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl blend your flour, baking powder, baking soda and oats and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (or you can whisk by hand) beat your coconut oil until creamy and begin to fold in your sugar. 4. Add your eggs one at a time and continue to mix until well blended.
5. Add your milk, vanilla and salt to your wet mixture and then slowly fold in your dry ingredients.
6. Lastly add your pecans and chocolate chips and continue to mix until everything is nicely combined.
7. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet and flatten. You may need to wet your hands a bit since the dough will be sticky.
8. Place cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies from oven and let cool, then enjoy!

Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan CookiesInterested in participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap?  Learn more here.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts

It’s been quite some time since I wrote about Sidecar Doughnuts.  For those who aren’t familiar, Sidecar Doughnuts is a delightful doughnut shop in Costa Mesa that bakes fresh doughnuts daily made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives.  The Englishman and I pop in there every so often for a weekend treat, and when I heard about all the exciting things happening this summer at Sidecar Doughnuts, I knew I had to pop in and check it out.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Summer nightsThis summer, Sidecar Doughnuts is introducing what they call “Sidecar Nights,” where the shop will be open on Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm!  Perfect for any time you have a doughnut craving after dinner.  And since the doughnuts are made fresh hourly, you won’t have to choose from the morning’s leftovers.  Psst – if you come in the morning keep your receipt for $2 off your doughnut later in the day!

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Forty WinksThe other exciting thing happening this summer at Sidecar Doughnuts is the introduction of their signature coffee, Forty Winks.  Admittedly the Englishman and I do not really drink coffee at all, but there’s something special about this blend.  Sidecar partnered with famed Stumptown Coffee to create their Forty Winks blend and it is good.  If you are a coffee enthusiast, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Summer at Sidecar Doughnuts Summer FlavorsOf course each month Sidecar Doughnuts introduces delicious new flavors and this month is no exception.  Some of the August flavors include a Malasada doughnut with strawberry jam, a Mid-Summer Garden Cake made with zucchini, a Buttermilk Old Fashioned, and Fig and Goat Cheese.  I’d like to think that the Buttermilk Old Fashioned was made in honor of my birthday month because it is that good.

Summer at Sidecar DoughnutsLazy weekend mornings with coffee and a doughnut.  Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Now who wants to go get a doughnut with me?