Summer Cheese Board

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I know, I know, it’s September, but it is technically still summer. I’ve been wanting to do a summer cheese board for some time and also show the grapes we grew! We were so excited to see them grow this year since we only planted them two years ago. It’s a pretty productive vine and I have no idea what to do with so many green grapes other than cheese boards and snacks. They were a challenge to photograph, mostly hiding behind the leaves, and being on the northern fence, it was almost always bad lighting. When light did reach the grapes, it was like a giant spotlight, and when it didn’t, it was all so dark. And green. But hey, here they are. After 6+ years creating on this blog, this is the first blog post without a recipe! I’ll post a list of what I have here for fruit and cheese because the Humbolt Fog with peach on a slice of baguette is amazing! I had fun arranging the cheese board with the end of summer fruits. I know strawberries don’t produce much into the summer in some areas, but in my backyard they just keep going and going, it’s one of those every-bearing varieties. The plums and peaches are truly reaching the end of the season here, when I was buying them the clerk said get them while you can because this is it. So this is it. End of summer folks, Autumn begins September 23rd. Soups are on the horizon!

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Summer Cheese Board

Zucchini Nut Bread

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Zucchini Nut Bread. I didn’t expect to make this so soon. Our zucchini plant is growing so quickly now and producing more than we anticipated. We’ve picked 4 zucchini in the past week and more are on the way. This is the first time we’ve grown it so I didn’t know what to expect. Last year I planted a yellow squash and that didn’t work out, all male blossoms and no squash. But we did some changes to our soil this year and it’s made a big difference. I’m not sure if I posted about this but we removed all our old soil in the garden beds (which was potting soil) and replaced it with a proper soil/compost mix and everything is growing great! The weather has been unusually mild so far this July, seriously rain in Portland in July? Almost unheard of. So it’s been more like a longer spring season. Which is ok with me, and the grass, but I think those tomatoes would appreciate a bit more heat. The weather forecast for this week is in the 70s!? Yep. Weird. 

The recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking addiction and it’s good! It has lots of cinnamon which I love. I almost wish it had more zucchini in it. I’ll add more next time because I’m certain there will be a next time with all this zucchini, and I’ll update on this post. The original recipe added chocolate chips, but I didn’t really want that for this bread (cake!) so I added what nuts I had on hand, about 1/4 cup pistachios and 1/4 cup crushed hazelnuts. This Zucchini Bread is light in texture, and I kinda wish it were a bit more dense, I’ll experiment some more and let you know how it works out. 

It’s super delicious, easy to make and I’m sure you will enjoy this recipe.

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Zucchini Nut Bread

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup chopped nuts 

  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 medium)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5” loaf pan lined with parchment paper with butter.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together then stir in the nuts. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, and zucchini together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently combine with a wooden spoon; do not over mix. Spread the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 5 days (I’m not sure I would leave it out this long, and I’m not sure it wouldn’t get eaten in 5 days!)

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme

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This Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme came out incredible, I created the recipe on the fly and it worked perfectly. So I kept notes on what I did so that I could share it with you here. I think you will enjoy it. As you know (or may not know) I’ve been doing some videos lately, I wanted to do a stop motion video and thought it might be fun to make a galette since there’s a lot of assembly involved. Well mostly assembly as there is very little to do other than chop and slice a few things, and if you already have pie dough on hand it’s even easier. Which I recommend, pie dough freezes great, this is what I had leftover from the holidays. 

The stop motion video was fun to make, although it does take quite a while to create. The video below contains 56 photos, by the time I got to arranging the pears, Jeff helped out by hitting the shutter so that I didn’t have to clean my hands each time, which is what I did while rolling out the dough and I was getting flour all over my laptop (I worked with my camera tethered to my computer), so that was really helpful (thank you Jeff!), I would recommend getting some assistance if you plan on doing a stop motion video like this, where there’s mess involved. I’m curious to know if you enjoy the videos and if there are any recipes that you would like to see in video format in addition to photos? You can leave comments here or Instagram or wherever you like. Recipe below! Enjoy!

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Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme

  • 1 pear, halved and sliced 1/4” thick

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 pie dough (recipe below)

  • 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)

Heat oven 400°

Roll out your pie dough to roughly a 10-inch round. Sprinkle the brown sugar on the dough leaving a 1-2 inch border. Add cheese, nuts and thyme (leaving a few ingredients aside for the top), then add sliced pears in a circular pattern, fold the edges in a circular pattern, top the center with the remaining cheese, nuts and thyme for color and texture.  Brush the egg wash on the dough. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and serve warm or room temp. 

Pie dough (this makes 2 pie crusts, you will have extra for next time, yay!)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

To make the dough in a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 5-10 pulses. Remove from processor and place dough in large bowl, add 6 tablespoons of the ice water, combine with wood spoon. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each into a disk. Wrap separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. You can freeze the extra pie dough for MONTHS, it holds up very well.


How To Make Silky Smooth Hummus

How To Make Silky Smooth Hummus

This really is amazing. One simple ingredient makes all the difference in texture. I love hummus and we buy it at the store quite often. Some of which have great flavor, but it always has a bit of a texture to it. In fact I’ve had hummus that way for so long I really didn’t know that it could be any other way. But a while back

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