Tag: zucchini

Zucchini & Coconut Bread with Coconut Rum Lime glaze

The very talented Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin started The Secret Recipe Club (or TSRC, here on) a while back. I know! Doesn’t it sound so cool and fun! Well, it is! The idea behind TSRC is simple. Each participating blogger is assigned one of the other participating blogs (much like a Secret Santa). No one reveals whose blog they have, they just visit, pick a recipe, and make it! My assigned blog this month was Suz’s Thru The Bugs on My Windshield.

Now, the moment I clicked on Suz’s blog, I knew what I wanted to make. Because the first recipe itself caught my eye! Now, I have to tell you, recently I have this craving for everything coconut. The list includes coconut chocolates, Indian dishes with coconut like the Kerala cauliflower dish I recently made and Pina Colada (yes, alcohol can never be left behind, can it!). So when I saw Suz’s recipe for coconut banana bread which was topped with coconut lime sauce (coconut lime sauce- who can resist that!) , I was sold.

Coincidentally, Suz tried this recipe for her last month’s TSRC blog hop. Well, Suz and I get attracted to the same sweet things, I guess! Besides this recipe, Suz who lives with her Mountain Man, has a lot of other good recipes that I am tempted to try and have bookmarked, including her Chicken Asparagus Penne Pasta salad, her never-fail Pie crust and Amanda’s Cantaloupe Quick Bread. Do check her blog out, guys (she makes her own homemade vanilla extract- yup, she is that good!) I did a slight variation to the recipe. Though I would have loved to try the recipe with bananas, my stomach just can’t digest it anymore. It’s sad, really, it is, especially at times like these! I used to love banana bread and to have coconut in it, ah! How good would that have been! Sigh! Well, some things you just can’t help, can you. So, instead of banana, I thought of using zucchini. The substitution worked really well, more than what I expected. The only problem, I feel, some might have is that since I took out the banana, some of the sweetness also went away with it. V found the sweetness perfect, and with the glaze you don’t miss the sugar, but if you like your stuff sweet, you should up the sugar amount. Another reason why the sweetness might have been off the mark was that I did not realise that my stock of sugar was low, and found out only when I started mixing everything up.

Now, not that I need a reason to make Pina Coladas, but this was a perfect time to make some! So, there I was, sipping my Pina Colada and biting into my take on Suz & Krista’s coconut banana bread, with this song playing on my mind.

Yes I like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food
I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon
And cut through all this red-tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s
Where we’ll plan our escape.

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I was reading an article today that talked about how within just 6 days the Japanese repaired a section of the Great Kanto Highway that had been badly damaged by the earthquake. The article further goes on to state that many workers returned to their jobs only a day after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and some businesses in the worst-hit regions have already reopened.

My prayers go out for the people of Japan who have suffered such grave loss, and hearing such stories of the Japanese determination just strengthens my belief that if any one nation has the power to rise again after such a tragedy- it is Japan. It emerged triumphant from the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and even now they will rise again. No wonder they are called the land of the rising sun!

Its such a simple lesson that one can take from the Japanese tragedy and the fortitude of the Japanese people- one could either resign and sit after such a disaster and accept it as nature’s will or one can stand up and be determined to get back on his/her feet.

Not that my tragedies in the kitchen are even remotely related to what Japan has gone through and is still going through, but the lesson learnt is to never give up and some wrongs can be made into a right if you have the will and determination along with some creativity.

I have joined the Daring Baker’s gang and February would have been my first DB challenge. But I failed in completing it as my first attempt was a failure and I was busy travelling after that to give it another shot. The challenge was to make Panna cotta and florentine cookies. My first attempt at Panna cotta was a big flop. It would not have been such a flop had I not used silicon muffin moulds for setting the Panna cotta. I am assuming so because the ones I left to set in the ramekins turned out fine. But out of the 13 servings I had, I put only four to set in the ramekins. Since I these were to be served for a party of 8 I knew I had to think of another way to serve them or make a completely different dessert. So instead I set out to make a chocolate Zucchini cake. Now, that is another story!

For the Zucchini cake- my parents bought a new oven and it was the first time I was baking a cake in it. I was scared- I had made buns earlier in it and they browned too quickly from the bottom and not from the top. So I knew the oven did not have even heating and I would have to keep a constant watch. If technical issues were not enough, human error on my part made sure that a disaster was on its way. I decided to use an angel cake pan for the batter. I knew that I would need another pan so I greased a small loaf pan too. But, I don’t know why, when I started pouring the batter I thought I should be good with only the bundt pan. I should have known better to not overfill. There was a voice that did tell me to pour the batter in the other pan as well (and it was right there- all greased up), but I was left with only a ladleful (or so I thought) and thought I should be able to manage with one pan. And in spite of my better judgement I filled it to the top. I knew it then and there I made a mistake.

And then it happened. Like lava the cake batter started overflowing from the pan and touching the sheet pan I had put underneath the rack. And my heart sank. It overflew and dropped on the pan and started burning since the sheet pan was on the lower most shelf and the house smelt of burnt cake, even though on the middle rack the cake was still baking. There was smoke all over and once the batter stopped falling from the pan, I removed the sheet pan and removed the burnt cake batter. The cake, once baked, was in no shape to serve as is, though it tasted really good.

The party was the same night and I had two failed desserts, albeit tasty! I did have the crumbs from the cake and a smooth, partially set panna cotta. I decided to make parfait like desserts with the two disasters. And boy, were they a hit. The creaminess from the panna cotta combined with the moist, chocolatey cake made a perfect dessert! (Of course, individually too they make fabulous eats!)

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Happy Republic Day to all Indians!

Its Day Two of Denver and I got myself to go to the gym! Last night, we had Indian food at this place called India Tavern. V and I both enjoyed the food- it was really good and the host was a very sweet and friendly guy. We both ended up overeating, so gym today was definitely in line! I also tried eating healthier (as much as I could)- fruits and bagel with light cream cheese (yes, yes – “light” cream cheese- I really do need to lose weight!). (FYI dinner still awaits so I shouldn’t be jumping my gun.)

And, if you think I am bad with my weight issues, V is paranoid. He found a teeny weeny bit of paunch- and he has been freaking out since then- standing in front of the mirror, frowning at his almost negligible waist! And then, today on being asked what did he have for lunch, prompt came his response – a salad! Like, he could dream of eating anything else! (and here I am rejoicing for choosing “light” cream cheese instead of “regular”) Oh, the shame he brings to the Punjabi in me 😉 (Punjabi people in India are known for eating a lot- and eating food full of butter and cream!)

So to keep the spirit of being healthy (or well, trying to be), I decided to post the low-carb zucchini pasta recipe I tried a few days back. I remember hearing/reading (memory fails me here) about this pasta a long time back. The idea stuck on my mind for some time, and the other day when I passed the zucchinis at the supermarket I thought I’ll give it a try. Luckily, I found a similar recipe online too. (Click here for the link).

The recipe is quick and easy to make. It would have been quicker had I a mandolin, but since I did not, cutting the zucchini into long strands did take some time. Loved the flavors, and more so because it is so healthy!

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