How to Make the Best Zucchini Bread Ever

One of my favorite narratives on zucchini is from Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ where, when faced with a unrelenting crop of the green squash, she devises many ways of using up the abundance them in her prolific garden. She baked, steamed, fried, and froze zucchini, as well as gave them away to friends with such abandon that she freely admits:

“Our gardening friends knew enough to slam the door if they saw a heavy sack approaching.”

I could completely relate to Barbara’s dilemma (if you can call an abundance of food a dilemma), and I, as a gardener, fully understand a zucchini’s capability to turn into a baseball bat practically overnight if overlooked on the vine.

Fortunately, I have a strategy to help me maintain the upper hand during the Great August Zucchini Invasion: Zucchini Bread. Around here this humble loaf is a favorite snack for the kids, a bake-sale best-seller, and alongside a tall glass of milk, has made it’s way into our ‘Guilt-Free Non-Suppers‘.

Now some of you probably think that you have the best zucchini bread recipe, others perhaps have never found a recipe they liked, –and chances are a few of you are thinking: “Zucchini? Bread?” And to all of you I say, I hope someone has shared their zucchini crop with you, because you’re going to want to make this recipe!

If you remember, I brought you the best muffin ever (which is still making new converts every day), so believe me when I say I have done my homework for this zucchini recipe. [Read more...]

Weekend Reading

8 Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas & Recipes

There’s one week left until school starts around here and we’re clinging to those last carefree, unscheduled summer days. They feel particularly precious to me for when the last one is crossed off, I will be waking my first-born early, making him a stack of pancakes for breakfast, and kissing him goodbye for his first day of school.

Oh. I’m going to miss him so very, very much.

Yes, after a relaxed summer, an early morning routine is headed our way and we’re busy getting prepared for it. I sat down to plan out some fast, wholesome eats for our week-day mornings and didn’t have far to look; in the short six months that we’ve been up and running, Simple Bites has amassed a variety of breakfast suggestions.

Here are my picks for back-to-school breakfast ideas. Follow the links to get the full recipes, then grab a pen and paper and make a shopping list, because, ready or not, it’s back to school time! [Read more...]

Pasta Primavera – All Year Long

The end of summer marks the time that we start scrambling to use up all the fresh produce bursting from our gardens. It can be hard to find ways to use up so many vegetables at one time. That’s why the Italians created Pasta Primavera.

If you’ve got a plentiful array of vegetables that need to be used up then a fresh batch of Pasta Primavera may be just what you need to help clean out your garden.

You can use any vegetables you like in this dish, you will just need to be aware of their individual cooking times and whether they are best boiled or thrown into the skillet to sauté.

Vegetables that are Best Boiled and their Cooking Times: [Read more...]

Ten Guilt-Free Non-Suppers

On most days, dinner comes together quite pleasantly around here. We have a weekly menu plan, I buy just what we need for a few meals (and no more) at the market, and a well-rounded supper comes together with ease. Then…there are other days.

Occasionally, dinner just doesn’t happen for whatever reason – a delayed appointment, a webinar gone into overtime, or just plain lack of motivation (if we’re being honest here) – and we eat what I’ve come to call ‘The Non-Supper’. It’s usually something fast, requires no cooking and generates minimal dishes.

I’m generally not proud of our non-suppers, but sometimes at the end of another long strenuous day (no nanny, cleaning lady or mother’s helper around here!), insufficiently powered due to lack of sleep and fear of a coffee overdose (if there is such a thing), a non-supper takes some pressure off and frees up time for something more important, like playing with the kids. [Read more...]