A Meal in Three-Part Harmony

This dinner didn’t really go together, but each part worked and was delicious, so we’ll do this a little differently tonight!

Part 1 – Summer Borscht

I love borscht. Which, I suppose, shouldn’t be too surprising based on my undying love for beets. When I was puppysitting for my in-laws last week, I got to watch some TV (my husband and I don’t have one) and tuned in to the Food Network, one of my favorites. Ina Garten was making a summer borscht and I couldn’t wait to try it once I got more beets.

This made an amazing meal and was even better the next day for lunch. Plus, it just kept getting more and more pink, which is always fun!

Cold Summer Borscht (adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)

Serves 4

4 medium beets, cleaned with the tops cut off

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup beet cooking liquid

8 ounces low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 cup English cucumber

2 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon dried dill

Salt and pepper

First, cook the beets in a medium pot of salted water and boil, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Place beets in a bowl of cold water to cool and set aside 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to cool.

While the beets are cooking, whisk together the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper (about 1 teaspoon), and the dill in a large bowl. Put the bowl in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.

Seed and chop the cucumber (about 1/2 an English cucumber).

Peel and chop the beets into small cubes. Add the beets, green onions, and cucumbers to the soup and put back into the fridge for at least 2 hours, the more the better.

This is what the soup looked like at first…just a hint of pink.

Part 2 – A New Take On Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is the bumper crop right now and I’ve been doing everything I can to use it up. I love zucchini bread, but wanted to try something a bit more savory. I found this great recipe for a whole-wheat zucchini bread-maker bread. It came out delicious and ended up being a perfect compliment to the borscht.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Herb Bread

adapted from a recipe by Barb Gertz

(Makes a 2 lb loaf)

2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

3/4 cup water

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Add these ingredients in the order recommended by your breadmaker and bake it on the Whole Wheat setting. Make sure you do NOT drain the zucchini like you might for other baking situations…it’s important to have the moisture.

This was particularly good toasted with a bit of butter

Part 3 – Deep Dish Peach Pie

Now, deep dish peach pie is one of my family’s favorites and this was my first attempt at this super easy and delicious summer dessert. This recipe is one I’ve wanted to share for the while, but the photos, well, they’re to show you that I am not ashamed of my kitchen foibles. Okay, well maybe I’m a little ashamed, but I’ll share them anyway.

I burnt this! My husband affectionally referred to this as the “Pie of Mordor”. It was bubbling and looking very sinister when it first came out of the oven…like molten lava! Oops!

Deep Dish Peach Pie

(My mother’s recipe)

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 large can of peaches in heavy syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix first four ingredients in a deep casserole dish. Pour the can of peaches over the mixture with the syrup included and do NOT stir. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake for about 1 hour (or maybe less if my Pie of Mordor is any indication). Delicious served with vanilla ice cream!

Yes, we ate it anyway. What? It’s dessert!



Best Breads So Far

I have been having a blast playing with my breadmaker so far. It has worked consistently well and I decided to pull together my favorite breadmaker recipes that I’ve tried. To be honest, every bread that I’ve tried so far, I’ve loved. But, I’ve narrowed it down to the top three. Now, I don’t know much about breadmaking, so I’m not sure how these would translate to regular baking, but I know they’d be tasty!

(For each, add the ingredients in the order recommended by your breadmaker.)

#1: Portuguese Sweet Bread

So light and fluffy!

(Makes a 1 1/2 lb loaf)

I found the recipe here.

2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons dry milk (or 1/2 cup milk)

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup water (1/4 if using milk)

1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast

This bread is so sweet and delicious. It just came out of the breadmaker and takes butter quite well. I’m sure it will be delicious toast or, even better, French toast!

#2: Light Oat Bread

Perfect for sandwiches!

(Makes a 2lb loaf)

I found the recipe here and adapted it using suggestions from the comments.

2 cups bread flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup quick oats

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cup cold water

1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast

This bread was so nice and chewy. Perfect for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

#3: Anadama

I don’t have a picture of this loaf, yet, but it was a delicious and hearty bread. I took the recipe directly from my bread maker’s manual (I have the Panasonic SD-YD250).

(Makes a 2lb loaf)

3 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons dry milk

2 1/2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons molasses

13 1/2 fluid oz. water

1 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast

Do you have a favorite bread recipe? Leave it in the comments and let me know if you try any of these!


A New Toy!

I got a new kitchen toy!! It’s a breadmaker, hooray! I gave it a test run today making a 100% whole wheat loaf following the breadmaker instructions to the letter, since I’ve never used one before. After extensive research, I purchased the Panasonic SD-YD250. Though I haven’t tasted the finished product yet, so far it’s been very user-friendly.


Here are the ingredients before the pan went into the breadmaker.


On top, there’s a yeast dispenser so it automatically puts it in at the right time.


And here’s the finished loaf! Check back tomorrow for the verdict and the haul from this week’s CSA!