I enjoy spending time in my kitchen… I hate doing dishes, and am not keen on the day in, day out routine of “what do you want for dinner?”… but when I have a day or two off I enjoy cooking… I enjoy creating… I actually got my son into some trouble when he was still in school… he was in home economics, and he quoted one of my favourite kitchen phrases… “cooking is not an exact science”… well apparently his teacher disagreed and got quite flippant about it! I actually found the whole thing very funny – my son wasn’t so sure, as the teacher then took to checking up on him and making sure he followed the recipes!
Anyways many of my best recipes have come from playing around in the kitchen! (sheesh! not that kind of playing around! tsk-tsk… dirty minds – you know who you are!) So as I was saying, that is how I have come up with many an awesome kitchen creation. So this weekend I had some free time – Father’s day I was home alone… ALL DAY!!!! Well I was bored, and hungry and wanting something besides toast and water… after foraging around I got some ideas… they are listed below.
First off I love homemade iced tea and I am particularly fond of green teas, so this is what I came up with, and I am happy to say that the youngest kid really liked this one too.
Ginger Lemon Iced Green Tea:
3 of your favourite green tea bags
1 ginger mint tea bag (I used Tetley for this)
4 Cups boiled water
leave to steep…
meanwhile mix the following ingredients together in a juice pitcher
3/4 Cup simple syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 Cup lemon juice
2 Cups cold water
1 sliced lemon seeds removed
1/2 sliced long english cucumber
2 good sized slices of fresh ginger
once your steeping tea is good and strong (and somewhat cooled down) add to pitcher and top off with additional cold water (and ice if you want)
I think for a nice adult twist on this one could add an ounce or two of Zubrowka to your glass, it would be amazing… (Zubrowka /zoo-broove-kah/ is a Polish Bison grass vodka, it is lite and refreshing and would go really nicely with this ice tea)
in a heavy sauce pan mix together sugar and water in a 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup sugar to 1 1/2 Cups water) bring to a slow boil and boil till reduced and starting to get thick, pour into a glass jar and cool. Store in the fridge.
Also I was craving something chocolatey and had no chocolate chips on hand and didn’t want something too fattening (haha!). Then I thought maybe chocolate zucchini cake but found I didn’t have all the ingredients for many of the recipes I was looking at. Also I only had half of a small zucchini – not nearly enough as most recipes called for between 1 1/2 cups to 4 cups of grated zucchini… so this is what I came up with here. It turned out nice and moist, not too sweet and really chocolatey!
Chocolate Apple Zucchini Bread:
preheat oven to 350 F and grease a bread pan
dry ingredients: mix together in a large bowl
1 Cup flour
1 tsp each baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon
1/2 tsp each salt and nutmeg
wet ingredients: mix together in a medium sized bowl
1/3 Cup applesauce (a single serving container is the right size)
1/2 Cup each white and brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 small zucchini grated
1 medium sized apple peeled, cored and grated
*optional chocolate chips or chopped pecans
mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add grated apple zucchini mix, (add chocolate chips if you like – about 3/4 cup – I didn’t have any nuts either so I didn’t use them, but they would have been a lovely touch) put into prepared bread pan and bake for roughly 40 – 45 minutes until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean and the sides have pulled away from the pan. Cool on a wire rack, eat while warm slathered with real butter. Mmmmmmm…