Friday, July 25, 2014

Zucchini Bread

Back in May when I was picking out the seedlings to plant in my garden, I grabbed one for a zucchini mound kind of on a whim.  I had mostly planned out my garden ahead of time and hadn't been planning on growing zucchini, but boy I'm sure glad I did.

It's been a major confidence booster every since the start.  It was kind of unnerving when two weeks after planting my very first garden, the tomatoes and cucumbers all looked like they were dying but the zucchini was clearly growing.  And when I saw those first blossoms appear, I knew I must be doing something right.  I go one day to find that an actual little zucchini was growing (holy cow I can grow my own food!) and four days later when I go back the same one is now 16 inches long, 4 inches in diameter ripe for the picking.  Talk about success!

That first zucchini that I grew is the special ingredient that went into this zucchini bread.  I knew that I had a lot of the vegetable on hand so I chose to double the recipe and put both of my bread pans to good use.  Two loaves of bread only ended up using about a third of my giant zucchini, plus the four other ones that are sitting in my kitchen right now; I think I've got a lot of roasting to do.

Makes one loaf.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • (Optional) 1/3 cup walnuts or chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt).
  3. In a different large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and eggs.  Then stir in the zucchini.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir in optional additions, such as walnuts or chocolate chips, if desired.
  5. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before removing bread from pan.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cookies n' Cream Frozen Pie


Frozen treats month continues here at Badger Kitchen and the timing couldn't have been more impeccable as we're wrapping up a little two day heat wave here in Madison.  We've had a generally mild summer weather wise here which has made for some really beautiful days to enjoy the outdoors.  I'm thinking Mother Nature might be trying to make up for what felt like the coldest winter ever by giving us lots of nice weather to enjoy.

For those days when the mercury rises and the humidity comes out to frizz up everyone's hair, this cookies n' cream frozen pie is a very refreshing treat to enjoy.  It's very easy to make as you're creating somewhat of a mock ice cream.  It's more like a frozen pudding actually, kind of like April's chocolate pudding pops.  No ice cream maker or anything fancy like that is required, just a little patience while it hardens in the freezer and a little self control so you don't dip all the extra Oreos in the pie filling while it's still soft.

  • 2 1/2 cups crushed Oreos, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cold half-and-half cream
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos with melted butter.  Press to the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.  Place in fridge.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat half-and-half and pudding on low speed for two minutes.  Let thicken for five more minutes.
  3. Fold in whipped topping and crushed cookies.
  4. Pour onto crust.  Chill in freezer for at least six hours.  Remove from freezer ten minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Best of Country Pies.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

April's Sunday Brunch

  • I started mentoring a 13-year old girl through Madison Urban Ministry. It is sort of like Big Brother Big Sister, but these kids have a parent(s) who are incarcerated. 
  • My mentee and I went to the zoo and saw some pretty wild animals and scoped out Vilas Beach for our next outing. She is pretty rad and I think we are going to get along quite well.
  • I have been making loads of rice and veggies. It is the easiest summer meal ever. I'll be coming at you guys with a recipe eventually.

  • I went to Iowa for a little wedding reception fun. It was super duper cute, in a state park. It was a lot like my two good friends wedding, Tim and Renee. Super chill and outdoorsy. It is something like what I might imagine for a fun reception for myself one day. 
  • There was a beautiful sunset to end the Iowa adventure before heading home. 


  • Made delicious pancakes from A Cozy Kitchen's cookbook "Pancakes". They tasted just like she described, honey bunches of oats. Everything I've made from her book has been delicious so far.
  • The boyfriend and I are having a little date night at Eldorado Grill tonight. He hasn't been there before. I've been a handful of times. I actually met Rick Bayless there. I have a huge foodie crush on him. He signed my book. No big deal.
  • They make delicious margaritas and south western type food. So good. Did I mention it is summer restaurant week? That is half the reason we are going.  Twenty-five buck-aroos for a three course meal. Whhattt? Does anyone else have plans to go check some place new out for restaurant week?
  • Next weekend I'm heading to Door County for the very first time. I'm so excited. Door County has been in the works for probably a month. We didn't even plan it but it is cherry season. Door County cherries for me, straight from the source. SO EXCITED!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram (@badgerkitchen)

2 Years Ago: Summer Squash Ribbons with Almond Salsa Verde

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Welcome back to frozen treat month! All of July Badger Kitchen will be featuring frozen treats, just in time to help cool off in the summer heat! Although here in Madison it's a bit on the cooler side this week, this chocolate sorbet will be perfect for when the sun comes out this weekend!

I'm not going to lie, I was a bit discouraged with this month's theme. I pouted to my fiancĂ© that I wouldn't be able to pull off a good frozen treat without an ice cream machine. I joked around to him saying that if this recipe didn't work, I was going to buy frozen sorbet from the store and take pictures of it as if it were my own. Luckily, that was not the case. This recipe proved my pessimistic self that even with simple ingredients and simple kitchen tools, I could pull off a pretty darn good frozen treat!

This dark chocolate sorbet is not like normal fruit flavored, refreshing sorbet, but I can tell you it will still be a hit! It has a rich, intense chocolate flavor that pairs nicely with its creamy, cold texture. And as an added bonus, it's dairy free! Anyone lactose intolerant or who chooses to eat dairy-free, this is an excellent alternative to ice cream. Get your spoons ready!

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. cocoa
pinch of salt
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. vodka

1. Combine all ingredients, except vodka, into a saucepan over medium heat.
2. While stirring often, bring mixture to a boil allowing the sugar, cocoa and chocolate chips to dissolve.
3. Once everything is dissolved, transfer to an 8x8 dish and freeze for 2 hours.
4. Using a spoon or fork, stir mixture around and bring the frozen crystals to the center of the dish. Return to freezer and stir mixture around every hour or so until sorbet is nearly firm.
5. Add the vodka and mix again. Transfer sorbet to a container and cover. Continue to freeze until it is firm to your liking. I allowed it to freeze overnight.
6. Serve with your favorite fruit or ice cream toppings!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kelsey's Sunday Brunch

I have been really book crazy lately.  Like it's out of control.  I work a block away from the very pretty Madison Central Library and have taken to visiting on a weekly basis, leaving with no fewer than three books each time.  Did I mention that I've only returned one book so far.  There's just not enough hours in the day!

I also love buying books but very rarely do so at full price.  Instead I like to hit up the thrift stores where I spend $1-3 a book and have frequently found bestsellers from the past couple of years.  Sometimes I will go to the local used book stores as well, especially if they're having a sale.  Currently I'm reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and have Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on deck.

Yesterday Nate and I set out on a great adventure around Madison, doing some of our favorite things that we had been talking about doing for a while and as a little early birthday celebration for me.  We started out by getting a milkshake and scrambler at Mickie's Dairy Bar for breakfast.  Then we headed to Henry Vilas Zoo and hung out with some animals and I even fed the goats!  Then we headed out to Picnic Point where we enjoyed some great views, lunch and relaxation.  After that we took a loop around Art Fair on the Square and then walked down State Street to the Memorial Union.  As we were heading around to the Terrace, Nate got down on one knee at a spot that is special to our relationship and proposed.  Family and friends were waiting on the Terrace to help celebrate.  Best birthday present ever if I do say so myself!

And for those of you who are here for the food:
  • As someone who enjoys a good farmer's market, I thought it was worth sharing these tips on Farmer's Market etiquette from a stall owner's perspective.
  • Check out the results of this cookie experiment that shows what a difference the type of baking sheet your using can have on the way your cookies cook.
  • Last time I brunched I shared with you my love for the Joy the Baked Podcast.  I've recently also fallen in love with The Lively Show and would definitely recommend it.
Hope you had a great weekend!



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