Tag Archives: Ginger

Carrot-Zucchini Bread

19 Aug

Thank you Alice for the amazing tip on the easiest apple pie ever! I now have a packet of puff pastry in my freezer for those last minute dessert needs.

So we’ve explored quite a few fruit desserts recently, but how about a sweet vegetable bread?

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Being the end of summer here in Minnesota everyone has an overabundance of zucchini from their gardens, so why not make bread with it?! This recipe from Leite’s Culinaria intrigued me because of the addition of carrots and candied ginger to a basic zucchini bread recipe. Yum!

Carrots & Zucchini

I grated the zucchini and carrots in my greatly loved, ancient but usable food processor.


They can very easily be grated with a hand grater as well. Just take care with your knuckles!

1-Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger 016

See, so pretty!

My friend and sous chef Karen measured out all the dry ingredients.

dry ingredients

We got to try the candied ginger, which was delicious and quite expensive. After a bit of poking around, I think I might try to make my own as it doesn’t look too difficult to do. David Lebovitz has a lovely recipe that I mean to try shortly.

candied ginger

I mixed the eggs in the mixer until they were frothy,


then added sugar, oil and vanilla. Once they were all well combined

eggs and sugar

I tossed in the shredded veggies and mixed those in as well.

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At that point the dry ingredients were tossed in all at once and stirred together just until combined.

add dry to wet

While I was mixing and combining, Karen had gotten a loaf pan and a muffin pan all ready for the batter by greasing them with spray oil.

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We filled the baking pans and into the oven they went.


Because the recipe gave baking directions for the loaf but not the muffins, I improvised and checked the muffins at 30 mins. They were perfectly done.


They looked like party muffins with the green and orange flecks and then every once in a while there was a spicy chunk of candied ginger to liven things up.

The loaf baked for a full hour at 325°F/162°C.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger loaf

It was quite delicious plain, but slathered with butter is even better.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger

I experimented with the zucchini loaf and some sharp cheddar in trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It was quite tasty, but the slices of the bread should be very thin to allow the cheese to melt before the bread starts to burn.

Carrot Zucchini Bread grilled cheese

via Leite’s Culinaria
Makes two loaves or 24 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup zucchini, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C). Coat two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray or butter. You could also make them in two muffin tins.
2. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in the salt and candied ginger.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the canola oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the carrots and zucchini.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
5. Bake until the zucchini bread is well risen and firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour for a loaf pan or 30 minutes for muffin tins. Let the zucchini bread cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them and finish cooling them right side up on the rack. Of course, a thin slice for the cook while the loaves are warm isn’t out of the question.

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato

14 Jan

Let’s continue on this roll (hehe) with more cabbage! After seeing Alice’s last dish, I was so hungry for cabbage that I went to the store and made my go-to comfort food cabbage dish – sauteed cabbage with tomato.

Cabbage plated

This is a dish that I grew up eating on a regular basis. We had a huge garden and grew a lot of cabbage and had it for lunch and dinner quite often. It’s a simple dish that is great as a main vegetarian dish, perfect as a side dish with meatloaf or roast chicken or Brazilian beans and rice and delicious heated up and topped with a poached egg for a filling weeknight dinner in a flash. If you happen to be on a veggie kick, it’s right up your alley. The only non-vegetable ingredient is the olive oil used in the pan for sauteing purposes.


First, chop up your onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger

chopped ingredients

Slice your cabbage as thin as you can, by first cutting the cabbage in half


Then slicing each half very finely.

chopped cabbage

Heat up oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.

First add your onions to the hot pan and let them cook for two to three minutes, stirring regularly, until they are softened slightly.

sauteed onions

Then add the garlic and ginger and stir before adding the tomatoes to the pan.

sauteed tomatoes

Add salt and pepper, or Arisco if you are lucky enough to have some. Arisco is a Brazilian seasoning consisting of salt, pepper, onion and garlic which adds a wonderful flavor to most savory dishes.


When the tomatoes have softened a little – about three minutes – add a cup of water and all the cabbage.

Lots and lots of cabbage

You may want to make sure your pan is large enough…mine almost wasn’t.

Lots of cabbage

Cover the pan for about five minutes, until the cabbage has softened a bit and is reduced

covered pan

Stir for a few more minutes while it continues to cook.

sauteed cabbage

When the cabbage is cooked, but still has a little bit of a crunch, serve.


If you’re lucky, you’ll have a good helper like I do.

Hattie helping

If you like a little spice, feel free to add some pepper sauce.


Alice, are you going to continue the cabbage roll?

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side

1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onions in the hot oil until softened, about two to three minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir frequently before adding the tomatoes. Continue to stir until the tomatoes are softened, about three minutes. Add one cup of hot water to the pan and stir before adding all of the cabbage to the pan.

Cover pan for five minutes then remove cover and resume sautéing while stirring regularly until cabbage is softened, but still a bit crunchy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


San Choi Bau

11 Dec

Just looking at B’s jook made me very hungry. We call it congee here, and it is one of those wonderful foods that the late night chinese restaurants like Supper Inn do a roaring trade in. I am looking forward to making it now.

Have I mentioned how much I love that this blog makes me try out new recipes? Well… san choi bau is one of those delicious things I order whenever I see it on a menu in a Chinese restaurant, but have never made it before.


I am not going to suggest this is a 100% authentic Chinese recipe. I looked at quite a few variations, and they were all so different. The concept is a lettuce cup filled with a spoonful or two of deliciously flavoured minced meat and herbs. Add in some fried noodles for a bit of crunch if you like. You could even throw in uncooked bean shoots to get a similar effect. It seems you can use whatever meat you have on hand, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, prawns and even duck. Many recipes used oyster sauce, and I have no doubt that what I have had in restaurants, but I have yet to find an oyster sauce without that dastardly MSG, so I didn’t go that direction this time.

What I used…


Chicken mince, iceberg lettuce, bean shoots, spring onion (scallion), onion, ginger, garlic, garlic chives, water chestnuts, sesame oil, chili sauce, chinese cooking wine, pre-fried noodles, vegetable oil and some soy sauce.

I began by chopping up the onion finely, and sautéing in a pan over low heat. When translucent, I added minced ginger and garlic, and cooked for only a minute before adding the chicken mince. I turned the heat up to medium and fried until browned a little, but not fully cooked.

onionGarlicGinger chicken

I then added in the liquids; sesame oil, soy sauce, cooking wine and a dash of chili, and cooked until the liquid reduced somewhat before tossing in the chopped spring onions, water chestnuts, bean shoots and some chopped garlic chives.


At the last minute I stirred through the fried noodles then spooned the mix in to some pieces of iceberg lettuce. Some more garlic chives on top… and hey presto.


I made six largish lettuce cups, and you could probably get ten smaller ones from these quantities.

They work well as a small appetiser before a meal.


B tells me they are called lettuce wraps in the old US of A.


San Choi Bau


1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
Half an onion or three red shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
250g (1/2 pound) minced chicken
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
1.5 teaspoons of sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili sauce or chopped red chili (or to taste)
10 peeled water chestnuts chopped finely
1/2 cup bean shoots
2 spring onions chopped
3 tablespoons chopped garlic chives, half for garnish
1/2 cup fried noodles
10-ish iceberg lettuce leaves, pick the nicest shaped ones and trim them with scissors if needed

Sauté the onion over medium-low heat until translucent, and then add in the garlic and ginger and continue to cook for another minute. Add in the chicken mince and cook over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon in to small pieces as it does, until it is close to cooked through. Add in the soy sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, and the chili. Continue to cook and let the liquid evaporate by half. Add in the water chestnuts, bean shoots, spring onions and half of the garlic chives. Cook for 4 more minutes, and then stir through the fried noodles.

Spoon the mixture in to the prepared lettuce cups, garnish with the remaining garlic chives and serve immediately.


Ginger Chicken Jook

2 Dec

Wow, Alice. That ginger rum drink was quite refreshing and will definitely be one of my go-to summer drinks.

Ginger is such a great flavor to add to both sweet and savory dishes. In this case, it’s a comforting chicken soup/porridge with an Asian bent.

Ginger Chicken Jook

A friend shared this recipe with me when I was feeling a bit under the weather last year. It’s tasty, easy and one of the best things to eat when your tummy is not quite right, sort of like the old standard chicken noodle soup.

It’s also good for cool, damp winter nights, when you’re chilled all the way through and you just need something to warm you up, something you can pour into a bowl or a large cup and wrap your hands around to warm you down to your toes. That’s what this does.

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The ingredients are simple – chicken legs or thighs, chicken broth, water, rice, ginger, salt and pepper – and the flavor is deceptively simple. I blame the ginger.

Chop the ginger into thick slices


No need to peel the ginger, just slice it up.

Then pour everything into a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium-high.

Ginger Chicken Jook

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about an hour.

Ginger Chicken Jook

After an hour, the chicken will be tender, the rice will be softened and the soup will be thickened and porridge-like. Pull the chicken from the pot, cool and remove the meat from the bone.


Return the chicken to the pot, pull out the chunks of ginger and dish up a bowl of the jook. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and scallions, if you have them.

Ginger Chicken Jook


Alice, what sort of adventure in cooking do you have for me?

Ginger Chicken Jook (Rice Porridge)


6 cups water
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken legs or thighs
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, skin on and sliced into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
Pinch freshly ground white pepper, plus more as needed
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


Place all ingredients except the cilantro and scallions in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice has completely broken down and the mixture is creamy, about 1 hour.

Turn off the heat and remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the cartilage and bones. Return the chicken shreds to the jook. Stir to combine, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro and scallions.

Ginger Rum Fizz Cocktail

26 Nov

Although we don’t have Thanksgiving here in Australia, I love hearing about all of the dishes that are being served up. B’s cheesecake included.

There is something so delicious about a crisp ginger cookie, like B used in the base of her cheesecake. This response post called for a brainstorm over a family dinner, and we decided on a cocktail would use that gorgeous ginger crispness in another way. We are starting to have some hot days, so this was perfect to share with friends on the verandah yesterday. That said, I have had it in winter with more rum, less mixers, and it was perfect.

Here is what you will need:

Fresh ginger, apple for garnish, dark rum, sparkling apple juice, ginger beer and some ice.

I muddled some fresh ginger in with the dark rum, using the end of a rolling pin in a measuring jug. This gives a bit of ginger kick to the rum.

I poured the rum off the ginger in to a highball glass, and then added some ice, half filled the glass with ginger beer, then topped it up with sparkling apple juice. I added some thin slices of apple as a garnish, I gave it a stir and it was ready to go.


Ginger Rum Fizz

ingredients per glass

45ml/1.5oz dark rum
1 peeled knob of fresh ginger (can be used over and over)
Half a glass of ginger beer
Half a glass of sparkling apple juice
Thinly sliced apple for garnish

Pour the rum over the piece of ginger and crush the ginger into the rum a little with a muddler, or with a rolling pin handle like I do. Pour the rum away from the ginger, into the glass, and pile in some ice. Fill half way with ginger beer, and then the other half with sparkling apple juice. Mix well. Garnish with thin slices of apple. Serve.


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