Monthly Archives: June 2013

Zucchini-Pineapple Bread with Cinnamon Chips

Have you ever had a flash of a childhood recipe that you loved? I had one yesterday as I was picking my garden zucchini.. We had a neighbor who had a gorgeous vegetable garden and loads of fruit trees. They lived on a small ranch next to our house and I used to stable my horses there when our pasture grass was being replanted. Mrs. Wright was the older lady who lived there with her husband. She made the best zucchini pineapple bread I have ever tasted.  It was studded with walnuts and fresh pineapple, which was exotic to me back then.The smell of her baking used to drift out to the barn and I would make up an excuse to go to her  kitchen door because I knew she would insist I eat something she was baking. I really think she used to bake for me, my sister and brothers because all of her kids were gone and she liked having us in her kitchen! One afternoon I spent the whole day baking with her and it is one of those memories that had stayed with me in my cooking career. She taught me the proper way to scoop and level flour and all sorts of baking techniques I still use today. In memory of this very sweet lady I baked this wonderful bread yesterday.  The recipe is adapted from what I remember she did.I hope you like it as much as we do… I use almond flour, coconut oil, cinnamon chips and raw sugar so if you do not have these wait until the next time you go to the market and pick them up so you will be ready.

This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread or 24 muffins.


2 cups fresh zucchini, coarsely grated.

(put into a colander to drain as you prepare the rest of the bread batter.)

1 c. fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 cubes

1 c. raw sugar

3 eggs, large

1 c. Coconut oil, liquefied

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

2 c. unbleached, organic white flour

1 c. almond flour( BOB’s Red Mill)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. cardamon

1 bag cinnamon chips

2 c. walnut pieces

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and the coconut oil together. add the sugar and mix well. add the vanilla extract, grated zucchini and pineapple. Stir to coat the zucchini and pineapple.

In a separate bowl , using a large fork,blend the white flour and the almond flour to combine. add the baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until everything is moist and the ingredients are well incorporated.

Stir in the cinnamon chips and the walnuts.

well grease or line the pans with parchment paper. This bread is sticky and will need to set until it cools. If you try to cut it hot it will fall apart. You will be tempted but wait!!

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the bread.

If you are making the muffins the baking time will be about 30 minutes.

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Pizza class tomorrow night

Doing some prep work for my class tomorrow night. Try this next time you want an authentic Napoli pizza!

Sauté 6 pieces bacon that gave been coarsley chopped. When crispy turn off the heat and add 4 cloves of garlic that have been mashed with 4 rinsed anchovy fillet. Stir well into the hot bacon and grease mixture. The smell is heavenly!!!
Top your par cooked pizza dough with this mixture, fresh basil and tomatoes. Add some fresh mozzarella and cook. Delish!


Grandson in the Garden


My grandson Jack loves the garden. 19 Months old and he picks herbs and veggies with me. Green juice is something he gulps down with a smile♥

It is never too early to nurture their love for all things yummy that come out of the garden!

Jack and I picked Japanese eggplant, zucchini, tarragon, basil, lemon basil, chives, Italian parsley and fennel flowers that were dripping with pollen. We had to interrupt the very busy bees that were harvesting all of the pollen. I wish I could find their honey hive….


Anyway the following recipe is for the fresh multi -herb pesto we made to marinate and grill the veggies with.

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup  fresh lemon basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves

2 Tsp. fresh Thyme leaves

1/2 c. Italian parsley

1/4 cup chopped chives

4 fennel flowers( if you have them)

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 c. EVOO

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/2 c. toasted pine nuts

fresh seasonal vegetables

In the bowl of your food processor place the loosely packed herbs, garlic cloves and salt. Process with the pulse speed for 30 seconds, on and off. Add the toasted pine nuts and pulse for an additional 30 seconds, on and off to mix them together. The mixture should be pretty smooth by this time. Add the EVVO and mix for 45 seconds until blended together and no big pieces remain in the bowl. Add more olive oil to taste if you like a smoother consistency.


Cut your fresh eggplant and zucchini lengthwise and brush with the pesto mixture. Reserve the extra pesto.


let this marinate for up to two hours. Place on the hot grill skin side down for 3 minutes, flip and char the other side. Total cooking time is about 7 minutes but watch the vegetables carefully. If you have a veggie basket for your grill then use that. It makes it really easy.

I like to toss up whole wheat pasta with the leftover pesto and grate some Asiago over it, maybe add some chopped garden fresh tomatoes. Delish!




Farm to Fork Cooking Class

We had a great time cooking together at my first Farm to Fork cooking class at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. By we  I mean this crazy, delicious group of people. Thank you to all of you who attended. I had a great time sharing the kitchen and garden with you.

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The Ecology Center is founded and run by Evan Marks and if you live locally than you need to visit. Check them out at

It is located right next to South Coast Organic farm so you can fill your Veggie basket at the same time!

Anna Maria making pasta like a pro!
Anna Maria making pasta like a pro!

Join us if you can on June 20. We will be heating up the cobb oven and making fresh pizza, crust dough courtesy of Chris Blank, a local home baker . I will be instructing on three different sauces to top them off.

We would love to have you join us so go to the ecology center website for info. Pizza and wine, joined together with fellow foodies make for a great Thursday night!

Stay delicious..

The BBQ and The Sriracha Sauce

The flavor of the homemade sriracha sauce was awesome! If you have not had a chance to make a batch yet , please make a batch before summer BBQ time. I grilled giant portabella mushrooms last night with sides of fresh corn, grilled sweet onions, heirloom tomatoes & an organic mixed green salad from my garden. I also made a grass fed, local, organic beef hamburger for my Hubby..Check out the side of sriracha on the grilled onions. Absolutely delicious!