Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zucchini & Pear Bread with Pecans & Blueberries

One of my Southern foodie friends brought this bread to me as a hostess gift a few years back, wrapped up in a cloth napkin and tied with a ribbon, and I will never forget how special I felt or how good it tasted. There is something so comforting about receiving a homemade cake or bread that makes you feel cared for. It’s the gift of time and thoughtfulness and in whilst in Ireland I have wonderful memories of friends and family bringing me freshly baked wheaten bread, or Belfast boiled cakes or Madera cakes all of which meant so much.

In my upcoming book, I have a chapter called the ‘The Ulster Bakery’ that includes some of my favorite Irish baked goodies so, this means you too will be able to get out the measuring cups and bake up a storm to comfort and delight those you love. And, lest there be any excuse, I also have a chapter in the second half of my book entitled the ‘Southern Bakery’ where I likewise bring you recipes for tasty goodies you may be more familiar with, only with an Irish twist! Tasty treats like ‘Chocolate chip pumpkin bread’, or ‘Coconut pound cake’ or ‘Irish oat scones with pecans and blackberries’. Yummy huh?

So, now that you have the smell of baking in the air, may I bring you a very creative recipe straight out of my cookbook ‘The Shamrock and Peach’, taken from the Southern Bakery chapter that will fit the bill nicely.

Its a little taste of what is to come, and a good reason to bake up this delicious sweet bread just as Summer turns to Fall. Enjoy it with coffee for breakfast or as a snack during the day. Either way, just enjoy!

Zucchini & Pear Bread with Pecans & Blueberries:

3 cups zucchini (coarsely shredded by hand)
1 cup pear (coarsely shredded by hand)
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans (chopped)
1 cup dried blueberries


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans size 9x3x3.

In a large cake mixer beat the eggs and sugar. Add all remaining ingredients and mix to combine.

Pour batter in to prepared pans. Bake for one hour or until the center of the bread comes out clean when inserted with a skewer.

Cool bread slightly before removing from pans and transfer to a wire cooling wrack to cook completely.

*(If you wish to print this recipe for use in your own kitchen, then I suggest you cut & paste the text into Word and print. Don't print the blog as it will waste a lot of paper!)

J the I F

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Daily Candy is sweet!

Oh boy! The fun never today, I was featured on the front page of 'The Daily Candy'.

Already I've been getting more calls and e-mails from readers eager to find out what the 'Ulster Kitchen' is, and to ask about possible catering jobs. This is exciting!

So, in an effort to share my joy I've attached a link below. Give it a read.....

Daily Candy sure is sweet......

Back soon with another fun recipe...stay tuned!

J the I F

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Write up in 'Adventurous Tastes'!

This weekend I discovered that I had received very favorable press in a superb online food blog called 'Adventurous Tastes'. The web entry was on the 'Summer of Jar Love Garden Party' I participated in a few weeks back...(see the post below on the 'Irish Ploughboy') and despite being compared with more experinced chefs, yours truely came out on top...(OK, so I can bragg every now and again, can't I?)

I'm so pleased about this as we put a lot of work and creativity into the event, and it felt good to be appreciated by a food critic and online.

...such a confidence booster....

Enjoy what's left of summer!