Lemon Poppyseed Quick Bread

Saturday, August 30, 2014

lemon poppyseed quick bread {so sweet like sarah} a yummy and dense quick bread made with greek yogurt and fresh lemons

Long time no post!  I've been packing and moving over the past few weeks, but I am finally getting settled in to my BRAND NEW home!  I am officially a homeowner for the first time in my life!  Now the real work begins as I finally can make a place my home.

Even though half of my kitchen is still packed away, I still found enough bowls and measuring spoons to whip this bread together.  This bread is super dense and delicious.  It's also incredibly easy and quick to put together.  It's the perfect way to use up any extra greek yogurt you have stashed away in your fridge.

lemon poppyseed quick bread {so sweet like sarah} a yummy and dense quick bread made with greek yogurt and fresh lemons

Lemon Poppyseed Quick Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

In a small bowl, add all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and stir until combined.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar and eggs until smooth.
In a small bowl, mix together greek yogurt and poppy seeds.
Allow melted butter to cool, then add to egg mixture.
Stir in lemon zest and juice.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Add 1/3 of the yogurt mixture and stir until combined.
Continue until all flour and yogurt has been used.
Pour into a greased 9x13 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350˚ for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack.
Cool completely before cutting and enjoying. :)

Slightly adapted from Baking Bites
lemon poppyseed quick bread {so sweet like sarah} a yummy and dense quick bread made with greek yogurt and fresh lemons

Roasted Chayote Quesadillas

Saturday, August 9, 2014

roasted chayote quesadillas {so sweet like sarah}

Okay, I know what most of you are thinking.  What on earth is a chayote?  I had never heard of chayote until I saw it used as a slaw in a taco at a trendy taqueria.  Chayote, while when roasted tastes like a squash, is actually a fruit.

While searching for some tomatillos in the produce section, I saw a basket of chayotes.  I had never seen them in a grocery store around here before and made a mental note to come back and buy some. After coming up with a few recipes to use them in, I went back to buy some.  They were gone.  I asked the produce manager if he had any and he said, "Chayote? The squash? I can't give those things away!".  He seemed to be in disbelief I actually wanted to buy any.  After a few minutes of discussion he told me to come back on Wednesday and he'd open a box just for me!

roasted chayote quesadillas {so sweet like sarah}

Roasted Chayote Quesadillas
Serves: 2

1 chayote, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili pepper
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 c. spinach, wilted (optional)
2 tortillas
Simple Chipotle Crema (optional, recipe follows)
Tomatillo Salsa (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425˚.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or silicon baking mat.  If using aluminum foil, spray with a nonstick spray.

Place cut chayote into a bowl.  Toss with 1 tsp. olive oil, chipotle chili pepper, and salt and pepper (if desired).  Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet.  Roasted for about 20 minutes, flipping chayote on to other side halfway through.  

While chayote is roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat.  Heat up remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and add onion.  (You can also add the chipotle chili pepper, salt, and pepper to the onions as well.)  Cook onions, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, or until caramelized and golden brown.

If desired, wilt 1 cup of spinach in a skillet over medium heat.

To prepare quesadillas: Evenly distribute roasted chayote, caramelized onions, wilted spinach (if desired), and goat cheese onto half of a tortilla.  When filled, fold over half of the tortilla.  Cook tortillas in a skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy.  

Top with Simple Chipotle Crema and Tomatillo Salsa.  

roasted chayote quesadillas {so sweet like sarah}

Simple Chipotle Crema
(This makes 1 cup - much more than is needed for the recipe above).
8 oz. sour cream
1 chipotle in adobo sauce + 1 tsp. sauce
1/2 tsp. lime juice
Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt to taste.

roasted chayote quesadillas {so sweet like sarah}

Salsa, Two Ways. (Tomatillo and Tomato)

tomatillo salsa and salsa roja {so sweet like sarah}

Green salsa, red salsa.  One is crisp and refreshing, the other has a little bite.  Pick a favorite - because I can't!

These salsas are one of my favorite salsas to make and some of the easiest one as well!  All you need is a food processor or a blender and you are on your way to a super tasty and refreshing salsa.  You can use these salsas is a side with tortilla chips or a topping for tacos, quesadillas, even rice and quinoa!

That brings me to the question of the day: What are you favorite salsa(s) and how do you like to use them?
tomatillo salsa and salsa roja {so sweet like sarah}

The tomatillo salsa is will literally take 5 minutes to throw together and it might be the best five minute decision you make in your life.  I will put this salsa on almost anything - chicken, tacos, quinoa, etc.  It's also great on it's own with chips... or just a spoonful of the salsa itself. :)

tomatillo salsa and salsa roja {so sweet like sarah}

Tomatillo Salsa
Yield: 3 cups
5 tomatillos, cut into wedges
1/2 c. cilantro, stems removed
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 medium onion, cut in half*
Sea salt, to taste

1.  Add all ingredients, except sea salt, to food processor or blender and mix until smooth.  If you are using a food processor, you may need to do this in batches.  Add sea salt to taste.

2.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until ready to use.

tomatillo salsa and salsa roja {so sweet like sarah}

The second salsa is just as easy to prepare.  While there is minimal chopping, you do need to add a step in to boil the tomato, onion, and pepper.   If you were going for a fresh and raw salsa, you could easily skip this step.

Tomato Salsa
Yield: 2 cups
3 roma tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 medium onion, cut in fourths*
1 serrano pepper, membranes and seeds removed
1/4 c. cilantro, stems removed
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. sea salt

1.  Boil two cups of water on stovetop.  After cutting up tomatoes, onion, and serrano pepper as listed above, place these three items in boiling water and allow to cook for at least 5 minutes.

2.  Drain ingredients and allow to cool for at least one minute.  Transfer to food processor.

3.  Add remaining ingredients to food processor, except salt.  Process until a smooth consistency is reached.  Add sea salt (and more to taste, if desired).

4.  Serve immediately or place in fridge to chill until ready to use.

Salsa Roja adapted from In Mama Maggie's Kitchen

*I normally use sweet or Vidalia onions when cooking.  Feel free to use these as well or substitute a white onion instead.
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