Quick Freezer Breads

When I was growing up, my mom was forever trying to find uses for my dad’s giant annual squash crop. My dad has a sweet tooth, so chocolate zucchini cake was a favorite way of putting more the zukes in our bellies. My dad is also a fan of butternut squash cooked in its skin, sliced in half, and deseeded so that its cavity could be filled with butter and brown sugar.

I didn’t inherit that sweet tooth. The cake was OK, but I detested the sugary squash and even pumpkin pie when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I left home and tried savory squash soups that I developed a taste for these vegetables. As you can see from my squash-based recipes, such as Zucchini Pancakes, these quick breads, and even Pumpkin–Chocolate Cookies, I still look for more flavor and less sugar when baking with summer or winter squash. Learn to make Zucchini Sesame Bread and Harvest Pumpkin Bread

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Quick Breads

As a kid, I loved the shape of muffins; breaking the cap from the base was my version of twisting open an Oreo. These days, I prefer quick breads for one reason: the freezer. A stack of zucchini, pumpkin, banana, and cranberry breads takes up far less space than the same four batches of muffins. Besides, toasting is the only way to reheat; a microwave is just not the tool for defrosting baked treats. If you have a toaster oven (which I recommend for many reasons), there’s no bread vs. muffin argument. But if you’re a traditional toaster owner—well, you can imagine the mess of slicing a frozen muffin to fit.

Fortunately, you can easily convert your favorite muffin recipe to a loaf: They’re the same product, just in different pans. Even better, you can base them on a ratio and change the flavors to match your mood or the season. Learn to make Ratio Quick Bread and Quick Cranberry Bread

Dig It, Store It

November has been gorgeous in Montana, but the ground will soon be frozen solid. So we spent the weekend putting the garden to bed: digging the final potatoes, carrots, and beets; pulling the last green tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse; and stuffing overlooked garlic cloves deeply into the soil. If it weren’t for the 50 pounds of tomatoes ripening on the living room floor, we’d be boxing up the canning equipment too.

We are packing food away, though: much of this last garden haul can be stored in boxes, hung in mesh bags or baskets, or otherwise kept whole for months. No canner, dehydrator, or freezer space is required. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve grown your own, have fall CSA crops, or are simply buying what’s in season over the next few weeks: Box it up to eat well all winter long. Read more about storing vegetables and fruit for winter

Pumpkin

It’s been a week of firsts here at Twice as Tasty. It saw the official launch of workshops on just about any technique, recipe, or topic that is or will be covered by the blog. If you’re intrigued by these recipes but timid about trying them solo, workshops are for you—and your friends; the workshops are designed to be hosted in private kitchens for small groups. The first phase will be in my local corner of Montana. But I love to travel, so contact me if you’re interested in hosting anywhere: Next stop will be Bellingham, WA, and the Puget Sound area at the end of December.

Twice as Tasty also catered its first event, a house concert at the EVK Lounge. From a food standpoint, this was an opportunity to add smell and taste to an already sensual evening, with the scent of baking pumpkin and chocolate wafting through the room midway through the show. Learn to make Roasted Pumpkin Puree and Seeds and Pumpkin–Chocolate Cookies