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Grandma P's Zucchini Bread

Patricia Reitz

 Grandma P's Zucchini Bread - ButterYum --

Grandma P's Zucchini Bread - ButterYum --

I've tried a lot of zucchini bread recipes over the years, but I always come back to this one.  It's a recipe my mother started making when I was in high school, and I have yet to find one I like better.  It's flavorful and moist, like most zucchini breads, but the top crust of this particular recipe is special - delicately sweet and slightly crunchy.  The recipe makes 2 loaves which is good because the first loaf usually disappears shortly after we start slicing it. 

When shopping for zucchini, I like to get ones that are small to medium in size.  You can definitely use large or even jumbo zucchini, but you may need to scrape out the seeds before grating.

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My tips for beautiful bread each and every time - use commercial pans (my favorite) to prevent burning and spray the pans with oil/flour baking spray to prevent sticking (I wouldn't think of baking without this stuff).  

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Super scrummy!  Full recipe at the the bottom of the page.  Looking for more zucchini bread recipes?  Here you go!

Items used to make this recipe:


Grandma P's Zucchini Bread

makes two 8.5x4.5 (1 pound) loaves

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspopn baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center position.
  2. Spray two 8.5x4.5 loaf pans with Baker's Joy.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Pour batter evenly into loaf pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Remove loafs from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding; cool completely on rack before slicing. 
  8. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and store at room temperature for up to 48 hours or wrap in several layers of plastic and freeze for up to a month.

Simple 10-Minute Tomato Sauce (Marinara)

Patricia Reitz

 Simple 10-Minute Tomato Sauce (Marinara Sauce) - ButterYum --

Simple 10-Minute Tomato Sauce (Marinara Sauce) - ButterYum --

One of the most popular recipes on this blog has been my san marzano tomato sauce that I posted a number of years ago.  And I have to say, it's popular for good reason, it's a fabulous recipe.  But honestly, it takes quite a bit of time to prepare, and 9 times out of 10 I prefer is simple marinara that only takes about 10 minutes to make.  Let me show you how it's done.

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Before you do anything, make sure you have the can of crushed tomatoes open and place it near the stovetop.

In a heavy-bottom sauce pan, heat extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, and optional crushed red pepper flakes over medium high heat.

Saute the garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

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Immediately pour the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper into the pan and stir well.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 

If you want to add the optional fresh basil, add a whole sprig about 5 minutes after adding the crushed tomatoes to the saucepan.

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Just stir the sprig into the sauce and let it simmer away for the remaining 5 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and get ready to add the magic ingredient, a pat of butter.  Yes, butter!  So to recap, the crushed red pepper flakes are optional, the fresh basil is optional, but the butter is Not optional!  You'll thank me later.  You're welcome.

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Just before serving, remove the wilted and discolored basil.  It's imparted all its wonderful flavor into the sauce so we don't need it anymore.   Enjoy!  

Item's used to make this recipe:


Simple 10-Minute Tomato Sauce

makes about 3 cups

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (suggested brands: smt, cento, muir glen, tuttorosso, sclafani)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt or fine sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig of basil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (don't leave this out - it's magic)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive olive oil, garlic, and optional crushed red pepper flakes until garlic is fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stir well.  
  3. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes (or up to 30 minutes if you have the time).  If using optional basil, add it whole during the last 5 minutes of cooking, then remove.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. 

Blueberry Crostata for Two

Patricia Reitz

 Blueberry Crostata for Two - ButterYum -- 

Blueberry Crostata for Two - ButterYum -- 

Sometimes I'm in the mood for pie, but there aren't enough family members around to consume said pie, and rather than have an entire pie calling my name at all hours of the night, I opt to make a tiny, rustic, free-form pie known as a crostata (if you want to be Italian) or a galette (if you want to be French).

Start by rolling out your favorite pie crust recipe.  A single pie crust recipe is enough to make two of these crostatas. 

Check out my Super Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust tutorial HERE if you like to make your pie crust if you want to make the flakiest pie crust ever and you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

Check out my All-Butter Pie Crust tutorial HERE if you prefer the ease and speed of making your pie crust using a food processor.

For the recipe we're making today, you'll need a 10-inch circle of pie dough.  You can keep it rustic if you like, or you can cut it into a perfect circle if that's how you roll.

Place the 10-inch circle of dough on a quarter sheet pan that is lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  Despite the photo above, and the fact that I think silicone baking mats produce the best results 99% of the time, I actually prefer parchment paper for this recipe.  Using parchment allows the bottom crust to bake up a bit more crispy.

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Back to the recipe - you'll need blueberries, fresh or frozen.

And some lemon zest.  

Here's a tip - next time you squeeze fresh lemon juice, pop the used lemon halves into the freezer.  You'll always have lemon zest on hand.

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Just grab one of your frozen lemon shells and grate it using a microplane grater.

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Lemons and blueberries are best friends.

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Add sugar, finely ground tapioca starch, and just a pinch of fine salt. 

Note:  If you only have pearl tapioca starch in your pantry, you can pulse it in a spice grinder.

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Stir the blueberries, lemon zest, sugar, tapioca, and salt together well.

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Place the berry mixture in the center of the pie crust.

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Dot the filling with butter and fold up the edges of the crust as shown.  Pop the whole thing in the fridge and chill well for 2 hours before baking.  

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Just before baking, brush the crostata with milk, cream, beaten egg, egg white, or any combination thereof.

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This step is optional, but I like to follow the egg wash with a sprinkling of either sanding sugar or turbinado sugar.  

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See how pretty?  I can't wait!!

Items needed to make this recipe:


Blueberry Crostata for Two

makes one 6-inch crostata (2 servings)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • single pie crust (recipe and how-to photos here)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, finely ground
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how sweet the berries are)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter, cut into small bits
  • optional: beaten egg, milk, or cream to brush over crostata 
  • optional: turbinado or sanding sugar to sprinkle over crostata 

Directions

  1. Roll enough pie crust to make a 9-inch round; place on a silpat-lined quarter sheet pan and chill until needed (wrap remaining crust well and freeze for use later).
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, tapioca, and lemon zest; stir well to combine.
  3. Place the berry mixture in the center of the crust; spreading it in an even layer that measures 6 inches wide.
  4. Pull the remaining crust over the top of the blueberries, overlapping as shown in the photos; chill for 1 to 2 hours before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Just before baking, dot the berries with the butter, brush the crust with beaten egg, milk, or cream, and sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.
  8. Remove crostata from oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.