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I bake something nearly every day, which I love and am thankful for, but whenever I can bake something that is not sweet I am even that much more joyful.

Today is National Zucchini Bread Day. I really enjoy the tried and true cakey version, but I think there is room for interpretation today. Try these soft and cheesy, zucchini-rich little scones (they count as a bread, don’t they?), and celebrate a food holiday whose existence I cannot exactly explain, but am loving anyway.

Triple Cheese- Zucchini Drop Scones

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup quark (or plain Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
1/4 cup each shredded cheddar, gouda, and parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F.
Sift the dry ingredients together and place in a medium bowl. Add the chilled butter and rub into the flour mixture to create small flakes.
Whisk together the quark and milk. Squeeze as much moisture from the shredded zucchini as you can and add to the milk mixture. Stir well to break up any lumps. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and toss together lightly, breaking up any big lumps as they develop. Add the cheeses and mix lightly until the dough forms a loose ball. Using a big spoon or rubber spatula, drop eight tangerine-sized lumps of dough onto a parchment-line sheet pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
Remove the plastic and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the scones are evenly golden. Serve hot.

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Yes I know it’s Earth Day, which I am absolutely not shunning. Just holding off until the weekend arrives.

No recipes today. I’ve been wracking my brain for fresh ideas for cooking/baking jelly beans, and I have to tell you that none have surfaced. Then I realized that truly these little guys are just fine on their own.

However! There are a few flavors that are missing. I would like to humbly request the following for immediate development:

Passionfruit
Key lime pie
Dark rum
Fernet
Ginger peach, and
Sour pineapple

What flavors would you like to see?

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So you know, I can pretty much find a way to justify eating nearly any food you can think of. I wouldn’t call it a super power by any stretch, but it is a pretty good parlor trick. This comes in handy when writing a blog about national food holidays. Saying “Oh, but it’s delicious!” isn’t a qualifier, either. Delicious is subjective. But if you need a good reason to eat that cheeseburger, seek me out. Apple pie for breakfast? I can tell you exactly why that is a stellar idea. I’m here to help.
Case in point, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever not to eat a grilled cheese sandwich on this or any other day. If you haven’t already heard, a study has come out this week basically stating that people who enjoy eating grilled cheese sandwiches get it on far more often than those who do not. I feel that perhaps further studies need to be conducted, but hell, this is a good start.

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Today, celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with someone you love. Or like. Or know. It’s good for your health.

Grilled Cheese with Benefits

2 slices of crusty bread (I’m using sourdough batard)
Aged white cheddar, as much as you can fit in
A few slices of baked sweet potato
A big, fat spoonful of bacon-onion jam (recipe follows)
Butter

Generously butter both sides of each slice of bread. In a shallow pan, toast the bread over medium heat. Once the slices become golden and crispy, flip them over. Load one slice with cheese, and another with the sweet potato. On the cheese slice, add the onion jam, on the other add more cheese. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and allow all the cheese to melt. Remove the lid. With a spatula, carefully top one slice with the other, and smoosh them together a little. Remove from the pan, cut in half, and eat with reckless abandon.

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Bacon-Onion Jam*

1 lb bacon, diced
5 medium yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. mustard seed
salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain off all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat. Add all of the other ingredients and stir well to combine. Lower the heat. Cover the pot and allow to cook undisturbed for about twenty minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook over low heat until most of the moisture is cooked out and the mixture becomes thick and jammy.

* This is a version of this recipe here, which is also pretty spanking delicious.