Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lemon Zucchini Bread

                I have been on a bread kick lately. This one turned out really good, that is, if you like zucchini and lemon. I love both, so of course I think it tasted like heaven.

Easiness---7---You will want a grater or a food processor with a grater for the zucchini. Also, mine turned out a bit under done, which is ok since I love it gooey, but some people might not like it like that.

Yumminess---7---A bit too lemony. There is a perfect amount of zucchini though.

Repeat---9---I will make this again, but I will probably use less lemon. I also would recommend not using lemon juice from a jar, but rather squeeze your own lemons. The artificial taste just makes it taste too tart, in my opinion.

·         2 cups all purpose flour
·         2 tsp. baking powder
·         ½ tsp. salt
·         2 eggs
·         ½ cup canola oil
·         2/3 cup sugar
·         ½ cup buttermilk (I used skim milk, and it actually turned out fine)
·         Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tbs. lemon juice)
·         Zest of 1 lemon
·         1 cup grated zucchini (you don’t need to peel the zucchini before grating. I used 1 large zucchini)
·         1 cup powdered sugar
·         Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tbs. lemon juice)
·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees
·         In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt
·         In a separate bowl, mix together on medium speed the sugar and canola oil
·         Add the eggs 1 at a time until fully incorporated
·         Add the milk, juice of the lemon and the lemon zest. Mix until incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
·         Mix in the zucchini
·         Slowly add the dry ingredients while continuing to mix. Allow to mix on low speed until fully incorporated
·         Pour batter into 9x5” cake pan, greased and floured, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (mine took about 50, and it was stilly kind of gooey)
·         Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack
·         While loaf cools, make the glaze
·         In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved.
·         Pour over the cooled loaf. Let the glaze set, then serve. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cranberry Orange Bread

              I love fancy breads, like poppy seed or zucchini especially. I love eating them, but I have never actually made one myself. As you might have guessed, I perused Pinterest for some inspiration. I knew I wanted something with a little orange flavoring, so I came across this Cranberry Orange Bread. My taste buds started smiling as soon as I saw the picture.

I found the recipe through Pinterest on this blog. I think she did a great job with it, and I loved her little hints and tips throughout the recipe.

Easiness---8---As far as bread goes, I can’t imagine it gets much easier than this. You literally just mix the ingredients together and throw it in the oven. Just be careful to not over bake it, because you don’t want it to be too dry.

Yumminess---9---I would give it a 10, but I wish I had used fresh cranberries. It’s my own fault; I deviated from the original recipe, because I couldn’t find fresh cranberries at my grocery store. I ended up using Craisins, which weren’t terrible, but I bet fresh would have been even more flavorful.

Repeat---10---I plan to make this again very soon! I need to figure out the nutritional information, but I can’t imagine that it is too bad for you. I certainly didn’t feel like I was cheating myself by eating it for breakfast a few times.

1 ½ cups flour, all purpose
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt (I used ¼ tsp. iodized salt)
½ cup butter, unsalted at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbs. grated orange zest, fresh (I used the zest of 1 medium size orange. I think it could have used a little more)
3 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries (You can also use Craisins) plus 1 tsp. flour to toss cranberries in

4 Tbs. orange juice (bottled, without pulp)
4 Tbs. sugar

½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. orange juice (bottled, without pulp)


·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Spray a 9x5 or 10x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and flour and set aside
·         In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
·         In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes)
·         Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated after each egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg
·         Add the milk and vanilla, mix until fully incorporated
·         Add the dry ingredients slowly while mixing, mix until fully incorporated
·         Toss the cranberries with 1 tsp. flour and fold into the mixture
·         Pour the batter into the greased and floured pan, and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees
·         Cool bread in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling
·         While bread is baking, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan heat the sugar and orange juice. Bring to a boil and cook until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened. About 2 minutes. Be very careful this will burn if unattended.
·         Using a skewer, poke holes all over the top of the bread. After you poke the holes brush the bread with all the syrup. Make sure you use all of the syrup.
·         Allow the bread to cool completely before adding the glaze
·         In a small bowl whisk the powdered sugar and orange juice until it is the right consistency. I added the orange juice 1 Tbs. at a time until I achieved the right consistency.
·         Pour glaze over the top of the bread. I used a small spoon and went back and forth a few times to cover the whole loaf.

I'm Back!!

            I bet you thought I gave up, or disappeared, or ate way too much of this delicious food and couldn’t get off the couch in order to write more blog posts for you. Well, kind of. I know it has been almost two months since the last time I wrote, and I am very sorry for that. I believe I told you that I was working for Target a while back. Between work, trying to see my boyfriend more than once per week, and trying to stay in shape I just got so busy that sitting down to write something sounded terrible. That’s clue #1 that something was wrong. I always enjoy writing, food, and writing about food. Clue #2 came with a little work situation that I will not force you to read (just know that it was bad). Clue #3 was when I totaled my car coming home from said work situation on December 21st. Honestly, when my car went out of control I really thought it was time for the much anticipated apocalypse. I was a little disappointed when, instead, I had to get a new car. I got over that quickly though, because I got a beautiful 2011 Jeep Patriot for quite a good deal.
Long story short, that Clue #3 put a lot of things into perspective, and I realized that I was doing something I hated, and I never planned to be in that type of situation. I quit Target the very next day, and I am so happy now.
 I did a lot of soul searching this past semester off school, and I came to the realization that I have been running from my true dream for a very long time, teaching. Ever since I was little, I would think to myself “When I am a teacher…” or “I am going to do something like that with my class”. I am not entirely sure why I never did it, why I changed my mind to becoming a doctor, and then to a psychiatrist, then to an Occupational Therapist, and finally to communications and advertising. I know I was on the path to do something creative, and I think I have finally found it. I am now pursuing my Masters of Teaching at Missouri Baptist University, and I plan to become a middle school English and Literature teacher. I absolutely cannot wait!
Sorry if my little story has bored you, but I thought you might like to know why I haven’t been writing. Don’t worry though; I didn’t stop cooking! J I have quite a few recipes lined up for your pleasure, so get ready! I am so glad to be back!