To say that this wonderful summer cake was moist would be the understatement. 😉 What a fabulous use for zucchini! Everyone has an extra zucchini and ultra-ripe bananas this time of year too.
This recipe was adapted from Nancy-c.com. I incorporated light brown sugar and whole wheat pastry flour and decreased the nutmeg. I also added salt and vanilla to the frosting. This cake was even better the next day. Fabulous.
Yield: one 9×13 cake, about 12 to 16 servings
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large or extra-large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F, preferably on convection.
- Grease a 9 x 13″ pan, line with parchment paper, grease again. (I used cooking oil spray.) Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
- Add in egg and vanilla, then stir in mashed bananas and blend everything well.
- In medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
- Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-banana mixture. Blend until combined.
- Fold in zucchini and mix until incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13″ pan and bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes, or until edges brown and pull from sides.
- Let bars cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe below).
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese or light cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- pinch coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium bowl, blend softened cream cheese and softened butter.
- Mix in salt and vanilla until well combined.
- Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition, scraping down the sides, as needed.
- Spread evenly over completely cooled bars, then cut and serve.
Note: If serving later, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftover cake.
Posted in Cake, Cupcakes, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: banana, cake, cream cheese frosting, dessert, easy, nutmeg, sheet cake, snack, snack cake, summer, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, zucchini
As if my CSA zucchini wasn’t enough, my friend brought me more beautiful zucchini from her garden. I made four loaves of this bread (two batches) with a single zucchini! Amazing.
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen. I incorporated whole wheat flour. As suggested, I used less sugar and also omitted the add-ins. We ate some, shared some, and froze some for later. This loaf improves with time- perfect to make the night before serving it for breakfast. I imagine it would also be delicious lightly toasted and topped with butter.
Yield: 2 loaves or 24 muffins
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil (can also used olive oil or another vegetable oil)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (can also used half (or even all) turbinado or half light brown sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups grated, packed zucchini, not wrung out (from about 10 oz zucchini)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- 1 to 2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or chocolate chips (or a combination), optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Generously grease 2 loaf pans (8×4 or 9×5) with butter and flour or with nonstick spray. Alternatively, grease 24 standard muffin cups or line with paper liners.
- Whisk eggs, oil, butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bottom of a large bowl.
- Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the wet ingredients and whisk them in well.
- Stir in zucchini.
- Gently stir in flours, mixing only until incorporated.
- Fold in any add-ins, if using.
- Divide between prepared pans and bake for 55 to 65 minutes for a loaf, 20 to 25 minutes for muffins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes on a rack before inverting and removing from the pans. The loaves can also cool completely in pans.
- Store wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 5 days. Loaves also freeze well.
Posted in Baking, Coffee Cake, Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: breakfast, brunch, chocolate chips, cinnamon, coffee cake, cranberries, muffins, nutmeg, pecans, quick bread, raisins, Smitten Kitchen, snack, turbinado sugar, walnuts, whole wheat, zucchini
This soup was absolutely heavenly. It was a purée of all of my favorite greens with added silkiness from a single potato. Perfection!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Yasmin Khan, author of Zaitoun. I weighed all of the greens, added fresh lemon juice, and increased the garlic. I also incorporated my homemade turkey stock but vegetable stock could be easily substituted to make a vegetarian version. The original recipe recommends the use of spicier, mature arugula. I was upset that I didn’t make a double batch. Next time! 🙂
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 medium russet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- 7 ounces arugula (I used wild baby arugula)
- 5 1/4 ounces fresh spinach (I used baby spinach)
- 1 ounce cilantro sprigs (about 1/2 packed cup)
- freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a lemon
- plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, for serving
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, just until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
- Add potato and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Reserve a handful of arugula for garnish. Add spinach, cilantro, and remaining arugula to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, and cook 10 minutes.
- Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup.) Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece of lid to allow steam to escape. Place a clean kitchen towel over opening. Process until smooth.
- Incorporate the fresh lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, and divide among 4 bowls.
- Top each serving with a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt, some of the reserved arugula, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Posted in Greens, Quick, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders, Vegetarian
Tags: allspice, arugula, cilantro, dinner, Greek yogurt, greens, lunch, Middle Eastern, nutmeg, Palestinian, rocket, shorbat jarjir, soup, spinach, turmeric, vegetables, vegetarian
My daughter is obsessed with donuts- specifically donuts with pink icing and sprinkles. Her new bicycle bell is a life-size pink frosted donut with sprinkles! 🙂
I must say that she was quite pleased with this cinnamon sugar variation. When we debated over whether or not they were too heavily coated with cinnamon sugar, both of my kids informed me that such a problem was not even possible. 😉
This recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Using my mini donut pans, this recipe made 12 donuts. I substituted 1/2 cup of buttermilk instead of a combination of yogurt and milk and I reduced the amount of butter in the topping. They made a very special breakfast.
Yield: 8 standard size donuts or 12 mini donuts
For the Donuts:
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup (65g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk (or skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk, almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk), at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt or sour cream (nonfat, low-fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt), at room temperature (I used another 1/4 cup of buttermilk)
- 2 T (30g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Coating:
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4-5 T unsalted butter, melted
To Make the Donuts:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C), preferably on convection. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
- Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for about two minutes and transfer to a wire rack set on a large piece of parchment paper or on a large baking sheet.
- Bake the remaining donut batter and transfer to the wire rack. Allow donuts to cool down until you can handle them.
To Coat with Cinnamon Sugar:
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
- Brush the melted butter, on the top or on the top and bottom, as desired; dunk into the cinnamon sugar mixture coating all sides.
- Donuts are best served immediately.
- Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- You can freeze the donuts for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave, usually a few seconds.
Posted in Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: almond milk, baked, breakfast, brunch, buttermilk, cinnamon sugar, coconut milk, dessert, donuts, doughnuts, easy, Greek yogurt, mini, nutmeg, sour cream, soy milk, vanilla, yogurt
This dish was the first-runner up for Valentine’s Day dinner. It was a Valentine’s Day bonus that I made it in addition to our celebratory biscuit-topped Chicken Pot Pie. Right? Why choose when you can have both? 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook by Jim Lahey. I increased the amount of vegetables, modified the baking temperature, and incorporated the garlic used to make the garlic oil. We could eat some sort of cheesy, veggie pasta every night of the week. Great!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Béchamel:
- 5 T (70 g) unsalted butter
- 2 T (20 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (650 g) whole milk
- 1/4 tsp (2 g) fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) freshly grated nutmeg
For the Pasta:
- 2 T (24 g) coarse salt
- 1 pound (454 g) penne or rigatoni
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound), large stems removed, cut into 1-inch ribbons
- 1 bunch thin asparagus (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 T (30 g) extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 batch béchamel, about 3 cups (recipe above)
- 1 1/2 cups (130 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
To Make the Béchamel:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is a light butterscotch color, about 2 minutes.
- Add the milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously to keep lumps from forming.
- Continue to whisk and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and has the consistency of heavy cream.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl to cool.
To Finish the Dish:
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, add the salt, and cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.
- Drain the pasta well and spread it out over the surface of a rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat the oven to 475, preferably on convection.
- Steam the chard and asparagus for 4 minutes, or until tender. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so, until it begins to sizzle. Lower the heat and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Brush the inside of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with some of the garlic oil.
- In the pot that was used to cook the pasta, combine the cooled pasta, the garlic oil (including the garlic, if desired), the béchamel, half of the grated cheese, the steamed asparagus and chard. Stir until well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta begins to brown on top.
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Posted in Casserole, Greens, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: al forno, asparagus, bechamel sauce, casserole, chard, dinner, nutmeg, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, penne, rigatoni, Sullivan Street, Swiss chard, vegetarian
I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t enjoy. Apple pie is delicious! 😉 But, I am still seeking a pie that I absolutely love- a pie that will end the search for the perfect pie.
This pie was lovely, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a combination of apples and sliced them in a food processor. The pie crust incorporated vodka to ensure a flaky result; my Mother-in-law always utilizes this trick. The filling, thickened with tapioca and apple butter, held together perfectly. I baked it the day before Thanksgiving and it kept well at room temperature.
I served it at the end of our Thanksgiving feast along with my favorite Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Pecan Pie Bars. Most of us eat small slices of whichever dessert strikes our fancy- topped with either whipped cream or served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
- 2 ½ cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon/2.5 grams coarse salt
- 2 ½ sticks/20 tablespoons/285 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons/60 ml vodka
- ¼ to ½ cup ice water
For the Filling:
To Make the Crust:
- 3 pounds/1 1/3 kilograms apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (1/8-inch) (I used a combination of Sweet Tango, Envy, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples)
- ½ cup/99 grams granulated sugar, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 ½ teaspoons/3 grams ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 ½ tablespoons/22 ml lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons/45 grams apple butter
- heavy cream or milk, as needed
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, as needed
- vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
- In a food processor, pulse together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add butter and pulse until mixture forms 3/4-inch pieces.
- Mix vodka with 4 tablespoons ice water (or use 1/2 cup ice water).
- Add half the ice water mixture to dough, pulse a few times, then continue adding liquid a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together (you might not use all the liquid). Dough should be moist, but not wet, and hold together when pinched. If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
- Between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, gather dough into a ball. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk.
- Cover both tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
To Complete the Pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- While dough chills, heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Line chilled crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed. (You can bake the crust up to 24 hours in advance.)
- Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Fold in apple butter. Transfer apples to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
- Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch round. Use a knife to cut strips 1 3/4 inches wide (or desired width). Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
- Brush top of crust with heavy cream or milk. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
- Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 15 minutes more.
- Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
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Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: apple butter, apple pie, apples, cinnamon, dessert, Envy, fruit, Fuji, ginger, Granny Smith, Holiday, nutmeg, pie, Sweet Tango, tapioca, Thanksgiving, vodka
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This wholesome quick bread really caught my eye. I made it as a special after school snack for my kids (and me!). They enjoyed it with a glass of fresh apple cider. I thought it was absolutely perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.
The recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com. I baked the loaf in a Pullman pan, used freshly ground allspice and freshly grated nutmeg, and substituted pecans for walnuts. Yum!
Yield: One standard or Pullman loaf
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or boiled cider
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling top, optional
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- cream cheese, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Lightly grease a Pullman loaf pan or a standard 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. (I used cooking oil spray.)
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, and spices.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients.
- Mix in the rolled oats, applesauce, and nuts.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle rolled oats over the top, as desired.
- Bake the bread for 40 for a Pullman pan or up to 60 minutes in a standard loaf pan, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool completely.
- Store cooled bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
- Serve with cream cheese, or as desired.
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Posted in Baking, Bread, Cake, Coffee Cake, Muffins, Quick, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: allspice, applesauce, bread, breakfast, coffee cake, King Arthur, muffins, nutmeg, oat, pecans, quick bread, rolled oats, snack cake, walnuts, whole wheat