Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

Today was a big day in my world. Yesterday was a big day too. Yesterday, I had my very last college class ever, and today we had our senior breakfast, and I had my first work orientation event. I’m growing up, and it’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

Yesterday’s final class was very fitting for the occasion — the professor showed us a video of a commencement speech given at Stanford by Steve Jobs, which was surprising but inspiring all at the same time. She followed Jobs’ speech with a story of her own, revealing the most human side of a professor who’s been teaching like a stone wall for the past four months. It was nice to see she was human.

But really, the class got me thinking — about life, and goals, and ultimately what’s going to make me happy and make my life worth living. It’s already pretty fantastic, but moving on to a new era, it’s important to make sure it stays that way. Jobs’ point was that life is a waste if you don’t realize that your days are numbered, and take full advantage of each and every one. In my opinion it’s almost morbid to think constantly about the inevitability of death, but he had a very valid point. Why wake up every day if you don’t love what you do? Simply going through the motions is a waste of time and energy. The whole day got me psyched for life, and for pursuing everything that I’ve always dreamed of. I saw the movie “Back Up Plan” last night with a good friend, and it fueled my already powerful fire even more, with dreams of big things, and the thinking that they might actually come true.

So you’ve heard me say it. I’m going to accomplish my dreams, and refuse to accept anything less!

Right, so this is a baking blog, and that was not about baking, so let’s get to it, shall we? This bread was a product of my stress (which has since dissipated, for the most part), but it is so darn delicious, I’m going to make it again and again, even during peaceful times. I found the recipe on another one of the blogs I read, My Baking Addiction, and was intrigued — I’ve made blueberry quick breads, and zucchini quick breads, but never thought to combine the two in one. What a great idea! I love baking with blueberries, because they keep things so moist and have such a wonderful flavor when baked into dishes, and often I find zucchini bread to be moist but bland — together they are like the perfect team. The bread was so moist and delicious — I cooked it for longer than the original recipe called for (probably about 70-75 minutes in total), and it was still extremely moist. But be sure to grease the pan well! My bread stuck to the bottom of the pan, which was awful from an aesthetic prospective, but it was fun to eat. I added in some ground flax seed in place of some of the white flour, and it was still good. I also used frozen blueberries, and I don’t think it made a difference. Lastly, the original recipe said that the bread wasn’t very sweet, so to play around with the sugars which I did. I added 1/4c brown sugar, and I think it was just the right sweetness. This bread is a quick fix (except it needs to bake for a while, so take that into consideration if you’re going to be making it). It’s delicious and more nutritional than other baked things (which is good, right?), and it’s just a wonderful breakfast treat.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar; lightly packed (I used 3/4c brown sugar)
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup all purpose flour (I subbed 1/4c flour for 1/4c flax seed meal)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake 55-65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

This bread beat out the Carrot Coconut bread recipe I’ve been wanting to make, so I’m sure that one will be showcased soon enough. I made a favorite of AW’s last night, which I’ll tell you about soon. Right now, I need a nap! Until next time,

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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What a wonderful Easter weekend! The weather was so fantastic, the food was incredible, and the company was unparalleled. Fortunately back in Boston, the sun’s still shining this morning, otherwise I think I’d be suffering some serious withdrawal. I had another marathon baking weekend, in between tanning (though you can’t see any results — I still white as a ghost!) and riding my horse, and spending time with family. The first of three things I made were the brownies, a sweet treat for Saturday night. We had a very active day Saturday, so come Saturday evening, we were all ravenous and craving a hearty meal. So Savory Saturday commenced!

I had the idea of making  pasta primavera to take advantage of some fresh yummy vegetables, so we set to work on that. AW and I prepped the veggies (haricot vert, yellow bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, and carrots), and then my mom and I put together the dish, served with fresh spinach pasta in a light tomato sauce (with a few splashes of half and half). It turned out to be much creamier than we’d planned, but it was really great — filling but not heavy.

I’m clearly a big fan of recipes and baking, but I have to say that sometimes playing in the kitchen (sans recipes) can heed some great results!

After our delightful pasta primavera, it was time for dessert! I was craving this lemon tea cake I’ve made a dozen times before, from one of my favorite cookbooks out of Martha’s Vineyard. However, there was much lemon promised in our future (that post is coming soon!), so I decided I needed to mix it up. We’re all big chocolate lovers in my family, and whenever I’m home my Dad asks for chocolate chip cookies, and my Mom asks for brownies. This particular weekend felt like a brownie weekend, so I decided to make Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies, but with a twist!

Since I just blogged about brownies a couple of weeks ago, I needed an excuse to make brownies again — something different and delicious, but not so different so as to take away from these outstanding brownies. AW had suggested i make german chocolate cake earlier in the day, so coconut was on my mind, and I set out to find a coconut topping recipe. I came across this recipe for brownies with a Coconut-Pecan Crust, and used their idea but modified it to my own liking. In our household, we like our brownies straight up without nuts, so I omitted the pecans and just tossed some coconut with butter and brown sugar, and sprinkled it over the top. YUM! It was delicious, and pretty and crispy and wonderful.

I halved the recipe and put it in a 8×8 pan, so they came out much thicker than they usually do (and took about 10 extra minutes to cook), but they were just so decadent and wonderful. Definitely not a light dessert — the full recipe calls for a pound of butter, and more than a pound of chocolate (!!), but it is well worth every bite. This is one of my favorite go-to brownie recipes, and for good reason — they come out perfectly every time, and you can add to them whatever you want, and they are still incredible. Plus they’re so simple to make — what’s not to love?

After I’d nibbled on these for a while, I started putting together the components of the rest of the weekends goodies — sticky buns, tart dough (my first attempt at pate sucree!), and some non-traditional pastry “cream”. It was tons of fun, and everything came out ridiculously well. It’s a good thing I’ve secured a job after graduation, because I’m going to need the money to keep up this habit!

I’m off to run in the glorious sunshine, but there are still lots of goodies to come from this weekend! Next up: Lemon Sticky Buns! Hands down one of the best breakfast treats I’ve ever made — stay tuned!

With love, and sugar. Enjoy!

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