So You Grew a Garden… Now What? 8

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

So maybe you were thinking that I was giving up on my garden and stopping the series since it’s been so long since I posted a recipe. But don’t worry, I am not. The sad news is that the deer have pretty much spoiled our entire “crop” of tomatoes. They ate most of the 15(!!) plants down to sticks. There are only 3 plants that are producing tomatoes and I’m not sure if they are strong enough to actually make red tomatoes but we’ll see. One of the plants is a yellow pear tomato plant and it seems to be doing the best so you can expect a recipe later this week. Next year we plan to put up a fence but for this year I guess we will just have to make do and dream of more tomatoes next year. And I guess I’ll have to buy tomatoes for the recipes I had planned for this series. The good news is that our zucchini plant is THRIVING! We came home from vacation to 4 zucchinis the size of my arm, 3 normal sized ones and a few more that will be ready to pick today or tomorrow.

With that being said, today’s recipe is for zucchini bread. And guess what. I like zucchini bread. No one is more shocked than me. I’ve been saying for 25 (almost 26) years that I do not like it but I admit that I had never tried it. This year my great friend Michelle finally forced me at gunpoint (OK the gun is an exaggeration) to try some and to my surprise I loved it. Since I was planning on posting about zucchini bread anyway it worked out pretty well. This recipe is wonderfully moist and spicy and I definitely ate half a loaf within a few hours of taking it out of the oven. So please, if you have been resisting zucchini bread your entire life, please, give this a try. You just might love it.


Zucchini Bread
(Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

Directions

Grease and flour four mini-loaf pans or two 8X4 inch bread pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.


Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.


Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took about 55 minutes but things usually take a little longer in stoneware. I don’t think that 40 minutes would be enough in a regular pan but I would start checking just to be sure it doesn’t burn. Especially if your oven runs hot. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Raspberry Swirl Coffee Cake

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Unfortunately today is my sisters last day at home, she flies back to Baltimore tomorrow. 🙁 Since it was her last morning at home we decided to have a family brunch at my parents (hence the different dishes in my pictures :)). My mom made eggs, bacon and fruit salad and I brought a coffee cake.

I decided last night that I wanted to make a coffee cake but I couldn’t find a recipe I wanted to use. I was looking for something that didn’t call for sour cream (didn’t have any),did call for black raspberry preserves (which I have left over from making raspberry cheesecake brownies) and took less than 45 minutes to bake. It took me quite awhile to find a recipe that met my requirements and when I did find one I was unsure of how it would turn out. I’ve never made a coffee cake that combined the ingredients in this way so I was worried but I was running out of time so I went with it. I’m really glad I did! This coffee cake was awesome and the fact that 5 of us went through almost an entire 9×13 pan of it in just a few short hours is proof.

Raspberry Swirl Coffee Cake
(Source: Below is the recipe with my changes, I found it on this website and it says that the author is Gale.)

Ingredients
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup seedless black raspberry preserves

Directions
Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or till combined.

Add about half of the flour to the cream cheese mixture. Then add the sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, almond extract and vanilla. Beat on low speed till thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. Then beat in remaining flour on low speed just till combined.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Dollop preserves in small spoonfuls on top of the batter. Using a small narrow spatula or knife, gently swirl preserves into the batter to create a marbled effect.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm or cooled.

Mmm mmm mmm Muffins

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

So in case you didn’t know, I am going back to school! I started nursing school at the end of January and so far I am loving it. I am still working part time and teaching dance so between those things and studying and class I don’t have a lot of time to think. So I decided 2 weeks ago to make muffins on Sunday so that I would have breakfast every morning with out thinking or needing to wake up any earlier than necessary to actually make a breakfast. The muffins were fantastic! It was so nice having a yummy homemade breakfast every morning that I decided to do it again this past Sunday. The first week I made blueberry muffins. Then last week I decided to make a crumb cake type of muffin. I used the same base recipe for both but for the crumb cake one I doubled the streusel topping and put some in the middle of the muffin. This weekend I think I might try raspberry muffins (gasp! a cooked fruit that’s not a blueberry, LOL. Muffins do NOT count towards my no cooked fruit rule)

I’m going to post the original recipe I used for the blueberry muffins and in Italics I will put the directions for the crumb cake muffins that are pictures. Sorry I ate all of the blueberry ones before I had a chance to take a picture.


Muffins with Streusel Topping
(Adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner)

Streusel Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces Double for crumb cake muffins

Muffin Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) fresh blueberries, stems removed (Omit for crumb cake muffins)

Directions
For the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the butter pieces and combine the mixture with a fork until the topping resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper liners in muffin pans. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat one egg in at a time, then add vanilla. Next add 1/3 of the dry ingredients then half of the sour cream and milk . Repeat until all of the dry ingredients have been added. With a spatula, evenly fold blueberries into batter (Obviously skip this step for crumb cake muffins).
Scoop batter into muffin pans and fill each cup to the top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out clean.

Scoop half of batter into muffin pans (filling each pan only half way). Then sprinkle half of the streusel over batter. Top the first layer of streusel with another scoop of batter (filling each one to the top now). Sprinkle the rest of the streusel over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Makes 24 muffins