Blueberry Lemon Loaf

I had so much fun participating in the last recipe swap that I had to do it again! The blog I got this time was Jenna’s Cooking Journey. Several recipes caught my eye, but I was in the mood to bake (when am I not in the mood to bake? ha!). So when I saw this recipe for a Blueberry Lemon Loaf, I was sold. Blueberries, lemons, sugar, and baking? These are a few of my favorite things.

The loaf came together easily. The only change I made was to slightly increase the vanilla, and to wait to add the lemon juice with the milk. The outside of my bread got a little darker than I was hoping for, but I wasn’t too surprised. My oven has some crazy hot spots and a light that is always on when the oven is on. It still tasted great! A tender crumb with a hint of lemon and bursts of blueberry. And the lemon glaze was perfect for keeping the bread moist. I will definitely make it again!



 

 

Captain Banana Bread

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I’ve always loved bananas and I think they are a great grab-and-go snack or addition to breakfast. But, even though I loved them it seemed like I only ever thought to buy them once every few weeks. I would enjoy them all week until the bunch was gone and then I would forget about them. Since I moved to San Diego my cravings for bananas have actually increased so I have been buying them more frequently. Last week I bought some and they somehow worked their way to the bottom of the fruit bowl and I forgot about them. When I finally came across them they were more than halfway brown and spotty. What a waste, I thought! Then it suddenly popped into my brain that you use older bananas for banana bread. But, I thought, do I like banana bread?

As many of you know, and as I often blogged about, I’ve only recently started testing my fruit-as-an-ingredient boundaries. Historically I’ve not been a fan of fruit containing items. However, last summer I finally broke down and tried zucchini bread for the first time and I discovered I loved it. I thought that maybe if I could find the right recipe with a little cinnamon spice kick, I could like banana bread. And I was right! Not only did I like it I loved it. I guess it’s true what they say about your taste buds changing as you get older. I can’t wait to forget about a bunch of bananas and find the brown spotty ones again!

The recipe that I found was coincidentally called “Jacked Up Banana Bread” and it seemed to have just what I was looking for. However I wanted to take mine up just another level and add another jacked up twist, so I substituted (and slightly increased) the bourbon she had added with Captain Morgans Spiced Rum. A-ma-zing. Below I will list the recipe exactly as I made it.

Captain Banana Bread
(Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen)

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce Spiced Rum (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cup of flour (I slightly increased the flour from the original recipe because I added more liquid with the Rum if you use less liquid you can use less flour)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and spiced rum, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and walnuts last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

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.