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Friday, July 19, 2013

Chew on This | Summer Bulk Baking

Holy heat wave.

I know it's the middle of July and humidity is the thing July strives for, but really...ewww. The heat and humidity this week was hellacious. And on top of the oppressive and instant sweat inducing weather, I got yucky sick. Also ewww. And The Husband was away on business through Thursday during all of the yucky sickness. Awesome. So my precious children were semi-supervised for days. Also awesome. 

Don't be alarmed though, they were totally safe. And they only got half of the dogs hair shaved and just one wall in the office laced with graffiti before I became coherent enough to stop them. No biggie.

Seriously, they were very sweet and constantly checking in on me as I was lying on the bathroom floor that first day of gross. 

"Mom, are you okay? Should I call Dad and tell him to come home from California?"
"No honey, I'll be fine very soon."
"Okay, can I play with my iPod?"
Stomp, stomp, stomp down the stairs.

That scenario repeated itself a handful of times that first day. It's funny now. 

And then on day two, our little Mimi angel came over bearing gifts. A real meal for the children to eat, a movie for them to watch and Chinese checkers for them to play. She knows how to soothe and heal us all.

Today I felt gobs better and wanted to go outside in the fresh, thick, heavy air. It was delightful, for a minute. I went to the garden a picked our first zucchini of the season. And bunches of basil and some flowers for the kitchen table. Then I hightailed it back inside to turn on the oven (!!!) and bake and make a bunch of stuff with my bounty.


Here are our recipes:

Today we are one month away from the start of school. Good glory!! I decided that I should get a jump on some bulk baking to help ease into the craziness that is the beginning-of-the-year schedule. I'm sure you can all relate. Here are some of our favorite recipes that you can double or triple and freeze all the extras for later. 

Zucchini Waffles
2 eggs 
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
2 T sugar
4 t baking powder
1 C milk
1/4 C melted butter
1 C grated zucchini
2 C all-purpose flour
Waffle maker

Heat your waffle maker and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and sugar. While still whisking, add in your milk and melted butter. Whisk in your grated zucchini. Now add your flour, one cup at a time, whisking after each addition and ensuring there are no lumps in the batter. Ladle batter onto your waffle maker and cook each waffle until lightly browned. Yields 6-7 waffles.  

Basil Pesto
2 C fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
3 cloves garlic
1/4 C pine nuts, lightly toasted*
2/3 C olive oil
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, garlic and pine nuts. Pulse several times to incorporate. Now, slowly add your olive oil while processing. Add in your parmesan cheese and blend thoroughly. Taste pesto and sprinkle in salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy over pasta, on pizza or in appetizers (yummy appetizer recipe posting tomorrow).

*To toast pine nuts - place pine nuts in a dry sauté over medium heat for several minutes, shaking pan several times to toast all sides. Do not allow to burn.

Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Muffins/Loaf

1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 t coffee granules
1/2 C canola oil
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C grated zucchini 
1 C dark chocolate, small chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350℉. Prepare muffin tins/loaf pans by lightly spraying with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in your coffee granules and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat on low your oil, sugar and vanilla. Add your eggs, one at a time and mix until combined. Grate your zucchini (cleaned, skin on) and add to your wet mixture. Stir to thoroughly incorporate.

Slowly begin to add your flour mixture to your wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides of your bowl often. Finally, fold in your dark chocolate chunks/chips and pour batter into your prepared muffin tins. 

Bake at 350℉. Regular sized muffins take approximately 15-17 minutes to cook. Mini muffins take 10-12 minutes.

Ganache Option:
If you would like to take these zucchini muffins off the charts - top with some delicious ganache! 

1 C dark chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 C heavy cream

In a microwave safe bowl, combine your chocolate and cream and microwave on high in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each 20 second interval. Do this until chocolate is just slightly softened and then stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Slather ganache onto your zucchini muffins and croak from happiness.

Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour                              
1 t salt                                       
1 t baking soda                        
1 t baking powder                   
3 t cinnamon                                                                                                 
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cardamon
3 eggs
3/4 C canola oil
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3 t vanilla
2 C grated zucchini
1 C chopped walnuts

Pre-heat your oven to 350℉.  Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray.

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

In another bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Now you can stir together your wet and dry ingredients.  This batter will be stiff - until you add your zucchini.  You can add your zucchini and walnuts once your wet and dry ingredients are combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and baked for 45 to 60 minutes or until tester stick comes out clean.  Let bread cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!

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