Archive | July, 2009

I 1 the zucchini…

30 Jul

I’ve been trying to stay ahead of the zucchini, but 2 escaped me last week, and got quite large.  I shredded them, put half in the freezer, and decided to make a zucchini cake with the rest.  I found a recipe that looked good, but decided to replace the oil with applesauce, and add in some freshly grated nutmeg. 

After dumping the oil and sugar in the mixer, I realized I had no all-purpose flour – only bread flour and whole-wheat.  I’m a big fan of whole wheat, and have been baking all of our bread for the last month or two, but I believe in white flour for cakes.  I knew bread flour would be a disaster, so whole-wheat it had to be. 

I’d seen another zucchini cake recipe that used oatmeal, so I used 1/2 c quick oats and 1 1/2 c flour.  I did not have high hopes at this point, so I figured I might as well go all-out with the experimentation, and make a jelly roll. 

I baked it, rolled it, chilled it, and filled it with cream cheese frosting, and everyone loved it.  And except for the sugar, it could practically be health food!

zucchini cake roll

The walnuts I used came from  I had to order pine nuts to make pesto because I couldn’t find anything reasonably priced locally, but I was a little skeptical.  Not anymore – I have a walnut tree in my backyard and these nuts were just as fresh. 

Zucchini Roll recipe



25 Jul


Bella gets very excited about boooberries. We picked 10 lbs! yesterday at Catoctin Mountain Orchard. I was a little worried about what I was going to do with them all, but a day later, we have a plan.

I made blueberry freezer jam, which is just about the easiest thing in the world. Sugar, pectin, blueberries, and a little nutmeg. I pureed mine in the food processor because I like it smooth.

I am planning a pie for Sunday.

I froze 2 quart bags’ worth.

Husband and children polished off all but a pint.

Blueberry Muffins

20 Jul

Best Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 c yogurt (lemon or vanilla – or experiment!)
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil (or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 c fresh blueberries, rinsed

Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 T butter

Heat oven to 400°.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.   In a seperate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, and oil.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once, and stir until just moistened.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill 14-16 lined muffin cups.

For streusel, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles small crumbs.  Top each muffin with about 1 T streusel.  Bake 18-20 minutes, cool in pan 10 minutes.

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 375°, grease a 9×9 baking dish, and bake 25-30 minutes to make blueberry coffeecake.

Mom’s Apple Pie

19 Jul

applesMom says the secret is using ice cold water in the crust, and handling the dough as little as possible.  I say it’s practice.

I usually use Granny Smith apples in my pies, but I couldn’t resist these crisp Fujis from Catoctin Mountain Orchard.

*Recipe after the break

Make your crust:

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl

Cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender or two knives until is is the size of small peas.

Add the ice cold water, and mix gently with a fork until all the dough is moistened.

Gently knead the dough in the bowl to bring it together.  Divide in half.

The key here is not to overmix the dough – handle just enough to bring it together.

Lightly flour your cutting board.  Roll one half of the dough into a 12″ circle.

Fold the dough in half, and carefully place into a pie plate.  Gently fit the dough into the plate, being careful not to stretch or tear it.   Roll out the other half of the dough and set aside while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:

Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  (Whole nutmeg keeps forever, and is really easy to grate with a Microplane rasp.  It tastes much fresher than pre-ground.)

Wash, peel, core, and slice the apples.  Add the sugar mixture to the apples and toss gently to coat.

Add the apples to the bottom crust.  Dot with 4-5 pats of butter.

Brush the edges of the dough with water.   Fold the top crust in half, and lay over apples.  Press gently on edges to seal dough.

Fold the edges of the dough under, then pinch between two fingers to create a fluted crust.

Prick the top crust several times with a fork to create steam vents.  Brush with milk, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 50-55 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Let cool on the counter for about an hour (if you can wait!).  Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.


mom&bella Special thanks to my assistants!

View Recipe

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