Monthly Archives: July 2011

Oatmeal Peach Quick Bread

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Ah, peaches!  I love them, they are sweet and juice and just about in season this time of year.  among other uses I have for peaches (eating them and making jam to name a few) I love to bake with them.  i got a few pounds of peaches the other day to make jam with.  And, while i love jam, I wanted to bake too.

I love oatmeal.  Can’t say that I always have though.  When my mom was force feeding us oatmeal for breakfast the whole time i was in elementary school I really didn’t like it.  But, as I’ve grown I came to appreciate it more and more.  I decided that my mom really didn’t know what she was doing with it, it was much too mushy.  I think that’s because she used the instant variety.  Not the best to be eating, but it is quicker, which I suppose is a plus when you’re trying to feed six kids, get them dressed and out of the house at a decent time.

I’ve recently been trying to find a decent oatmeal bread recipe.  A quick oatmeal bread recipe.  I’m too impatient for yeast bread.  You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find a recipe for oatmeal quick bread, but it is.  I tried all my usual cookbooks, all my usual websites, nothing.  I finally stumbled across this recipe for Oatmeal Quick Bread that promised that it was very much like an oatmeal cookie and I knew I had found the recipe for me.

I made a few changes to the recipe, mainly adding more spice. And the peaches.  Have to have the peaches.  I will say that the bread it best warm, so try to heat it up before you eat it.

 

Oatmeal Peach Bread

1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 medium peaches, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • Combine oatmeal and boiling water in small bowl. Let sit. This lets the oats soften a bit.
  • In a separate bowl beat the sugar and butter together until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. It will look a lot like cookie dough at this point.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Mix in oatmeal mixture. Add peaches and mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 50 min-1 hour.   Serve warm!

I enjoy this bread warm, with a little butter on it.  It’s sweet, but the tartness of the peaches balances that out nicely.  Enjoy!

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Zucchini Bread Three Ways of Bake Sale Part 3

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‘Tis the time of year for zucchini.  Most sources that you consult will tell you that the vibrant green squash is best picked and eaten when less than eight inches long.  Sadly, most home gardeners don’t realize that.  As such my parents have a friend at church who is trying to unload massive amounts of giant zucchini.  My mom took pity on them and took two off their hands.  And with it I made zucchini bread.  I’ll admit I’d have liked a bit more zucchini flavor, but I the zucchini didn’t have much zucchini flavor, so it is what it is.  I’ve mad three different types of zucchini bread, and sadly only managed pictures of one of them.  But man, were the breads good.

The bread I made came from three different places, my Red Checkered Cook Book, my mom and a blog, and they all turned out well in different ways.

Zucchini Bread 1
adapted from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finally shredded zucchini
1/4 cup oil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. My pan is bigger than this, it didn’t fill as full as it should have.  SO, if your pan is bigger than the one that the recipe suggests, either double the recipe, or be aware that it’s not going to be a very tall loaf.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl mix together the egg, sugar, zucchini, and oil. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just moistened, the batter will be slightly lumpy.
  • Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

 

Mom’s Recipe Zucchini Bread

2 large eggs
1/3 oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspo0n baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
chocolate chips, craisins, coconut, nuts and other add ins as seen fit.

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Combine the oil and water in a blender.  Add zucchini to make 3 cups.  Blend well.  This is important. I know the recipe says 2 cups zucchini, but you might end up using more.  This makes the bread very moist, but you can’t really feel the zucchini in it.
  • Add eggs and blend again.  Pour it into a bowl and combine the dry ingredients, and mix well.
  • At this point you can add nuts, chocolate chips, craisins, or anything else you want.  Put into greased loaf pans and bake until no longer glossy and bounces bake when you touch it. Like is aid above, the problem with recipes from moms and grandmas is that cooking times are all relative.  I’d have to say for this recipe I’d bake it for 45 minutes and check.  Then add 5 to 10 minutes (or less) depending on how goopy it still is.

And finally, the recipe that I actually have pictures of!

Zucchini Bread Again
from Kats’ Kitchen Blog

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans.
  • Beat eggs until light and foamy.  Add oil, sugar, vanilla and grated zucchini.  Mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients.  Mix together, it will be lumpy.  Poor half of the batter into one of the pans. Add the chocolate chips to the remaining batter.  Poor into the other pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out relatively clean.

I only add chocolate chips to half the batter for the same reason I don’t usually eat the zucchini bread that my mom makes.  Not everyone like the same stuff added to their bread.  Me, I’m not a big fan of coconut.  I’ll eat it, but it’s not my favorite.

I’ve been making more jam lately, peach this time around.  I’ve been thinking about making a peach strawberry jam, but I’ve not found a recipe. If any one has one that they think will work, I’d be more than happy to try it out.

Thankful Tuesday

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It’s that time of the week again to think about what we are thankful for.  And boy do I need it.

  1. Rain, because I live in the desert and when it rains, not only is it good for the plants, but it makes it cooler.
  2. Sun, because I live in the desert and it’s freaky weired that it’s rained more then 10 times this summer.
  3. School, because it gives me something to do when the kids are gone, and now that its over I kind of miss it.
  4. Cars, because it’s hot here, and today its humid, and I don’t like to walk in that.
  5. DVR’s, because I am far too attached to my TV shows and this is the only way for me to keep up with them.
  6. Friends, because they’re always there for you when you need them
  7. Church, because when ever you don’t want to go and do they’re talking about the one thing you really needed to hear.
  8. Jam, because with out it peanut butter would just stick to the roof of your mouth.
  9. Old game shows, because there’s just something about the jokes that they tell.
  10. Zucchini, because it’s good stuff and over abundant this time of year.

Thank you all for letting me share my list with you.

(Link with Thankful Tuesday)

Caramel Chocolate Chunk Brownies or Bake Sale Part 2

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More bake sale goodies 🙂 Today we have Caramel Chocolate Chunk Brownies, my mom’s Brownie recipe.  These are the easiest brownies I’ve ever made.  They are moist and chewy, and just wonderful.  I added the rest of my bag of caramel bits from the chocolate chip caramel cookies I made a while back, and chocolate chips i found in the freezer that were looking so sad and lonely in their bag all alone.  I will say, the one thing about cooking recipes from mom’s and grandma’s is that they rarely actually write it down.  This is about what she does though, well, less the caramel and chocolate chips.

Caramel Chocolate Chunk Brownies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup coco
2 cups flour
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup chocolate chips or bits

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until well combined. add the flour and the coco and mix well.  Stir in the bits and chips by hand.
  • Spread the batter (it will be thick) in the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.  Be careful not to over bake or the edges will get all crunchy and that’s no good at all.

I neglected to get any pictures of the brownies before they were all wrapped up, so you’ll just have to make do with the picture above of them all wrapped up.

I’ll be posting the last bit of the recipes tomorrow: zucchini bread three ways!

 

M&M’s Cookies or Bake Sale Part 1

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A scout at my church is working on his Eagle scout.  His project is making housewarming kits for the womans shelter in town.  They have everything you need that you always forget about when moving to a new home.  To do this he recently held a yard sale/bake sale in the church parking lot.  I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to not only get rid of all the stuff that’s been accumulating because of all the cleaning quests I’ve been doing, AND to bake and not have to eat it all myself. I made m&m’s cookies, brownies with caramel and chocolate chips, and zucchini bread.  I figure I can get some mileage out of this and will post them each separately.

M&M’s Cookies
adapted from “Martha Stewart’s Cookies”

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (if you use salted omit the additional salt)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt (omit if using salted butter)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cups plain m&m’s

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk together the flower and baking soda in a small bowl, set aside.
  • Using your hand mixer (or your kitchen aid mixer if you’re lucky enough to have one) cream the butter and sugars together until pale and fluffy.  Add the salt, vanilla and eggs, mix until well blended. Mix in the flour mixture, slowly so you don’t end up with flour all over the kitchen. Mix in the m&m’s by hand.
  • Using your cookie scoop (or your muffin scoop which is what i used here to make them nice and big), scoop them on to a cookie sheet.  These spread a little, but not a ton, so maybe 2 inches apart for the small cookies and three for larger ones. Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes depending on size.  Make sure to pull them out when they’re still a little soft in the middle.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before packaging.  If you’re just making them to eat yourself I suggest trying them while still warm with a nice glass of milk.

I hadn’t thought about how I was going to package them up before I made them so I improvised.  I use the fold and close sandwich bags and some blue curling ribbon that I had left over form a birthday present.  I thought they were really good and they went over relativity well at the bake sale.

Next up is going to be the brownie post, then the zucchini bread. We made more using 2 different recipes today.  So that’ll be a packed post.

Thankful Tuesday

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My good friend Kelly over at Oh That Mom Again has a different sort of challenge for us these days what with summer winding to an end.  She’s asked us all to post ten things we’re thankful for this week. She’s doing a linked in sort of thing, not sure I can manage to figure it out, but I’ll try.  At the very least I can think of ten things I’m thankful for.

  1. My children, even though they’re off with their dad for the next two weeks.
  2. My boyfriend, because he’s the sweetest man I know.
  3. Free zucchini (but that’s another post)
  4. My church, because the people there are for the most part wonderful.
  5. Cinnamon raisin bread.
  6. Fresh fruit.
  7. Homemade jam.
  8. Chocolate.
  9. Old game shows.
  10. Good friends who love you no matter what.

On second glance at this list I think perhaps I should have waited until after breakfast to post 🙂 Anyway.  Keep an eye out for cookies and bread posts coming soon.

(linked with Thankful Tuesday)

Brown Butter Blueberry Cupcakes

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After my adventures in Blueberry Jam I needed something to do with the extra berries.  Who am I kidding? I just wanted an excuse to try and make some Blueberry Cupcakes.  try as I might to find a recipes on line, I wasn’t able to find one that I really liked.  SO, I decided to adapt me own recipe.

I started by trying to find a browned butter cupcake recipe, and struck out.  Seems browned butter is used more in frosting than cake.  But I love the flavor of browned butter, so I decided, again, just to adapt a recipe.

I perused my cookbook collection and settled on the Yellow Cake recipe in my Red Checkered Cook Book.  I decided that I would brown the butter that the recipe called for and use that in the recipe.  I also added my blueberries muffin style.  Meaning that I left them whole and folded them in at the end.

The frosting I used was the Butter frosting from the same book.  I used my fresh jam in place of the liquid.  I’m not 100% happy with the way the frosting turned out.  My hand mixer is in serious need to being replaced and wouldn’t beet it, so its not as airy and light as I would have liked.  But, it still tasted good.

Brown Butter Blueberry Cupcakes
adapted From Better Homes and Gardens

3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups blueberries, more or less to taste

  • Melt butter over medium to low heat until it becomes brown and nutty.  let cool until it hardens slightly, but is still soft.  Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  • Beat butter with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds (yes, even with my hopelessly broken electric mixer I was able to use it for this whole recipe, it was an amazing differences). Slowly add the sugar and beat until well mixed and slightly crumbly looking.
  • Add eggs one at time until well mixed.  Beat in the vanilla.
  • Alternately add the flower and the milk, beating well after each addition.  The batter will be light and fluffy looking.
  • Fold in the blueberries with a wooden spoon.  Taking care not to smash them or your batter will be purple if you do.
  • Using your disher, scoop even amounts of batter into each of the cups.  I got just over 24, and since I only have 24 cupcake wholes, I made mine a little fuller than they should have been.  You want them to be just about 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.  It might take a bit less, but my oven tends to be a little slow and heats unevenly.
  • Let cook completely before frosting.

The frosting I made was the based on the butter frosting out of my Red Checkered Cookbook, only, I added my blueberry jam instead of the milk.  It really needs a hand mixer or stand mixer to get it fluffy enough, so make sure that you use a mixer.  I didn’t, it was kind of flat.

Blueberry Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup blueberry jam
Powdered Sugar

  • Mix the butter and jam together until well combined.  Add the powdered sugar slowly until the consistency you like.

I really liked these cupcakes.  They weren’t too sweet, and I really liked the way that the blueberries cooked into the batter.  If I were to make these again I think I would use blueberry pure instead of the jam because the frosting was a bit too sweet.