For the past week, our refrigerator has been playing host to a pint of blueberries, a large zucchini, and some lemons that need to be used. So when a recipe for blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream frosting appeared in my Facebook news feed, it caught my eye.
The original recipe was very high in sugar and the frosting used butter, so I decided to fiddle with the ingredients and convert the cake into a glazed quick bread. The taste testers at my house (not the Man of Steel since he eats very few desserts these days) all liked the tasty treat. They thought it tastes more like pound cake than quick bread, and I have to agree. We enjoyed one loaf and froze the other to avoid overdosing on too much lemony goodness.
Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 loaf pans.
In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Fold in the zucchini. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in by hand. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans.
Bake 40-50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Put lemon juice, zest, and water in a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like for glaze. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of each loaf. With a spoon, drizzle the loaves with glaze until the top is well coated.
Galavanting from here to there and back again doesn’t leave much time for cooking. So today, because of present galavanting at Shadow Valley Family Camp, this recipe comes from the camp cookbook. A dairy-free fix would be easy with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and coconut or cashew milk. But even if there was time to fiddle with the recipe, I wouldn’t dare…because having a batch of Brown Sugar Snaps in the house would be way too tempting.
Family Camp Brown Sugar Snaps
Warning: These cookies are addictive. Unless you like to live dangerously, don’t read another word.
Truth be told, all the food at Idaho Family Camp is addictive. Every time a nummy recipe is posted, I’m enabling an addiction. Usually it’s my addiction. But post-wedding and post-family camp, inundated with veggies from our CSA, and deep into a twelve step, healthy eating program (which means Hiram puts the key to the padlocks on the fridge and pantry twelve steps up on a ladder I’m scared to climb), I’m feeling strong enough to resist temptation.
I’d never tasted these before or even heard of them before this summer. Brown sugar snaps are sort of ginger snap meets snickerdoodle, molasses crinkle meets sugar cookie. And as mentioned before, they’re addictive. Very addictive. Give them a try and leave a comment with your description. But remember, you’ve been warned. So don’t blame me when you can’t stop eating them!
Brown Sugar Snaps
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 sticks butter
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Add: 2 eggs and beat again,
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into balls, dip in sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Turn oven down to 375 degrees just before putting in cookies. Bake about 9 minutes. Cookies should have nice deep cracks. You will need to reheat the oven to 400 degrees between pans.
Just a few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for low sugar rhubarb crisp. Until today, it was the most recent installment in a Gravel Road unintentional series of crisp recipes such as blueberry crisp, apple crisp, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
But not anymore. Because strawberries were on sale at the grocery store last week, so I bought several boxes to make strawberry-rhubarb crisp. The son-in-law is not a big rhubarb fan, though he said he thought a strawberry crisp would be just fine. Here’s the recipe I fabricated, and which he said was mighty fine.
6 cups washed strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/3 cup softened, non-dairy, softened non-dairy shortening substitute like Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 375°. Place strawberries in 2 quart baking dish. In medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit. Bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.
Rhubarb season is here and the crop is bountiful. After picking and freezing three bags full, just enough remained to make a small rhubarb crisp. With the Man of Steel watching his sugar intake, I decided to see how much sugar could be cut from the recipe in my 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook.
Below is the adjusted recipe, which the Man of Steel and I agreed was still a bit on the too sweet side. However, when I took a small helping down to Mom, she made a face and said it was too sour. So adjust the sugar to your taste buds and enjoy rhubarb season.
Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup unbleached flour1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°. Place rhubarb in an ungreased baking dish (10x6x1 1/2″ baking dish). Measure brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over rhubarb. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until topping golden brown and rhubarb is bubbly. Serve warm.
When I walked into Mom’s room last Wednesday, she was sitting in her favorite chair reading a book and munching on Russell Stover’s chocolates.
“Did my little brother give you those for Mother’s Day?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied and, with a twinkle in her 87-year-old eye, held out the box.
“No thanks,” I answered.
“Oh, I forgot,” she replied, still twinkling as she flashed a mischievious grin, “you’re allergic to chocolate.” She took another bite. “Yum!”
We played a few games of Rummikub and went to Chili’s for supper. We ordered a fried pickles appetizer, a classic 6 ounce sirloin for her and margarita grilled chicken for me. While we waited for our food, we read the dessert menu to pass the time. When our food arrived, we both ate our fair shares of the fried pickles and dug into our entrees.
After 2 bites of mashed potatoes, 3 bites of meat, and not a speck of her steamed broccoli, Mom laid down her fork and declared, “I’m full.” Then she flagged down the waitress. “Bring me one of those toffee brownies,” she said.
Full as she was, she managed to down the ice cream, the caramel sauce, the hot fudge sauce, and over half of a good-sized brownie. “Mmmm,” she exclaimed and held out a spoonful of ice cream in my direction. “Want a bite?”
Some days, I thought while declining the offer and reflecting on Mom’s agenda for the day–reading a good book, eating chocolate for an afternoon snack, going to dinner with her darling daughter, eating fried pickles, ignoring green vegetables, and eating more chocolate for dessert–87 looks really good.