Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Zucchini Bread

I have ventured into other breads. SHOCKING! Banana bread is not the only one!! This recipe has been in my family forever. My Mother has always made this bread. When it was cool day during the Summer and we had zucchini coming out our ears, she would make this bread. I have made this recipe for over twenty years and I usually never alter this recipe. Sometimes you may not have quite enough Maple Flavoring or Wheat Germ and you have to punt, but otherwise I always follow this recipe to a T.

For the Zucchini haters out there, this is such a flavorful bread. Earthy and moist. Great as a snack with a cup of tea or even better for breakfast. A great way to start a day

Zucchini Bread
Doris Moret ( my Mom)

3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons Maple extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a large 9x5 loaf pan.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs, oil, both sugars and maple extract. Beat until foamy and thick.

Stir in zucchini, wheat germ, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add nut if you want. Stir until all incorporated. Pour into loaf pan. Place in oven for one hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool. Once cool, invert and place on a plate. Cut and start eating. This bread also cuts very nice. Perfect for a luncheon or shower.

Mostly I just think of my Mom and smile.
She always liked easy recipes that come together quickly and taste great.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Want to Marry You Cookies

Where have I been. Two weeks and no posts. Life has been crazy lately. Went on a long weekend to Wisconsin. We were one hour North of the Dells. My Husband and I stayed at our friends cottage out in the country. Quiet, Peaceful and Millions of Stars at night. We ate cheese curds and rode quads. I mostly just read. Sunned and read. Wonderful and Lazy.

Last weekend my husband went back to Wisconsin to bow hunt for Deers. No success. I hope this does not upset anyone out in cyber space. My Husband is a huge animal lover, but he is also a Hunter. He loves to sit in a tree stand and watch for Deers.

So since he was away all weekend, I did some baking. I can across this fabulous cookie recipe. It starts with the Brown Butter concept which I always like, then you add Oatmeal and Cinnamon, and some chips to put it over the top. I am still holding true, that if you let these cookies set, they will just grow with flavor. My Mother would think that three days to make cookies is absolutely ridiculous, but these were Amazing. I cooked the butter and then added the sugars, Put in frig. Next day, made the cookies, back in the frig. Sunday, baked cookies. Easy. Nothing was a huge project.

These cookies are just a melange of heavenly flavors. You could always make these cookies and not have them sit for two days. They would be very good. It is just amazing how much better they can taste with no extra work.

I Want to Marry You Cookies
slightly adapted from 2011 Cooking Channel LLC

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until melted and starts to turn brown. The butter will boil and foam. Continue to swirl. The aroma is a fragant nutty flavor. The brown bits will start to appear. Remove from heat. Pour butter into a container, add both sugars and mix. Place in refrigerator for one hour or overnight.

Bring butter and sugar mixture out, bring to room temperature and place in mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add each egg, mixing after each one.  Add vanilla and mix. Add flour, oats, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Slowly mix together until just incorporated. Stir in chips until just blended throughout. Place in refrigerator for one hour or longer. Even overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with Silpat or Parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, place cookies on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Mine baked for 9 minutes. Just the right color. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for freshness. If they last that long.

I gave most of this batch away. Everyone wants to Marry Me..... My Husband thought they were just delicious.

and he always wants to be Married to me.. Well as long as I make cookies..

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Patriot Day

Today is Patriot Day.
Today is also a Tuesday.
The sky is the same color of blue. But the world did change after those terrible events. As I was getting ready for work  this morning, they were talking about it on the radio. I was also listening to the radio that morning eleven years ago. I remember the radio announcer telling people to turn on their TVs. I was watching video of the first plane hitting the world trade center and then the second plane hit the other tower. It was totally shocking. I drove to work, I talked to my Husband on the phone. He asked if it was a hoax. I started to cry. The TV was on at work, and there we sat. Then the Pentagon was hit. More people running for their lives. We saw the aftermath in Pennsylvania. Then the towers came down. I sat with my coworkers watching these events with tears in our eyes.

I did not personally know anyone who died in this terrible tragedy. My Boss at the time was on a flight out of Chicago to Phoenix. We had no idea where he was for awhile. They landed his plane in St. Louis and he drove to Phoenix. I remember standing outside and the silence. There are always planes flying overhead.

Last night, my Husband and I put out some flags. We talked about that Tuesday and the rest of that terrible week.  The amount of stories that came out of those events from that day. The effect it had on so many lives. It is terrible sad and yet truly amazing.

I was never a big flag flyer. But I cherish the freedom I have. We fly a flag everyday. The flags in my yard today, are just a small token of my appreciation for the sacrifices of all the people who suffered and died on Tuesday September 11th 2001.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shayla's Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best Chocolate Chip Cookies around. They are a mix of Cooks Illustrated and Jacque Torre's recipes. I am not a person who knows where "THE best restaurant is" or "WHO has the best this or that", but these cookies are Freaking Fabulous. I have made these cookies for everyone. I even sold them at a garage sale. The secret to making these cookies so great, is in the prep. They need time to sit. The melding of the flavors will rock your world. They can be made quickly, and still be good, but if you want over the top Cookies, they take time.


I have found that I like using the Mini Chocolate Chips. I have used Chunks, Regular semi sweet, and Mini's, and the Mini's win out. They give flavor throughout the entire cookie. Everyone has their preferences, I understand. Use what works for you. There is also the debate of using Light or Dark Brown Sugar. It is also up to you. Soft or Crispy. I like both, I guess it boils down to what you have on hand. Most likely, light brown sugar.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 Sticks (1 cup) Butter
1 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Fleur de Sel or SEA Salt
1 10 ounce bag of mini chocolate chips

Place butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter starts to melt, watch carefully. Swirling occasionally. The butter will foam and boil. Keep swirling. Once the butter turns a golden brown and develops a very nutty aroma, and brown bits start forming, remove from heat. Pour into your mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and white sugar. Mix throughly and let sit. You can let sit for an hour, or refrigerate for 8 hours. It makes the sugars and butter form a caramel flavor.

After it has sat for a long as possible, put on stand mixer and paddle attachment and mix. (If refrigerated, bring to room temperature first.) Add eggs and mix after each egg. Add vanilla and mix. Place flour, baking soda and Fleur de Sel or Sea salt in a large bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet. Gradually pour in chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
PUT into a covered bowl in the refrigerator and let sit for eight to 24 hours. I know, WHY. It just makes the flavors better.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or Parchment paper.
Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. I like my cookies light, not dark brown.
Let cool on a cooling rack.

Look at all of the Chips.

The cookie monster attacked my plate while I was getting my camera ready.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

WOW... what a great weekend. Just enough sun and rain to make it perfect.  Celebrated one of my sister's birthday a little early on Saturday. Her actual birthday is September 6th. But in our family, all birthdays last about a week. We went out to dinner and had a great time. Reminiscent of the old days. So I brought treats. I came across this recipe in May, I have saved it, I knew I wanted to make, but just when. Saturday was it. It was raining and this was perfect. If you could ask for something more delicious, Cinnamon Roll Cake is it. Oh my... yummy. My family has always loved Cinnamon Rolls. Many good memories revolve around Cinnamon Rolls. My Aunt LaVonne made the best. My Mother made very good rolls. We always wanted to help her. She would let us add the cinnamon sugar. But the anticipation of tasting them, life was good, when you had Cinnamon rolls.

I do not make Cinnamon rolls, way to much work for me. This cake was right up my alley. All the goodness, without hours of work.

 This cake would be perfect with a cup of Coffee or Tea, a glass of Milk or just by itself. It was so easy to put together.

Cinnamon Roll Cake
adapted from

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1  1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 cups powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a 9 x 13 baking pan, set aside
With a stand up mixer, add to the bowl, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined, slowly add in 4 tablspoons of melted butter. Mix. Pour batter into baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts until well combined.
Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble/swirl together through the cake. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean in the center. The cake will be firm.
Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

These lumps of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon are what make this cake sinfully delicious.

Swirling throughout the cake, incorporate all the great flavors

The gooey cinnamon with a cake and a glaze, Heaven.