I love Zucchini Bread, but my son doesn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Since this recipe makes two loaves and I really didn’t want to eat them both myself, I gave my recipe a little tweak with some cocoa powder and chocolate chips to see if it changed his mind. Voila, he liked it! Hey Mikey, he likes it! I might be dating myself with that commercial reference.
As I still prefer non-chocolate bread, I split the recipe in half and made one of each. You might notice that it doesn’t look like there is much batter in the photos, and that is the reason.
I wasn’t too sure how much additional liquid would be needed to offset the addition of the cocoa, so I tried adding 1/4 cup more oil. It seemed to have done the trick. I considered removing or decreasing the cinnamon, but I left it as it was and I’m glad that I did. Yum!
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
Grate the zucchini with the skin on and set aside. I didn’t measure but you want about 2 cups. Do not drain the zucchini as the moisture is needed for the bread.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
The batter is going to be very thick. It will change once the zucchini is added.
Add the zucchini and mix well. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans and bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Today I busted out my mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook, her old Pyrex bowls, and got baking. I had never made Boston Cream Pie, but I figured if I were going to start I might as well use the recipe I grew up on. If you aren’t familiar with Boston Cream Pie, it is actually a cake and not a pie. The words pie and cake were used synonymously back in the 1800’s when cakes and pies were made in the same pans. It was created and served at the opening of the Boston Parker House, now the Omni Parker House, in Boston in 1856. All good things really do come from Boston don’t they?
The cake in the recipe calls for Betty’s Dinette cake recipe which is made all in one bowl, and baked in one pan. The ingredients for the cake are:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one round cake pan. I only had a 9″ pan and the cake was quite thin, an 8″ pan will make it a little thicker.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat on low speed for 30 seconds while scraping the bowl constantly. Continue beating on high speed for 3 minutes scraping the bowl occasionally.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
Once the cake is cool prepare the cream filling.
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsps cornstarch
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tsps vanilla
In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Combine the milk and egg yolks in a large measuring cup or small bowl and gradually stir into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Before cutting the cake I suggest refrigerating the cake as it is easier to work with if it is cold. To cut the cake in half use a small knife and cut around the cake. With a long serrated knife continue cutting except go all the way through. Using the long knife lift one half and put it on a cake stand or plate.
Cover the bottom half of the cake with the cream. Add the top half of the cake and start making the chocolate glaze.
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsps butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsps hot water
In a saucepan melt the chocolate and butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Add hot water starting with a tsp at a time, and stir until the glaze is the correct consistency. You want it thick, but soft enough that a little can fall over the side.
Spread the glaze over the top of the cake and let it spill over the edge a little.
Refrigerate before serving, and any leftovers. So good!
Strawberry and rhubarb are such a classic summertime combination. I had never had rhubarb until a number of years ago when we purchased a house that had a large rhubarb bush in the yard. At the time I baked a few things with the rhubarb, but after we moved I stopped. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
This past Thanksgiving one of my daughter’s friends went to great lengths to track down rhubarb and make us a pie. It was delicious, and ever since my daughter has been mentioning that we should make a rhubarb pie. Yesterday we got some strawberries and rhubarb, and got baking. Wow am I glad we did! Sometimes I don’t realize how much I like something until I bake it myself, and that is why I share the recipes I love.
I pretty much flipped a coin on whether to use corn starch or flour to mix with sugar for this pie. I use corn starch in my blueberry pie and flour in my apple pie, and decided to go with flour for this pie. I kept it simple and wasn’t sure how it would taste. I’m not kidding when I say it is one of the best pies I’ve ever had. Lots of recipes on-line have some other ingredients which seem very unnecessary to me, sometimes simple is the best. You often see this type of pie with a lot of liquid, but as you can see this filling set beautifully.
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar, plus a little extra
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp water
Clean and slice the strawberries and rhubarb, set aside. I cut the strawberries into fourths, and did about 1/4″ – 1/2″ piece for the rhubarb. We started with 4 cups of fruit, but it didn’t seem like enough so we upped it to around 5 cups.
In keeping with my goal to try as many vintage recipes as I can from my Mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook (Steph and Betty), I decided to give this cake a try. I don’t believe I have ever tried this type of cake, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. Well, I have been missing out! This cake is so delicious with a slight crunchy butter brown sugar edge. Wow!
What makes it even better is the cake recipe is a one bowl recipe. I was worrying the cake wouldn’t come out of the pan or it wouldn’t look good, but it surprised me and was actually quite easy to make.
Let’s get baking!
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Pineapple slices, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl of a stand up mixer, or a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds scraping constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping the bowl occasionally.
Set the batter aside.
Melt 1/4 butter over low heat in a 9″ round layer cake pan. Once melted I turned the pan to coat the sides with the melted butter as well.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in the pan and pat it down.
Place a pineapple ring in the center, and more rings around the edge. You could also cut the slices in half and be more creative if you choose.
Insert a cherry into each pineapple slice.
Top with the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Loosen the sides of the cake carefully with a butter knife. Place a plate over the pan and flip. Keep the pan on the plate for a few minutes before removing.
I usually just make pancakes for my children, but today I happened to see gingerbread pancakes listed on a brunch menu at a local restaurant and thought that was something I needed to make. I did share with my daughter though, and she loved them as much as I did. If you love gingerbread cake, muffins, or cookies, you will love these. One of my absolute favorite pancake recipes is my Pumpkin Pancakes, and this was very similar with its consistency and wonderful spice cake taste. So good!
They are very easy to make and you don’t even need any extra butter on top. We preferred to eat them with confectioners sugar instead of maple syrup, but you can do either. Here’s how to make them:
2 cups flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp butter, melted
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. I suggest sifting the ingredients together because the spices and sugar tend to get clumpy. You can see how there are large lumps in my sifter. Press the lumps with a spoon or the back of a measuring cup to get them small enough to go through the sifter, this will allow all the ingredients to blend better and prevent a large clump of a spice.
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the milk, molasses, butter, and eggs.
Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well combined and most of the lumps are gone.
Cook just like regular pancakes in a frying pan heated to medium heat. Spray the pan first to prevent sticking. Cook until bubbles start to form in the batter and then flip the pancake. These took a little longer to cook than regular pancakes, and I did have to flip them a few times to ensure they were cooked through.
Serve with a little sprinkled confectioners sugar. Delicious!
I was craving this salad that I usually order at a local restaurant and instead of getting take out, I decided to make it myself. This salad is packed full of healthy ingredients that work so well together. They serve this salad with a lemon tahini dressing and since I have been unable to find any in stores, I decided to make the dressing myself as well. It came out delicious and despite my children’s grumbling when they saw what we were having for dinner, they actually enjoyed it.
I looked up recipes for the dressing on-line and ended up combining a few different recipes to make the one I used. I must say while I doubted it would be as good as the one I loved from the restaurant, it was. Isn’t that the best feeling? Go me!
On a side note, I just learned that it is brussels sprouts and not brussel sprouts. Did you know this or am I the only one? Anyway, let’s make this healthy delicious salad.
This dressing is a perfect accompaniment for so many different kinds of salads. I had loved this type of dressing offered at a local restaurant, but was unable to find it at any stores so I made one myself. I was prepared to think it wasn’t as good, but I actually love it and I think you will too! The maple syrup gives it just the right sweetness needed.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients except for the water. Using very cold water, add a little at a time until dressing reaches your desired consistency.
I have been looking for a muffin recipe that was not only healthy, but delicious, and this is it. I mean really good! I will be honest, I was not expecting these to be as good as they are, especially because I had to tweak the recipe somewhat. This recipe makes a moist spice cake type muffin and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating one, or two 😄
The original recipe called for apple sauce and grated apple. I didn’t have any apple sauce, so I only used the apple. I used Cortland apples and when grated, if you would call it that, the consistency was very close to apple sauce. I’m not sure this is what was originally intended, but it worked out perfectly.
Here is how I made them:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp, maple syrup
1 1/2 cups grated apple
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners.
Whisk together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
Grate the carrot, zucchini, and apple, and set aside on paper towel lined plates. Do not squeeze out the liquid, just place them on the plates to absorb the excess liquid. This is an important step.
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer combine the sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil until syrupy. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the apple and mix well.
With a spatula or spoon stir in the carrots, zucchini, coconut, and raisins until combined. Don’t over mix.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tin filling each to the top.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.
When I first found this recipe it was called a one bowl recipe, which of course I loved. However, after reading the recipe I decided to make it a two bowl recipe. One bowl is ideal, but two bowl isn’t all that bad right? The cookie dough consistency resembles brownie batter which of course is why they are called brownie cookies.
I used to make another brownie cookie recipe for years, I’ll have to dig that out at some point and compare the two. Or maybe not since these turned out so good! If you are looking for a non-chocolate M&M cookie recipe you can also find one in my blog.
So let’s make some cookies!
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl melt the butter in the microwave and let cool for a few minutes. Add the sugar and brown sugar, mix well.
In a separate mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. As you know I always encourage sifting flour mixtures but especially when using cocoa powder. That is why I changed this one bowl recipe to two bowls. Cocoa doesn’t incorporate well unless it is sifted. It’s worth the extra bowl.
Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and combine well. It is a very thick dough. Fold in the M&Ms and chocolate chips.
Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets with cooking spray.
You can either roll the dough into balls with your hands, or use a cookie scoop like I used. If using a cookie scoop use your fingers to pack the dough into the scoop.
You can add a few extra M&Ms on the top of the cookies if you want.
If the dough gets too warm you can put it back in the refrigerator between batches.
Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool on the cookies sheets for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
If you are in Boston and want good Italian food, you head to the North End. If you are in the North End and want good pizza, you head to Regina. Which is exactly what my daughter and I did yesterday and it was so good! We lucked out because we were able to walk right in and get a table which is pretty much unheard of. There is usually quite a line stretched out along the sidewalk and the reason we don’t go more often than we do.
The North End is filled with restaurants and if you were to walk into any one of them lining Hanover or Salem Streets I’m sure you would not be disappointed. However, tucked away by itself on Thatcher Street is where you really need to go if you want great pizza.
Regina Pizzeria is one of the oldest pizza restaurants in Boston, if not the oldest? They have been serving up these delicious pies in this location since 1926. It is no frills and in no way fancy, and very possible it hasn’t been updated since 1926. For me, that is another reason I always head to the original location even though their newer locations are easier to get to. Depending on which table you sit in and what time of year it is, you may need to be careful not to lean on the hissing radiator abutting your table.
They only make and serve pizza and they do it right. No salads, nothing except pizza.
I hardly ever eat the crust on pizza, but I eat every bite of the crust of Regina pizza. It has to be one of the best crusts I have ever had.
The next time you are in Boston craving pizza, head to the best. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t so I won’t have to wait too long to get a table 😜