Sunday, August 09, 2020

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

 

It's that time of year again, when I have way too much zucchini and basil.    I've never loved zucchini bread with warm autumnal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg mid summer.  Looking for something different to do with it, I came upon a recipe for lemon poppy seed zucchini bread that I knew I could make work with what I had in the fridge after a few tweaks. The original recipe used Greek yogurt but all I had was light sour cream, so I chose that instead.   Also, I opted for more lemon than the original recipe suggested.   Lastly, I garnished with my beautiful basil my daughter Jane and I grew this year.    To make this a true covid remembrance, I grated this zucchini during a webex meeting while I was waiting for my turn to present.....#covidblessings.    One of the joys of working from home!!!! 

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

for the loaves
2 sticks butter room temperature
3/4 cup low fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2 cups sugar
juice and zest from one lemon, (save one tablespoon and half the zest for the glaze
3 eggs3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups zucchini, grated (about one large zucchini)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp poppy seeds

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice reserved from above
extra lemon zest and basil leaves, for garnish if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray two 8 1/2 inch x 4 inch bread pans with baking spray (the kind that has the flour in it) and set aside.  Beat the butter, sour cream, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth and combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and half the lemon zest, whisk to combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.

Stir in the zucchini, vanilla extract and poppy seeds until evenly distributed. Try not to over stir. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes in pans before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

For the Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the bread and garnish with lemon zest and garnish with basil leaves. t if desired. Store bread in an airtight container. Or, wrap tightly and freeze one loaf for later. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Loch Alpine Chicken Marinade



My neighbor Becky donated a cookbook I worked on back in 1998 to our neighborhood Little Free Library and it really took me on a trip down memory lane.   It was a project of our Loch Alpine Playgroup that I joined when it formed in 1997 and was home on maternity leave after Eddie was born.   We were raising funds for our Loch Alpine Playground...here is what it looks like now:



We hosted bake sales, garage sales, visits from Santa, etc to raise funds for the park, and then we made an impassioned plea at the Loch Alpine Association annual meeting for every homeowner to kick in $25 and it worked!  Since that time, Loch Alpine has continued to add to it and one of our old neighbors that passed away left a fund to sustain the park, and a Boy Scouts had a few Eagle projects there.   It's a great place!

Many wonderful recipes and memories of neighbors from back then!  I hauled out my copy yesterday and made some chicken with this outstanding marinade recipe from my neighbor Bernadette.    So simple and delicious....I've updated her recipe to reflect how I make it:

Loch Alpine Chicken Marinade
(for 4 chicken breasts)

1/2 c. reduced sodium soy sauce
3 T. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1/2 t fresh ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake until well combined.    Put chicken breasts in a zip lock bag and add marinade and seal.   Make sure marinade covers all of the chicken and marinate in refrigerator, turning bag occasionally, for at least 6 hours.  Great on the grill!

We've put our house up for sale so I am feeling a little melancholic about the great times I have had living here. There is a quote in the foreword of our sweet little cookbook that captures my feelings perfectly:

"Life is all memory except for one present moment that goes by so quick that you hardly catch it going"

-Tennessee Williams


No truer words 'ere spoken.   Amen

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

The Summer Place 62nd Street Lemon Loaf





I'm still cooking my way through the Summer Place Cookbook from a restaurant that was popular in Houghton in the 1980s when I was a student.   This recipe for lemon cake caught my eye to be the base for strawberry shortcake.   Like many recipes in this cookbook, it was not an original recipe but a famous one elsewhere.   This one was featured by Craig Claiborne in the 1970s.  It was a Maida Heatter recipeMaida Heatter was a famous pastry chef that got started late in life; she died last year at 102.   She is an inspiration to me as I want to publish a cookbook after I retire.  Her daughter illustrated her cookbooks like my daughter will.   This recipe was her daughter's originally, the name comes from where she lived at the time.   Here's how it was shared in the Summer Place Cookbook:

Here at the lakehouse, I don't have a tube pan or a Bundt pan, so I knew I'd have to do some tinkering to make this work for a bread pan.    I love my Bundt pans in my collection, but they really are huge cakes anyway.   Here is how I made the recipe:

62nd Street Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
dash salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 lemon and it's zest

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a loaf pan (I used a 7.75"x3.75" size pan) and line with parchment paper.    In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt with a fork until well blended.    I don't have a stand mixer at the lake house, but if I did I would use it to cream the stick of butter and 1 cup sugar.    I used my $2 garage sale handheld mixer instead.    Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well blended.   Mixing slowly, add half of the flour mixture, then add milk, then the other half of the flour mixture.    Add the zest from the lemon.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   Cool on a rack for a couple minutes while making the glaze from the lemon juice from the naked lemon, plus the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.    Using the parchment paper, remove the loaf and glaze it while still warm with a pastry brush.

This cake is fantastic with some Chassell strawberries, sliced with some sugar, and a dollop of whipped cream.    There is nothing better than Keweenaw berries!