05 August, 2010

Adventures in Baking

After a commissary run with Mrs. C today, I got inspired! It's been a while since I spent some quality time in the kitchen. I figured it was time I reacquainted myself with my small appliances, spices, and mixing bowls.

I've been wanting to make zucchini bread for a while and I finally bought a zucchini at the commissary today. Without seeing a recipe. I prayed that I'd find a good one. Actually, Mrs. C told me she'd give me hers while she was here, but she ran off with the recipe in her computer when she left. =) It's ok, though. I found a good one here. And, I totally recommend it. It's not my Nana's recipe, but it tastes basically the same!! There are only two things I do differently. 1) Grate the zucchini into smaller pieces. 2) Add nuts or raisins (like Nana does) or blueberries...or something. I didn't have anything here, so I whipped it up without them. Next time!

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Sift together flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, baking powder. 

 I don't own a sifter, so I poured them in one bowl and stirred them. It did the trick.

3. Beat eggs. Add and mix well sugar, vanilla, and oil. Add zucchini to egg mixture. Add dry ingredients, mixing well. Stir in nuts if desired [and trust me, you desire].


3.5 Add in flour, and become disgusted with your sorry excuse for a mixer. Swear that before next year, you are going to get a Kitchen Aid standing mixer so you don't have to deal with this anymore:
3.6 Realize you've forgotten to mix in the zucchini - the whole reason to make the bread - and stir in it. Then you realize your stupid mixer might not have had such fits if you'd done it the right way the first time.

TaDa! All mixed. Finally.

4. Bust out your super nice $2 loaf pans, and pour in the mixture.

5. Bake 'em for one hour. Well, that's what the directions say. But I would recommend 50 minutes. Mine came out a little on the toasty side.

Next up on my evening in the kitchen....

Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

- Ricotta cheese
- Ziti noodles
- Spaghetti sauce of your choice
- Mozzarella cheese



Directions:

1. Cook the noodles as directed on the box
2. Mix noodles with sauce and ricotta cheese. I used about half of a 15 oz container. {I think this was a little bit much for me, but you can use your own judgment here.}
3. Sprinkle mozzarella on top
4. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350



Yumminess baking in the oven:


The results:

See? A little on the crispy side on top. But perfect on the inside.

A little on the cheesy side, but it was still good. And it's vegetarian friendly!
{Please excuse my crusty pan. Can you tell I've used it a time or two?!}

Needless to say, my tummy definitely enjoyed the results of my reintroduction to the kitchen. =) One plus side of deployment: I can try these new things and not feel guilty if Joe doesn't like it. I don't know if I'll be keeping this up on a daily basis, but it felt pretty good to get back in there!

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8 comments:

Jen said...

Yum!! Both look amazing!! :) My kitchen aid mixer is a life-saver. I do so much baking for my hubbys work that I would be lost without it.

Katie said...

Looks delicious!! I love love love zucchini bread. And yes, a stand mixer would be so nice.

Forever In Love said...

yummmmy :)

JG said...

I love your cooking style! :)

This looks SOOOO yummy! I'll have to make myself some baked ziti soon!

Mrs. C said...

Wow girl! You were busy! Maybe I should have stayed for dinner! :)

My recipe was from All Recipes too! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Blueberry-Zucchini-Bread/Detail.aspx

Erin said...

Yum! I love Zucchini Bread, for one it is tasty and two, since it has Zucchini in it, it must be good for you!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

How great! Yummy!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Okay that baked zitti looks and sounds fabulous!! When (someday) I come to HA we shall have an Italian feast!