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Friday, August 24, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I do love my lemon, and I will not apologize. I like it strong and unabashedly tart, especially in desserts. So I decided to give this recipe by Giada a whirl -- lemon ricotta cookies. Now I've used ricotta cheese in desserts before, but never as part of a cookie batter, so I was anxious to try it out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zucchini Bread

I happened upon this recipe, which I modified slightly from Paula Deen, when I had an overabundance of zucchinis to consume from last year's farm share (more about farm shares in another post). It is a simple and tasty quickbread recipe that will yield 2-9x5" loaves, plenty to eat and share!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Banana Bread

I have always been on the lookout for a definitive banana bread recipe, and I've finally found it in the form of my friend Lauren's MIL's recipe (which I have since learned is the banana bread recipe from the 1970 Betty Crocker's Cookbook (the red one with the wheel of food on the cover). It's not what I normally think of when I think of banana bread -- that is to say a slightly spicy bread filled with nuts. In contrast, it is pale, white, devoid of spice (although you can certainly add spice in), and also devoid of mix-ins (which again, you can always add back in). It also has, to my thinking, a lot of baking powder in it, and I was expecting there to be an aftertaste. But I tried the recipe because I trust my friend Lauren's opinion since she too is an avid baker. And to my great surprise, I preferred this recipe of plain banana bread to any other that I've tried yet, and I think you will too. It is fluffy and pure, with a banana taste that hits you right in the face.

I've made this bread plain, with chocolate chips, and with cinnamon and pecans, and that is the order of my preference -- plain, chocolate chip, and then nuts/spice. I'd highly recommend making it plain the first time you try it, and then you can always change it up later if your tastebuds want something extra.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Bars

When I was little, my Yia-Yia's backyard was completely lined with blueberry bushes, and one of my favorite childhood memories is going out into her backyard with her to pick berries, so blueberries have been one of my favorites my whole life.

Although I love blueberry pie, I really wanted to try something different with the berries this time, and I found a great recipe for blueberry bars on Smitten Kitchen's fabulous site. If you've never visited her site, please do, it puts mine to shame. I only wish I was as creative of a baker, and as talented of a photographer.
But anyway, these bars attracted me because they seemed simple and straightforward, and yet big on taste. I have very little spare time, so I try to get the biggest baking bang for my buck, so to speak, and this recipe looked like it fit the bill.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Bars

I've had an unintentionally long hiatus from posting recipes. That is a combination of moving, working two jobs, and being pregnant. The frustrating this is  it's not so much finding the time to cook or bake (although I'm not doing either as often as I would like) as it is finding the time to organize and post a well thought-out entry. But I finally sat down today to write the first of about 30 some-odd entries that I have had back-logged and in the posting queue since last summer, so I'm posting these out of chronological order, but according to the season we are currently in, if that makes sense. I have about 6 baking entries that I consider "summer themed' so I am going to try to bang out as many of those posts as I can before the end of August.

I also have a huge number of backlogged cooking posts from the farm share I had last summer, which I suppose are "summer themed" as well, but I'd rather get the baking ones out of the way first, since I tend to be more enthusiastic about my baking than about my cooking.

Strawberry and rhubarb is one of my favorite summer flavor combinations, and this is not the first strawberry-rhubarb dessert I've posted on this blog, but it might just be my favorite. This particular recipe is a relatively simple bar recipe which I modified from a post on (don't ask how I ended up there browsing, I can't remember for the life of me!)