Kid Friendly Zucchini Walnut Muffins

Green? What green?

Caught Green Handed!

I still have a green vegetable battle on my hands when it comes to most veggies with the little man.  Unless its an avocado or raw broccoli doused in ranch dressing…its a fight! Last night I decided to “sneak” some greenery into muffins.

A: Can I have one of those muffins, they smell amazing.

me: of course!

A: What’s green in this muffin?

me: Green? There’s nothing green. Just eat it!

The bakery at Publix (Floridians will know what I’m talking about) used to have great zucchini muffins, but they disappeared at least two years ago, and since then I have yet to find a good store bought replacement.  This recipe is super simple and comes together in about an hour.

Zucchini Walnut Muffin

Ready to eat!

Makes 24 muffins

Preheat Oven to 325

 

Ingredients:

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 2/3 cups sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

3 cups zucchini, grated and lightly strained (about 2 medium sized zucchinis)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

3 scant teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

¾ cup chopped raw walnuts

Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. Add dry ingredients in medium sized bowl and mix with a fork to combine.

Beat eggs until pale yellow and frothy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add eggs, sugar and oil, blend on medium speed until well blended; about 2 minutes, then add zucchini and mix on low until incorporated.

Add dry ingredients and mix on medium low speed until completely incorporated, don’t over mix.  Add walnuts and mix on low for 30 seconds.

Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tins until they are 2/3 full.  Bake on 325 in the center of the oven for 25-28 minutes, or until the tops are firm and they are starting to brown at the edges.

24 zucchini walnut muffins

Right out of the oven. The batter makes just enough for 24 muffins.

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Obsessing over Yucca Rolls

  Lately, when I have found myself in Whole Foods, I’ve not been able to leave without purchasing at least a couple of yucca rolls. Sadly, they never make it home. They have become my on-the-go meal of choice, with my quattro latte, to get through a busy work day. Friday night they were served at a great bar during happy hour, so there is something to this new found obsession….I’m not the first on the bandwagon, but I’m happily joining! I decided to make my own today because:
A. At Whole Foods they are $1 each

B. I love to bake

C. Why not make enough to feed friends and family while supporting my little habit?! LOL
Here is the recipe! I hope you like them as much as I do. They are super easy and taste amazing right out of the oven, but I manage to eat more than my fair share at room temp. Coincidentally they are gluten free!
4 cups of tapioca flour

4 egg yolks

4 cups finely grated mozzarella (or other white cheese)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup heavy cream 

Preheat oven to 350. Mix tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add egg yolks and cheese. Stir ingredients and then slowly add the cream to bind the dough. Use extra tapioca flour on the counter so you can knead the dough until it forms a nice firm ball. Divide the dough evenly into golfball sized rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet evenly spaced 1″ apart. This recipe should yield about 30-34 rolls. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are firm and just start to split. 

   
    
 

Not Your Mama’s Macaroons

Not Your Mama’s Macaroons

  It’s that time of year again, although, coconut fans would eat these any old time! Happy Passover from my house to yours! This year’s Seder is at my parents house, since ours is under construction. We too, are wandering Jews, how fitting for the Passover holiday. Not having our home is sad, but at least Aiden is with me tonight with the rest of the family and that means we could be anywhere. Being divorced and sharing holidays is difficult. When my child is not around for a holiday, I rarely have the desire to celebrate, let alone cook. I make up for it in spades when he is around! Enough of the life gabbing…

These macaroons are a version of Ina Garten’s recipe, but I find when I make her recipe, mine come out a little oozy. My solution is to add flavors which act as a binder, or matzo meal for the plain ones. This year’s flavor combination is pistachio and chocolate along with the necessary Plain Janes for the purists in the group. 
Recipe:

Preheat oven to 325

  • 28 ounces sweetened shredded coconut (I run my coconut through the food processor for a better, more refined texture)
  • 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 board matzo (ground)
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Line baking sheets with parchment. Mix coconut, vanilla, and condensed milk in a large bowl. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and salt into stiff peaks. Split both the coconut mixture and egg whites in half. In one bowl fold half of the egg whites into the coconut mixture with the matzo meal. In the other bowl, fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture with the pistachios and chocolate chips. 

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the macaroons onto the baking sheets. I fit about 9 per sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden. This makes about 36 large macaroons. 

Day off with my little man and a home cooked meal

Day off with my little man and a home cooked meal

After my son spends some time with his dad, I want nothing more than to fill our day with fun. Making silly memories and create a wonderful meal together for us to share. 

Since this week is Spring Break, and I’m lucky to be on vacation, yesterday was ideal-minus the little man’s cold. We went out for breakfast, got his first library card (checked out 40 books), went shopping for the ingredients for our dinner, and spent the afternoon at home. We read, played with hot wheels, watched a movie, played super hero dress up to put on a show, and then worked on preparing our dinner. 

Munchkin helped make the fettuccine, with our new machine. We used Anderson’s pasta recipe that I previously posted. It was really messy. There was flour everywhere. But when dinner time rolled around, he was so thrilled to eat what we made together. 

To top the pasta, I made fresh basil and spinach meatballs in an easy tomato sauce. They were earthy and light. I’m not a fan of a dense meatball, so I try to keep them as fluffy as a meatball can be! Dinner was lovely. We had a good friend over to share, followed by the super hero show, and it was one of my favorite days, ever. Here’s the recipe:

Sauce-

1 28 oz can of petit diced San Marzano tomatoes 

1 clove garlic chopped finely

1 pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1 tablespoon chiffonaded basil

Meatballs-

1 lb grass fed beef

2 eggs

2 cloves finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup chiffonaded spinach

2 tablespoons chiffonaded basil

2 tablespoons of shaved Parmesan cheese

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup crushed corn cereal of your choice (I used kix)

Put all ingredients for the sauce on the stove in a large pot, I used my le creuset Dutch oven, on high; while you start the meatballs. Stir the sauce ingredients and let them come to a boil. In a bowl combine the meat, seasonings, spinach, basil, garlic, and cereal. Add the eggs last. Once you add the eggs, use your hands to mix the ingredients, being careful not to pack the meat too tightly. Once everything is combined, lower the heat on the stove to medium low. Loosely form golf ball sized meatballs with your hands and drop into the sauce. This should yield about 12-14 meatballs. Meatballs will be fully cooked in about 45 minutes with the cover on. Every 15 minutes, delicately move the meatballs around the pot, so they don’t stick and spoon the sauce over the tops. Serve over your choice of pasta with shaved Parmesan cheese as a garnish and enjoy! 

my handsome breakfast date

 

first library card

  

trying out the hamantaschen in time for Purim

   

super hero identity crisis

 

basic fettuccine recipe

  

the finished meal


Here’s to Hamantaschen…2016 Style

So, believe it or not, nice Jewish girl that I am, up until yesterday I’d never made a Hamantaschen. Sure, as a child, I must have helped my mom, or maybe in youth group or religious school…who knows?! My point is that I felt obligated, with Purim around the corner, to make them this year. […]

I know, I know….

My posts are few and far between.  Life gets in my way. Being a single, working mom doesn’t prevent me from cooking and baking; it does, however, prevent me from blogging. Maybe the third time is a charm. Maybe this time it will stick. Thanks to my beloved friend Anderson, @thebrokenganache, I have now learned to make fresh pasta.  It’s cathartic, it’s delicious, it’s heavenly, and best of all– it’s fun. My one pasta making date with Anderson yielded three scrumptious flavors of fettuccini. Meyer lemon and fresh thyme, roasted beet with toasted walnut, and fresh spinach with cardamom and nutmeg. I have since purchased my very own pasta machine and plan to continue on my pasta creating adventure. Brace yourselves for a carbtastic ride! Here are a few photos from the glorious day…

Anderson’s Basic Pasta Recipe:

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup semolina

a sprinkle of olive oil

Mix dry ingredients together.  Create a well in the center.  Add each egg into the well.  Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the well to form a sticky dough.  once the dough is formed, transfer to a well floured surface to kneed.  Kneed the dough until it’s shiny and well formed.  Add flavorings at this stage,  about one tablespoon per batch.  Kneed the dough until its fully incorporated.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Once rested, form the dough into a rectangle and follow the instructions on your pasta machine to create the variety of pasta of your choice. Let dry for about 30 minutes and then boil in salted water for 4-5 minutes! Enjoy!

  

 

 

 

changing directions

Life throws curve balls; so why not take the pitches as they come! Over the last several years, I have had many that have been out of the park–please pardon my many baseball references in this post!! I still love to bake, but I also cook, craft, read, write and like any creative junkie–I gather new hobbies like shopaholics acquire new shoes 🙂 So I have decided to resurrect this blog (that I never really committed to) and start posting about all of my random hobbies and interests and my life as a single working mommy(not to worry, baking included), and who knows where this journey will take us….maybe you too will become an inspired cookie!