Monthly Archives: July 2015

Zucchini Cakes

Original post: August 15, 2013

I’m really enjoying the recipes for all the garden fresh veggies I’ve seen. I’ve tried my hand at many new recipes that include a good amount of fruits and vegetables. After seeing all the yummy recipes, I decided to try my hand at my own version of a seasonal favorite; Zucchini Cakes. I kept my recipe very simple and I think, pretty healthy too!

Zucchini Cakes
2 zucchini, unpeeled and grated
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
dash of sea salt
dash of pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Combine all the ingredients. Your “batter” will be a little goopy because zucchini has a lot of moisture.
3. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and spoon batter onto prepared sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping after 10.

I liked how fast these came together and how fast they cooked. While I love a good zucchini bread, they can take a long time to bake. These were so quick! I served them with grilled chicken thighs. They were received very well. In fact someone ate the leftovers for breakfast. That’s success to me! I think these would be wonderful with some garlic, basil and spinach too, as a Zucchini Pesto Cake. I’m really excited to see if some fall squash that I love can be turned into cakes, too!


Berry Quick Bread

bqbSo the thing about picking berries is that you have lots of berries to consume very quickly. We froze about half of them but still had about four pounds to use. Hopefully you saw the Double Berry Dump Cake. Maybe you saw my Sangria Smoothie, also a great use of freshly frozen berries.

I wanted to bake with some of my berries today because, a) it wasn’t very hot, and b) I love berries in baked goods.

Berry Quick Bread
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup or more fresh berries – I probably used a lot more than a cup

1. Combine the sugar, eggs, and oil and mix well.
2. Add flour, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix. The batter will be very thick.
3. Add the vanilla to the milk and stir it into the batter.
4. Gently fold in the berries.
5. Pour batter into three small loaf pans sprayed with cooking spray, sprinkle the top with sugar,  and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350.

You may recognize the base recipe as similar to my pumpkin chocolate chip bread. This has proven to be a great basic quick bread that is easy to modify. The pumpkin version don’t need milk. They’re wet enough without it. This one needed the milk.

If you like your breads sweeter, you can add more sugar but it really isn’t necessary. You can also substitute other fruit for the berries, like peaches, nectarines, chopped apple, etc.

I’m pretty sure this is my last berry post, but you know, zucchini is pretty abundant right now, so prepare yourselves for a ton of zucchini related recipes!



Double Berry Dump Cake

dbdcMy Faithful Assistant and I haven’t been berry picking in a very long time so I decided that we would go after his orthodontist appointment this week. The picking was spectacular! We came home with seven pounds of a combination of blueberries, raspberries, and black raspberries. We decided it was time to make a Dump Cake which was the very first kind of cake My Faithful Assistant every made.

Double Berry Dump Cake
Four cups of berries – we used blueberries and raspberries
One box white or yellow cake mix – avoid the kind with pudding in the mix
One stick of butter, melted

1. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Pour the berries into the pan.
3. Top with the cake mix.
4. Drizzle as evenly as possible with the melted butter.
5. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

This cake is best when served warm with ice cream or fresh, homemade whipped cream.

My Faithful Assistant decided to fast today to share the experience of fasting during Ramadan with a Muslim friend. He lasted until about 4:00 pm, which was about 19 hours. Not too bad. He was pretty happy to get the cake out of the oven and dig in.

From what I understand, dessert is a big part of Iftar, or the evening  meal with which the daily fast is broken. Our Double Berry Dump Cake will now be how I remember My Faithful Assistant breaking his first fast.


Wineberry Jam


Orignal Post: July 14, 2014

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a little girl loved to explore the woods. She would find small clearings and assemble rocks to form tables and chairs and chat with her many (imaginary) woodland friends. She would hide notepads and pens in the hollowed out trunks of fallen trees. She would break open rocks in search of rare gems. And she would feast on berries.

Ok. So it wasn’t that romantic. But I did love to explore the woods around my childhood home. Probably to get away from the chaos inside. There were pretty little violet flowers and there were berries. And I ate them. So good.

I was beyond thrilled to find the berries growing in the woods near my adulthood home. I showed them to my Faithful Assistant and he was thrilled too. And we were even more thrilled to find them growing like crazy in the woods by our church.

So after church on Sunday, basket in hand, we set off and picked about two cups of berries and made some really wonderful Wineberry Jam.

I had no idea what kind of berries I have been enjoying for so long. Thanks to a friend who knows her nature stuff, I learned what they are. Read more about Wineberries here.

The jam was easy to make and didn’t need pectin. It’s not terribly thick. It would be great stirred into oatmeal or swirled into muffins.

Wineberry Jam
Equal amount of sugar

1. Combine the berries and sugar and cook on medium to medium high heat until the sugar melts and starts to boil.
2. Remove from heat and cool.
3. Refrigerate.

I only had two cups of wineberries so I didn’t see the point of getting canning jars and putting any away. If you are going to save some for later (lucky you for having so many berries!) you MUST follow proper canning protocol. STERILE JARS ARE A MUST!

The wineberry season is a short one. We are hoping that there are berries left when we get back to church next week.

I must add that if you find wild berries and you aren’t sure what they are and you don’t know anyone who can identify them, do not eat them. I was 100% certain my berries were safe. Not all berries you find in the woods are.