Lemon Zucchini Bread

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It’s been a minute since I made a post! I’m so sorry! We have just been enjoying summer to the fullest. The last 4 days have literally been pool, beach, pool, beach and tomorrow we have plans to go back to the beach! Trust me, I know how lucky I am to be able to do that. Living close to the lake in Chicago is the best and I would not have it any other way πŸ™‚ Until it’s January and I’ll be looking at real estate in California…

Anyway, here I am with an absolutely delicious bread or cake, whatever you want to call it. The perfect summer snack for you and your loved ones to enjoy after a fun filled sun filled day! So turn on your ovens and let’s get baking….

What you will need:

1 loaf pan greased and lined with parchment paper hanging over the sides

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tespoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, drained and dried
1 tablespoons lemon zest

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.Β  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.Β  In another bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until blended. Add in eggs and milk and beat until incorporated. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the zucchini and lemon zest.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before lifting it out with the parchment paper. Cool completely.

To make the glaze, stir ingredients together. Start with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and go up from there depending on consistency. Drizzle over bread. Slice and enjoy!

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Memorial Day Cutout Cookies

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Happy Memorial Day, everyone! It has definitely been a hot one here in Chicago, with temps over 90 degrees and super sunny blue skies! I am not complaining as summer is life to me. So much fun! But since it has been so hot, we decided to stay in today and of course, do some baking. My son helped make these cookies and they are so easy and best of all… do not need to be refrigerated! Cutouts always take so long because you have to refrigerate the dough before you can roll them out, cut out shapes and decorate. This recipe is fridge free! πŸ™‚

This recipe also only makes several small cookies. The stars we did are very small but the flags were bigger so we only got 4 of those. You can easily double the recipe if need be. But super fun and easy, tastes great and is the perfect thing to do if you want to get out of the heat! So go get those aprons on and let’s celebrate and remember our soldiers.

What you will need:

Cookie sheet
Parchment paper and wax paper

1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cookie cutouts
Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In an other bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the flour and beat until just combined. This may take a while. Once the dough starts to form and come together, form a ball with your hands.

Place the dough ball on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Flour the top of the ball and then place a piece of wax paper on top. Roll out the dough to desired thickness. Remove wax paper and cut out into desired shapes. The dough is sticky so I just removed the excess dough and placed the parchment paper directly onto a cookie sheet. Decorate with sprinkles and bake for 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: Transferring the parchment paper directly to the cookie sheet withe the cookies on it works best but I went through quite a few sheets of parchment paper.Β You can also try removing the cut outs with a metal spatula but mine were too sticky. Do what works best for you.

Enjoy!

 

Iced Lemon Crumb Cake

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I’m baaack! Did you miss me? I feel like it’s been way too long since I made a post. I was going to blog about our trip to Cabo San Lucas but I may not. You guys let me know if you’re interested in that or not. It was so fun and we had a great return experience bringing Liam but I already posted pictures on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t want to over share if you know what I mean…?

Anyway, I have been baking, just not new stuff that I can blog about. There is always something at my house; cookies, bread, cake… but I finally got inspired to make something new with this nice weather we’ve been having! So, kicking off my posting slum with a delicious lemon cake! I’ll just sit here and eat the entire thing, thank you so much. Very summery and seriously, go ahead and eat it for breakfast as a coffee cake! I won’t judge πŸ™‚

So, go get some lemons, get your aprons on and let’s bake!

What you will need:

8 x 8 inch square bake dish, greased

For the crumb topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sour cream

For the glaze:

About 1 cup powdered sugar
Fresh lemon juice (I used about half a lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. First make the crumb topping. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt and zest. With your hands or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Place the bowl in the fridge while you make the cake batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in eggs, lemon juice and zest and beat until combined. Fold in the sour cream with a spatula until combined. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour into your prepared bake dish.

Take the crumb topping out of the fridge and evenly sprinkle it over the cake, breaking up any large pieces. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before making the glaze.

Once cake is completely cooled, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until you reach a drizzly consistency. Drizzle over the cake with a spoon.

Enjoy! Store covered at room temperature.

Dying Easter Eggs with Food!

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So Liam, my 5 year old, saw this on Creative Galaxy which is a cute kids show on Amazon Prime. Of course we had to try it! We used coffee, turmeric, onion skin, frozen spinach and beet juice. It’s a great science experiment to get kids involved and to show them what else foods can do! We had so much fun!

The only thing is it takes a lot longer to dye the eggs than traditional food coloring. We actually let them soak for an entire movie length, so about 2 hours. You can let them soak for even longer to get more color if you want, just know ahead of time that it’s a long process. But afterwards you can let your kids decorate them! Liam enjoyed writing on them with crayons and putting stickers on. So, if you are interested in this fun craft, here is what you need to do and what you’ll need…

Notes:Β Beforehand we wrote on some of the eggs with a white crayon. We also wrapped an egg with a rubber band to get different effects.

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What you will need:

Hard boiled white eggs
Vinegar
Glass or plastic cups
Cookie sheet for drying (or you can just use your egg carton)
Food for coloring; we used brewed coffee, 3 tablespoons of turmeric, beet juice from canned beets, frozen spinach and the skin of a sweet onion.

Spinach: boiled for an hour and then drained into a colander over a glass cup
Onion: boiled for an hour and then drained into a colander over a glass cup
Coffee: brewed from the morning pot
Turmeric: 3 tablespoons stirred into a cup of water and then boiled in the microwave
Beets: easiest one, I just opened a can of beets and poured all the water into a glass cup.

Once you have all your colors in their cups, pour in 1 tablespoon of vinegar into each. Now you are ready to dye your eggs! Carefully drop an egg into each color and let soak until they have reached the desired color.

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Above are the 5 eggs we did. Starting from the top and going clockwise is coffee, spinach, onion skin, beet juice, and turmeric.

Here’s Liam having so much fun!

And the final, finished product πŸ™‚

Have fun and Happy Easter!

Thick Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I like my cookies thick, thank very much πŸ™‚ These do not disappoint! Peanut butter and mini chocolate chips come together to form these beauties. Ugh, they are soooo good… just not so good for my thighs (sigh). But maybe that’s why I named these THICK peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, get it?!

Ok, anyways… spring break is around the corner so I told myself I need to slow down the baking of goodies. So here is a perfect last treat to kick us off in the right direction. Plus, Easter is a few weeks away already and some of you give up sweets for lent so…. I’ll spare you the envy with delicious posts until then πŸ™‚ For now, let’s go bake up these thick delights!

Note:Β This recipe made 1 1/2 dozen cookies and can easily be doubled if need be. Also, make the dough ahead of time because it needs to be refrigerated for 8 hours!

What you will need:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter at room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and egg until well combined. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and chocolate chips. Pour dry ingredients into the wet and stir with a spatula until just combined.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into balls and place on cookie sheet, then flatten a little bit with your fingers. Bake for 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack completely. Store covered at room temperature. Enjoy!

Beer Bread

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A super easy, quick beer bread recipe! What more can you ask for? I’ve been wanting to bake something not so sweet and had some Coronas in the fridge… why not?! Seriously, I’ve been eating way too much sugar lately. But now that spring is right around the corner (I hope), I’ve been watching what I eat. Also, the Boyd trio is going to Cabo San Lucas for spring break so I want to feel healthy! Plus, Corona just sets the mood πŸ˜‰

(Seriously, though who am I kidding? I like to eat and bread? Not a great substitute for cake and cookies πŸ™‚ )

You can use any beer you have, preferably a lighter one. Not Guinness, although who knows! Maybe that would taste amazing! So if you are searching for a side to serve with dinner this week, look no further! Sure to please all family members, this beer bread is delicious and best of all, no kneading required!

What you will need:

9 x 5 loaf pan, greased

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (12 oz.) beer
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.Β  Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the beer with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour half the melted butter in prepared pan. Pour in batter and then pour the rest of the melted butter on top. Use all the butter! It may seem like a lot but the bread will bake up nicely.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely. Slice and serve and as always, enjoy!

Best if consumed immediately, however if you have self control, store covered at room temperature.

Hello! Get in my belly NOW!

Blueberry Muffins

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It’s a snow day here in Chicago. 9 inches so far and its continuing to come down. So after a fun time with the sled and freezing our fingers and toes off, I decided (of course) to bake! Blueberries have been super tasty lately so I bought a bunch to make muffins. Yum! I’m glad I didn’t have this recipe on my blog yet. This recipe is very easy and has a streusel topping which really gives them a bakery style flavor.

So, if you are stuck inside like we are today and you have blueberries, make these beautiful muffins! The perfect weekend snack or breakfast πŸ™‚

What you will need:

12 cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries. I used fresh

For the streusel:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in egg, milk and oil. Stir until you still see some clumps. Gently fold in blueberries.

Scoop batter into each cupcake liner and set aside to make the topping.

To make the streusel, whisk together the flour and sugar. With your hands, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Evenly top the muffins with the streusel.

Above is a picture of the muffins just before going into the oven.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Yum! Seriously they are so pretty πŸ™‚ Store covered at room temp and enjoy!