Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zucchini Bread

I have some recipes that are becoming staples in my little household of mine. This Zucchini Bread recipe happens to be one of them. I got the recipe my senior year of college from one of my roommate's mom. During Hurricane Rita, her family came to stay with us, and with her family came 2 delicious loaves of this Zucchini bread. From the moment I first ate it, I knew that I had to have this recipe. After much begging, my roomie finally acquired this recipe for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. : )


3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 F, grease loaf pan.
2) Combine sugar, oil, and eggs into one bowl.
3) Mix until smooth and add dry material from Step 1.
4) Mix again util smooth, add zucchini, nuts, and raisins. Stir until combine.
5) Pour into 2 loaf pans. Bake 55-60 minutes, remove and cool for 10 minutes.

**I always make this recipe with chocolate chips. My mom prefers this recipe without chocolate chips.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Funfetti Cookies

So I am kind of embarrassed about posting these Funfetti Cookies on the blog. I normally like making things from scratch, but I was in a huge hurry with very few ingredients. I found the Funfetti box and I thought about making the whole cake. But alas, I was missing the extra egg. So I turned the box on its side and noticed that it had a cookie recipe on the side. I then remembered one of my friend's use to make cake cookies. This recipe is super easy to make and it took less than 15 minutes to make them. Basically they fit all of the qualifications I needed in a cookie recipe for the night: fast and cheap. Yay!

1 (18.9 oz) pkg Pillsbury Moist Supreme Funfetti Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 can Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Funfetti Vanilla Frosting

1. Heat oven to 375 F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until throughly moistened. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With bottom of glass dipped in flour, flatten to 1/4 inch thickness.
2. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute and remove from cookie sheets.
3. Spread frosting over cookies. Immediately sprinkle with candy bits from frosting. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Makes: 3 dozen cookies

The cookies were a little brown on the bottom and they flattened out quite a bit. I think this has more to do with the pans I own rather than the recipe itself. I have heard from several friends recently that there are certain pans that are ideal to make cookies. Unfortunately, I do not own these pans. I took these cookies to a house warming party that I was invited to. One person described them as "Cupcake like." They taste very good. I would give them 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would make them again simply because of the simplicity of the recipe and the reception. However, I prefer to bake cookies that are more complicated because this equals more fun in the kitchen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Triple Chocolate Cake

Potluck time again! I guess you could say we have a lot of potlucks. My friends all know that I have a knack for desserts. So it was requested that I bring a dessert to this little event. I searched through my cabinet and found that I was only missing the chocolate chips from this recipe. So why not make Triple Chocolate Cake right? This recipe comes to you from my McCormick Cooking with Flavor book. Enjoy!

1 package (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix
1 package (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and Pure Vanilla extract in a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
2) Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured 12 cup Bundt pan.
3) Bake in preheated 350 oven 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted i center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack and cool completely.
4) For the glaze, mix sugar, milk, and butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stirring constantly on medium heat, bring to boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and Pure Vanilla Extract until chips are melted. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Makes 16 servings
From: McCormick Cooking with Flavor

Overall, I give this recipe 4 out of 5 stars. Everyone at the potluck loved it and it was promptly gobbled up. The main comment from the crowd was the cake was quite moist. The pudding in the recipe makes the cake quite moist and the cake melts in your mouth. Mmmmm.... : )

To make a note about how I made the recipe though, if you take a close look at the pictures, you may note chocolate chips in the glaze. This was a mistake on my part. It did not detract from the taste of the recipe. Make sure when you make the glaze for this recipe, do not add the chocolate chips to the saucepan while it is heating. I realized in the middle of making the glaze that I made this little error and rather than burn the chocolate over the gas stove, I decided to take it off without the chips fully melted. Hence the above look. This being all said, the cake was a hit and I would definitely make this recipe again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

White Chocolate Brownies

Once a month, I go to an meeting for an organization called Dining For Women. I am a member of the Houston chapter. The group essentially eats a potluck style dinner and uses the money that they would have used to go out to eat on a particular Women's cause of the month. For example, this month's cause was to raise money for the organization Love146 ( that is involved in preventing sex trade. For this month's meeting, I decided to bring White Chocolate Brownies from the book Perfect Desserts.

8 oz white chocolate
3 oz or 3/4 cup walnut pieces
4 oz unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
2/3 cup self-rising flour

1) Coarsely chop 6 oz of white chocolate and all of the walnuts. Put the remaining chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. When melted, stir together, then set aside to cool slightly.

2) Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then beat in the cooled cholate mixture until well mixed. Fold in the flour, chopped chocolate, and the walnuts. Turn the mixture into a lightly greased 7 inch pan and smooth the surface.

3) Transfer the pan to a preheated oven set a 350 F and bake for 30 minutes or until just set. The mixture should still be a little soft in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool n the pan, then cut into squares.

Recipe from: Perfect Desserts

These brownies were really well received and I only had one brownie left to take home! I got compliments from everyone. Overall, I give them 4 out of 5 stars. They were really buttery tasting and moist. I used pecans instead of walnuts this time in the recipe because that is what I had. I don't think this really effected the overall taste of the recipe. If I ever made this recipe again, I think I would try to make a slightly healthier version of it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Strawberry Shortcakes

It has been a while since I wrote in the blog. I just started my month of critical care and I am back to the trenches working long hours. I am officially a fourth year medical student though. So yay!! Only one more year to go!! Last Saturday for the fourth of July, the Coop had a cookout. One of my friends suggested making this Strawberry Shortcake recipe from the back of the Bisquick box for the cookout. I have to say I was a little skeptical at first, but when I went to the store and the strawberries were 99 cents, I decided to go for it.

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1) Mix strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar; set aside. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 Tbsp sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3) Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped toppings.

Makes: 6 shortcakes

Overall, this recipe turned out well. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. For a recipe on the back of a box, it was quite good. I think ripe strawberries are the key though to this little recipe. I recommend cutting each shortcake in half and stuffing the center of the shortcake with whipped cream and strawberries. It is in my humble opinion the only way to eat strawberry shortcake and way better than serving the strawberries on the side : )