Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spiced Summer Squash Bread

The end of summer is upon us. Can you feel the crispness in the morning air? See the leaves starting to change colors? Or maybe noticed Starbucks has pumpkin flavored everything again in season? However you notice it, its happening. And fast! For us gardeners, that means it's time to use up summer fruit and vegetables before the frosts start in a few weeks.
A few weeks ago I noticed a plethora of summer squash in the garden, and hopped to it. Realizing I hadn't made any breakfast breads in a spell, I opted to try my hand with a squash bread (which is fairly similar to a zucchini bread). And what an easy recipe! I think the most tedious part is shredding the squash, although if you have a food processor you can save some time here. But all in all this is an easy recipe, and a hit with the taste testers. Happy fall, y'all!

Spiced Summer Squash Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, room temp. 
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or replace it with applesauce for a healthier version)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow summer squash, shredded
  • Chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Next gently stir in the yellow squash (watch out, it may splash out of your mixer at this point). Then mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine until mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with chopped walnuts, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a test stick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 mins, then carefully remove the loaf from the pan and continue to let cool. Slice and serve!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Where Did She Go??

I did it again, although not like Britney Spears did oh so many years ago (holy moly, has it been that long since that horrible song came out???). I skipped out on my blogging duties. And it wasn't just this blog, it was my entire portfolio of them I dabble in. Somewhere near the beginning of August I just gave up and decided to go on an unexpected blogging hiatus. From the baking perspective, it could have been because I reached max overload sometime that same month. August was the month of wedding cakes. I birthed two that month, for a lovely wedding service, and couldn't wrap my brain around blogging about the dozens of hours I had already spend elbow deep in cake batter and frosting. Let's just say I was so wrapped up in the design, creation, preparation, delivery, and service of these wedding cakes that I don't even have picture of the final products! But I have a few of the prep process, so please follow and enjoy!
Test cake number one, gifted to extended family as I couldn't imagine eating anymore cake at this point (not even to the wedding cakes yet).
Test cake number two, gifted to the bachelor party where I heard several drunk adult men consumed it with their hands. I took that was winning.
The base layer of the base tier of the main wedding cake (moist yellow cake) and my little spatula hand for size reference (HUGE 14" base).
Mommy's little baking helper. And the most awesome apron gift ever! Polka dots always win with me.
Building the layers of the base tier. Boy, was this cake baby heavy by the end!
Building the groom's cake: the base tier had a two-layer red velvet cake with vanilla mouse filling, then a top tier with a two-layer moist yellow cake with raspberry mouse filling. Eventually I was able to decorate with live flowers and more piping details once the cake arrived on site.
Building the bride's cake: the base tier had a two-layer moist yellow cake with vanilla mouse filling, followed by a red velvet tier with raspberry mouse filling, and to top things off I made a special mexican chocolate cake layer with raspberry mouse filling. The middle layer was coated with candy crystals while the top and bottom tiers had a gold finish painted on. More piping detail work happened just prior to the wedding, while I finished the cake with live flowers. I hope to have a few shots soon of the finished products, so stay tuned!