Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

I’ve been staring at two giant zucchini in my fridge for a couple weeks now.

One came from our garden here on the homestead, and the other came from my co-worker who had no use for it. Obviously when fraught with what to do with this giant zucchini she thought, “Liza will take it.”

Because, obviously. I’m like Mikey with the Life cereal when it comes to garden bounty.

Giant Zucchini

I spent 15 minutes shredding those two suckers, and ended up with a little over 6 cups of zucchini bits. Two cups got frozen, and the rest was used for zucchini bread.

We love zucchini bread over here. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites for lunch, two slices slathered with cream cheese and eaten like a sandwich. My son happens to like his plain OR warmed up with a little butter. (YUM!)

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

I could eat zucchini bread any way it’s served, any time (although I do have a soft spot for a warm buttered slice).

Today I tried a new variation on my regular ol’ zucchini bread recipe: the addition of honey and lemon. It has a sweet brightness that’s both unique and mouthwatering.

Of the 4 loaves, I gave one to my parents (Hey – my mom did grow one of those zucchini, so I feel like I owe them. Plus, food’s always more fun when you can share!), saved one in the fridge for this week, and froze two to use over the coming weeks.

Can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow! Mmm….

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup honey (preferably local)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use non-stick spray to coat 4 large loaf pans.
  2. Use a whisk to combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and oil until they turn a creamy color, then add the sugar, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and continue whisking the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Fix the paddle attachment to the mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture about a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next cupful. Once all the dry ingredients have been added, mix until it's just combined. The batter will be very thick!
  5. Add the zucchini to the batter, and using the mixer on low, gently incorporate the two. The moisture from the zucchini should loosen up the batter and make it easier to mix.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans about half-way, and then bake them for about an hour (or until the top springs back when you press gently with your finger, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
  7. Let the loaves cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, and the remove them. Continue letting them sit on a rack until they've cooled completely.
Notes
TIP: If you plan on freezing these, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap once they've cooled, and then put them into freezer zip top bags.

 

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

I am a firm believer that you can’t have too many pancake recipes.

They’re just so…easy and yummy and practical. It’s like the trifecta of breakfast food qualities!

This weekend I’m trying to make good use of a bag of organic lemons that I bought a couple weeks ago and have had stored in the crisper drawer of my fridge ever since. I’ve found most citrus last for-practically-ever when it’s stowed in there, which is good for me when you find a forgotten bag.

Pancakes are a favorite. I’ve said time and time again how much I love making them on weekends because we have great leftovers to use during the week for my kids’ breakfasts.

And, you saw where I mentioned easy and yummy and practical, right? Especially practical. I’m all for practical.

In the case of these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, I didn’t stray too far from my traditional pancake recipe. I simply added ricotta cheese to the liquids, and then after I poured the liquid ingredients into the dry ones, I whisked in the zest and juice from one lemon.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

It took all of 5 minutes to pull it together, which is about the right amount of time for the pan to preheat on the stove.

These were light, and fluffy – and most importantly, the kids loved them! I would have liked them a little more lemony, personally, so next time I might double the lemon zest. But, that’s just me.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla pure extract
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
Instructions
  1. Set a large nonstick skillet on the stove to preheat over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl (or a large glass measuring cup), whisk together the egg, milk, ricotta and oil. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and whisk them together until they're nearly combined. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and then continue whisking until the dry ingredients have been fully incorporated.
  3. Use about ¼ cup of the batter to make each pancake. Let them cook on one side for about 4 minutes (or once you see bubbles form), then flip them and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Repeat this process until all the batter has been used.
  4. Serve the lemon ricotta pancakes warm with butter, more zest, real maple syrup and/or powdered sugar. Makes 10-12 medium-sized pancakes.

Lemon Curd Tartlettes

Lemon Curd Tartlettes

It’s so close to spring, I can almost taste it! But, we’re not quite there yet; we just had snow showers in Maryland yesterday…good grief!

In the meantime, I’m going to share one of my springtime recipe favorites, bursting with super tangy and sweet flavor. It’s also perfect for a large gathering because in 30 minutes you can make 60 bite-sized treats of yumminess. File this one away for game-time or a summer cookout:

Lemon Curd Tartlettes

Lemon Curd Tartlettes
 
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Lemon Curd Tartlettes are a perfect summer dessert treat!
Author:
Serves: 12 to 15
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 3 limes, juiced and zested
  • 4 fresh lemon balm leaves
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 boxes frozen mini phyllo cups (15 per box)
  • fresh blueberries and raspberries
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar, zests and lemon balm in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds, or until everything has been processed to a fine grain.
  2. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar mixture for 3 minutes on medium-high. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg fully before adding the next. Add the juice and the salt and mix for 1 more minute.
  3. In a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat, add the lemon batter. Cook for about 15 minutes, whisking often – almost the whole time. When the mixture thickens, just before it would start to simmer, remove the (now) curd* from the heat.
  4. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, taking care to gently press the plastic on top of the curd. Place the curd into the refrigerator to cool.
  5. Once cool, add 1 generous teaspoon of the lemon curd to each phyllo cup. Top with fresh blueberries and raspberries, then garnish with more fresh lemon balm. Serve chilled.

 *Note: Before you start cooking it, the lemon mixture will look slightly curdled and lumpy. This is normal and will disappear and smooth out after cooking. If you have leftover curd, it keeps very well in the refrigerator and will last up to 2 weeks if it’s covered.

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