Friday, June 26, 2009

zucchini muffins

i got some wonderful veggies f/m a friend's garden and decided that tonight would be a good night to use them. after looking through a few recipes i found one for "zucchini, citrus, and honey muffins" in one of my favorite cookbooks: A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman. after seeing that the recipe also called for buttermilk & lemons i was all about it b/c i had both on hand! i made a few modifications, but they are awfully yum!

here is the recipe:
muffin batter

1/2 cup canola oil (i used vegetable b/c i had it on hand)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange oil, optional (i used lemon extract instead)
1 tablespoon finely minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely minced orange zest (i didn't have oranges on hand so i doubled the lemon zest)
2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
2.5 teaspoons vaking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dates, optional (i used 3/4 cups)
3/4 cups golden raisins (i used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
2 cups washed unpeeled shredded zuchini

2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (i used 2)
orange cuice concentrate or juice, as required...3-6 tablespoons (i didn't have it on hand so i used the pineapple juice that i had reserved f/m the crushed pineapple)

Preheat oven 375'. arrange oven rack to middle position. line 14 to 16 muffin cups (i had enough for 18) with paper liners, and place muffin pans on a parchement paper-lined baking sheet. (i didn't do the baking sheet part)

In a large bowl blend oil, butter, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, orange oil, citrus zest, cinnamon, and buttermilk until smooth. Fold in dry ingredients and blend slightly; then fold in dates, if using, and next 3 ingredients to make a smooth but lumpy batter.

Using a large ice-cream scoop, scoop a generous amount of batter into each muffin cup.

Bake until muffins spring back when gently pressed, about 25 to 32 minutes (mine were perfect at 25). meanwhile, make glaze by whisking ingredients together.

Once muffins have cooled about 15 minutes in pans, dip each in glaze. dip again and let glaze set.

so yummy! and they do have some nutritional benefit!

also--butchy is better! she woke up fine this morning, she was bounding around and seemed so excited to have use of all her legs again!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

worst night ever

last night was the worst night that we have had in a LONG time. before bed we were checking butchy for ticks (i had found one on her neck the day before) and patrick was holding her on her back so i could check her stomach. butch HATES being on her back and while he was holding her legs she flailed and after we let her go she was kinda hobbling around but we assumed she was just stiff and would sleep it off. well, at 12:30 we woke up to the most horrible sound i have ever heard! butchy was screaming in pain--seriously it was like a human scream--not a yelp or a howl. i didn't know what it was, i thought there was a child or demon or something crazy! when i turned on the light i saw that it was her--she was spinning around in circles and screaming and shaking so hard. we took a few minutes to calm her down and i was bawling my eyes out--i seriously thought she was going to die b/c i had never heard her make noises like that before (and she makes some weird noises!) we poked and prodded her but could not find any points that seemed to be tender to the touch. i went to get a phone book to call the vet and when patrick followed me so did butch...then we noticed that she was dragging her right leg and limping. patrick tried to pick her up to carry her back to the bed--well she flailed her legs and she freaked out and started screaming again and peed all over him and herself. the on call vet told us that it was probably a sprain or strain and to see how she did in the morning. we got back in bed (patrick slept in the other room so he could sleep and she could have more room in the bed) and she had two or three more fits in the night where she woke up and started screaming and shaking.. i felt like a mom staying up late w/her child--i was only half sleeping and kept my hand on her back to soothe her anytime she was upset--i felt so incapable to help her. when morning finally came (i had mixed feelings--exhaustion but eagerness to get her to the vet and hopefully fixed a bit). her vet was booked and going out of town so we had to take her to a new place which also was booked but said they could keep her and work her in whenever one of the docs was free. we didn't hear from them until after 2 and at that point still did not get much news--they couldn't find anything conclusive but think it's a sprain. we got some pain pills/anti-infalmmatorys so now she can be doped up like her mommy! ;) now we're just trying to keep her still as much as possible but we have still had a few screaming fits when she moves too quickly. my poor little girl!! hoping for a quiet night.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

i have now spent several hours browsing new bloggies and am itching to bake even more!!!! i started by looking at profiles w/"baking" in the interests and then when i found a few good ones i looked at their blog rolls, and now all i can do is think about cupcakes and cookies and pies! oh dearie me. i have put some of my favs onto my blog roll, so please check them out! i'm itching to get in the kitchen but i'm already making some chicken stock tonight and considering how sick i've been all week i better not chance it. :( i'll have to satisfy myself w/reading about goodies i guess. (btw...just got 3 new taste of home cookbooks to occupy my mind)

until it's time to bake again, here's my new favorite picture! (found on this fabulous cupcake blog):

Sunday, June 21, 2009

quick update

i officially had my first pie order yesterday!! my mother in law called and said they were quite a hit with everyone! she also made my hash brown casserole recipe for a reunion and said that everyone couldn't wait to eat it.

sweet little pies snuggled up in their boxes

i have also decided to go with "Sarah's Sweets" for the name. pricing so far is $10 for cream and chocolate-type pies, & $12 for fruit or nut pies. still working on pricing for other things.

hubs got me the most beautiful roses this week! he's a good man and i'm thankful for him!

i got a ton of work done on the house this weekend and had some sweet house-guests. now i'm tired and am going to bed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

first order and swimming adventures!

as i mentioned previously, i got my first baked goods order from my mother in law, so tonight i did a run-through of the recipes to make sure that i have them down and yummy! she ordered an old-fashioned chocolate fudge pie (as seen in this post) and a lemon meringue pie (which i had not made before...hence, the run-through) i had to fiddle some with stove and mixer settings to get it right, but i think the pie turned out well! (we'll see for sure tomorrow when we try it at work) this was also the first time that i had to blind-bake a pie crust, and i'm going to need to work on that a little more b/c it shrunk a bit more than i would like it to. here are some pictures of the pie--in progress and completed
filled pie shell--i was surprised and the yellow-ness of it as there is no food coloring or jello or anything like that--purely from the lemon juice/zest and egg yolks!

with meringue--pre-baking

the finished product! lovely if i do say so myself!

i also made some red velvet cupcakes this week...oh so yum! the icing is heaven to me: 3 sticks of butter, cream cheese, & powdered sugar...oh my! it will kill you but it's delicious!

we had a fun time this weekend--we went to a pool party/cookout for our niece Hannah's birthday, and our sister in law has a pool so we decided to embark on a grand adventure and take butch swimming! now, in case you don't know much about bulldogs...the way that their little bodies are built is not condusive to swimming. their short little legs just can't keep their thick bodies and heads above the water, so owners are strongly advised to use a life jacket or risk seeing their "child" sink to the bottom of the pool (or lake, or whatever).

she was not amused.

we put her in the pool, and she was not happy at all! she immediately stuck her little tongue out of the side of her mouth...don't ask me why...but it seemed like she was concentrating very hard on not drowning!
(blurry f/m splashes)

every time that patrick let her go, she would speed like a little shark over to the edge of the pool and try to climb out--of course she couldn't b/c it is an above-ground pool. it was hilarious!

she greatly preferred the float and would actually relax a little bit in there.

we're going back on july 4th and i will be sure to get a video this time! when i took her out of the pool i swear she was cussing us out! she just sat on the deck and grumbled for about 10 minutes. she may not have liked it, but the water did her some good on such a hot day! and it definitely provided some great entertainment for the family!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

hubs just came in to tell me that he doesn't want me to die before he does b/c he doesn't want to live without me. how sweet! i think i will keep him :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

baby steps

i am taking some more baby steps towards the baking business--got my first pie order for next friday: one chocolate, one lemon--i will post pictures when i get them done! also, when i went in for my massage today my sweet therapist told me that my mother in law had told her about my baking and she is so excited about it! she wants to put together some gift bags for her clients this christmas with some of my cookies and some tea, so i'm going to put a sampling tray together for her and she is also going to pass stuff around to the other people in her office building!

i also signed up for a cake decorating class at hobby lobby to at least get some tips and basics down for that. i'm excited! if anyone wants to sign up (in BG at least...) the class i'm taking is on thursday nights in july (9th--end of the month) from 5:30-7:30. the course fee is $17.50, but i think that you also have to buy a kit and maybe a book...

now, i've been thinking about names and i'm tossing around "the cupcake kitchen" or "sarah's sweets." of course, i will be making more than cupcakes, so i wouldn't want the name to be confusing...dunno. let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

my first batch of amish friendship bread (muffins) since i was in college! a dear co-worker gave me the starter and hubs loves this bread--esp. in muffin form! let me know if you want some starter and i will hook you up!

i still need to work on the fullness of the cups--these came out a little square (and i couldn't help nibbling off a few crispy edges...) i want them to poof up some, but they spread a lot so i will have to practice...such a hard task right! ;)

butchy tried to sneak some of patrick's dinner

i feel that God is trying to teach me a lesson about my tendency towards materialism. everywhere that i've looked (or read or watched...) i have seen topics on putting too much value in our things and continuing to acquire things that are not needed. i want to write more in detail about this later...stay tuned!

we had our 3 year wedding anniversary yesterday! sadly, i was sick (and am still not feeling great) so we didn't get to go on our dinner date, but we are postponing till the weekend. not planning anything big b/c our florida trip was the official "celebration" for us (and was wonderful!). we also need to save some money!

let's see...what else can be briefly mentioned...

OH! hubs has spent the majority of the night chasing kitty around the house w/a rolled up window screen--i swear it sent kitty into a panic attack! i had to comfort him and give him treats. silly boys.

i guess that's it for tonight. loves!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

musings from a doctor's office

switching from briefs to boxer shorts will not cause medical problems

your pediatrician will not harvest and sell your child's organs (we don't keep surgical tools in the office even if he wanted to), so there is no need to threaten to sue us

if your insurance is not active, you are considered a self pay patient regardless of how long you've been going here.

if you are old enough to contract an STD, you are old enough to see an adult doctor--not a pediatrician

if you have a child of your own, you are old enough to see an adult doctor

"i've given you enough money already this year" is not a valid reason not to pay your bill

Friday, June 5, 2009

baking all the live long day

so this week i have been baking especially much. made another batch of eclairs and another pecan pie, and then 48 (!) cupcakes for a dear co-workers birthday. in the middle of making the cupcakes (strawberry & chocolate cream cheese w/homemade icing) i realized that my cupcake carrier only holds 12!!! i found some extra pans to transport the rest and kept a few home for me and patrick.
they were a hit!

i feel more and more like i need to have a bakery. this week pretty much all the front staff and nurses at work told me that they would come work for me if i opened one, and everyone said that i need to. then one of my coworkers told me that her daughter was literally crying last night b/c she can't buy my peanut butter cookies whenever she wants them! she asked her mom if she thought i would make her some if she drew me a special picture and got me the ingredients!! it almost broke my heart! (we have arranged a date to bake them together on saturday night). then i got online to write this blog and i checked my email and my mother in law wants to buy a pie from me! my first order and i don't even have a menu or pricing sheet yet!

i have so many ideas that i want to do but the logistics of it all is just overwhelming. i'm trying to remind myself to take small steps and not think too much about the crazy things like getting a building or commercial kitchens and stuff. i have nothing to lose by making a menu and price list!