April Showers Bring May Flowers.

Can you believe that we are only a couple of weeks away from May, already?

I know that I was definitely busy between, uh, last July and now. :)

But now that I am all caught up on the exciting things I’ve made since then, I will now share what I made in April, since I spent the month posting about the past.

In the beginning of the month, I celebrated Passover. I even hosted a Seder for the first time! I made a (super delicious) pescatarian dinner that included veggies from the farmer’s market and fish from the San Francisco Fish Company and wine from The Wine Merchant. Here is a list of recipes I made/adapted for my Seder:

Baked Stuffed Zucchini (My favorite dish, besides the matzoh ball soup.)

Matzoh Lasagna (I added spinach to mine. Surprisingly good…almost as good as lasagna made with noodles)

Matzoh Brittle (made it twice…once for my Seder, and once for a friend’s Seder. The first time, I followed the recipe and the second time, with the inspiration from a friend that came to my Seder, I added some ginger to some pieces and some cinnamon to others)

The fish part of the meal was just some sauteed cod. I just cut the fish into pieces that fit into the pan, sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. No real recipe, just cook until fish flakes apart with a fork. I think it was about 2 or 3 minutes on either side.

Throughout the month, I also made some ice cream. I got the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, David Lebovitz. I added a chocolate fudge sauce to it while it was in the machine churning, but it turned out I added too much, because it caused the ice cream to soften and it separated. This made it a sort of micro-chocolate chip-caramel ice cream. All in all, it was pretty good. I would like to make more ice cream using his recipes and just stick with the recipe, because I have a feeling they will turn/churn out well. (See what I did there?!)

Some other things I made this month include a simple pasta dish, an orange-lemon pound cake,  and mini tartlets, again. The pasta dish was spaghetti, peas, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil all tossed and heated/cooked together in a saute pan. First, the olive oil cooks the garlic, then the peas and tomatoes are added, and finally the pasta. Lunch or dinner is ready in minutes!

The orange-lemon pound cake was made with some orange sugar…which is just like vanilla sugar, but with orange zest. All you have to do is zest some orange (or any other citrus, or a combo would be good, too) into sugar and rub them together. It makes the flavor stand out more. The recipe I used was more or less made up. It is a simple 1:1:1 ratio, as you may have guessed. In this case, it was 8 ounces butter, 8 ounces sugar, 8 ounces flour, and an egg, some vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Bake in a buttered loaf pan in a 350-degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before overturning and cooling completely on a cooling rack.

The tartlets I made were basically the same as before, using orange curd and candied orange peel as garnish. The shells were made with a pie/tart dough recipe that used cream instead of eggs/water/other liquid. But you can go ahead and use sable dough if you’d prefer.

So, that’s what I’ve made in April (so far). I am excited for what the month of May will bring! What are some of the things that made April special for you? What are you looking forward to in May? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

zucchini bread and muffins

I am sitting in my kitchen waiting for the zucchini bread and muffins to come out of the oven. Quite literally, and it smells wonderful. I wish there was some way to pass the smell through the computer, but the only way to get this smell in your kitchen is to bake it yourself! ;o)
The recipe is one of those “mix it all in a food processor” recipes, but I found it just as easy to do by hand.

Zucchini Bread (or cake or muffins)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 350º. (Peel-if you desire) zucchini and grate. Squeeze out excess water. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla together (could be done in a food processor-I used my hand mixer).

 
(yum-green zucchini mixture-eh-it gets better after the next steps)

(Sift-to be sure there are no lumps) flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.

Grease and flour (or line with foil) 2 loaf pans, OR 1 cake pan OR line muffin tin with 12 liners. (OR a combo of these-I did 1 loaf and 6 muffins, and hopefully, I will remember to bring the muffins to trivia tonight!)
Bake for 60-70 minutes. Do the knife test. (If it comes out clean-it’s done.)

Easy. But takes long to bake. But the wait is worth it, I promise.

mmm…muffins!
 mmm…zucchini bread!