July 20, 2014

Glazed Chocolate Zucchini Cake Donuts

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I picked my third zucchini from the garden this weekend and I made donuts!

First of all, the glaze on these donuts is a MUST.  The donut on it's own isn't anything special, but the glaze, whether chocolate or almond make these very very tasty.

These are baked, not fried, so they are a little different than the cake donut you might be used to.

They are dense and cakey and there is a good chance you will want a glass of milk while you are eating one.

I can't decide which glaze I like better?  I take a bite of one and think I like it better until I take a bite of the other one.  Both are delicious.  
I only have one complaint.  Since these bake for such a short period of time, the zucchini doesn't have time to dissolve into the donut like it would if you were baking a loaf of zucchini bread for 45 minutes.  

So, occasionally, as you bite into the donut, you might get a "string" of zucchini.  

I would recommend shredding your zucchini as finely as possible.  I shredded mine thicker than I should have.  By shredding the zucchini finer, you will hopefully avoid the zucchini bits throughout.  

You might also like:
Chocolate Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze
Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Lion House Zucchini Bread
Glazed Chocolate Zucchini Cake Donuts
adapted from:  Sweet Peas and Saffron
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. cake flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. zucchini, shredded 
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Glaze (Enough for 12 donuts)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (helps the icing harden more)
2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbl. milk

Almond Glaze (Enough for 12 donuts)
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (helps the icing harden more)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbl. milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Squeeze excess water from shredded zucchini and add to flour mixture.  Toss to evenly coat zucchini with dry mixture.  Add the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.  Stir until just combined.  Batter will be very thick and you might think it won't come together, but it will.

Grease donut pan with cooking spray.  Spoon batter into donut pan, filling almost full.  Bake for 8 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Transfer donuts to a wire rack and cool completely.  Dip the bottom half of the donut (which will now be the top) into the glaze and top with sprinkles, if desired.  Place on a wire rack and allow icing to harden.  Makes 12-13 donuts.      

For the Chocolate Glaze: This makes enough for all of the donuts, so if you want to also make the Almond Glaze, cut this in half.  Combine powdered sugar, cocoa and meringue powder.  Add the vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of milk.  Stir together until combined.  Add a little more milk, as needed, to reach desired glaze consistency.  Dip donuts immediately. 

For the Almond Glaze: This makes enough for all of the donuts, so if you want to also make the Chocolate Glaze, then cut this in half.  Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder.  Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of milk.  Stir together until combined.  Add a little more milk, as needed, to reach desired glaze consistency.  Taste and add up to another 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, if desired.  Dip donuts immediately.      
Linked up at Time to Sparkle!

July 16, 2014

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Who knew it was so hard to stream videos unless you have the latest and greatest gadgets?  Up until a few months ago, I still went to the video store and rented videos, but since they all closed down I was forced to find another way.  Yes, I realize I was probably one of the last people to convert.

I still have an old-school big screen T.V.  The kind that are giant and stand on the floor.  Who cares, it still works great.  So, since we have an X-Box 360, we figured the easiest thing to do would be to buy a wireless connector and X-Box Live and stream videos that way.  The next thing we know, our X-Box has the "Red Ring of Death".  A few internet searches later, we find a fix involving Q-Tips.  Very high-tech, I know :)  That worked for a little while, but the X-Box is officially dead.   

So, we head to Costco and pick up a Blu-Ray player with built in Wi-Fi, except the only problem is our old-school T.V., that still works just fine, doesn't have and HDMI plug.  Sheesh. . . so, now we've gotta get an HMDI plug converter.  Maybe I should just give in and buy a new T.V. with built in Wi-Fi?

How do you guys stream your videos?

Anyway, while I was at Costco, I picked up one of their amazing rotisserie chickens and decided to make some chicken salad sandwiches, but I wanted to add a little Tex-Mex flair.

They turned out delicious and are a perfect and easy meal to enjoy while watching old episodes of One Tree Hill on Netflix :)  
Tex-Mex Chicken Salad Sandwiches
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie works great)
1/4 c. mayonnaise (I use light)
salt and pepper, to taste
taco seasoning, to taste
1 roma tomato, diced
2 green onions, minced
1 roasted poblano pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
    or you can use 1 can of diced green chiles
3 Tbl. chopped cilantro, opt.
1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
3 ciabatta buns, toasted

Combine shredded chicken, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, a little taco seasoning (I would start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed), diced tomato, green onions, roasted poblano, cilantro and cheese.  Stir together until well combined.  Taste and adjust any ingredients, if needed.  Serve on toasted ciabatta buns.  Makes 3 sandwiches.  

Linked up at Time to Sparkle!

July 13, 2014

Carrot and Zucchini Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

And it begins . . .

My first zucchini recipe of the season.

I picked two zucchini this weekend and I have three recipes to try out this week, all using zucchini.

My goal this year is to pick the zucchini before they become ginormous, which seems to happen in a matter of days.  We'll see how that goes.

I am loving these bars.  They are light and tender and the flavor is so fresh.  You can taste the honey and it pairs beautifully with the spices and frosting.  Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting really is the perfect match for these bars.  It has such a bright refreshing flavor.  I omitted the nuts from the recipe and added them to the top of half the bars, that way the nut lovers and non-nut lovers can all be happy.

Do you have any new zucchini recipes you can't wait to try this year?
Carrot and Zucchini Bars

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 c. shredded carrot (about 3 med.)
1 c. shredded zucchini 
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  In another large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add to dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Pour batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake for 24-25 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Frost with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
grated zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon extract, opt.

Cream together butter, cream cheese, lemon zest and salt.  Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until smooth and creamy.  Mix in lemon extract, if desired.  If your frosting is too thick, you can add some lemon juice or milk.  I did not need to add any liquid.  Spread over cooled cake. 

Jenn's Notes:  The zucchini I used was more watery than usual and I ended up squeezing out the excess water before adding it to the batter.     
Linked up at Time to Sparkle!

July 9, 2014

Cheesy, Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Chicken and Rice Casserole move aside . . . Quinoa is taking over :)

This has become a new favorite dish of mine.  Immediately after I ate it the first time, I added it to the menu again the following week and have eaten it countless times since.
  I can throw this dish together so fast that it is perfect for a weeknight. 

It is so creamy and delicious and I feel like I'm being healthy when I eat it.  Last time, I used low-fat Cheddar cheese and it was just as good.  That was my first time ever using a low-fat Cheddar and I thought it tasted the same as regular and it melted just as well.  

Instead of making the same old Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole next time, do yourself a favor and make this instead.  
Cheesy, Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1/2 c. quinoa, cooked according to pkg. directions
1 1/2 c. cooked chicken, diced or shredded
2 c. steamed broccoli florets
1 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 roasted red pepper, chopped, opt.
2 Tbl. flour
2 c. milk (I use 1%)
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. onion powder
pepper, to taste
2 Tbl. plain Greek yogurt
3/4 c. Cheddar cheese, grated

For Topping:
1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. Johnny's garlic seasoning (or garlic powder)
butter spray or 1 tsp. melted butter

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  In a large, oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter; add the red pepper and saute for two minutes.  Whisk in the flour until a thick paste forms.  Gradually whisk in the milk.  Add chicken bouillon powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper.  Continue cooking until thickened and creamy.  Stir in the Greek yogurt and grated cheese.  

Add the cooked quinoa, cooked chicken and steamed broccoli and stir together until everything is evenly coated in creamy sauce.  Sprinkle Panko bread crumbs, parsley and Johnny's garlic seasoning over the top and spray with butter spray.  Place in the oven and broil for a few minutes to toast the bread crumbs.  Serves: 2-3.

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