Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blueberry Lemon CupCakes With Lemon Frosting

Blueberries are in abundance and so very sweet! I stock up while they're in season by freezing batches in baggies. How great it is to have these berries come the cold weather months. When I saw this recipe on Jess' lovely blog, Forgiving Martha, I couldn't resist. I changed it a bit to suit my cupcake fancy. I added some extra lemon flavor to make it real lemony as well as decreasing the sugar in the frosting and adding sour cream for tang and a not-too-sweet taste.
I've baked these twice and guests were quite pleased with the refreshing summer taste and raved about the moistness. This is a keeper for sure. Thanks Jess for the original recipe. I'm glad I stopped by to visit you and found this gem! Hope my readers are just as pleased.

¾ cup of all purpose flour, Plus 2 tablespoons to reserve for berries
¾ cup cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cup sugar Plus 2 tablespoons
Zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup milk, Plus 2 tablespoons at room temperature
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and stems removed

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
yellow food coloring (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners. Set aside
  1. In a bowl, combine ¾ cup of AP flour, cake flour, baking powder & salt. Blend
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together oil, sugar, lemon zest. Beat 2-3 minutes until fluffy
  3. One at a time, beat in eggs. Add lemon juice and lemon extract.
  4. Decrease speed to low, mix in half the dry ingredients & blend just until incorporated. Don't over beat!
  5. Blend in milk, then add remaining dry ingredients & blend until just incorporated.
  6. In a small bowl, gently toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons of reserved flour. Fold berries into batter.
  7. Fill liners ¾ full with batter
  8. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  9. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire baking rack
  10. Cream together butter, sour cream, lemon juice & extract until fluffy
  11. Slowly add confectioner's sugar until desired consistency is reached
  12. Add a drop of yellow food coloring for a more lemon color, if desired. Blend well
  13. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting and enjoy! Yields approx. 15 cupcakes
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    Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zucchini Squares From Anna

Anna Santaniello was the Rectory cook for the first 10 years I was employed at St. Aedan's. Anyone who met her, loved her. She was a plump lady who, like in the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", shook when she laughed like a bowlful of jelly. She laughed often. She is remembered for her kindness, her devout prayer life, her love of family & friends, and for her wonderful cooking skills.
Starting at 3:30 in the afternoon, the Rectory was fragrant with the scent of the delicious meal she'd serve to the priests that night. She was willing to try anything and went out of her way to prepare homeland favorites for the priests who came from India. She listened to their advice, skimmed through  cookbooks or magazines and successfully created a near perfect Indian meal. The aroma of curry, cumin, cardamom and ginger permeated the air. The rice cooker was a permanent fixture in her kitchen, the scent of the steaming grain reminding me of popcorn. The pastor, who is of Italian descent, enjoyed the meals she cooked from their shared ancestry. Her tomato sauce was superb and often covered tasty meatballs, thin slices of fried eggplant or steak pizzaiola. From her neighbor's garden bounty came Swiss chard that filled raviolis in brown butter sauce, zucchini baked into savory squares and lots of  sauteed broccoli rabe.
My co-worker and cohort in kitchen crime, Gloria, would arrive at work and immediately ask, "What did Anna cook last night?" and together we would raid the refrigerator. We'd steal a taste of her homemade turkey pot pie, vegetable stir-fry or her famous chicken with green olives and white wine sauce. Yum!
Anna didn't know how NOT to cook great.  Why? Because everything was made with fresh ingredients, creativity, enthusiasm and most of all.....Love. We at St. Aedan's rectory will miss you, Anna, and everything that made you so very special. I know God has another Top Chef in His grand kitchen. So, dear Anna, save me a place at His table.
In Loving Memory of Anna M. Santaniello, August 16, 1928-June 27, 2011

Zucchini Squares
I am honored to have several of Anna's recipes. Because it is summer and the harvest over-flows with zucchini, I'd like to share one of my favorites: Zucchini Squares, a tasty, moist side dish that is easy to prepare and a sure keeper.
3 cups of zucchini (squash) both green & yellow, diced
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup of oil (any kind)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup Jiffy or Bisquick baking mix
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt & pepper  & garlic powder to taste

Pre-heat oven 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased 10" baking dish. Bake 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. That's it!
Tip: Always taste your zucchini to check that it's not bitter. 
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table