School's here. I already told you that, but now it's official.
Volleyball is in full swing. Well It's actually been in full swing since July, but now that I have to deal with school AND volleyball. My free time is limited. When I do have this rare free time, baking just doesn't seem to fit. Practice is right after school and I get home at 6. Then it's shower, food, homework, and what little else I can fit in. It seems like baking may need to take a bit of a back seat.
Weekends you say? We have all day tournaments every Saturday. Which leaves Sunday for homework and errands. I'm going to try to do some baking, but when I can. I don't want to overwhelm myself, or buy ingredients I never get around to using.
Another bit of news. I don't want to go into too much here, but I have a bit of a food allergy. I've been dealing with it for quite a while. And when I say this, I mean it. Food and eating are obviously two loves of mine, but unfortunately they don't love me. Without going into too much (and we still don't know completely what it is that affects me or the extent of it) I cannot digest many foods well. I get a mixture of painful heartburn to unpleasant and more than average "burp-like" responses, as well as a burning throat and upset stomach. There isn't too much rhyme or reason to which foods cause it or which symptoms I'll have, but we do know it's been going on for a long while and isn't stopping.
In an effort to finally do something about this, I'm working to isolate the problem. This is not an easy thing to do. My first attempt: going gluten-free. Many people are gluten-free, whether it's due to disease or diet. It's a tough transition, but there is enough out there that I am able to still have food options. When it's difficult is eating with others. At our senior retreat, pizza was bought for the whole class. Uh-oh. Long story short, my BFF's always have may back and turned what could have been a really painful experience (both digestively and socially), into a hilarious lunch where I sneakily ate some gluten-free food I hid in my purse. I love those girls!
But still, I don't believe avoiding gluten is the solution. There are foods with wheat gluten that I can eat, and I feel fine after doing so. Like the bagel I ate this morning. I had no problem whatsoever. And then there is peanut butter. The love of my life, peanut butter. It basically destroys me whenever I eat it. =(((( I tried organic almond butter (almonds are not legumes like peanuts) and I still felt a little upset afterward. Oh! And I had one measly slice of a cucumber onetime, and it was soooo painful! Whyyyyyyy??? And I always eat Clif bars as a safe food, but then onetime I had one (though it was on I'd never had before) and it hurt me. Weirddddd.
This is a pretty personal problem and maybe I shouldn't be sharing it, by why not? It is something I'm dealing with and I don't want to be ashamed or embarrassed. By typing this out it is really helping me to take a good look at what is happening with me. Though it is clear the causes are still unknown, I'll just take it one day at a time.
What does this mean to you? Nothing. But it does mean that the things I bake will be very selective, or what I bake may "hurt" me, in a sense. A lot of baked goods seem not to effect me well. Then again, some have no effect.
The bottom line: I don't have time to do all the baking I wish I could, though I will still try! However, if I do bake, it may not be in the best interest for me or my body. But.... I could never go cold turkey with my love of bake goods. That's like telling the muffin man he may want to consider a new day job. Not happening. So you'll see me posting, but more infrequently.
I'm still checking your blogs, though, and I'll try my best to comment like usual!
The excess of summery zucchini led me to make an item reminiscent of Fall. I made a small batch, but these were so good. Moist to a tee and the cream cheese frosting is beyond good. If you're not in the mood for them right now, keep these in your back pocket. You will not be disappointed.
If you search for this recipe online, you're not likely to find it. Her online zucchini cupcake recipe is different than the one from her book. The one I am posting is the one from her book.
Zucchini Spice Cupcakes
from Martha Stewart
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 cups packed grated zucchini
1 cup walnuts (about 3 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, and zest until well blended; whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Stir in zucchini, then add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in walnuts.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, use an offset spatula to spread cupcakes with frosting. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; before using bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.