Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Carrot and Zucchini Bars* w/Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is a KEEEEEEEEPER!!  
I think this is more like a snack cake than a bar.
It is moist AND ... SO good!

INGREDIENTS for the Bars:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 small pinches of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (some may prefer to use cinnamon in place of the ginger)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Smart Balance blend of oils)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups finely shredded  carrots (I used a "fine grate" disc on my food processor to get this done.)
1 cup finely shredded zucchini (If using larger zucchini, cut in half and remove seeds/dry stuff.  I do not peel it.)
1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans?), optional

INGREDIENTS for the Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS for making the bars:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger).  Set aside.

In a "quite large" mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Whisk until well mixed.  Set aside so the sugar granules can better dissolve while you grate the carrots and zucchini.

Grate the carrots and the zucchini.

Dump the well-whisked dry ingredients AND the grated carrots AND the grated zucchini AND the chopped nuts to the "wet ingredients" in the large mixing bowl.  Using a wide spatula or wooden spoon, GENTLY stir or fold these ingredients evenly into the wet ingredients-- to have the finished product end up lighter, do NOT over-mix/stir.

Dump finished batter into the prepared pan/dish, like this... 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, which is about 25 minutes.  Coming out of the oven, mine looked like this... 
Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

DIRECTIONS for making the icing:
Using an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until it's smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat together until all is VERY smooth and creamy-like (2-3 minutes?).  Spread evenly over the cooled bars.  
The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature OR in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  These also FREEZE very well!

*Recipe, with a different kind of icing, was adapted from website of  And, before that, it came from  the
Better Homes and Gardens website at

Monday, August 26, 2013

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread* (actually, it's more cake-like!)

If you are "into" CHOCOLATE, 
you will probably like this.  

If you are NOT, NOT make this!!!

"Double Chocolate" =  very CHOCOLATE'Y!!

In addition to cocoa, each loaf 
has a whole cup of semi-sweet 
chocolate chips in it! (To make it with "less of strong chocolate", use milk chocolate chips, or leave 'em out altogether.)


The following ingredients make just ONE of the 8x4-inch loaves.  Double all ingredients to make two as shown above.
1 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hershey's cocoa)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I use aluminum-free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Smart Balance blend)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup honey (I used honey fresh from our son's beehives)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (If using larger zucchini, cut in half and remove seeds along with its "drier stuff"-- I don't peel it.)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.  (Use milk chocolate chips IF you would rather have a more mild chocolate flavor!, or leave the chips out altogether.)
 I love nuts! and I would like to have put some in here, ...but not every family member likes them as much as I do!  Besides, my pan was FULL ENOUGH without anything else being added.

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Spray an 8x4-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.  I also cut a long/thin piece of parchment paper that will go down the end, along the bottom, and up the other end.  I spray that, too.   It seems to take the "hope" out of removing the loaf when it's done.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda).  Make sure everything is very evenly mixed together. (It's not necessary, but I also ran this dry mixture through a strainer-type sieve to get rid of any small lumps that could be in the cocoa,)  Set aside.
  • In quite a LARGE bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract.  Once this is mixed together, I like to let this stand for a few minutes so that the liquid (eggs and vanilla) can sort of "melt" the granules of brown sugar.   Maybe five minutes, ...and then I whisk it for a little bit, again.
  • NOW, I dump the bowl of whisked together "dry ingredients" into the large bowl  of the whisked together "wet" ingredients.  Before stirring, I also dump the grated zucchini and the chocolate chips on the top of all.   At this point, I start stirring/blending/folding with a wide spatula or wooden spoon.  I just want to make sure things are blended together-- over-stirring may cause a drier/tougher loaf than I want.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  When I saw how much batter I had in comparison to the size of the smaller loaf pan, I thought I would surely be in "trouble" because the batter came to 1/2" from the top of the pan.  I was picturing a serious kind of "bake-over" in the oven, but,... it didn't happen.  All was well.  
  • Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick (or thin sharp knife) inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Depending on your own oven, and especially if you will be using a DARK kind of loaf pan, you might want to put a baking sheet on the rack that's below the rack you're using-- this may keep the bottom of your loaf from getting too dark before it's done.  My pans were "light colored", so I didn't have to do that.  Some bakers say the baking time may also have to be decreased a little if you are using a dark pan (a glass loaf dish, too?).  You know your oven better than anyone else-- bake accordingly.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing-- sometimes, it's hard to wait for that!!!  Store leftovers at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.  (I'm one who likes "cold cake" and I will also eat other things in their "cold state", also, so,... I like to store this in the refrigerator.)
*This recipe came from the website of King Arthur Flour.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Quick Loaf *

The one and only ZUCCHINI plant in Pam's garden 
is very, very productive!  This makes me want 
to find all kinds of ways to use what it's putting out!

I LIKE Lemon!
I LIKE Poppy Seed!
I LIKE Zucchini!
I LIKE Bread!
So,... I put 'em all together and have this!!

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil (I used "Smart Balance" oil blend)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini  (If using larger zucchini, cut lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibrous "stuff", then grate.  I did not peel it.)
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees
  • Set oven rack to second-lowest position
  • Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans (I also put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each.)
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, dry pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  • In another bowl, first whisk the eggs; add milk, oil, lemon juice and lemon extract. Whisk together.  
  • Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the "wet ingredients" into dry ingredients JUST until moistened.  (Like when making muffins, do NOT over mix this batter.)
  • Fold in the grated zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick or thin wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.  In my oven, I needed to bake these two loves for about 1 hour (or 60 minutes).  
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
* This recipe comes from the website of Kittencal's Kitchen (a while back, when I sent her an e-mail and asked if I could make some of her recipes and post them in this blog, she wrote back and said "yes".   Thanks, Kitten Cal!
Today, while making this, I thought of Wayne's late Aunt Alma-- 
I think she was 'the' expert when it came to making any
 kind of poppy seed cake and, of course, her 
poppy seed Czech-style Kolache pastries.
                                  M-M-M, goooooood!
Today, before my little helper friend got the word 
"zucchini" down, she said to me, "I've never 
had 'zoonie' bread before!"  
Actually, neither! (LOL!!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blackberry Cobbler II

This morning, shortly after sunrise and while the dew was still on everything it could be on, my husband had an "appointment" with his brother... to go wild blackberry picking.  Yep, at 6 A.M.-- sharp!!   This morning's temperature in the low 50's felt better than the 80°  we have now that things have heated up a bit.  

What to do with the berries?   Well, a couple of things for the "first berries" of this season--  eat some fresh, put some in a bowl with milk/sugar, and... make a cobbler.  Fresh out of the oven, eat it as shown above, or,... add ice cream like this:

Serves 4
(This recipe is just a weeeeeeeee bit different than the other blackberry cobbler recipe I've posted on this blog.)


1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries.  I used "fresh".
2 tablespoons more of white sugar (for sprinkling on top of batter before baking).  When sprinkling the sugar on top, try to stay away from the edges of the dish so that it will not "crystallize" around the hot sides of the glass baking dish.


Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Spray a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick spray, or grease it with butter.  (You can double this recipe and bake it in a 9x13" glass baking dish for 60-65 minutes.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking power and salt). 
Add the milk and melted butter to the combined dry ingredients; stir only until well blended.
Pour the batter into the baking dish.  
Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry.  Sprinkle the berries evenly on top of the batter.  Sprinkle the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the berries.  
Bake until light brown and bubbling. For my oven, this was 50 minutes.   (You could sprinkle another tablespoon or so of sugar on top for about the last ten minutes of baking, as shown in the photo below--  BUT!, I do NOT think that's necessary!)

Eat plain, or top with whatever 
kind of "good stuff" you like!!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Blueberry Pancakes

With this easy "from scratch" recipe, there is no need 
to keep a box of pancake mix on hand.  
At least, that's what I think!

Don't let the directions make you think this recipe 
isn't "quick" to put together because, really IS!!!

This past week, I took a little friend blueberry picking.  It was a new experience for her and, for myself, it was an experience I wanted to repeat.   We ate so many of them before they were off their bushes for a few hours.  YUM!!!  Others went into two kinds of muffins, and these into pancakes.  More of........ YUM!!!

At $3.00/lb., they were still more economical 
than paying close to that much for just a pint.


(This recipe makes about six pancakes the size of those shown in the picture.  You can easily double it for more.)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I did not use low-fat milk) 
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (shake well before measuring)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries (I used fresh)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Add the vinegar to the milk and let sit for about five minutes to "curdle".
  2. During the five minutes that the milk is "souring", combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk together well-- the flour, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. When milk is ready, whisk the egg and melted butter into it.
  4. Pour the dry mixture into the mixture of liquid ingredients. Mix only until quite smooth.  Add berries.  Stir in.
  5. Heat pan or griddle to medium heat and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Pour 1/3 cupfuls of batter* on the prepared hot surface.

7.  Flip to finish.   Serve with whatever you desire.

*The deep color of the yolks in the free-range eggs 
we have is what made the batter/pancakes 
more yellow than usual.

Above:  If you don't have extra berries to garnish 
the plate, that's okay, too!!!!  Believe me!, there's 
nothing wrong with eating them just like this!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ziti-Chicken-Zucchini Pasta Bake ("Lasagna Wannabe"-- sort of!)

This maybe doesn't look like the traditional lasagna, but its taste is SO similar!   A friend, Bruce, gave us plenty of Pepper Jack cheese; Pam's garden gave us the zucchini; and some left-over pieces of rotisserie chicken were just waiting to be used in.............. something.   This recipe used all of that.

  • 1 lb. box of ZITI or PENNE PASTA (uncooked)
  • 2 of 23.5 ounce jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium-fine
  • 10 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I used some left-over rotisserie chicken).  If need be, I'm sure you could get by with just one cupful of small pieces of chicken.
  • 1 and 1/2  OR 2 cups shredded zucchini
If you used a larger/deeper baking dish, I can see putting a thin layer of cottage OR ricotta cheese in here, too.  Also, mushrooms and various other vegetables.


Cook dry pasta in boiling water until "medium soft" (I boiled mine for 11 minutes).  Drain.  Set aside.

In a 9x13" baking dish that's been sprayed with non-stick oil, layer the ingredients as follows.  While layering, I VERY LIGHTLY salted and peppered each individual layer(s) of pasta, and the zucchini:
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 amount of grated cheese
  • Zucchini
  • Pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Remaining amount of cheese

My dish was VERY full.  In fact, after I added each layer of the cooked Penne pasta, needed to press it down a bit.  When I was done "layering", I took a spatula and gently moved ingredients a little away from around the edges so that the sauce would have more room as it heated.  Then, to be "kinder" to my oven, I set this dish on a dark kind of shallow baking sheet for... just in case it bubbled over.   But,... it didn't.

I baked this 9x13" batch for about 45 minutes 
(at 350-degrees) when I saw little bubbles around 
the edges.  Before serving, let set for 
about 10 minutes before dishing up.