Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Garden's Summer Bounty

The bounty of our summer garden is in full swing with lots of squash and zucchini coming into my kitchen right now  I'm giving away lots, since there are just the two of us,  but saving and preserving a bunch as well. The tomatoes, beans and all the rest are not far behind, and the canning will be in full swing in a couple of weeks.  So in the spirit of sharing and giving, I thought I'd share my favorite Zucchini Bread recipe with you all. It is super moist and delicious, with or without nuts.  Excellent warm out of the oven with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream. I just pulled two more loaves out of the oven, and my kitchen smells divine! I hope you will make some for your family!

Southern Zucchini Nut Bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease & flour two 8-inch loaf pans

3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg

(Sift all dry ingredients together in separate bowl and set aside)

3 eggs
1 C vegetable oil
2-1/4 C granulated sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract (or kick it up a notch with 1-1/2 tsp almond extract)
2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium zuke)
1 C chopped nuts (excellent with pecans or walnuts)

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar in large mixing bowl until well combined.  Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Batter will become fairly stiff and you might need to finish incorporating by hand.  Fold in grated zucchini and nuts.

Divide equally into the two prepared pans.

Bake 40-60 minutes on center oven rack in preheated oven until toothpick tests clean.  Cool in pans for 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Make a pot of coffee or pour yourself a glass of milk and dive in.

*If you want to elevate them for giving, mix up a lemon buttercream icing and drizzle or pipe across the top of each loaf. To do this, you need 1 box of powdered sugar, 1 stick of margarine, softened; 2 Tbs milk, 2 tsp (+/-) lemon juice.

Beat margarine and powdered sugar together, adding lemon juice one tsp at a time and milk 1 Tbs at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Put into pastry bag with piping tip and decorate as desired.  Or you can put into a zip style freezer bag, snip a teeny hole in the corner and pipe on that way.  Garnish with lemon zest.  You can freeze any remaining icing for about 1 month.

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