Blueberry Zucchini Bread

So we now look at the calendar and realize that the past two months have been filled with a non-stop eating fest and our pants are a little on the tight side. It isn’t your fault poor-little-under-appreciated January, but for some reason a crazy person came up with this strange idea of “New Years Resolutions”. Most people set that crazy goal to lose that holiday weight, well I’m here to tell you that I am not that kind of person! So on that note, this recipe is super “healthy”. It involves this special ingredient called zucchini and can be considered a diet food;)

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 pint fresh blueberries (or 2 pints, if you prefer super blueberry-ish)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Fold in zucchini and blueberries. Pour into prepared pans.

Note: if you peel your zucchini before shredding, there will be no “green” and no one will be the wiser, good way to trick the kiddos!

Crumb Topping

Mix together:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Crumble this on top of your bread batter and bake for 45-50 minutes. Test it with a knife in the center, if it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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Candied Pecans

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I find myself sitting at my desk at work, writing up patient charts,  for what seems like an eternity….what gets me thru that?? SUGAR! I have at least 10 lbs of peanut M&M’s in my cupboard at all times…and 9 boxes of Hot Tamales (well, make that 8 after today) and a large stash of these babies!!!! 

1/2 cup brown sugar ( I prefer dark)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white (If i want them super-duper coated, I use 2 whites)
2 tablespoons water
1 lb pecan halves

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.

Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into the pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated and joyously happy.

Spread coated pecans onto a large baking sheet. I use parchment paper to line it, because I despise washing dishes;)

Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour and 15 mins. Then pour into a dish and munch away!

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My desk…..See….I told you! It’s a serious problem….M&M’s should have a help line!!! LOL!

 

Sour Cream Banana Bread

img_87481/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas (so here’s my secret to the bananas…..I buy them ripe, then once they start to brown….I chuck them in the freezer (not too violently, I promise)….then an hour before I plan on making the bread….I put them on the counter to defrost….then, cut the tops off and squeeze into the mixing bowl, works perfectly every time!! Oh….and no mashing is involved;)
2 cups sour cream
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp banana extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease four 7×3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture. ( by this i mean….dump the mixture in the 1st pan…..shake, the move to pan #2……etc…)
In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, bananas, sour cream, extracts and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans. If I have leftover sugar/cinnamon mixture, I will sprinkle this on top before throwing into the oven.  Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

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(Makes 24 muffins)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips (trust me on this one)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Mix in the butterscotch chips…..Scoop (I use a size 16 ice cream scoop, its the perfect size) into the prepared (liners in and then sprayed with cooking spray) muffin pans. Bake for about 20-25 mins.  Test with a toothpick, should come out clean. If not, bake another min or so:)
Note….for both versions I sprinkle sparkling sugar on them before baking….adds a happy sparkle and crunch….who doesn’t like that?