It's official, today begins my annual countdown for back to school. I know this doesn't necessarily sit well with my boys, or my teacher friends, but for a mom dealing with an extremely stressful summer..... LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN !!
1. Skill in doing or making something, as in the arts; proficiency.
2. To make by hand.
I was hoping for a better definition than I found on-line, but I guess this is close enough. I wanted it to say that there are all kinds of crafters: needle workers, quilters, potters, wood workers, pen makers, seamstress, bakers, chefs, gardeners, etc. (these are all that are coming to my mind - sorry if I missed anyone).
Today, I chose my "baker" craft:
Zucchini bread with blueberries
Zucchini muffins with raisins and sliced almonds.
I probably have six medium to large zucchini sitting on my kitchen counter. I picked two more yesterday and decided today was a good day to do something with them. I made four loaves of zucchini bread about a week ago and put them in the freezer. Over the weekend we had zucchini pie (Betty Crocker), my husband's favorite. Zucchini by itself doesn't freeze well, I found out through personal experience. So this time every year I spend several weeks trying to come up with new ways to use it. The bread, muffins and pie are always the favorites we keep going back to over and over. The muffins are great on-the-go breakfast. They pack well for lunches and are the epitome in portion control. The bread not so much. I love it warm out of the oven. Once you have the basic recipe, you can add what you like and create your own favorite. My favorite version has dried cranberries, nuts and coconut. I've made it with pineapple, blueberries, cranberries (dried/fresh), apples, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, walnuts/pecans, plain. The possibilities are endless. And just to amp up the healthy factor, I now use wheat flour in combination with all purpose white.
So here's my basic recipe:
3 c. flour (if using wheat, 1 1/2 c. each white/wheat)
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
Sift all dry ingredients together. Set aside.
1 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 T. sherry (optional)
1 t. grated lemon zest
2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini
Cream together. Add flour mixture.
Now's the time to add the extras in any combination you like. Remember, the bread is really good plain, too.
1 c. raisins - dark or golden
1 c. shredded, sweetened coconut
1 c. chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
1 large carrot, peeled, shredded
1 pint blueberries
1 c. chopped apples
8 oz. crushed, drained pineapple
Pour batter into 2 prepared loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
To make the muffins, I lined the tin with papers and baked for about 30 mins.
Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing.
Freezes really well.
Hope you enjoy.