Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stay at Home Saturday returns

Happy Saturday! We apologize for the brief Stay at Home Saturday sabbatical. What can we say? It's summa time in the South and we haven't been at home!!!!

Our faithful reader, Amy A., wanted to see to it that this Saturday sabbatical came to a screeching halt and has been generous to share a few tried n trues...a recipe and not one, not two but THREE tips ALL wrapped in one. How great is that?!?! Thank you, Ames! You da bomb dot com.

Without further ado...from the home of Amy A.!

I make this Paula Deen zucchini bread recipe all the time. It freezes well and is sooo good. I just made loaves for each of my son's VBS teachers and it was a hit. This makes 2 loaves so you could always halve the recipe. I do it all the time.

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

Tip #1 – When I first started making this, my bread never came out cleanly; the bottom always stuck to the pan. My mom told me to do what my grandmother always did and it works like a charm: Grease and flour your pan (for you non-Southerners, that means grab the Crisco and start smearing the entire pan with a thin layer. Then shake flour all over it to cover the shortening.) Then trace and cut wax paper for the bottom and grease and flour it too. Put it in the bottom and pour your batter on top of it. When you turn out your bread you’ll just have to peel the wax paper off of the bread!

Tip #2 – To make this healthier, I use the Sneaky Chef’s flour blend, which is equal parts all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and wheat germ (so if you need a cup of flour, you would use 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, 1/3 c. whole wheat flour and 1/3 c. wheat germ). It doesn’t rise quite as high as the original recipe, but I promise you can’t taste the difference. It is so good and much healthier!

Tip #3 – This bread makes great gifts. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and then foil. Tie a pretty bow on it and attach a personal gift tag. I just ordered some off of Vista Print, which Carolina Clipper told us about on Thursday. Imogene gave me the idea to order the free business cards and just put your family’s name on the front, blanking out the rest of the info. I’m going to start attaching the cards to food gifts, baby gifts, wedding gifts and more. Great idea, Imogene!

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