Zucchini Banana Nut Bread

Zucchini Banana Nut Bread

Zucchini Banana Nut Bread

Summer is winding down pretty quickly and Autumn will soon be upon us, but there is still time to stop by your local farmer’s market and stock up on all the fabulous produce they have to offer – which is exactly what I have been doing for the past several weeks.

I must say, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh, locally grown produce. Anything you bake and/or cook with fresh fruits and veggies tastes more flavorful, not to mention it feels so good to support the local farmers.

While strolling through the entrance of a farmer’s market recently, I caught sight of a huge zucchini at a nearby stand. I was quick to purchase the monster squash before anyone else could snap it up, and as I placed it gently in my canvas shopping bag, I knew that I had severely underestimated just how big and heavy it actually was. After just a few minutes of toting the hefty veggie around the market, it began to dawn on me that it probably would have been wiser to save that purchase for last. :)

One of the first things I thought of using the zucchini in was bread, but instead of making the usual zucchini bread, I decided to combine it with another family favorite, bananas, and made this delicious and incredibly moist Zucchini Banana Nut Bread. This yummy bread is quick and easy to prepare, and can be enjoyed anytime of the day – whether it is with a cup of coffee for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack.

Now, what should I use the rest of the zucchini in?? (trust me, I have a lot left over)

~Enjoy~
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Zucchini Banana Nut Bread

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup mashed banana (approx. 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan, or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, banana, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and pecans.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool bread in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend thus far.

If you’re thinking about preparing something extra special for breakfast, or brunch, for your Labor Day holiday, you may want to consider whipping up a batch of this Overnight French Toast. The best part is that you can prepare this dish the evening before you want to serve it, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it into the oven and 30 – 35 minutes later, you have a delicious breakfast for you and your family.

~Enjoy~




Overnight French Toast

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 slices of thick-cut french bread
8 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, measured then chopped
maple syrup and/or powdered sugar for topping (optional)

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Pour on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish, overlapping if necessary.

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.

Sprinkle chopped pecans over bread slices.

Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.

In the morning, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter for at least 10 minutes – while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. If the top starts browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the pan for the last 10 minutes or so.
You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked, but don’t dry it out completely.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar, if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Here’s another recipe featuring one of my favorite Fall ingredients – Pumpkin!

I love pumpkin in almost everything…pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, and especially pumpkin muffins. The pecan streusel topping on these wonderful pumpkin spice muffins adds the perfect finishing touch. In fact, these muffins are so incredibly moist and delicious, I’m having a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole batch. :)

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan Streusel Topping

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper baking liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter, eggs, sugars, pumpkin, and vanilla until combined.

Gradually add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling three-fourths full.

For topping, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack.

Makes 24 muffins.



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Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my very favorite treats. There’s nothing better than enjoying a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie on a chilly Autumn day. Throw some toffee bits and pecans into the mix, and you’ve got an extra special treat to help warm you through and through. :)

~Enjoy~




Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Heath English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
1/2 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs; blend well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Fold in chocolate chips, toffee bits and pecans.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Cool completely.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.



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