Somehow when I sat down to write this blog post about the zucchini bread I made last weekend it made me start to realize how intertwined this recipe is with my husband. Funny how writing makes you think about things in a new way.
The first memory I have of knowing that my now husband, then friend, was someone that I needed to spend more time getting to know, was when I saw him serving cake at a friends wedding. Everyone else was having a good time, celebrating, drinking all the drinks and I looked over and noticed that he was slicing and serving cake to everyone at the party. Taking care of everyone else was something that I realized he had been doing all the time. He was always the one at tailgates feeding everyone and trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. He loved making sure at the end of all good nights out that everyone ended up with a place to sleep and food in their bellies. As we started dating and spending more time together, I began to realize that he not only did this for our friends, he did it for his family also. Soon he began taking care of my sisters and I in the same way. He has this amazingly generous soul that he is pretty good at hiding most of the time. I feel pretty lucky to get to see it in action first hand though. Soooo…what does this have to do with zucchini bread? Good question. As I’ve mentioned a few times we have been making meals for a family in our community that could use some extra love right now. When I first mentioned to my husband that I thought this was a good idea, he jumped at the idea. We signed up originally for just one weekend and later he let me know that no one had signed up for other days so he suggested that we sign up for more weekends. I loved the idea that we could contribute more. So the last three weekends we have been preparing dinner, dessert and breakfast for the next day for this family.
As I tried to think of something to make them for breakfast, I realize that I had made blueberry muffins & biscuits and I wanted to make one last summer inspired breakfast item for Labor Day weekend. I thought about things we had on hand and things that we liked to eat – Zucchini bread came to mind as something that fit the bill. This recipe came from a bridal shower that my mother-in-law threw for me before our wedding. My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law (thats a lot of hyphens- sorry) gave us this recipe and it says at the top “Kevin, I made this for Melinda’s wedding breakfast and you really liked it”. So clearly the recipe is again tied to my husband. Before I made the recipe though I researched a few other recipes and stole some of the ideas and mixed up the original a bit.
I decided to double the recipe so that we could also have a loaf to enjoy for breakfast. The first thing that I did is cream together butter and Demerara sugar (I stole the idea to replace regular sugar with Demerara from the Smitten Kitchen zucchini bread recipe- it looks kind of funny because the sugar is so chunky) Next, I added in the eggs and vanilla and continued to mix it all with the paddle attachment of the Mixmaster.
My husband shredded this zucchini for me. The recipe said finely grated but I asked Kevin to go with the bigger holes on the box grater so that they would hold up better in the batter. Then I mixed together my dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon & fresh nutmeg in a mixing bowl. I felt like it was a little light on the spice so I added more cinnamon and nutmeg and also some allspice to jazz it up a little. Funny story about fresh nutmeg. Kevin loves to watch New Scandinavian Cooking on PBS and the host always has a whole nutmeg in his pocket. So the last time we went to Penzy’s spices, we bought nutmeg and have been grating it freshly into recipes since. It does actually taste much better and add more flavor this way. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one in my husband’s pocket…but I’m sure if I just give it some time it is bound to happen.
I love the way the zucchini looks – so vibrant and full of summer energy!
Next, I mixed half the flour mixture into the batter, just until most of the flour disappeared. Then I mixed in the zucchini (I did not squeeze out the extra liquid from the zucchini or salt it – like you do in most recipes). Then I mixed in the rest of the flour mixture until it all disappeared. Finally I roughly chopped the walnuts and mixed them into the batter.
The last thing that I did was to pour the batter into pans that I sprayed with Pam for baking – it has flour mixed in already. There was slightly more batter than I anticipated so I poured some into a third smaller pan. I baked them all together on a baking sheet. I pulled the small one out after 50 minutes and the larger ones took 60 minutes (but my oven runs cold- so be sure to check your after about 45 minutes).
We had enough extra to share some with our neighbor too. Zucchini bread for everyone!
Here are my final thoughts:
- This zucchini bread is yummy but I don’t think it knocks my socks off yet – I think it needs more zucchini and a better spice combination
- The Demerara sugar was a yummy addition.
- I was happy with the crumb of this zucchini bread, pretty light and not too dense of a texture (sorry forgot to get a picture of a slice of it)
- I probably won’t be making this with nuts again since my son just added walnuts to his allergy list…but thats another story for another day
- Thanks for listening to all the sappy stuff about my husband
Do you have a zucchini bread recipe that you love? I would love to try another one. Please let me know!
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar or Demerara sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Heat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour or (coat with a nonstick spray) a loaf pans
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Then add vanilla.
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
- Stir in half the dry ingredients into creamed mixture
- Add zucchini
- Add remaining dry ingredients and then mix in nuts gently.
- Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You can let them cool for 10 minutes on a rack before inverting and removing cakes from pans, or just let them cool completely in pans. Store wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from Kathy Kleekamp