Friday, March 27, 2009

Easy Zucchini Bread

Several years ago, I discovered a recipe for Zucchini Bread that was so simple and yet quite tasty. This week I decided to make it for a co-worker's birthday. 

I made some for my husband at the same time and he DEVOURED it! He likes it refrigerated, but it is just as good stored at room temperature. That's assuming, of course, that you have some left over to store!   (-:

1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini (approx. 3 small or 1 medium zucchini)

Place 2/3 cups of chopped pecans in a single layer in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 6 or 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted.

Shred zucchini.

Place cake mix, milk, canola oil and eggs in mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for approximately 1 minute - scraping the bowl as necessary.

Stir in shredded zucchini.

Add 2/3 cup of toasted chopped pecans.

Stir until well-combined.

Pour batter evenly into 2 lightly greased loaf pans.  Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup chopped pecans evenly over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center. 

Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Remove bread from pans to wire rack and let cool at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pecan Cinnamon Bun Bread

I confess that I am a "dunker"! I LOVE to "dunk" any kind of coffee cake, donut or cinnamon roll in my coffee. 

If any of you like "Monkey Bread" then you are going to LOVE this recipe.  Think of it as "Extreme Monkey Bread"! 

I have been making this recipe for some 20 years and I have to say that it is one of my very favorite breakfast splurges!

I hope you enjoy it, too!

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 oz. Butterscotch pudding mix (NOT instant)
25 oz. pkg. homestyle frozen rolls
1/3 cup chopped pecans
additional 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in saucepan over medium-low heat; stirring frequently.

While butter mixture is melting in saucepan, grease Bundt pan well.

Sprinkle chopped pecans in bottom of prepared Bundt pan.

Place frozen rolls on top of pecans. Sprinkle dry pudding mix evenly over frozen rolls.

Continue stirring butter and brown sugar mixture until butter is melted completely and mixture is blended well.

Pour this mixture over everything in the Bundt pan. If desired, you may sprinkle an additional 1/3 cup chopped pecans on the top of this mixture in pan.  

Cover pan loosely with wax paper and allow to sit on counter overnight in a draft free area.

This is what it will look like the next morning after you remove the wax paper prior to baking.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. 

*Note: I usually cover mine loosely with a piece of aluminum foil after about 15 minutes so the top does not overcook.

Remove from oven.

Invert onto serving plate.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Spicy Smoked Sausage Soup

1 (14 oz.) turkey smoked sausage, or kielbasa
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks of celery, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32 oz.) box of chicken broth
1 can (15.5 oz) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes, cut up
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a nonstick skillet, cook smoked sausage over medium heat until lightly browned.  
Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Cook approximately 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stirring constantly.

Transfer sausage and vegetable mixture to slow cooker. 

Add shredded carrots.

Add sliced zucchini.

Add rinsed and drained beans.

Add stewed tomatoes.

Finally, add chicken broth and stir until well combined.

Cover and cook on Low for 8-9 hours.