Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zucchini Bread (high altitude recipe)

When we moved to Utah from California, I was devastated when most of my baking recipes didn't turn out right - especially my breads!  It took me a bit to figure out the high altitude challenges, make the adjustments & get back to baking zucchini, banana & pumpkin breads again.

This recipe has been my most-successful for zucchini bread.  I made 5 loaves yesterday from ONE zucchini my neighbor brought over - wow!  One and one-half of the loaves are already gone.  Happy, happy family!

I especially like that the outside crust gets slightly crisp.  You can substitute mini-chocolate chips for the raisins in this recipe if you're like me & don't like raisins!

Zucchini Bread - High Altitude Recipe

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (you can substitute unsweetened applesauce for this but it makes the bread heavier & the crust doesn't crisp up as well)
1 Tblsp vanilla
2 cups shredded or ground zucchini (squeeze out excess liquid before using, but don't worry too much)
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (I sometimes use 1 cup whole wheat & 2 cups all-purpose)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp double-acting baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease 2  9x5x3" loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend eggs, sugars, oil & vanilla.  Add zucchini.  Mix well.
  3. Mix and sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg together.  (I usually don't sift anything - I just plunk it all in a bowl & stir it well with a wire whisk.)
  4. Combine dry ingredients with liquid mixture.  Mix just until moistened.  Add walnuts & raisins, stirring only until blended.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  6. Bake about 50-60mins (depending upon your oven), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pans for 10-15 mins, then remove loaves to a cooling rack.
These loaves freeze really well!  Make a few, wrap extras in wax paper & place in ziplock bag.  They defrost moist & delicious, but without the slight crisp on the crust.  They keep well up to 3 months.

You can substitute mini-chocolate chips or the raisins, if you like.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spinach and Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breasts

**I really enjoyed this recipe.  My family is out of  town this week and I didn't make it for my youngest daughter, so I don't know how friendly it will be to the entire family, but if you like spinach and pepper jack cheese, you will enjoy this. This recipe came from Food, Friends and Fun**

1 9oz pkg fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness.
1 pinch ground black pepper
8 slices bacon (optional)  *I did not use**

Place spinach in a large glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until wilted.  Stir in the sour cream, pepper jack cheese, and garlic.

Lay chicken breasts out on a clean surface, and spoon some of the spinach mixture onto each one.  Sprinkle with pepper.  Roll up the chicken to enclose the spinach, then wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon.  Secure with a toothpick or 2 and place in a 9x13 baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, then increase the heat to 500 degrees and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes to brown the bacon.


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