Welcome! I'm a new Pittsburgher and mom who is untrained in both life and cooking, but that just makes them both more exciting!

Classic Zucchini Bread

My work colleague has a magical garden that grows 2-foot-long zucchinis (no exaggeration).  And these puppies are so wide that I can hardly fit my hands around them.  For.  Real. When she was giving them away I scooped one up and soon realized that it was going to be the gift that keeps on giving: zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, and zucchini cookies have all made their way out of my kitchen this week.  And the summer is still young, so if I end up changing the name of this blog to Life and Zucchini, you'll know why.    As it turns out, zucchini plants love heat and we've been having a hot hot hot summer.  100 degrees on Saturday!  In Pittsburgh!  That's just unreasonable (unless you happen to be Nonnie, in which case this is ideal weather and you can now consider taking your sweater off).  We have been filling our free time with Lily at the mall's indoor play area, the grocery store, the pool, and anywhere else that promises an escape from the searing heat.

For this bread, I made one big bundt loaf instead of two smaller ones (which the recipe called for).  I have very few cooking supplies unpacked here, so I needed to go out and buy a grater and loaf pans... but I only had two 20% off coupons for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, so if I made smaller loaves then I would have had to cook them separately.  No one wants the oven at 350 for two full hours during a heat wave.  So, I just bought a bundt pan and skipped the hassle (and the extra money for another loaf pan!).  Please try not to judge my cheapness.

In other recipe changes, I switched out the oil in the recipe for apple sauce - beach time in one month!  And I omitted the nuts because my coworkers would be eating it, and I didn't want to risk nut allergies (killing someone wouldn't give everyone the best first impression).

Classic Zucchini Bread

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 apple sauce 4 eggs, beaten 1/3 cup water 2 cups grated zucchini 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine apple sauce, 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. A single bundt pan took about an hour and ten minutes.

Source: adapted from Paula Deen

Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream

Bye Bye, House.