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Zucchini Bread and Frozen Pipes

We’ve had some of the coldest weather I can ever remember this last week. We got down to 13 degrees – and for a gal that grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast – believe me that’s cold. I know it’s colder just about every where else, and I know people up north are still trying to dig out – but like most things in life – it’s all relative. So for me – that 13 degrees was pretty cold and miserable.

Before the cold hit – David and I took time to make sure the cars would fit in the garage, all the pipes were wrapped (except for the one at the well house that burst), and that the generator was full of gas just in case we lost power. The goldfish pond had a frozen waterfall – very pretty – and there was a thin sheet of ice on it as well as the big pond. To me that was totally amazing – I’ve never seen a pond or lake in Texas freeze over anywhere I’ve lived. David is still working on repairing the broken pipe down at the well. There was so much water inside the well house – I think we could have gone ice skating had the water on the floor frozen.

Not a whole lot you can do when it’s that cold. So we spent most of our time watching football (or David’s favorite the news), working on our affiliate business on the computer or cooking and eating (my favorite). I had cooked up some extra meals if we lost power but since we didn’t I’ve got a ‘stash’ of things we can eat on all this week.   One of the extras I fixed was to take all of the leftovers from New Year’s and put them together. I ended up with a casserole that oddly enough was pretty good. I mixed together leftover baked chicken (chopped up), about a cup of white cream gravy, cooked rice, chopped onions and some grated Italian cheeses. Put it all in a casserole – BTW, the Italian cheese was only on top – and baked it. Not bad. In fact, we liked it well enough that I’ll probably make it again – even if I don’t have leftovers.

Also made a loaf of zucchini bread. We enjoy eating it for breakfast with a spread made of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter – although it’s good anytime. This is my recipe which is one I’ve modified from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. Too bad can’t make it sugar-free but I’ve learned from experience that sugar substitutes just don’t work in cakes, cookies or breads very well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 medium sized zucchini grated
  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1-2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans)
  • Optional ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut (yummmmm)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a loaf pan (9x5x3).

Mix butter and sugar; add in eggs, water and zucchini. Blend in flour, vanilla and remaining dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and optional ingredients if using. Pour into pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 10 days.

We’re warming up slowly – and I’m looking forward to getting outside later this week to start pruning some of the trees and bushes . . . may even get started on the garden if I have enough time.


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