It’s amazing what can bring you back to something you love. I have been having a bit of difficulty recently – actually, for a number of months, truth be told – of not wanting to bake. There has been a vague wanting to kinda-sorta, but not enough to really incite me to do so. Seeing as that has been the one item I have been working toward – being a baker – and that has been something of a guiding light in my where-do-I-go-from-here thoughts, this presented quite the mental mire. Add to that the normal life stuff of work, worry about the future, helping friends move, work, work, work, etc., and you get me thinking about my blog with trepidation.
Though time will tell whether I have completely moved past this hurdle, a confluence of occurrences has brought me to the current post. First, I inherited a zucchini that had presumably been intended for slicing and adding to bagels at an office meeting a few weeks back. I’m presuming that because I also obtained cherry tomatoes and a pickling cucumber from after that meeting, but no one seems to have gone for any of those toppings – not even the person who brought them. Not sure what went on there. Probably one of those “this sounds like an amazing idea!” things that just didn’t get followed through – much like me and cottage cheese. I mean, I like it, but any time I buy it I forget it’s even there.
Add to the zucchini an episode of Scrubs in which Kelso gets free muffins for life. Mikal commented afterward about the episode making him want muffins. I told him to grate the zucchini for me (we had been watching a Scrubs marathon as I was home sick and feeling thoroughly shitty) and maybe I’d do something with it. You’re welcome.
I was rather startled to realize that I have not yet posted a zucchini bread recipe. I mean, it’s only one of my favorite summer baked goods. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? It’s one of the first things my mom made when we moved up to Washington state, and the house we moved into had a small number of garden beds with squashes and pumpkins and sunflowers and raspberries. Prior to that we had lived in California, where she had made some things – I remember blueberry pancakes, which I didn’t particularly like, and crepes – but not much. I think the growing things inspired her. I remember being very confused when she said she was making zucchini bread – I mean, it’s a vegetable that tastes great sliced and breaded and fried, why would you make that into bread? Wouldn’t it be gross? I was really very skeptical until it came out of the oven smelling like heaven, and tasting even better. We had a lot of zucchini that summer, some of them absolutely huge, so we made a few batches.
I guess it makes sense that nostalgia would be one of the more frequent catalysts for igniting a passion for something you love.
The recipe below is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which I love for her stories and great recipes. While I have a zucchini bread recipe somewhere in the kitchen, I turned to Pinterest to see what I had pinned, maybe find one I have found to be good. This recipe has a good amount of spice (the other one I was looking at had no spices, but did add lemon zest – I’ll try that with what zucchini I have left over), so it might be a little more appropriate closer to the autumn time. Then again, I think I am looking forward to autumn, since that is when I historically have re-entered baking mode. There’s just something about shorter, windier days and turning leaves that makes me want to warm the house with baking.
Zucchini Bread Muffins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease 24 muffin tins or line them with baking cups.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then mix in oil, yogurt, and sugar to combine. Add in zucchini and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Divide batter evenly across the 24 muffin cups. (I found that a 1/4 cup measure is pretty much perfect for this – the muffins rise quite considerably, so I’m rather glad I didn’t go with the 1/3 cup.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of a middle muffin comes out clean.