Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

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Zucchini!

August 18, 2013

chocolate zucchini bread ii

I’m still enjoying zucchini. In the past, my zucchini has fizzled out by now. But not this year. Maybe it’s because of the newspaper I put down in the garden? I really don’t know. And what do you do with those jumbo zucchinis? Why bake with them.

I’ve shared my blueberry zucchini recipe before. This time I found a wonderful chocolate zucchini bread that is out of this world. Meeshie loves it, and she knows there’s zucchini in it. She saw the shredded zucchini in the colander in the sink and asked what I was doing with it. I told her about this wonderful bread, and although she was skeptical, she has managed to each an entire loaf.

It’s not overly sweet, but the cocoa and extra chocolate chips give it a perfect balance.  What I mean is that it tastes like chocolate.  Sometimes chocolate things are just sweet without the flavor of chocolate.  That’s not the case here.  I say that because, although I like chocolate, I don’t LOVE it.  I would not consider myself a chocoholic.  I would consider myself a very particular chocolate eater, though.

And once baked, you don’t see the shredded zucchini at all.

I wish I had a picture of the bread sliced, but I made three loaves with my jumbo zucchini, and once it was sliced it was gone.  I had this one loaf left only because it is a gift for one of my girlfriends.

chocolate zucchini bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 C Honey
  • 1/3 C Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/3 C Dutch Process Cocoa
  • 1 2/3 C Flour
  • 2 C Zucchini, shredded
  • 2/3 C Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 C Chopped Nuts, optional ( I used cashews)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, honey, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and flour.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until well combined.  Stir in the zucchini and 1/3 C of the bittersweet chocolate chips and all of the milk chocolate chips.  Add the nuts, if using.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 C bittersweet chocolate chips.  You can also sprinkle a small amount of nuts on top, if desired.

Bake for 65-75 minutes until done.  A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before turning out of pan to continue cooling.

Here’s the original recipe.  Thank you King Arthur Flour!

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More Zucchini

August 19, 2012

We are still enjoying our garden zucchini.  I’m thanking the unusually hot summer.  I usually don’t have zucchini this long, unless I plant additional halfway through the season.    I thought that since we really enjoy the oven roasted tomatoes, why not try the same method with zucchini?  Why indeed.  These zucchini chips have been eaten so fast, they’ve never made it to the table.  Meeshie keeps asking when I plan to make them again.  Soon, sweetie, I promise.

The thinner you cut the zucchini, the crisper they will become.  The crunch is what makes this so irresistible.  These chips are so worth the time needed to make.  Especially since the time element is the hardest part of the recipe.  The time depends on how thick, or thin, you slice the zucchini.  So please be patient.

Are these perfect for an appetizer?  You bet.  Would these taste heavenly as a side to a hamburger, hot dog, sausage, or your favorite sandwich?  No doubt.  Is this a great way to get your child to eat their veggies?  YES!

Oh, and the red baskets?  My husband saw those at Sur La Table at the beginning of summer.  I thought they would just sit in the cabinet unused.  I was so wrong.  We love these baskets!  We use them for lunch and dinner.  We put hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage in them.  We’ve used them for chicken wings.  I bought the double box of waxed paper from Costco and use that as the liner.

Zucchini Chips

  • 3-4 Medium Zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1-2 T Olive Oil
  • Truffle Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Parmesan

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the zucchini with the olive oil, salt and pepper to coat the zucchini evenly.  Lay the zucchini on the baking sheet on a single layer.  Bake in a 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours, flipping the zucchini after an hour and half.  If desired, toss the warm chips with freshly grated parmesan.

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My Bumper Crop

August 6, 2012

Last summer I had the worst luck with zucchini.  Not so this year.  This year my husband and I made the garden larger with a really cool gate.  This year we had room to add more celery, tomato and zucchini.  We also planted some eggplant, which I visit every other day looking for buds.

I know that all of you that plant a garden know that once your fruits and veggies come in, sometimes you need to be creative with your bounty.  And last year as I dreamt about zucchini that never came, I also planned ways to make my zucchini.  Like sauted with olive oil, pepper and truffle salt.  Or in blueberry zucchini bread, (which I’ve also made with cherries instead of the blueberry).  Or as zucchini chips.  And this great dish of kicked up risotto.  You can also make it with brown rice, but we do so love risotto.

So as I shred my zucchini to store in the freezer for bread, I’m dancing around smiling knowing that I may or may not have this wonderful fruit next season.

Zucchini Risotto

  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 2 T Butter
  • 1 C Risotto
  • 2 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 T Pesto
  • 4 C Shredded Zucchini
  • 1 C Parmesan, shredded

Heat oil and butter in large sauce pan.  Add the risotto  and saute until toasted.  Slowly add the chicken broth, allowing the risotto to soak up most of the broth before adding more.  Once all the broth has been added, add the pesto.  Add the zucchini and parmesan.  Stir until well incorporated.  Cover , remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Here’s the inspiration.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

July 7, 2010

I had something else ready to post but I’m so excited about this little baby that I had to share. 

I went out after dinner to water the tomato, cucumber and pepper plants in the garden.  I’ve been avoiding the zucchini because we’ve had so much rain and I already had one zucchini rot on me.

So I’ve been watering.  And peeking.  And praying.  It hasn’t really rained since last week and we’ve had some really hot and humid days since the 4th.  Perfect weather for my zucchini. 

I’ll be making this for dinner tomorrow.  On the grill.  Tossed in olive oil.  Sprinkled with pepper and truffle salt.

Ah, truffle salt.  I think I’ve mentioned this wonderful stuff before.  A friend I made through this blog brought this to my attention.  I really love the truffle salt on veggies.  It adds another layer of flavor that I can’t really describe.  I guess yummy just doesn’t quite cover it, does it?

Thank you D for introducing me to this salt.

I’m not sure what I’ll be eating with the zucchini, but at this point I don’t even care.

This may be the only zucchini I will enjoy this summer, you never know.

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Welcome to the Jungle

June 27, 2010

I know that I’ve been complaining about all the rain we’ve been having the last month and a half.  It has rained almost everyday for that long.  Usually it’s been a storm.  Lots of thunder and lightning.  It’s brought a lot of mushrooms in the yard.  It’s also made my vegetable garden a jungle.  My aqua cones seem like an after thought.  I’ve been weeding it as best that I can. 

That picture is of my zucchini.  I’ve got a few veggies growing on the vines and tons of zucchini flowers.  I’m looking forward to my neighbor coming into my yard to take the male flowers to fry.  Sometimes I think I grow the zucchini as much for those fried flowers as the squash itself. 

Here is one of my tomato plants.  I love those ladders that I bought this year.  In the past I would use some rebar and fasten the plant to the bar.  I don’t have to fasten anything to these ladders, plus they are sturdy and tall.  I’m planning on getting a few more next spring once we expand the garden.

Here are some Romas.  I love the flavor of the Roma tomato.  A beefsteak is a great tomato, too, but nothing comes close to the Roma.

These little babies are cherry tomatoes.  I have about 50 getting ready to turn red.  Meeshie will just stand at the garden and eat them like grapes right off the vine.  She and my husband love cherry tomatoes.  I have to say that they are my least favorite tomato.  I think it’s the pop in my mouth that puts me off.

Here is my celery.  A few weeks ago it looked like something was eating it.  What could be bothering my celery?  I have fencing around it, afterall.  Well a baby rabbit had gotten into the garden by boroughing under some of the fencing.  I was ready to ring the rabbit’s neck, but Meeshie saw it and wanted to keep it as a pet.  That is never going to happen here.  It goes without saying that I’m not a fan of the rabbits.  They are everywhere here and they eat everything in sight.

Here’s my cucumbers.  This plant has tons of flowers on it.  I planted cucumbers a few years ago and never got a single one.  I’m pretty hopeful this year.

Here’s just one of the peppers that I’ve planted.  These are a sweet banana pepper.  I’ve also planted jalapeno.  On the side of the garage is some cilantro, basil and oregano.  Can’t wait to make some  fresh salsa!

I started composting this spring.  One of my girlfriends suggested that I keep coffee grounds and egg shells to help with my rose bushes.  Unfortunately, the rose bushes didn’t come back and I had to replace them. 

I started keeping the waste in a coffee can, but the smell was horrible.  I bought this compost pail and have been putting some vegetable scraps in there too.  When we started the garden in May, I dumped the contents in there along with some top soil.

I just emptied the pail again over the weekend and Meeshie and my husband have been complaining about the smell.  I sprinkled the compost around my herbs and underneath my Japanese maple.  I told them to put their big boy pants on.  Stop being such Sally’s and be quiet.

That’s where I have those beautiful wind flowers.  A little smell for a few days is worth all this bounty, don’t you think?

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I Know Where a Garden Grows

May 27, 2010

I planted my vegetable garden last weekend. This is the earliest I’ve done it in a long while. I planted it one year on Mother’s day weekend and then a frost came and I had to replant. This year I’m not only optimistic but prepared if a frost should come. And it probably will. Memorial Day weekend is usually when I plant, but I’m more anxious this year, I guess.

I planted my stand by of tomatoes, jalapeños, banana peppers, green peppers and zucchini. I added cucumbers, garlic, and celery this year. Yes celery. My neighbor gave me some celery which I have never seen at the nursery to plant before. I still need to get basil and oregano but I have planted cilantro.

Last year I planted the herbs in an area near the house and they did very well. This year I’m not sure how well they will work out. The rabbits are so brutal and they just eat whatever strikes their fancy. Which means I never know what they will eat from year to year or week to week.

I’ll be adding my irrigation system to the garden one day this week. It helps me keep down the weeds if I put down enough cones.

I also bought tomato ladders this year. If they work out, I’ll be getting a few more next year when we expand the garden.

Now I just need to be patient.  That’s the hardest part of gardening.  That at weeding.

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