Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another zucchini post...

...if you can stand it.

My squash is ripening in droves, which I am so excited about. I've never met a summer squash recipe I didn't love. This beautiful cake is another example:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

The recipe won rave reviews from kids and the missionaries alike, who were over for dinner last night. This cake is super moist and very rich. A small piece will serve you well. The secret? Amish apple butter, which isn't actually butter. It's just pureed apples and spices. Elliott told me the missionaries were talking about the cake the whole way home... it's that good!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
(recipe adapted from here)

2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. apple butter
4 eggs
3 c. grated zucchini (approx. 3 small zucchinis)
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Using your stand mixer, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, apple butter, and eggs. Add to flour mixture, and mix on low for about 20 seconds, scrape sides, then mix on medium for 2 more minutes. Add undrained grated zucchini and chocolate chips to batter, and mix on low until everything is evenly incorporated.

Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes (start checking at 45, just in case your oven runs hot). When cake is done, a toothpick will come out with chocolate marks on it, but no liquid batter. It won't be completely clean though, as the apple butter makes the cake extremely moist. Cool the cake completely if you will be frosting it.

As a side note, I put cream cheese frosting on this cake, which I didn't love. Elliott liked it, but Emma suggested we have it with vanilla ice cream, and that was the perfect accompaniment. It really doesn't need the frosting if you have it with a really good ice cream (homemade vanilla bean would be best!) Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Union Boss

Me: Andrew and Emma, I would like you to please clean up all the shoes out here.

(A little later...)
Andrew (to Emma): Okay, I'll be management and you can be labor.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Harvest Has Begun

The first squash off the vines.

What the beds are looking like at the moment.

Closeup of the beautiful squash plants. One of these days I'm going to harvest a bunch of blossoms to fill with ricotta and fry. They are so good!

Today we also got our first tomato. Just a little cherry tomato variety, and there was only one ripe. It has been pretty cool here, which seems to be keeping the tomatoes from ripening, but today I noticed several more ripening, and I'm looking forward to a week of home grown bruschetta.

(Emma might be just a little excited about starting kindergarten soon, so she wears her backpack every where!)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Last night, the kids were watching Pee Wee's Big Adventure. (I know... yuck!) Anyway, at the end of the movie, there is a scene in a movie that Pee Wee is watching where the two main characters are kissing. Of course, all the kids gave their squeaks and groans about the kiss, except for Sophie, who came over to me and said,
"Mom, I'm gonna kiss you, okay?"

"Okay," I said, thinking this would be one of her normal cute little pecks.

The next thing I know, she is coming up to me with lips pursed, leaning her head this way and that like she wants to kiss me how the couple was kissing on the movie. Haha. It was so funny.

(Maybe you had to be there, but seriously, that girl is too cute!)

What I would buy right now

if money were no object:
(image via Banana Republic)