Monday, September 19, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is really more like cake than bread. It's so good! The site I got the recipe from (Sweet Pea's Kitchen) made them into muffins, but I didn't have time to fill muffin tins with Abby needing me (always!)
I doubled this recipe because I have so much zucchini to use. I'm freezing 2 gallon bags of it now. Doubling the recipe made four medium loaves.
This is the recipe without doubling.
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Melted Butter (or Margarine)
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Buttermilk (add 1 Tablespoon to regular milk and let it sit for five minutes)
2 cups Shredded Zucchini
2 cups Flour
1 cup Baking Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (you can put them inside or sprinkle them on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the sugar, butter, and oil. Beat in eggs. Mix in vanilla, buttermilk, and zucchini. Add salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon.Then add cocoa and flour. Spray two loaf pans or 20 muffin tins with non-stick spray.
Divide batter equally among prepared loaf pans or muffin tins. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake 35-40 minutes for loaves, 20 to 24 minutes for muffins, until the middle is solid. Like the picture below: Let cool in the pan for five minutes (if you can stand it) before letting them cool on a wire rack.

NaDell Tip #1: Directions always say to mix all the dry ingredients together before mixing the wet ingredients in a different bowl. I haven't found much use in that and always just add the smallest amount of dry ingredients first (ie: salt, baking soda, spices) and the flour last. Works just fine for me....especially with a Kitchen Aid.

NaDell Tip #2: My Kitchen Aid has a shredder attachment, so in less than an hour I had eight big zucchinis all cleaned, cut, deseeded, shredded, bagged, and cleaned up. I leave the peel on and just pick out the big chunks that are occasionally are too thick to shred. I even used some of the yellow summer squash and mixed them all together. I love that attachment (they sell them at Walmart!) and use it for cheese all the time. It's well worth the investment and as a bonus, Andy likes to use it because it's a cool tool. It also comes with a slicer. There are two different sizes for each slicer or shredder. I used the larger shredder for the zucchini.
It just melted right into the bread. YUM!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spicy Squash Saute

This morning I went to a friend's house who had an overabundance of squash and took some off of his hands for him. (My garden is failing miserably, but I planted late and didn't water that much, so it's really my own fault.) I was happy to help him out and I'm excited to share the way I make my zucchini and summer squash (the yellow one) recipe.I use a large, deep frying pan (it's 10 inches at the top, about 5 inches deep and has a lid-I got it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond with a coupon and it was close to $10-well worth it!)
Here's what you need:
*Summer Squash*Green Onions (or real ones if you'd like and you have them)
*2 Tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil-or butter if you like it more)
*Salt and Pepper
*Garlic Powder (or real garlic if you have it)
*Red Pepper Powder
*Italian Seasoning Spice
Heat up the EVOO in your pan and add in the green onions (I used my kitchen scissors to cut them). Wash off the squash on the outside before slicing and quartering them. Enjoy the smell of the onions in your pan (I love that smell!) Add in the two different kinds of squash and use a spatula or spoon to cover everything with the EVOO. Add spices-however much you normally like). I added a little too much red pepper this time, but it had great flavor and I liked it, even though it made my eyes water.
Put lid on top and let it steam on low for 10 minutes or so. Just until the squash are a little tender. I waited 15 minutes because I was feeding a cute baby and getting her to sleep and they were still yummy, but a little more mushy than I like.
Eat and enjoy.
Look for a few more zucchini recipes soon. I have more to use.