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I am a wife, mother, teacher, runner, baker, fund-raiser, reader, watcher of movies, dog-lover, writer, music-lover and foodie. So - I'm a woman of many moods! I write and share in order to teach and enrich. I currently have two blogs going: The Kitchen Refugee, and A Mile At A Time. The first is about time spent in the kitchen and the second about time spent on the road. Frequently the two roads intersect!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A is for Abundance and Z is for Zucchini!

If you’ve taken a look at my “All About Me” section, you’ll notice that I recently and quite unexpectedly lost my teaching job.  Such is the state of the economy and politics…which I promised I wouldn’t discuss in my blog!   During this time of panic and concern for our financial shortcoming, I must force myself to look for signs of abundance.  What can I do or make that costs next to nothing?  Well, the basil is filling my pots, my cherry tomatoes are begging to be picked daily, and the zucchini is overpowering the garden.

This must be prime zucchini growing time, that time of year when the sunlight is changing and nights are getting cooler.  As soon you turn your back, here comes another green monster peeping through the vines!

  This was just 1/2 of the giant zucchini!
The big ones are full of seeds!
I just ended the life of a giant zucchini from my mom-in-law’s yard, and have been contemplating what to do with SO MUCH of it!  I cut it apart and shredded it all today, committing some of it to zucchini cake, some to zucchini bread and some to the freezer to deal with later.  It adds such a nice density and moisture to cakes and breads it’s a great way to use up the big ones. 

This recipe came from my sister Debbie and I have no idea where she got it – being a minister’s wife, she picks up lots of recipes at potlucks!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (or Broken-Heart Bundt!)
Preheat oven to 350º

Dry Ingredients:
2 ½ cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
½ cup Cocoa
2 ½  tsps. Baking Powder
1 ½ tsps. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
nuts are optional

Mix all of these in a big bowl, and make a well in the middle for the wet ingredients.

Wet Ingredients:
¾ cup Butter or Margarine, melted or very soft
3 Eggs
2 tsps. Vanilla
2 tsps. grated Orange Rind
2 cups grated Zucchini
½ cup coffee  (the recipe calls for milk, but coffee is just so good with chocolate, I just had to substitute)

I added all the wet ingredients EXCEPT for the zucchini, and stirred it in by hand once the batter was well blended.

Prepare a bundt pan by spraying liberally with cooking spray, then flouring the pan.  You don’t want the cake to stick to the pan!  Pour in the batter and bake for 50-60 minutes until it passes the toothpick test.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then upset the pan over a cooling rack, cross your fingers and hope your cake comes out in one piece!

4 oz softened Cream Cheese
1 stick softened Butter
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Beat well, and frost the cake.  The cake is good without frosting, or could just use a light drizzle of a powdered sugar/butter glaze.  You pick!

This is the second cake I’ve made this week.  The first one went to work with my husband and the second went to the local Public Works Department (where I spend my summers as a seasonal employee).    Abundance at its finest!  COOK~EAT~SHARE!

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