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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Curse of the Zucchini

Every summer I have the same dilemma. Too many zucchinis, not enough recipe ideas. This summer, of course, wasn't any different. We had some very large zucchinis in our garden. I don't exactly "love" zucchini. It's okay in vegetable lasagna, and I've even made a "zucchini parmigiana" where it is breaded, fried, and topped with sauce and cheese. This summer I have tried two new recipes, both of which I (and other "taste-testers") have really enjoyed. The first is a Chocolate Zucchini Cake. This cake is so deliciously moist and dense. You would never even know that it contains zucchini. It's just sweet enough without being overly sweet. The second recipe is Blueberry Zucchini Bread. Yum! What a nice change from boring, old zucchini bread. Usually I would add chocolate chips, but blueberries were a healthier option and I really enjoyed the tart, little bursts of flavor. I'm hoping to add more zucchini recipes to my repertoire every summer so I can gradually overcome the "curse of the zucchini"!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
3/4 C. cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
3 C. peeled, grated zucchini
1/2 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x13" baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs and oil. Mix well. Fold in zucchini and then chocolate chips.
3. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake before frosting or dusting with powdered sugar (optional).

RATING: 5 cupcakes

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 C. peeled, shredded zucchini
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 pint of fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in zucchini.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add to zucchini mixture. Gently fold in blueberries.
4. Transfer to mini loaf pans, filling each 3/4 full.
5. Bake 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in loaf pans for 20 minutes, then run sharp knife around edge of loaf and remove. Cool on wire rack.

RATING: 4 cupcakes

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