If you are a chocolate-lover, here’s a recipe you need to try! This Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake is a cross between a cake-like brownie and a chocolate cake. It’s so simple, it just has semi-sweet mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top instead of frosting. The zucchini makes the cake so very moist–and I think it’s amazing that you can’t even tell there is any zucchini in this! The mini seem-sweet chocolate chips make this cake extra Continue reading
I’m a big fan of cornbread and this Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread is perfect for summer, when there seems to be no shortage of zucchini at farmer’s markets and in most homegrown gardens! It’s a savory, cheesy cornbread, flavored with Italian seasoning and a hint of garlic and onion. Cheddar cheese is mixed in the batter and sprinkled on top. Continue reading
Have any of you grown zucchini in your garden this summer? Several friends of mine have shared their bounty of zucchini with me, and this Strawberry-Zucchini Bread is one of the yummy things I made with it! It’s a really good, moist bread with chopped fresh strawberries that give it a nice fruity flavor.
It’s a great bread for this time of year, as summer turns into fall. The summery strawberries mixed with shredded zucchini and favorite fall spices–cinnamon and nutmeg–make a tasty end-of-summer combination!
STRAWBERRY-ZUCCHINI BREAD by NancyC
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.
In large bowl, blend together the flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In medium-size bowl, beat eggs and add in the light olive oil, mixing well. Stir in the shredded zucchini, chopped strawberries, and chopped nuts.
Add the egg/oil mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, stirring until everything is combined (batter will be thick!). Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 350˚F for 43 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then cool completely on wire rack.
The weather here has been so nice these past few weeks. Warm but not-too-warm days and cooler evenings. Perfect for enjoying a slice of this quick bread with tea or coffee! What kinds of things do you like to bake this time of year?
Just about everyone I know who has a garden grows summer squash. Summer squash usually grows really well, so home gardeners often have an abundance of it. Which is really nice if you have lots of good recipes to use it in, like zucchini bread, for example, or a yummy squash casserole! Here’s another really good squash recipe that I found in my review copy of Farm-to-Table Desserts, which has 80 recipes with seasonal ingredients. If you’re a vegetable gardener or love to shop at your local farmer’s market, you’ll enjoy these recipes for yummy treats that you can make with fresh, organic ingredients. There are a wide variety of dessert recipes included in this book: pies, cakes, cookies, tarts, puddings, sorbet, cobblers, and more. And lots of great color photos of the recipes.
I decided to try this Summer Squash Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. The recipe calls for 2 cups of grated summer squash. I used 1 cup of grated zucchini and 1 cup of grated yellow squash, but you could use 2 cups of one or the other. If you use all zucchini, the cake will probably taste a lot like zucchini bread. I liked including some yellow squash because it adds a nice flavor to the cake. I’m sure it would be great if you used all yellow squash too. The cream cheese frosting is also really good–very creamy and rich! Here’s the recipe–hope you enjoy making the cake this summer!
SUMMER SQUASH CAKE from Farm-to-Table Desserts
Makes one 9″ or 10″ round cake
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups grated summer squash (I used 1 cup zucchini and 1 cup yellow squash)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I substituted light olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (you can add a little more if you want a thicker frosting)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9- or 10-inch round pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, squash, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. (Note: the batter fills up a 9″ round pan pretty much up to the top, so I placed my round pan on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case the round pan overflowed while baking-but it didn’t!)
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds to ensure no lumps remain. Add the powdered sugar all at once and mix on low speed until sugar is just incorporated. Scrape bowl well and beat on high speed for 10 seconds.
Remove cooled cake from pan (you may need to loosen the edges with a knife) and place onto a serving platter. Cut the rounded cake top off, if desired (I kept it on). Spread cream cheese frosting on top in a decorative design (you’ll have plenty of frosting to top the cake–you may even have a little left over). Store cake in refrigerator.
If you’re trying to cut back on calories, you could leave the cake unfrosted or just put a very light amount of frosting on top–or a thin glaze. So keep this in mind if you have lots of summer squash to use! Do you grow your own summer squash or buy it at a farmer’s market?
Soup is a favorite winter meal of mine–a big hot bowl of soup on a cold day is just so warm and comforting! This winter has actually been on the milder side where I live, but we’ve had some chilly days and I’ve been making homemade soup every so often.
If you like veggies, this Zucchini Vegetable Soup is a good one to try. In addition to zucchini, it’s also made with green beans, chopped onion, and sliced carrots, all cooked until tender in a tomato–vegetable broth (or you can also substitute chicken broth if you like).
So there’s some chopping and slicing involved, but it’s worth it! And it gave me a chance to try my new complimentary AnySharp knife sharpener that I received in the mail. It’s safe and easy to use and comes in a convenient small size for easy storage. It really helps make chopping and slicing veggies so much easier! You can visit AnySharp.com to learn more about it.
You can seed your zucchini before slicing it if you want, but if you don’t mind having some seeds in your soup, you can just slice it without seeding like I did.
ZUCCHINI VEGETABLE SOUP by NancyC
Makes 6-8 servings
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or substitute chicken broth)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 6 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)–cut slices into halves or fourths
- 2 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) green beans, sliced into 1″ pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 2 cups sliced carrots (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 to 3/4 Tablespoon Italian seasoning, depending on how seasoned you want it
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- additional salt and pepper to taste
In large pot, over medium heat, stir together the broth and tomato paste. Add the zucchini, green beans, onions, carrots, salt, dried parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Heat mixture to boiling, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired, then serve.
The Italian seasoning adds a great flavor to this soup, along with the garlic and onion. If you’re trying to get more veggies in your diet, this is a great recipe to try! What kinds of soup have you been making this winter?