Monday, May 28, 2012

Lisa: Gardening

So the theme this week is gardening which I stink at. I’ve been trying to think of anything I could post about gardening. My parents are both terrific gardeners and have a fabulous vegetable garden, flower garden, fruit trees, berry bushes and more. Their yard is a beautiful lush paradise which I love and my children now love, as well. You’d think with that kind of upbringing I’d have more talent and a beautiful garden myself. I don’t. But part of that isn’t my fault. We have these beauties to keep us company.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the deer and occasional elk that we see on our property but they sure make gardening a challenge! I know there are plants that the deer won’t eat but the ones I want seem to also be the ones they want! We attempted a vegetable garden a couple of times but the deer nipped away at everything so that our produce seems to be very slim! Luckily for us, they’d miss some of the zucchini because of the large leaves (I think that was why, at least!). So I am tweaking the theme to fit my post. Gardening!!Zucchini!!
I have many recipes for this wonderful vegetable. A lot of them involve the grill for some savory dishes but one that I remember from growing up is a chocolate zucchini cake that my mom would make. It was so good and you couldn’t taste the zucchini which I liked since my childish palate couldn’t stand vegetables! I don’t have permission to give out this recipe from my mom (really, I didn’t even ask!) but I did concoct a chocolate zucchini bread which I think is fantastic and similar to her cake!! The key to this is the chocolate chips so don’t skimp!
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ cup oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
1 bag of milk chocolate chips, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cloves. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, zucchini, oil, cocoa powder, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add the flour mixture and stir till just combined. Set aside 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Stir the rest of the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips evenly over the two loaves. Bake for 55 minutes. Let cool before slicing! Delicious!
Here are some of the unfortunate runners up in my attempt to make some thing for this post!
On the left was a zucchini cake with feta which was delicious but a little too doughy. In the middle is a lemon zucchini cookie that was really good and that my teenage boy ate quite a few of. Maybe with some tweaking she'll make it! And on the left is a zucchini brownie which just didn't cut it. I had high hope for them all. So sad, so sad!
What are your favorite zucchini creations?


  1. That bread looks so tasty! I actually might go make it right now with my frozen zucchini from last year. I LOVE putting zucchini in soup. It adds great texture and I feel like I am sneaking it in since it doesn't really have a strong taste. Yum!

    1. That's so funny! I put my extra zucchini in a baggie and thought I'd wait a couple of months and make a nice veggie soup with it! We must be related!