Monday, August 21, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Got Zucchini??

In the Northeast growing season now is the time to harvest the abundance of Zucchini in our gardens.

Here in Upstate New York we are always looking for new recipes to use this versatile squash.

I thought I had shared the recipe for this light and airy summer chocolate cake, but when I searched my blog, I guess I didn't. I did share a recipe for Zucchini Bread, which is equally delicious.

I found this recipe in my all time favorite recipe book Applehood and Motherpie. It was published in the 1980's by The Junior League of Rochester, New York.

I have not made one bad recipe out of it yet. As a matter of fact, all of the recipes I've made are phenomenal.


I actually have a copy of it and it's companion For Goodness Taste available to purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Edit 8/22 - These are sold! A sweet blogger friend couldn't resist and bought them!

You can see how airy and moist this cake is....

 and the cinnamon is an unexpected delicious addition....

Add some chocolate glaze or frosting and it is a great summer dessert. Hey, chocolate is a great dessert any time but this feels summery because of the zucchini :-)

So on to the recipe, which is pretty easy too....

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 cups sugar
¾ cup oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk

In large bowl beat sugar, oil, and eggs. Add vanilla and zucchini.
Mix dry ingredients together. Add alternately with milk to zucchini mixture. Blend well.
Pour into a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake. Allow to stand 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

Temp: 350
Time: 50 to 60 minutes

For the chocolate glaze I used my favorite go-to recipe. 
It makes a lot so I halved it. For chocolate frosting
you have to play around a little, substituting 
cocoa powder for some of the confectioner's sugar.

All Purpose Frosting/Glaze

2 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flavoring (almond, lemon, vanilla) OPTIONAL
Hot water

Combine all ingredients except water. Slowly add a little hot water 
till frosting is smooth. 

If you find yourself with an abundance of Zucchini at the end of the summer, I hope you try this chocolate cake. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Magnificent Sunflower

Who doesn't love the sight of a bright, big yellow Sunflower?

Or a whole field of them?

On our honeymoon tour of Italy 21 years ago, we were in the stupid bus when we passed by fields and fields of sunflowers on both sides of the road. I wanted to stop and get out to see them up close but we had a schedule to stick to :-(

I finally got my chance.

On a perfect summer evening between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. (the best part of the day in my opinion) we arrived at Frederick's Farm in Clifton Springs, NY, a 16 minute drive from our house. I did not know it even existed until my daughter posted a picture of herself and my granddaughter there. Oh, the joys of social media!

The draw to the farm was the hayride through the field but when we realized the line was an hour and a half wait, we decided, like many others, just to walk the paths through the field and get an up close and personal look.

The view from waiting in the line was too much for us and we had to just go to the Sunflowers!

It was a great decision!

I was amazed at how every single sunflower in this huge field were all facing one way, away from the sun.

Well, except for one little one who seems to have lost his way...

I googled it and found out that during their growth, sunflowers track the sun and tilt towards it (called heliotropism). Once they bloom, they face East, which is what they were doing here.

I found out some other fun facts about Sunflowers.....

They are native to North America

Each Sunflower head is made up of 1,000's of tiny smaller flowers.

They are the state flower of Kansas...

They are the only flower with the word "flower" in their name.

They grow quite large.
The record for the tallest Sunflower is 30'1" grown in Germany in 2014.
The largest head can be up to a foot and a half.

While we were on the path the wagon was heading our way and didn't look like it was going to slow down. My husband, son and I, along with others on the path, had to jump inside the Sunflowers to get out of the way...there was that little space on either side.

I got some great pictures!

 That's my son and husband after the wagon passed.

I stayed inside a little longer...

The only downfall of not riding in the wagon is
that they all got to pick some Sunflowers to take home.

But that's okay.

Actually I am allergic to my favorite flower and I was already getting tingly sinuses 
and a scratchy throat.

It was all worth it.

I got to be out in perfect weather with some great scenery, beautiful, magnificent Sunflowers and a treat at the end.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Cooking and Crafting with J & J
Happiness is Homemade
Tuesdays With a Twist
Wow Us Wednesday
Show and Share
Share Your Cup
Share Your Style
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Home Sweet Home
Anything Goes Pink Saturday
Best of the Weekend