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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Summer Days and Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Henry the Farmer 

Patrick the Little Urchin!

We are in the middle of a heat wave, the temperatures have been in the mid to upper nineties since Saturday, and the humidity is very high, we are looking for a cool off hopefully by next Monday.  Today it is very overcast which has helped keep things cooler, but has done nothing to reduce the humidity.
I got up at four this morning with Dave, I made his coffee and a couple of sandwiches for his lunch, tidied the kitchen and got the laundry going.  Dave left for work at five, I showered, tidied our bedroom and headed out for a five mile walk.  When I returned I let the chickens out and Henry and Patrick arrived. After the boys ate breakfast, a nice bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and applesauce mixed in, we went outside to hang laundry and weed the strawberries.  It is nice to get the outdoor activities done early in the morning before it really heats up, or in the evening as it starts to cool, but lately it has still been ninety degrees at nine in the evening.  While I weeded strawberries the boys played, Henry really likes to play on Grandpa's tractor, and Patrick just likes to muddle around getting into this and that and always manages to get himself very dirty! 
The boys will be picked up later this afternoon and then I plan to get some sauerkraut going, I use a recipe that allows the cabbage to ferment in the canning jar for a few weeks prior to processing in a hot water canner.  In August we want to get a pig and take it in to be processed, I am looking forward to some pork and sauerkraut dinners this fall.  I also plan to make chocolate zucchini bread this afternoon, we did not plant any zucchini but we have been given some, so we will make good use of them.  If you have not had chocolate zucchini bread you really should try it, it is a delicious sweet bread, I enjoy a slice of it spread with raspberry jam - YUMMY.  Which reminds me, I need to get my raspberry jam made. I picked all of our black raspberries over the last couple of weeks, they are currently bagged and in the freezer, perhaps on Friday I will get the jam made.  It looks as if we will have a bumper crop of concord grapes in another month or so, so I know I will be busy making making many pots of grape jelly, it is a favorite in our house.
Well that is all for today, Patrick is evidently worn out from his outdoor adventure this morning, because he fell asleep on my lap as I was typing :)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups of sugar (don't forget this, once I did and the bread was revolting :)
3 large eggs   (this reminds me one of our new laying hens started laying :)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup of nuts (optional)
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350, grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans.
2. Combine first six ingredients in large bowl.
3. Combine sugar and eggs, beat until blended, add oil and vanilla, beat until blended, add zucchini.  Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients in the first bowl, stir until just moistened, add chocolate chips and nuts.  Divide batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
4. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

***Helpful Hint***
If you have lots of zucchini, grate it, a food processor will make this much easier, then bag up in 2 cup quantities and freeze, then whenever you want to make chocolate zucchini bread you will have the exact measure of grated zucchini ready in your freezer.


MyBulletinBoard said...

Say, that's just what I needed. Someone just gave me a huge zucchini. I don't like to cook with the large ones, but I bet it will make good bread. Take it easy in that heat. We'll be above a hundred every day this week. Whew! ~Liz

Pen Wilcock said...

I just love those photos!

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I've been trying different recipes with zucchini. Yours sounds yummy! It sounds like you are a busy, busy gal. Life is full!

Bean said...

Hi Everyone Thank You for stopping by.

Living on Less Money, for years we grew zucchini and always had it "coming out of ears" :) When my daughter Amber was in beauty school she had an elderly lady who was a "regular", she told the lady about all of the zucchini, the next time she came in for a haircut she brought in a zucchini cookbook and told my daughter to give it to me. The cookbook has hundreds and hundreds of recipes using zucchini. Once I had zucchini cream pie, it was very good!