Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Can someone find my mojo please?

I feel like I’ve lost it. No, I definitely lost it.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_01

And it’s not just related to the blog but to everything. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, thinking, etc. I thought I’d have the ‘nesting’ bug by now but nothing yet. Barely even an itch to get all nesty. I mean I have plans to paint & decorate The Bean’s room but it’s still all just chaos now with us dumping stuff in there as we get goodies. As well, the massive rabbits’ cage is still in the room, but first gotta get their spot ready in the basement (it’s finished like a den- we’re not just stuffing them in the basement and forgetting about them!) Either way, I can’t get my head around the list of crap to tackle to make all the dominoes fall into place to create a nice little nursery or meal or garden or blah.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_02 Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_03

Which is exactly why making a new recipe not related to a Thirsty Thursday or Sprint Cup Snacks post is a big shocker. But I had a pile of zucchini and I couldn’t let myself just let it go to waste while I was busy not eating it for dinner since take out at the office for working late, vendor dinners, and mac and cheese with fruit are typical dinners for me lately. I do eat well I just don’t have any interest in actually cooking. Cool.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_04 Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_05

Well, I managed to get my act together and make this ah-mazing bread. It is totally healthy too since there is zucchini in there. Right? That is what I kept telling myself as I took sliver after sliver off of this bread.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_06 Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_07

Even if you don’t have zucchini on hand that you need to use up I suggest you run out and get some so you can make this really rich, moist bread. You won’t be sorry!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_00

 Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Makes 1 loaf (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed on a colander over a bowl or sink to release some of its moisture
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, save the 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top of bread

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Incorporate the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the reserved 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.
  4. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done when you insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf and it is clean upon it’s removal.
  5. Let the bread cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.

Slightly adapted from Recipe Diaries 

Advertisements

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken- SRC

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Every month there I have Pricer pick out a recipe he would want me to make for my Secret Recipe Club post. Sometimes I give him a few suggests or restictions, like I’m not feeling like making cookie or pizza then, but other than that he gets pick. I love having him involved and I love to see what intersts him.

Well, this month I sent him over to check out the recipe index for Erin’s blog called the The Spiffy Cookie and he picked her Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken. It sounded good to me so I was looking forward to when I’d make it. We love to get Chinese food take out but 99% of the time I order shrimp as I do not like the quality of chicken dishes at Chinese food places so this would give me the chance to have some good Honey Sesame Chicken. Plus much cheaper, fresher, and healthier than take out.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 01 Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 02

This recipe was so super easy. There was very little prep and active cook time and the rest of it was just letting it do its own thing in the slow cooker.  I got it all started by mixing up the sauce, adding it to the chicken, and let it be for about 3 hours. Around that time I cut up my brocolli and got my rice going in my rice cooker. When I needed to take the chicken out I added some corn stach to the sauce to thicken it and while I was cutting up the chicken I added my broccoli in my steamer basket to my rice cooker. Perfect for a great Sunday night dinner. Plus, I had very little clean up which is always a win as well.

I just about made the recipe exactly as Erin wrote it, with the exception that i steamed the broccoli instead of sauteeing it, and it came out exactly as described. Don’t you just love when that happens?! Plus it was super tasty. Overall, I think it was a little sweet to me but I typically LOVE really spicy Chinese food. If you do then maybe you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add some Siracha to the sauce. While this is a slow cooker meal I think it can be converted into a week night super meal by cutting up the chicken and cooking it in the sauce in a skillet while you cooke the rice.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 03 Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 04

I only wish I made a double batch so I would have had leftovers for all week. This def beats spending too much money on a sandwich or salad for lunch.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.25 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dry brown/white rice
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb broccoli florets

Directions:

  1. Put the chicken breasts in crock pot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and redpepper flakes. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook the chicken on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  5. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet until hot. Add broccoli and saute 5-6 minutes or until cooked but tender. Or steam the broccoli instead of sauteeing.
  6. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Whisk the cornstarch into liquid in the crock pot. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
  7. Shred chicken or cut into bite size pieces, then return to pot and coat with sauce. Serve chicken over rice with broccoli, garnish with sesame seeds.

_____________________

Secret Recipe Club

Check out the rest of the reveal day posts!



Check out my previous Secret Recipe Club Posts

____________________

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Thirsty Thursday: Raspberry Honey Bellini

raspberry honey bellini

What are your New Year’s plans? We are planning on enjoying a dinner out and Boston’s First Night Activities. We typically stay in to relax and enjoy some fondue or sushi but are hoping to go if the weather holds up. I’m hoping we can get some tacos at The Rattlesnake or some dim sum in Chinatown. Plus, looking forward to checking out the ice sculptures along Boylston and the fireworks on Boston Harbor.

raspberry honey bellini_01 raspberry honey bellini_02

Discoll’s reached out to me so I could have some fun using their berries to create something to celebrate the holidays. They have the freshest berries that are enjoyable on their own or incorporated into recipes. I knew immediately that I wanted to use their raspberries since they are always so fresh. Plus after we once went raspberry picking I’ve had great appreciation for just how hard it is to pick and transport raspberries as they are just so very delicate. So I started to brainstorm how to use their raspberries in a fun celebration drink to ring the new year, or just drink at any time.

raspberry honey bellini_03 raspberry honey bellini_04

A bellini is a cocktail of Italian heritage that was created by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The hue reminded him of a piece of artwork from Giovanni Bellini, which is how it got the name Bellini. While a classic bellini uses Persecco and peach puree, I decided that swapping out the peach for raspberry. Then I added some honey to sweeten up the raspberries and the dry Persecco. Refreshing to sip on to ring in the new year or to enjoy the day while making a great homemade brunch.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Staying in or going out?

Raspberry Honey Bellini

Makes 6 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh raspberries, 12 raspberries reserved
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bottle (750-ml) chilled Prosecco

Process

  1. To make the puree: blend the washed raspberries with the honey. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. To make the cocktail: pour 2 tablespoons of the raspberries puree into the champagne flute then fill with Prosecco. Float 2 raspberries in the glass prior to serving.

Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos- SRC

For my Secret Recipe Club post this month I had Melissa’s blog. She shares great sounding and looking recipes on her blog called Fried Ice and Donut Holes. While her blog is not a vegetarian blog she does have a great number of veggie friendly posts that look mouth watering. I have several recipes bookmarked for some healthy comfort food eating this fall and winter.

When it came time to pick a make a recipe I had a very hard time because I had a whole list of great things like, Barbecue Chicken PizzaBaked Pumpkin Donuts, and Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie. In the end I picked the Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos. I simply picked these tacos to make because I was having a crappy, super busy week. I had these bookmarked since I loved how they could be a great recipe to use when I didn’t feel like cooking. Well, that is exactly what happened. I had just about everything at home so I just ran out for an avocado and some wine (since I really needed that as well) and was quickly on my way to dinner once I got back home.

 

 

I made a few changes to the original recipe but I think you have to do what works best for you and you taste preferences/ingredients on hand/sanity. For example, I could not find coriander seeds at our grocery store so omitted them and decided to amp up the other flavors I did have. I switche using olive oil out for corn oil as corn has a more subtle flavor as a higher smoking point, which I figured would be best for the grilled avocados. I added some cilantro since I love it and always have it around (for us and the rabbits). I mashed my black beans as I like that texture and I figured that it would more easily stay in the taco to eat (while balancing a glass of wine on my lap and watching Parenthood). I really enjoyed these and since I typically have the ingredients around on hand I know I can always have a great dinner at the ready with some easy adaption.

Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos

makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, preferably low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz from a goat cheese log
  • fresh cilantro
  • 4 Flour Tortillas or 8 Corn Tortillas

Process

  1. Rinse the black beans, reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.
  2. In a small skillet, warm the corn oil over medium heat. Add the cumin and pepper flakes. Once the spices have ‘toasted’ and are fragrant, add the black beans and liquids. Cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat to reduce the liquids. Prior to preparing the tacos, mash up the black beans with a potato masher.
  3. Cut the avocado in half, gently score to create slices, and brush with some oil. Put on a grill or grill pan on high heat just to char the outside of the avocado.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the juice and zest of 1 lime, the honey, and salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the tacos, place 1/4 each of the beans, avocado, and goat cheese into 1 flour tortilla or 2 layered corn tortillas. To finish add fresh chopped cilantro and a drizzle the lime-honey mixture over the filling and serve

____________________

Secret Recipe Club

Check out my previous Secret Recipe Club Posts:

August: Birthday Cake Oreo Truffles

July: Tropical Pork Pineapple Kebabs

June: Cheesy Garlic Knots

May: Berry Brownie Torte

April: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

March: Sauteed Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds

February: Fried Pickles

Jan: No SRC postings

December: Shrimp Sriracha Stir Fry

November: Vegetable Enchiladas

October: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Check out the rest of the reveal day posts!

____________________

Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Zucchini Bread with Honey Butter

Yesterday was the unofficial end of summer (sad isn’t it?) so this would be the perfect time to make some Zucchini Bread. Whenever I go to the farmer’s market and Haymarket I see loads of them. I even tried growing them but the intense heat made the big yellow blossoms fall off and the intense downpours make the flowers soggy and then die. A constant cycle of bloom, die, bloom, die. Oh well, I can just buy plenty at the farmer’s market, which is exactly what I have been doing. We have had plenty of grilled zucchini this year, almost to the point of getting tired of it. So I had to spice things up a bit and make Zucchini Bread with some honey butter for a bit of change.

 

If you happen to realize you have run out of cinnamon and cloves like me you can simply substitute some Pumpkin Pie Spice. I seriously love that stuff. It has helped me out so many times when I 1) have run out of something 2) don’t feel like measuring all 3/4 things when this will jsut about equal that same taste. Now you know my secret.

  

I had 5 very large zucchinis at home so I made several batches of zucchini bread and muffins. doubling the recipe is manageble, as opposed to some things I have doubled. (Doubling cakes are offen too much for a 5qt Kitchenaide to handle well). I find that it is easiest to put your loaf pan(s) on a cookie sheet since it gives you something else to grab besides the tiny handles, which often results in smashing the top of your loaf. Also, if you happen to overflow you will only need to wash you cookie sheet, as opposed to your oven.

 

Honey butter is going to be a new addiction. Really, I promise. If you like toast, waffles, pancakes, dinner rolls, muffins, and bread you will like to whip this up for it. It’s super simple and it produces a great sweet butter.

Zucchini Bread

4 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 cup of corn oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
2 cups flour
2 teapossons baking soda
1 teapsoon baking powder
1 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Honey Butter

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons of honey, a light one like clover

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×5 loaf pan with wax paper and grease. (Depending on your pan you will only need to grease)

Melt butter and set side.

Beat eggs and oil together until thick. Beat in sugar. Stir in the melted butter and the grated zucchini. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together all dry ingredients 3 times. Gently fold the zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold the walnuts into the mixture.

Pour into greased pan, bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before unmolding.

Beat together the soft unsalted butter and honey until evenly mixed. Place in ramekin and serve.