January 28, 2009

Two Chocolate Cakes in Three Days!

The winter hibernation drama continues. Weather not above 25 degrees in days, another foot or more of snow today. I just want to bake...and apparently my family wants to eat. I know two teenage boys can eat a lot, but I have just made my second cake since Monday. Did I mention the two bags of Oreos, I bought yesterday?

My daughter-in-law Danielle emailed me today and asked me for the Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe. Oddly enough, I had bought zucchini (at a ridiculously high price) yesterday, thinking I would make Ian's favorite cake this weekend, to celebrate the end of mid-terms. That plan was moved up when I took a look at the cookie jar! So, I thought I'd share a very good recipe, that completely hides that it is somewhat good for you. At least that's the only way a green vegetable will end up in Ian's stomach. Grate the zucchini finely and there will be no tell tale green streaks, although I kind of like them to show. You can also add 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg withthe vanilla if you like that spice chocolate flavor, but I am not pushing my luck!

This is a moist, delicious and easy cake to tote someplace. Please let me know if you try it and tell me what you think.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 1/4 c. sifted flour
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. finely grated, unpeeled, zucchini
1 6-ounce pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour 13x9 inch pan. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter, and oil until well blended. Add eggs, one at the time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix in the grated zucchini. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with chips and nuts.
Bake cake until tester inserted comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan. Enjoy!!!

January 26, 2009

Finally, I am back!

It has been a while, I know. The holidays have done me in. I am finally beginning to get back into a routine and it is almost February. The blogs and other sites I have visited during this time away from my own, have been wonderful inspirations. Many, many tutorials and pretty pictures. It made me feel lazy about not sharing all the fun projects that were done here with friends and family. Oh well, we must move forward and prepare for the arrival of spring. Now I am pushing it...it is currently 19 degrees and snow, snow, snow is in the forecast. Maybe preparing for Valentine's Day is more appropriate!

I am happy with the number of handmade gifts I was able to make this year. We are steadily moving forward on this theme and they seemed well received. Of course, as everyone knows who has tried to accomplish this...start in July next year! My friend Kathleen
and I worked a couple of times a week together and made several items, fingerless gloves, hats, cowls, teddy bears (mine went to a charity event), pillows, baskets, scarves, aprons, dishtowels, heat therapy bags, (with adorable red maryjane shoes appliqued on them)and toys (play food felt pastas, sauce, and crocheted meatballs, cupcakes, cookies, tag monster,etc.) So, now you know what I have been up to!

Here are a few pictures...Kathleen's second bear, for granddaughter, Gwen (he is huge) and Colin's Dragon scarf, Kate's ensemble of apron, cowl, fingerless gloves and hat.

I will be adding some tutorials soon...need to take some more photos. The Maryjane shoes applique and a few other fun projects are on the list.

Now...about that Valentine's Day.....