Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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P1090787(I should not have peeled the zucchini beforehand — it was a mistake as that’s where the nutrients are.) Don’t make my mistake!  I won’t goof up again.

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You will love this zucchini ‘double chocolate’ bread – that’s all I have to say!  It’s perfect.  

Obviously, it’s not a true bread – it doesn’t have yeast; it’s more of a dessert!  But it gets zucchini into your children, so you can’t complain too much.  

Make sure it’s fully cooked before removing from oven.  It shouldn’t look gooey at all on top.  I had to bake the two loaves for 1 hour 25 minutes.  

This recipe really is easier with the right tools: the food processor, the stand or hand mixer, and the right pans (See link below for the best pan).  The link goes to an Amazon pan that is very similar to the Williams-Sonoma pan but less than half the price.   

Warning #1: I consider this a weekend recipe because it does dirty up your food processor, mixer, and more.  It’s very worth it, but I wouldn’t tackle this on a weekday. 

Warning #2: Be glad this makes 2 loaves.  Don’t halve the recipe.  Once you taste it, you’ll  be glad you listened to me!

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 4″x8″ loaf pans.  (I used PAM for baking spray).  For best results use commercial, heavy weight aluminum pans (click link here to see which one I have).
  3. Wash zucchini, with green skin on, with warm water and dish soap.  Rinse thoroughly.  Dry.
  4. Grate zucchini preferably with a food processor.
  5. Put grated zucchini in a clean cloth and squeeze out almost all the moisture.  Set aside.
  6. Beat eggs in a large bowl (or Kitchenaid stand mixer, like mine) until light and foamy.
  7. Mix in vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and grated zucchini until thoroughly combined.
  8. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in separate bowl.
  9. Stir the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture.
  10. Mix in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.  (Or do what I did, because I can’t have walnuts.  I added 1 cup chocolate chips in total).
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean, about 1 hour.  (Mine took 1 hour and 25 minutes).
  13. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing, to finish cooling on wire racks.

Betty Crocker Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Machine Bread

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This is a keeper recipe – it makes great tasting cinnamon raisin bread that can go desserty, it can be your carb for breakfast, or just a treat.  It’s a great all-around special bread machine concoction.  Enjoy…

I bumped up the raisins to 1 cup – c’mon, it is raisin bread!  Haha….

**I used the 1.5 LB. size and “light crust” color setting on my machine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 cups BREAD flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup dark raisins

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except raisins in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Weighing your bread flour, or any flour will always turn out best.  I go off the general assumption that 1 cup of flour equals 125 grams, but check your package or check online.    
  2. Add raisins at the “Raisin/Nut” audible signal, or 5-10 minutes before the last kneading cycle ends.
  3. Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle.
  4. Use medium or light crust color.
  5. Select 1.5 LB. loaf size.
  6. Once completed, remove baked bread from pan and cool on wire rack before slicing.

Tzatziki Sauce

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A perfect sauce to accent your gyros, chicken in a pita, and more.  Or you can use it as a dip for veggies.  Just make sure you use whole fat yogurt.  Next time I’ll be sure to use Greek – or it gets a little watery as time goes on.  But it was excellent!  I frozen the remainder.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded, finely grated and very drained 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. (Hand mixing is preferred as a blender can lead to too wet of a concoction).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Chill.

Tip: For extra flavor, add some olive oil and some coarsely chopped fresh mint.

 

Cheesy Garlic Bread, Cooked in Foil

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This cheesy garlic bread is very flavorful and yummy.  It’s a different taste because it has olive oil versus butter.  Some day, I may remake it trying just butter and no olive oil just to see the difference.  We will see!  Follow the directions and you’ll get an awesome cheesy bread!

(I reduced the garlic to one clove because I’m sensitive to allium.  It was fine!  Also, if using 6 cloves, be careful, sizes of cloves vary wildly).

 

Serves approximately 6 people.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread or any kind of Italian bread
  • 6 cloves garlic (or less)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh parsley
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  3. In a small food processor or in a blender, add the garlic oil, and parsley.  Puree until smooth.
  4. Smear this mixture on both sides of the bread.  Place the top of the bread on top of the bottom and wrap it in aluminum foil, bake for 10 minutes.
  5. *Carefully* unwrap the bread, being aware of steam, and place it cut side up.
  6. Sprinkle over the mozzarella and grate about 1 cup of Parmiggiano all over both sides of the bread.
  7. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  8. Slice and serve right away.

Recipe from Laura Vitale.