Forgive my absence. Sometimes it's hard to keep up. Since August, our family has been busy with the high school tennis team. It's a short, but very busy season. The season ended in early October and now these leaves in our back yard are keeping us busy. I took these photos on October 11, 2012, and the leaves are all gone now. Yes, very busy. I have been doing lots of cooking, just not much blogging. I've also been going for lots of walks, which are especially great this time of year.
The great produce in the fall is a great inspiration for cooking and baking.
My neighbor keeps bringing me zucchini so I made this.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
A recipe my Mom sent to me in an e-mail a year or so ago.
Original source unknown.
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I omitted but will add next time)
1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla and zucchini in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into 2 greased 5 x 9-inch loaf pans.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and remove from pans.
Yield: two 5 x 9-inch loaf cakes
I remember my Mom making Apple Crisp a lot when we were kids. We had quite a few apple trees in our back yard and my folks did not put pesticides on them, so the apples were perfect for apple crisp because you had to check them apples for critters inside. Nothing worse than biting into a nice apple only to find 1/2 of a worm!
I can picture my Mom standing over the kitchen sink, slowly and carefully peeling apples and plopping the carefully checked slices into a 13 x 9 Pyrex dish filled with water and a little lemon juice. I also remember grabbing handfuls of the slices from the lemony water and gobbling them up... it probably took my Mom hours to fill that big dish to finish the apple crisp since we kept stealing away her hard work. But I don't remember her ever protesting... maybe she was just happy to see us eating fruit? Whatever the case may be, I remember my Mom's apple crisp as being delicious. I've been meaning to ask her for the recipe she uses, but often, when I ask her for recipes, she reminds me of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks she's given me over the years (two editions, both in binders with a red and white checker board cover) and she tells me, "that is the recipe I use!" So I cracked open the cookbook and followed the recipe. It was good; my husband enjoyed it just like me (even without ice cream on top). But it was NOT as good as Mom's.