Everyday Mom's Meals: Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Erin}

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekend Company {Guest Blogger Erin}

Good Morning! I hope this week was kind to you, and you have a nice weekend ahead of you. Today's guest is a "repeat offender" here on EMM and each time she shares something with us, it's an extra special treat for me. Since I don't always get to see her as much as I would like (miles, schedules and lives just get in the way!) when she is here for Weekend Company I can pretend we are in the kitchen together, enjoying a cup of coffee (or maybe even a glass of wine), chatting and catching up. And I have to tell you before you continue reading, when she emailed me this post, I was crying by about the 5th line. Her lovely words brought a smile to my face and I want to thank her for making me feel so special!  So please welcome Erin back to EMM~

Greetings fellow Everyday Mom's Meals followers!  I am very excited to be sharing here again today and would like to send out a HUGE virtual hug to Krista for having me back.  We have been friends for over twenty years now and despite all the different things life has thrown at us, we continue to pick up right where we left off.  There is not a more loyal friend than Krista and I don't think I have to tell you how blessed we all are to have her and her blog in our lives.

My name is Erin and I am a thirty-something food geek.  I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful babes, an almost 6 year old girl and an almost 2 year old boy.  The recipe I want to share with you today is one that was born out of necessity.  I like to garden; however, there are times in our lives when we have to shift priorities.  Gardening was out this year, but I didn't want to give up my fresh, organic, local produce!  Thankfully, we were able to purchase a half share of a CSA.  Each week, for a set fee, we get a box of fresh, organic produce.  The box changes week to week, depending on what is in season.  Great right?  There was only one small problem.   We were getting three or four large zucchini each week and no one in our house likes zucchini.  Now, you should know that my kids are not picky, probably because I won't put up with it, but this zucchini thing was BAD.  I was not about to let this produce to waste, so I started tinkering.  Zucchini cakes were a hit with everyone but the 6 year old.  Try again.  Zucchini bread went over so-so, but I wasn't a big fan.  I could hide the zucchini in the bread really well, but it was so blah.  I don't do "blah."  Then it hit me - CHOCOLATE.  I love, love, love chocolate!  What if I made CHOCOLATE zucchini bread?  I researched a few recipes and then combined a few to create what we now call Bazinga Bread.  My kids still don't know that there is zucchini in it - and most other people I've shared it with don't notice either.  So, if you are looking for a way to slip your loved ones some more veggies but still be the snack time hero, this recipe is a must-try.  Enjoy!

Bazinga Bread or Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour (2) 4 x 8 loaf pans, or use muffin cup liners for regular or mini muffins. 

You will need:

3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil (I use coconut oil for health reasons, but both work)
2 c. white sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
3 c. grated/chopped zucchini, squeezed dry*
3 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder, the best quality you can buy, NOT dutch-processed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
1 c. regular or mini chocolate chips

*Zucchini prep:  Shred your zucchini.  I use my food processor with the shredding disk.  Measure your 3 cups, then place in a dry kitchen towel and squeeze out extra moisture.  Now, take those three cups and put them back into the food processor.  Pulse until it resembles a fine, mealy texture.  DO NOT PROCESS until smooth.  Scrape back out into your kitchen towel and squeeze again.  The extra steps help the overall texture of the cake.

Beat eggs in a  large bowl until light and foamy; mix in oil, sugar, vanilla and zucchini until combined.  Whisk flour, cocoa, salt, soda and baking powder together.  Stir the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture, mix until just moist.  Add nuts and chips, gently mix through.  Pour batter into pans or muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes for the loaves or about 20 minutes for the muffins or 10 minutes for the mini muffins.  Check with a toothpick, moist crumb only should remain.  Allow to cool for about 12 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.  These loaves/muffins freeze VERY well

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