Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread


Two major life events are rapidly approaching and there’s nothing I can do to change their course. So, I’ve been baking instead.

This first, and most imminent, event is my 32nd birthday (tomorrow) and I’m trying to drum up some excitement over it. Sure, I’m looking forward to a girl’s night out to see Eat, Pray, Love followed by stuffing ourselves with pizza margherita’s, but the birthday -that number– not so fun!

The second event takes place a week from Monday when Noah will start kindergarten. There’s a whole lot of emotions welling up over that big day that I won’t even get into!

In an attempt to compose my mixed sentiments over these two events, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Baking and cooking is clearly therapeutic for me, and ‘recipe testing’ can sometimes be code for ‘working through some stuff’.


One of the many projects on my plate this week was to perfect my zucchini bread recipe. Several pounds of zucchini and eight various loaves later, I narrowed my favorite down to two, one of them featured here today and the other, or The Best Zucchini Bread Ever‘, will be has been posted Monday on Simple Bites.

Both recipes are actually fantastic; however, I know I have a bevy of chocolate lovers over here, so that may have influenced my decision to feature a chocolate zucchini bread here.


This dark and deadly loaf is “…too good to be healthy” as one of my ‘tasters’ remarked. But with the inclusion of whole-wheat flour and plenty of zucchini, it’s a lot better for you than a slice of cake.

This, in fact, will probably be my birthday cake, it’s that great. Double chocolate? It’s allll good.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 1/2 c. cake flour
  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 cup organic turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded, raw zucchini
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Grease, or spray with nonstick vegetable spray, a 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Set aside.

Grate the zucchini using a medium sized grater. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended – about 2 minutes. Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely.

Yields one large loaf.

Pasta Primavera – All Year Long

The end of summer marks the time that we start scrambling to use up all the fresh produce bursting from our gardens. It can be hard to find ways to use up so many vegetables at one time. That’s why the Italians created Pasta Primavera.

If you’ve got a plentiful array of vegetables that need to be used up then a fresh batch of Pasta Primavera may be just what you need to help clean out your garden.

You can use any vegetables you like in this dish, you will just need to be aware of their individual cooking times and whether they are best boiled or thrown into the skillet to sauté.

Vegetables that are Best Boiled and their Cooking Times: [Read more…]

Ten Guilt-Free Non-Suppers

On most days, dinner comes together quite pleasantly around here. We have a weekly menu plan, I buy just what we need for a few meals (and no more) at the market, and a well-rounded supper comes together with ease. Then…there are other days.

Occasionally, dinner just doesn’t happen for whatever reason – a delayed appointment, a webinar gone into overtime, or just plain lack of motivation (if we’re being honest here) – and we eat what I’ve come to call ‘The Non-Supper’. It’s usually something fast, requires no cooking and generates minimal dishes.

I’m generally not proud of our non-suppers, but sometimes at the end of another long strenuous day (no nanny, cleaning lady or mother’s helper around here!), insufficiently powered due to lack of sleep and fear of a coffee overdose (if there is such a thing), a non-supper takes some pressure off and frees up time for something more important, like playing with the kids. [Read more…]

Spotlight Ingredient: Sweet Summer Corn

I‘ll admit, it feels like everything has already been said about corn; still, it’s a hugely popular vegetable in our family and worthy of a closer look.

Plus, I just couldn’t go through the entire season without sharing a couple of my most favorite recipes for corn, so don’t exit this site without taking a peek at them –  you’ll also be looking at my lunches for the past week and a half.

First, let’s shine a spotlight on corn; stick around, you might learn something. Like this for example, did you know that there is one string of corn silk for each kernel of corn in each ear?

[Read more…]

Preserving. What are you waiting for?


If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been lately, the answer is easy: either at the market, staggering under laden produce bags and trying to corral two little monkeys, or in my kitchen, up to my armpits in fresh produce.

This month there’s been pounds and pounds of fruit and vegetables coming through the front door, languishing briefly on the counter top, and passing through various preserving methods before making their way to their final resting place, i.e, the pantry or the freezer.

If you don’t believe me, here’s proof aplenty:


Sweet Summertime Blueberry Syrup

How to Freeze Sweet Corn

Garlic-Dill Pickles (This one is still on the ‘to-do’ list)

Freezing Broccoli 101

Canning Cherries (happening today)

How to Preserve Summer’s Herbs

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam (I added orange zest this time. Yowzas!)

My canning and preserving streak has even roused the interest of a certain local TV station…and they’re coming over to crash the party next week. Double Yowzas.

Now if you’ll excuse me, please, I’ve got a brand new cherry pitter to inaugurate.

Are you preserving anything this August? What are you waiting for?!