Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

By Gail Foley

I mixed up a couple of recipes for chocolate zucchini bread and chocolate zucchini bars and came up with this cake that everyone seems to love. So, I've made it several times since then with several different toppings – a dusting of powdered sugar, a peanut butter, buckeye topping and melted chocolate chips.

1 cup butter
2 oz. dark chocolate

2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk (or soured milk – ½ cup milk + 1 ½ tsp. white vinegar, let it set a bit to curdle)
1 small ripe banana
2 cups fresh grated zucchini (if frozen, thaw and squeeze out a bit of the juice)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with canola oil spray.

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat or in microwave, whichever technique is preferred.

In medium mixing bowl, lightly fold together flour, salt, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon.

In large mixer bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine butter, chocolate, sugar, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and banana. Fold in zucchini. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread in prepared baking dish.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

While still warm, sprinkle with a bag of milk chocolate chips, spread with a knife to cover as they melt. OR
Mix up your favorite buckeye filling (peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar), warm it up a bit to soften, and spread over warm cake. OR
Let cake cool completely and dust with powdered sugar. OR
Use your imagination – Chocolate frosting, Cream cheese frosting, Buttercream frosting, etc.

Garda’s Baked Spaghetti

By Gail Foley

My mother-in-law was a wonderful woman. She had a magic way with children, but cooking not so much. This is a recipe I recreated at the request of my husband, Richard, about thirty years ago. The big difference from her recipe is that I never use spaghetti sauce from a jar. I use whatever sauce I have left over and I almost never make spaghetti sauce the exact same way. So use your favorite sauce.

3 cups leftover cooked spaghetti noodles
3 cups leftover spaghetti sauce
12 slices real American cheese (NOT cheese food wrapped in individual slices)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a one and a half quart rectangular glass baking dish with canola oil spray.

Spread half of noodles in bottom of dish. Cover with half of sauce.
Top with six slices of cheese. Repeat layer.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.

Let cool for five minutes or so. Cut in six squares and serve with a vegetable or side salad and a crusty garlic bread. Some red wine is nice too! The kids always liked green beans on the side. Myself, I prefer lightly steamed broccoli. (but no wine for the little ones ;-)

Richard really likes a good crusty browned top on this casserole.