Monday, August 27, 2012

Bruschetta Chicken

Along with our abundance of zucchini, we've also had a ton of fresh basil and tomatoes that we've been putting to use. My favorite use of them thus far is in this chicken. It was moist, delicious, and some of the best grilled chicken we've ever made. Which is why we've made it three times in as many weeks. It really is that good.

Buschetta Chicken
adapted from Riches to Rags

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup + 2 Tb. balsamic vinegar, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (4-6 ounces each)
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade (or chopped)
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Combine garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in gallon size ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinade for at least 4 hours (or up to 24).
2. Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Mix tomatoes, remaining 2 Tb. balsamic, and basil in small bowl and set aside. Remove chicken from marinade and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side, or until instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees. Top with mozzarella cheese and grill for 1 more minute, to melt cheese. Divide tomato mixture evenly over chicken.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We planted two zucchini plants in our garden this year. The first day we picked anything from our garden, we picked eight zucchini. We've been getting several a day almost every day since. While I love zucchini, I can only eat it so many days in a row before I get a little sick of it. We've done zucchini fries, zucchini quesadillas, zucchini muffins, zucchini pasta, grilled zucchini, sauteed zucchini and several other iterations. But I think that this one is probably my favorite of them all.

If you happen to have a garden full of zucchini, this is the perfect use for it. And if you don't, it's good enough to wrangle some up (I'm sure you have neighbors that are willing to part with some, or you can probably find it cheap at the grocery store at this time of year). After making it seven or eight times in the last two months, I practically know the recipe by heart. It is moist and delicious, almost like a texas chocolate sheet cake in flavor, and probably one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever made. And the frosting...oh the frosting. It is amazing! I hope you love this one as much as we do!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
barely adapted from

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I've also used melted butter or coconut oil with great results)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely shredded zucchini (no need to peel, just throw it in the food processor or shred it on the small holes in a box grater)

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, mix sugar, vanilla, and oil. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined (batter will be very dry). Stir in zucchini.
3. Spread evenly in prepared pan (the batter might still be dry at this point, but it will moisten from the zucchini. I usually just keep stirring until it moistens enough to spread it in the pan). Bake 25-30 minutes, until cake springs back when gently touched in center. Set aside to cool.
4. Make frosting by beating together cocoa and butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Spread over cake.
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