Monthly Archive for: ‘July, 2019’

The Perfect Summer Pairing

Summer is officially here, which means the farmer’s market is flourishing.  Every year I marvel at the bounty of color-yellow & green squash, bright purple eggplants & rosy red tomatoes, just to name a few.  My Saturday morning farmers market visits often resemble a kid in a candy store & by mid-week, I realized my fridge is still overflowing with fresh produce.  A baker at heart, I found the perfect way to utilize the extra zucchini I have on hand.  This particular recipe I discovered years ago, it is the perfect combination of zucchini & chocolate (ironically the creator of this recipe has a blog titled just that, Chocolate & Zucchini).

Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

 

Ingredients

115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature or ¼ cup olive or canola oil plus ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
60 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
150 grams (3/4 cup) unrefined blond cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons strong cooled coffee (optional)
3 large eggs or 4 egg whites and one large egg
350 grams (2 cups) unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
160 grams (5 2/3 oz) good-quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

 

Procedure

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 25-cm (10-inch) round springform pan or a 22-cm (8 1/2-inch) square pan.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and butter until fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.
6. Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
7. Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing.
8. Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.
9. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen, and unclasp the sides of the pan.
10. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or a chocolate glaze if desired.

Watermelon Pickles Wrapped in Bacon

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 small watermelon
½ c cider vinegar
1 c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
¼ t fennel seeds
½ t salt
raw bacon slices, cut in ½

Procedure

For Pickles:

1. With vegetable peeler, remove green peel of baby watermelon, cut off white rind, reserve melon for other use.
2. Cut enough white rind into ½”x½”x2″ sticks to make 2 cups.
3. In medium saucepan combine rind, cider vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds & salt. Simmer on medium 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool.
4. Pack into mason jar & refrigerate. Will keep 3 months, refrigerated.
For Yummy Hors D’oeuvres:
5. Wrap a piece of pickle in bacon, secure with toothpick.
7. Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes (give or take).

Niksen

What? Niksen is Dutch for “nothing,” and it appears in this article, The Case for Doing Nothing. Being busy gets confused with being important and it’s causing us all issues, some of them major like burnout (especially for millennials), anxiety disorders, and stress-related diseases.

Daydreaming — an inevitable effect of idleness — literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving…more productive.  

Tips to help you stop and be:

  • Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose
  • Be unapologetic that you are doing…nothing
  • Sitting still might be uncomfortable at first, practice
  • Create the right place – devices out of reach, a perching spot you like (at home, at work, in a park…)

Get busy niksening.

Leslie Phillips
CEO