SewThankful Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Moist, dense and DEEEEElicious! It’s got nutrition too.

Tis the season for zucchini. LOTS and LOTS of zucchini. This year, after several bountiful harvests, I was inspired to create a Triple Chocolate Zucchini Bread to help use up some of the “bounty”. Needless to say, it has been one of the most popular things I’ve ever made with Zucchini. Jeff asked me to make at least 10 more loaves to put in the freezer–yes, it freezes fabulously.

Recipe yields 2 loaves

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • OPTIONAL INGREDIENT: 1 teaspoon espresso powder OR instant coffee. NOTE: Espresso powder OR instant coffee is OPTIONAL – but this ingredient adds another level of subtle, uniquely rich deliciousness. You can purchase espresso powder or make your own if you wish. There are lots of instructions online for how to make your own espresso powder. Choose your favorite browser and search away.
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini, packed (a little extra is OK)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips, your preference)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare 2 loaf pans using your preferred method. (I use non-stick spray or butter depending on what I have on hand.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter until just barely melted (microwave or stovetop methods are both fine). Pour melted butter into a large bowl. Use a whisk, fork or wooden spoon to add brown sugar and stir well until the mixture is smooth. Stir in eggs, adding one at a time until each one is well incorporated.  NOTE: Do NOT add eggs before combining butter and brown sugar. Once you have combined the butter and brown sugar, make sure your butter/sugar mixture has cooled enough so that it does NOT cook the eggs. Stir in vanilla. Is everything evenly combined and smooth? If not, stir gently until it is.

In a medium size bowl, add all dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and espresso powder/ instant coffee. Use a fork or whisk to evenly combine all dry ingredients.

Pour dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula until all ingredients are evenly combined but do not “over” stir. This mixture will be quite thick. Add zucchini, chocolate chips and white chips. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula just until evenly mixed.

Divide batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean and batter-free. Note: melted chocolate chips can/will stick to the toothpick even if the loaf is done so pay close attention if your toothpick does not appear to be clean.

Allow loaves to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before turning them onto a cooling rack.

The bread tastes delicious when warm; but be advised that slicing it before it has completely cooled may result in lots of crumbling!

These LOAVES FREEZE very well and are good for up to 3 months or so. If you want to freeze your loaf/loaves, allow to cool completely then wrap snugly in plastic wrap then either place in a freezer bag and press out air or wrap foil securely over the plastic wrap.

Want to print print this recipe? Click here for the PDF

Fresh from the Garden: SewThankful Zucchini Breakfast Hash with Scrambled Eggs

My Favorite Summer Breakfast that’s also delicious for lunch or dinner!

INGREDIENTS:

1 or 2 small zucchini quartered length wise and chopped

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove minced garlic

1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: 1 or 2 slices of previously cooked bacon, crumbled

1 or 2 prepared scrambled eggs

Optional: 1 Tablespoon grated cheese (choose your favorite)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil or butter in a medium to large size heavy skillet over medium high heat.

Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic (don’t let the garlic burn).

Add chopped garlic.

Add chopped zucchini. Allow zucchini to cook until you see the edges turning golden brown then flip and allow the other side to cook just a couple minutes.

Add the OPTIONAL prepared, crumbled bacon. Allow to warm through .

Turn heat to low. Place previously prepared scrambled eggs on top of the hash. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with lid for a couple minutes to allow eggs to come up to same temperature as has and for the cheese to melt.

Serve it up and enjoy!

OPTIONAL IDEAS: If you’ve got garden fresh tomatoes, dice one up and add it just before you put the bacon in. Toss lightly, allow to warm and then add bacon. Fresh/tender green beans and sliced mushrooms are also a nice addition. I like to cook my green beans and/or mushrooms with the onions and allow any liquid to cook off and them to begin caramelizing before adding the zucchini. The same goes for cabbage, kale, spinach or broccoli.

Are you “IN” for the Jaybird Quilts Journey to Nebula?

Have you heard? Are you IN?

First things first. What is Nebula?

Nebula is a super GORGEOUS Block of the Month Quilt pattern/program from Jaybird Quilts that is due to be released in 2021.

Sew…what’s the Journey to Nebula?

I’m so glad you asked.

Journey to Nebula is a FREE sew along program* hosted by Jaybird Quilts pattern designer, Julie Herman. This sew along is designed specifically to prepare you for the upcoming Nebula Block of the Month pattern in 2021 (Nebula is pictured above/left).

*NOTE: Other than the cost of the rulers, patterns, and materials, there is no additional cost to sign up or participate in Jaybird’s Journey to Nebula sew along.

WHY should you do this? Because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to sew along and learn with Julie. PLUS!!!! Jaybird is also offering Plus! ++ Exclusive bonus content for everyone that signs up. But you’ve got to sign up (scroll to bottom of this post for the link to sign up information).

If you haven’t signed up already, you’ll need to sign up. The link to Jaybird’s blog post with sign up instructions can be found at the bottom of this past).

You’ll also want to follow along on Instagram at @journey2nebula, and use the #journey2nebula to share your posts with Jaybird Quilts and be featured in the @journey2nebula posts.

What’s this all about?

As the anticipation grows for the arrival of the Jaybird Quilts Nebula Block of the Month quilt Julie wants to help you use the time to get comfortable with the tools and techniques that you’ll put to work making Nebula in 2021.

Yes, SEW Along With Jaybird Julie…from your home!

That’s right you’ll sew together with Julie through the end of 2020 using a series of tutorials and patterns to get you prepared for Nebula. The goal is to help you familiarize yourself with using the Hex N More & Super Sidekick (or Sidekick) rulers, cutting, & piecing shapes from the rulers. On the Journey to Nebula, Julie will help you work through specially selected small, approachable patterns so that when Nebula hits quilt shops in 2021 you are totally ready to get into it.

BUILD YOUR SKILLS and have a blast during Julie’s Journey to Nebula sew along! Julie’s dedicating two weeks to each skill building pattern.

What’s even better? Other than the cost of the rulers, patterns, and materials, there is no additional cost to sign up or participate in Jaybird’s Journey to Nebula sew along.

If you don’t have the required Journey to Nebula patterns yet…

We are offering a special Pre-Launch Party Pack (image above) that includes all 6 of the patterns you’ll use on the Journey To Nebula sew along with Julie. You can grab all 6 patterns at a special PRE-ORDER price with just one click.

NOTE: Pre-Launch Party Pack Price is valid 8/9/2020 – 8/15/2020. Estimated shipping date is 8/24/2020.

If you need just one or two of the patterns and/or the rulers, click here to select the individual items you need.

Additional NOTE: IF you don’t have the rulers and/or you don’t want to buy the rulers, template images are included in all of the selected patterns (and in the upcoming Nebula BOM so you can make your own) BUT… the rulers will make it SO much easier and yes, they are totally worth it! Jaybird rulers are not one-hit wonders. There are MANY patterns that use Hex N More, Super Sidekick (or Sidekick).

SEW…are you “IN”?

Click here to read more of the specifics on Jaybird’s Journey to Nebula program as well as a detailed schedule.

Click the image below to go to the program sign up form — you can also find the link on the program details page linked above.

SewThankful Calabacitas (Zucchini) With Yellow Squash, Corn & Green Chile

One of our family’s favorite veggie dishes and it’s super easy to make. You may easily adjust up or down in quantity or tweak ingredients to suit your needs.

Ingredients:

2 or 3 Medium Size Zucchini sliced into 1/8th inch discs.

1 Medium Size Yellow Squash sliced into 1/8th inch discs. If you don’t have yellow squash, just add another zucchini.

1 small onion, diced

1 – 2 cloves of garlic smashed and finely diced (depending on how much you like garlic)

1 – 2 Medium Size Ears of COOKED Sweet Corn — left over grilled or flame roasted sweet corn is best but steamed or boiled is fine too–slice the corn off the cob(s), you’ll want to have approximately 1 – 1 1/2 cups. OR use approximately 1 – 1 1/2 cups of frozen sweet corn that has been cooked (microwaved corn works fine). Make sure the corn has been drained and is relatively dry.

1/2 cup chopped roasted green chile that is drained/relatively dry — you can substitute roasted bell pepper of any color if you don’t have green chile or don’t care for the heat.

OPTIONAL: 1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh grated Romano/Parmesan Cheese (or use your favorite cheese!)

2 Tablespoons Butter OR Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste if desired

DIRECTIONS:

In a large, heavy skillet (I like to use my largest cast iron skillet) heat butter or olive oil.

Saute onion until it begins to brown/caramelize. Add garlic and toss lightly. You don’t want to burn the garlic.

Turn up the heat a bit and add zucchini and yellow squash. You want to quickly brown the squash on one side before turning, tossing or stirring with out allowing it to become mushy. Once you’ve got a nice golden brown, turn, toss or gently stir to brown the other side of your zucchini & yellow squash.

Add the prepared corn and green chile or bell pepper. Keeping the heat up, quickly toss/stir gently to distribute all ingredients evenly. You just want to heat the corn & green chile (as it has been cooked previously) to the same temperature as your squash.

Remove from heat. Add Salt & Pepper to taste. Sprinkle the top with cheese and allow to melt.

Serve & ENJOY!

EASY No-Sew Squash Hammock upcycle/recycle project

Lakota Squash settling into the good life. It’s all about the squash hammock.

I’m experimenting with trellising some of my squash plants. This Lakota Squash plant is climbing the trellis beautifully, but the squash was starting to get big and heavy and really needed support. I know some people use old panty hose to make slings, but I haven’t worn panty hose in (?) maybe decades so don’t have any old ones laying around.

What to do? What to do? “What would my Grams do?” I asked myself.

The answer was easy. She’d use what she had. And one thing I have is old knit shirts I’ll never wear again. They typically age in a storage container for a while then eventually find their way to the wrag bin.

Problem solved. I pulled out a lovely blue knit shirt, cut some long strips about 5 inches wide and secured it to the trellis. I was mindful to cut the strips wide enough to accommodate growth and still keep the squash secure. I brought the rest of the strips out to the garden and have them hanging/waiting on an empty spot in the trellis. I’ll be ready for the next hanging Lakota that starts to plump up and needs a bit of support. In the meantime this squash is definitely living its best life–carefree and healthy–just hanging out in the hammock. Happy, healthy squash means more deliciousness for our dinner table.