Sunday, July 11, 2010

What to do with all that zucchini

I have six zucchini/courgette plants and two of them are presenting me with the cutest, tenderest squashes I've ever eaten.  Based on the number of blossoms on the other four, I'm going to be more than replete with squash this summer.  I'm trying to catch them when they are little but one sucker hid under the leaves and when I found it this morning it was rehearsing for a policeman's truncheon.  There was only one thing to do...make chocolate cake.

I've always been a little skeptical about cooking vegetables in desserts - even carrot cake is a little dodgy in my view, but I've been assured that you can't taste the zucchini in cake.  So I did a search and came up with this rather luscious sounding recipe on the aptly named Zucchini & Chocolate website.  Since allergy boy and vegan girl are away from home I thought I'd whip up a chocolate cake using real butter, eggs, cocoa and dark chocolate and see if it's enough to hide the squash.

The result - absolutely frickin' gorgeous.  Rich, moist, chocolaty and not a trace of zucchini to be found - it's just melted into the cake.  I made a powdered sugar glaze to top it with but it's kind of gilding the lily.  It doesn't need anything else.

[Sorry no pictures but Evie has my camera in DC - maybe next time]

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Habit of a Lifetime - One Month at a Time

I turned 42 last month.  I'm not ashamed to admit my age - I'm embracing the "I don't give a s**t" attitude that has been creeping up since I turned 40.  So, to celebrate the fact that 42 is supposed to be the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, I've decided to make this year meaningful.  And how, you may ask?  I will tell you.  I'm going to cultivate 12 good habits this year.  Research tells us that doing something every day for a month will establish it as a habit, so every month I'm doing one thing every day in order to make it part of my routine.

For example, I've always been rather hit and miss about flossing so, since 22 June I have flossed every single night before I go to bed.  I've put the floss right by my toothbrush instead of in the medicine cabinet so I have no excuse to forget to do it.  Hopefully by 22 July when I move on to the next habit formation I'll floss as automatically as I brush.

So here are a few of the things I'd like to make new habits in the next year, in no particular order.

  • Clean and moisturize my skin every day.  I used to be able to get away with often being lazy and going to bed with my makeup still on, but those days are long gone.  
  • Drink my 8 glasses of water a day.  That's easier to do in the summer so this may be July/August's habit.
  • Make sure that all the dishes are done and the kitchen tidy before I go to bed so I don't have to come down to a mess in the morning.  I used to be good at this but like so many things I've let it slip dreadfully.
  • Take 10-15 minutes each morning for a devotion and prayer.  I really SHOULD make it longer but 15 minutes is do-able and I can leave making it longer for another time.
  • Plan dinner further in advance than 6.00 that evening.  I am definitely the "come home and see what's in the cupboard" kind of meal planner.  I think this one may wait till Evie's off to college as that will make it easier.  It's not easy to make dinner for 3 when one is a strict vegan and another is allergic to everything.  Our choices are fairly limited but it would be nice to have more variety than rice pasta potatoes, rice pasta potatoes, rice pasta potatoes...
  • Walk to work and back EVERY day (3 1/2 miles round trip).  I usually walk either to or from every day but it's so easy to come up with a reason for spending £1.70 to catch the bus - it's too hot to walk, too wet, I'm tired or running late.  The funny thing is that the nearest bus stop to work is still about 1/2 mile away so I'm not saving that much effort or time.  By the time I've walked to the bus stop, waited for the bus, rode the bus and then walked from the bus stop I may as well have walked the whole way.  And I won't get into the whole issue of germs, weirdos and Whitley mums you get riding the bus.
I'm sure more things will come to me as the year goes on.  There are certainly plenty of areas for improvement in my life but I think this is a do-able plan.  Much more than my usual vague New Year's Resolutions - lose some weight, eat less chocolate, etc.

So, I'm off to floss :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...