01 August 2011

Monstrous Zucchini, Junior Rangers, and a Boy turned Fish.

I love the Food Network.  It's one of those channels that can always be playing in the background while you're doing other things--cleaning, laundry, and of course, cooking.  So when I am looking for a recipe, Food Network is always my first stop.

Last week, my coworker shared a bounty of foot long zucchini from her garden.  Seriously. They were literally a foot long. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it before I cut into it.  So in grappling with what to make, I naturally searched the Food Network site.  I didn't have to search long because when I came across Paula Deen's recipe for succulent Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, I was hooked. Enjoy!

3 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teasp baking powder
1 teasp salt
1/2 teasp ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp ground nutmeg
1 teasp baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teasps vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange zest**

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 9x5 loaf pans. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.  In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Add sugar and continue beating until well blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, chocolate chips, and orange zest.  Stir in sifted ingredients.  Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake 50 minutes, or until skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.  Remove from pans and cool. 

**I didn't have orange zest, but a few dashes of lemon juice worked great too!

Meanwhile, this weekend was yet another busy fun one.  Saturday, Terry's sister and husband were in town, after having spent a lovely week up in Bar Harbor.   The last time they'd seen G was back in October. Needless to say, he's changed alot! He was all too happy to show off his walking moves, and looked adorable in the Acadia National Park Junior Ranger park vest and hat they brought him. What a rascal he was.  Later in the day, G's good buddy M came by for a splash in the giraffe pool.  Another set of rascals. It's so fun to watch these boys now be able to play and interact with each other.  If we could just freeze these moments...!

Sunday brought a beautiful Maine day, and off to the beach we went.  We heard about this great local beach with a fresh water pond, and it was the perfect choice for our family day off together.  What did we discover? G LOVES water.  Like to the point of never wanting to get out.  Almost immediately when we set up, off he went, his chubby baby feet maneuvering among the rocky sand, heading straight toward the water.  He had no fear.
On my 37th trip down to the water.

He plopped down into the clear waves, and soon was surrounded by three other little ones who were exploring the waters treasures. G wasn't impressed.  While I'm usually not into ponds, having grown up getting numb in the icy Atlantic, I have to admit, this one was delightful.  It was warm enough to be able to immerse in while not feeling like there were slimey creepy crawlies tangling at our feet.  I floated G around and twirled him to his delight while we watched ambitious beachers swim to a floatable dock to dive from.  Back to the blanket we go to attempt some lunch, but G would have none of it.  He got right back up and toddled down to the waters edge.  This went on for about an hour, T and I taking turns bringing him out.  It was joyful to see him be so happy in the water and show no fear. Soon, exhaustion set in for all of us and home we went.  I think I barely got G out of his wet swimsuit before he was fast asleep for a good 2 1/2 hours.  Lazy Sundays are the best.

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