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Zikes...the Zukes of the Garden!

If I was a zucchini, I'd be happily flourishing in my garden!  Yee-Ha!  I'd be basking in the afternoon sun and enjoying the cool of the early morning and night with my neighbors squash, cucumber, pumpkin and onions. Most of all I would eagerly anticipate four excited children lifting my oversized leaves to find the hidden treasure of my green growth. How fun it would be to be a zucchini?!  Something to ponder...

I don't have a natural green-thumb, but I'm slowly learning how to grow and produce some bountiful crops.  My zucchini's are the first to really sprout and grow!  There's so much you can do with zucchini: grate it for breads, can it for cold winter days, make soups and freeze, or slice and bake it with a little butter, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese on top.  My family loves to do this.  We toss them on the grill as good!

I wanted to share one of my favorite Zucchini Bread recipe's: 3 eggs 2 C. sugar 1 C. vegetable oil/substitute with 1/2 applesauce if you'd like 1 tsp. vanilla 2 C. grated zucchini 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 3 C. flour Chocolate chips; semi-sweet or milk chocolate to taste.  I usually toss in a heaping handful or so.

Beat eggs, add sugar and oil; mix well. Blend in the remaining ingredients.  Grease two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  I like to start checking my breads at around 35 minutes in the oven.  I also like to make mini-loafs.  Those only take about 30-35 minutes.

You could add craisins, walnuts, white chocolate chips, or drizzle chocolate across the top as well for a 'little flair for the gourmet' and to make it look pretty. If you want to drizzle the chocolate over the top simply melt the chocolate in the microwave with a little oil. Then drizzle it on top.

I find zucchini can be a little 'extra' wet, so I pat it down with paper towels after I grate it, and let it air dry a bit before I add it to my bread. (My unscientific method for not making bread as heavy as a brick that my husband could use on one of his houses.)

Also, here's a couple other Zucchini sites hosting lots of different and useful ideas.

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