Chocolate Zucchini Cake

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Hello! I hope you’re having a fabulous summer! I am, and a busy one which is why I’ve been MIA for a while. Anyhow, one of my friends tweeted about not being able to stop eating chocolate zucchini cake and of course I have been thinking about it ever since. I remember her mom making it when we were little kids and I used to be fascinated that something as gross as zucchinis went into a cake that was so delicious. I love them now but really didn’t when I was younger probably because I had to pick them on the farm… Anyways, thank you KP for the inspiration. I’m also very much enjoying it!

I tweaked the recipe a little bit because I broke one of the eggs and I only had two; and I used a bit less oil and substituted applesauce to make up for both of the above. I also had to bake it for a full hour because 50 minutes wasn’t enough.

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The Best Coffee in Abbotsford

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I’ve been living in Abbotsford for a while now, so it’s quite sad that I had not discovered this place until late last year, but now there is no turning back. Sumas Mountain Coffee is, hands down, the best coffee in town. If you like real, good¬†coffee. My favourite drink is a single shot, medium latte (you know, in case you want to visit, with coffee) and outside of Italy, this is one of the two local places (the other is in Mission, but more on that later) where I can have my coffee without adding any sugar. That says a lot. The cafe itself is quite cozy as well, and the chairs are comfortable, in case you want to take your friend there for a secret date ūüėȬ† I haven’t really tried their food – they don’t offer very much – but apparently the soon to be discontinued cookies are very good (the lady who makes them is moving). I’m sure they’ll bring in replacements…

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Classic Chocolate Cake

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There wasn’t too much I craved while I was pregnant, but I did crave perfect chocolate cake. Perfect meaning moist, rich, intense chocolate taste, right amount of sugar and perfect frosting. I’m no longer pregnant, but I still periodically crave this cake. I didn’t use the frosting recipe in the link provided; I used the one below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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NOTE: The batter looks quite runny after you add the coffee, this is how it’s supposed to be. The first time I made it I thought I messed up, but don’t fret, it’ll turn out. Also, I didn’t line the pans with parchment and flour, I used butter and cocoa powder instead.

Creamy Chocolate Butter Icing

1 cup butter, softened (has to be softened)

5 cups icing sugar

2/3 cup whipping cream

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

2 tsp vanilla

NOTE: This frosting is too generic and bland for me, so I add a little bit more than 1 cup of cocoa, and then it is perfect!

In bowl, beat butter until light; alternately beat in icing sugar and cream. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. If desired, add in 1 cup or more of cocoa powder.

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Freedom to Feast

I went for a run today. I have ran in the past but by no means would qualify as a runner. My usual forms of exercise are very occasional yoga, chasing around my nephews, seasonal hiking and frolicking in lakes. Unfortunately, none of the above happen on a regular basis and I’m tired of the ‘I’m no longer pregnant, but still kind of look it’ look. So, I’ve decided to do something about it. I love the fact that a bit of moderate exercise lets me indulge in great stuff like this:

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{very delicious ice-cream}

And this:

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{Restaurant 62 Chicken and Pancetta Pasta in White Wine Sauce = my lunch today. I generally never order pasta when eating out, but this was SO good!}

Anyhow, I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was busier than usual. I saw a lot of family which was crazy but awesome, like usual. I also saw one of my dearest friends. She is the kindest and most thoughtful person I know. And, I’m very excited to see her next weekend again at her Dinosaur party. I also got a couple of deliveries (s.s. stuff from before stupid number four), that I’m quite excited about but more on that later…

Classic Beef Stew

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I bought this cookbook a while back and since have made a few recipes from it. My favourites are the Macaroni and Cheese, Potato Gratin with Gruyere and this Classic Beef Stew. It’s possibly the best I’ve ever had and I make it when I have cravings for hot comfort food.

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I couldn’t find the recipe for it online (?) so am attaching this picture. (If you find it online, please let me know and I’ll add a link and remove this horrendous picture. If you can’t read it – I’m sorry. Let me know and I will somehow get it to you). I tweaked it a bit and used top sirloin instead of beef chuck (this way you don’t have to skim off the fat) and I threw everything in (carrots, potatoes and peas) at step number three at the same time because I like it all to be at the verge of falling apart. And also cause then you can skip the rest of the steps.

Bon Appetit!

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Jennifer Cookies

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When I was in Grade 3 I met a girl named Jennifer, who later in Grade 4 became my friend (the delay because she was cool and I was a bit of a dork). Anyways, everyday in her lunch, she would bring one huge and decadent (to me at the time) chocolate chip cookie that was the envy of the class. So over time, I started ‘trading’ her her cookie for something that she thought was good enough from my lunch. Or she would just share some with me. Sometimes. This cookie was pretty much the best thing I had ever tasted in my life. When we got to Grade 7, I worked up the courage to ask her for the recipe, and being the good friend that she was, she gave it to me. Since then my tastes have evolved quite a bit but i still enjoy this comforting cookie especially on gray days like today. And now I’m sharing it with you. I hope you enjoy it.

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1 c room temperature butter
1 1/3 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 c flour
1 1/3 c rolled oats
1 c chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix dry in another. Mix both together and bake @ 375 C for 10 minutes.

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Meeti Roti

meeti roti

I’ve always been a fan of meeti roti (especially the one from Vikram Vij’s Rangoli), and since I brought back some gurh from India – which I helped make (more on that later) – I thought I’d make some at home. You can buy gurh from your local Indian supermarket like Fruiticana or use demerara sugar which works quite well as well. I melted the gurh in hot water and made the atta (dough) with that. This recipe is super easy if you can roll out a roti… The ratio of flour to water roughly is 2:1. For two people, use the following:

Recipe

1 c atta (available in your local supermarket)

1/2 c water (you may need a bit more or less depending on the consistency of the dough, which you should be able to roll into a ball)

1 pesi (round piece) gurh

Melt the pesi in the hot water and then cool. Mix the water and flour to make a soft dough. Knead until nice and smooth. Roll into 4 balls and roll out each ball into a roti. Cook on a frying pan (cast iron works best), flipping the roti until golden with brown specks.

Vikram’s is in a league of its own, but with a nice hot cup of chai tea, this one (or three) hits the spot nicely as well. Enjoy!