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A couple of recipes to share today--Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Skillet Smashed Potatoes

And they have nothing to do with each other, but I've been meaning to post them for a while now. I took a look at my last post this morning and almost fell off my chair when I realized it was posted last Wednesday! That's almost a week! Where has the time gone? I guess part of it is because my husband had a three day weekend last week. We were busy with a day trip (zoo) on Friday, and then the hours and days seemed to flow together and before you know it, it's Tuesday.

I hate that the summer seems to be flying by. And what do you see in every store? Summer stuff on clearance, and big displays of back to school stuff. God, I used to hate that when I was a kid. It always gave me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Summer went fast enough, and to see retailers pushing it in our faces made me so mad, hehe. I always feel badly when my kids have gotten down to their last one or two weeks of summer, and you can just see it in their eyes. It's looming ahead and they know it. Poor kids, hehe.

Anyway, the recipes. One is for Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread. It's the one I always make, and my kids love it--it's really moist and nice and chocolatey. But I call it "Chocolate Bread" for the benefit of my two youngest kids. They don't know they're eating a healthy dose of a green vegetable, but I do. My two older kids are sworn to secrecy. They don't mind that it's in there--they love the bread! This one was found in the Food Network Kitchens book. They add cinnamon and cloves, but I prefer it without. And so do the kids, in fact. So I've gotten rid of them. Tossed 'em to the curb. (The spices, not the kids.) This also makes two loaves. I love recipes like that, especially with a big family. We can make one loaf disappear just by looking at it. And it also freezes well, so you can put one away for later, too. Also, I think you could substitute plain yogurt for some of the fat in this and it would be great. I'm going to try that this week, and I'll let you all know how it goes. If you want to add the spices (1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves), sift them into the dry ingredients.

This one is posted for Ben at What's Cooking? for his I Love Baking bi-weekly blog event. Send him your baked goodies!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
adapted From Food Network Kitchens
Makes 2 loaves

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (NOT dutch process)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups zucchini, unpeeled and shredded
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (they call for finely chopped, but I like to leave some larger chunks, too)

1 Heat oven to 350°.
2 Butter and flour 2 loaf pans.
3 Whisk the flour with the cocoa and baking soda in a medium size bowl.
4 Beat butter and sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on med high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
5 While you're mixing, drizzle in the oil, then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6 Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk.
7 Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
8 (Like this--flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour) Scrape the sides of the bowl when needed.
9 Fold in the zucchini and chocolate.
10 Divide batter into the 2 pans.
11 Bake until tester comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
12 (be careful, the tester may look chocolatey from the chocolate in the bread--don't over bake) Cool in pans on rack before removing and slicing.

The next recipe is so simple, you don't even need a recipe. Its from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. If you're not reading that blog, you should be! Amazing food, gorgeous photos, wonderful writing--it's got it all. The recipe is for Lori's Skillet Smashed Potatoes.

You take small potatoes, boil them for a bit, then drain and smash them with the bottom of a glass or a custard cup, and then cook them in a skillet until they're all crunchy and golden brown. A sprinkle of coarse salt and whatever else you like, and you're done. (Herbes de Provence is so good on these...) (hahaha! Spell checker thinks I should change "Herbes" to "Herbies!" Doesn't sound very sophisticated that way, does it?)

They are SO freaking delicious. Like candy. It's hard for me to leave them alone before we even sit down to eat. "What? No, really, we only had ten potatoes to start with! Uh-huh. It looked like more? Way more? Well, what do you know, I'm doing the cooking!"

Go check out the recipe at Heidi's blog and please, please try these. You won't be sorry!


After being boiled and smashed.


And shown here, with a grilled steak...



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Reader Comments (41)


You have done it again, (made my mouth water), except this time with 2 recipes instead of 1! These smashed potatoes look fantastic, I think I'll add them to next week's meal planning. And as for the zucchini bread, I've been meaning to find a recipe for this, and now, I have. :) Thanks Elle.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

chocolate zuchnini... I am going try that. I neve thought those two would together

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMotherhood for Dummies

Oh... a zucchini cake and it has chocolate in it, love it!!! The potato sounds deliciously easy to make and they look so beautiful.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCris

The potatoes look perfect! I wish I could fool Alex into thinking there isn't any zucchini in zucchini bread. He's already figured that one out.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Ahh, I know!! Summer is passing far too quickly!!

That zucchini bread looks AMAZING. Yum.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Your potatoes look like lovely Pacmen, and they make me hungry. That chocolate bread looks amazing. I will need to get my hands on some zucchini.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRenae du jour

Potato porn, I love it! Great recipe...

I made double zucchini bread a couple of weeks ago and did use yogurt and it turned out really good too! Yours looks so moist and yummy.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

"Damn, I need a good potato" in a post about potato porn is a major ego killer for a guy.

I'm just sayin'...

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike!! I'm going to edit that now, lol!

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Elle, I agree with everything you said just now. Time is flying, and I was at the store the other day and thought the same thing. Swim suits are on sale, and I swear all the sweaters are coming out already. It's nuts. Love the chocolate zucchini bread... and you're right it is nice to get '2 for the price of 1' when it comes to loaves... well everything actually :)

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I've tried to sneak zucchini past my husband and it didn't work. I'll have to try this bread if it works on kids :)

I hate when its 95+ outside and all they're selling are fall sweaters!

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

smashed has been the favored potato preparation in our house since we first tried them last summer at Lola in Seattle. I've been seasoning with dried rosemary but I'll definitely try it with herbes de Provence next time.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPaniniKathy

OK, first of all I laughed out loud at the spell checker thing, too funny!

I love zucchini bread and I love potatoes so these two recipes are going on the list, to try very soon! :)

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB

Your skillet potatoes look so good! Can't wait to try them. I'm pretty certain they are going to be a winner with the kids!

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

That chocolate bread with zuc in it is perfect for all the zuc that keeps getting delivered to my house! I need to try this recipe version.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoble pig

Yummm, the bread and potatoes both look delicious! Thanks for your comments on the look of my blog!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHoneyB

Heee Potato Porn! I'm going to have to try those...being a potato ho and all...what better way to show off my ho-dom than with porn? lol And that chocolate bread looks freaking fab. YUM.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercanarygirl

I know what you mean when you talk about time flying by. It is already August and the next thing you know, we'll be making plans for Xmas. :-| Great recipes, and great pics. Thanks for participating on I love baking :)

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Those potatoes look so incredible and need to be on my plates. I have to try that!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@nofearentertaining

i'm all over this zucchini bread. two great flavors make me feel like I'm in, eh, some healthy green carnival with goodness is served but still some fun is had.

okay, that was totally random, but that image came to mind! :)

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBren@Flanboyant Eats

Potato Porn! LOL! I love it. Yeah, I agree with you that summer is flying by, but I have to be honest, I'm kinda glad this summer is going away soon. Because this has been one of the most humid and I have such a hard time taking the humidity. I remember the days when summer was decent and then our humid days would be in August, but then we still had cooler nights. Anyone else remember this?
Anywho, your chocolate & zucchini bread looks amazing. I have never ever made a zucchini bread, but if it has chocolate in it I just might.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Elle, I love chocolate zucchini bread... I just made a batch of regular zucchini bread and it was a huge hit. The smashed potatoes are calling my name - I am originally from Idaho so potatoes are my absolute favorite.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I'm so trying the chocolate zucchini bread! Thanks for the heads up about the baking event. Sounds fun.

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

putting pacman potato porn and a rich, chocolatey cake-masquerading-as-bread without a warning is dangerous for people with a low tolerance for deliciousness. fortunately, my threshold is very high and the only drawback here is the unsightly slobber on my chin. :)

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I just made chocolate zucchini bread last weekend! It is definitely the season - I'm seeing zucchini on lots of blogs!

And I have that potato recipe bookmarked, but haven't tried it yet. Now I really want to !

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Both recipes look great but those potatoes are to die for!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkat

oh wow-- the bread is fabulous, but I'm really dying for the potatoes. I can imagine few things more satisfying than fried SMASHED potatoes!!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercookinpanda

Oh MY.....zucchini bread....smashed potatoes.........SO many good things!!! What to do first? OH what the heck-might as well do both! Elle-from one New Englander to another-THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! :)


August 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarol

So I guess we're all in agreement--summer is flying by too quickly, chocolate can make anything taste good, and we ALL love crunchy, golden brown pacman potatoes. :)

Thanks for the comments, guys!

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

That chocolate zucchini bread looks really good!

August 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Damn, those potatoes look good!
I make a zuch bread too but have never added chocolate. I'm smacking myself on the side of the head now.

August 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDee

As usual, we're on the same wavelength. I just made some chocolate zucchini bread last week that I'm getting ready to post. Yours sounds delicious!

August 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Oh and btw, I made Heidi's potatoes too a while back. They are soooo delicious. I topped them with some green sauce that I made (with a mix of herbs) and everybody devoured them!

August 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Those potatoes look so awesome. Hey, so does the chocolate zucchini bread.

I like Potato Porn!

August 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeryl

You are two for two with this post! Love making potatoes this way, but it's been a while. Thanks for the reminder. And chocolate and zucchini make one boffo couple! Yum.

August 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha

“So I've gotten rid of them. Tossed 'em to the curb. (The spices, not the kids.)”

Tee Hee.

August 12, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertoontz

I can never get enough potato porn!

August 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Thanks, everyone!

Amy, I did try Zen's Chimichurri sauce on those potatoes! OMG, potato heaven!

August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I know I already left a comment BUT I have to tell you that the skillet potatoes were OUTSTANDING!!!! The kids and I love, love, loved 'em. Thanks!

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

Ingrid, yay! I'm so glad you all liked them! And thank you!

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I'm glad you almost fell off your chair Elle. Thanks for the nutmeg cake comment...that was a nice change from th run-of-the-mill flavours! Now about this chocolate-zuchini loaf...After reading your post, I'm seriously contemplating giving it a go. I will have to swear myself to secrecy & make it when not a soul is in sight...LOL!! What a life really! The skillet potatoes are simple & then you get to do some good smashing too. I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for new baby potatoes! Thanks for a great post!!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPassionate About Baking

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