Week 12 – (Last Day of) Summer Corn Chowder and Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3.5 more weeks until I get my life back!!  Work was better this week, though it’s going to be a big push through October 15. But we’ll make it and I’ll go back to taking Fridays off and all will be right in the world 🙂

Highlights of the week:

1. Deadline #1 is done!  September 15 is always a rough one, but it’s in the past and I’m back to feeling like I know what I’m doing at work.

2. Fall package #2 from mom and dad!  They’re the best.  They sent some adorable S & P shakers and some tealight holders.  I love having our place decorated for the season.  It feels way more like a home, and growing up our house was always seasonally decorated so I appreciate it even more.

3. Date night!  Friday Matt and I walked over to Pizzeria Paradisio in Georgetown.  Their pizza is amazing, and they have an extensive beer selection (Matt’s favorite).  After enjoying dinner and a drink we walked over to Thomas Sweet for some ice cream, we hadn’t been there in forever!  It was delicious as always.  Good to not work at night and to just spend some QT with that husband of mine.  He’s pretty great.

4. Saturday and almost everything that came with it.  I say almost because I worked from home in the morning.  But then….we picked up our fresh stop!  Everything looks amazing (see below).  Then I got my hair cut.  I feel like a new person!  The upkeep of my long hair during busy season was just too much.  Back to a solid shoulder-length style now (there will be a picture on here eventually).  After the hair cut I baked some pumpkin muffins – which means it’s officially, officially fall.  Then we went to the H Street Festival with James.  After that we went out to dinner on 14th street (the area I’d LOVE to live in if only Matt and I didn’t have jobs located out in the middle of nowhere), checked out a new Gelato place, and then met up with one of his friends from college who was celebrating his bday.  Everywhere we went was great and it was a much needed Saturday out and about.

photo 1 (4)Fresh Stop!!

photo 2 (4)

MMMMMuffins, the super official sign it’s fall
photo 3 (5)

The Drafting Table

photo 4 (2)

Dolcezza – They have a “To Go” Window for coffee and gelato.  Amazing.

This week’s recipes…

We got to use some of our fresh stop veggies in the Summer Corn Chowder.  And due to a miscommunication we had too much zucchini so I took that as an excuse to try out a recipe for chocolate zucchini bread that I found last week.  The chocolate Zucchini bread took longer than it should have to cook the middle, which lead to crispier than desired edges.  Next time I might dump the batter into muffin tins or just not use it all in the bread dish, that should do the trick.  It’s still delicious, per Matt and a few girlfriends of mine.  So there will be a next time for it.  That’s generally a good judgement for us on these, after we try a new recipe I ask Matt “so, would you want me to make this again?”  The answer has been ‘yes’ a lot lately, but I’ll be sure to warn you when it’s not.  The Summer Corn Chowder was a definitely “yes, we’ll make this again.”  There was more prep work than I’d do on a weeknight but it was a perfect Sunday, late afternoon recipe.  Also we didn’t have allspice so Matt googled what’s in it and we just put a little of each into the pot.

Summer Corn Chowder

Servings: 6+

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium ears of corn
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 small celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 cups light cream (or half and half, what we used) at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs at about half their depth. Then, using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the bowl to release all the “milk”; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over moderately high heat, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.
  3. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, allspice, sugar, bay leaf and the reserved corn kernels and their “milk” and stir well. Cook over moderate heat until mixture begins to sizzle.
  6. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cream and milk and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste.
  8. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon and parsley.

photo 3 (4)

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well combined.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done (a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, save for perhaps a light smear of chocolate from the melted chips).
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack.
  8. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2) photo 3 (3)

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