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Apparently I am not the only Leftover Queen in my family. This much has been clear from the day I sat down and thought about where my food inspiration comes from. I was taught by a whole generation of Leftover Queens. In reality my love of leftovers comes from the resourcefulness of the older generation of my family – people who lived during The Great Depression and know what it is to get creative with what you have. These people were also Italian immigrants or children of Italian immigrants and therefore had the tenacity to make delicious creations from the bare bones. Everyone in my family of my grandparent’s generation had a garden. The garden was a place of great pride, a place where one could go and see the fruits of their labor, quite literally. It was the place where provided for and fed your family. It was a way of bringing a part of the Old Country to America with them, a little bit of security. One of the pictures that held a special place at the forefront of my grandmother’s dining room was of my Pap and his brother, my great uncle Sammy holding vegetables out in the garden. It was an old black and white picture and they were probably in their 40’s, two brothers proudly sharing their bounty.

This recipe comes from my Aunt Theresa – one of the many proud bakers in my family. Here is to keeping those proud traditions alive.

This cake was made from the leftovers of Zucchini Fritters with Chipotle Harissa Yogurt.

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 TBS vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini, peeled and seeded
2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped dates
(you can also add one cup of the following: raisins, walnuts, drained crushed pineapple) – Here is where all the creative leftover queen-ness comes in!

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place first five ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Sift remaining dry ingredients together into another large bowl. Mix with zucchini mixture and stir in choc. chips, coconut, dates and any other optional ingredients.

Pour into a greased pan. Bake at 350 F as follows:
1- 13 x 9: 35-40 minutes
2- 8 x 4 loaf: 1 hour
6- mini loaf pans: 30-35 minutes

ENJOY!