I've had such an awesome weekend! I really hope that yours was as enjoyable as mine's been. Here's what made me happy...
DATE NIGHT - Since day one of our relationship, Fridays have been date night for Brian and I. He usually takes me out somewhere special so that we can unwind from the week and have some quality conversation time (that means, no phones or computers in our faces). Unfortunately though, out-of-the-house dates have been few and far between this year. Anything that involves spending money has taken a back seat because of the mountain of medical bills that I've accumulated over the past year. Having no medical insurance and 4 hospitalizations within 10 months = a lifetime of date money. This week, Brian decided that we both deserved a treat, though. His birthday is at the end of the month and he had a free birthday burger offer from Red Robin, so that's where we went for dinner. Look what I ordered... TOTAL YUM factor!
Yesterday morning, Brian skipped his weekly men's Bible study so that he could take me to the farmers market. Again, because of no extra cash and his typically being busy on Saturday mornings, we hadn't been able to go to the market at all this year. It was SUCH a joy to be out spending time with the man I love. The weather was perfect, we got some exercise in, and we came home with a bag full of wonderful treats! I'll be filling you in with recipes as I use up my bounty, but the first thing I bought was some gorgeous zucchini so that I could bake up this week's recipe for zucchini cream cheese pound cake from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.
I can't fully describe in words how moist and tender this cake is. You'll just have to make some and find out for yourself. I think the moisture in the grated zucchini definitely played a factor. It prevented the cake from drying out too much during the baking process. There's a touch of cinnamon and vanilla that give it a great depth of flavor, too. In my opinion, many pound cake recipes, especially the really old ones, are overloaded with eggs and butter. After all, the cake got it's name because the original recipe called for a pound each of eggs and butter. YIKES! While Joy's recipe is hardly heart healthy, it is MUCH lower in fat, sugar, and cholesterol than many others.
If you bake a lot of pound cake, one of the first things you might notice is that the texture (or "crumb") of the cake isn't as dense as a traditional pound cake. That's because of the reduced amount of fat in this recipe. Let me assure you, however, that this cake is definitely rich enough to be worthy of the pound cake crown. Grab a tall glass of milk, some coffee or tea and sit down with this plate full of love!
Incidentally, if you have picky eaters in your house, I PROMISE you that the zucchini is a visual ingredient only. I couldn't taste it at all. I suppose the fact that I tweaked Joy's recipe by adding some bittersweet chocolate to it MAY have helped that cause a bit! :) Either way, this is a recipe that is going to make many repeat appearances in my house. I hope that you'll try it, too!
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