One of my favourite things about my house is the little garden bed in the backyard. Every summer since moving in the BFF and I have tried our hand at growing a few vegetable plants. With very little effort, we've had amazing results.
This year's garden is coming along very well. Our crop this year includes two tomato plants:
Two jalapeno plants:
A cayenne plant (not pictured, because none of my pictures of it turned out very well), and a yellow bell pepper plant:
I tried one of these last year but it didn't fare very well. This year's plant seems to be doing much better though - it has lots of flowers, and a tiny little pepper is starting to grow!
I also added some flowers in the boxes by our back deck. I had my doubts about how these would do, since before planting these the dirt in the boxes was filled with old wood chips and cigarette butts from the previous owners, but I am thrilled at how beautiful they are:
My garden does not contain zucchini, but I didn't need that as an excuse to bake this zucchini bread. Anyone who is growing this notoriously prolific plant should definitely take note of this recipe, and it's also 100% worth picking up some zucchini at the grocery store to make.
Zucchini Bread with Maple Crumble Topping (recipe adapted from LemonBasil)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 cups packed shredded zucchini (for me, this was 2 and a half medium sized zucchinis)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Maple Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
Beat together eggs, butter, applesauce, oil, lemon juice and zest, and maple syrup. Combine dry ingredients separately. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold in zucchini. Pour batter into two greased 9 inch loaf pans. Combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over one of the loaves (the recipe only makes enough to cover one loaf - you can double it if you like). Bake at 325 for 50 minutes.
This zucchini bread is incredibly moist and flavourful. No one would ever guess it's made from all whole wheat flour. I really wanted to enhance the maple flavour of the bread and I had some maple sugar on hand and so decided to add the topping - not the healthiest modification in the world, but I'm not sorry, it makes for a great treat. The other, healthier loaf is in the freezer, ready to come out when its maple-topped friend has been devoured.