I have spent the better portion of this week ooohing and aaahing over my little newborn daughter. Her sweet baby smell, her dark eyes, her soft skin. It is embarrassing how many photos of her I’ve taken, mostly of her in the exact same sleeping fetal position. She’s just that delightful.
In the throes of life with a newborn, I am up to my elbows in diapers, baby wipes, and nursing. Whew…the nursing! Alex eats every three hours, which means that I’m sitting on the couch with her for many, many hours around the clock. Thank goodness for Words With Friends and Breaking Bad to keep me occupied! Also, thank goodness that Alex is a great sleeper and napper, which gives me a break a few times a day.
The quandary of the Mommy Break is this: what is the best use of my time? Do I take that shower that hasn’t happened in the last 48 hours? Do I nap (man, I can always use a nap)? Do I wash the laundry and the stack of dishes? Too many choices!
One afternoon, I decided the best thing to do during Alex’s nap was bake zucchini bread. Because clearly, that is the most urgent and important task at hand. Baking happens to be restful for me, and we had several zucchinis in the fridge.
Oh, zucchini bread! So tasty and moist. And since it’s packed with vegetables, it counts as healthy, right? Right. Toss in a handful of walnuts and chocolate chips, and your typical zucchini bread is transformed into amazingness.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans. Bake loaves for 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Yields 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins.