Today is the last day to enter my GIVEAWAY!
Let’s take a moment for a collective Awwwwww!
This is my Nigerien homestay brother, Lowaley, and his cousin, Hadiza. Aren’t they adorable???
They live outside Niamey, the capital of Niger. Niger is currently threatened by massive famine, compounded yesterday by flooding in the region. The floods are making an already dangerous situation even worse by washing away food reserves and leaving thousands homeless.
“The World Food Program recently announced that at current funding levels, it will not be able to help feed 60 percent of those facing hunger in Niger.” Many of those threatened by the famine are children (Article: NIGER: "We drew lots to decide which children to help"). Children are the most vulnerable, so please do what you can! A couple dollars can go a long way in helping people in Niger and helping them live to the next harvest (end of September).
And I promise this is the LAST TIME I'll ask you - the drawing to win a box of pillow cookies will be tonight! So donate, tweet, and then comment on my post for your chance to win!
In other news, a couple weeks ago I was in the mood to make something summery. And nothing says summer to me like zucchini.
I used to hate it in its vegetable form. Steamed zucchini = blegh! But zucchini in cake form? Yes please! My mama used to make zucchini bread in many varieties – with chocolate chips, with walnuts, chocolate zucchini bread, and double chocolate zucchini bread. It just tastes like a summer afternoon!
These cupcakes are a spin on that old classic. They’re lighter than traditional zucchini bread, and subtly sweet. The cupcakes themselves are barely sugary at all, so they pair well with a tangy sweet cream cheese frosting. I brought them to work one day and sent out the email: “re: Cupcakes at my desk!”
My bosses and co-workers partook of this zucchini bounty, thanking me and saying how good the cupcakes were. Then a short 15 minutes later, this poem arrived in my inbox:
Don’t Judge Me by Kathleen Davies
At my computer,
I'll say around 4
An invitation for a treat
that I tried to ignore
I told myself no,
resist the lure!
But the more I thought about it,
I wanted it more.
No no no!
I have had too many
I had one for breakfast
That is more than plenty.
Now I can't even think
about veggies or meat
I have a one track mind
for my tasty treat
This is a lost cause
I can't resist
baked bread and icing
are at the top of my list
Baked just right,
cream cheese spread
is the reason I have
a large food baby
My willpower was
at an all time low
But do I regret it?
Well, I don't think so!
Zucchini Cupcakes (adapted from I Am Baker)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 med. zucchini coarsely shredded (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup Canola oil
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp imitation vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In bowl, mix flour, sugar, molasses, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In separate bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add this to flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Use 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scooper and scoop into prepared cupcake pan.
Bake for 18-22 minutes.
Put in freezer (right out of oven) for about 45 min. to and hour.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick butter (room temperature)
4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
milk to adjust consistency if necessary
Use a mixer to beat butter and cream cheese until mixed. Add in vanilla, then powdered sugar. If your frosting is too dry, add a splash of milk (but be careful – don’t overdo it on the milk!)
Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!