Chocolate & zucchini: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I started writing this nearly a month ago--days before my sister's wedding, when the summer gourds were reproducing like mad in my garden. Well, things went pear shaped (me, the misshapen zucchini, but thankfully not the wedding) and the post went on hold. My sister still got married (hallelujah!) and it's mid September and the zucchini continue to fornicate like rabbits. So I'm in luck, and so are you if you've got pounds of the stuff sitting on your counter or growing like wildfire in the backyard (or on fire sale at the farmer's market). With chocolate is the best way to eat zucchini...or in the dead of winter curried up on a grilled cheese sandwich when the bounty of summer squash dances in your head like a vision (that recipe up next). Until then, I dread a few days away for fear of monster zucchini hiding under the vines, discovered and begging not to be wasted.

Sugar Sugar and a Red Velvet Cake

Sugar.  You and I have a long history.  I was delivered in the hallway to the delivery room, screaming for dessert.  It wasn't yet six in the morning.  My mom offered her breast and I suckled and tasted sweet.  It could have been the candy drawer she keeps to this day.  I didn't 'lick it off the ground,' as my husband often says.  Sugar is my fuel and my nemesis.  Surrounded by a bunch of hippies, it doesn't get me far.  But oozing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies on a Friday night, pulled from the oven just as my dear overworked roommate in New York walked in the door, made me instant friends.  I believe it also secured a few boyfriends, perhaps a husband !  Those boys in New York aren't used to a chick who can hold her own on a trading floor AND bake a pie, crust included, from scratch.  "Would you like that a la mode with this Bourbon Raisin Ice Cream I just threw together?