Monday, August 21, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Got Zucchini??

In the Northeast growing season now is the time to harvest the abundance of Zucchini in our gardens.

Here in Upstate New York we are always looking for new recipes to use this versatile squash.

I thought I had shared the recipe for this light and airy summer chocolate cake, but when I searched my blog, I guess I didn't. I did share a recipe for Zucchini Bread, which is equally delicious.


I found this recipe in my all time favorite recipe book Applehood and Motherpie. It was published in the 1980's by The Junior League of Rochester, New York.

I have not made one bad recipe out of it yet. As a matter of fact, all of the recipes I've made are phenomenal.

Really.

I actually have a copy of it and it's companion For Goodness Taste available to purchase in my Etsy shop here.


You can see how airy and moist this cake is....


 and the cinnamon is an unexpected delicious addition....


Add some chocolate glaze or frosting and it is a great summer dessert. Hey, chocolate is a great dessert any time but this feels summery because of the zucchini :-)



So on to the recipe, which is pretty easy too....


Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 cups sugar
¾ cup oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk

In large bowl beat sugar, oil, and eggs. Add vanilla and zucchini.
Mix dry ingredients together. Add alternately with milk to zucchini mixture. Blend well.
Pour into a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Bake. Allow to stand 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

Temp: 350
Time: 50 to 60 minutes

For the chocolate glaze I used my favorite go-to recipe. 
It makes a lot so I halved it. For chocolate frosting
you have to play around a little, substituting 
cocoa powder for some of the confectioner's sugar.

All Purpose Frosting/Glaze

2 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flavoring (almond, lemon, vanilla) OPTIONAL
Hot water

Combine all ingredients except water. Slowly add a little hot water 
till frosting is smooth. 



If you find yourself with an abundance of Zucchini at the end of the summer, I hope you try this chocolate cake. 


AnnMarie xoxo

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Magnificent Sunflower

Who doesn't love the sight of a bright, big yellow Sunflower?



Or a whole field of them?



On our honeymoon tour of Italy 21 years ago, we were in the stupid bus when we passed by fields and fields of sunflowers on both sides of the road. I wanted to stop and get out to see them up close but we had a schedule to stick to :-(

I finally got my chance.

On a perfect summer evening between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. (the best part of the day in my opinion) we arrived at Frederick's Farm in Clifton Springs, NY, a 16 minute drive from our house. I did not know it even existed until my daughter posted a picture of herself and my granddaughter there. Oh, the joys of social media!



The draw to the farm was the hayride through the field but when we realized the line was an hour and a half wait, we decided, like many others, just to walk the paths through the field and get an up close and personal look.

The view from waiting in the line was too much for us and we had to just go to the Sunflowers!


It was a great decision!

I was amazed at how every single sunflower in this huge field were all facing one way, away from the sun.


Well, except for one little one who seems to have lost his way...


I googled it and found out that during their growth, sunflowers track the sun and tilt towards it (called heliotropism). Once they bloom, they face East, which is what they were doing here.

I found out some other fun facts about Sunflowers.....

They are native to North America



Each Sunflower head is made up of 1,000's of tiny smaller flowers.


They are the state flower of Kansas...


They are the only flower with the word "flower" in their name.


They grow quite large.
The record for the tallest Sunflower is 30'1" grown in Germany in 2014.
The largest head can be up to a foot and a half.


While we were on the path the wagon was heading our way and didn't look like it was going to slow down. My husband, son and I, along with others on the path, had to jump inside the Sunflowers to get out of the way...there was that little space on either side.

I got some great pictures!


 That's my son and husband after the wagon passed.


I stayed inside a little longer...



The only downfall of not riding in the wagon is
that they all got to pick some Sunflowers to take home.


But that's okay.

Actually I am allergic to my favorite flower and I was already getting tingly sinuses 
and a scratchy throat.

It was all worth it.

I got to be out in perfect weather with some great scenery, beautiful, magnificent Sunflowers and a treat at the end.





AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Cooking and Crafting with J & J
Happiness is Homemade
Tuesdays With a Twist
Wow Us Wednesday
Show and Share
Share Your Cup
Share Your Style
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Home Sweet Home
Anything Goes Pink Saturday
Best of the Weekend

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Living Large in Color!

Today I have a guest post over at
 A Joyful Cottage....


I am a regular follower of Nancy's blog and I love her series,
Living Large in Small Spaces. You can imagine my excitement then, when
I realized that my own niece, her husband and daughter are
doing just that.

Thank you to Nancy for allowing me
to share with you their sweet, small home
in Upstate New York.

To see my guest post, click here.


AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Burnap's Bed & Breakfast and Beyond

"I needed a spark in my life and this has done it".

Spoken from the heart of Kendra Burnap who has dedicated the past year to opening a magnificent bed and breakfast in an 1876 Victorian brick house in the heart of apple and wine country in Upstate New York.

I love a good day of thrifting and picking and treasure hunting. Today I found a true gem in the Burnap's Bed & Breakfast and Beyond. It is all that I imagine a bed and breakfast to be.




Being a farmer most of her life, Kendra never imagined she would be an innkeeper of a bed and breakfast. It was never a dream of hers but when the stately brick home on Lake Road, Sodus, New York was offered for sale, it all fell into place. She loves events, food catering and entertaining so to incorporate that into a newly restored home makes a winning combination.

Since Memorial Day she has been hosting guests in the Bed & Breakfast and holding events on the back deck, gazebo and lawn.




There is a very private, serene and relaxing feel in the back area where acres and acres of apple trees can be seen, the orchards stretching back away from the lake.



This view is from one of the bedrooms on the second floor....



Her brochure says it best....

The 1876 Victorian Brick house has been
transformed into a gorgeous B & B
in the heart of apple and wine country.
Sitting on 120 acres of pristine orchards and vineyards
it overlooks Lake Ontario and is open to host
overnight guests and custom events.
The B & B offers 4 grand bedrooms,
each with private bath. It is proud to have it's own
Chef to cater to custom weddings, farm to table luncheons, dinner
parties and events.

Shall we take a tour of the inside? Let's enter through the grand front entrance....




All of the wallpaper in the house is original, as are most of the chandeliers. Kendra has done a wonderful job of sourcing chandeliers to match the originals and finding furniture from the period of the house at area antique shops. She quickly had to become a picker, junker, antique hunter (as I like to call it) to fill this home with wonderful furnishings and accents. She did a wonderful job with all the details, right down to the tassels on the doorknobs.

To the right of the staircase is the parlor....




To the left, the common area in a gorgeous aqua which has been updated to match the original color.




Toward the back of the house is the dining room. Wake up to a gourmet breakfast cooked by the B & B's own Chef. There are eight different hot choices plus a buffet and coffee.


There is a nice sized kitchen and pantry that will be expanded to a commercial kitchen, and behind that a newly built apartment for Kendra's parents. At a later date three more bedrooms will be added above that as guest rooms.


The upstairs has four beautiful guest bedrooms, each with a private bath, all named for heirloom apple varieties, which I think is so special having lived in apple country for over 30 years. The furniture was found in the Boston area by Kendra's sister who was given the "mission and a credit card" to find period bedroom sets.

Two of the bedrooms have private balconies...


The Monroe has the original red rose wallpaper, a four poster bed and lovely details.



The Winesap room has pale pink rose wallpaper....


and the most interesting bathroom set up. Three of the bathrooms in the bedrooms were made out of small existing closets. A solution to fit all that is needed in a bathroom turned out so pretty in the room....


.....the toilet and shower in the "closet" and the sink outside in the room. The faucets do work
right out of the wall!

 The Liberty has pretty blue wainscot walls and the original bathroom of the house.




The details in the rooms are so pretty and styled perfectly. Kendra worked closely with her contractor to renovate and decorate each room to recreate the original decor. I think she did a wonderful job, don't you agree?



 The Braeburn has pretty beige walls and a unique bathroom that has it's own hallway.


It has a gallery wall of Norman Rockwell prints....


There is a full elevator that goes from the basement to the attic.....but let's take the stairs back downstairs and walk around the grounds.











Herbs and flowers outside the kitchen door....


The back view....


The area that this B & B is located in is a beautiful part of Upstate NY, rich in farming and abundant in fresh fruit and produce. If you live anywhere in the country and have always wanted to visit New York State, this area is a wonderful place to start.

Right down the street is Burnap's Farm Market and Garden Café, part of Kendra's family for 20 years, offering garden fresh produce, baked goods, ice cream and so much more.



Contact information if you'd like to book a stay or an event at this beautiful B & B....

Kendra Burnap
7094 Lake Road
Sodus, NY 14551
(585) 820-1114

For private events at the B & B....

Sarah Cramer
Event Coordinator
585-370-7076


I was excited when I found out that the construction company that renovated this home is a family I have known for over 20 years and are very dear to me. I was honored to see first hand the high quality workmanship in each room that they worked on.

Randy Cornelius and his sons Adam and Michael make up the crew at Cornelius Construction.

Cornelius Construction
315-483-8082