How to Financially Starve ISIS

TIME

The U.S.-led air assault in Iraq and Syria on the extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria(ISIS) is just one front in the battle being waged against ISIS. The U.S. Treasury recently confirmed plans to try to bankrupt the militant group by targeting its oil businesses and imposing sanctions on those financing them. But how easy will it be to financially ruin a group now considered by analysts to be the best-funded terrorist organization in recent history?

“Like all organizations, money matters to ISIS,” says Fawaz Gerges, the Emirates chair in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at the London School of Economics. “Napoleon once said ‘An army marches on its stomach’ and even ISIS needs to feed and arm its soldiers, to provide for their families. If you follow the trail of money and starve ISIS financially, you begin the process of degrading and ultimately paralyzing it.”

Yet…

View original post 1,175 more words

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Secretly Healthy Deep Dish Cookie Pie

APUSH exam is Wednesday. Ohmygosh.

Source: quickmeme.com

No, I haven’t been baking when I ought to be studying. Today’s post is a recipe I tried a while back.

This healthy deep dish cookie pie comes from the beautiful, innovative, and health-conscious Chocolate Covered Katie and contains a secret ingredient.

“What is that?” you demand, suspicion evident in your eyes. You are leery of sneaky healthy ingredients concealed in your cookies.

I try to divert your attention. I could eat this cookie pie for breakfast every day. It’s out of this world. No one could ever surmise that it might be nutritious in the least.

You refuse to be deterred. “What is in the cookie pie?

I do not deceive you. This healthy confection tops the sugar- and white flour- laden, cloyingly honeyed, sugar-spike-inducing, often dry, prepackaged stuff they call “treats”.

Just as a simple, elegant black gown wins against a tastelessly ostentatious, garish, frilly dress displaying a hundred different colors.

Are you ready?

Garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo beans are good. They make everything better. Salad wouldn’t be salad without chickpeas on it. Carrots just wouldn’t be the same without roasted red pepper hummus in which to dip them. AND THIS COOKIE PIE IS THE MOST PALATABLE-LICIOUS DESSERT EVER!

Don’t knock it until you try it.

I know beans as a sweet may sound distasteful to you. Maybe since I’m Japanese, and Japanese desserts often involve sweetened azuki beans (my life wouldn’t be the same without taiyaki), I’m more open to it, but seriously. If you saw an ad for a high-fiber, high-protein dessert that tastes SWOON-WORTHY, my guess is you’d try it. And that product would probably be full of chemicals. THIS IS BETTER BECAUSE IT’S FULL OF BEANS. Read: low-cost health food.

But I’ve ranted long enough. I need to study! You, for your part, need to try this. If you turn away from this page now, you will be haunted forever by the thought of that which might have been. You will never forget this cookie pie. You will think of it, think of it…you will make it eventually.

YOU WILL.

And then you’ll take one bite and start making another one.

It is even better than a jelly doughnut. Ich bin ein Berliner!

 

Healthy Deep Dish Cookie Pie

From Chocolate Covered Katie

Ingredients:

2 cans (500g) white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup quick oats

1/4 cup unsweetened/natural applesauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt (I omitted)

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (Stevia worked for me)

1 cup chocolate chips (I have also tried a lesser quantity of almonds, which tasted good)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blend everything except chocolate chips in a food processor and process well, until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased pan (Katie used a 10″ springform; I used my 9″ cake pan). Bake for about 35 minutes (try not to overbake).

As with all bean-based desserts, be sure to let the cookie pie cool completely before removing or cutting.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Snack Cake

This cake is my spin on Baking Bites’ almond cake with blueberry compote.

I replaced the almonds with hazelnuts, and subbed 1/4 cup of the flour with cocoa powder.

I call it a brownie snack cake because the moisture reminds me of a cakey brownie. Unlike its almond counterpart, this cake is moist but fluffy, not pound-cake dense.

I made this cake Friday evening and took it with me as a snack to eat during break when I took the SAT on Saturday. Being at school on a Saturday morning is not so bad when there’s cake involved! And it fueled my brain 😉

So now I’m inspired to try some more spins on the almond cake. Thank you, Baking Bites, for such a yummy, easy, versatile recipe! What will it be next? Matcha pear almond cake? Rosewater pistachio cake? Banana walnut cake? Maple pecan cake?

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Snack Cake

Based on Baking Bites’ almond cake

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (80g) white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
1 cup (112g) hazelnuts
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled, or applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place flour, cocoa powder, and hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until hazelnuts are mostly ground. Add baking powder and salt and pulse.

If you have a larger food processor, you can combine all the ingredients right in the bowl of the processor. If, like mine, yours is smaller, empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, butter/applesauce, and vanilla and mix.

Pour into an 8×8 or 8.5×8.5 square baking dish and bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool and cut into 16 squares to serve.

National Day of Prayer and Almond Cake

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2014, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.”

-Barack Obama

Today, May 1, has been designated as this year’s National Day of Prayer, encouraging people of all faiths and denominations to pray for this nation. We are blessed in the United States to have freedom of worship, and the NDP encourages us to use that right to come together to pray for our friends and families, our leaders, our nation, and our world.

On this day and every day, we give thanks. If you are reading this, you have been educated enough for literacy and have access to a computer. Many citizens of the world do not. The majority of us here in the U.S. have our basic needs met. We have access to free public education. Technological advances of our day and age have We all are guaranteed certain liberties and are able to choose our leaders. For these things and countless others we are thankful, and we pray that we will choose wisely.

We pray for wisdom and guidance upon our leaders. We pray for individuals worldwide denied human liberties, those detained as prisoners of conscience, those wanting of life’s necessities, those whose lives are ravaged by war, and we pray that we may be provided with means to reach to them. We pray for our fellow Americans, such as Kenneth Bae and Saeed Abedini, who are unjustly incarcerated abroad. We pray for our fellow humans in suffering in North Korea and Syria and countless other places on the globe.

I pray for my family in Japan who have not yet found the Lord. I pray that I will know and do what is right. I pray for improvements to my character and I pray that I will find ways and the desire to use the gifts I have been given to serve others.

Will you join me, whatever your faith, in prayer today?

Today’s recipe is almond cake. It is a very straightforward recipe, yet magnificent in taste. It has an dense, moist crumb and a succulent almond flavor. It can even be made in one’s food processor (we also can be thankful for food processors; they make life so decidedly simpler!), but since my food processor is small, I put it together in a large mixing bowl. That’s right, you only have to dirty one bowl! Delectable and easy–what’s not to love?

Almond Cake

From Baking Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup almond meal (or 4 oz whole almonds, ground)
1 1/2 cup sugar or Stevia
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled, or applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (I omitted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 inch circular pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor (or in a large mixing bowl), combine flour, ground almonds, and sugar, and pulse until well combined. Add baking powder and salt and pulse.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. Pour into cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. When cake is cool, loosen sides from the pan, invert onto a plate and remove parchment paper to serve.

If desired, serve with the blueberry compote provided on Baking Bites. I did not try this yet, so I cannot guarantee the results.

Mochi Cake

One of my homework assignments this weekend is among the most difficult I have been required to do.

I do not necessarily mean difficult from an academic standpoint. I have had more academically challenging tasks to perform.

The assignment tears me apart. “Should the United States have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan?”

I recognize the appalling behavior of the Japanese army before and during the Second World War. Perhaps I would see the question differently if I were not a Japanese-American. If it were a different nation upon which we released “…Death, the destroyer of worlds,” how would I feel about the issue? Still shocked by the horror unleashed, but I would be able to take a more detached, rational-minded view.

I wrote yes. Yes that the bomb was the lesser of two evils. Yes because the expedient end to the war prevented the U.S.S.R. from reaching Japan and establishing their own zone of occupation. Yes because I know the pain of the divided Germans before 1989, the heartbreak of the separated Koreans still today.

I cannot put myself into this paper. I must state my opinion and the facts. There are things I long to add to the words of that essay, which I cannot. That it breaks my heart to take the stance that I did. That it is to my deep regret that wars must happen. And yet it seems that there are occasions when they must.

With today’s recipe, I hope to initiate peace and reconciliation. Peace  that comes with sitting around a table with people of different backgrounds, enjoying food from different cultures and conversing. And realizing that we aren’t so different after all. And moving on from our past errors into a more hopeful future. Though right now that future seems unlikely, as the events of the news trend toward the disheartening, perhaps a change in our perception of each other may inch us closer to a brighter tomorrow. If we learn about each other, then no matter the decisions made by our leaders and foreign leaders, we will be civil toward each other to the best of our ability. And maybe there will be no more Rapes of Nanking, no more Bataan Death Marches, no more Executive Orders 9066, no more unleashings of atomic bombs.

Will you join me?

Mochi is not a treat exclusive to Japan. Glutinous (mochi) rice is widely used throughout Asia. (Note that glutinous refers to the rice’s stickiness; it is gluten-free). In fact, if I am not mistaken, mochi cake originated in Hawaii as a result of the Japanese influence there. Mochi cake contains all the components of a Western flour cake, but mochiko (glutinous rice flour) is used in the place of wheat flour. I like to make it less sweet than other cakes, because I am accustomed to mochi not being sweet (it’s usually covered in some kind of sweet sauce or topping; I often had it as a child in a mixture of soy sauce and sugar). But you can adjust it to your taste. The cake is sticky, like mochi, but holds its shape because of its cake constituents.

The original recipe contained vanilla extract, but the idea of that somewhat repulsed me. I like the pure mochi taste. I’ve also made a matcha (green tea) flavored mochi cake, but I feel that plain is vastly superior. Just my opinion. I usually like to drink matcha, though. Did I mention that it’s slimming and full of antioxidants? But I digress.

The recipe is adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings. You should try her blog–she has some singular recipes.

 

Mochi Cake

Adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings

Ingredients:

1 cup melted butter (I used applesauce)

2 cups sugar or Stevia in the raw (not the liquid Stevia, the kind in bags)

4 eggs, beaten

2 tsp. baking powder

16 oz. box Mochiko flour (Available at most Asian grocery stores. Also, I believe this is 4 cups; check the nutrition label on the box)

1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix butter and sugar.

Beat in the evaporated milk to the butter mixture. Beat in eggs.

Beat in the rice flour and baking powder.

Pour batter into a 9x 13 inch pan. Bake for about 1 hour.

Cool completely before cutting.

Almost-Vegan Sugar Cookies

Ah, sugar cookies.

How timeless, how unadorned, how classic, how sensationally appealing.

Who would ever have guessed that the convergence of so few, basic ingredients could form so pleasing a confection?

Sugar cookies have always been my best-loved comfort food. Well, along with baumkuchen and miso soup. But that’s for another post, if I ever master baumkuchen 😉

Have you ever partaken of the ones from Subway? Those chewy, sweet, buttery Subway sugar cookies? I haven’t indulged in the delectation of one in a while, but they are the ones I so fondly recount savoring as a child.

Well, a younger child, anyway.

I generally eschew unhealthful food (except on special days, when I indulge 🙂 ), but I was craving a chewy sugar cookie something fierce. The coercive cravings consumed my cognitive consciousness, clamoring for a cookie, menacing me by muddling any mental effort I put forth in math class, fouling my focus.

I was impelled to appease them.

I bought some Earth Balance. I baked the cookies. They were too crunchy for my yearning.

Undeterred, I found another recipe and baked a second batch. I wanted to cry. Still too hard!

Unassuaged, thwarted, foiled, frustrated, disappointed. I was set to throw in the kitchen towel and give up. My cravings had mostly dissipated, anyway.

But then a recipe caught my eye.

I was inspired to try one more time.

 

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Food.com

1/2 cup sugar or Stevia

1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened (I’ve heard Olivio is also a healthy brand. When buying margarine, peruse the ingredient list very carefully. If you see hydrogenated anything, drop it and flee.)

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) nonfat cream cheese, softened

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup cake flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the sweetener, Earth Balance, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.

Stir in flour until well blended.

With your hands, roll the dough into balls slightly under 1″ in diameter.

Place 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 7 – 10 minutes. (I did 275 for about 7 minutes, then 300 for 5 minutes, then 350 for final 3 minutes)

Yum! 🙂

Almond Tiramisu Cake

Oh, dear. I shouldn’t have made this.

I cannot desist from consuming it.

It is simply so terribly toothsome.

I am virtually out of wheat flour, and all I had was a bag of almond meal and a craving for tiramisu. I desired to make a tiramisu cake, but how?

I turned to innovation.

Almond cakes are so elegant…I honestly think this is better than a wheat flour tiramisu cake. And it’s gluten-free, with the healthy fats, protein, and Vitamin E found in almonds.

Thoroughly acceptable for breakfast 🙂

 

Almond Tiramisu Cake

Cake adapted from MyRecipes

Ingredients:

Cake

3/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal

3/4 cup Stevia or sugar

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Syrup

3-4 tablespoons water

2 tsp instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons Stevia or sugar

Frosting

1/2 cup nonfat cream cheese, softened

1-2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1/3 cup Stevia or sugar

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt or sour cream

Cocoa powder for dusting

 

Line a 8 or 9″ round cake pan with parchment paper or even nonstick foil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine almond meal, sweetener, egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and water in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar to medium peaks.

Gently fold egg whites into almond meal mixture, adding about a third of the whites at a time.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until edges begin to brown. You may need to tent the cake with foil part-way through.

 

While cake is baking, prepare the frosting and syrup.

Combine syrup ingredients and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

For frosting, beat the cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer. Add yogurt and sugars. Stir in coffee and beat until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator until cake is done.

 

When cake is finished baking, poke holes all over the surface and slowly, evenly pour the syrup over the cake, giving the syrup time to soak into the cake. When cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over it and lightly dust with cocoa powder. Chill until ready to serve.

Angel Food Cupcakes

“Sin had left a crimson stain;

He washed it white as snow.”

 

One cold night in November of 1989, thousands of people poured into the streets to celebrate. The day was not an official holiday. The party was not planned. But people danced and cheered and hugged…

and chipped away at a wall of concrete.

The Berlin Wall.

That was almost nine years before I was born. But history strikes such a chord in me that I may as well have been there.

I watched this video of the news coverage the day after the barrier between East and West was opened. I watched it on a whim, but I am so glad I did. I felt as though I were watching on TV it the very day it happened, I felt as though I were there among the Berliners.

Ich bin ein Berliner. I was them. They were me. I could just as easily have been born in East Berlin during the Cold War as in Pennsylvania in the closing years of the 20th century. The history of mankind connects us all. I love history…

But watching the video and the jubilation of the people of Berlin made me think of another event, in the more distant past, but which affects us more than any other event in our history.

When the Iron Curtain began to crack as the Cold War waned, people celebrated the triumph of freedom. As a sinless man hung on a cross to liberate a world fettered by sin, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”–the barrier that separated us from God existed no longer.

That is also a cause for jubilation.

This weekend is Easter weekend, so why not celebrate with some angel food cupcakes? Airy, ethereal, almost like partaking of fragments of the cloudy sky.

It’s angel food cake in cupcake form. I am unable to construe how prodigiously phenomenal that is.

No necessity of a specialized tube pan. No need to grow flustered over ensuring the cake cools up-side down. No hassle…

Ingenious.

And oh, the sensations: how might I ever expound them? Can a mere moral, this lonely, foolish writer, describe the exquisite and unearthly taste and feel of the ethereal clouds? Yes, clouds! eating one of these cupcakes is like inhaling a cloud as one’s fare.

Nothing like the parched Styrofoam angel cakes sold in the grocery store bakery.

 

Angel Food Cupcakes

Recipe from Two Peas and their Pod

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice (such as Stevia or Truvia)
1/2 cup sifted cake flour (I used part white whole wheat for health, but use cake for optimal results)
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Finally, a 350 degree recipe!) Line a regular 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Mix flour and sugar in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy, then add in vanilla, zest, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat to soft peaks.

Gently fold whites into flour mixture.

Divide evenly into prepared muffin tins. 

Bake 16-18 minutes, until tops are golden and spring back lightly. Watch them carefully! Mine took less time.

Cool, then serve these sublime bites of celestial delight.

Lemon Ricotta Loaf Cake

Let me tell you about this lovely, luscious, and likable lemon loaf.

(Our language has lamentably few expressive verbs which begin with “L”.)

How might I describe it to you? Lemony and moist, with a slight cornbread-esque crumble to it and faint buttery undertones.

My inarticulate baker’s parlance does not do this dessert justice.

It belongs on your Easter table.

Do not be disheartened by the ricotta. I am averse to the stuff as well. But not in baking, for it lends to goods a superlative quality. Oh, yes, in baking I cherish ricotta cheese.

Try it once and you shall fathom the marvels of ricotta.

I had three-quarters of a cup remaining in a little round container after producing some lasagna roll-ups. Several days went by. I was a maiden in distress, for the spoilage of extortionately-priced ricotta would be a dire predicament. But no fear! Tuscan lemon muffins came to my deliverance. It was an intriguing idea, and I was open to the endeavor.

I made a loaf instead of muffins. Muffins are adorable, but a loaf cake bears a unique aura of elegant simplicity.

 

Lemon Ricotta Loaf Cake

Adapted from MyRecipes

1 cup cake flour

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup Stevia in the raw or granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil or applesauce

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tsp lemon extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8×4″ loaf pan.

(You know what’s funny? This blog is called Fahrenheit 351, but none of the recipes which I’ve shared with you so far require you to preheat the oven to 350 degrees!)

Combine first six ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl.

Mix remaining ingredients (ricotta through egg) in a smaller bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until loaf is done. It will be very soft, yet firm enough to spring back when gently pressed.

Cool before slicing into 8-12 slices. Enjoy!

Succulent Zucchini Bread

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression–everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I believe that fear is the root of much of the evil in the world.

Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that do evil, but because of those who don’t do anything about it.”

There have certainly been truly evil individuals, such as Hitler of the Second World War, that war of light and darkness. But could such people have achieved or held onto their power if not for the human tendency towards moral cowardice and staying seated?

During the Red Scare of the 1950s, few people dared to speak out against the lies of Senator McCarthy and the other communist “witch hunters” for fear of being cross-examined by the HUAC themselves. Filmmakers came out with movies about red spies to prove that they had no communist sympathies. Hundreds of lives and reputations were ruined. And most people witnessed the injustice in silence.

In Salem, Massachusetts, a group of Puritans allowed fear of witches to drive them to hang twenty innocent individuals based on the words of a group of attention-seeking adolescent girls.

During the Second World War, Americans allowed fear of “Jap spies” to excuse the internment of and suspension of habeas corpus from thousands of their fellow Americans.

During the First World War, fear of spies allowed Congress to pass, and the Supreme Court to condone, the Espionage and Sedition Acts, depriving Americans of their basic civil liberties for the sake of a war that was supposedly being waged to “make the world safe for democracy.” Freedom is slavery, Orwell once wrote…

In high schools today, bullying and drug abuse are common because young individuals do not have the courage to say “no” to the crowd.

But…Lillian Hellman once firmly wrote to the House Un-American Committee, “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion.”

And Jeanette Rankin took a lonely stand in Congress against entry into the Second World War because she believed violence was wrong, even though her choice was extremely unpopular and led to her her pursuit by an angry mob afterward.

And Edmund Ross, though he literally “looked into [his] open grave,” and though his supporters hated President Andrew Johnson (as did he), voted “not guilty” at the president’s impeachment trial because that what what he really believed.

And Corrie Ten Boom and her family, among thousands of others, in full knowledge of the consequences which could and did befall them, defied the Nazis and hid Jews in her home to save them from Hitler’s death camps.

Yes, there is hope.

Courage is daring to be the 1% who stands up for what is right when the 99% are sitting down and tolerating injustice because they are afraid. Many people do not possess courage. But many others do.

If I were called upon to have moral courage, would I have it? I do not know. I hope I would. I hope that when the time comes, I will find that I am able to do what is right, even if I suffer for doing so. But I am only a teen, and my life experiences have been limited. I do not know yet the extent of my strength of heart. I pray that God would give me the resolve to always be guided by my conscience.

But onto today’s recipe.

I. Love. Zucchini. Bread.

This zucchini bread is so aperitive, one wouldn’t believe it’s healthy.

It almost makes me want to cry.

You know, for a long time, I had an irrational fear of thick batters.

I almost didn’t make this bread. GASP.

That would have been an evil. A craven, deplorable crime. To not taste this bread and share it with you…

Yes, fear is the root of all evil. So don’t fear making this zucchini bread! It’s easy and the smell alone will fill you with craving. A bite might make you swoon.

What else can I say except that you must try it? Moist, full of warm spices, nutritious, zucchini-y.

It’s the perfect zucchini bread.

Bookmark it for the summer when your zucchini plants inundate your gardens. Or better yet, hurry to the store and purchase a zucchini now.

I was going to wait until summer to share this recipe with you, but I just couldn’t. It’s April. That’s almost summer, right? Kind of? Sort of?

Okay, maybe not quite…

Succulent Zucchini Bread

Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil or applesauce

2 1/4 cups white sugar, Stevia, Truvia, etc.

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini (I ran it through my food processor)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan or two 8×4″ loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking  soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix.

Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until bread springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool. Or, if you’re impatient like me, don’t cool and cut into it immediately 🙂 Zucchini bliss!

 

If I may end this (long!) post with one last thought, it’s these words from Mark Twain’s essay “United States of Lyncherdom”:

It must be that the increase comes of the inborn human instinct to imitate–that and man’s commenest weakness, his aversion to being unpleasantly conspicuous, pointed at, shunned, as being on the unpopular side. Its other name is Moral Cowardice, and is the commanding feature of the make-up of 9,999 men in the 10,000. I am not offering this as a discovery; privately the dullest of us knows it to be true. History will not allow us to forget or ignore this supreme trait of our character. It persistently and sardonically reminds us that from the beginning of the world no revolt against a public infamy or oppression has ever been begun but by the one daring man in the 10,000, the rest timidly waiting, and slowly and reluctantly joining, under the influence of that man and his fellows from the other ten thousands. The abolitionists remember. Privately the public feeling was with them early, but each man was afraid to speak out until he got some hint that his neighbor was privately as he privately felt himself. Then the boom followed. It always does. It will occur in New York, some day; and even in Pennsylvania.

It has been supposed–and said–that the people a lynching enjoy the spectacle and are glad of a chance to see it. It cannot be true; all experience is against it. The people in the South are made like the people in the North–the vast majority of whom are right-hearted and compassionate, and would be cruelly pained by such a spectacle–and would attend it, and let on to be pleased with it, if the public approval seemed to require it. We are made like that, and we cannot help it. The other animals are not so, but we cannot help that, either. They lack the Moral Sense; we have no way of trading ours off, for a nickel or some other thing above its value. The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it–when unpopular.

It is thought, as I have said, that a lynching crowd enjoys a lynching. It certainly is not true; it is impossible of belief. It is freely asserted–you have seen it in print many times of late–that the lynching impulse has been misinterpreted; that it is act the outcome of a spirit of revenge, but of a “mere atrocious hunger to look upon human suffering.” If that were so, the crowds that saw the Windsor Hotel burn down would have enjoyed the horrors that fell under their eyes. Did they? No one will think that of them, no one will make that charge. Many risked their lives to save the men and women who were in peril. Why did they do that? Because none would disapprove. There was no restraint; they could follow their natural impulse. Why does a crowd of the same kind of people in Texas, Colorado, Indiana, stand by, smitten to the heart and miserable, and by ostentatious outward signs pretend to enjoy a lynching? Why does it lift no hand or voice in protest? Only because it would be unpopular to do it, I think; each man is afraid of his neighbor’s disapproval–a thing which, to the general run of the race, is more dreaded than wounds and death. When there is to be a lynching the people hitch up and come miles to see it, bringing their wives and children. Really to see it? No–they come only because they are afraid to stay at home, lest it be noticed and offensively commented upon. We may believe this, for we all know how we feel about such spectacles–also, how we would act under the like pressure. We are not any better nor any braver than anybody else, and we must not try to creep out of it.”