Dog & Garden Therapy

try some chocolate mint in your next cake or bread

try some chocolate mint in your next cake or bread

Today doesn’t particularly feel like summer. With leaves falling and temperatures dropping its clear warm days are about to come to a raging halt. The wishful thought of an endless summer brings me into the garden where vegetables continue to hang on. The jalapeno peppers are losing their camouflage as they ripen from green to red and the haricot vert cling to their stems as they lengthen. Fall favorites like butternut squash are ripe for the picking. Their skin has darkened and now ready to be trimmed away in preparation for roasting.

butternut squash ready for roasting

butternut squash ready for roasting

My dog, Deacon, follows me and takes a roll in the oregano. There is something about the herby fragrance that brings pizza and Greek baked chicken to mind. Hmmm, either one would be great for dinner tonight, but my attention quickly turns to one overgrown zucchini. I can’t fight it any longer.

nothing like the love of a great pet

nothing like the love of a great pet

Back inside I sit down to type. I can’t help but notice that Deacon is at my feet. I pause and am reminded that every time I sit and write this blog she is at my feet. Dogs sense things. Whether it’s my body language or some grieving scent she knows when to provide comfort. It’s clear why all dogs go to heaven.

slice of heaven come winter

slice of heaven come winter

If you are tired of eating zucchini go ahead and freeze this cake to be enjoyed in a month or two on a crisp fall day with your favorite cup of tea. You will be glad you did.

Endless Summer Zucchini Sweet Bread

2 cups all purpose flour

1-cup white whole-wheat flour

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground flax seed meal

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 2/3 cup sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 lemon, grated zest plus 1 tablespoon juice

1-teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chocolate mint or spearmint

2 cups packed shredded zucchini *

1 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar

Heat oven 350F. Spray a coffeecake pan or Bundt pan (or any pan you like that has at least a 10-cup capacity or 2 small loaf pans) with no-stick cooking baking spray. In bowl, sift flours, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; stir in flax seed meal and set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and mint. Add dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon until dry ingredients are moistened. The mixture will be very thick. Add zucchini and mix very well to loosen up the batter. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 5o to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

*Note: I grate my zucchini on the large cutters of a box grater and squeeze out some of the excess moisture with paper towels.

As always I recommend King Arthur Flour, as it is consistently the best.

I love my Grandog

I love my Grandog, too! So darn cute.

8 thoughts on “Dog & Garden Therapy

  1. Lisa —
    “You is kind, you is important and you is smart” always comes to mind when I read your truly inspiring and beautifully written blog. Thank you for sharing your love of all good things in life!
    Bon Appetit, Y’all forever BFF! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Our dog Murphy went to be with Aidan in May, but while he was here he never left my side as I cried. As sad as we were to say good-bye, we all agreed that a boy needs his dog.
    Our new puppy Bailey joined us in July. My daughter is happy to have her here especially since my oldest left for college. She is an enthusiastic presence in our increasingly quiet home.
    Chocolate mint? That’s a new one to me. I will have to find it.
    I look forward to this blog each week.

  3. Yes, Murphy and Aidan have been reunited and isn’t that a joyful thought as well as welcoming Bailey (adore that name) into the family. I do believe the fact that you “look forward ” to this blog each week is the highest compliment I have ever been paid….thank you dear Krista….and if you want some chocolate mint I would be glad to mail you some (I have a ton and it should ship and transplant well)…send me your address at

  4. Fall brings beautiful crisp weather and beautifully colored leaves, yet I find it a little sad. I guess I’m more of a Spring girl since I love the Spring growth and the lovely pale green colors. Your cake looks delish as usual, Lisa and the doggies are cute too! I just love reading your blog.

  5. yes, days are getting shorter and I will miss being outside in the garden–makes me a little sad, too. Now, I am trying to harvest as much as I can and freeze it for when I feel like I need a summer day. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at WFC!

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