Christmas baking?…or School?

Practicing hospitality

Baking for a bake sale, and presenting the baked items in a pleasing manner are great skills to learn – practical and rewarding!

Merry Christmas! I’m posting some great Christmas recipes for you to make with your kids. It’s a wonderful time of year to take the day off from book-work to do home- ec with them!  I’m not just making excuses for shoddy school. We (meaning my kids and I) have learned more real-life and eternal skills in the kitchen than at the desk. The Gospel is at work in powerful ways in the kitchen! I know you know this. What you might have a hard time believing is that it really is okay to take several days off from “real school” to bake and create for Christmas – and that doing so really does constitute real school. Continue reading

What Do Zucchini, Chocolate, and Home Ec All Have in Common?

Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake…YUM!

We’ve all heard the jokes about drive-by zucchiniing …and we’ve all probably been given (or grown) more zucchini than we know what to do with. It just happened to me this week. I went to the local farmer’s market and asked to purchase 2 zucchinis (yes, I was actually going to buy some, since I hadn’t been victimized recently by any drive-by zucciniers).  When I got home, lo and behold there were 10 zucchinis in my bag! I paid for 2!

What to do with all those zucchinis? What to do…what to do…

The answer to THAT is easy! We just called it “home ec,” drowned them in chocolate, and enjoyed!  Here’s our recipe for a very easy and to-die-for sheet cake made with zucchini. You’ve probably heard this before, too, but we really do get asked for the recipe every time we serve this cake publicly. It’s truly YUMMY! And, all those veggies are so good for you! (*wink*)

So, call the kids over, and lets do some home ec…

Home Ec: Monica spreads icing on the still-hot chocolate zucchini sheet cake.

Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (I seed them, but don’t peel them. This makes pretty green flecks in the cake.), packed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 cups powdered (10X) sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a large cookie sheet with 1 inch edges (10X15″ pan). In mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.  In a separate bowl combine all your dry ingredients for the cake. Gradually add them to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the shredded zucchini and the vanilla by spoon (because the zucchini tangles up on the beaters). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. Bake it for 23-25 minutes or until it tests done. Remove from oven and ice it immediately while hot. Directions below.

While the cake is baking, combine all the icing ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread the icing over the cake while it’s still hot. This will sort of half-melt the icing. Cool cake completely.  If desired, shave chocolate over the top of the cooled cake. Enjoy.