The first day of September.
Yesterday was the last day of 90 degree weather; every day this week shows highs in the mid 80s. It was as if summer declared a clean end with exactness and clarity, even though we technically have a couple weeks left.
ugh. summer. end?
I am not sure if it has been because I've had a little one to play with for the last few months, but I have loved summer this year, and I'm not usually a fan. I will miss the bare toes on green grass, scraped knees and bare shoulders, the smell of sunscreen and sweat on the little one's skin, her pigtails ruffled around the edges and everywhere in between from summer play. I will miss sitting out on our front steps eating popscicles, watermelon halves, and anything else cold. I will miss the early morning sun (really early), the warm winds, and the prickle of my skin when moving from outdoors in. Even with everything I will miss, there are so many things to look forward to.
For one, cooler weather means there are things to be baked, like cake.
I took our family favorite pineapple carrot cake recipe and adapted it to assist with summer's bounty of squash. You can use any type of summer squash, pattypan, zucchini, yellow, take your pick. You can also substitute the crushed pineapple for local applesauce, or even experiment in a few more weeks with some baked winter squash, although I imagine you'd need to add a bit more sugar when going that route.
adapted from this carrot cake
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice
3/4 cup sucanat
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaping cups grated zucchini
8 ounces applesauce or crushed pineapple
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix well by hand, or wooden spoon.
Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes in two buttered 8-9 inch round pans.
Allow to cool in the pans, then carefully invert (flip upside down) onto a cooling rack.
When completely cool, frost with coconut cream cheese frosting
coconut cream cheese frosting
1 can coconut milk, left to sit for a couple days*
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature or softened over a warm stove
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the cream at the top of the can. Use the remaining liquid in smoothies, or as a replacement for water in other recipes.
Combine the coconut cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip in a mixer until smooth. Refrigerate to thicken.
This frosting will soften considerably at room temperature, so always keep it cool to ensure a thick consistency.
*The coconut milk can be substituted with a pint of heavy whipping cream, whipped until firm peaks just form. And the butter can be substituted for room temperature butter.