Cooking with Layton

I like to cook healthy meals and incorporate vegetables into anything I can.  Yes I am yet another mom who talks about feeding my kids healthy foods.  I won’t go into the whole lecture on buying organic and staying away from processed and fast food — oops, maybe I just did.  I just try to educate myself on foods and select the best options I can.  And I’ll say this, if you cook your kids vegetables regularly they actually do end up liking them!  It’s true.  I have four boys who all eat their vegetables clean off their plate.

Okay I’m done lecturing.  Now onto the cooking segment.  Since I do like to cook, and I have a plethora of sous chefs eager to help, I thought I’d share a recipe that we like to make — Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.

One of the most important cooking tools needed in our kitchen is a stool.


Then add a kid, er, sous chef.


Next get all ingredients ready for easy pouring and minimal spilling by learning chefs.


There are many substitutes you can use in recipes to add additional nutrition.  Whenever we make bread we always use whole wheat flour and homemade applesauce in place of oil (although this recipe still calls for a little bit of oil, it’s significantly less than most zucchini bread recipes).


Did I mention you need to make sure your sous chef tastes some of the ingredients to make sure they’re not “poisonous”?  This is always a task well-received by the sous chef.


It took me awhile to be able to just let my little sous chefs pour and stir ingredients all by themselves because of the mess factor.  But I’ve learned the smiles and gratification you see in your little sous chefs’ faces well outweigh the messes that inevitably occur.




And when you’re done adding all ingredients together, and stick it in the oven, what comes out is a priceless memory of making something together.  Even after the loaf is all gone.


Oh, and my last tip for successfully cooking together?  Quickly make yourself scarce so the husband cleans up the mess.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray



  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until moist. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of

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