Dec 31, 2013

Recipes Not Viewed

Here are some lesser known recipes:

1.  Yummy Sugar Cookie - Published in Sept. 2010

2.  Brown Sugar Carrots - Published in Feb. 2012

3.  Homemade Hamburger Helper - Published in Oct. 2010

4.  Homemade Pizza - Published in June 2010

5.  Chicken Stew with Parsley - Published in Feb. 2011

6.  Mystery Cookies - Published in March 2011

7.  2 good fruit dips - Published in Aug. 2010

8.  Ginger snaps - Published in Dec. 2013

9.  Brown Sugar Ham - Published in Feb. 2012

10.  Pinto Beans and Ham - Published in Oct. 2010

11.  Skyline Chili - Published in Sept. 2010

12.  Easy Rolls - Published in July 2010

 

Top Clicks of 2012

Dec 30, 2013

Reader's Favorites of 2013

Here are the all time favorite recipes from the beginning of the blog:

5.  2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies  - Published 11/19/11


4.  Pumpkin Granola - Published 10/09/12


3.  Sausage,cream cheese, and rotel dip - Published 03/09/12


2.  Peanut butter blossoms - Published 10/24/10


1.  Baked Spaghetti - Published 01/07/12


Here are the favorite recipes of 2013:

5.  Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast


4.  Homemade "Shamrock" Shake


3.  Key Lime Smoothie


2.  Almond Butter Protein Pancakes


1.  Biscoff Mug Cake


 

Favorite recipes of 2012

Candy Cane Peppermint Puppy Chow

I had some leftover candy canes and Chex cereal left over from making Chex Mix so when I found this recipe I knew I needed to make it.  It may be difficult finding peppermint baking chips.  Look for them anyway because this recipe is delicious.

I decided to post it so I can put it on my Christmas baking and making page for next year.

Candy Cane Peppermint Puppy Chow


Daily Dish Recipes


IMG_1618[1]


Stars of the recipe:




  • 5 c. Chex cereal (rice or corn)

  • 10 oz. Andes  peppermint baking chips (red bag) or any other peppermint chips

  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • 6 candy canes, crushed


Steps:

  1. Place peppermint baking chips in a microwaveable bowl.  Melt at 50% power in 30 second interval periods, stirring each time, until the chips are melted.

  2. While the peppermint chips are in the microwave, place the Chex cereal in a big bowl.  Pour the melted peppermint chips over the cereal.

  3. Stir until the cereal is coated with the melted peppermint chips.

  4. Put the powdered sugar and crushed candy canes in a gallon sized bag.  Add the cereal to the bag.

  5. Shake until all of the cereal is coated with powdered sugar.

  6. Store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

  7. Enjoy!





20131231-203749.jpg

Mom, What's for dinner? - Week of December 30

It's the last week of December/first week of January.  Crazy 2013 is almost done.  This year has been full of highs and lows.  The high being our vacation to Virginia, South Carolina, Atlanta, and Alabama.  The low being the loss of my father-in-law.  We knew that my father-in-law was not in the best of health but we didn't know we would lose him so suddenly.  The vacation is full of memories with him that the whole family will cherish.  I'm so glad we went on the vacation.

I'm now looking towards 2014.  We are planning our trip to Disney.  Todd and my fourth time as a couple and the second time as a whole family.  It'll be the sixth time I've visited Disney.  However, I don't think you would count one of the times because I was down there for four months as a college intern.

I don't have any resolutions for the next year.  Actually I do have one resolution.  My father-in-law played Santa for 45 years and was kind towards family, friends, and even strangers.  He would talk and really listen to others.  So I am going to be a Santa to my friends, family, and even strangers.  Do you have any resolutions?

Onto the menu for this week:

Monday - Chicken veggie packets, rice, pretzel rolls, homemade strawberry jelly

Tuesday  - Mexican fish, warm bean salsa, left-over rice

Wednesday - Pork or sausage, sauerkraut, roasted potatoes

Thursday - sausage and sweet potato bake

Friday - Chicken broccoli soft noodles

Saturday - veggie chili

Dec 27, 2013

Dec 26, 2013

Dec 22, 2013

Hot Chocolate Mix

Here's another easy gift idea.  Who doesn't like a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows?  Okay maybe someone who doesn't like chocolate.  Since it's winter, this is a nice gift to help the recipient of the gift warm up on those cold days.

Hot Chocolate Mix



Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. dry milk

  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder

  • 3/4 c. sugar

  • 1/2 c. non dairy creamer (I used French vanilla.)

  • optional:  mini marshmallows, mini candy cane, or chocolate chips


Steps:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for marshmallows, mini candy cane, or chocolate chips.

  2. When ready to make a cup of hot chocolate, place 2 to 3 heaping Tbsps. of mix in a coffee mug.

  3. Pour 6 ounces of boiling water over the mix.

  4. Top with either chocolate chips, marshmallows, or mini candy cane.

  5. Enjoy!


If you want to make a Mexican hot chocolate, add 2 tsp. ground cinnamon to the mix.

If you are going to give it as a gift, place 6 Tbsp. of the mix in a bag and the marshmallows or chocolate chips.  If you are going to give a candy cane, tape it to the outside of the bag.  Place the instructions: combine 2 - 3 Tbsp. mix with 6 ounces of boiling water.


20131222-173336.jpg

20131222-173344.jpg

French Onion Dip Mix

Are you looking for an easy gift to give for Christmas or the holidays?  This is an easy mix to whip up.  Place in a fancy holiday bag with instructions and give to a friend or relative.  (Or be like me and put in a snack sized bag with the instructions.  I have an over abundance of sandwich/snack bags.)

French Onion Dip Mix

Grandma Loy's Kitchen

Stars of the recipe:  

  • 3/4 c. minced onion
  • 1/3 c. beef buillon granulates
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. parsley

Steps:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. When ready to make the dip, mix 5 Tbsp. of the mix with 1 c. sour cream or Greek yogurt.
  4. Chill for an hour.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite veggies or chips!

Gingerbread Granola

As I stated in the blog entry about the ginger snaps, I've really been loving the flavors of gingerbread this holiday season.  So when I decided to make some granola to give to friends and family members, I decided a gingerbread flavored granola sounded yummy!

While to base of the granola was baking in the oven, I was on the phone with my mom.  I asked her what add ins I could use that would be yummy with the gingerbread flavor.  It was decided that pecans or walnuts would be yummy and cranberries or even raisins would also be yummy!  I ended up putting pecans and cranberries.  You could even put chocolate chips for a chocolate gingerbread flavor.

Gingerbread Granola


Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. oatmeal (I used quick oats.)

  • 1 Tbsp. cinammon

  • pinch of cloves

  • 2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 2 Tbsp. molasses (Spray measuring spoon with cooking spray before measuring.)

  • 1/4 c. honey (Spray measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring.)

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil

  • 1/4  - 1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries (I used cranberries.)

  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (I used pecans.)

  • Optional:  1/4 c. chocolate chips


Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

  2. In a medium measuring bowl, combine oatmeal and spices.

  3. In a small bowl, place coconut oil.  Melt in microwave for 1 minute.

  4. Add the molasses and honey to the coconut oil.

  5. Pour over the oatmeal and spices.  Stir until all of the oatmeal is combined.

  6. Place on cooking sheet in a thin layer.

  7. Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from over and stir.  Place back into oven.

  8. Bake for an additional 8 minutes.  Take out of the oven.

  9. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the raisins or cranberries and nuts.

  10. Store in a air tight container.

  11. Enjoy with yogurt or milk!



20131222-173518.jpg

Dec 18, 2013

The Importance of taking pictures

Today's challenge for Elf 4 Health is to share our expertise.  I wracked my brains and could not come up with anything.  I mean I take pictures but I'm not an expert.  I know about aperture and shutter speed.  I've manually set the camera but am not an expert.

I teach all day long but you could call me a Jack of all trades but a master of none.  There is nothing that I teach that stands out  that I could say I'm an expert at.  I write Individualized Education Plans and some of them have been great but I don't think anyone would want to read about IEP's and how to write them.  Plus the laws constantly change so what I teach you today could be different tomorrow.

Then yesterday my family's world changed when we lost my father-in-law.  He was a great guy who played Santa every year.  He will always be Santa in my heart.  As family sat around last night, I gave my mother-in-law and sister-in-law their presents which were photo books from our big vacation in July/August.  Their were pictures of the whole family together in a happier time.  Memories were shared.

It was decided that my expertise is taking lots of pictures.  It drives people nuts but in times like these those pictures are a good remembrance of the person.

So why should you take pictures?

1.  It documents important events in your lives.

Last Christmas, Hubby started making plans for the whole family to go down to Charleston, SC for a family vacation.  We knew that my father-in-law's health was not the best so we wanted these memories of everyone at the beach for one last time.  I probably took around 4,000 pictures at the different places we visited.  Some of the pictures are scenery and sunrises/sunsets but others are pictures of family members.  One of my favorite pictures is my father-in-law sitting on the balcony of the condo.  He looks like Wilson from Home Improvement with the bars of the railing covering his face and you can only see his hat.  Another picture I took was on our last night of the trip.  It is a picture of my mother-in-law and him kissing.  The second picture is my mother-in-law looking at me while he's still looking at her wanting another kiss.  That picture shows me what true love is.

1 (271)-001 1 (272)-001

2.  You never know what is going to happen in life.  

It's great to have pictures of people who have impacted your life.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

3.  To document your family history.  

I love looking at pictures of family members who lived before I was born.  The boys get to see their great grandparents who lived and died before they were born.  They get to hear stories about their great grandfather who flew in a bomber during World War II.  We have pictures of him wearing his bomber jacket 50 years after he last flew.  The boys know about him and what kind of person he was.

4.  For moments like these

IMG_1271

Those special moments that happen once in a life time.  My father-in-law played Santa for 40 plus years.  He was at our local mall for many years and now played Santa for parties.  My father-in-law seemed to be rough at the edges but once he put his Santa suit on, he was truly Santa.  It was magical.  This picture was taken at our town's lighting of the tree last year.  My father-in-law did not know the boys were standing there.  Even though it looks staged, this picture was totally candid and is one of my favorite pictures of them with Santa.

My words of advice though are:

1.  Don't worry about capturing everything that you miss out on experiencing life.

2.  Don't take the pictures and never look at them again.

3.  Sometimes the best pictures are not the staged picture where everyone says cheese.  The best pictures are the candid ones.  Our wall is covered with those candid shots that turned out the best.  They looked staged but were not.  I just captured the picture at that right moment.

4.  Share the memories with those you love and care about.

When I made the memory book, I left out writing any captions except for on one page.  I did that so people could share the memories and our family history.

Dec 16, 2013

Almond Joy Granola

One of my favorite candy bars is Almond Joy.  This is a good thing on Halloween because the  boys won't touch them with a 10 foot pole or if the Imaginative One is being his snarky self a 9 and 3/4 inch pole.  I get their Almond Joy candy bars on Halloween.  The combination of chocolate and coconut is pure heaven!!  :)

My other favorite treat is granola either plain or with plain Greek yogurt.  So the combination of the taste of Almond Joy candy bars with yogurt is the best flavor combination at least it is to me.

Almond Joy Granola


Kiss My Broccoli


100_0611 100_0624

 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. quick oats

  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I heated mine up in the microwave for a minute.  Then it smelled like paradise.)

  • 1/3 c. honey (Spray down your measuring cup with cooking spray first.)

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

  • 1/3 c. shredded coconut (I used sweetened.)

  • 1/2 c. almonds - 1/2 whole, 1/2 slivers


Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cocoa powder, and salt.

  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil after it's heated up, honey, sugar, and almond extract.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients over dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.

  5. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet.

  6. Bake for 8 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 8 minutes.

  7. Take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then add almonds and coconut.

  8. Store in an air tight container for 2 weeks.

  9. Enjoy by itself or over yogurt!

Dec 15, 2013

Mom, What's for Dinner? - December 16

Monday -
Breakfast - granola and yogurt, OJ with protein powder (snack at work)
Lunch - left overs, kiwi, mini peppers
Dinner - salmon cakes, salad

Tuesday -
Breakfast - smoothie, OJ with protein powder (snack at work)
Lunch - left overs, kiwi, mini peppers
Dinner -braised chicken with cauliflower and pinto bean mash

Wednesday -
Breakfast - granola and yogurt, OJ with protein powder (snack at work)
Lunch - left overs, kiwi, mini peppers
Dinner - left overs

Thursday -
Breakfast - smoothie, OJ with protein powder (snack at work)
Lunch - left overs, kiwi, mini peppers
Dinner -turkey tacos with pintos

Friday -
Breakfast - Carry in at work
Lunch - left overs, kiwi, mini peppers
Dinner - chicken and dumplings

Ginger Snaps

This year I've been loving the flavors of gingerbread.  I love the taste of the mixture of molasses, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.  So when I was going to bake some cookies for my husband for a cookie exchange, I decided to make some ginger snaps which have those flavors.  These ended up being delicious!!!!  :)  (Think I used enough exclamation points.)

Ginger Snaps


Jamie Cooks It Up


103_0585

 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 3/4 c. butter (room temperature)  - 1 and 1/2 sticks

  • 1 c. sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 c. molasses (Spray measuring cup with cooking spray before adding the molasses.)

  • pinch of cloves

  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 2 - 1/2 c. flour (I used white whole wheat.)


Steps:

  1. Preheat at 350 degrees.

  2. Beat butter, sugar, and egg until nice and fluffy.

  3. Add the molasses until incorporated.  (You might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl to assure you've gotten all of the molasses.)

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.

  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, sugar, egg, and molasses mixture.  Mix until completely combined.

  6. Place 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle the balls of cookie dough with granulated sugar.

  7. Bake for 8 minutes or until you see the cracks on the top of the cookies.

  8. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet and then move to wire rack.

  9. Store in an airtight container.

  10. Enjoy!!!

Nov 29, 2013

Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese

I made some cranberry relish for Thanksgiving.  Yum!!  Since my mom and I were the only 2 to eat some, I had plenty left over to enjoy.  I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich with the cranberry relish in the middle.  It was delicious.

Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese


103_0338

 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 slices of a sturdy bread (I used rye bread.)

  • 2 slices Swiss chees

  • 2 Tbsp. cranberry relish

  • griddle and cooking spray


Steps:

  1. Heat the griddle pan to medium heat.  Spray the griddle pan with cooking spray.

  2. Place the first slice of bread on the griddle.  Lay the first slice of cheese on the bread.  Then the cranberry sauce.

  3. On top of the cranberry sauce, place the other slice of cheese.  Finally top with the other slice of bread.

  4. Cook on one side for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bread is browned.

  5. Flip over the sandwich over and cook until the other side is browned (2 to 3 minutes).

  6. Enjoy!!!!

Elf 4 Health - Days 4 & 5

Yesterday's challenge was to call someone and let them know how you are grateful for them in your lives.  I called my aunt and talked to her 45 minutes.  On Wednesday, I texted one of my former students and told him how I was grateful for being one of his teachers.  He has an impact on my teaching.

Today's challenge is to drink plenty of water.  I took one of my quart size Mason jars and drank out of it.  I ended up filling it up 3 times total for 72 ounces of water.  Guess where I spent most of the day?!?

I may drink a cup of hot tea without any sweetener and then another glass before bed today.

1477399_10202846880396497_1846229002_n


Tomorrow's challenge is to treat myself.  I've got to do some shopping and go to a baby shower.  During my time out, I will make sure I treat myself with something.

Foodie Pen Pal - November 2013

This month I was paired up with Anne from Pennsylvania.  She and I had similar likes in foods so that was a help when buying her goodies.

When I got her box, I was delighted.  There were a lot of yummy treats in the box.  One of the items I am extremely excited about is the Pennsylvania Dutch apple butter.  If I just hadn't opened up a jar of pumpkin butter, I would have opened that jar up right away.  I was born in the Pennsylvania Dutch area so it is nice to have a treat from where I was born.

All the goodies were from her area which was nice because I like to try local foods when I'm visiting other places.

[gallery ids="4478,4489,4488,4487,4486,4485,4484,4483,4482,4481,4480,4477,4476"]

Thanks Anne for a great box.

Nov 27, 2013

Elf 4 Heath - Day #3

So as I said at the end of my post, yesterday's challenge was to unsubscribe from catalogs or emails.  I chose to unsubscribe to multiple email lists.  I did it on my work email, gmail, and road runner email accounts.  I also cleaned up my road runner and work accounts.  This really helped me feel lighter not having all those emails to wade through.

Fullscreen capture 11262013 80307 PM

 

One great website to use is unroll.me.  Unfortunately it only supports certain email services.  I could only use it for my gmail account.  It really helped me unsubscribe from that account.

 

Today's challenge is to try a new workout.  I don't exercise unless you count my walking around the school building.  My classroom is isolated from everyone else so if I need anything I need to walk to get it.  :)  That's great for getting some cardio in.

Last night I put some fast paced music on youtube (Florida Georgia Line - Cruise) and did sprints across the living room to get some cardio in.  I continued for the entire song.  Then I put on Pink's Just Like a Pill and did some circuits of 10 reps of waist twists, toe touches, knee lifts, and jumping jacks.  Towards the end of the song, I slowed my motions down to cool down.  It wasn't much but for me it was a small step.

This morning, I did a barre3 standing core exercise.  I plan to do a yoga video later on during the day.  This is something new to me.  I really need to get my belly area in check.  I'm short waisted so all of my extra weight seems to land there.

Nov 26, 2013

Elf 4 Health - Day #2

I'm finally getting to recapping yesterdays's challenge and discussing today's challenge.

So yesterday was meatless Monday.  It wasn't really that hard for me.  I started the morning with a green smoothie.  There was also some protein powder in the smoothie to help keep me full.  I needed chia seeds also because all I kept thinking while I was in the dentist's chair was how hungry I was.  Of course I couldn't eat while they were working on my mouth.

As soon as I left the dentist's office, I ate a Larabar that I had gotten at the grocery store.  It was a seasonal flavor - Snickerdoodle.  It was pretty yummy!

The day before I had gone out to eat at a new to us restaurant - Roma.  I had gotten a Brucshetta pizza with the intention of saving some for this challenge.  I also had some left over garlic bread which was made with olive oil instead of butter.  Since my mouth was still numb, I didn't bite on it using my front teeth.  I folded it up and chewed with my molars.  When my dentist called me later, I told him what I did and he told me I was pretty clever.  I love that my dentist will personally call his patients after they have work done on their teeth to make sure they are doing good.  He ends his call with "Call me if you need anything."  and he means it.

Since my mouth was still numb, I ate a banana for a snack.  I am not a banana lover so Hubby was shocked when he saw I was eating some.

Dinner was quick and easy tomato soup.  I also cut up French bread that I toasted up with a little olive oil, garlic, cheddar cheese, and basil.  We used those croutons to put in the soup instead of dipping grilled cheese sandwiches in the soup.  The boys were not fans of the soup.  The Imaginative One though loved the croutons.

Dessert was a pumpkin whoopie pie from a local farmer's market.  Yummy!  As an evening snack, I had a yogurt parfait with granola and fresh pineapple.  So happy my meatless Monday went well!

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="4468,4467,4466,4465"]

Today's challenge is to unsubscribe.  I don't know how many different emails I unsubscribed from.  I also cleaned up two of my in boxes while I was at it.  It's amazing how much lighter you feel without all that extra mess in your life.

Nov 25, 2013

Elf 4 Health Challenge #1

I'm so excited about the challenges.  Maybe not the burpee one but the others yes.

Funny story about the burpee challenge.  I was telling my family about this week's challenge and my mother-in-law didn't know what a burpee was.  She thought it was Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory" burping pi.  So Hubby and I demonstrated what a  burpee was.  The response from both my father-in-law and mother-in-law was that I was going to hurt myself.

Anyway today's challenge is the Meatless Monday challenge.  We are challenged to eat not meat today.  So the question was "How do I feed my meat loving husband a meatless meal?"  The answer is simple.  We are having tomato soup for supper.  He won't complain about that and then when he gets to work, he can eat all the meat he wants away from me.

Here are some dinner or breakfast for dinner recipes from my blog that could help you decide what to have on this meatless Monday:

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal (Made in the crockpot)

French Toast (Just don't serve meat with it.)

Mason Jar Salad

Baked Spaghetti (Minus the meat or use a meat substitute instead) - Most popular post on my blog.

Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad

Healthier Mac and Cheese

I just noticed, I need to add more meatless meals.  :)

My menu plan for today:

Green Smoothie for breakfast

Left over Bruschetta pizza for lunch

Tomato soup with cheesy croutons for supper

Tomorrow I'll let you know how it went.

Nov 24, 2013

Tastes of Thanksgiving Green Smoothie

So last week, I had my blender cup washed after making a smoothie.  The Wee One and the Imaginative One put away the dishes after the dishwasher was finished.  Somehow my blades got put into silverware/ utensil drawer (double drawer) and the band that held the blade was missing.  I had been craving a smoothie but couldn't make one because of the missing piece.  :(

Today the Wee One found the piece in our cereal/ plastic ware cabinet so I decided to make the smoothie I had been craving.  I had bought some fresh cranberries today so I decided to put them in the smoothie.  Yum!!!  Since I didn't put any sugar in the smoothie, it turned out tart but that's okay with me.  If you make this, you may want to put some type of sweetener in it if you don't like tart flavors.

This smoothie is called tastes of Thanksgiving green smoothie because I love eating cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving and the flavors of this smoothie remind me of cranberry sauce.  

 

Tastes of Thanksgiving Green Smoothie


1483202_10202791842420582_2071609499_o

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/4 c. fresh cranberries, washed

  • 1/4 c. frozen strawberries

  • 2 c. greens (I used power greens - kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.)

  • 1/2 c. orange juice

  • water if you need more liquids (add a little at a time)

  • optional:  1 Tbsp. your favorite sweetener (more or less depending on your taste buds.)


Steps:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your blender cup.

  2. Blend together on the smoothie setting until blended together.

  3. Pour into a cup.

  4. Enjoy!


 

 

 

Nov 19, 2013

My Challenge for the Holiday Season

Last year I joined a group called Elf for Health.  I was paired up with 3 different Elves who I helped motivate and who helped motivate me.  To be honest one of the elves fizzled out but Gretchen and Lyndi were great.  We would email each other on a daily basis trying to keep motivated.  When Gretchen's and my third elves didn't follow through, we were each other's elves for the last 2 weeks.

This year, they've shortened the challenge from 6 weeks to 4 weeks so we'll finish the challenge right before Christmas which is good.  People get so busy once Christmas rolls around that it's hard to keep track of your elf.  

I'm a little nervous though because some of the challenges are physical in nature and I have to be extremely careful especially since August.  My pinched nerve started acting up at the end of our Super trip because of how much strain I put on it with all of my walking between the beach and Folly and then visiting Atlanta and Huntsville.  I was seriously out of alignment when we got back and could barely walk.  Yuck! 

Then in late September/early October, I had another relapse where my leg would almost give out.  This was happening at work and I have to walk to get from place to place.  (My room is isolated from everyone else.)  So I'll participate with those but may have to modify how much I do.

As you can see I don't do a lot of exercise because of that darn pinched nerve.  When I was 12 years old, I broke both bones in the bottom part of my left leg.  I was in casts from February to June of my 7th grade year.  Twenty years and five months later, the pinched nerve started acting up.  I could barely walk at times which is not good for my job because I'm a special education teacher and would have to walk from classroom to classroom for inclusion or pick up students for intervention.  There were times when  I would be in a second grade classroom sitting on the floor barely able to get up.  

It now acts up at times with irregularity.  I walked all around Chicago on a trip in 2012 and it did not act up.  I go on my super trip this past July/August and it acted up.  

When I was in college 20 years ago, I would walk everywhere.  Even though I ate a lot of fast food (worked at McDonalds and got free food), I was fit because of all of the walking.  I miss being able to do that without the possibility of the pinched nerve getting in the way.

Anyway I'm going to go into this challenge with gusto and modify some of the challenges to what I am capable of doing.



If you are interested in this challenge, check out the Lean Green Bean for more information.  You need to sign up for the first round by Friday , November 22.

Nov 11, 2013

Mom, What's For Dinner? - Week of November 11

It's been another week so it's time to menu plan once again.  This week is not as crazy as last week.  I've still got dance lessons, Cub Scouts, chiropractor appointments, and parent teacher conferences.  Even with those events, it's not as busy.

Monday - beef stroganoff over egg noodles and veggies

Tuesday - pot roast, veggies, and rolls

Wednesday - chicken and rice casserole

Thursday - pumpkin pancakes, bacon, hash browns

Friday - baked potato soup and rolls

Saturday - left overs

Nov 9, 2013

Ten Lessons from Grandpa

Today would have been my grandpa's 89th birthday.  It has hit me really hard this year because on December 6, it will be 10 years since his death.  Here are some lessons I learned from him:

1. Sometimes you need to drive off the beaten path. He would drive through the neighborhoods instead of the main streets. I drive that way too. I know so many different ways to get to work that I could confuse someone.

2. Sometimes it's better to listen then talk. I knew I was in real trouble when my grandpa started lecturing me about my behavior. When he spoke, you listened because whatever he was going to say was important.

3. Chocolate and sweets make the world go round. He loved pumpkin pie (Imaginative One's favorite) and chocolate. They would sit next to his recliner on his end table.  Okay not the pumpkin pie but the chocolate did.  Don't ask me how I know.

4. Nature is beautiful. He and grandma would sit and watch the hummingbirds outside their family room.

5. Family is important. When my mom, sister, and I moved in with him and grandma, he was ready to retire. He continued working for about 7 years so he could support us. He made the bunk bed my sister and I shared for 2 years.

6. Keep your gas tank half full especially in winter. You don't want the gas to freeze.

7. The importance of vocabulary. He would read Reader's Digest and have me look at the Word Power with him. I still read the Reader's Digest and look at the Word Power. Those word power puzzles stump me at times.

8.  Coffee is yummy!  I didn't start drinking coffee until after he was gone.  Now I love it.  Now I wish I could sit down with him and drink a cup of coffee with him.

9. Education is important.  He wanted me to graduate from college.  I was the first one in my family to earn a bachelor's degree.

10.  Trust in God!  He was a tail gunner during World War II and saw unimaginable destruction.  His faith needed to be there in order to survive.

Thank you Grandpa for teaching all these lessons!

Nov 8, 2013

Our Autumn Beauty Maple Tree

We have only once deciduous tree in our yard.  It's a autumn beauty maple (at least I think that's the name of it).  It gets gorgeous during the fall.  It has not completely turned yet.  However since the lighting is great outside today (sun shining), I decided to take some pictures of it.

Enjoy the beauty:

[gallery type="square" ids="4426,4427,4428,4429,4430,4431,4432,4433,4434,4435,4436"]

Nov 5, 2013

Pumpkin No Bake Energy Balls

For a long time, I had wanted to try Larabars but was afraid because I didn't know how they would like it because of the dates.  Once I finally tried one of the bars, I decided it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

This past weekend, I picked my first container of dates with the intention of making some energy balls to eat as a snack and for breakfast.  At first I was going to make regular no bake energy balls but then found a recipe for pumpkin no bake energy balls.  I decided to make them instead.  Oh my goodness, they are delicious!!!!!!!  :)'

The best things about this recipe is you don't need to bake them.  I also like all the different textures and flavors within one little ball.

 

Pumpkin No Bake Energy Balls


adapted from Gimme Some Oven


IMG_0999[1]


Stars of the recipe:




  • 1 packed cup pitted and chopped dates

  • 1/4 c. honey

  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (make sure it's not pumpkin pie)

  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds or ground flax seeds (I used chia seeds.)

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked) (I used quick oats.  Those worked great.)

  • 1 c. toasted coconut flakes

  • 1 c. pumpkin seeds


Steps:

  1. Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia or flax seeds, and spices in a food processor. Pulse until it's smooth and combined.

  2. Put the mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients until evenly combined.

  3. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  4. Once it's cool, using a spoon or cookie scoop to shape into desired size of energy balls.

  5. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  (When they are stored in the refrigerator, it helps the energy balls hold their shape.)

  6. Enjoy - Savor the textures and flavor as you are eating them.


Coffee

I love coffee so much when we go to Walt Disney in late March/early April, I've trying to find ways for me to have my morning cup.  It's part of my breakfast routine.  Unfortunately they don't have a coffee maker in the hotel rooms but we have come up with a solution which is buying a resort cup so I can have my coffee in the morning and the rest of the family can use it for other drinks.

Several years ago, I was wanting Keurig.  I thought it looked totally cool and economical because I am the only coffee drinker in the house.  A week for Christmas, I told my mom and Hubby.  They both wanted to get me the machine.  Finally it was my mom who got me the machine and Hubby got me the K-cups.

I love using the K-cups but it can get expensive.  I bought the reusable K-Cup but it was a pain because you had to take the insert out in order to put the filter in.  I still have it but use it rarely.  I got another reusable K-cup but it did not have a flat bottom.  So it was a pain to put the grounds in because the grounds could fall out and get all over the place.  At Easter time this year, I found Cafe' Cup reusable K-cups.  There was four in a pack with a scoop for the coffee.  I love them because they are flat.  I use them all the time instead of K-cups.  The only problem is from time to time, the lid does not seal.

The best part of using reusable coffee filters is the economical benefit.  I can buy ground coffee for cheaper then K-cups.  One of y favorite brands is the Target's Archer Farms Ground Coffee.  Some flavors I have liked are the Caramel Apple flavor, Autumn Roast, Pumpkin Spice, S'Mores (summer flavor), and Dark Chocolate truffle (summer flavor).  As you can see, I love flavored coffee.  I usually get it when it's on sale.

Another coffee I like is from a local coffeehouse - Boston Stoker's.  I usually 1/2 pounds of this coffee.  Two of my favorite blends are Snickerdoodle and Highlander Grogg.  Both are delicious!!!!

I also like another local coffeehouse - Winan's Chocolates and Coffees.  I've discovered 2 favorites - Cashew Crunch (I believe that's the name) and Buckeye (which is named after the delicious chocolate peanut butter candy).

Finally my favorite non flavored kind is from Tim Horton's.

Another benefit from using a reusable coffee filters is not putting all that waste in the landfills.

What is your favorite coffee or even tea?

(No one has reimbursed me for my thoughts on these coffee flavors and reusable coffee filters.)

Nov 4, 2013

Mom, What's For Dinner? ~ Week of November 4

Can you believe it's November already?  I sure can't.  Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then it will be the Christmas season.  We decided that this year we are going to go light with Christmas gifts for the boys.  Their big gift is coming in late March/early April when we go to Disney.  I or do you mean Santa will get them something small so they have something to open on Christmas morning.  

This week is my semi-annual parent teacher conferences (late October/early November and then February).  My principal makes sure we are all fed so I don't have to pack two meals.  However, the boys at home still need to be fed.  

Monday - pork chops and gravy sandwiches, chips, and hopefully veggie or fruit (Parent teacher conferences for myself)

Tuesday - Chicken soup and either pretzel rolls or biscuits

Wednesday - bramble beans with either pretzel rolls or biscuits

Thursday - Teriyaki bbq chicken legs and baked rice

Friday - slow cooker meatballs and spaghetti sauce over spaghetti, salad

Saturday - ?????  Maybe breakfast for dinner or pizza

Nov 3, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits Revisited

This weekend I was reading Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog about uses of coconut oil.  I've had a jar of the stuff in my cabinet forever.  Maybe not that long but long enough.  I started to use it on my body as a moisturizer/lotion.  The Imaginative One loves it because he can also use it for around his lip area and it doesn't matter if he gets it in his mouth (refined) and our dog loves to lick it off of my fingers.  He has really dry skin so maybe this will help him.

I also got a jar of it for my kitchen so I could cook with it.  I decided to make my buttermilk biscuits.  Instead of butter, I used the coconut oil.  My father-in-law is a diabetic and he can't remember things at times.  Coconut oil is suppose to be good for those two things.  So he can have one of the biscuits (still has flour (carbs) in it.)

Can we say AMAZ-BALLS!  They were amazing (singing voice)!!!!!  I tried one of them and have to refrain myself from eating the other dozen of them.

Buttermilk Biscuits


IMG_5118

Stars of the recipe:



  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 2 1/4 c self rising flour

  • 1 1/4 c buttermilk (or whole milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice added)

  • flour for dusting


Steps:



  1. Put coconut oil on top of flour.   Cut coconut oil into flour with a long tined fork or pastry knife until crumbly.

  2.  Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour.

  4.  Fold dough over into itself, like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter, in three sections. Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

  5.  Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased  cookie sheet. Try to make sure they touch because this will help them rise higher.

  6. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.   (Mine take about 12 minutes.)

Oct 31, 2013

Foodie Pen Pal - October Edition

This is my one year anniversary of participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  Shania, who lived in New Jersey, sent me my first box.  I remember worrying about her last October because she was in the path of Superstorm Sandy.  Luckily she was fine.  She sent me magnets which is funny because Katie, my partner this month, also sent me magnets.

 

This time I sent to and received from Katie who lives close to Chicago.  For information about what I sent her, please visit her blog.

Here is what she sent me:

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="4394,4395,4396,4397,4398,4399,4400,4401"]

Oct 28, 2013

Mom, What's for dinner? - Week of October 28

Happy Halloween!  This week is another crazy week!  I'm going to be cooking dinner this week though.  

Monday - ham, French fries, corn

Tuesday - barbecue chicken sandwiches, chips, veggies

Wednesday - chiropractor and then parent teacher conference for the Imaginative One so I need a quick meal - Pizza

Thursday - ghoulash over noodles

Friday - breakfast for dinner

Saturday - soup and biscuits

Oct 27, 2013

Boo Mix (Halloween Snack Mix)

The boys are in Cub Scouts.  We had their annual Halloween party last Thursday.  Someone made this boo mix for some of the snacks being served.  Oh, my goodness, I could not stop eating it.  I even took one of the last two cups of it and ate some on the way home and the remainder the next day.   I did not let any be wasted.  

Today I found the recipe so I decided to make some of the snack mix for the boys and my lunches.  Both boys tried some after I made it.  They both loved it so each of them has 5 snack size bags of the ix for their lunches.  Then our friend stopped by the house and tried it.  He also gave it a thumbs up!

Boo Mix


adapted from Plain Chicken


IMG_0966[1]


Stars of the recipe:




  • 5 c. Golden Grahams

  • 3 c. Cocoa Puffs

  • 2 c. Reese's Pieces

  • 2 c. peanuts or 1 c. peanuts and 1 c. cashews

  • 3 c. pretzel sticks

  • 11 oz. bag of white chocolate


Steps:

  1. Place the first five ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. Place the white chocolate in a glass microwaveable bowl.  Melt following the directions on the bag.

  3. Pour the cereal mixture.  (I did a little bit of it at a time.)  Stir until everything is coated.

  4. Spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil.

  5. Let sit until completely dry and break into clumps.

  6. Store in an airtight container.

  7. Enjoy!


Oct 24, 2013

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

A couple of days ago, Tiffany from Eat at Home posted a recipe for cranberry orange oatmeal cooked in the slow cooker.  I've attempted to make oatmeal in the slow cooker and it did not turn out pretty.  Most of it was wasted.  

This recipe turned out great because I found a different way to cook the oatmeal in the slow cooker that did not burn or dry out the oatmeal.  The result was creamy oatmeal that I did not have to add any liquid to it when I heated it up the next day!!!!!!  :)

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal


adapted from Eat at Home  and the Motherload


IMG_0923[1]


Stars of the recipe:




  • 1/2 c, steel cut oats

  • 1 c. orange juice

  • 1 c. water

  • 1/4 c. sugar (I omitted this.)

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/4 c, dried cranberries


Steps:

  1. Find a bowl that is big enough to hold the oatmeal but small enough to fit in the slow cooker.  It also needs to be oven safe.

  2. Spray the bowl with cooking spray and add the ingredients.

  3. Stir!

  4. Place the bowl in the slow cooker.

  5. Pour water around a the bowl to create a water bath (an inch high).  Place the lid on the slow cooker.

  6. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours.

  7. Enjoy!


BTW:  I used a 6 quart slow cooker.

Oct 21, 2013

Mom, What's for dinner? Week of Oct. 21

This week's a strange week.  I've only got to cook dinner 3 times this week - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  So my mehtod for planning those 3 days is this:  Go to my freezer.  Open it up.  What do I have that I need to eat up or cook up.  So it's no real plan for this week.  

Monday - Hoison chicken with rice and veggie

Tuesday - Open up the freezer and find something to cook up or eat up

Wednesday - ZooClues at the Columbus Zoo - Buffet style dinner - Hubby and I; boys are spending the night at the grandparents so they are having a rare treat - Kids' Cuisines for dinner

Thursday - Open up the freezer and find something to cook up or eat up

Friday - Chick Fil A (profits are going towards a mission of our youth group)

Saturday - Hubby is eating at a bonfire, the boys and I are going to be at the zoo for Boo at the Zoo

Oct 16, 2013

Lemon Chicken

My husband loves getting food from the Chinese food restaurants in our local mall's food court.  So I decided to recreate one of the dishes he might purchase there.  This dish was healthier than what you get at the food court.  

When it was cooking in the oven, he thought it was a sweet and sour dish.  So he was super excited for dinner last night.

The only issue with the dinner was super lemony but it's an easy fix.  If you really love a lemon flavor, add the lemon zest and additional lemon juice.

[gallery ids="4377,4376"]

Lemon Chicken


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb. thinly cut chicken breast, chicken breasts pounded thinly, or chicken thighs pounded thin (If you are going to pound out the chicken, place wax paper on a cutting board and then the chicken.  Place another piece of wax paper on top of the chicken.  Using a heavy skillet, pound the chicken until it's about a 1/2 inch thick.  Hint:  An inch is from the tip of your thumb to the knuckle.  So a 1/2 inch would be to the end of your thumbnail.)

  • 1/4 c, lemon juice

  • 1/4 to 1/2 c, bread crumbs or panko

  • Optional:  1 Tbsp. lemon zest and additional lemon juice

  • 8 x 8 square dish sprayed with cooking spary


Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a bowl big enough to dredge the chicken in, place the lemon juice. In another bowl big enough to dredge the chicken in, place the bread crumbs or panko.

  3. First dredge the chicken in lemon juice and then dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs or panko.

  4. Place in the cooking dish.

  5. Continue with the remainder of the chicken pieces.  If you want it really lemony, top with more lemon juice and lemon zest.

  6. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

  7. Enjoy with rice!

Oct 15, 2013

What I pack for breakfast, snack, & lunch October 15

Breakfast[gallery ids="4361,4362,4363"]

 

Lunch:

[gallery ids="4364,4365,4366"]

 

For a snack on my way home, I'll either have

20131015-063005.jpg
Or

20131015-063027.jpg
That is I'll eat it if I'm hungry.

I also have either a small handful of almonds or chocolate covered raisins between groups of students.

Oct 14, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

[gallery ids="4355,4356,4357"]



 

I love chocolate chip cookies.  Actually I like most cookies.  You might say cookies are my weakness!  I mean dessert weakness.  This dip reminds me of a chocolate chip cookie .  Best of all you, you don't have to bake cookies to get the deliciousness.  :)

Now the question is, what should I dip into this yumminess!  I've been dipping chocolate cat cookies from Trader Joe's.  Tomorrow I'm going to try dipping my sliced apples in the dip.  That sounds absolutely divine.

Side note:  Have you ever had someone obsessed with your food choices.  I eat in my classroom and have a limited time to eat.  Today I was running late getting to eat because I had to print some papers and then talk to two other teachers.  I was finishing my lunch when my four students came in for social studies.  They were intrigued with what I was eating.  They would have  been shocked to find out what was in the dip.  (My students have seen my lunches many times.  Fortunately most of the time it's something fairly healthy.  This way I can be a good role model for them.  One is concerned that I don't eat a lot of meat.  I eat meat but it depends on my mood whether I eat a lot meat or not.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip


adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie


Stars of the recipe:





  • 1-1/2 c. chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well)

  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda

  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 c. nut butter of choice - I used almond butter.

  • up to 1/4 c. of milk

  • 2/3 c. brown sugar

  • 1/3 c. chocolate chips

  • 2 to 3 tsp. oats


Steps:

  1. Add the ingredients except for chocolate chips and milk to a good food processor.

  2. Blend the ingredients - streaming into milk until desired considency.

  3. Remove from food processor cup.  Mix in chocolate chips.

  4. Put in the fridge overnight.

  5. Enjoy with apples, graham crackers, or just eat by the spoonful!

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Mmm!  Comfort food makes you feel good inside.  Pot roast is one of those foods.  As I was coming up with this week's menu, I decided pot roast should be one of our dinners.  The interesting thing was we had pot roast for our dinner at my in-laws last night.  The difference was how we prepared the roast.  The side dishes were different also.

I've made this recipe for over 10 years.  It is super easy and delicious.  After we have roast for dinner, another night during the week I make a hash (minus eggs) with the left over roast.  Yum!

Even though I like making baked potatoes cooked in the slow cooker, I'm not a fan of potatoes cooked with the roast.  We had buttered noodles with our roast.

 

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast


[gallery ids="4352,4350,4351"]

Stars of the recipe:

  • roast (size depends on the needs of your family)

  • 30 oz. can of tomato sauce

  • optional:  russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks, onions cut into chunks, carrots peeled and cut into strips


Steps:

  1. Place roast into the bottom of the slow cooker.

  2. If placing vegetables, place them on top of the roast.

  3. Pour tomato sauce over the roast.

  4. Cook for 3 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

  5. Enjoy!

Oct 13, 2013

Mom, What's for dinner? - Week of October 14

Here's my plans for dinner:

Monday - pot roast, butter noodles, and veggies

Tuesday - lemon chicken (if the recipe works, I'll post it here) with rice

Wednesday - homemade taco hamburger helper (if the recipe is good, I'll post it here)

Thursday - pot roast hash

Friday - pretzel chicken tenders, mac and cheese, veggies

Saturday  - Harvest bean soup

 

My Favorite Disney Picture

So my family has decided we are going to Walt Disney World in the beginning of April.  Yesterday we hunted for the pictures we took during our last trip to Disney in 2009 when the boys were 3 and 5.  We finally located the majority of the pictures.  There was 1 picture I really wanted to find because it is hilarious.  I was taking a picture of the German Pavilion in Epcot.  When I looked at the picture later, there was a teenager in the middle of the picture and his expression is like "Just take my picture already."  It looks like I was taking a picture of him instead of the German pavilion.  

Here's the picture:

100_1248

Sep 30, 2013

Foodie Pen Pal - September Edition

This month we followed a different format.  Instead of being paired up with two people (one who bought and sent to me and the other I bought for and then sent the box), we were paired with one other person.  We bought and sent to each other.  

This month, I was paired with Jessica who lives in Mississippi.  She had never been to Ohio and I have never been to Mississippi.  I sent her a box of my usual goodies,  One of which is the Triple Treat Granola.  All 3 times that I've sent that granola, the recipient loved it.  

Okay onto what Jessica sent me:

[gallery type="square" ids="4327,4325,4336,4334,4331,4330"]

Thank you Jessica for the great box!

Sep 15, 2013

Homemade Applesauce

I'm so proud of myself.  Today we were given a chance to go apple picking at one of our fellow church member's houses.  We could take as much as we wanted which is totally cool.  The Imaginative One is a fussy eater but loves his apples and applesauce.  So I jumped at the chance.  

We picked a lot of apples and made memories with the boys.  The Imaginative One ended up getting stung by a bee but was happy because the apples were absolutely delicious.  That made up for his finger being stung.  

Once we got home, I washed some of the less attractive ones.  Then I peeled and cut them into smaller pieces.  I placed into one of my bigger pots, covered the apples with water, and cooked them for half and hour.  The boys then helped me puree the apples in the blender for a smoother applesauce.  The end result was a delicious applesauce.

So why am I proud of myself.  I made homemade applesauce that I know the boys will eat.  I made memories with the boys.  We picked the apples and within 2.5 hours I had applesauce.  That is why I'm proud of myself.

Homemade Smooth Applesauce


IMG_0576[1]

Stars of the recipe:

  • 3 to 4 pounds of apples, peeled and quartered (or cut smaller)

  • cinnamon to taste or cinnamon sticks

  • water

  • sugar to taste (1/4 to 3/4 c.)


Steps:

  1. Wash, peel, and cut apples.

  2. Place in a big pot and then cover with water.  Sprinkle with cinnamon or put in the cinnamon sticks.

  3. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat on to high.

  4. Allow the water to boil and then turn to medium low.

  5. Cook until apples are tender.

  6. Either use a food mill or a blender to puree the apples.  (We used the blender.  When we did, we used the apples and some of the cooking water.)

  7. Place in a bowl.  Sprinkle with more cinnamon and sugar to taste.

  8. Enjoy warm or cooled down.


[gallery ids="4316,4317,4318,4319,4320"]

Sep 14, 2013

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

The Imaginative One hates zucchini so much when I asked him to pick one up at the local farmer's market, he refused to even touch.  He also refused to taste this cake because he had a feeling I put zucchini in it.  He forgot there was a possibility later on in the week and ended up trying it.  He still didn't like.

Don't let his dislike of the cake and zucchini discourage you from trying this delicious cake.  He is such a fussy eater.

I really enjoyed this cake.  In fact I took pieces of it as a lunchtime treat.  It is so yummy!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake


adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen


IMG_0512[1]


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/6 c. oil (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 c. white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (I used 1/2 c. milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar)

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (Instead of cinnamon and cloves, I used Chinese 5 spice.)

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 2 - 1/3 c. white whole wheat flour

  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)

  • 2 C. shredded zucchini (I patted it dry with a paper towel to remove some of the liquid.)

  • 1 c. chocolate chips


Steps:

  1. Cream together, applesauce, oil, and sugars.  (If you don't have buttermilk, make the milk and vinegar mixture.  Allow it to curdle.)

  2. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.

  3. Add the eggs and sour milk or buttermilk to the sugar applesauce mixture.

  4. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.  Stir to combine.

  5. Add the zucchini.  And then stir it until incorporated.

  6. Pour into a greased 9 by 13 pan and then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.

  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

  8. Enjoy!