Monday, August 5, 2013

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies {aka what to do with all that zucchini}

We didn't plant a garden this year [tear] for the first time in quite a few years. It was largely because our house is for sale and we didn't want to do all the work and not get any of the fruits of our labor (see what I did there).

While it's been nice to not worry about weeding and watering, we've missed bringing fresh produce in from the garden. And based on the way Liza likes to weed and water our flowers, we know she'd be a rockstar gardener!

Fortunately we go to the Farmers Market most Fridays and have our CSA on Tuesdays to get our fix + shop local.  So when we stopped by our favorite farmer's booth and saw the plethora of zucchini we snagged a bunch of it - you know so we could pretend we have a bumper crop! This weekend we made two of my favorite zucchini recipes: zucchini lasagna and zucchini brownies. I pretty much just follow this recipe from the Biggest Loser for the lasagna.

For the brownies, I found a recipe last summer and have been tinkering with it since to get a chocolaty fudgy brownie but without all the processed gunk.

So here goes...

Zucchini Brownies

Adapted from All Recipes

Here's what you need:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips

[1] Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 pan.

[2] Mix together sugars, agave, vanilla, and applesauce.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, soda, cocoa powder, and salt; stir with a whisk to evenly distribute.  Add to sugar mixture.

[3] Then, fold in zucchini (before you do this, you're going to think these brownies will taste like bricks because the batter is so thick, but the zucchini adds lots of moisture!!).  Add chocolate chips.

[4] Pour into pan and spread evenly.  Bake at 25-30 minutes.

Now, at this point, you can totally eat it without frosting.  In fact, they were great with a tall glass of cold milk.  However, you can also add cream cheese frosting.  I don't follow any specific recipe for frosting, so here's what I 'sort of' did: 8 oz cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 4 Tablespoons milk, and powdered sugar till it comes to the consistency and sweetness that you like.  I don't think that cream cheese frosting has to be overly-sweet, I prefer some of the tang from the cream cheese to come through.

Anybody else with a boatload of zucchini lately?  What are you doing with it??

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The New Place {from January - July}

Ever tried selling a house with a 2 year old and a shedding yellow lab?  Oy.  Not easy.  However, things seem to be moving on our new place and that makes it all easier.

Here's our time frame:

January - buy new property. 

January-April - design new house; visit property like every day; JW cuts down two BIG trees with his friend (I silently hope we don't hit our new neighbors - nothing says hello like a tree falling on their house); stake out new house; decide it's not quite big enough; add some feet to each side.

May - builders start!; ginormous hole dug; basement and footings poured; styrofoam blocks 'lego'ed up'; concrete core poured.

June - repeat last two steps times two.

watching the floor trusses get delivered.
July - interior walls built; move two small walls once (I call that success); trusses go up (in 2 hours!); roof and shingles done; buy our appliances at Lowes (hello 4th of July sale!); order fireplace; figure out the whole kitchen game plan and try out this whole cabinet outlet in Ohio; start looking at paint colors; HVAC guys come in and cut vents. 

So that's where we are so far.  Things seem to have moved SO quickly!  But, we're also very aware that these last two months were when progress was very quick and very VISIBLE.  We're excited to call this place a house we will live in for longer than our current record of 3 years!  

In the meantime, we're playing tons and enjoying summer,  re-painting and coating furniture at our current house, packing up totes, and taking lots of various things to our storage unit.  

So, here's the question: while we're still building and still can move things around, what are the things in your house that you can't live without?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 1: Jumping Back on the Bandwagon.

I miss blogging.  And I always say that I'm too busy to do it - full time teaching job (first year teaching the subject), crazy fun 1.5 year old running around, crazy 1.5 year old pup running around, selling our house, building our house, a roundtrip one hour commute to work, yadda yadda yadda...the list goes on.

Then, last night I read a blog about sweet Tiffany and her sweet babes, Ollie and Poppy...and how she lost Ollie far too young.  It broke my heart.  I snuck in last night to give Liza a kiss and a quick squeeze.  It made me think about life and about how we spend our time with our kids.  It made me wish already that I'd spent some of my time with her different and that I was more thankful of this sweet little girl, my amazing husband and this crazy dog Webby.

So starting today, I'm making this resolution.  I want to think about something that I'm thankful for everyday.  And I want to share it here.  To document the sweet things Liza does, the crazy blessed life we live and the universe in general.

So here's today's: Liza telling me she loves me.  I tell her I love her so many times a day.  And now she can say it back.  And it melts my heart and brings tears to my eyes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Five for 5.

I've been reading Jessica's blog for awhile now.  We're both teachers and I feel like we're on the same page to some extent.  I like the habit of creating 5 goals for the week and trying to stick with a few of them.  So here's my Five for 5 this week:


1) Get three workouts in this week.  My volleyball league starts back up tomorrow {woohoo!} so realistically this means I only have to do two other workouts.

2) Finish my application for Apple's Distinguished Educators.  As an Apple junkie who has recently embraced everything Apple (we own two iPhones, two iPads, and two MacBooks), I really want to share how I use the iPad in my 1:1 classroom but also have a network of amazing educators to collaborate with.  Plus it's due January 15th.

3) Start Liza's ABC Book.  When my nephew Braden was a baby, I made him a photo ABC book using things that were related to our family.  It was pretty cool.  Lately Liza has been obsessed with books {which as a teacher-mom, I couldn't be happier about}, but especially our photo books.  Although I probably won't finish the book, it'd be great to get it started.

4) Create another flipped lecture for school.  Being a teacher in a 1:1 iPad district, I have an awesome opportunity to 'flip' instruction.  Just takes a little extra time to get the lesson prepped.  I think I can...I think I can...

5) Write a few more blog posts this week.  I haven't blogged in months.  I've missed it, but lesson planning and house planning have gotten the best of me.  So I want to hop back on the blogging train.

Alright, let's hope by writing these down I get working on them this week.  It's bound to be another busy week, but such is life.  Just glad I get to spend it with these two :)

Have a lovely, lucky day :)

Hi Friends, I'm Back.

It's been awhile since I've blogged here or over on BWW.  Life has been busy, but blessed for sure.  This winter season has brought us to some big changes.  First of all, we've officially put our house on the market.  Like officially for sale (well on Craig's List for now, but you get the point).  We are currently working on buying some property and have plans to build in the spring.  It's going to be an adventure but we are ecstatic to be able to build a dream house that will suit our needs.  I wanted to get LiL going again so you could follow our journey.  

The other big change?  Our sweet Whitney had a massive seizure and passed over Christmas break.  It brings tears to my eyes just to type this.  She was my best bud and sat beside during some tough, lonely times in my life.  It was pretty unexpected, but she was twelve and we are so grateful we were both home and didn't have to make the decision ourselves.  She literally waited until Jon and I were both home on a Sunday afternoon (throughout the day we were only home for about a half together).  She was an amazing pup who will be greatly missed.  But we know she's out of her pain and is swimming and maybe even snowshoeing across the Rainbow Bridge.  

So life is busy, as always.  But I miss blogging and writing and venting.  So I'm hopeful to get things moving again this year.  I'm back, baby.