Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Since we have so many zucchini from the garden right now, I thought I would
whip up a batch of zucchini bread.
This recipe is a family favorite in our house!
You can leave out the chocolate chips if you like.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated zucchini

    1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
    2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
    3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
    4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Sea Salt

    I can't believe its been almost 2 weeks since I last posted!
    I feel like I have been super busy, but don't have a whole lot to show for it.
    Next weekend is my class reunion and after that I think things will slow down a bit.
    Well...maybe not because I'm hoping to have a garage sale that following weekend.
    But after that things will slow down....I hope ;)

    Anyway, I thought I would just do a quick post today of one of my favorite cookies.
    This has to be in my Top 5 of all time faves.
    I love everything about it, the shortbread, chocolate, peanut butter, and sea salt. Yum!
    I originally came across these on Pinterest from this blog.

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
    makes about 21 small cookies
    1 stick, (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
    1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 
    1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
    scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
    3/4 cup chocolate chips
    • Cream the butter and the peanut butter together in a stand mixer, with a hand mixer, or a wooden spoon.  Beat in the vanilla.
    • Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.  Mix until the dough comes together. 
    • Stir in the chips, and turn the dough out onto a piece of waxed paper.  Gently pull the dough together and form it into a log.  If it is still crumbly, work it with your hands until it holds together smoothly. Roll it up in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go.  Twist the ends securely and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
    • Slice the log into slices with a sharp knife. Not too thick, not too thin, about 1/3 inch.  If a slice crumbles a bit, just smoosh the dough back together.  These don't have to be perfect disks.
    • Bake on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet at 325 for about 12-14 minutes.  The cookies will  not be browned, and they may look undone, but don't over bake.  One of the joys of shortbread cookies is that they fall apart and melt in your mouth. 
    • Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Chocolate Peanut Butter S'mores Bars

    OK I lied.
    I really planned on having lots of pictures from the 4th.
    But it didn’t happen.
    This year was probably the most low key holiday we’ve had in a while.
    Some family members were out of town and with everything
    being so dry it was pretty uneventful.
    Joe said he was embarrassed to be walking out of the firework stand with just
    fountains and little nick knacks
    I managed to get one picture where you can actually see who it is.
    I got out there while it was still fairly light but in about 5 minutes it was pitch black.

    Anyway, so instead of seeing some really cute pictures of my babies
    I have something better, well maybe not better :), a new recipe.
    This maybe one of my new favorite desserts!
    I have actually made it twice since Wednesday.
    It’s super easy to put together and you can customize the filling to whatever you like.
    I prefer peanut butter and chocolate so I put some Reese’s peanut butter bars
    that I found at Wal-Mart as the filling in mine.
    But you could also do just Hershey’s bars, or probably any thin candy bar.
    I think next time I may try to pour some Nutella on!

     Chocolate Peanut Butter S'mores Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Reeses Peanut Butter Bars (These were big bars, like the Hershey's bars)
  • 1 container marshmallow fluff

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.

    Press remaining mixture into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Place candy bars over crust; spread with marshmallow creme. Crumble remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

    Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or we like to put ours in the refrigerator.  Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    4th of July

    Happy 4th of July!
    My husbands favorite holiday!
    Except this year we won't be shooting off many fireworks,
    because of how dry everything is.
    We thought we would get a couple of little ones for Liv to play with
    that we could set off in our driveway.
    I'll update tomorrow with some pictures of all the fun!

    This week so far has been fairly uneventful and hot!
    Liv went to the movies Monday with her great grandparents to see Madagascar 3.
    Of course she loved it.
    My grandma said after it was over she had tears in her eyes and said "more?"

    Today was weigh day.
    I lied about working out! I still haven't broke a sweat yet.
    This next week will be better though because I really don't want to half ass it.
    I mean if I'm going to work this hard on eating good I might as well exercise.
    It's so hard with two little kids to get the time to do it.
    So yes mom you were right!
    I swear I could right a book on all the things my mom has told me
    and I've only half listened to her.
    Well turns out she was right again!
    She said that once you have kids you will have a harder time being able to exercise.
    Well, I'll have to agree with her.
    Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and just listen and actually "do" all the
    things she had given me advice on. I know my life
    would have been much easier!
    So for all the daughters and sons out there, listen to your moms!
    The saying is right, "mother knows best"
    Love you mom!

    So the total weight loss for the week was 4 lbs!
    Total so far is 17 lbs!