Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipe: Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Cake

This year we finally had success....a zucchini actually grew in our garden, and boy was it huge.

Knowing I didn't want it to spoil, I had DH shred up the zucchini last night as he watched the Olympics and I pullled out my handy-dandy Pillsbury Joy of Baking cookbook for the Chocolate-Chip Zucchini Cake recipe.

As I go to pull together all the ingredients, I can't find the butter...none in the refrigerator, none in the freezer, and none downstairs in the storage freezer.


Once the Real Housewives of New Jersey finishes, I hop into the car and drive to Trader Joe's to get some butter...four pounds.

Thought maybe I should share this recipe with you, as it's definitely zucchini season now....and this recipe is truly the best!

Sheet cakes are perfect for any occasion and they're quick and easy to make.  This one is great baked as a loaf and left unfrosted, or can be frosted with your favorite chocolate frosting.  Choose small, firm zucchini to use in this recipe.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9-inch pan.  In a large bowl combine, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla and eggs; beat well. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and buttermilk; blend well. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips, and nuts. Spread in greased and floured pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost as desired.

Yield: 16 servings

High Altitude: Above 3,500 feet: Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes

Nutrition Information: Let's just say you really, really don't want to know.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boyfriend Bag is Done!!!

The perfect gift for the teenager asking for a boyfriend:

  • Amy Butler Cosmo Bag in a bright obnoxious pink floral.
  • Two posters...Justin Bieber and Channing Tatum
  • Two girly magazines...Seventeen and Vogue
  • Drawing pad with gel pins and colored pencils
  • And, of course, lots and lots of candy!

The smiling face is worth it all.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Project: Boyfriend Bag

Project Label: ECC's Birthday Present

ECC, a teenage girl and family friend, has a birthday next week.  We've asked lots of questions as to what she cards...clothes? Did she make it easy...NO! She wants a boyfriend...yes, a BOYFRIEND!

Present Day Status:
I thought about this one for a do you give a teenage girl a boyfriend, making them happy with your choices and not making her parents mad?

I have an answer...hopefully it will make everyone happy.

But there is still one piece missing...the all-important wrapping of the gift...and I've decided to make a bag.  This bag must be (a) big enough to handle delivering the boyfriend and (b) be something that she'll want to use in the future (schoolbag, overnight bag)...which means it will need to have lots of PINK! Love that girl!

Amy Butler's Cosmo Bag seems to fit all the needs...a large pink/purple floral for the outside, a more-modest pink print for the interior, and a darker brown/pink print for the handles and trim.

Needless to say, I'm a bit intimidated...I've never created a bag before.

One week...keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Army ROTC - Letter Home

Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for all the stuff.  However, we're not allowed to keep the food*.  So the guys and I thank you because we ate it all in like FIVE MINUTES!  
They all enjoyed it, but it's not necessary to send me food anymore. But can you send me information about what's going on on the outside? It's killing me!
I'm doing really well, and the Major in charge of us really likes me.  He says that I'm the best nurse he's seen.
Also, tell Mom thank you for having all her friends write me letters.
Your Daughter

*Large bag of Cheetos Puffs and Pirates Booty, large package of double-stuffed Oreos with a jar of Peanut Butter for dipping,  three packages of turkey jurkey, family-sized bag of strawberry licorice, two packages of Razzles and other assorted goodies.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quilting: Swamp Land in the South

If you believe that one, maybe you'd like to buy some swamp land I have in the South?

Just one of the phrases the Momma used to say when I was young...

And last year I would have said the same thing if you were to tell me I'd be using yellows and grays in a quilt...and like it!

But these are warm yellows and grays...the sort that draw you in, wanting you to caress them...the sort that will make a bed inviting.

Proudly I am stating the Rooftop Modern Facade quilt top is finished (top right), along with two pillowcases (left), and oodles of binding (bottom right).

Just waiting on the King Tut from Superior Threads to arrive so I can start quilting it....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Edgar at Six Months

How time flies when you're having fun!

Edgar is now six months old, weighing in at a whopping 55.4 lbs and averaging ten pounds a month at this point.  He's a big boy and going to be an even bigger Golden Retriever, as my Vet is estimating 80-100lbs.

And he's a redhead...think Duke from the Bush Bean's commercial.

Looking back I'm glad I've captured it all on he wouldn't look at the camera when I picked him out...his first car ride home...his wine crate "carseat"...and getting old enough to enjoy himself in the backyard when days are nice.

I'm glad he's part of the family.....