Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

So here lately I’ve become a little obsessed about trying new recipes and trying to make them healthier without sacrificing taste…..this is the latest experiment.  I found a recipe that was pretty darn healthy, but I wanted to get rid of the sugar and replace it with honey…..I did….and
it turned out pretty darn fabulous!  This is making me a little braver to try more modifications in
other recipes.

….and yes, the picture of the bread is taken on a Christmas platter…..that’s what I had around
at the time.
Double Chocolate (Whole-Wheat) Banana Bread
 (adapted from this recipe at A Full Measure of Happiness)
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 C canola oil
  • 1/2 C skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste….found it at TJ Maxx)
  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • heaping 1/2 C bittersweet chocolate chips/morsels

Oops…just realized I don’t have the eggs in the picture of the ingredients!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the wet ingredients in your mixer bowl and mix on medium until bananas are mashed.

Add the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, mocha powder, chocolate chips)

and combine until just mixed. Don’t be nervous….this is not a thick batter….kind of thin actually.

Pour the batter into your sprayed/greased bread pan.
Now the best part……lick the bowl….do the raw eggs bother you?  Yeah, me neither….I like living dangerously!

Now, put your bread in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once it’s done, let it cool for a bit and then run a knife around the edge and flip it out onto a platter……

Reviews from Kenny and myself…….
  • moist
  • fudgy
  • good texture
  • flavorful
  • best when warm
  • banana-y tasting
  • super best when warmed up and served with a scoop of ice cream on top!
Things I learned along the way…..
  • when converting a baking recipe that uses sugar and you decide to use honey instead….
  • 1 cup sugar = 3/4 cup honey, also decrease another liquid by about 1/4 cup
  • lower your baking temperature 25 degrees
Learning as I go and sharing it with you.
Don’t be a baby bird and just eat anything that people push at you….

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Yay! Josie has found a home!  This makes me happy…..

I check on the pages of the dogs I feature on my

blog just about every day and it always makes me

smile when one of them has found a home.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What’s Hookin’?!

Summer is coming to an end…..so enjoy those last moments of

slipping into your flip-flops and digging your toes into

the sand.

Get ready for pumpkins and crows……

…..Ghosts and gouls…..

Remember to make time to play in your wool!

(all pictures from my hooking group last night)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Need a good laugh?

Watch this….

I love, Love, LOVE Anderson Cooper….now I

love him even more!

Hear the whole story here…..

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Installation and an Un-recipe

A few weeks back, Kenny installed “The Garden Rugs” in our dining room. 
It was so satisfying to have all 3 of them completed and displayed.
It seems like it took FOREVER to complete them.
I started them HERE….over 2 years ago!

I love how they add a splash of color.

I’m currently working on another hanging technique.

Hope to have that to share with you soon.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about hooking….have not been hooking a lot,
but I have been experimenting with cooking a little bit.
Yesterday I made this summer veggie quiche……

I must say, it was quite delicious and fresh tasting.
Pretty healthy except for the Pillsbury pie crust….hey, I had
them in the freezer and decided I needed to use them up and then
I’m going to be searching for a whole wheat crust to use the next time.
If you have a whole wheat pie crust recipe to share, send it my way!
I didn’t exactly have a recipe for this….I made it up as I went.
I put water, cup-by-cup into my pie plate to see how much volume it held….about 4 cups.
Then I put that water in a mixing bowl so I would have an idea of when I reached
4 cups in volume.  Then I just kept adding ingredients until I reached the 4 cup mark.
“Un-recipe for Summer Veggie Quiche”
1 pie crust
3 eggs
2 egg whites
1 zucchini (grated and then press the water out of it)
Kalamata Olives (pitted…I used about 1/4-1/2 cup…whatever was left in the jar)
garden fresh tomatoes (about 3 small ones coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 cup Queso cheese
1/4 cup chopped spicy oregano from the herb garden
salt and pepper to taste
  • Place pie crust in pie plate and crimp the edges
  • mix all ingredients together
  • pour into pie plate
  • bake at 350 until quiche is no longer wiggly (for me, about 45 minutes)
  • Let sit about 5-10 minutes before serving
Feel free to try it out with whatever veggies you have in YOUR garden!
Try a different type of cheese, a different kind of herb….start with this and
make it your own…I’d be curious to see what you come up with!
This “making it your own” and “using what you have” is a tip I got from Bethenny’s book.
One of those “game changer” books for me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Last night’s dinner

Made by my husband, Kenny…..

stuffed Hatch chiles.

Have I told ya’ll what an excellent cook he is?!

I know a few of the ingredients he used….

goat cheese

queso cheese

cheddar cheese

shredded chicken

red pepper

Whatever was in them made them delicious!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Extreme chocolate zucchini brownies

Okay, so I am SO not down with eating a healthy dessert unless it is downright fabulous…….I mean seriously…..I’d rather have a small piece of something decadent and wonderful than a huge piece of something that is healthy and ho-hum.
Readers, may I introduce you to my new acquaintance…….

I found the recipe via TasteSpotting.  If you haven’t visited that website….go there soon!
It led me to the website “A Dash of Sass” where I found Kate’s recipe…..go to her website to check out her recipe.  I didn’t quite have ALL of the ingredients she used, so my recipe here is the way I made them….I must say that the results were still stellar in my opinion!
If you are craving chocolate, this will not let you down!
I know zucchini in a brownie sounds downright weird, but you really don’t taste it, plus it sneaks in a little veggie!
Extreme Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
2 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle’s)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving 1 inch of the paper hanging over the edge to create handles. Spray paper with cooking spray (I use Mazola pure). Set aside.
- Grate zucchini.
Press with a paper towel or between your hands to remove excess moisture.   Fluff with a fork, set aside.

- In a large bowl, beat together oil, eggs, agave and honey and vanilla.

Add zucchini.

- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Stir to combine.

- Add dry mixture to the wet/zucchini mixture.

Stir to combine.

Add chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.

- Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Remove from pan using parchment paper handles.
I’ve had these warm out of the oven…..delicious!
Cold….really good!
Warmed up in the microwave with a scoop of Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream….divine!

Here’s the nutritional breakdown…..healthy…..yes, healthier than most store bought or brownies from a mix…..remember these are a TREAT! I’m always looking for ways to get away from processed foods…..yes the chocolate chips are processed and I suppose you could leave them out…..but, I’m trying to lean into eating healthy…..
I could have made them sound like they had less calories and made them into 32 servings, but who are we kidding….no one eats a TINY brownie!
Nutrition Facts
16 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Total Fat
14.3 g
Saturated Fat
5.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat
5.4 g
23.1 mg
128.4 mg
91.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate
32.2 g
Dietary Fiber
2.6 g
19.4 g
3.5 g

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hurray for Squint!

YAY! Squint has been adopted……we’ll celebrate a little later tonight or
early tomorrow with some EXTREME chocolate brownies! (New healthy recipe)
I love the story about how Squint got his name…..
He was an owner-surrender at the shelter - the owner got him for hunting "but, he ain’t worth a damn as a huntin' dog". Actually, he is a very loving dog. He got the name Squint because he squints his eyes when you pet him.

Thoughts on Monday