Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life...and brownies!

I was in Port Orchard last weekend visiting my sister and she passed on a brownie recipe - along with the following email from her friend Brianna. I can totally relate! How about you?

Hi fellow mamas,
Do you ever have those days when the amount of beauty bark in house rivals the amount outside? Or you've just done the back-breaking labor of shampooing all of your carpets when it's 90 degrees outside, only to see marionberry footprints in every single room only 24 hours later!? So you yell at the dog and the kid, only to realize that it's your running shoe with the berry embedded in it? That has been my day...

So, to make up for my frustrations towards the littlest in my house, and to make a treat for me during nap time...what better to do than make brownies! I
thought I'd share my favorite healthy (yes, really!) brownie recipe. The secret ingredients fool my family every time!


3 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup spinach puree
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. butter/margarine softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat over to 350. Coat an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt chocolate in double broiler or microwave.
3. In large bowl, combine melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk in egg whites. Stir in flour, baking powder and
5. Pour batter in pan and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Make sure to cool completely in pan before cutting and serving. In you eat them war
m, you will taste the spinach!
My daughter Jenica, who is almost 11 months old, loved these and it was a great way to sneak some pureed veggies into her diet since she's not big on being spoon fed much anymore these days. Even my husband liked them, especially with a dollop of frosting on top! Yes, I know...that kind of takes away from the "healthy" factor a little but at least it still allows me to make one recipe for the family that we can ALL enjoy! If you try these, let me know what you think.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yummy 2 point Zucchini Muffins

It's that time of year again where the zucchini is abundant. Not in my garden, unfortunately, as I somehow managed to end up with three yellow squash plants and no zucchini, but my mother in law has already delivered 4 beauties to me from her garden and a fellow gardening co-worker of mine brought me one from her first vegetable garden this morning. I've already made two batches of zucchini bread and some zucchini chocolate muffins that were recommended by a fellow blogger (which were delicious, by the way). Today's recipe though is an attempt to make something a little bit healthier than the above mentioned treats. I have done Weight Watchers many times in my life, never actually reaching my goal and attaining life time status - so I'm back, hopefully for the last time as a "paying customer" and am only 3 lbs from my goal weight. This recipe makes 12 muffins at 2 points each, so they are nutritious AND delicious!


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves and ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 package instant oatmeal, apple cinnamon flavored


Add Image
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tins lightly with oil or spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and spices, mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix the milk, slightly beaten egg, applesauce, sugar, shredded zucchini, and dried cranberries together. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just barely moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle each muffin with a little bit of the instant oatmeal.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Aprons, Aprons, Everywhere!

I've started reading a couple fun cooking blogs, and stumbled across this idea today on one of the sites. The assignment: Post a picture and a story about your apron on your blog site.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write about the one and only apron that I own. It was a gift from my Aunt Ann; She handmade them for all her nieces and nephews about 10 years ago. Not only are they quite sturdy and very well made, but each one has family recipes sewn right onto the apron. Mine has my Great-Grandma's famous "dirty bread" recipe, along with recipes for peanut brittle, soft pretzels, popcorn balls and liver pate.
Some are in my own handwriting from when I was little, some are in my mother's handwriting and some are in what I believe is my Grandma Casler's handwriting. Hey Cousins! If any of you are reading this I'd love to hear what recipes ended up on your aprons! I have consulted the bread recipe on a number of occasions and attempted the peanut brittle once. I'm not sure if I'll ever be brave enough to try the liver pate... But the point is, every time I put the apron on to cook something I'm reminded of my wonderful family who unfortunately do not live close enough for me to see on a regular basis, but because of my Aunt's thoughtfulness and time so many years ago, I can "wear" a part of them every time I decide to get down and dirty in the kitchen (which has seemed to be happening more and more lately now that I'm more of a stay at home mommy than career woman).

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this story. Here's a picture of the apron...sorry I'm not wearing it. My husband is at work which leaves no one to take the picture except me. Maybe tomorrow I can update this with another photo :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

10 months.... Size 10

Well, it only took me 10 months but I'm finally fitting back into the clothes I wore before I started this great journey into parenthood. Not bad, considering I was pregnant for almost 12 months! Confused??? Well, the first time my husband and I got pregnant we lost the baby. After just 10 weeks in my tummy he went to be with the Lord. Then, to our surprise, just one month later we found out we were pregnant again with our beautiful little Jenica who is now 10 months old. So even though there was a tiny break in between, my body certainly felt like it was pregnant for quite a long time! I must say though, it feels great to be back in shape and be able to wear my cute summer clothes again! And every time I look at my baby girl I know that it was all so worth while!