Carrot-Zucchini Bread, Two Ways

I purchased the CUTEST cake platter at Goodwill{!} for eight bucks last week. So, naturally, I’ve had to have something in it at all times. When the kids and I made the cake, it perfectly displayed it, but then the cake was gone.

I didn’t want to make another sugar-laden treat, so I decided on the best thing I know how to bake: bread.

During the fall and winter months, we have home made pumpkin bread aplenty, but since it’s summer {and I don’t have gobs of pumpkin puree}, carrot zucchini bread sounded light and refreshing.

Now, I wouldn’t consider this recipe necessarily healthy, rather healthier than it’s original. For breads, I usually swap all purpose flour for whole wheat, reduce the sugar by 1/4 and replace one egg for flax seed. That’s a little better, but the cup of oil and cup + of sugar make this a decadent treat to be had sparingly.

| Zucchini Carrot Bread

makes 2 loaves

3 C whole wheat flour

1 TSP cinnamon

1/2 TSP allspice

3 TSP baking powder

3/4 TSP salt

1 C peeled and grated carrots {about 4 large, whole carrots}

1 C zucchini {about 3/4 one large zucchini, not peeled}

1 C canola oil

3 eggs {or sub 1 egg for 1 TBS flax seed + 3 TBS water}

3/4 C white sugar

1/2 C brown sugar

2 TSP vanilla

Grease two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch loaf pans and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix well the first 5 ingredients. In another large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Continue beating while you slowly drizzle in the oil. When the eggs and oil are well mixed, continue beating still, and slowly add the sugars, then vanilla. Fold in the veggies.

Mix in the dry ingredients to the wet until well incorporated. When thoroughly mixed, add half of the contents of the bowl to each loaf pan. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, then check if they’re done by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s finished. If it doesn’t, let it cook another five minutes, then check again.

Carrot Zucchini Bread6

Two Ways

Now, I don’t normally {ever} write recipes on using a food two ways, but I often do it in real life as leftovers are a wonderful thing.

When we ran out of eggs, and I asked Husband to get some, he remarked by saying that the reason we are always out of eggs is because “that’s all you make for breakfast.”  {Let me point out that I have made homemade pancakes, peanut butter toast, and even allowed them to have cereal in the last five days}. Hmph. Well, I’ll show him!

I still required eggs for this, but it was different than the norm fried egg with toast that they supposedly “always” have.

| Carrot Zucchini Bread French Toast

serves 4

4 slices of carrot zucchini bread

2 eggs

1/4 C milk

1 TBS sugar

Butter, as you need

In a shallow dish {or pie pan}, beat the eggs with the milk and sugar. Heat a skillet on medium heat and toss in a tablespoon of butter. As the butter is melting, dip the bread in the egg mixture, letting it soak for a couple minutes, then turn it over and repeat. Place the soggy break in the buttered pan and let cook about 1 minute, or until the side is fully golden brown. Flip and repeat with each slice.

Serve with a pat of butter and, if desired, syrup {this is delicious with pumpkin, raisin, or really, any other bread you like}.

Carrot Zucchini Bread3

Enjoy!

Marriage Mondays: 50’s Housewife

Okay, so first off – if any of you do read – I wanted to apologize for my absence for the last month or so. The boys have been here and I have been too busy to snap photos of any delectable foods I have been making {if I even have – we’ve been eating out… a lot}.

Ever since I was little, I have been enamored by times of the past. It started out as an obsession with ancient Egypt when I was probably 9. As I got a little older, I watched the movie {albeit not historically correct} The Mummy and The Mummy 2 over… and over… and over again.

Then in high school, The Notebook came out. I declare this the downfall for me enjoying the present time. Then, well… let’s not even start on Mad Men…

50s Housewife 2

I have said here about my quest to simplify my life. I have often requested to my husband that we do away with my iPhone – and cell phone altogether. He and I have other means of communicating throughout the day, and we only have text conversations about two times during the work day. On the weekends, I rarely touch my phone {save to scroll down Instagram, which I could live without. But since it’s there, might as well, right?}.

On The Fourth, we went to my grandma’s house, and I asked what she has been up to.

That lady. I do love her.

She said she has been so busy. “I wake up at 5:30 every morning, and set my hair, then do my exercises {I don’t know what these exercises consist of, but she has a mini trampoline in her basement}. Then, I do the housework and ironing. I don’t iron everything, probably 3-5 items {which is funny considering my mom told me yesterday that when she was a kid, my grandmother ironed the sheets. THE SHEETS, people!}. By noon I’m done because I’m exhausted.” I bet!

This conversation made me curious.

I googled things like, “The Perfect 50s Housewife”, or “How to Live Like the 50s” and the things I found were very interesting.

I came upon several blogs that included this genuine guide to a 50’s Housewives day.

Wow, I thought my house cleaning was hard. After being inspired by this blogger and her 50s Housewife Experiment, I decided I’d give it a try. She didn’t do the old fashioned clothes and hair, but because of my affinity with the old ways, you can imagine how many vintage or vintage inspired dresses I have {one of the main reasons for me disliking winter is that the ability to wear dresses significantly decreases}.

Okay, maybe I wouldn't have a matching umbrella...

Okay, maybe I wouldn’t have a matching umbrella…

Unless I am working {which I only do two days a week, which is kind of sort of like being home – so even sometimes if I am working} I wear sweatpants throughout the day to clean or do whatever household tasks may beckon me, and Husband often comes home to a make-up free, sweats-laden wife. How lovely.

A couple days ago, I followed The Guide. Oh. My. Gosh. Being a 50s Housewife really is a job in and of itself. I actually enjoyed the hard work. And making my husband so happy and comfortable after a long day of work. But, my feet KILLED and I set aside the Husband pleasing for a few minutes to ask him to rub my feet after the kids went to bed. I kid you not, I sat down for thirty minutes that day. In total. It was worse than my bank teller days.

Plus, the kids and I made a delicious pink cherry-flavored cake that my grandma would have been proud of. But, making more mess after making my home immaculate was  sort of sadistic.

At the end of the day, when my husband came home and I was clothed in a fit-and-flare dress, with a full face of make up {including pink lipstick} and the whole family enjoying a great dinner {pork chops, roasted root vegetables, a baked potato and split-pea soup}, I saw the pay off of all my hard work. Then, we enjoyed that delicious cake.

I worked so hard – on the house, with the children, to make them all happy {which included picking my battles – I highly suggest that. It saves a lot of stupid arguments}.

I wonder if that’s why marriages lasted much longer back then.

50s Housewife 1

In 1950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 34 per cent of women ages 25-30 were working, and according to the New York Times, 78% of Americans were married. During the 60s, women protested housewifery, and the numbers of working women increased  by almost 4 per cent.

Women protesting the 1969 Miss America Pageant

Women protesting the 1969 Miss America Pageant

Then the whole hippie movement in the 70s increased the percentage of working women again by almost 10 percent compared to the 50s and the number of divorces increased from 1950 to 1975 by over 650 thousand.

Then, between the 1990’s and now, women have made careers their biggest goals.

That’s wonderful for some. I got married at the ripe old age of {barely} 22 and I knew at a young age, I wanted to be a wife and mother {or singer 😉 }. While women {or anyone, for that matter} striving for their dreams is a wonderful thing, I think often times they are only trying to prove something to themselves. We aren’t oppressed anymore, but women are still putting family on hold and starting it out very late in life. I think people who choose not work {even stay at home Dads} should not be so judged by corporate power couples, but rather, everyone should be able to see the positive things about what a person chooses to do with their life.

For me, I’d rather give my rambunctious, high-energy self to the things that really matter to me – the ones I love. Not the money I make. If that means excelling at being a wonderful, vivacious wife and mother and seeing ear-to-ear grins on  my entire families faces, so be it {and having a freakishly clean house is a huge bonus}.

Marriage Mondays: Identity in Marriage

I was talking to one of my best friends about our marriages and how previous issues had molded us so greatly and how those issues have caused negative things. I was married before I met my lovely wife, Savannah, and the events leading up to the end of that marriage completely destroyed my sense of self and who I thought I was. I did not see it at the time, but God was reshaping my identity in Him so that I could better fulfill my role as Savannah’s husband.

It’s important to realize that although you have a very important identity as a couple, you still have your own individual identities as well. I had completely lost mine before and became buried alive under the weight of all my “titles”.

It is by the grace of God everyday that I am any good to my wife and children. By going to God for your identity, He will lead you to your destiny and in turn use you as a man to lead your wife into her destiny and the callings He has for your marriage.

Seek out that truth, and you will be blessed.

Fingerprint

Happy Monday!

-Jason

Marriage Mondays: Guest Post by Kassi Chapman

I’d like to start this with some wise words by  Big Sean, via Mr. Justin Bieber:

But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it
So I know we got issues baby true, true, true
But I’d rather work on this with you
Than to go ahead and start with someone new
As long as you love me

Now, I’m not much of a Belieber, nor did I ever have Bieber Fever, but when I heard that line I was like “Yeah! Preach is Biebs!!” I mean, that is some good stuff right there.

It really is so easy getting caught up in checking out other people’s grass, and many times thinking whatever they’ve got is better than yours. I know I’ve had those thoughts, looking at other people and feeling a tad envious. A couple of “man, it must be nice to be her…” thoughts here and there.

Honestly, we’ve been blessed beyond measure. Two great jobs, a sweet, beautiful baby, a great house, etc. Nonetheless it’s easy to get caught up in what you don’t have, or what someone else has that’s better than your own.

Recently I had a couple of eye openers where I learned that what “she” had wasn’t really as great as I thought. That while I was sitting there thinking their lives must be so easy and great, in reality it wasn’t. In fact I’d count it far less fortunate than my own… and yet I had no idea. It made me realize that you just have to be thankful for what you have… that my own grass is green. Not only that, but it’s my very own shade of green, and try as I might it’ll never be another person’s shade of green, it’ll just be my green. And I think that’s so key to a happy life, and especially a happy marriage.

If you can learn to be content and work with what you have, rather than yearn for bigger or faster or prettier, then you won’t need anything else. You’ll be happy with what you have and if you get more, great. If not, who cares? Because most likely what you have is far better than what a lot of others have. And the bad day you just had? Probably not as bad as a lot of others have had. And that husband of yours? Maybe he does get on your nerves, but he’s all yours.

So next time you get frustrated with what you have… or don’t have… and you just want to give up, take a little tip from the Biebs and just try adding a little water. Maybe you have more of a green thumb than you ever knew.

Kassi

-Kassi Chapman
IG: kassirosechapman
Blog: http://babiesandbrewskies.blogspot.com/

Step Mothering: Babies & Brewskies

My older sister, Kassi, asked me to do a guest post on her little blog called Babies & Brewskies about mothering, and step mothering in particular. So I know it’s a bit late, but she posted it last Thursday, and you should all go and check it out!

Being a step mom is difficult, as I’m sure being a biological mother is, as I will someday also know. Growing up, I always knew my sister Kassi as my sister, not my half-sister. She has a different dad than my younger sister and I do, but having the example of how my dad treated my sister was such a blessing as I now look and see myself stepping into the same role. She called him dad. It was normal…
Read more at my sisters blog, babiesandbrewskies.blogspot.com

Christmas 09 9

PS. Tomorrow will be back to normal blogging.

Enjoy!

Sorry

Sorry I have been pretty much M.I.A. for the past two weeks or so. I feel like I still haven’t been able to catch up on sleep since daylight savings {although grateful for more sunlight}, plus the boys are here {yay!} and I have been working on something that I will hopefully have up by the end of this week/beginning of next week.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos of the adventures we’ve been sharing with the boys!

AJ enjoying some McDonald's time.

AJ enjoying some McDonald’s time.

My St. Patrick's day fit. And new bangs.

My St. Patrick’s day fit. And new bangs.

I never thought McFlurry's could be pretty...

I never thought McFlurry’s could be pretty…

At the St. Patty's Day Parade in downtown Denver.

At the St. Patty’s Day Parade in downtown Denver.

Jacob, being a great brother, and covering AJ's ears when a semi honked by in the parade.

Jacob, being a great brother, and covering AJ’s ears when a semi honked by in the parade.

Oh, you know. A guy on stilts. I think I should volunteer for this job.

Oh, you know. A guy on stilts. I think I should volunteer for this job.

Enjoy!

This Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and this one will be a little different.

Gone are the days of three tiny girls waking each other up, one after the other, followed by their parents and then giggling blissfully down the stairs. Our eyes colliding with the glowing Christmas tree, feeling the relief of the long and patiently awaited reward of being good all year. Decorated with each girls name hung pretty little stockings, and pretty little packages adorned with ribbons and bows tucked underneath that tree.

This is my second Christmas as a wife, and while I love the opportunity to wake up next to my better half on the most jubilant day of the year and the chance to start new traditions, I will always miss the Christmas mornings in my parents home with my sisters.

My older sister, Kassi, her hubby and baby moved to Minnesota in April. This will be the second Christmas our family has spent without her, the first being in 2010 when they moved to Utah. This will be my first Christmas without my little sister, Jo, who will be going out to Minnesota to join them.

I don’t really know what to expect on Tuesday morning. I know it will be a joyful day with Husband and the boys, and seeing their faces as they hurriedly tear open their gifts, but part of me is anticipating a little bit of emptiness. As I write this, tears well up in my eyes thinking of my parents waking up to an empty house, their little girls all grown up. But also, I feel a sense of happiness for them, that they are able to put all their attention on each other, being able to solely focus on the love they have for one another for the first time.

That sort of thing is what Christmas is really all about. Finding the happiest things, regardless of the circumstance, rejoicing on the day that our Savior was born.

Last night, Silent Night came on and all I could picture was Jesus, our King, as an infant. How precious He must have been, how much His mother must have loved him, and how much He humbled himself so that someday we could join Him. Just a baby.

So while there may be a little tinge of sadness in my heart, Christmas is still Christmas, no matter what. If I am rich or poor, happy or sad, alone or surrounded, we celebrate that Jesus was still born on that day, and nothing will ever change that.

I wanted to say a few things that I love about the only ones who know and truly understand how magical those Christmas mornings were growing up.

My Mom. My mom is responsible for providing us the entire experience, the memories, the real feeling that Christmas was magical. The day after thanksgiving, our house always turned into a true winter wonderland, hours of detailed work showed up throughout our home, and none of it went unnoticed. Christmas music was the only thing we listened to for those 4 or so weeks. Baking cookies, watching Santa make his trek round the world here {we have continued this tradition with our boys, and highly recommend it} and Christmas stories galore. Putting that manger scene together is one of my fondest memories. If it wasn’t for this woman, my love for this day would be far less. She has often told me that her daughters are the reason she still felt that Christmas was magical. And she loves us so much – this time of year truly magnified just how much.

My Dad. My Dad is the quiet type, but with few words, somehow you just knew his love for all of us. His sacrifice of working so hard for us, making our Christmases possible and allowing our mom to stay home and raise us the way they thought best. I remember how as a little girl, my dad could make me laugh more than anyone in this whole wide world. His sense of humor is very dry, and even as young as I was, I still understood it. He made us all giggle, that little girl, deep belly, infectious giggle – only he could make us laugh like that.

Kassi. Kassi {who has the cutest little blog here} is 6 years older than me, so growing up, there was a large gap – but if it weren’t for that age gap, I don’t think I would have looked up to her so much. No matter what she did {like chopping off her hair and wearing knee socks with Doc Martens}, I thought everything she did was cool. When I was 5 or 6, she cut off her hair above her shoulders {we all had hair to our waists, mind you}, and I wanted my hair just like hers. My mom did the best to cut as little off as possible, while still convincing me it looked just like Kassi’s. Now, seeing her accomplishments, I have even more of a reason to look up to her; she’s kind, thoughtful, generous, successful and still cool as ever.

Jo. Jo and I are only 16 months apart. We fought like cats and dogs, then turned around and stood up for each other to bullies far older than us. Then, in high school, we shared the same friends, and went almost everywhere together. Jo is a special breed of person. She cares so much for people, and you can see it when she tells you a story that breaks her heart, and she can’t help but cry for them. She went to Youth With a Mission in Australia and New Zealand a few years back, and came back with new glasses to view the world with. Then, she went to Haiti to work in an orphanage. These experiences have made her grow so much, and her wisdom is far beyond her young years.

I love my family, and I will miss having them all together dearly this Christmas. While these memories will never be replaced, I now have a new family to make new memories with and I’m thrilled to see what the future holds for each one us, separately and together.

Born is the King of Israel

This ChristmasThis Christmas 2This Christmas 3This Christmas 1

How to Pack a Lunch

On Saturday, the hubs and I took the kids out to Waterworld, and we had such a blast! Knowing that we would be in near 100 degree weather, walking around, using up all our energy, all day, I knew I needed to pack something extra good for the lunchtime meal.

Little bodies need even more sustainable food than we do, so I was thinking of the most effective {and yummy} way to combine carbohydrates and proteins without over-stuffing their little tummies {because riding on a water roller coaster isn’t so fun if you’re about to ralf}, and quesadillas came to mind. But not your ordinary quesadillas. No – these ones are packed with power foods.

I took 3 tortillas and sprinkled over half of each one the following ingredients:

3 TBSP of Cheddar/Colby Jack Shredded Cheese {contains Calcium for their growing bones, and protein for an energy boost}

2 TBSP of Black Beans {which contain lots of fiber, to keep their little bellies fuller for longer & carbohydrates for long lasting power}

1 TBSP of chopped Red Bell Peppers {contains tons of Vitamin C and antioxidants to kill those germs from that icky water and increase immunity}

1/3 C of shredded chicken breast that I cooked up on the stove with S&P and Olive Oil {contains B Vitamins and protein, both of which provide sustainable energy}

And then fold over the empty half.

I don’t like to microwave quesadillas because they just get soggy, so I quickly threw them on the griddle on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side.

Then to the lunchbox, I added granola bars, a bag of carrots with ranch for dipping, and 100% juice boxes {plus huge bottles of water}.

The kids ate half of their quesadilla, the carrots, their granola bars and juice. This was perfect because by the time we left, they were starving, so they ate the remaining half of the quesadilla.

It’s always a great feeling to be able to provide my family with such nutritious foods, and their attitudes the whole day {no whining or complaining} made the little bit of work in the morning more than worth it.

Enjoy!

*Statistics are approximate and can be calculated on www.recipes.sparkpeople.com

Note: This meal is meant to be high in calories.

 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 496.7
  Total Fat 17.4 g
  Saturated Fat 8.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.1 g
  Cholesterol 76.7 mg
  Sodium 756.3 mg
  Potassium 448.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 49.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
  Sugars 0.0 g
  Protein 34.2 g
  Vitamin A 18.1 %
  Vitamin B-12 9.2 %
  Vitamin B-6 24.9 %
  Vitamin C 30.9 %
  Vitamin D 1.0 %
  Vitamin E 4.7 %
  Calcium 29.1 %
  Copper 15.5 %
  Folate 37.7 %
  Iron 21.7 %
  Magnesium 18.3 %
  Manganese 25.9 %
  Niacin 53.7 %
  Pantothenic Acid     12.3 %
  Phosphorus     45.2 %
  Riboflavin 25.1 %
  Selenium 49.4 %
  Thiamin 35.4 %
  Zinc 16.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Birthday Blues & Potato Wedges

My 23rd birthday was on July 2nd, but it didn’t feel like a birthday at all. I know, I know – the older you get, the less of a big deal it is, but hey – it’s not like I’m 30. Most of my family had left for California the day before, so it just felt… weird.

But thanks to my adoring, and simply perfect spouse, we had a wonderful date night the Saturday before, which we haven’t had in months. We went out for sushi downtown, walked around 16th street, then saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter {don’t laugh – it was amazing}, and ended the night with a tall boy beer down at Euclid Hall, a favorite of ours. This place serves their beers in brown paper baggies.

It still didn’t feel like my birthday, though. I felt left out and forgotten. So after much fuss, we finally got our family together {2 weeks later} and had a delightful BBQ. I felt that I could finally end this year’s birthday chapter.

You remember this recipe? That was one of the many delicious treats we had that night. We also had hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, fresh watermelon, and potato wedges. I LOVE burgers, and there’s nothing quite like french fries to pair with a juicy one. I didn’t want to do normal french fries {of course – do I ever want to do anything normal?}, so I made potato wedges. Similar in taste, but just a little different to shake things up. And they couldn’t be easier to make. Actually easier than normal french fries, but they seem much fancier – always a plus, if you ask me.

What you’ll need:

8-10 Medium Russet Potatoes

1/2 TBSP of Olive Oil

Spray Oil

Italian Seasoning

Paprika

Salt

Pepper

Preheat your oven to 375. Cover a 9X13 ish inch pan in foil {trust me, this is a quick-clean-up life saver}, spray the foil with spray oil, and cut the potatoes into 1 inch ish cubes {exactness really isn’t required}. Situate the potatoes in the dish, trying to make an even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, and sprinkle the seasonings to taste. I like a little more Italian seasoning – I used about 3/4 of a TBSP. Give it a quick toss to coat everything, and pop in the oven for about an hour. After the hour, set your oven on broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the potatoes have a nice, golden crust. Serve alongside a yummy burger, and get back to mingling in your backyard!

Enjoy!

Me, Courtnee and the sister Jo

PS This is one of the dresses I was talking about from the Arc!

Statistics:

*Statistics are approximate and can be calculated on www.recipes.sparkpeople.com

  10 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 170.5
  Total Fat 0.9 g
  Saturated Fat 0.1 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 245.4 mg
  Potassium 911.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 37.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
  Sugars 1.7 g
  Protein 4.3 g
  Vitamin A 0.1 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 31.5 %
  Vitamin C 70.0 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 0.7 %
  Calcium 2.7 %
  Copper 11.6 %
  Folate 8.5 %
  Iron 9.6 %
  Magnesium 12.4 %
  Manganese 16.9 %
  Niacin 11.2 %
  Pantothenic Acid     6.3 %
  Phosphorus     12.2 %
  Riboflavin 4.0 %
  Selenium 0.9 %
  Thiamin 11.4 %
  Zinc 4.1 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.