Monday, October 31, 2011

The story of my fantastic sister and Nutella Brownies

It's the last day of October.  November is hours away and by the time you are reading this it will be here.  One of the best things about October is my sister's birthday.  It was waaaayy back on October 7th but remember it's still October so I have every right to blog about it.

So as many of you know my sister is quite fantastic.  She is beautiful and fun and always makes me laugh.  We sported Barbie life jackets together, hot stuff.  And in this picture below, Kase is pissed because the waves came up and got her feet all wet.  It's a classic, always makes me laugh.

 I like Kasey for many reasons.  One of these reasons is that she is the very person who introduced me to Nutella.  Yes, I'm obsessed with Nutella.  Kasey taught me all about it and how to eat it on graham crackers.  It's seriously the best snack ever.

So for my little sister's birthday I decided to make her a Nutella cake.  Then things got really busy and my Nutella cake turned into Nutella brownies.  But still, they were really good.  And I made Nutella frosting from heavy whipping cream.  That was a nice little finishing touch.

So Kasey, happy late birthday on the last day of October!  My conscience told me that you are the best sister a girl could have!

By the way, Kasey started a new blog of her own.  You should really check it out.  You can do that here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Corn Maze in St. Louis

This past weekend we were in St. Louis with our family.  There was beautiful weather, garage sales, a corn maze, a little shopping, birthday celebrations, dance parties, sleeping in until noon, and just lots of perfect family time.  

Here are just a few pictures from the weekend.  My opinion is that Kole looks 100x cuter when he is wearing plaid shirts.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Bread

One day my sister brought me this humungous zucchini.  It was beautiful and freshly picked from the garden.  It beheld many possibilities. 

Some of those possibilities came in entertainment form.  We were creative and of course we had to have some fun with this awesome vegetable before we baked it into its breadly form, I mean how often does a vegetable of this proportion come into your life?

 I don’t think breadly is a word, but it should be.  There are lots of foods that should have breadly forms.  And zucchinis are definitely one of them.  So are bananas and chocolate chips.  So we put them all together in one fabulous breadly form. 

My sister is very animated.  She can make her eyes really poppy-outty.  I try to do the same but it’s just not as natural. 

Then we pretended the zucchini was a baby.  We think we’re funny, but this probably just looks strange.  We don’t mind. 

Then we got to work.  We had to cut up the zucchini.  And peel it.

Then we scooped out all the seeds.

Then we shredded it up.  That is hard work.  Definitely not as fun as using the zucchini as a prop.  We would have killed it on Whose Line.  One million points Drew Carey?  Why thank you very much!  

Then we added lots of other good stuff and mixed it all up.  Chocolate chips were included in all that good stuff.  It got poured into pans and baked up. 

Here's what the bread looks like when it's all done.  Pair it with fruit for a delicious and healthy breakfast!  That's what I did.  

2 Ripe Bananas, Mashed
1 C Zucchini, Grated
1 ½ C  Flour
½ C Vegetable Oil
¾ C Sugar
2 T Sour Cream
1 Egg, Beaten
1 t Baking Soda
½ t Baking Powder
1 t Cinnamon
¼ t Nutmeg
¼ t Ground Ginger
1 t Vanilla
½ t Salt
½ C Mini Chocolate Chips, (NOT optional) we added more like 1 Cup

1. Preheat the oven to 350, grease and flour loaf pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, oil, egg, vanilla, and mix. Then another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

3. Next, fold in the grated zucchini and mini chocolate chips until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

4. Bake the bread for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.

5. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it and let it completely cool on a cooling rack.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Home made pumpkin spice latte

This was an experiment.  I thought I'd be thrifty and save about five dollars by making my own pumpkin spice latte.  I transformed my tiny kitchen into a Starbucks.  It was fun, although I kinda wish I had a cool green apron, that would have made it even more fun.  Anyways, this turned out pretty good.  Not exactly the same as Starbucks of course, but definitely worth a try.   

I started by using Starbucks coffee and adding pumpkin pie spice to the grounds

Mix up pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, and cinnamon

Shake it all up and heat until hot and foamy, add vanilla

Mix in coffee and pour foam on the top

I found the recipe from the blog Vanilla and Lace, which is an awesome blog, I'm hooked!