July 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, it's a very long title but such a yummy cookie deserves such recognition!  Our son, Isaac, made these for his 4-H food's project and won Blue and Honor ribbons for them. (Honor ribbon means he was in the running for the Champion ribbon!) As promised here is the recipe!  Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter 

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter, softened 
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. granulated sugar 
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 eggs
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 c. quick oats

Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and oats.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 in. balls. Press down slightly on ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned in a preheated 350 degree oven. Let stand 2 minutes and place on a cooling rack.

Fun idea:  Make Mickey Mouse cookies!  1 1/2 in ball for  face, 3/4-1 inch balls for ears.  Bake and put a cup of chocolate chips in a baggie.  Microwave just a bit and massage bag until they are melted.  Cut a small tip in one corner of the bag.  Decorate your cookies with Mickey's face!  Fun!

July 26, 2011

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

One more zucchini recipe (repost) for your summertime enjoyment!

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 c. oil (again...you can use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sugar
2 ripe and mashed bananas

3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple drained
2 cups grated zucchini (can be peeled or unpeeled)

Beat together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and bananas until well mixed.  Stir in grated zucchini and drained pineapple.  Stir together (I use a whisk) flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir until mixture is well blended.  Pour batter into greased and floured (only grease and flour the bottoms) 5x9 in. loaf pans (makes 2).  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.  (Knife poked in should come out clean.)


July 23, 2011

Zucchini Cake

Here's yet another zucchini recipe (reposted) for you to use up all that green goodness that flows freely from your gardens!

Zucchini Cake

Beat together the following:
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil (I sometimes use 1/2 cup veg. oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)

Mix in another bowl:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Stir in 2 c. shredded zucchini and if you prefer 1/2 c. chopped walnuts.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake 35-40 (or until toothpick comes out clean) in a 350 degree oven.
Cool.  Frost with cream cheese frosting!

July 21, 2011

Fried Zucchini

When arriving at the garden center to pick out our veggie starts early June (Yes, I just said early June...the weather was so icky for weeks that our schedule and the weather didn't cooperate in getting our garden planted any sooner. Everyone else seemed to have the same problem. Safety in numbers!) Anywho...when we got to the garden center we perused the veggie starts. Wouldn't you know they had zucchinis in three packs.  *sigh*  Three?  Really?  I think unless you eat zucchini for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you only need one zucchini plant.  If that!  So...since we have the garden space dear hubby planted all three.  He's so sweet.  He's taken over the garden this summer so this preggo mama doesn't have to deal with it.  I handle the inside cooking and processing of it all, anyway, so I personally think this is fair.  *wink*  Anywho...if you're like us you have five zucchini sitting on your counter ready to be used and five more in the garden ready to be picked and when you mention that you have extra zucchini people roll their eyes and agree that they do, too.  What to do, what to do.  Use it up, baby!  Use it up!  If you don't use it up fresh right away you can shred it and freeze it and make some zucchini yummies in the winter!  Just don't forget about the baggies of shredded zucchini in the freezer only to discover them the following summer when you go to put new bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer.  Not that I would have any experience with that. *wink*

Here's a repost of a yummy way to use up some fresh zucchini!  This fried zucchini is super easy to make and very tasty.  Enjoy!

Fried Zucchini

Mix together in a bowl:
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 T. parmesan cheese (from the can)
2 tsp. salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder

Dip sliced zucchini in 1 mixed egg and dip in the mix.  Fry in 2-4 T. oil.  Cool on a plate with paper towel.  Yummy!

July 20, 2011

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Well my last name's not Sandiego, but I bet you've been wondering where I've been.  We had a week of Vacation Bible School in which I was the meal planner, part server, part cleaner-upper, and part cook.  It plum wore this preggo mama out!  Then...this week we've had 4-H judging!  If you're a Facebook fan you've gotten the low-down on the ribbons that our oldest four carted home.  I haven't shared any photos there, yet. So let's do a little run-down, shall we?

Saturday Isaac (age 8) participated in the Goat Doe Show with his lovely little doeling, Pixie.  

They won Blue, Honor, and Reserve Champion ribbons!

Then on Monday we had Foods judging.  The competition is always tight in the foods division!  Sometimes you'd think their lives depended on it!  Phew!  But...we always have fun and take the judges suggestions to heart to make the projects better next year.

Isaac won Blue and Honor ribbons for his Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 Hannah (age 10) won a Blue ribbon for her Fudge Cake.

Rebekah (age 12) won a Blue ribbon for her Honey Yeast Rolls.

Noah (age 14) won a Blue ribbon for his Cinnamon Sugar Tea Braid.

(I will be sharing their recipes with you soon!  Promise!!!)

Later that afternoon Isaac was judged for his Lego creation.  He won a Blue ribbon for his waterfall with woodland critters and men swimming and canoeing.

The next day, Tuesday, they had Arts & Crafts and Sewing judging.

Hannah and Rebekah won Red ribbons for their hand stitched pillows.  (Snaffoo...the office said the backing could be sewn on by machine as long as the blocks were hand stitched together.  The judge said no.  Ah well...next year.)

Noah won a Red ribbon for his pencil drawing of a cheetah.  He learned some good tips to improve next year's entry. 

Rebekah and Hannah won Blue ribbons for more arts and crafts projects.  Rebekah's was a stitched baby mobile and Hannah's was a set of stitched felt cupcakes in a tin setting on a pot holder she made.

After lunch we set off for the other building for Sewing judging.  It's so funny how the environment was so quiet.  Stiff competition there, too!  Phew!

Hannah won Blue and Reserve Champion ribbons for her sewn tote bag!

Rebekah won Blue and Reserve Champion ribbons for her quilted table runner!

We have one more 4-H item to be judged, but that's not until Fall Fair when Noah shows his prize hen, a Buff Orpington.  I am so proud of our children and all that they've accomplished.  The girls started sewing last fall with a dear friend from church so I am blown away at how well they've done in such a small amount of time!  I can't wait for fall to display Rebekah's wonderful runner on our table! (Assuming she lets me!  LOL!)

This weekend we also had some more wonderful excitement!  My hubby was able to help baptize our two oldest children!  The best thing ever!  They have loved the Lord since they were little. To see them walk with Him and make this commitment to show everyone that they are followers of Christ is such a wonderful step in their lives into adulthood!  Following are a few pictures from the event!  (We had the baptism in an elder's pool.)

 Noah and Rebekah giving their testimonies.

Noah getting baptized.

Rebekah getting baptized.

 Afterward.  (Left to right) Pastor Shaun, Noah, Nathan (their daddy), and Rebekah.

It was a wonderful day!!

July 6, 2011

Watermelon Slushies

I know I said I wouldn't have any new recipes to share any time this month, but this is so quick and easy and delicious that I just *had* to!  Ya'll will forgive me, right?  Isaac, our 9 year old, has a few activities in his 4-H food's workbook to complete before judging in a few weeks.  One of them is this little gem (along with learning a bit about Thailand -- they eat watermelon with their spicy dishes)!  Enjoy this easy, delicious, refreshing beverage!

Photo credit

Watermelon Slushies

6 cups crushed ice
8 cups chunked up seedless watermelon
2 T. sugar or honey

Blend in a blender or food processor until smooth!  Enjoy!  Deeelish!

July 5, 2011

4-H Prep Time!

This week we are busy in the kitchen prepping for 4-H foods judging along with finishing up some arts and crafts and models projects, and the goat show.  We have Vacation Bible School and a few other appointments next week so we're taking this week to get our ducks in a row so that we can be reasonably prepared when judging comes.  (I say "reasonably" because if you know me, you know a lot of times I wait until the last minute to finish up projects that were 95% of the way done two weeks before, that I'm usually 5 minutes late for everything and can never find my flip flops when it's time to head out the door. Maybe that has to do with my flip flops? *wink*)  I can't wait to share pictures and recipes with ya'll.  It'll probably come in August, though.  July is super busy for us.  I shared with my BFF in an e-mail a few days ago all the things we have to do this month and I think I heard her jaw hit the floor (and she lives in another town!).  So "Best of" recipes are still lined up.  Here's a re-post from last year around 4-H time.  Enjoy!  

Bananaberry Muffins

When I found out that my 9 year old daughter would be making muffins for her 4-H project I got the following recipe from my friend Karla over at The Culinary Enthusiast.  These muffins are similar to the Sour Cream Blueberry Bread that my family loves.  Heavenly!

Bananaberry Muffins

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used two medium-sized bananas.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries - rinse and pat dry  (You can use frozen, but rinse them to thaw and then dry with a paper towel.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray or grease muffin tin.
Place butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla in stand mixer.  Mix on low until just combined.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together with a wire whisk in a separate bowl.
Add dry mixture to the wet mixture in the mixer.  Mix on low until just combined.
Fold in blueberries with a wooden spoon or spatula. Reserve some to place on the tops.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve while still warm with butter.
Makes 12 wonderfully delicious muffins.

 Hannah with her muffins and Rebekah with her pretzels. My proud little bakers.  Judging is in a few weeks.  We'll be eating a lot of muffins and pretzels with all of the practice they intend to do!

July 2, 2011


This weekend most will be grilling something, stuffing themselves with watermelon, and devouring some sort of festive dessert.   More than likely ya'll will be watching brilliant colors explode from the sky.  It's the 4th!  Time to celebrate with family and friends the birth of our nation! 

As you celebrate this weekend take time to remember the brave men that founded our country, started this country fresh from tyrannical government, and fought for that freedom.  As you celebrate this weekend take time to remember the brave men and women who have fought and are still fighting to keep our country free.  Thank the Lord for our freedom, our liberty, our heritage. 

"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" -- Ronald Reagan

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