Bread Machine Zucchini Bread

Typically I try NOT to create my own recipes.  I love to cook and bake and can follow a recipe...but creativity in the kitchen is not really my strong point.  My husband has graciously endured through numerous of my Oh-I-Made-It-Up dinners, and thanks to pinterest, hasn't had to do that in a long time.  BUT, I was on a quest for a Zucchini bread that was sweet but didn't have as much sugar and oil as the traditional recipes tend to have.  I searched around on pinterest but never found anything I was completely happy with, so I decided to just invent my own. (insert raised eyebrows here)

I was surprised that it turned out edible and actually tasty.  My daughter loves it, and I don't mind giving it to her since it is not loaded with sugar!  I enjoyed it this morning as toast (I KNOW, I KNOW...how is THAT low-carb?!?), and I was thinking it would make some really good french toast...

Here is it fresh out of the oven...

And here's the recipe:

2 cups shredded zucchini (water squeezed out if previously frozen like mine was)
1 1/4 c. warm water
1 egg
1/3 c. maple syrup
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. butter, softened
1 1/2 T. dry milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp. yeast (or 1 pkg)

Place ingredients in bread machine in order listed.  Set on dough cycle.  When finished, knead briefly and shape into loaf (or loaves).  At this point, it was a bit dough-y so I will probably add a little more flour next time...for this time, I just kneaded in a little extra.  Place in loaf pans or on a baking sheet or stone and cover with a towel.  Allow to rise 45 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.

Enjoy fresh out of the oven with butter...

I'm open to suggestions for improving this recipe, so if you try it and find something that makes it even better, please be sure to let me know! 



hodge podge - a confused mixture

lack of pictures -- this post is going to be boringly lacking pictures...my apologies for that...see the next paragraph for an explanation...

technology -- I've had a rough week with regard to technology... my "smart" phone stopped syncing my e-mail and I was lost.  Lost, I tell you.  It's amazing what we get used to.  I was, however, more productive throughout the day...  I tried a bunch of things, but short of resetting my phone back to factory settings, I couldn't figure out how to get it to work...and then one day I did...but I have no clue what I did.  My camera (which died on Christmas morning due to a faulty battery) started working again, but then promptly stopped again the next day...thus, no pictures for awhile except for from my phone, which are phone pictures.  Ew.  And, my laptop has a problem with the monitor and until I get that fixed, my only computer access is our desktop, which works, but runs VERY slowly...I don't have a lot of patience for slow technology...or maybe you noticed?

reading -- I've updated my goodreads account and hope to use that regularly for tracking and organizing my reading progress.  I got my husband hooked on it too. :)  I also have a reading page here at the top of my blog, which I will keep updated as well.  I've taken a challenge to read 50 books in 2014.  I always read more in the first 4-5 months of the year and then drastically taper off, so we'll see how it goes.  A lot of things I am reading now are only in print as ebooks, and many of them are shorter than average...I'm not sure how that affects my 50 book goal...

health -- I've also decided to try to keep a better pulse on my health journey, so I wrote a Health page at the top of the blog.  My goal is to update this at least monthly, possibly even more frequently.  The blog provides some much needed accountability.

schooling -- We're back into pre-school full-swing (two days a week) and we are both glad for the structure once again.  Reading is the big thing and I'm constantly amazed at how quickly this girl learns stuff!  Our days of leaving out private notes to one another or spelling out things in her presence have pretty much come to an end.   I am starting to think more seriously about plans for next year as we officially begin Kindergarten! (Surely this is not possible???)

balance -- This word keeps coming up (if only in my mind).  We are presented with SO many opportunities for service and fellowship, and it is hard to know which ones to be a part of and which ones to say no to.  I learned this past year that we need down-time as a family to just BE a family at HOME.  It is essential.  We are a family of do-ers and so down-time doesn't come naturally and I (and probably my husband) struggle with feeling guilty if we have time for downtime (whether personal or family), but downtime in moderation is essential for a healthy life (IMO), so we are learning to keep time open for that.  

date night -- We are quickly approaching our 10th wedding anniversary this spring, and I can't believe it has taken us THIS long to plan a regular WEEKLY date night.  We've always gone out on dates or planned special nights at home, but (especially since becoming parents) it is not a regular thing.  Marriage seems to be a journey of hills and valleys, and while trudging through a particularly dry valley, we decided that it would be good to set aside one night a week where we put away the phones and the computers, and after C is in bed, we just focus on being together.  Often we drink wine or coffee and catch up on things we haven't had a chance to discuss, go over calendar stuff, and use whatever time is left to play a game, watch a movie, or just chat.  It is nothing fancy, and it doesn't cost us any money.  But it has been SO. GOOD.  Just having that weekly connection set aside has really helped us to communicate better and to feel more connected as a couple.  I strongly encourage any married couple to try to do this...don't wait 10 years like we did!  And, be careful to guard this time -- there will always be something else to take it away...saying no is difficult, but so worth it.

dancing -- For the second semester, I am involved in a weekly ladies dance exercise class and loving it!  It is great fellowship and great exercise.  We are dancing to songs like The Chattanooga Choo-Choo and Randy Travis's Cowboy Boogie, and so many others.  It is great stress-relief -- what's not to love, music, dancing, and fellowship with my gal-pals?!?

future blogging -- I've struggled with what to post about lately and some of my struggle comes from not taking the time to write the posts (especially on a slow computer), not having pictures to make the posts interesting, and just not having a lot of inspiration for what to write about.  I've never wanted this blog to be a forced thing or something that I felt like I had to do, but always something that I enjoyed, a creative outlet, and a way to encourage others.  Some ideas I've had are writing out C's birth-story (we had a home-birth and I don't think I've ever written out the story), blogging my weekly meal-plans, another day in the life post (you can read my friend, Clara's, post here -- she's a home-schooling mom of 5, and let's just say I was tired from her day by 9am!), and some book reviews (I tried to sign up for a site to get free books, but you have to post weekly and prove that you have at least 30 followers...neither of which I currently do)...  If you have things you'd like me to blog about, please let me know.

today -- I've been catching up on computer stuff as I haven't really sat down at the computer since Friday night, and it's eaten up entirely too much of my time.  I'm always ambitious on Mondays for what I will accomplish, and usually my to-do list for Monday ends up getting spread out over the week because there's no way I could get it all done.  Here's today's list to give you an idea (it will be amazing if it all gets done this week):
  • Laundry/Ironing (I do laundry twice a week, usually)
  • Work on a grocery list/coupons
  • Quick cleaning of the house
  • Make a menu for this week
  • Cut up cantaloupe
  • Make bread
  • Make dinner (stuffed shells, salad, breadsticks)
  • Make sourdough starter
  • Make granola
  • Make muffins
  • Make hummus
  • Make cookies?
  • Valentine's decorations/planning
  • Organize toys/books/movies
  • Begin a yarn project
  • Cut flashcards & look through magazines
  • Catch up on e-mail and fb messages from weekend
  • Update church e-mail listing for prayer chain
  • Blog post (check!)
  • Register for Home Depot workshop on Saturday
  • Update netflix queue
  • Bible study & reading
  • House straight/beds made/dishes, etc.
  • Bath/floss teeth for C
  • Spend time with daughter/husband
Sure, no problem...like I said -- I always feel ambitious on Mondays...


Top Ten in 2013...

It is always interesting to me to look back over a year of blogging and to see, not only what has happened, but also what my readers find most interesting.  Most of my readers are people that know me personally, which may or may not have something to do with what interests them/you.  I would love to spend a lot of time filling in on this post, but a sink full of dirty breakfast dishes, baskets full of dirty laundry, a house desperately needing to be cleaned, Christmas decorations to be boxed up, Christmas gifts to be put away, grocery list to be made, and many more things are all awaiting my attention.  

Happy 2014 to all of you!  I love new beginnings and as I taste more and more of the Lord's goodness, grace, and mercy, I am finding myself even more grateful for another year to serve Him and to enjoy my precious family and friends.

Now...on to the Top Ten Posts in 2013...

And, the number one post in 2013....


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