Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spicy Pineapple Zucchini Bread

I realized that I have Visiting Teaching appointments tonight and most of the ladies on my list are new to me. The thought process here is that I should not go empty handed. Since I had a gargantuan zucchini on the counter still waiting to be used, the decision was simple: zucchini bread it is. Here's a recipe that's different from your average zucchini bread! The oil can be substituted for applesauce if you so desire. I've done it both ways and it's delicious!

Spicy Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Mix well then add:
3 cups flour

Mix well again! Spray pans or muffin cups then shake cinnamon sugar in the bottom. Add the batter to the pan then sprinkle more cinnamon sugar liberally over the top. If baking loaves, bake for approximately one hour, or 25 minutes for muffins. Makes two loaves or about 24 muffins. You know they're done when the top is golden brown. This recipe makes very moist bread because of the pineapple!

We have found Saigon Cinnamon at Costco. It is a much stronger cinnamon. It is the kind Cinnabon uses in their cinnamon rolls! This kind of cinnamon really enhances the flavor of the zucchini bread!

I shaved my bed sheets!

A year or so ago I found high thread count bed sheets for great prices for Matt and I! We'd always wanted to try higher quality bed sheets but I'm too thrifty and won't pay a high price. Living near a Ross store changed that! We love them. For some reason, a higher thread count makes softer sheets, which of course, is cozier.

Over time my calloused feet rubs the threads creating little balls on the sheets, eventually making the sheets scratchy instead of soft. Last night I decided to try something I'd heard about for sweaters with this problem. I took my razor and I shaved my sheets. No shaving creme needed! It worked marvelously! I can hardly believe it was so easy. A few years ago I purchased one of those fancy shavers for sweaters and it did absolutely nothing so I had given up. But using a regular old razor did the trick. I had to clean the fuzz out of the razor every few strokes, but that is no big deal. Sweaters and sweatshirts, watch out, here I come! In the meantime, I really should get a pedicure.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Recycled Christmas

Do you ever feel like you've overdone Christmas' past? When you clean out closets, do find Christmas toys from the previous year that is rarely played with? Besides these usual dilemmas, Matt and I have decided that we need to simplify our lives and spend less money during the holidays. We've also decided we'd like to be able to do Christmas for my sister's family since they have been unemployed much of the year.

Every year about this time I go through the kids rooms and dejunk, taking out all the toys that are broken, incomplete, or no longer played with. Doing so creates space for whatever might arrive Christmas morning! The kids then thank me profusely when they get home from school and realize their rooms are spotless. This year I'm feeling the need to make some changes in the usual procedure.

As I deep clean, I have been finding lots of things that are in excellent condition but are not being used. Often times I find myself thinking that a certain member of the family might enjoy that item. In wanting to keep costs down this Christmas, I'm thinking this might be the way to do it. There will still be plenty of gifts under the tree, nice ones at that, and things that have gone unused will finally be loved and appreciated. Here's an example. Zack bought a fedora (cool hat) off ebay and it's too small for him. Elijah loves the hat but doesn't get to wear it because it is Zack's hat. If Zack were to "recycle" this hat as a gift to Elijah, Eli would be SO excited and the hat would be worn all the time. Another recycle gift idea that has crossed my mind is the snare drum Zack got for Christmas last year. He was so excited about it that he saved his money and bought a drum set, which, of course, already had a snare. So there's an extra snare drum sitting around unused. If Zack were to "recycle" the unused snare drum, one of the little boys would be thrilled to pieces to get it.

Some people may think this regifting idea is rude. Don't worry, you're not likely on the list of people to be receiving "recycled" gifts from us anyway! In the meantime, as we deep clean bedrooms, closets, and garages, there's so much to go around it's almost ridiculous. I'll still have to figure out what to do with the rest of the stuff not being used. If it were spring or summer or early fall, I'd have a HUGE yard sale. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, I'm a day late and a dollar short... as always.