Zucchini Overload

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Every few pins I see people pinning recipes that are a “healthier” alternative to the original one.  Cauliflower pizza dough, quinoa instead of rice, and using applesauce, Greek yogurt and avocados for baking.  The current big craze is using zucchini: zucchini bread, zucchini pizza and bread sticks, zucchini brownies and cookies, etc.  I have not jumped on any of the above bandwagons because I tend to like the real thing (plus I am a really, really picky eater)!  Over the past year, Brad and I have done our best to change many of the ingredients we use and the type of food we eat.  After reading Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (totally recommend!!!),  the MOMs group I am in decided to try clean eating for 10 days.  This means zero processed food…. yep that’s right, no sugar, soda, bread, cereal, etc.  Basically anything not found in its pure form was off limits.  Oh man my husband can contest to this, but I was not a happy camper during the first two days!

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Crock-Pot Pork and Potatoes

So if you can’t tell from the number of crock-pot recipes that I have blogged about, I am all about easy.  I don’t think you can ever have too many recipes.  Today’s blog is not something that I found the exact recipe for on Pinterest, it is a combination of a few recipes all put together.  And let me tell you, this combination is to die for! Absolutely delicious and is a must try.

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Crock-Pot Beef Stroganoff

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to find more and more Crock-Pot recipes so that cooking in this summer heat seems bearable.  Most Crock-Pot recipes are so ridiculously easy and only require a few steps.  Now, that is mine kind of cooking….just throw ingredients into a slow cooker and BAM, it does all the magic for you.  You don’t even need to thaw the meat, brown the meat or keep adjusting the stove to make sure the temperature is right.  This little wonder does it all for you.

Original Pin:

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2008/04/the-ultimate-beef-stroganoff.html

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Crock-pot Chicken

My husband is now back from a work trip back to Cali, which means I can now blog again.  Today’s blog is another yummy recipe!  There are so many of us that get in a routine of the same meals just placed on a loop.  After cooking for my husband for almost 3 years now, I noticed our weekly dinners turning into the same ole’, same ole’.  Actually, I should point out that I really didn’t notice until my husband “nicely” pointed this out.  I am more of a picky eater than my husband so what I make, I have become comfortable eating/making.  Those of you reading this and finding yourself in the same menu routine, try this recipe to bring some new yummy changes to your dinner table.  It doesn’t hurt that it is quick and doesn’t evolve standing over a stove in the middle of summer.

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I am “bananas for you”!

So we are officially back from our vacation and I am just now getting over the “tiredness” of it all.  I don’t know if I am tired because of the traveling or the fact we were in Wine Country.  I feel like because it is Wine Country, you can’t pass up any glass of wine that is offered to you..right?

Picture above was taken at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, CA…..absolutely one of our favs!

Before we left on vacation, it was our first anniversary as a married couple.  For our anniversary, I wanted to get my husband the cupcakes that we had for our wedding.  The thing with these cupcakes is that he HAD to have them! They were considered “his” cupcakes.  We got caught up in all things wedding and he didn’t get to enjoy “his” cupcakes.  I thought this could be a perfect gift for him.  Well chocolate monkey cupcakes were just not in the cards.  I was actually really sad about this until I realized I had the best invention EVER….Pinterest! Sure enough, all I had to do is search chocolate banana cupcakes and WALLAH!

Original Pin:

http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/05/chocolate-banana-cupcakes.html

The Process:

The link above has the recipe that I used for these cupcakes.  I did follow the cupcake recipe down to the coconut milk, which was a scavenger hunt trying to find but I ended up finding it at Woodman’s.  However, I did not exactly follow the frosting recipe.  I made it the way the recipe called for but was not “in love” with the taste.  I found it to be WAY too sugary and wanted more of the buttermilk frosting taste.  I ended up adding more coco powder (about 1 teaspoon), another 1/4 of a banana, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and 1/4 cup of butter.  This helped make the frosting better for my taste.  If you like  frosting to be more sugary, I would follow the recipe.

Pinadvice:

For the garnish, I added dried bananas and of course the monkey foils that I found at Woodman’s.  I ate a lot of batter while I was mixing the ingredients in, so I was only able to make 10 cupcakes and not the 12 that the recipe says.  If you are making these are a bigger group, I would recommended doubling the recipe or even tripling it just to make sure you have enough because these WILL fly  off the table.  It is just my husband and I that were eating these but that didn’t matter, they were gone the next day.  Bye bye Insanity workout results, but totally worth it!  I ended up keeping the cupcakes in the frig because of the butter and banana in the frosting and found them to be EVEN BETTER cold.  I would recommend keeping them cold before serving them to guest.

Of course I couldn’t resist telling my husband…”I am bananas for you”

Happy indulging 🙂