Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Belated Thanksgiving My Peeps!

Hello! HEY. Hi! Holy. Way to drop the ball Kyla. October 1st and promising I wouldn't drop the ball and here it is, 10 days later. Well, better late than never I suppose!!

A unicorn t-shirt! A last Weds surprise from one of my lovely friends!!
Thanksgiving was a wondrous occasion!! I started to eat like a mad woman on Saturday and didn't stop until Monday evening. My eating included: my own baking (gasp* - a rarity when I eat my own creations), Peanut Butter Pie (holy sh*t - Peanut butter, dream whip, chocolate, cream cheese, oreo cookie crust.... heaven), Turkey of course, and all the fixings! I got some good friend and family time in. On Friday, I committed to a run, watching numerous occasions of Breaking Bad and then staying up until 2am baking with the mutant zucchini that was donated to me from Michelle's garden. I made a few different kinds of loaves with it, both turned out well, I think... Well, I know one did anyway! Saturday, I did some Crossfit and then visited with Ceara where we drank a lot of wine, and planted some bulbs. Her husband cooked us dinner and it so was SO GOOD. How lucky is she!? Her husband cooks and cleans and he's a handy man. I think that's the new definition of Triple Threat! Sunday, met with the Aunt, Uncle and cousins where I golfed the hardest course I've ever been on and did a terrible job of it - it was fun nevertheless and great to enjoy the beauty of a late fall! After golf, we played some Monopoly where sh*t got serious. I think families have actually split apart after a game like that, but it was super fun. Monday - TURKEY DAY. We ate and ate and ate and ate. Aunt Robin showed Kirby and I the ins and outs of making homemade buns and how to make a turkey. I know, shocking - I've cooked and baked so many other things and yet, no turkey! I got to cuddle a baby which was AWESOME. She's so friggin' cute. She was born early so she had some catching up to do and she has! She went from this tiny little 5 pound baby to this chubby beautiful 10 pound baby - they change so quickly! :)

Monopoly!!! Yes, the NHL version.

Ok, so that was my weekend in a nutshell. Before I get to the cooking/baking portion of this, I would like to share with you the list of things that I felt very thankful for this Thanksgiving. They start as follows: my stretchy pants - those things seriously have saved me,  and my new career opportunity - learning so so much. I am thankful for my family who is growing bigger and bigger with the addition of Baby Shela, Baby Petey (nickname of Kirby's baby boy in her cute belly) and of course, my new cousin (through marriage) Andy - after the loss we've all experienced in the last number of years, it's so wonderful to watch it grow. The cycle of life is a beautiful thing. I am so thankful for my friends who overwhelm me at times with the love they show me. I am thankful for my good physical health - I am getting stronger and better at Crossfit and making those gains is so incredibly satisfying. Then, of course, there are all the little things to be thankful for - Foodie Penpals, Peanut Butter, Nutella, Sunshine, the changing leaf colors in the fall, and good food. Really, this list could get out of hand, so I'll stop!

And for the creations...........

Coconut, Zucchini Chocolate Loaf, adapted from here
I tried to make it a bit healthier, so you can fatten it up if you like by following the original!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup greek yogurt
3 c. grated zucchini
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pans.
Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Beat eggs, applesauce, nectar, sugar, and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Add the yogurt and beat to combine. Mix in zucchini and coconut.
Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 

I made mini loaves out of it because mini loaves are way cuter than  big loaves. I also own silicone loaf pans which are AMAZING. Buy some. I tried to take pictures but they look like sh*t so just imagine how great these loaves are. This made about 4 - 5 loaves depending on how full you make them. You can make muffins too if you'd prefer.

Bake for about 35 minutes and then let cool and eat them up!!! YUM!
Stuffed Peppers - this one i came up with from different things I've eaten before
2 bell peppers, any color works - cut in half and take out the seeds or core then and set them up right
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of quinoa (I think), cooked
1/2 cup onion
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 medium sized zucchini, diced
a couple handfuls of spinach, chopped up
a whole bunch of baby tomatos, cut in halves
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 - 2 tsp oregano
1 - 2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa as per your directions - you can use couscous or rice if you'd prefer. While that's cooking, cut up your vegetables. Heat a frying pan, and add some cooking oil like olive oil. Throw in your onion and garlic and cook a bit, then throw in the zucchini and cook it until soft. When your quinoa is done, put it into the pan as well and make sure to keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Then add the spinach, tomatos, cheese, and spices. While this is cooking, put your peppers into the oven for about 10 minutes to roast slightly. Take them out, stuff them. Bake for another 10 minutes or so. Then take them out and scarf them down! DELISH. I would also recommend trying portabella mushrooms with this filling. They were really good too! 
I cooked these for Jackie after spin class last night and she gave them a thumbs up. Just make them already!! The pictures never do justice. Speaking of which - Foodgawker app for iPhones - addicting! 

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