“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Five: Recycle, Regift, Reflect

Deb, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five: As we take a breather from the busy weekend of Sunday/Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, it's time to reflect on the past year. It's hard to move out of this holiday season with its delights and celebrations. Here at our home, we've barely finished the eggnog. The tree is still up and our cats delight in knocking off the lower (unbreakable) ornaments. As we are rounding the final turn on the year 2012, I hope you'll play along with these questions. :)
1. What is some "old news" this year that you'd like to repeat for 2013? - I lost a little weight and hope to continue to lose a little more.
2. What "new thing" have you started that you want to keep going in 2013? - I added more cardio to my exercise routine, having found a good number of options on YouTube.
3. What event, experience or gift would you just as soon "Return to Sender"? Maybe it was a disastrous sermon, a congregational kerfuffle, a vacation nightmare, or your own mis-step. It can be funny or sad. - I gained weight last year at an astonishing pace. It worried me, thinking something was wrong. I've determined that it is primarily the result of a lot of stress (belly fat) and not enough cardio exercise. So I'm working on that.
4. Share the brightest bit of joy that was a part of your year. - At the church we are exploring the possibility of helping a church in Africa build a school. This is a very exciting prospect as we prepare to send a group of people to that country to learn more about the project and how we can work with them. We have also had some new families join the church, lots of little kids - always a delight to my heart. And both of my kids are healthy and in college. My daughter is slowing moving from her career as an equestrian into something that will hopefully provide a more stable career for her.
5. Share a picture that says far more than words. (You can use it to illustrate one of the above.) 
Me with two of my brothers, one who had throat cancer.

Love our community garden - we eat so well as a result.
Share a recipe! I'm in the doldrums and need some healthy eating options for my menu planning. Soup, stew, main dish, side dish or a healthy dessert - any and all are welcome!

 Recipe: Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread (made originally from zucchini grown in the garden...)

Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
1/3 cup or more of wheat bran
1 Tablespoon cinnamon ( or more)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil (or peanut)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I didn't have enough yogurt so I included some sour cream)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar, white or brown
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

8 ounces of cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a 9×4 inch loaf pan

In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy; beat in eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine well. Stir in grated zucchini and apple
Fold flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Spoon half of the batter into a greased 9×4 loaf pan. Add a line of cream cheese to make a center filling in the bread. Top with the remaining batter. Bake for approximately 65 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the sides and remove from pan. Cool loaf completely before cutting.

For zucchini bundt cake
Instead of apple add dark chocolate chunks, i used Bliss dark chocolate chopped and use milk instead of yogurt/sour cream/ milk combo. Bake 50+ minutes in a greased bundt cake pan.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at night or as a fabulous accompaniment to morning coffee....and, healthy too!