Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Well it was my mums birthday and none of my sisters could come celebrate with her except me. She thought we would probably do some kind of party since it was her “elderly” birthday party. (There is a definite story behind that. When my Grammie turned seventy she wrote in her journal that it was the worst birthday ever because once you turned seventy you were considered “elderly” and she didn’t want to be “elderly”. —But of course I did not tell you guys my mums age! ;))

My sisters said it wasn’t super convenient to come up from Utah, but they would if we did something big. The closest sister couldn’t Friday night, her actual birthday, but maybe Saturday. It just sounded super difficult that weekend. So I decided I would invite some of my mums friends and have a family party later when it was easier to get everyone here.

Well I was planning on it being a surprise, but I couldn’t make that happen! I didn’t know who to invite and how to even find most of them! Finally I decided it would be easier to ask her and let her help. So I did and she loved the idea! It was really fun and they all want to do it again!! I was so glad that she had a good day to celebrate.

The funniest part of the day was the night before we had made a chocolate zucchini  cake. After baking it, I flipped it out onto my pretty cake plate. But the bottom stuck to the pan and only the top fell out! I called mum the next morning and said we needed to make a new one! And Pronto! She said it was fine and just dump the rest on top and put the frosting on. It looked awful! I was sooo embarrassed. I was trying to refuse to take it, but we didn’t have time to make another one…. and it sure tasted delicious anyway! So finally she persuaded me that her friends didn’t mind anyway. Mum also made the joke that the cake fell apart just like her 🙂 Hopefully you have more luck pulling the cake out than I did, but regardless it is one of the best cakes I have ever had!… plus it’s healthy! I sure hope you enjoy! 

Cake

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, buttermilk, or yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa (I prefer dutch as it gives it a deeper rich flavor. But that could also be because I add extra ;))
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional but tasty
  • 3 cups shredded zucchini (about one 10″ zucchini)*
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees f. For about 30 minutes (if in a bundt pan like mine. Less time for square pans or sheet cakes. But just test with a toothpick or your finger.)

Icing

  • 1- 1 1/3cup chocolate chips tips from our bakers.
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) half & half or cream for thicker creamier icing
  • In the microwave or on the stove top, combine 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chips and 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) half & half, heating until the chocolate softens. Stir to melt the chocolate, and spread over the completely cooled cake. Fat-free half & half is fine; as is liquid coffee creamer — try different flavors for a tasty twist.

  • Don’t worry about espresso powder giving this cake any coffee flavor; it’s there strictly to enhance the cake’s deep-dark chocolate taste, which it does admirably.

Place on a Cake Plate for a fancy presentation!

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

pann
Nordic Ware Fleur-de-Lis Nonstick Bundt Pan

 

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Nordicware Nordic Ware Bavaria Bundt Pan
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Nordic Ware Copper Heritage Bundt® Pan

 

 

Apple Pie

Now y’all want some pie huh? Well my mum is famous for her apple pie. She has a thin flakey crust, soft cinnamon apples, and smooth cool vanilla ice cream on the side. Pretty much to die for. So first off your pie crust. At our house it’s illegal to even think of buying a crust. No offense to all those lovely ladies that use them and love them. But they just aren’t homemade or thin enough for us.

Fill 9 inch pie shell with cut apple slices

Filler:

Sprinkle 1 Cup of Sugar over apples in our shell (1-1/4 Cup sugar if apples are less sweet), Reserve part of sugar to sprinkle over the flour.

Sprinkle 1/4 Cup Flour over apples

Put pats of butter on top of apple slices–about 3 tsp. in equal portions across top

Sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon.

Finish with reserved sugar, so flour and cinnamon are equally distributed

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Pie Shell

2 Cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 Cup of good quality oil–Canola oil is my preference

Mix with a pastry blender or in a mixer with a whip

Ice water as needed to roll out dough– add to the flour mixture just until dough sticks together but is flakey.

Mix 1/2 of dough into a ball and place between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll into a circle. Do not knead or over work. It will create a tough dough. Roll the dough as thin as you can and get it large enough to cover the pan and go over the edges a bit. Thin crust makes the best pie!

 

 

Put the first circle of pie dough into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, allowing some dough to hang over the edge. Hint, remove top plastic wrap, lift with bottom plastic wrap, flip into the pie pan, center it and press it down then remove plastic. (If it cracks or breaks just repair by pressing down with your fingers or adding a bit of dough from the side.

Fill the bottom with apples and filling.

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Roll out second ball of dough in the same manner.

Cut vent holes before placing the 2nd circle over top of the apples. (Remove top plastic and make design using a press, or knife.) Vent holes may be decorative–or there may be some patterns for apple pies, another for cherry and yet another for berry pies. This is the pattern of vent holes done by my grandmother and mother.

/ / / / /

\ \ \ \ \ \

/ / / / /

Easy, but effective and still beautiful.

After placing top shell on, seal the edges by pressing the two shells together. You can do any cool or simple design you wish.

 

 

 

Cut the extra edges off the pie.

For extra fancy sparkles sprinkle sugar on the top of the crust.

Tip- For a quick easy way to peel and slice an apple. This is an awesome and fairly cheap tool.

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Buy an apple peeler

Cook for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then turn the temperature down and continue cooking for 60 minutes at 350. This helps get a crispy crust but not mushy apples. You can cover the edges with foil or use those pie pans that go under and around the edges too keep them from burning or going too brown. When juice bubbles (over) it is done😊

Enjoy hot with cold vanilla ice cream or cold for breakfast the next day!

(This post contains affiliate links)

Applesauce

So here’s our secret. Hand peeling, coring, mashing just won’t cut it at this volume. And it’s an investment well worth it if you do very many at all… but it’s called a Victorio strainer. It mushed the apples and separates skin and seed. Amazing you Say??? Pretty much. But that’s not all there is too it.

https://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-Strainer-Sauce-VICTORIO-VKP250/dp/B001I7FP54/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1506836058&sr=1-2&keywords=victorio+strainer

First we wash the apples. Gotta make em all shiny 😉 then we put on a good tv show and cut them all in half! Put them in a large pot with just a bit of water… to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/2 inch. And cook at a medium heat until soft and mushy.

Then let them cool a bit… you don’t want it too hot to burn or cause damage to the strainer. But you don’t want them cold either. They juice better this way. We use a small pan or large ladle and scoop the apples into the strainer, crank the handle, and out comes delicious applesauce! Okay well… it’s still a bit sour. But does taste good!

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We then scoop that back into a pan, add some sugar to taste. Depends on the size of your pot, and the sweetness of your apples. (but 1-2 cups for medium big pots with sweeter apples usually.)

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We then let that cook for a while, so the sugar dissolves, then we put them into jars. (Pro tip- if you want to put it in bottles right after it has been boiling, place your jars in a couple inches of boiling water. While filling them. This makes the jars warm and when you add hot sauce they won’t shatter.) We prefer Ball canning jars and lids. We do small mouth so we can save our wide mouth for peaches and pears.

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Then we use a pressure cooker to cook the jars. You can do seven quarts or ten pints at a time. It’s quick, easy, and safely stores your food for years! 🙂

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(This post contains affiliate links)

Apple Sauce, Apple Pie, Apple Cider!!!

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We have a gazillion apples this year! Ahh like soo so many. There are five apple trees from our old house that we rent out and the renters can’t use that many. Like. Around a thousand pounds from those trees. Then our house has an orchard out back with at least 11 producing trees. Yeah. We have lots of apples.

Well my family has always made applesauce. Homemade home canned applesauce. It’s absolutely delicious. And the best part? Our is usually pink! How fun is it to eat pink applesauce. And we can over 100 quarts almost every other year. (The producing years for the trees)

Applesauce

So here’s our secret. Hand peeling, coring, mashing just won’t cut it at this volume. And it’s an investment well worth it if you do very many at all… but it’s called a Victorio strainer. It mushed the apples and separates skin and seed. Amazing you Say??? Pretty much. But that’s not all there is too it.

https://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-Strainer-Sauce-VICTORIO-VKP250/dp/B001I7FP54/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1506836058&sr=1-2&keywords=victorio+strainer

First we wash the apples. Gotta make em all shiny 😉 then we put on a good tv show and cut them all in half! Put them in a large pot with just a bit of water… to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/2 inch. And cook at a medium heat until soft and mushy.

Then let them cool a bit… you don’t want it too hot to burn or cause damage to the strainer. But you don’t want them cold either. They juice better this way. We use a small pan or large ladle and scoop the apples into the strainer, crank the handle, and out comes delicious applesauce! Okay well… it’s still a bit sour. But does taste good!

img_2533

We then scoop that back into a pan, add some sugar to taste. Depends on the size of your pot, and the sweetness of your apples. (but 1-2 cups for medium big pots with sweeter apples usually.)

img_2536

We then let that cook for a while, so the sugar dissolves, then we put them into jars. (Pro tip- if you want to put it in bottles right after it has been boiling, place your jars in a couple inches of boiling water. While filling them. This makes the jars warm and when you add hot sauce they won’t shatter.) We prefer Ball canning jars and lids. We do small mouth so we can save our wide mouth for peaches and pears.

img_2576

Then we use a pressure cooker to cook the jars. You can do seven quarts or ten pints at a time. It’s quick, easy, and safely stores your food for years! 🙂

1AAE2EEC-4B11-461E-B9E0-F3D1F96EC28A

Apple Pie

Now y’all want some pie huh? Well my mum is famous for her apple pie. She has a thin flakey crust, soft cinnamon apples, and smooth cool vanilla ice cream on the side. Pretty much to die for. So first off your pie crust. At our house it’s illegal to even think of buying a crust. No offense to all those lovely ladies that use them and love them. But they just aren’t homemade or thin enough for us.

Fill 9 inch pie shell with cut apple slices

Filler:

Sprinkle 1 Cup of Sugar over apples in our shell (1-1/4 Cup sugar if apples are less sweet), Reserve part of sugar to sprinkle over the flour.

Sprinkle 1/4 Cup Flour over apples

Put pats of butter on top of apple slices–about 3 tsp. in equal portions across top

Sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon.

Finish with reserved sugar, so flour and cinnamon are equally distributed

39b7dc05-6b72-495c-9a9f-f03979183fb9

Pie Shell

2 Cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 Cup of good quality oil–Canola oil is my preference

Mix with a pastry blender or in a mixer with a whip

Ice water as needed to roll out dough– add to the flour mixture just until dough sticks together but is flakey.

Mix 1/2 of dough into a ball and place between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll into a circle. Do not knead or over work. It will create a tough dough. Roll the dough as thin as you can and get it large enough to cover the pan and go over the edges a bit. Thin crust makes the best pie!

 

 

 

Put the first circle of pie dough into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan, allowing some dough to hang over the edge. Hint, remove top plastic wrap, lift with bottom plastic wrap, flip into the pie pan, center it and press it down then remove plastic. (If it cracks or breaks just repair by pressing down with your fingers or adding a bit of dough from the side.

Fill the bottom with apples and filling.

38a09116-25ae-4b15-8a52-23913be071dc

Roll out second ball of dough in the same manner.

Cut vent holes before placing the 2nd circle over top of the apples. (Remove top plastic and make design using a press, or knife.) Vent holes may be decorative–or there may be some patterns for apple pies, another for cherry and yet another for berry pies. This is the pattern of vent holes done by my grandmother and mother.

/ / / / /

\ \ \ \ \ \

/ / / / /

Easy, but effective and still beautiful.

After placing top shell on, seal the edges by pressing the two shells together. You can do any cool or simple design you wish.

 

 

 

 

Cut the extra edges off the pie.

For extra fancy sparkles sprinkle sugar on the top of the crust.

Tip- For a quick easy way to peel and slice an apple. This is an awesome and fairly cheap tool.

D6BCEAC8-0BF6-4C83-BBC5-80F3ACE39F9A

Buy an apple peeler

Cook for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then turn the temperature down and continue cooking for 60 minutes at 350. This helps get a crispy crust but not mushy apples. You can cover the edges with foil or use those pie pans that go under and around the edges too keep them from burning or going too brown. When juice bubbles (over) it is done😊

Enjoy hot with cold vanilla ice cream or cold for breakfast the next day!

Fresh Pressed Cider

Now this one is a bit more tricky… but if you do do apples on a large scale this might be just for you!

We purchased a cider press. Homemade wood press from Oregon.

First we wash all the apples and make sure there are no bad spots or anything. Then we take them out to the garage and put them through the first step.

The first step is a hopper that chops the apples into small chunks. It chops it into a barrel like thing, lined with a mesh bag. <

nce that is full, slide it down, close the bag and put a top on the barrel. Then you spin the lever down which squeezes the juice out of the chunks. It then runs into a bucket. We then run it through a strainer just to catch any seeds or skins that fall out.

 

 

 

 

We go to a local dairy and buy new milk jugs. We fill each jug till just above the top curve. We then freeze it. No canning here! That cooks it and takes the “fresh” out of the picture.

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hare this because it’s a very cool process. I hope this helps you somehow! Enjoy!

<<<<<<<

 

*This post does include affiliate links*

DIY White Dishes

Having a cupboard full of white dishes seems to be the newest trend. But white dishes happened to be expensive. And you know me… I’m a cheap momma. But I was stricken with the beauty.

My inspiration. I fell in love when I saw this picture.

I’ve always been torn though. Like. My mom had some nice dishes in her cupboard. We used them for Sunday dinners or some special occasion. Then she has really nice old antique dishes on display. We never used those. But they are gorgeous and to this day I go there and want to do something similar. Fortunately for her she inherited those dishes from her grandmother. If I want antique dishes I’d have to go out and find some… expensive. Especially for something I would never use!

It’s kind of the same for these white dishes. I would pay so much for these and hardly ever use them. Maybe. So I decided why not make this into a diy project. I’m pretty sure other people are saying the same thing as me. I mean I know I’m not the only college momma living in an apartment out there!

So I went to a local thrift store. (I will tell you I am sensitive when I do stuff like this because I do believe thrift stores are there to help people in need that can’t afford new and expensive stuff. So when I make trips like this one I try to find stuff people wouldn’t use or at least unrealistically use. But that’s just me. Although technically I guess I am one who can’t afford expensive stuff. But I don’t have a real need for these. Just the need to decorate and do projects 🙂 Haha but back to the point.) I went shopping and as my mum and I went down the isles this time we found a jackpot! There were sooo many perfect things! I could not even believe our luck! We came out with a whole trunk full of junk 😉 and it turned into something absolutely amazing.

AMAZING!!! Right? I’m right. I know I am.

So after our trip to the thrift store and a hardware store for some spray paint we went home and washed everything. (Please pretty please do this step! Not saying people are gross but these came from other people’s homes. You have no idea what they are dirty with. And besides you don’t want to paint over dust or something and have the texture turn out bad.)

After letting it dry super well I went out and painted it.

There are some definite tricks and tips for spray painting. When I first started spray painting I had no clue what I was doing and ruined a few things. My husband fortunately gave me a few tips and so I did much better and eventually am finding out my own tips as I go.

So first off. Where. Spray paint has a lot of fumes. So no doing it in the house! The best is outside. If you line in idaho like me and 3/4 of the year is winter your garage might have to do. Just make sure you have good ventilation and aren’t breathing it for too long. P. S. Also doing it where dust or leaves can’t blow onto wet paint is good.

Second tip. Paint on cardboard or paper. Someplace that won’t matter when it is the same color as your dishes when you are done.

Third. How to spray. This might be self explanatory or instinctual to some of you but definitely not me. So here goes.

The proper way. To spray spray paint is in short quick bursts. Over and over. And from a little ways away. This helps it spread evenly and not run. If you are too close it goes on thick. If you do continuous long streaks it goes on think. The secret is actually not getting good coverage the first time. Or even the second. It takes several quick layers to make a smooth fine finish. Which is especially important on dishes!

Fourth. Start on the bottom!!! I know how badly you want to see this dish painted and pretty but if you start from the top then flip it over you will get pieces of paint sticking to the cardboard or getting smudged. I this happens to the top it’s hard to fix. But if it happens to the bottom it hardly matters. So start on bottom. Now sometimes I know it’s easy to say there is no reason to paint it from the bottom I can get it all from the top. I’ve tried it. I usually always find some little curve or niche that didn’t get painted will. Unless you have this piece raised and area around it to spray from below it works out much better to do a quick layer from the the bottom. Let it dry. Then flip it and paint again.

Fifth. Ahh this is the hardest part for me. Patience. Patience is sooo key when spray painting. I you touch it when it is still wet or tacky you can leave behind fingerprints, smudges, or even remove the paint. If it happens you can try and paint over it and cover it. But it is difficult and doesn’t always work.

My best advice is to break it up. Spray a couple layers on a couple pieces and then go unload your dishwasher. Come back in ten minutes. Turn it around spray a couple more thin coats. Go fold a batch of laundry…. if you are anything like me there is a never ending pile anyway, you might as well do something while you wait. Then go back. Paint another part or if you have waited long enough flip it over. Do it again. There’s tons of chores you can get done while waiting. It’s a win win for both of you! Dry times may depend on heat, humidity, a breeze, so judge wisely.

When you are done painting, if you can leave it where it is for a couple hours it’s best. If you must move it be very careful, put it someplace safe, then let them sit for a few hours. If you are going to stack anything, have any of it touch anything I recommend waiting a good four or five hours at least. (I left mine overnight cause I am stacking some of the pieces) it depends on what you are doing with them, and how many coats it took to cover them.

So now you have gone through the tedious process of making these pieces beautiful. Your fine! You can put them on a shelf, set pretend table settings with them. You look like a million bucks with these dishes. But really you spent the minimum!

Warning- unless you seal these with a special coating- do not serve food or eat off of these! They are decoration only!

Choosing a paint.

I personally don’t love white. I know it’s all the rage right now, but it feels soo flat, stark, and uninviting to me. I prefer a cream or off white. I went with ivory so if I have dishes that are white I don’t have to paint them, and they will still look pretty with the rest. This is a benefit for two reasons. 1. Less paint used = less paint to buy = more money saved = spend it on something else you want! And 2. You can eat out of these dishes!

I went with ACE brand ivory satin (satin so it’s not super duper shiny, but not completely matte and flat.) make sure the paint you choose works on glass and ceramic. If not it won’t stick to your dishes. If you want these to look really good be careful buying off brand paints. I know and trust ACE so I knew that was an okay choice. But I don’t do that with many other kinds. Another tip. Choose one that is easily available so you can add on to your collection as you go. You won’t have to find another paint or repaint all your pieces.

That’s it! That’s how I made my collection of white dishes… the cheap college momma way!

I will have a follow up blog about arranging my dishes on a shelf so stay tuned for that 😉 coming out soon.

Thanks y’all!

DIY Copper

So are you all falling in love with copper like I am??? Man it’s become soo big and I’m so excited!

cop mug

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I love how it makes everything so country. But I’m a poor broke college mama and all that real copper is expensive. So what was my solution? DIY stuff! My first instinct was spray paint. (My new most favorite thing to make anything look good!) And luckily they sell spray paint in every color under the moon so it worked. The next question was what to paint. So I went to a local thrift store and just walked down the isles and found anything I could. This was pretty easy to do since I knew everything would look good in copper. But there was a few things I was looking for specifically.

1. A pitcher- like for water… but not to actually use.

2. A pumpkin trick or treat bucket. Or any other pumpkins as well. 🙂

3. An animal of some kind- toy horse or ceramic figurine.

So wandering around that place… well. It was a gold mine! I found two pitchers, one really fancy one… I got sooo excited for this one!

I also found a ceramic rooster and duck!

Ahh how farm house is that! And I found a very creepy pumpkin.

It was awesome! So with all these treasures, and a can of spray paint, I went to work. I washed all of them, dried them well, and then went and sprayed them.

They turned out amazing! I think they look quite realistic too. I mean they don’t look like the rosey copper that you see a lot, but it looks like real copper. And that’s saying a lot considering it is spray paint! But what I love most is the accent it puts in my house. Copper just adds a depth that makes everything look so great and quite farm house style. And the best thing about it… it was definitely more affordable than real copper!

Are you looking for some accents in your house? Wanna try some copper? Let me know how it goes!

*This post does include affiliate links*

pots
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Fall Decorations Made Quick!

Fall is here!

Guys. I love decorating for fall! The colors, the leaves, the pumpkins! Ahhhh the smell! Does anyone else just love the smell of fall? There are so many good smells! Cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin! Ah anyway. So I might be cheating and starting a little early… but technically school is in session so it should be fine…. but I decorated for fall! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want summer to be over! I’m not ready to go back to school…. I still love warm days outside! But I just needed to add a little orange and red to my house! I was in a bind where I wanted to change from my summer decorations, but didn’t know what else to put up so I settled on fall.

Now I’m not quite ready for all my fall decorating crafts! I just wanted to add a bit of fall to my life! So I’ll just start with a few quick decorating ideas!

So to start with, I gathered up a few things that aren’t technically fall. This definitely helps me save on money! I have a pioneer woman pitcher, a real legit lantern (which I have actually used by the way! We have power outages sometimes and it’s pretty cool to have an old style lantern! Bought it on…. surprise… amazon! But anyway…) a hollow lantern (my favorite cause it works for every holiday practically!) my wooden tray, and a vase. I actually made that vase in my ceramics class. It was supposed to be a snowman, so I was going to make a top. But I ran out of time so it kind of failed… but it works great for fall instead!

I also have some fall greenery, random pumpkins, signs, ribbon, red berries (which by the way are a great investment cause you can use them for Christmas too!)

1. I arranged my pumpkins in my tray with my pre arranged little fall arrangements. That’s a no fail right there! 😉

2. I took some greenery and pumpkins and filled my lantern. This took a few tries to make it look really good… but you can do it!! I will say I cut up the garland so it filled better.

3. That pioneer woman pitcher… beautiful and I use it for lots of seasons! I took a fall leaf bunch, the two stems of red berries and arranged them in the pitcher. Super simple, super easy, super beautiful! Plus the turquoise pumpkin I have looks perfect with it!

4. Wheat. Wheat is my go to for fall!!! Maybe that’s cause I’m a daughter of a farmer…. but hey it works! If you have access it’s a good beautiful accent.

5. Candles make a fall statement. I like to put them in with lots of my centerpieces!

6. My fall blocks. I took these, a fall vase and greenery and flowers, pumpkins, and my lantern and did a simple display on my hutch. Makes it so nice to look at!

7. And tuck a few signs here and there on shelves, walls, and tables and you’ll have fall creeping into your home as well!

Andrus Famous Cilantro Lime Chicken!

Okay so maybe its really only famous in our family… but dang. It should be famous! This was one of my not so great pinterest fails. To start with at least. I saw it on pinterest and it looked sooo good!

So I followed the recipe and… eh it wasn’t great. Not bad but not amazing.

So I kinda forgot about it for a while. But then we had the ingredients and my husband suggested it again. Well somehow when he touches the spices everything tastes amazing. And this time he helped me make it! Well it turned out amazing! It tasted soo good I was literally licking the plate. No Joke. So… it has become a favorite and we have it at least twice a month. We made it for our family reunion, make it for our friends, and we always have at least one bag of marinating meat in our freezer so we can just pull it out.

So what we do is take chicken breasts, marinate them with some garlic, onion powder, a bit of taco seasoning, chili pepper flakes, chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil. and a bit of my secret ingredient bourbon seasoning.

Add a bit of flour to get a nice crispy outside edge. (If I marinate it in the freezer I usually don’t flour it until I am ready to cook it.) When it comes to cooking it, I use a semi deep frying method. First. I use coconut oil. Heavens yes! This makes a huge huge difference! Coconut oil makes it crispier. I use unflavored coconut oil.

Anyway, I want it to cover the chicken about half way. That way it gets a nice good fry, but doesn’t leave too much extra oil. This is definitely a choice you can make cause I use the extra oil to fry some quinoa to go with it. Long story short… Cut up the chicken into smaller strips (we like it smaller cause it makes it more crispier.. yes good grammar 🙂

So here’s a basic recipe…. but to be honest I just kinda dump stuff in. Remember if I follow a recipe it doesn’t work out. Just make it taste great!!!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

1 package Chicken breasts

1 clove fresh garlic minced.

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp taco seasoning

½ tsp chili pepper flakes

¼ tsp bourbon seasoning

1 bunch cilantro, chopped. Save ½ for topping after cooked.

Limes – juice for the marinade and for the topping.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

Coconut oil– enough to cover your pan about ½ inch.

After frying the chicken top it with lime juice and cilantro. Serve with a side of rice or quinoa. Or fried potatoes… since we are a potato farming family.

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

Brown Butter Syrup and German Pancakes

Have you ever tasted brown butter? Ahh it’s my most favorite thing ever! I could lick the pan… almost literally. Well it’s like my favorite so I make lots of things with it. And I thought I might share!

To start with today… since Kyrel and I don’t exactly love breakfast… I know I know. Ironic since I have chickens for eggs. When anyone asks me what my favorite way to eat eggs is, my reply is “In Cake!” haha but the point is, we don’t eat much for breakfast…. Most Sundays, we make German Pancakes! The one breakfast we like. Well I pretty much have the recipe memorized.

GERMAN PANCAKES

6 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt

mix together.

Personally, I use a blender to mix. When you mix it a little at a time in increments, it gives it a great fluffy texture… haha plus its easy to clean up…. And ya’ll know I like easy clean up! Just stick some water and soap in it and vuawala!

But that’s beside the point. Anyway… I can never remember the temperature of the oven. Which by the way is 400 degrees. So one Sunday I looked up a recipe on… yep. Pinterest. And this recipe also included a butter syrup. Which looked really yummy. And I was in the mood for a new pinterest adventure.

So I made it. But as I was sitting there waiting for the butter to melt I realized what would make it that much more delicious. I had just made brown butter cookies the other week so browned butter was on the mind I guess.

So I browned the ½ cup of butter. This is a process that takes a while. The best way to ensure browned and not burnt is low heat. I turn it on and just leave it to cook for a while. After a while tiny bubbles will start to form and you’ll see brown flakes rising to the surface. This is when you’ll want to watch it carefully as it can easily burn.

*By the way, start with a larger than you would think pan. It bubbles up lots at the end of the recipe. (And I am not joking about this…. at least twice as big)

Once I let it brown for a few minutes I add 1 cup of sugar… lets just face it right now. Nothing this delicious is healthy! Well not true I guess, but for today it is! Then you add ½ cup of buttermilk. Now lets pause and be honest. Am I ever prepared enough to have buttermilk just sitting in the fridge waiting for me to make this???? Good thing there is some saving grace for folks like me! Take half a cup of regular milk, and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. (vinegar also works) Let that sit for 15-20 minutes at least. This helps it curdle like buttermilk. (Plus its cheaper and you don’t get left overs with no idea what to do with them! Although my mother has an incredible buttermilk chocolate cake but that’s a story for another day.)

After adding the milk, bring it to a boil for one minute, then simmer for 7-10 minutes stirring occassionally. This helps incorporate all that yumminess and lets the sugar dissolve. Then for the final touches! Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. The soda will make it foam up. My favorite is to eat this while it is hot. But just store the leftovers in the fridge, and throw it in the microwave for a few seconds next time you want to use it!

Guys. This is truly delicious. I used to like nothing else except maple syrup on my german pancakes. I thought it would ruin them. Now I can’t imagine having anything but this! And it pairs beautifully with fruit!

German Pancakes

400 degrees

6 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt

3 Tbs butter (pan)

First blend the eggs and make them fluffy. Then in parts add flour and milk, mix. Then more flour and milk, and mix. Doing them in increments help your pancakes be fluffy!

 

Syrup

½ cup butter….preferably browned

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of baking soda

To start with, put the pan and about 3 tablespoons butter in the oven to melt. If you let it brown it makes it taste that much more amazing. 😉

While that melts go ahead and mix the eggs, milk, flour, and salt in a blender until well mixed and slightly foamy.

Then when the oven is hot and the butter is all melted pour the egg mixture into hot pan. It will start cooking so pour carefully but quickly.

As it cooks it’ll puff up gorgeously! But careful if you open the oven. It falls easily.

Cook for about 20 minutes

I

Here is a finished pancake.

Add syrup- maple or my special butter syrupy goodness!

Enjoy! And thank you!

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Entryway Organization!

So, no matter how clean peoples houses are…. I’m pretty sure almost everyone has that one spot in their house that is the junk spot. Or if you are anything like me you have a husband and there are lots of junk spots! Or as I like to call them… his desk. His shelf. His work bench. And his garage. Well the other day I got sick of my house looking like “his house” so I cleaned everything but his gun desk. Mostly because that is just way beyond help. I mean I gave him this whole desk… in the house! And still his projects end up on my table! Like what’s a desk for then? Haha oh well whatever.

The point is… we have a couple junk spots and I was sick of looking at them. Especially our entry way. I’m sure this isn’t just a junk spot for my family. But I feel that I have more than some people. For example when Kyrel gets home, he is usually so dirty I make him take his clothes off there. I do have a laundry basket for him. But that still means he empties his pockets and stuff doesn’t make it past the entryway bench till I put it away the next day. So I put a shelf there for him with buckets for things like tools, coins, sunglasses, gloves… stuff like that. Then I had a cubby for dog stuff, and one for my work stuff at Applebees, and when I didn’t know where to put something they went in a cubby. Well eventually the shelf started looking worse. Until it got to this point. I am rather embarrassed to even post this picture, but it wasn’t the top of my priority list with my new little baby. Until one day I lost it. I had shown some one my house, and all I could noticed was that awful shelf and I didn’t want anyone else to see it.

Soooo instead of anyone seeing it in my house, I’m going to show you all here! Now no judgments… It’s not all my fault 😉

That is what I had to look at.

So to fix it, I went to the almighty dollar store! I found square boxes that fit just perfectly into my cubby, unlike the old bad boxes that were too small or big. (Now I did only buy a couple until I knew for sure that they fit. That’s just a little pro tip to save money)

When they fit perfectly, I sprayed them with silver spray paint. I went through a can and a half, but the insides are not amazing, because I knew they would just get scratched off with his tools. I get them well enough that you can see in without being suspicious of them being red tho.

After several coats of silver, I did a top clear coat. Just hoping it will help it last longer since these will get quite a bit of wear and tear. (Thank you dear hubby!) Then I painted a square of black chalk paint. (I did just eyeball it within the label square, there

While I let that dry, I pulled everything off the shelf and cleaned them. I put the new boxes in, then sorted everything into them.

Doesn’t it look sooo nice! Ahh I love it! And it feels so good to have it organized and nice.