Saturday, September 17, 2011

T-Shirt bags

My daughter and her friends took their cheer camp shirts and made cute purses/bags.    They did it without me so I can't take you through all the steps but they cut off the sleeves and collar tied a little bow around the straps.  Then cut off the bottom hem and cut into the shirt fringes that they tied in knots.   I thought them quite clever.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harvest Bread

Harvest Time!

I have had both good and bad in the garden this year, some plants growing well, others not so much.  It changes every year and we take what we can get!  But what to do with all that bounty?  So far this summer I have frozen peas and green beans, which because they are earlier have all been used up now, (some of the not so plentiful crops).  I have frozen lots of zucchini and given away lots of zucchini and eaten lots of zucchini and tossed some zucchini.  (I still have more that is probably huge because I haven't ventured to that patch for a week)  We have bottled 15 pints of tomatoes and have more to go this week.  I plan on hot pepper sauce this week too.   Today I made pesto and washed and hung up mint, thai basil, and rosemary to dry.  I still have tons of basil too.  Sadly I have been so busy this summer I have barely used any of it fresh.  Used fresh carrots, (frozen peas) and cantaloupe for dinner tonight.  GALLONS of fresh salsa have been made the past month with ingredients all from the garden. I can barely eat it anymore. 

Can you say Blessed!?

Here is a recipe that is one of my favorites to use this harvest time and all year around since I freeze the zucchini.    It is a recipe I put together myself because I am not a big fan of banana bread plain, or zucchini bread plain, but together they work very well.  This is a big recipe, it makes 4 loaves. I make it in a large bundt pan and two smaller loaf pans.  I feel like it is packed with enough good stuff to balance some of the bad and makes a way better snack for after school than fishy crackers for my kids. It has so many garden goods in it I called it harvest bread.

Nicky's Harvest Bread

1 1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls vanilla
4 eggs
2 Tbls cinnamon
1/4 teas. nutmeg
1/4 teas. cloves
1 teas. salt
1 1/2 teas. baking soda
1/2 teas baking powder
1 cup shredded apples
1 1/2 cup shredded and drained zucchini
2 or 3 bananas
1 cup shredded carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans and walnuts [from mom's garden :) ] )
5 cups flour

Heat oven to 325 deg.

Beat butter and sugars, add vanilla and eggs and beat till incorporated, add cinnamon through baking powder and mix.  Add all veggies and fruit and mix in well.  Mix in flour.  Bake for 1-1/12 hours, until toothpick comes clean.

Here is the tricky part.  Depending on your water content for your veggies, you may need to add more flour,  I find the difference is usually the zucchini, if I use it frozen it is easier to drain a lot of water from it.  Fresh is harder and my batter is usually more watery.  Last time I made it I actually had to put some cups of the batter in a mesh strainer and drain some liquid from it.  It turned out fine as you can see above.
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