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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Harvest & Canning

Adam and I decided that we have skipped young adulthood. Today, Saturday, our day was based around harvesting and canning. We are so cool.

Gardening for rainbow carrots is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get!

People's Choice: Ugliest Tomato Ever.

Homemade Salsa Verde!

Farmer nunchucks.

Such a talent.

9 pounds of grapes and we hardly put a dent in them... a lot more jelly making is in our future.

Our delicious finished product!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Zucchini-Apple-Walnut Streusel Muffins

There are four things that inspired me to bake these muffins this morning:
  1. It felt like Fall (so much so that I treated myself to my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season).
  2. After graduating last June, this is my first Fall not going back to school.
  3. Adam comes home from Florida today! He has only been there a few days, but I like him. 
  4. Zucchini were taking over the garden. They are beasts.
The title is a mouthful (just like my mouth is full of these delicious muffins as I type this), but I thought that all of these key ingredients deserved their fair share of love.

* I slightly altered my recipe from: (muffin) and (streusel).
Interested? Here's what you will need:

3 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 cups grated zucchini, 3 cups flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. baking powder, 3 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. nutmeg, 1 t. salt, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional), and 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional).
First, beat the eggs. Then add the oil, applesauce, zucchini, and both sugars. Don't be terrified by this mixture like I was... It turns out wonderfully. Promise.

Now combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
If you have a sifter - sift all of the dry ingredients together. If you're like me and don't - think light, fluffy, sifted thoughts and use a fork. I'm not complaining with the finished product!
After mixing all the wet and dry ingredients together, add the chopped walnuts to the mixture.

This step is optional (maybe for you, but it was totally necessary for me) - I divided the batter evenly between two bowls and added some chocolate chips to one of the bowls. Why do you ask? Because chocolate is awesome... Duh.
Divide the mixture evenly in greased muffin tins - This recipe makes 24 full-sized muffins.
Finally, mix up your streusel! I improvised and used two packs of cinnamon & spice instant oatmeal we had laying around, then added 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, 1 T. flour, and 6 T. cold butter (chopped into pieces). 
Sprinkle the crumbly streusel evenly over all of the muffins, then pop those puppies in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (I use an unbent paper clip).


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Since returning from our honeymoon, this is how things have gone - Adam has been gone a lot (almost 3 weeks of duty, followed by a few days in Florida for some training) and I have been "organizing". This "organizing" has included a whollleeee lot of Netflix, Hulu, baking, and coffee. Before you judge me, I really have done a lot of organizing. It just doesn't always feel like it when more stuff keeps coming in or Adam comes home with all of his enormous Coast Guard bags that practically take up an entire room. Let's just say that it's a work in progress. For those of you who have been asking for pictures, here are a few of my favorite things in our new home:

Did I mention that I married a master gardener? Because I did, and it is awesome.

Oregon Coast Honeymoon

Adam and I were feeling adventurous (and a little cheap) for our honeymoon, so we took a road trip down the Oregon Coast. It was a blast! We camped our way south from Fort Stevens to Florence with one awesome hotel in the middle of our trip to keep us going. It was so nice to just relax and be spontaneous for a week... especially after planning our wedding during my senior year of college. Neither of us remembered a camera, and it appears that a majority of my phone pictures are from when we were eating something ridiculous - Here are our captured highlights!

We didn't dare eat these Twinkies... but they were too impressive not to share. We did however eat all of these:

But look! We were kind of healthy after all! We definitely didn't eat a bunch of Tillamook cheese or beef sticks, too... Never.