Monday, March 31, 2014

Banana Zucchini Bread

So this week I had a friend share a bunch of veggies with me. There was some zucchini in the box and with the hubby getting ready to go out of town, I wanted to make something I could freeze. I had some very very ripe bananas and decided that Banana Zucchini Bread would be perfect! I found a Pineapple Zucchini Bread recipe in one of my Taste of Home cookbooks and decided to modify it to use bananas instead of pineapple. This bread was a hit in our house and it was so easy to make! Despite my Things refusing to eat ANYTHING green... they just gobbled it up and didn't even notice that there was "green stuff" in it.


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 4 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Preheat oven at 350 degrees and grease loaf pans (I used one regular size and 2 minis). I use Pam baking spray with flour and things never stick! 

Mash up bananas with a potato masher and finely shred zucchini using a cheese shredder. I like to shred the zucchini over a paper towel so that it absorbs some of the liquid and it makes it easier to dump in the bowl.

 In a large bowl, combine the eggs, zucchini, bananas, oil, and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the the egg mixture until just mixed. Fold in the nuts. I used macadamia nuts because I like them in banana bread (it's how my Mom always made it), but you can use any chopped nuts.

Pour into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. I started checking the minis at about 40 minutes in case they cooked faster since they are smaller.

Let loaf pans cool down for about 10 minutes before removing bread from pan and transferring to a wire rack.

Slice and serve! I'll be honest, normally I like to spread a little butter on my banana bread. This was so delicious and moist, it didn't even need the butter! I would have liked to have taken a nice final picture on a platter... but with how good this was making the house smell while it baked, my Things pounced on it the minute it cooled down enough to eat. This bread also freezes great, so just pop it into a Ziploc freezer bag, place it in the freezer, and then pull it back out and defrost when you are ready for it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Kiwi Crate

Thing 2 was sick today, so we couldn't go out. Had to do a lot of quiet rest time just watching TV and napping on the couch. Which left for a very understanding but bored big brother. When he asked for the 10th time... "Mommy what are we going to do today?" I decided it was time to bust out our first Kiwi Crate box. We opened it up and went through the different activities. Kiwi Crate is great because they literally give you all the materials you need and they include very clearly written step by step directions with kid friendly illustrations. There were two big activities and then some additional things they could do with coloring, role playing, etc. The theme this month had to do with gardens. We decided to do "My Window Garden" first. It came with everything we needed to make the garden and even has a journal where they can record their observations each week. I also liked that in the instruction book it gave guiding questions to ask and some suggestions for extension activities to do with the extra materials. (The teacher in me was loving this!)

Thing 1 decided to color the inside of the box first and color and cut out the little paper "dolls" that you can use to role play with first.

Getting down to business making his Window Garden. Putting in the soil pellets first.

Adding some water to make the soil pellets expand.

Adding bean and squash seeds

Writing his label stickers for the plant labels

All done and hung in the kitchen window!

Thing 2 decided he was feeling well enough to come do his window garden too.

Water vs No water

All done and hung in the kitchen window with Big Brothers!

Both boys' window gardens hanging in the kitchen window where we get decent sunlight most of the day. (Ignore my streaky windows! lol! Guess I need to clean them again!)

We really liked our first Kiwi Crate activity. The kids had a lot of fun and I like that one of the activities was science based and the other (which we didn't do yet) is art based. It definitely appeals to kids and their varied interests!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thing 3's Announcements

Can't help but share these. We have a wonderful photographer, Kellie Gillis, who took Jackson's newborn pictures and created his birth announcement. We'd worked for months prior to him being born coming up with the idea and I just love how it turned out. And this is just the tip of the iceberg... can't wait to share pictures from his entire newborn shoot!

This is the front side of the card

This is the back side of the card

We just heart this lil guy so much!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Skinny Shrimp and Scallop Scampi

So I woke up this morning and immediately began planning out our day. I had high aspirations of making shredded chicken using my crock pot and stand mixer so I could freeze it. I had seen a recipe posted from one of my favorite blogs and I'd been wanting to try it out. I planned on getting all the bedding stripped and washed, going to the gym, and exploring our new Kiwi Crate project box. For dinner tonight I planned on pulling a meal from the freezer that I'd previously made. All in all it was supposed to be an easy laid back day.

Then I remembered that the boys started swim lessons today and the lessons carry through the rest of the week conveniently during dinner time. So I decided to hold off on the freezer meal so I could do it later this week and instead decided to make dinner tonight. I wanted something easy and quick though and I wanted to use ingredients on hand... because let's be honest... after swim lessons, I did not want to be trekking my three to the grocery store to go shopping. I decided on making shrimp scampi. After scouring my pinterest boards I decided to try out the following recipe with some adaptations: Skinny Shrimp Scampi.

I thought the recipe came out pretty good. I'll definitely make it again. The original recipe called for shallots which I didn't have so I just added an extra clove of garlic. The original recipe also called for 3 Tbsp of white wine.. so I upped the ante a little and just went for a 1/4 cup. What can I say... I like my wine. I didn't have fresh parsley so I just sprinkled some dried parsley on at the end. And I was too lazy to measure out the lemon zest and juice so I just zested my lemon and juiced the lemon right into the pan.

I served this with a side of steamed asparagus and it was a light filling meal. I have to be honest and admit that I knew that Thing 1 and 2 probably wouldn't eat it, so I heated up some spaghetti sauce and mixed in a little shredded chicken (which I did end up having time to make and freeze) for protein and gave them that instead.


  • About half a box of pasta (I used linguine and how much you need depends on how many you are feeding)
  • 1 Tbsp of butter
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb raw shrimp (cleaned and peeled)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • lemon zest
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lb bay scallops
  • optional garnish: Parmesan cheese and parsley (I used dried)


Begin cooking the pasta according to the directions on the package. I always add a little olive oil to my boiling water to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot.

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add shrimp and sprinkle crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper over the shrimp. Cook shrimp until the shrimp is pink on both sides.

Use a zester to zest the lemon directly onto shrimp in pan. Then cut lemon in half and use a juicer to juice the lemon into pan. Add chicken stock, wine, and scallops and stir to combine. The scallops cook even faster than the shrimp so I wait til this step to cook them so they don't get over cooked and rubbery. Cook until the scallops have cooked through and the mixture has cooked down.

Drain pasta and pour pasta into serving dish. Pour mixture over top and add Parmesan cheese and/or parsley.

Serve and enjoy!