Zucchini Bread {Dairy Free}

Zucchini Bread

During the snow day on Thursday, the kids and I made a super easy zucchini bread recipe. You can’t mess up this recipe, I have let the little kids over stir the batter and it still comes out perfect. Everyone in my house loves this recipe, so it is a very good thing that this recipe makes 2 loaves of bread. We ate both loaves that we made in 1 day, oh my gosh.

Zucchini Bread
It’s always fun to bake with my kids, they love to help. My 3 year old helped grate the zucchini and my 2 year old helped pour the flour and sugar into my mixer. I believe that it is a good idea to get the kids involved cooking when they are very young, so that they comfortable around the kitchen. I want them to be able to cook for themselves when they are older and not have to eat take out.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 c sugar
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c of shredded zucchini

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 2 loaf pans.

2.  Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar in a mixer.

3.  In a medium size bowl, whisk the eggs together.  Then add the vegetable oil, water and zucchini.

4.  Add the wet ingredients to the mixer, mixing until just combined.

5.  Pour the mix into 2 loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.

Zucchini Bread

Tip: Remove one loaf of bread from the pan and wrap it in plastic wrap until you are ready to eat it. You can also freeze it for about a month.

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Busy Mom’s Weekly Menu Plan – February 15 – 22

Busy Moms Weekly Meal Plan

I really had to rack my brain hard for recipes that I haven’t cooked in awhile this week. It was difficult for me to come up with my meal plan. Have you ever been at the point during the season when you just don’t/can’t wear the same clothes you have been wearing for the past 3 months? I am at this point with winter recipes right now. I am at the point where I want winter to pack up and move out to make way for spring. Even though I really do enjoy rich beef stew and homemade chicken soup, I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can break out the grill.

In the next few days, the temperature is going to go from 29 degrees to 40 degrees, so hopefully that will melt the 3 feet of snow on top of the grill and I can start it up. A girl can hope can’t she.

Until then…

Here is what I plan on making for dinner this week:

Sunday:  Shrimp and sausage jambalaya.

Monday:  Caribbean Black Bean Soup.

Tuesday:  Chicken Cacciatore.

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:   Crockpot Mexican Chicken with homemade guacamole.

Friday:   Homemade Takeout. Stir Fried Singapore Noodles with Garlic Ginger Sauce.

Saturday:  Chili with homemade cornbread.

Question: What are you looking forward to cooking on the grill this spring?

Chocolate Chip Cookies {Dairy Free}

Chocolate Chip CookiesDo you love chocolate chip cookies? We love them in our house. This recipe is the best dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. The cookies taste just like my Grandma’s chocolate chip cookie. I had to make a few adjustments to the recipe to make it dairy free.  I use vegetable shortening instead of butter and I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
Enjoy Life Chocolate ChipsEnjoy life chocolate chips is a great dairy free substitute for regular chocolate chips.  They taste just like semisweet chocolate chips.  They are dairy, nut and soy free which is great. I like to bake with them because I don’t have to search for them or go to a specialized grocery store.  I am able to find them at all the local grocery stores in our town.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Using a mixer, mix the vegetable shortening, water, and sugars together.  Add 1 egg at a time to the bowl until mixed well.

2.  In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together.

3.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, mixing until just combined.  Add the vanilla and mix for just a few seconds. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.

4.  Using a cookie scoop, drop small balls of batter onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-9 minutes until the edges of the cookies are brown. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about a minute before removing them. By letting them sit you are allowing them to harden just a little and it makes it easier to remove them from cookie sheet.

Recipe makes about 36 cookies.

I like to serve my cookies warm with almond milk.

Tip:  A cookie scoop is a create investment, it helps to make perfectly round cookies. It also cuts down on the mess you get when you use a spoon.

Is it Cheating?

Kid Friendly Banana Strawberry Smoothie

Can you get your kids eat their vegetables?

I can’t!  My kids used to be such good eaters, they would often eat their veggies before touching anything else.  The first food that my two youngest munchkins had was mashed up avocado.  THEY LOVED IT!  They would eat it up and ask for more.  As they got older they would wake up and have eggs and sauteed spinach for breakfast.

 They were eating great, I thought that I was doing a great job getting them to eat a wide variety of things.  Then one day they just refused to eat their vegetables.  This changed started to happen for both of them when they turned 2 years old.

At this point, I am lucky if I can get them to eat sweet potatoes and corn.  Yup, that’s it.  I still offer them vegetables every chance I get because I know they are missing out on all of the vitamins that fresh vegetables offer.  So, I have started to make them smoothies with some fruit and spinach mixed in.  When I do this it seems like I am cheating.  I feel like this is teaching them to only like sweet things and pushes them ever further away from eating really vegetables.

Question: Do you have any tricks to get your kids to eat their veggies?

Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Kid Friendly Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • ½ c frozen strawberries
  • ¼ c frozen spinach
  • 1 c almond milk

Directions:

1. Add everything to the blender, and blend until smooth.  Sometimes I have to add more milk to make it a little bit thinner so the kids can drink it easily through a straw.

Tip:  Freeze extra ripe bananas and strawberries that are about to go bad to use in your smoothies.  Remove the bananas from their peel and cut the tops off the strawberries before freezing.

Easy Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

Easy BBQ Crock Pot Pulled Pork

I love crock pot recipes where you put everything in the crock pot, then set it and forget it.  This recipe is definitely a set it and forget it recipe.  When I make this recipe for get-togethers at my house, everyone loves it and I never have leftovers.  Sometimes I will add a little bit a fresh cut pineapple to my sandwich.  The mix of sweet BBQ and pineapple taste so good together.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Club Rolls/Bread
  • BBQ Sauce

Directions:

1. Place pork in the crock pot with the the fat side facing up.  Add the peppers and onions to the crock pot around the meat.  Add the bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Pour in 2 cups of water in to the crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2.  Remove the bay leaf and drain most of the water from the crock pot.  Remove the pork shoulder from the crock pot and place it on a cutting board.  Using 2 forks, shred the pork.  Return the pork to the crock pot.  Add 1 cup of BBQ sauce to the crock pot and mix well.

3.  Server on club rolls with coleslaw and french fries.

Challenge Update

Tonight I jogged on the treadmill and I was able to jog for 6/10 of a mile with out stopping.  YAHOOOOOO!!!!

I might have gone a little bit further if I didn’t have to shovel the drive way right before hand.  Note to self: Learn how to use the snow blower before the snow on Wednesday and Sunday.  : )

Question:  How are you doing with the challenge?