My musings…

Archive for September, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (or bread)

So these were a big enough hit with Elvis the first time that I made them that he asked me to make them again this week!

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (leave skin on)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*
Beat eggs. Add in sugar, oil applesauce, vanilla and zucchini.
In a separate bowl stir together remaining ingredients.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
Pour into either 2 greased and floured bread plans (regular loaf size) or 24 muffin tins.
For muffins, bake 12-15 minutes. For bread 50-60 minutes.

24 servings, 160 calories, 1 gram saturated fat.

Original recipe called for 1 c oil, but I substituted half with applesauce. I think I could actually do the same with the other half cup – cuts down on the calories drastically.

The original recipe also called for 2 cups of sugar. Reducing that didn’t really have an effect on the taste at all.

Also I changed it to include half wheat flour and half white. Delicious. Definitely will make again…if only I had a freezer big enough to store extras for awhile!

Reading Update: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Not being able to find the third book in the Millenium Trilogy in paperback yet, I picked up The Lacuna a few weeks ago when I knew I would need some reading material during Matthew’s knee surgery.  I was drawn to the book for 2 reasons: 1) I have previously read several books by Kingsolver (such as The Poisonwood Bible) which I really enjoyed and 2) it’s based mostly in Mexico and involved Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo – two famous artists I studied in a college class.

The book talks about Harrison Shepherd a boy who spends part of his childhood in Mexico and part of his childhood in the US.  Though fictional, part of the book is based on historical events and facts which makes it quite intriguing.

Through a series of events Sheperd becomes a plaster mixer for Diego Rivera.  Rivera is a famous Mexican muralist who spent his life painting murals such as these which talk about class struggle and the Mexican Revolution.  Rivera was married to Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who painted a lot of self portraits.  Shepherd wins the confidences of Kahlo and they remain friends throughout the book.

Both Kahlo and Rivera were strong communists.  In Russia, after Lenin’s death, Leon Trotsky was considered to be the most likely person to succeed him.  Due to struggles within the Communist Party and personal struggles with Stalin, Trotsky was exiled from Russia and, after moving about a bit, ends up living with Rivera and Kahlo in Mexico.  (This is historical fact, but the way the book tells the story about how Stalin came to power is a bit different.)

Shepherd ends up working with Trotsky as well which causes him problems eventually when he moves back to the United States, where the second half of the novel is set.

I really enjoyed the book and Kingsolver’s very descriptive writing style.  There was a continuing theme of the lacuna, or missing piece, that kept one thinking.  Seeing a piece of history come alive through a fictional character’s experience was very enjoyable.  I definitely give it two thumbs up!  I think I might have to dig through my books at my parents’ house to see if I can find my copy of The Poinsonwood Bible to reread now.

What can YOU get for $20?

Over on the one website I frequent, they’re having a “competition” of sorts to see who can get what for only $20. Last night I went to Target to pick up things we needed and my total fell just to the $20 mark – perfect! I can’t upload a picture of what I got right now because I broke my camera and I got a new phone that I’m not sure how to get the pictures off of, but here is a list of what I got:

4 Campbell’s Select Harvest soups (easy lunches for the winter!)
1 Lactaid milk
1 Suave shampoo
1 Suave conditioner
1 350 ct Q-tips
2 Wishbone dressings
2 Hellmann’s Mayo
2 Pace Salsa
1 Sobe
1 Degree deodorant
1 Champion t-shirt
2 9 ct BIC Mechanical Pencils
1 pair flip flops (clearance)
1 tshirt (clearance)

Some of these things will be going to Guatemala for Elvis’s family, but most of it will be in our stockpile until we need it! Not a bad haul for $19.84 (including .71 tax)!

Hmmm I actually just looked closer and it seems like they missed 2 of my $1 coupons!!!  So my total should have been less than it actually was.  Oh well.