My quilting and family life journal

This season has provided us with a bumper crop of zucchini, to the point that it is keeping the dehydrator  busy and experimenting with new recipes high. The following low calorie (about 100 calories each), low fat, low sugar loaf is not only healthy but moist and tasty. I hope you like them as much as we do.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup carob powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 whole banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other plant based milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare mini loaf or muffin pans and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, carob powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
  4. In another bowl, cream mashed banana with applesauce and sugar.
  5. Stir almond milk, vanilla and zucchini into the banana mixture until evenly combined.
  6. Add flour mix to the wet mix and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Summers always seem to be our busiest times of the year. This summer especially since we needed to build a new hen house and expand the raised bed section of our garden.

new hen house

The new hen house is now complete and the young chicks are installed, we have three of the new raised beds done and 5 more to build. The existing vegetable gardens have been so productive that we have seasonal veggie dishes every night for dinner, green smoothies have become a morning staple and the dehydrator, pressure cooker, and canning pots have been working overtime. It has been an enjoyable yet exhausting season so far.

One of our favorite smoothies is a carrot cake one that allows me to use some great veggies and the mixed greens power that I make from some of the garden bounty.

Carrot cake smoothy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp mixed greens powder*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • Hand full of raw walnuts
  • 4-6 ice cubes

Mixed green power is made by taking the greens from vegetables plans like turnips, beets, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, and some kale and other greens that you have growing in the garden and dehydrating and then grinding the dried leaves into powder.

The fourth of July weekend we split a few cords of wood for the winter and then rewarded ourselves the following weekend with some kayaking on the Connecticut River. This past weekend we finished our chores up early enough that we were able to take the dog out to the river for a bit of swimming.

ginger in the water

Life is good…

This summer is moving by all to quickly. It is hard to believe that it is July already and we are starting to prepare for the fall an winter already.

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Perennial garden on the side of the house

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Native iris

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Love these bushes, they get prettier each year

 

The spring perennials have played themselves out and the summer ones and veggie gardens are starting to show us what they are made of…

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8 week old chicks in their new home

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Camomile and a few of the tomato plants in one of the raised beds

Last week we were blessed with such wonderful weather that we were able to get the new chicks moved into their new home, harvest camomile, asparagus, kale, spinach, green beans , turnip greens and early turnips.

 

Small fennel, beets and squashes of all kinds have formed and cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant are flowering. Chard, carrots, beets, parsnips and corn are growing strong.  Mother Nature even give us a hand this past week by providing days in the 80s and providing rain late in the evenings to water the gardens.

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First pot of green beans and potatoes of the season. Yummy.

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First harvest of kale and turnip greens…prepared and put in the dehydrator

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Summer herb pots and summer flowers starting to show their stuff

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First patch of day lilies sharing their color

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Even the hosta are starting to show off — better enjoy them before the deer get to them

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Potted tomatoes and eggplant doing well

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Basil doing wonderful this season. Have been harvesting from these containers and others for the past few weeks.

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One of the four colors of astilbe in the gardens

The winter was so harsh that none of the apple and many of pear trees did not bloom this season, but the cherry, Asian pear and plum trees, as well as the raspberry bushes are outdoing themselves with fruit this summer.

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Hope you had a wonderful 4th….

Summer Quilting Project

This summer I decided to to work on a quilt-as-you-go project on rainy and really hot days. I also decided to challenge myself by using only solid Kona cottons and developing a king sized quilt.

quiltAsYouGo

4 1/2 of the 35 blocks I will be making this summer. Each block design will be different but all all will will use a black background fabric

Designing and piecing quilts is a real joy for me, whereas quilting has always been a chore. Hopefully, the quilt-as-you-go process will help to improve my machine quilting skills while making the process much easer….

 

First Day of June

I love this time of year. Each day provides new surprises in the yard.

The bleeding heart in the shade garden next to the deck is doing well

The bleeding heart in the shade garden next to the deck is doing well

Even the flowering bushes are starting to show their stuff

Even the flowering bushes are starting to show their stuff

Tiger lilies will be showing off their oranges and reds soon

Tiger lilies will be showing off their oranges and reds soon

Rhododendron  are flowering, unfortunately we have to fence them to keep the deer for making meals of the leaves

Rhododendron are flowering, unfortunately we have to fence them to keep the deer for making meals of the leaves

Smaller irises are starting to bloom Soon there will will be a carpet of purple on the side of the house

Smaller irises are starting to bloom Soon there will will be a carpet of purple on the side of the house

Kale and chard bed coming along nicely

Kale and chard bed coming along nicely

Squash bed is starting to flower

Squash bed is starting to flower

Finished painting the new hen house. Next week we will build the run.

Finished painting the new hen house. Next week we will build the run.

Another one of my quilts made it out of the UFO pile this week. After 4 years and a move across the country I finally finished Chugach Sunset. This inspiration for this piece was the Chugach mountain range that we had the pleasure of viewing from the back of our house when we lived in Alaska. Towards the end of the summer season when the stars became visible again we were treated to some of the most colorful sunsets with the mountains as a backdrop.

Chugach sunset 2014The french braid pattern on this 90X120 inch quilt are designed to represent the mountains and the colors that can be found at the different altitudes. I love the colors  and the stained glass feel of the finished top…. No more big tops until the winter.

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