Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread - on the Healthier Side

I'm always looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth but not make feel super guilty when I eat it. So this moist, chocolatey bread packed with veggies and applesauce instead of a lot of oil is one I love to make!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray and flour a loaf pan and set aside.
2. Use a towel or paper towels to slightly press down on the shredded zucchini to eliminate some of the moisture. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix to combine. Stir in the zucchini, then fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving. Don’t skip the cooling process – the bread will appear underdone if you slice and serve while it’s still warm.

This bread is excellent as dessert with a glass of milk or in the morning with your cup of coffee! Enjoy!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kitchen Counters on a Budget - Concrete Counters

When we were looking at houses online, I skimmed right over our house at first because I was like 'woof, that kitchen.'

But eventually I started to dream and imagine it not yellow.
And then we set out to do the work. Which started with painting. We used the same pretty light gray that we chose for our living room and hallways. 

And that helped a ton. But then we were left with the retro boomerang counters.
Which were kinda fun and made us feel like we were really in a diner when when
would sit in the booth but they just weren't our style.

So, Josh and I went and priced out counters.
And promptly came home and started researching alternate routes. 
Because the cheapest option was gonna cost about $1500 just for our small space and we weren't even in love with it.
So when I saw Young House Love's concrete counters, I showed Josh the tutorial and asked
 him what he thought. It was by far our cheapest option at only about $150 all in with materials but
it would definitely require the most man-hours on his part.
But that has never scared him.

Since the kitchen would be unusable for several days, I took the boys and headed to NY to stay with my best friend so that Josh could get the work done without worrying about us in the way and the boys getting into stuff! 
He followed the YHL tutorial using the feathering concrete.
So if you're wanting to try your hand at this, I suggest following their detailed and step by step tutorial because that's what we did.
We did take the extra step and remove the appliances and sink while doing the work though.

The sanding was the messiest part of the project.

And the drying times in between coats of concrete and then coats of sealer took the longest.

And when we got home the sealer was still drying, so we erred on the side of caution 
and didn't set anything on them for several days.

But once they were dry, I was beyond thrilled with how they looked!

The sealer gave them a nice sheen that made them look even more like a stone.

I can't tell you how much more I like this kitchen without yellow walls and blue counters.

After several months of using them, they have held up really well.
I chalk that up to the good job Josh did on them.
We do have some discolored spots behind our sink where it gets wet a lot and
also where I sit our butter dish, it seems some of the oils have seeped through.
But because of the variated look of the concrete anyways, it blends really well and even adds to the character and charm. 

And we've gotten to enjoy so many good times and great food in our feels-like-new kitchen!

Overall, we are super happy with our decision, they way they look, 
and the money that's still in our pockets. :)

Next up, new kitchen flooring!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holiday Home Tour of Our Cottage Craftsman

It's our first Christmas time in our new home. And it just feels like it was made for holiday decor. 
From the field stone fireplace to the big dining space for guests to the perfect corner for the tree. 
Enjoy a little peek into where we're cozying up this cold Midwest winter!

You can find this O Holy Night print for sale in my online shop.

You can find the fine art pinecone print in my online shop for instant download.

Breakfast nook

Dining Room

This is our place to celebrate and entertain. :)


Playroom/Office/ Craft Room

More on the Advent Calendar here.

Thank you all for reading and following along. I really love getting to know you all.
And an extra special thank you to those who support the shop!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxo

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