Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zuchini Bread-Zippety Do Dah!

April 30 is here already! First, I'm trying to figure out what happened to the month of April! And, second, it means this is the last day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I can't believe I made it through the entire month. 

I've gone the entire month without sharing any recipes. (Ususally, recipes are my backups when I can't think of anything to blog about. Opps, I just spilled my secret. Don't tell anybody, OK?)

In honor of the letter Z, I will share will you this luscious recipe. And also, just for today, I will declare that there are zero, zilch, zip calories in this bread. So, make it today, because tomorrow, the calories will be back in!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
 (Courtesy of Paula Deen)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. orange zest
Whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (2) 9 by 5 inch loaf pans. 
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.
In large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool. Chill before slicing. Serve with whipped cream!! 

One bite of this will have you exclaiming "Yum!" (Opps, that was yesterday's word.) One bite of this will have you exclaiming "Zippety Do Dah!!"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for Yipee!!

April is almost over, and the alphabet is almost complete. In honor of the letter Y, I will attempt to tell you some things you may not know about me.

I woke up with a yawn.

I have never been to Yosemite, York, Yonkers, Yonezawa, Yucatan, Yukon, or Yugoslavia. (Yes, I looked in the dictionary.) But, I have been to Youngstown, and Yellowstone.

I have not conquered the yo-yo.

I like yellow.

I also like to eat yams, especially when roasted with olive oil in the oven. Yum!

I have been known to yell at squirrels.

I am not ususally a yackity-yackker.

I think spiders and snakes are yucky, and if I see one I will yell, YIKES!!!!

I've also been known to yelp, on ocassion.

I worked in the yard yesterday.

I am no longer young, (sniff), but I would like to try a youngberry, and maybe visit the Fountain of Youth!

I can't yodel.

Being from the North, makes me a Yankee. But, I'm not from New York, so I'm not a damn Yankee.

I do not have a yacht.

My sister's grandchildren call her "Ya Ya". She was not that happy about it until someone told her it was Hungarian for grandma.

I can do a little yoga.

Knowing that tomorrow is the last day for this challenge makes me say, "Yippeeeeeeeee!!"

If you're yearning for me to finish, just raise a yak (if you can), and yell, "YO! YES!!!"

OK. I can take a hint! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for (e)Xploding Blueberries

This may be considered cheating just a tad, but I hope you think the story is worth it.

Several years ago, Hubby and I deceided that we needed a hobby. A friend of ours had been making wine for sometime, and we thought that might be a fun hobby, and give it a try.

For our first several attempts, we used wine kits. Everything we needed came in a box. It's about a four-step process. We were so nervous we wouldn't do it correctly, and end up with ruined wine, that it wasn't enjoyable. But, after awhile, we realized it would be pretty hard to mess it up, and we relaxed a little.

Soon, the kits were not challenging enough. We (e)xperimented with using different fruits, with some success. 

Then, we decided to try blueberries. We went through the process, and racked the wine into bottles. 

About six months later, we had some friends over, and wanted them to try our blueberry wine. As our friend opened the bottle, the cork shot out like a bullet.
"That thing almost shot my eye out!!" Wine was spewing everywhere. . . on the lights, the ceiling, the counter, and the floor!!

Maybe this little video doesn't fit, but I love it! "You'll shoot your eye out!"

We drank what was left in the bottle, and it tasted good. Not like wine, but more like blueberry champaign--all bubbly and fizzy. Obviously, it was racked before the fermentation process was complete.

So, knowing that our blueberry wine was on the (e)xplosive side, we decided to drink it sooner rather than later. We brought some up from the basement wine cellar, set the bottle on the counter, then we got distracted (that happens on a regular basis) and started watching a movie. Halfway through the movie, we heard a loud POP!!. Hubby and I looked at each other, dumbstruck. "What in the world was THAT??"  

I got up to investigate. The wine had (e)xploded. (We had forgotten all about it. That also happens on a regular basis, at least where I'm concerned.) Again, wine went everywhere--(e)xcept in our glasses!

You would think we would have learned....

And, the final time...we had brought up another bottle and put it on our lovely wine rack that our son made.

(Side note: (Pun not intended!) I sing in a community chorus, and store my music folder on the counter, so I won't lose it.)

My music folder was sitting happily in its proper place, filled to the brim with music.

I heard a POP, and saw fizzy, blue liquid pouring out, forming a puddle at the base of my folder! I moved quickly (which doesn't happen all that often), to rescue my music. I was imagining turning in my wine-soaked, ruined music, and having to (e)xplain why it was blue, and be (e)xpected to pay for new music.

In the end, the music was saved, and the damage is barely noticable.

Unfortunately, more wine has (e)xploded than we have been able to drink. But, we're not letting that stop us. It's a new year, and more blueberries are on the way!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for West! (As in Allen)

I want to introduce you to Allen West.

I'm in love with Allen West. Well, not THAT kind of love. Hubby is my true love. But, Hubby is also in love with Allen West. (Again, not THAT kind of love, I'm his true love.) I'm not quite sure how to describe it, really. But, every time I hear him speak, all I can say is, "Man, I LOVE that guy!!"

If you are not into politics, you probably never heard of him. I want you to know about him, because I want this man to be President of the United States. (Or, POTUS, which is apparently the new way to say it. It took me awhile to figure out what that meant.)

Allen West served our country in the military for 22 years. He is now the newly elected Representative for Broward County, Florida. To listen to him is like a breath of fresh air. 

Thanks to for this video

And for a quick education on our economy...

Thanks to for this video
(I hope I've given the proper credit to everyone. Not quite sure if I did it correctly.)

Go West, America! Go West!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Victory

I sit here in the kitchen pondering on victory--more or less on this blog. My brain is more fried than the eggs I had for breakfast. My vocabulary is lacking in the V Department. As I was relating a story to my Awesome Daughter, (the brains in the family) she said, "There's your V story."  

Va-va-va-voooom! I had a small victory. I don't get that many, so when I get 'em, I take 'em!

This past week,I received an e-mail that was attributed to Walter E. Williams, stating that Obama is assured an overwhelming victory in 2012, due to a big long list of everyone who will be voting for him. (Blacks, college-educated women, liberals, democrats, Hispanics, union members, big business, most minorities, and independents.) Basically, everyone except white, conservative men.

I've listened to Walter E. Williams for many years, when he has filled in for Rush Limbaugh, and I consider him to be quite brilliant. When I read the e-mail, I couldn't believe it. So, I did a little checking. Turns out that had "mistakenly" posted the article as authored by him, on April 1.

Whew! Glad to know I was right. But, then, on Friday, I heard Rush refer to the article as written by Dr. Williams. I intended to e-mail Rush and set him straight, but didn't get around to it.

However, on Monday, Rush mentioned that the article was a hoax and not written by Dr. Williams E. Williams.

I was a step ahead of Rush, and it felt good. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Unbelievable!

The most unbelievable thing is that April is almost over, and this twice a week blogger has managed to blog every day (except Sunday) for this month. Only five more blogs to go.

This blog is about an unbelievable event (at least to me.) For about the past 10 years, my mom, sister, and I have been getting together once a week. (That's not the unbelievable part.) Tuesday was declared Mommy's Day Out. After we discovered that we are all grandmothers, we declared it Grannies Day Out.

Anyway, on this particular Grannies Day Out, we found ourselves in an antique/flea market barn. But, wait! I'm getting ahead of my story.  

About 15 years ago, Hubby and I were in a  major remodeling project of our house. I had been inspired after watching The Carol Duvall Show,and had decided to decorate the kitchen in sunflowers, using blue and yellow. I made seat cushions and place mats with sunflowers.

 Shortly after the kitchen project was finished, my mom presented me with this tea pot. I loved it! 
 She also made this cross stitch sign for me. I was hooked on sunflowers.

Now, back to Grannies Day Out and the antique/flea market shop. We were sauntering around each little shop. Talking, joking, laughing, and touching everything. We wandered into a shop with lots of dishes, and my eyes spotted this:
This is a poor re-creation of the shop!
 In and amongst all the knick-knacks sat this cream and sugar set. I exclaimed that it was a perfect match to my teapot. The original price was $5 for each piece, but, the price had been slashed to $2.50 for each piece. I put them back on the shelf, and continued on. But, I couldn't get it out of my mind, that here sat the perfect matches to the teapot I had had for 10 years. What were the odds? I knew I would never come across anything like that again. So, I went back and got them. And now the set is happily reunited and sitting all together on my shelf!
 Apparently, it was my "lucky" day, because I also found this cute little guy. He jumped up and said, "Take me home with you! Take me home with you!"  What could I do? He was only $8. 

He's so happy in his new home. And he makes me smile.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tour of the Town, Kinda

Have you ever researched the history of your town? I hadn't really until I started writing this blog. My "geek" gene is starting to make itself know. Let me just say, I don't know how this blog is going to "finish up". My week hasn't gone as planned, and I wasn't able to go on a "photo shoot" as I intended. I have a few pictures in Somewhere Land, that I had hoped to find for this post. The best way to guarantee that something will be lost, is to put it in a special place "so I won't lose it".  So, with that being said, this might either be a tour or a history lesson, or something entirely indescribable.

I'm starting out with history. Wooster, Ohio was established in 1808, and named for David Wooster, who was a general in the American Revolution. (That explains why the high school is known as the Wooster Generals.) He was fatally wounded on April 27, 1777 when the British attacked in Danbury, CT for the military supplies. He died May 2, 1777. His last words were: "I am dying, but with a strong hope and persuasion that my country will gain her independence."

If you go to New Haven, CT, you will see a lot of things named for Wooster. He is buried in Wooster Cemetery. 

Whether you come to this Wooster, or sight-see things of David Wooster in Connecticut, the most essential bit of information you must know is how to pronounce Wooster.  It does NOT rhyme with rooster. Rooster, Wooster. NO! 
Everyone will instantly know that you are from out of town. Wooster has the same sound as wood. Or, like Worcester, Massachusetts. How Wooster and Worcester can both be pronounced that same is beyond me. 

Seeing all of these "W"s may have you thinking that I've gotten my alphabet all mixed up. Maybe I didn't plan this out too well. Just remember, T for Town.

We are home to The College of Wooster, also known as the Wooster Scots. The band plays bagpipes and wears  kilts.  During the summer months, the college is host to Ohio Light Opera, where you can be entertained with the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. 

Also unique to my town is Coccia House. (Pronounced Co-she, or co-chee) It is a restaurant where you can get Italian food or pizza. People either love it or hate it - there's no in-between opinions.  In our family, three of us love it, two of us hate it. (Apparently due to the garlic) Thankfully, both Hubby and I love it. In fact, it is where we had our first date. They don't deliver, so you have to pick it up. A word of matter what time they tell you your pizza  will be ready, add about 30 minutes. The wait is usually at the very least one hour, unless you happen to call it in at 5:00 on the dot. 

Feast your eyes on some deliciousness! (It's not too early for pizza, is it???)

In honor of the letter T, I will now say "Ta Ta for now!" See you Monday with the delightful letter U. 

Have a wonderful Easter, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and look forward to our own resurrection some day! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

S is for the Story of the Star Spangled Banner

I could tell you the story, but it wouldn't be as good as David Barton can tell it. I hope you enjoy hearing about The Star Spangled Banner.

R is for Roads

The Road Less Traveled 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really bout the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no steop had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost

The Strangest and Most Beautiful Roads in the World

I received these pictures in an email, and thought they were so amazing, that I had to share them. And, coincidentally, I needed something for my R post. Whew, that worked out well. 

Some of these roads I would be happy to travel. Others, not so much! I'm not much of a "less traveled road" kinda gal, unless I'm armed with a GPS. I have a fear of getting lost and never, ever finding my way back. (Hubby would agree. He is amazed at my lack of sense of direction.) 

And, if you would like to hear this poem in song, here it is. My community choral group sang this several years ago. (Sorry to say, this is not our group singing!)

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