Coolest Shaved Ice Truck EVER! + Wisdom Teeth

This past week you could catch me:

Baking cupcakes, cookies, and bread.


I made these into the shape of a wedding dress.


And mini rainbow-colored cupcakes. They were so adorable!


I also made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars, along with my sister’s request of “Pink Cookies.”


But my favorite one has been my Great-Harvest-Inspired Honey Whole Wheat Bread. And yes, it tastes just like it but costs a lot less. Perfect for this money-pinching time in society. Don’t worry, I’m working on the post right now. 😉


Seeing cool shaved ice trucks! Earlier this week my sister heard Jamaican music outside, ran to the window and spied this shaved ice truck driving around our neighborhood!


Excited, she hurriedly called me from upstairs to come and see the new truck in our neighborhood. When I got downstairs, I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was a paradise on wheels, playing Jamaican jamborees and serving colorful ices! It was legit! Simply the coolest shaved truck EVER! 😀

Painting notebooks.


Shopping at thrift stores. I got 14 new skirts and 1 blouse for only $70!!! Gosh I love thrift stores. ❤


And I found the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice at Target for only $5.

I HAD to get it. I ❤ Darcy. 

And getting stuff done that has to happen whether I want to or not… I went to the oral surgery center at the military AFB Monday morning for a wisdom teeth evaluation. They took me right in, got some x-rays, explained the process, and scheduled me to have all my wisdom teeth removed on the 28th, this coming Monday!


We went to the grocery store yesterday and picked up a couple of things for next week after my surgery. Right now I have organic soy-milk, almond milk, green smoothies, water, broth, soy yogurt, butternut squash soup, and applesauce. I’m guessing I’ll be living on a lot of liquids next week, with more creamy stuff later in the week or the week after. I’ll see how I feel after the procedure next week.

Any tips for when I have my wisdom teeth removed? Anything I should know before the procedure Monday morning?

I could use with all the help I could get… I don’t do well with needles or surgical stuff… And they’ll be giving me an I.V. and a pill to make me less aware of what is going on… Mine are all still underneath my gums and haven’t erupted at all, so I don’t know how long the surgeon will take doing it. I know I can’t use straws and have to use a lot of mouth wash since I can’t brush my teeth until the gums heal. I don’t know a lot other than that.

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

(Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins

Hey My Scrumptious Chocolate Chips!

I can’t believe that my classes start in 3 days!!!! I’m really excited to meet my new instructors and to work with my Nutrition instructor. I’ve enjoyed the rest I’ve had this last week, but I think having nothing to do is starting to get to me… I compiled a list of things I wanted to do before this next week, and once I completed them I’ve just been trying to fill my time with things that uplift and are beneficial. I’m really excited that my new roommates are here and that I can start getting to know them this weekend.

One thing I’ve realized while I’ve been here at college is that I don’t have a lot of time for baking. My roommates bake ALL of the time, but I don’t have the ingredients to bake. I’m starting to collect some, but not enough yet… Because of that, here’s a recipe I love that I made back at home before I left!


My (Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins!


In a large bowl, measure out the flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.


Combine until homogeneous.


Combine the tofu, oil, sugar, and vanilla (either in the blender or a large bowl).


I like to use my BlendTec to make it perfectly smooth, but you can also use a whisk or hand mixer — breaking down the tofu is the main concern. (Gosh I miss my BlendTec…)


Shred the zucchini. (Leave the peel on – it adds lots of nutrients, fiber, and gives a nice color.)


Make a “well” in the center of the flour-mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. (You can also just add the dry to the wet, as the picture above shows, but I prefer adding the wet to the dry.)

Stir it all in until all the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix).


Add the chocolate chips and zucchini to the batter…


…and fold them in gently. (Again, being careful to not overmix.)


Scoop the batter into lined muffin trays, and bake at 325*F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the center is firm and bounces back when lightly pressed or if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Let them cool for a few minutes in the trays, and then transfer them to a wire rack. Peel off the wrapper and dig-in!


(Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup silken soft tofu
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cup shredded or grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine the tofu, oil, sugar, and vanilla (either in the blender or a large bowl). I like to use my BlendTec to make it perfectly smooth, but you can also use a whisk or hand mixer — breaking down the tofu is the main concern.

Shred the zucchini. (Leave the peel on – it adds lots of nutrients, fiber, and gives a nice color.)

Make a “well” in the center of the flour-mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. (You can also just add the dry to the wet, as the picture above shows, but I prefer adding the wet to the dry.) Stir it all in until all the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix). Add the chocolate chips and zucchini to the batter and fold them in gently. (Again, being careful to not overmix.)

Scoop the batter into lined muffin trays, and bake at 325*F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the center is firm and bounces back when lightly pressed or if a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool for a few minutes in the trays, and then transfer them to a wire rack. Peel off the wrapper and dig-in!

Print This!


These freeze really well too – I love making a batch, keeping a couple out, and then freezing the rest. I can then pull out how many I need and keep the rest for deliciousness later!

P.S. Here’s a sneak peak at some recipes coming soon: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers, Brown Rice Pudding, Carob Chip Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Lentil Veggie Burgers, and Copy-Cat Great Harvest Honey Wheat Bread.

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One of my roommates invited me to go out to dinner with them, so I got to go! I hope you have a wonderful Friday! 😀

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

My Homemade Bread!

Hey my Bright and Blooming Sunflowers! 🙂

Thanks for all of your comments on my last post of WIAW and on the family camp I attended. I had a lot of fun and am so grateful for the opportunity I had to go and hang out with my loved ones. 🙂

I promised a little while back on another post about my Homemade Bread. I’ve had a lot of practice with it since the first time I posted about it and had some hints and tips I’ve acquired throughout the years that I’ve wanted to share with you. I asked if I should just update my last post (and mess with that for a while to do so) or if I should do a new post. Many of you suggested I just do a new post.

So here it is: the updated version (with a little fun thrown in there too ;)).

Step-by-Step on how to make My Homemade Bread.

………………………………………………………….

(If you are going to grind your own wheat, do so now. I like to use my Whisper Mill to do this, fresh and ready to be used to bake.)


Measure out 4 cups of lukewarm water. I do this by turning my faucet to HOT and testing the temperature with my finger.


(This way I have more control over it than by microwaving it, and I know EXACTLY how hot it is because I can feel it myself.)


Pour the water into your mixer. (I use my smaller bocsh mixer with the kneading hook on it. (You can also use a Kitchen Aid appliance with a dough kneading hook. Or, if you’re okay with getting your hands dirty, you can do this by hand, pouring the water to a LARGE bowl – the bigger the better the first time you make it. You can adjust to a different size once you know how big the dough gets when making it. ;))


Add the yeast, honey, oil, salt, and optional crushed vitamin C tablet (this helps with the rising and preserving of the bread, as there are no artificial preservatives being added.) Stir them up a little bit.


Leave the mixture for 3-5 minutes, or until the yeast gets all puffy and foamy and “takes” over the surface. (Haha, it’s quite Caesar-like – likes to conqueror the whole “world” of the bowl. ;)) Letting the yeast do its thing also lets you check and see if the yeast is good. You wouldn’t want to make a whole batch of bread to find out after it baked that the yeast didn’t work. (I know from experience…)


Now start adding the flour.


I do it by ½ cup increments, adding more once it’s incorporated.


The dough will start getting sticky. Keep adding flour.


I also use a spatula on occasion to help the flour reach the back and sides of the bowl.


And then – I get my hands in there. It depends on the machine, but mine likes to let the dough “climb” up the hook, and so I get my hands in there to keep the dough from “getting away.” 😉


You know the dough is ready when it starts to pulls away from the sides. 🙂


Once the flour is incorporated (and the dough starts pulling away from the sides), put the lid on (if you have one) and let the machine knead it for 10-12 minutes. (You can also take the dough out of the machine/bowl and do this by hand on a floured surface. It’s a great way to get an arm workout in. ;))


In the meantime, (if you have 2 racks in your oven take the top one out) and set the bottom one to its lowest position. Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. (Mine is 170 degrees F, which is about 75 degrees C.)

Get out four bread pans (I mean CANS!) Yep. I like my bread to “arise” and stand on its own. 😉 I use 48-oz size cans – they can be typically found in the juice section; I’ve found tomato juice and pineapple juice are some of the most common that are commonly sold in that size. Just use the juice up and keep the cans for some fun! You can also just use 4-5 bread pans (depending on their size) in place of the cans if that’s all you have.


Spray them with nonstick cooking spray. (Make sure to coat all side of it. I start with spraying the sides, and then finishing off with the bottom. You really want to make sure you coat it well, as the bread isn’t very fun to try to get out if it sticks.)


Clean off your counter, and lay out a small layer of flour.


Once the dough is ready,


Take it out and lay it on the thin “bed” of flour.


Gently spread the dough out in the shape of a square/rectangle. (You don’t want to mess with it much, or it can affect its rising.)


Cut it in half along the middle, and then cut each half in half, equaling four fourths. 🙂


Gently shape it in a ball (I like to put the flour side up, as it’s quite pretty after baking).


And gently drop the dough mound into one of the cans.


Repeat with the other three mounds.


Place the cans inside the oven, close the oven door. Turn off the oven, and let the bread rise in the oven for 30 minutes (or until the bread rises to the top of the can).


My mom’s favorite parts are the muffin tops the form on the tops with the bread rises up above the can. (Just don’t let it get too high, or it can start leaning over and fall down the side of the can.) Set the oven at 350 degrees F, or 200 degrees C, and bake for 30 minutes. (I don’t wait for the oven to preheat to 350 degrees F before I set the timer – I start the timer as soon as it starts preheating.)

Once the bread is done (You should start smelling it once it’s done), take the bread out. Using oven mitts, turn the bread upside down in the can and the bread should come out smoothly. (You may have to help it a little if it gets stuck.) Stand them up on a wire cooling rack and let them cool completely. (Or, if you don’t want to wait, carefully cut yourself – and the rest of your family 😉 – a slice, top with butter or honey or fruit preserves or nut butter or a delicious combination of multiple of them, and DIG IN! :D)


My Homemade Bread!

Makes 4 loaves

printer-friendly version

Ingredients

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup oil (measure this one before the honey so the honey doesn’t stick to the measuring cup)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • (optional) One 500 mg unflavored vitamin C chewable tablet, ground up
  • 9 ½ – 10 cups* whole wheat flour (freshly ground if available)

*The amount depends on the humidity outside. Drier climates take a little less, while more humid ones take a little more. Also have some flour available to knead the dough on the counter a little bit.

Directions

Get out all of your ingredients. (I grind my own wheat with my Whisper Mill, so if you are going to do so, do it now.)

Measure out 4 cups of lukewarm water. I do this by turning my faucet to HOT and testing the temperature with my finger. (This way I have more control over it than by microwaving it, and I know EXACTLY how hot it is because I can feel it myself.) Pour the water into your mixer. I use my smaller bocsh mixer with the kneading hook on it. (You can also use a Kitchen Aid appliance with a dough kneading hook. Or, if you’re okay with getting your hands dirty, you can do this by hand, pouring the water to a LARGE bowl – the bigger the better the first time you make it. You can adjust to a different size once you know how big the dough gets when making it. ;))

Add the yeast, honey, oil, salt, and optional crushed vitamin C tablet (this helps with the rising and preserving of the bread, as there are no artificial preservatives being added). Stir them up a little bit. Leave the mixture for 3-5 minutes, or until the yeast gets all puffy and foamy. Letting the yeast do its thing also lets you check and see if the yeast is good. You wouldn’t want to make a whole batch of bread to find out after it baked that the yeast didn’t work. (I know from experience…)

Now start adding the flour. I do it by ½ cup increments, adding more once it’s incorporated. Keep adding flour, (the dough will start getting sticky, but gradually get less sticky), using a spatula on occasion to help the flour reach the back and sides of the bowl.

And then – I get my hands in there. It depends on the machine, but mine likes to let the dough “climb” up the hook, and so I get my hands in there to keep the dough from “getting away.” 😉 Once the flour is incorporated (and the dough starts pulling away from the sides), put the lid on (if you have one) and let the machine knead it for 10-12 minutes. You can also take the dough out of the machine/bowl and do this by hand on a floured surface.

In the meantime, (if you have 2 racks in your oven take the top one out) set the bottom one to its lowest position. Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. (Mine is 170 degrees F, which is about 75 degrees C.)

Get out four bread pans (I mean CANS!) I use 48-oz size cans – (they can be typically found in the juice section; I’ve found tomato juice and pineapple juice are some of the most common that are commonly sold in that size. Just use the juice up and keep the cans for some fun. You can also just use 4-5 bread pans (depending on their size) in place of the cans if that’s all you have.) Spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to coat all side of it. I start with spraying the sides, and then finishing off with the bottom. You really want to make sure you coat it well, as the bread isn’t very fun to try to get out if it sticks.

Clean off your counter, and lay out a small layer of flour. Once the dough is ready, take it out and lay it on the thin “bed” of flour. Gently spread the dough out in the shape of a square/rectangle. (You don’t want to mess with it much, or it can affect its rising.) Cut it in half along the middle, and then cut each half in half, equaling four fourths. 🙂 Gently shape it in a ball (I like to put the flour side up, as it’s quite pretty after baking). And gently drop the dough mound into one of the cans. Repeat with the other three mounds.

Place the cans inside the oven, close the oven door. Turn off the oven, and let the bread rise in the oven for 30 minutes (or until the bread rises to the top of the can — just don’t let it get too high, or it can start leaning over and fall down the side of the can.) Set the oven at 350 degrees F, or 200 degrees C, and bake for 30 minutes. (I don’t wait for the oven to preheat to 350 degrees F before I set the timer – I start the timer as soon as it starts preheating.)

Once the bread is done (you should start smelling it once it’s done), take the bread out. Using oven mitts, turn the bread upside down in the can and the bread should come out smoothly. (You may have to help it a little if it gets stuck.) Stand them up on a wire cooling rack and let them cool completely. (Or, if you don’t want to wait, carefully cut yourself – and the rest of your family 😉 – a slice, top with butter or honey or fruit preserves or nut butter or a delicious combination of multiple of them, and DIG IN! :D)


These loaves freeze REALLY well! Whenever I make a batch, I keep one loaf out to enjoy now and place the others in ziplock galloon-sized freezer bags and store them in the freezer. We pull them out when we need them, and it’s as if they were fresh out of the oven cooled, ready to be cut.

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I’ll be making another batch of this tomorrow, so if you have any question for me on making this just ask me below. The process will be fresh in my mind, and I’d love to help in any way I could! 🙂

How do you like to top a slice of freshly baked, hot out-of-the-oven bread?

I love frosting it with homemade nut butter (as it nut butter just melts on top and is amazing!) or with smart balance lite buttery spread with homemade preserves. Yum yum yum.

What are some of your goals this coming school year?

I hope to finish up my Old Testament, do a few courses online before I head up to Idaho in January, read a few of the classics (I just finished Around The World In 80 Days yesterday afternoon!), hopefully get my license (though I may have to wait till I’m 18… I don’t know if my parents want me to get it until after I come back from my first year of college; I won’t be driving up in Idaho anyways, so I guess it won’t be SO bad if I have to wait), and keep preparing for college. 🙂

xoxox,