Garden Tips

Recipe for Cooking ~ Chocolate chip zucchini muffins with applesauce and peanut butter chips

Watch our recorded LIVE video making these Chocolate chip zucchini muffins below

 

Chocolate chip zucchini muffins with applesauce and peanut butter chips, Zucchini recipes, what to make with fresh zucchini

 

With all the zucchini from our garden I have been making muffins every other day.  My kids are loving them, plus we have had lots to share as well! These are my favorite, hope you enjoy them as well!  Also a money saving tip these freeze well too!

Recipe for Cooking ~ Chocolate chip  zucchini muffins with applesauce and peanut butter chips

Wet Ingredients 

  • 1/2  cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1  3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon)
Dry Ingredients 
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Add at the very end
  • 2 cup finely grated Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream the wet ingredients with a mixer till smooth (1-2 minutes).  Sift in dry ingredients, blend thoroughly.  Then stir in zucchini and chocolate  and peanut butter chips by hand.  Spoon batter into muffin tins (with liners) fill 2/3 of the way full. Makes 24 muffins. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.

Watch our recorded LIVE recipe video

Chocolate chip zucchini muffins with applesauce and peanut butter chips, Zucchini recipes, what to make with fresh zucchini

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini  Muffins

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Grilled Zucchini

 

Chocolate chip zucchini muffins with applesauce and peanut butter chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 24 muffins
Ingredients
  • Wet Ingredients
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon)
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Add at the very end
  • 2 cup finely grated Zucchini
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips (or butterscotch chips)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the wet ingredients with a mixer till smooth (1-2 minutes). Sift in dry ingredients, blend thoroughly. Then stir in zucchini and chocolate and peanut butter chips by hand. Spoon batter into muffin tins (with liners) fill ⅔ of the way full. Makes 24 muffins. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.

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How to eat an artichoke

Artichoke Flower

Or you can just let the artichoke turn into a pretty flower.

So recently one of our  friends  just threw away some artichokes.  They said they had never had artichokes and didn’t think you could eat anything on it. Well for years my (Matt) family has been eating artichokes on fun special occasions. Mainly when they went on sale. Now this way to eat them is not the only way, you can grill them (which I never really have tried) or cut out just the hearts and stems. The way we do it is boil them. In a large pot of boiling water, add the artichokes whole. Make sure you have enough room to spin them around and position them to get them under the water as much as possible. Boil them for about 15 to 20 minutes, just long enough that you can easily stick a fork down the end of the stalk.

So here are two of the artichokes we cooked. The one on the left has all of the hard outer leaves on. When you peel these leaves off – one by one- there is not much edible bits on them. But once the outer leaves are off, like the photo above on the right of the plate, the leaves get more and more tender and lighter in color.

The white part on the base of each leave is edible. Now don’t go biting this part off. Simply dip in butter, or even by its self, and slide it over your lower teeth and scrape what comes off with your teeth. You will learn how much pressure to use as the leaves move from being hard and “woody” to really soft and tender. As they get tender, you can almost just eat half of the leave. Any thing that is really tender is edible.

I have always just dipped these in butter, like lobster. I am sure you could use the healthy fake butter stuff. Next time I might try it with those new flavored butters with garlic and such already blended in them.


The outer leaves will look like this after you scrape them off on your teeth. Just the white inside bottom part of each leave is edible. But as you get further inside the artichoke, the leaves become pale green and maybe even cream or white color. Most of these leaves are edible and I will just bite off what ever snaps off. Be careful because the tips of these have little points on them that are not edible.

The artichoke on the right side, above, shows the pale white leaves that are really soft and good. Even the stalk of the artichoke is edible if you peel back the fibrous outside.

Once you get to the inside of the artichoke you will see these small feathery looking pieces – see above photo. They are soft and intriguing, but they don’t call it an artichoke for nothing. Those little soft pieces are the “choke”. They are not edible.

Now in the above sliced view of the artichoke. If you carefully cut out the choke with a butter knife, you can then eat the “heart”. You can see the choke which is a light pale green on the very top. You can pluck off the choke down to about the darker layer right under the choke. Once that is removed the artichoke heart is the prized piece. These are the things you see in salads and sold in jars at the store.

So now you know one way to eat those strange looking artichokes. These are fun to eat after dinner, mid day snack. You can even do this while watching your favorite sports game or at family movie night. Just be careful with the butter 😉

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Filed Under: A Thrifty Dad, Appetizer, Garden Tips, Light Recipes, Recipes, Thrifty ways to save

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Garden Tip on planting seeds, use a muffin pan to press holes into your dirt to form perfectly spaced holes for planting #Garden, #Tips, #KidsHow many of you are going to plant a garden this year?  If you have kids helping you it is sometimes hard for them to know how far to space the plants or seeds.  Here is a quick tip… use a muffin pan to create perfectly spaced holes to plant your garden seeds and plants in.  Of course always read the package for spacing guides.  You can use muffin tins, mini muffin tins, large muffin tins for different spacing options.   They often have muffin tins at the dollar store, you might check there as well.

Please note this works best on freshly tilled soil, that is nice and aerated, soil that is rocky, hard or has a lot of clay in it might not work to well.

All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space



Fiskars 7067 3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set

kids garden tools4

Toysmith Kid’s Big Tool Set

  • Set includes: garden rake, spade, how and leaf rake
  • Real metal tools for little hand
  • 27.5-Inch solid wood handles
  • Leather strap for hanging
  • A great way for young gardeners to help in the yard

green house to get your garden started HUGE SALE on these and SHIPPED FREE

Gardman R687 4-Tier Mini Greenhouse

raised garden bed

Greenland Gardener 8-Inch Raised Bed Double Garden Kit

  • Made from recycled plastic and wood
  • Will not rot
  • Patented corner system

raised garden box

Suncast RBD939 48-Inch by 48-Inch by 18-Inch 6 Panel Tiered Resin Raised Garden Kit

  • Rigid resin construction in maintenance ree- no painting, splinters, or rotting
  • Can be Built into multiple garden shapes
  • Steel stakes hold panels to ground
  • Sold as a set of 6 long panels, 2 panels, 4 stakes and connectors

You might also find this post helpful ~ How to make your own SEED TAPE

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6 Easy Ways To Teach Your Children About Birds, Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Fiary Garden Ideas , where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

I am excited to team up with Ace Hardware to be an “Ace Birding Blogger”, this is a sponsored post but all opinions and ideas are my own.

Ace birding blogger

As a little girl I remember going to my Grandma and Grandpa Ashby’s house and watching birds with them.  Sometimes we would just sit and watch them through the kitchen window. But  if it was nice outside we would sit outdoors and watch the birds flutter from one tree to another and listen to them sing their songs. I grew to love watching the birds, and is a memory I cherish.Spring bird feeders at ACE Hardware, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

 Stopping to listen and watch the birds was something I had to learn. How many times had I run through their yard and totally missed the birds?  I had to learn to sit, listen and watch and like magic a whole other world unfolded in our own front yard. This is something I would like to pass down to my own children.

Spring bird feeders at ACE Hardware, where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

6 Easy ways to teach your children about birds

  1. Get your kids involved and excited about bird watching.  If you do not already have birds in your yard, a good way to attract them is by putting a bird feeder in your yard.   Let your kids go to the store with you and help you pick out a bird feeder. Something as simple as allowing them to pick the color of the feeder helps to give them ownership of this new project. We went to our local Ace Hardware store, they had a great selection to pick from. We also got a huge bag of bird seed for  just under seven dollars.  Our local store is in Middleton, Idaho.  A small town, kind of a hidden treasure. You can beat the crowds and there are always friendly staff to help you with what ever you need. They even help you load your stuff into your car if you want!

Spring bird feeders at ACE Hardware, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

2. Look to see what kinds of plants attract birds in your area. Not all birds can live in your particular climate, so look for birds that are native to your area and build a space in your yard for them. My girls are hoping the hummingbirds come back to our yard this year.  So we looked for bright colored flowers with tubular shape that hold nectar, since that is what they are most attracted too.   We also bought a hummingbird feeder for them.  Our local Ace store had them for only $3.99, which is a really good deal!  Plus I can’t kill a feeder…. where I might end up killing the flowers, lol.  Our summers get pretty hot and about mid July I tend to start loosing flowers due to the heat.

Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Hummingbird feeders, where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

3. Knowledge is power and often makes them want to learn more. Teach your child a few things about the birds in your area. For example as we planted our bright colored flowers and filled our hummingbird feeder,  we also read a few facts about them. One of my daughters favorite was the fact that their long tongues could lick their food at the rate of 13 licks per second.  A few other fun facts, they only live 4 years and their hearts can beat 1,260 beats per minute.  My girls then had fun seeing how fast they could move their own tongue,  and counting their heart rate.

Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Hummingbird feeders , where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

4. Create a memory and share in the excitement.   Remember when I told you earlier how I learned to watch the birds from my grandparents.  I have never stopped to fully appreciate them if I have not spent the time with my grandma and grandpa all those years ago.  I could see how much they loved watching the birds, and I felt special that they would spend time with me, doing something they loved.  If you want your kids to learn about birds, join them. Get your hands dirty, help them fill up the feeders.  Giggle with them as they act like a silly little bird, and help them create a memory they will always remember.  If they have a positive first experience they want to learn more in the future.

Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

5. Let them dream. While we were at Ace my girls found a bird house that they wanted to add to their fairy garden. It was ceramic with a pretty teal roof. They both fell in love with it.  Now there is  a chance that the birds are not going to use this little ceramic house,  so I was very temped to tell them no and to only pick out the feeders that would actually attract birds.  But my heart saw the sparkle in their eyes, and I realized they will only be little for awhile. Before I know it fairy gardens will be a thing of the past, so let them dream.  They each picked out a few flowers to fill the flower pots and spent over an hour creating their own little fairy garden in a corner of our yard.

Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Fiary Garden Ideas , where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

6. Be consistent. Don’t just fill up the bird feeders once and never check them again.  Every other day or so, check your bird feeders to see if they need refilled. The ones we bought at Ace are pretty big and will stayed filled for a week or two depending on how many birds feed off of them.  Watch for feathers on the ground to see what kind of birds might we feeding if you have not been able to see them in person yet.  My girls just sat and looked UP the other night, and they were totally supersized to see two birds sitting in the tree above us, just watching us below.   When they got off the bus the next day, they stopped and looked up, to see if they were still up there, much to their delight they were!Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Looking up to see the birds, where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

 We are excited to be giving away a $150 Ace Hardware gift card that you can use at your local store or online. So you can start your own family memories  as you gather supplies to create your own Bird feeding adventure!

To enter  for the chance to win the $150 giftcard:

  1. Head over to the Ace Hardware page and leave a comment on this post telling me what catches your eye, what would you want to use your gift card on?
  2. For another entry leave a comment telling me what  Ace Bird Feeder you like best.
  3. For another entry tell me your favorite kind of bird.
  4. For another entry tell me if you have bird feeders in your yard, currently.

Giveaway will be fulfilled by  Ace, winner will be picked by a 3rd party at random.org.  Giveaway will end May 9th at 12pm mst.  Winner must list within the USA.

6 Easy Ways To Teach Your Children About Birds , Bird feeders at ACE Hardware, Fiary Garden Ideas , where to buy birdfeeders, how to make bird feeders with your family, family activities to do outside, ad

You might also like these fun Bird Feeder Ideas:

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DIY Bird Feeders For Kids

DIY Bird feeder

DIY Kids Craft Bird Feeders

“Ace Hardware has provided me with the products used within this project. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.”

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