this year's garden is puny compared to years' past. a couple tomato plants, started from seed by my grandfather, a couple cucumber plants that aren't doing so well, and a big pot of basil. that's it. no peas, no green beans, no corn, no zucchinis. while i was digging through our deep freezer i noticed one last bag of shredded zucchini leftover from last year's bumper crop and quickly decided i'd try to healthify (is that a word?!) my next baked good with zucchini. once these were warm out of the oven, the only thing they need - besides a cup of hot coffee - is a slather of butter. and if we're going to have butter, why not make it chocolate flavored?!
by something short of a miracle, both boys slept a full three hours yesterday. the weather outside was absolutely perfect, so i grabbed a stack of these cookies i made with winn late last week, made myself a mocha iced coffee (coffee + whole milk + hershey's syrup), grabbed my latest copy of cooking light, and had a full two hours all to myself outside. it was pure bliss. no one yelling "mama", no babies crying, no housework begging to be done. i honestly can't remember the last time that happened.
to say i've been busy the last six weeks is the understatement of the year. if you think toddlers are a time suck, try adding a newborn into the mix. it leaves an obnoxiously little amount of free time every day. and even less time for all of the usual things. we had gotten into a routine, the three of us, and since the baby made his arrival right before easter, dinners like this twenty minute easy tortellini bake by julie at this gal cooks, are perfect. and while it isn't exactly photogenic, this dinner is delicious with very little hands on time.
for this month's secret recipe club pick at anna's bcmom's kitchen, i followed the same format as last month: a delicious dessert and an easy dinner. and while both were delicious, i have to give it to the snickerdoodle bars. the fajitas were easy - chop, dump, and cook for 8 hours - but i forgot how much i love the still crunchy texture of vegetables in fajitas. anyone that's slow cooked vegetables knows they don't stay crisp. so while the flavor was good and the ease of making them spot on, the texture of the vegetables weren't the best for me.
and then there were the bars. when i was making them, i honestly didn't think they would be anything special and was pleasantly surprised when i had my first bite. they have the perfect balance of sugar cookie and cinnamon sugar goodness, in bar form. so good, i had to hide them from my toddler. otherwise, i heard "mama! bar!" a couple times a day when he saw them sitting on the counter.
a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine mentioned making a blueberry lemon cake on facebook. after reading that and seeing the post, i couldn't get the thought of a meyer lemon layer cake out of my mind. the very next day i scoured claire k creation's blog for cake recipes. i bypassed - and pinned for later - this best ever carrot cake, this lemon tea cake, and this coffee cake for this greek yogurt & raspberry cake. topped with meyer lemon buttercream, it made two pregnant women - she 38 weeks, me 32 - very happy.