Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Tweaked Recipe: Delicious Apple Bread (Oh! And an apple sauce recipe)

If you follow me on instagram (lifewithed), you probably have noticed that I've been on quite a baking frenzy. Unemployment in the traditional sense just ups the ante on domestication.

Dave came back from his friend's bachelor trip with a huge bag of apples. They were large red delicious, I believe. I'm not a huge fan of eating those as is, so I scoped out some good apple recipes.

When I was looking up apple bread recipes, I noticed that some call for apple sauce (in place of oil), and a lightbulb went off: Why just make homemade apple bread when I can also make homemade apple sauce for the homemade apple bread?

Apple Bread
(with some changes made to reduce fat and calorie count without compromising on taste):

Below: Paired it with some holiday gelatto--so good!


2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (you can use agave as a substitute, but it'll compromise the texture of the bread/muffins)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups apples--peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 cup broken walnuts (can sub pecans or leave them out entirely--I personally love the walnuts in the bread)

(preheat oven at 350 degrees)

1. In bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt
2. In large mixing bowl (or stand mixer), place oil, sugar, eggs, apple sauce, sugar, vanilla and apples.
3. Stir (pour in) flour mixture until well incorporated.
4. Add walnuts
5. Divide mixture between two greased 8x4 in bread pans (I poured the batter into one bread pan to about 3/4 of the way full and then poured the remainder of the batter into a mini cupcake mold (makes 12 of those or 6 regular sized muffins).
6. Bake the loaf at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the bread test done (the toothpick or knife trick)
7. If making mini muffins, bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (make sure to reduce oven temp if necessary, so you don't dry out your muffins)
8. Let cool for 10 minutes on rack before moving from pan

Apple Sauce

(I used 12 apples and those yielded a little bit more than 1/2 gallon of sauce)

2 large apples (3 medium)--peeled, cored and shredded (I used a food processor with the grate blade)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water (or less if you want a thicker sauce)
1 tbl brown sugar (you can leave this out completely or add more if you'd like)


1. Place shredded apples in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
2. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then add water
3. Cook until the apple bits become soft and mushy
4. Stir in brown sugar and mix well.

Serving suggestions

-Use as a topping for ice cream
- Mix into morning oatmeal (so good!)
- Use it as a dip with graham crackers (the kiddos love this)

These goodies also make great gifts!


We've been married for about the average life span of a flea.

We've been married for a month--a whole 30 days! The crazy part is that it feels like we've been married for much longer; it's probably because we've been so busy ever since that glorious October 15th.

After our wedding, we spent a little shy of a week on our honeymoon. The weekend after we got back from that, Dave was gone for a whole weekend for his friend David's bachelor trip (which means a soon-coming wedding). Soon after that, we began to practice frequently (multiple times a week) with the worship band for the 11.11.11 Conference that was taking place at the Rose Bowl.  I had never been to the Rose Bowl before, and I found myself on stage singing with my husband and others on my first visit there Crazy? Kind of. That'll be a fun story to tell the kids (someday). Our weekends are booked solid until the end of the year; I'm still not so sure how I feel about that one. There are moments when I'd like to erase all the obligations (all good, mind you) off our dry erase calendar just to have a lazy day with the husband.

Even though it feels a bit longer than 30 days, there's just a beautiful newness to being newlyweds. One of our favorite things is just getting to start our days off together, come home to each other, and be able to go to bed knowing your best friend is right there. We die of laughter together, and we may have our quips and tiffs, but the truth is:I love this adventure we're on, and there's absolutely no one else I'd rather be adventuring with.

Here are some pictures to recap:

Us during the sunny set-up at the Rose Bowl. 

The stage:

Us on stage right before our set:

Us in the UCLA men's shower room--classy, huh?:

To celebrate our one month (Yeah, yeah, I know what some of you are thinking), Dave gave me a card with  a napkin in it because he knew I'd probably start crying (and I did) and some lovely happy flowers:

We went to dinner at a fish house where our friend works, and we got a free calamari appetizer and free dessert! Definitely not a bad way to celebrate. We were so stuffed when we got home, we sunk deep into our food comas and fell asleep.

Quick pit stop to Home Depot post dinner to get some nails, so we can put up the final piece in the bedroom (pictures to come):

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Surprise: Sweet, sweet "revenge."

For some reason, my surprises I have or plan for Dave have always backfired. Take this for instance: for his birthday in July, I ordered a guitar pedal for him not knowing that I was logged on to HIS eBay account--good job, Liz!

The worst part is that Dave is great at surprising me, so i've always felt quite less than in the surprising department.

Well--I was doing laundry the other day in the garage and noticed this brown box in the back that I didn't remember seeing before. I just assumed it was a wedding gift that had somehow gotten overlooked. I spun the box around to see If there was any writing that would clue me in on what it was. And there, in beautiful, bold black typeface I read the words: KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

I believe my exact words were: "Whaaaat?! No way!!"

And the box was addressed to Dave's work, so I knew that this was something he meant to surprise me with.

When he came home that day, I walked over to him with my "I know something you wish I didn't know" face and told him what I had found. Turns out, it was my Christmas present!

Even though Dave was kind of bummed that the surprise was "ruined," we were both really excited to put the mixer to good use leading up to this holiday season. And truth be told, I was still completely surprised--just not as my darlin' husband had planned. Finally--a surprise that I figured out before the appointed time (doesn't feel so good now does it, babe?) ;).

Thank you for my lovely buttercup colored mixer, love. You've always been a good gift giver. The kitchen is going to get some serious action because of this new addition, and so will... Ah, I won't spell it all out for you...:p

Pumpkin Pie Season: A tweaked recipe.

In the last few years leading up to being married, i've had my share of roommates, and they all know this habit of mine: I listen to Christmas music a month before Christmas comes. In my defense, I have quite the variety, so it's not the same 5 songs over and over again that you'd probably hear on holiday KOST FM.

Well--same goes for pumpkin pie. It's never too early to make something that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert :).

Here's the recipe I used (this one is less time consuming. If you have the time, make your own pumpkin filling with fresh pumpkin--totally worth it as well as your own pie crust):

The main change I made to the recipe is that I doubled all the spices. Otherwise, you can't really taste any of them. If you like your spices more muted than I'd stick to what the original recipe calls for (but c'mon --live a little :))

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"This soup makes me want to dance and giggle.": The Super Soup

A few days ago, Dave and I had some friends over from the worship band we're in to have a meeting and a quick jam sesh.

Being the awesome wife that I am :p, I wanted to make them something yummy, so I decided to go with the Chicken Butternut Squash soup that my friend Kelly (from kellymakesthings.com) included as a part of our wedding gift.

It.was.a.hit!!!! Seriously, it's very easy to make (minus the peeling of the squash, but if you peel extra ahead of time, you can freeze it and use it for another batch later). The undertones of the curry powder, the texture of the walnuts, the aroma and lightness of the cilantro mixed in with the sweetness of the butternut squash and the savory of the chicken made for a delicious experience. Dave's friend said, "This soup makes me want to dance and giggle," and he's a manly father of two--it's THAT good.

You have got to give this recipe a try. Then, you must share the recipe because it's the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, it's perfect for the Fall. Enjoy!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse: Making Our House a Home

As Dave has gotten back into the groove of work, I've been thoroughly enjoying my role of home-maker--being as resourceful and creative as I can. (Sidenote: I got an interview for a teaching job in Santa Barbara, which will take place in November 16th :))

One of the funnest things I've gotten to do is use decor from our wedding in our home--both decoratively and practically.

Let me take you on a little tour (mostly of our music space and our kitchen):

-using the paper hearts in the flower girl's basket as labels for jars

-using 1/2 gallon mason jars for food storage

- using the framed pictures we used at the wedding up on our walls

- cake toppers, dried bouquets, guest books, and lace piece on my dress as decorative accents

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