Finding True Serenity

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Homemade Pineapple Zucchini Bread September 27, 2009


Our sweet neighbor is a gardening extraordinaire! She had zucchini pouring out of her ears and was sweet enough to share some with us! Thanks Donna! After reading through some blogs, I was fortunate enough to stuble across a recipe posted by Jen at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven for zucchini bread. It looked absolutely delish so we decided to give it a try it! We had to drop a few ingredients due to not having them on hand, but this is a yummy way to use up some extra zucchini!

Pineapple Zucchini Bread


2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 C. sugar
3 eggs (farm fresh is best! Thanks Jen!) (vegan alt: 3 T. ground flaxseed + 9 T. water)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 C. oil (we used coconut oil)
2 C. grated zucchini
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt) Add to the flour mix the following wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, oil and zucchini). Once mixed well, stir in the raisins and pineapple until just blended.


Pour into 2-9x5x3 inch loaf pans.

pour in pans

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F for one hour, or until browned.

***Oh, and most importantly. If you are grating fresh zucchini, don’t, and I do mean DON’T, under any circumstances, let any fall on the floor where you are working or the following scavengers might be found lurking nearby!*** 😉 Of course, I’m a sucker for cute little beady eyes…so I had to share! They love the fresh fruits and veggies, too! 🙂
my scavengers
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Family Size Yogurt Maker September 18, 2009

Filed under: Frugal Friday,Recipes,Thrifty,Thrifty Thursday — findingtrueserenity @ 5:11 pm
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yogurt maker

I scored this brand new, never used beauty at a local church garage sale for a whopping $2.00!!!   I can’t tell you the excitement that was shared when I told the kids we were going to be able to try making our very own homemade yogurt (I’ve tried this in the past with the oven method, but didn’t have consistent results)! 

The kids and I anxiously ran home and began washing everything up.  ***This is very important, whenever you are making yogurt make sure all of the equipment is clean!!!***  Below is the instructions we followed that came with it.


Two quarts of milk—made from non-fat dry milk (following instructions per package) but use 1/3 Cup more than directed per quart.

Yogurt starter—2 heaping Tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures


Pour the milk into a pot and place on the stove.  Heat the milk on a low-medium flame stirring occassionally until it reaches approximately 110-120 degrees F

Heating Milk

Add the yogurt starter to one of the yogurt jars.  To this, add some of the heated milk and stir well.

mix well

Pour this mixture back into the pot of heated milk and stir well.

Pour the milk into the 5 serving hars, put the lids on securely and place in the yogurt maker.

wait 10 hours

Put the unit cover on the heater base and plug in.  In ten hours remove the hars and place them in the refrigerator.  Allow yogurt to cool for 3-4 hours BEFORE serving.  At that time you may add flavoring.

I followed this recipe to a T, and after about 14 hours of incubating it was still terribly runny.  I drained one jar into some cheesecloth in hopes of removing most of the whey to get some custard like yogurt, but perhaps I need to let it drain overnight?!  Aside from drinking our homemade yogurt, we absolutely loved the way it tasted!  We added 2 T Agave with 1 t Vanilla, and oh my goodness was it good.  We also added 4 t limeade concentrate to another one with some agave to sweeten and that was really good as well!  Oh the possibilities!  If only I could figure out how to get it to become more custard like.

Anyone out there make their own yogurt with success?  I’d love to hear about some tips to making ours thicker, or oh, using alternative milks.  We’ve tried soymilk and ricemilk in the past.  Soy kinda set up and rice did not.  😦

Have a wonderful day!!!


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Yummy in my Tummy! January 16, 2009

Okay, I’m not sure why I have caught the cooking bug, perhaps for heat, but my family are loving it!!!! 

The other day we made this yummy meal.  Our neighbor had shared with us some homemade vegetable soup and we paired it with some vegan agave cornbread muffins  (absolutely delish BTW) and a spinach apple salad.

Soup, Salad, and Cornbread


Spinach Apple Salad

4 Cups fresh Baby Spinach

1 Large Apple, sliced thinly

3/4 Cup Onion, Chopped


1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (we prefer using Braggs)

3 Tablespoons Honey


This was sooo good!!!  With the weather we were having this fit the bill!   But then, I was feeling a bit adventurous.  My husband asked me to make some homemade cookies, and I had been wanting to try a new recipe from the Vegeterian Times Complete Cookbook for a vegan version. 

Much to my surprise, the kids and husband LOVED them.  They are nothing like chocolate chip cookies that we are used to but they were very good.

No Toll Chocolate Chip Cookies

No Toll Cookies

Typical chocolate Chip Cookies are loaded with fat, sugar and calories.  Not these taste-alikes.  They contain almost no fat, are sweetened with honey instead of sugar and have only 55 calories per cookie.

3 C Whole-wheat flour

1 t Baking Soda

3/4 C Unsweetened Applesauce

3/4 C Honey

2 t Vanilla extract

3/4 C Unsweetened carob chips or semisweet Chocolate Chips (we used semisweet chocolate chips)

1/2 C Chopped nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)  (We didn’t use any)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl sift the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by the tablespoon onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Flatten with fork.  Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.