Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BREAD

3 c. flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 c. grated zucchini, unpared
3/4 c. oil
3 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients together; then mix eggs, oil, vanilla and zucchini in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix well. Add nuts and chocolate chips.
Grease pans. This batter can be poured into 2 loaf pans or 4 to 5 mini loaf pans, or into muffin pans (about 24). Bake at 350 degrees. Large loaves take about 50 to 60 minutes; mini-loaves about 30 minutes; and muffins about 15 to 20 minutes.

We made EIGHT large loaves using one giant zucchini!

Business trip full of backyards

Sorry for the late post on this. I took a trip down to hot Phoenix, AZ Wednesday (9/17) evening. A bunch of my main contacts for my biggest client work in Scottsdale. Since my meeting with them was scheduled for only one hour on Thursday morning I decided to extend the trip a bit. Wednesday I stayed at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. It was super nice. Unfortunately, I only had time to take a late swim outside and eat breakfast before checking out.

The backyard of the hotel looked out on to their huge golf coarse. After my quick meeting Thursday I rejuvenated with our friend Matt. Matt is an old family friend. Christina used to babysit him and his little brother. also they were both ushers for our wedding. Matt is a senior at ASU in Tempe. Before his last class Thursday he showed me some of campus. I took off my suit jacket, but the heat was still pretty unbearable.


Matt received a text right after we left campus. Funny I looked like a "business guy."

A few of Matt's roommates joined us for happy hour and dinner, then we played some pretty intense beer pong at his house. They have a pretty good set up. Outside they have their own pool, a little side yard of weeds, a porch (for beer pong), and an extra fridge. The photo above is the backyard, you can sort of see the beer pong table on the bottom right. Later on Thursday evening we went to a house party for a drink then went to a bunch of ASU bars. The streets were packed with Georgia fans because the #3 Bulldogs were in town to play ASU's football team on Saturday. So many Georgia fans!

Friday we hit up an In N Out burger and ran around town. We went over to a Mexican restaurant to meet my old college roommate Dave and his wife Courtney. We had a few drinks and dinner then I threw my bag in his car and moved to my third bed in three nights. Dave and Courtney live in South Phoenix. They had a nice house and backyard full of rocks (above). Dave was the first to point out they "could" do some landscaping. before I caught my flight home Saturday morning they took me up a mountain to a lookout over the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area.

It was great to see them and catch up! The whole time everyone kept telling me the heat wasn't that bad because it didn't reach three digits. Funny since it was actually 99 degrees every day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hawk ATTACK!

On Sunday Queenie nearly escaped her demise. Steve let Hedwig and her out in the yard for a bit while he was working in the garden. He heard something and turned around to see a hawk (or something) descending on Queenie. Luckily it missed initially and he ran over to shooed it away as it as about to pounce again. Had he not been back there she would have been the bird's lunch (even though she is bigger than the hawk). No more yard roaming for the chickies.

The rest of the afternoon we watched as the hawk stalked the coop, flying from one electric pole to the next in the alley. We're curious as to what kind of raptor it is. i will have to consult my cousin Jenn who used to work at the U of M raptor center (which we visited last summer) for her knowledge. Anyone else have any ideas?

Such a stalker

Update
: fairly positive it's a red-tailed hawk.
More recent update: my hunter friend Kraft thinks it is a Cooper's Hawk, although if it was smaller he says it may be a Sharp-Shinned Hawk or possibly a Goshawk which is noticeably bigger than a Cooper's Hawk.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Harvest Party

Trying to do a little catch up on the blogging here. ever since we moved we have been insanely busy! Last saturday we went to Charis, Jay, Becca & Chris's Lostview Farm near Colfax, WI for a little change of scenery and to hang out with friends. The day was devoted to farm chores like chopping wood for the winter and harvest the summer's bounty. We unfortunately got going a little late and weren't able to help with many chores. We were able to get there in time to enjoy the company of friends, eat food from the garden and do a little camping.

This, when finished, will look conical in shape. it is a way to dry the wood quickly; it will take about 2 months to fully dry. I like how sculptural it looks.

Our tent was nestled between the chicken coop, the compost pile and some sort of farm equipment. we slept peacefully until a rooster woke us up at 5am. Becca and Charis thought they had all hens, but we let them know otherwise-- they said they had suspicions though. Thankfully he only crowed about 5 times.

Carrot orgy. Carrot man's relatives.
Countess Palatine Hedwig

here's our newest chicken, a one year old polish hen. we got her from an old guy at the state fair for $20 and she's a 2nd place award winner. she has endured a bit of hazing since her arrival to the coop even though we followed all the rules of new hen introduction (putting her in at night, spraying everyone and the coop with vinegar so they don't notice she smells different).

here she is posing for her senior picture in the garden.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

9/5/08 Principal Balance PAID IN FULL

This was the line on my mortgage when I checked online just now to make sure our closing Friday was recorded okay. That's right we closed Friday afternoon and we're homeless. Well kinda; we moved 95% of our stuff into Mike's (Christina's father) house. Most of it is in his basement and garage, but we still have a lot to sort out from just about every room. We re-created our old family room layout in his sun room and the cable and internet should be hooked up tomorrow (come on Comcast!). Thus, no McBlog updates as of late.

Stay tuned for a backlog of info and photos including a trip up to Detroit Lakes, the State Fair, our new hen Countess Palatine Hedwig's introduction, landscaping at Mike's and a trip to Lostview Farm.

Monday, September 01, 2008

SEPTEMBER LINK OF THE MONTH

Fall TV is coming back! At SCREENHEAD you can see all sorts of different commericals, trailors, and TV items for your viewing pleasure.