Friday Five: Unposted Photos and Good Reads

Five Things Friday

I’ve wanted to share things again here in this space, photos I didn’t post on Instagram but still mean something to me, pieces I read that mattered. And I figure sometimes the things I share will differ: five meals, five songs, five movies, five questions. But fives. Always fives.

Five Pictures I Didn’t Post on Social Media

Five Things Friday

Clockwise from top left: Clouds in a blue sky; an #usie while he was on the phone; I asked LittleBrother to smile nicely while he followed me around the library; Halloween was gorgeous; and this is HOWCLOSE my kids sit to me in the evenings—I am so loved.

Five Things I Read That Won’t Get Out of My Head

We Will Always Rebuild: A Poem for the Grieving by Jeanette Blanc. You guys. I just discovered Blanc’s work at Peace, Love, Free today and, good golly, I’m in love. Or inspired. Or entranced. Or all of the above. It’s an interesting time of year for me to read that piece, as I probably needed to read it this time last year. I’m feeling tender and vulnerable right now, remembering the loss, fear, anxiety, and hopelessness of that time. Reading this poem felt like a beautiful sign of hope for the future.

An Open Letter to America’s Parents and Teachers: Let’s Make Our Testing Smarter by, oh, you know, Barack Obama. I’m not just linking to it because it’s Obama on BlogHer. Testing remains a hot-button issue with me, and if we’re going to test our kids, let’s be smarter about it. Shall we?

Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason by Tim Lawrence. “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” I feel like tattooing that on my other arm. Or my forehead. And while they are the words of another write that Lawrence references, the post itself speaks to the grieving heart and states that platitudes are bull hooey. I agree.

Explaining Depression to My Mother. Okay, so I didn’t read this, but I watched it and nodded and cried and yelled along with her.

I Survived Postpartum Depression, but It Never Left Me by Lisa Romeo. Yes, PPD shaped how I parent. Other things did/do too: adoption, my anxiety, my childhood, the love of my husband, society. But yes, PPD changed me and stays with me to this day.

 

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Fall is here! You know how I know?

ZUCCHINI. I love zucchini. It’s one of those vegetables you can use to make eleventy bagillion things. Plus, it usually grows to be ginormous, so you can make all those things out of just ONE zucchini. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

And while I love things like stuffed zucchini boats and zucchini fritters, I like to make sweet things out of my zucchini. All the breads and muffins and sweet treats galore. I pack them into boys’ lunches, take them along to fall parties, and gift them to people who need more zucchini in their lives. Because who doesn’t need more zucchini in their lives?

But now you’re wondering: What’s this have to do with Halloween, right? Stay with me. My most favorite zucchini recipe of all time has to be my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. I’m not big up on chocolate, but this sweet bread is so moist, so delicious that I just want to eat the whole thing in one sitting. I refrain, of course. Mostly.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 2/3 cup flour
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups chocolate chips

  • Set your oven for 350 degrees.
  • Combine your eggs, honey, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Tip: Use your finger to spread a little oil around the measuring cup for the honey; it will slide right back out. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the salt, baking soda, cocoa, and flour. Fold together and mix until it’s all dark brown and mixed nicely.
  • Add your zucchini and 1 3/4 cups of your chocolate chips. Mix together.
  • Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 60 minutes and use a toothpick to see if it’s finished.

Baker’s Tip: You can also make little cupcakes out of this batter (think: lunch box friendly), but you’ll need much less cooking time. Check at about 25 minutes with a toothpick and adjust from there.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This really is a great addition to a Halloween or fall festival party for the adults in the group (and kiddos, of course). I know I’m more likely to grab a piece of sweet bread than dip my hand in the candy bowl. If you bring this along to serve at your kids’ party, you’ll be the hit and everyone will ask you for the recipe.

With all of the sweet treats coming up, I’ve made sure to get the boys new toothbrushes at our last dentist visit. The kids are also stocked up on Aquafresh® Cavity Protection Toothpaste to help keep sugar acids at bay when we’re indulging in all the fun of the fall season. And by the kids, I mean us too. Because I’m going to make more of this bread. I’ve got enough zucchini to fill my freezer with sweet breads until next fall. Hooray!

And now you can win! Answer this question: What’s your favorite way to take care of your teeth this Halloween? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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This sweepstakes runs from 10/29/2015 – 10/31/2015

Be sure to visit Aquafresh® toothpaste’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!