Friday, September 17, 2010

Inspiration Friday Party No. 4!

Giant Zucchini, Sneaky Parenting and No "Whine" Dinners!

Oh yeah? You just watch me tie those 3 things together!

We have some amazing neighbors around us! They are gracious and warm and dote on my kiddos. Directly across the street, we have neighbors whose daughter baby-sat for us up until recently when she had THE NERVE to go off to college! I told her it was highly overrated and really, didn't she want to stay and baby-sit for us until my kids were teenagers? She didn't go for it. But, we love her anyway and she has become like part of the family and I love getting texts from her hearing all about her latest college adventures. So far they are all tame!
Her parents have shared her with us and have also become an extension of our family and the other day they brought over
2 GIANT Zucchinis.
Is the plural of zucchini, zucchinis with an 's'
or is it still just zucchini?
Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini...
I thought I needed to type that out a few more times.
I only remembered to take pictures after I had already shredded the larger one but here is the smaller one just to give you an idea of their massive proportions.
Seriously, my arm hurt after shredding these up!
Now, what is the first thing you think of when you see these?
Zucchini Bread, right?
Well, I thought that too and I have enough in my freezer now for all of you to get some for Christmas, but I wanted to see if I could find another recipe to give us some variety.
So, I turned to my trusty kitchen helper...
My parents sent me off to college with this book and some Student Loans. And although I didn't crack it open while I was actually in school, it has since become a staple in my home.
It has everything from how to pick fruits and vegetables, to how to do laundry and get out stains, as well as tips for dealing with illness and injury and everything in between.

It didn't tell me how to keep my son from putting Legos in his nose.
 But, i
t did, however, have this recipe!

Soft Zucchini Cookies
Doesn't that plate remind you of a Zucchini?
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 C. peeled, coarsely grated zucchini
2 1/2 C. flour
2 C. quick-cooking oatmeal
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)
1 C. raisins
And then I threw in a whole bunch of chocolate chips too for good measure!
Cream shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until fluffy; stir in zucchini. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; add to zucchini mixture. Stir in oatmeal until well blended. Add nuts and raisens, AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS! You know you want to!
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes.

This recipe is particularly appealing to me because of my deep desire to have my kiddos develop healthy eating habits and to get some vegetables in them come hell or high water! They have their favorite things like carrots and tomatoes and sweet potatoes and I continue to put new things in front of them ALL the time. But, aside from force feeding them, which I have heard doesn't usually go over very well, I want to know that they are getting those vitamins and nutrients even if they don't know it.
So, I have become a SNEAKY PARENT!
And, this book really started it for me...

I found it at TJ's for $6 and knew that I had it in me to be Deceptive.
Just about food mind you!
There are some really great recipes in here and my kids have really liked (most of) them. But, what this book has really done for me is help me to figure out ways to incorporate vegetables into our favorite Family Recipes. It is surprisingly easy to do! Like adding pureed spinach to your favorite pasta sauce, or sneaking in Flax Seed to your breading mixture for homemade chicken nuggets or fish sticks. I have even been known to buy baby food when I haven't had time to puree anything and mix that right in! My favorite thing to do is to add Pureed Sweet Potatoes or Butternut Squash to a good 'ol box of Mac-n-Cheese!

The colors blend in perfectly with the tones of the "cheese" or whatever that packet of orange colored stuff is. I know, I know, there are other ways to make mac-n-cheese that are healthy and not processed, but I have tried all the others and I'm not fooling my kids. They get this box stuff as a treat and so, I do the best I can with what I got! They still see vegetables on their plates and are encouraged to try new things, but now I feel better if what started on their plates at the beginning of dinner is still there at the end!

What is really Inspiring to me, is to see how well my Sister's kids eat! Are you guys tired of the mushy-gushy sister love?
Well, TOO BAD!
Heather was recently asked to write an article for
Food on the Table about how to get your kids to be less picky!

(We don't know this little boy! My sister bought him and I borrowed him! Seriously though, she bought the image. She owns him so we can make fun of him for being picky!)
Her kids are amazingly adventurous in their eating habits and she has done a fabulous job of introducing new foods to them. Not only that, they both like to get in the kitchen and cook too!
I encourage you to go over and read her great article
So, what is Inspiring you today? Maybe you tried out a new recipe too! Maybe you showed some great display of Deception towards your family! Oh wait, never mind. I don't want to know! But, did you create a new Fall Vignette in your home? Did you gain a new insight into your family or your faith this week and post about it? If you posted it, I want to see it!
So, LINK UP! And don't forget to visit the other posts you see linked here!

1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your address but it will not be visible to anyone else.

2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.

3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else!
4. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my Inspiration Friday party!
I'm also keeping the par-tay train rolling along by joining up with these parties this weekend.
Friday Potluck
Foodie Friday
From this Southern Girl at Heart,


Melissa Miller said...

Hi Vanessa!
I always enjoy your inspiration party! You do a great job with your blog and write so well. Thank you for hosting the fun party each week.

The cookies look so delicious and I love the idea of sneaking in the healthy stuff. Yum!

Happy Fall! ~Melissa :)

michelle said...

What an adorable blog you have!! Thank you for your sweet comment and I am following you now and I linked up!!
Those cookies look so good! I must get those books, I have a hard time getting my kids to eat good for you food sometimes (and sometimes I am lazy and don't make good for you food :) )
Thank you again and look forward to future posts!!

Anonymous said...

Vanessa, it took me two tries to get this post loaded but I'm very persistent. Today, this has been good for me to get out my angst. We are having our house painted and well, it's a tad bit stressful for me and my dog :) LOL, I'm whining over day one which was power washing and I'm not even into day two which is scraping. Well, they found no dry rot so I'm very thankful. I'm having wine for dinner tonight so I should be calm in about....3 more sips!

Anonymous said...

Oops! forgot to tell you that I like that cookie recipe. I'm going to save it and give it a try. I love zucchini.

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Hi Vanessa, I finally have a post for you! Love the sneaky parenting/cooking -- and the zucchini cookie recipe! I just found a recipe a while back for grilled zucchini pizza; might be another good way to get the kiddos to eat veggies. :)


Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

I think that book would have come in handy a few years ago, for me. Those cookies look so soft and delicious, now you got me craving cookies. What a great idea to make them with your zucchinies.

I love growing vegies and zucchinies can get pretty big.

I have a very hard time with cooking with vegetables, but I'm getting better at it.

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

I love the concept behind the Deceptively Delicious cookbook! But I have to admit I'm not very deligent about it. Your cookies look yummy!
Thanks for hosting!

NanaDiana said...

What a fun post! Did you ever make chocolate zucchini bread...did I spell that right? is wonderful-moist and delicious!

I have fun with the kids food too...and there used to be a book called Feed Me, I'm Yours that was kind of a Bible for Moms of the late 70's/early 80's. Lots of fun and healthy recipes.

Thanks for the smile-I needed it tonight- Diana

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Thanks for joining my party :)

Jessica said...

Hi Vanessa~

I linked up! What a great party~ I'm always looking for inspiration. Thanks for lettimg me know and thank you so much for your visit and your nice comment.


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Vanessa!
Your cookies look yummy! I just linked to this post. Thank you for the invite! Have a wonderful weekend.

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

Hey can you send the little boy back over if you are done borrowing him? I have a new recipe for him to try out! Turnip Greens! lol Love the cookies, perfect for fall!


Debbie said...

Still giggling about zucchini zucchini, zucchini...

I had heard about that Jessica Seinfeld book and the great ideas.
You shared some other really good ones! I wish that had been around when my girls were little. My best effort was just to serve the same vegetables that they DID like over and over and over and...

It's a miracle that they didn't grow broccoli where their ears should have been.

It worked, but this way is much better!

Melanie said...

Hey Vanessa. I need you to send me your email. I can't reply when you comment on my blog:)

To answer your question, my friend changed my blog header but it was months ago. LOL!

Love your inspiration post. Have a good weekend.

Debbie said...

Hi Vanessa I joined in your party...Hope my post qualifies, as I do think thrifting and being spoiled by a Mom is an inspiration:) Those cookies looked yummy. I love zucchini, however I am the only one who does.

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I really like this party. It is more about what is important to us than merely about our accomplishments!! Thanks for hosting!

Anita said...

Well you are inspiring me to try harder to get my kids eating healthy!! I do put applesauce in brownies instead of oil, so I know that works wonders. I have never had zucchini cookies, but they look wonderful! Thanks so much for your sweet visit! You always have something so nice to say:-) Have a great weekend!!

Val said...

Yum, I really need to make those!!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I have that book and love it!!!
Have a great weekend!

Christie said...

Vanessa, First I want to say thank you so much for your sweet comments! I regret that it has taken me all week to reply...I am not the most organized person and it is a miracle that I am even able to have a blog :) Your words were so encouraging and I really appreciate them. I absolutely love the beauty that is in this world and I love to create it for my family. The beauty in blog land alone is amazing! I started my 'Life Lessons' in an attempt to be as authentic as I can be. It is the painful times that gently remind me why I so desperately need a Savior! So, thank you for being such a sweet 'friend.' I just know if we lived in the same town we would be your wit!! AND, I love the new impressed that you can do all of this! I am techno challenged...just look at my simple 3PL! hee hee I will add your button to my side bar! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I linked up three posts from this week..miracle that I posted more than once! I love Inspiration Fridays!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I have two grandchildren that will not eat any vegetables or meat!! I am going to try the cookie recipe and sneaking squash into the mac and cheese. I am headed over to your sister's blog to see what else I can sneak in their food. Thanks for the info and have a wonderful weekend.
xo, Sherry

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, I saw the author of that book on a talk show a while back and was amazed at how she could sneak the veggies into everyday food. Wish I knew that when my kids were little.

Becca said...

Hey Vanessa, thanks for hosting! I'm excited to join the fun and share my Fall cloches. I love your post and am impressed by your being vigilant to sneak veggies into your kiddos meals! I need to be better about that, for sure! I have the Deceptively Delicious book, but need to try out some new recipes by her! She really does know how to sneak the "good stuff" in, doesn't she? Thanks again and have a great night. Becca

Sue said...

Vanessa, I love zucchini cake, so I know I'll enjoy the cookies- yup I know it! *grin* How funny to sneak in some "good stuff" with the mac n cheese. Cracked me up. -I was lucky- our son ate everything but tomatoes. To this day, he will NOT touch one. LOL And he's not a kid anymore.
I am late linking up, but maybe I'll get a couple of visits from here anyway. Thanks for hosting again.
hugs, Sue

Michele@Fit Foodista said...

Hi! I found your blog on Ekat's Kitchen's Friday Potluck - it's great! What a nice combination of food and "feel good" ;)

Adding you to my RSS feeds and will definitely be back for the Friday Inspiration Parties.

...I laughed out loud in response to the book your parents gave you not preparing you for legos up the nose....My daughter is sixteen now and sometimes I long for the days when legos were the biggest challenge :)

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Hello, lovely Vanessa, thanks for joining in my Friday Potluck! You've inspired me with your Inspiration Fridays. Looking forward to keeping this going!

Pamela said...

I love looking thru your posters Vanessa! I don't think my post this week qualifys. I am always confused on that. Hope your weekend is going well!:)

Vanessa said...

Hi Pamela! Anything YOU post qualifies! :-) It really is just about whatever you posted that you think might inspire someone else. I think your living room transformation definitely qualifies!
Come on back and join the party!

Jenny said...

What a lovely idea. I am marking my calendar for next week. I've been a bit under the weather and I won't link if I can't visit everyone. Next week will be better though. This is a great idea.

And those cookies sound delicious.

Kim said...

Hi Vanessa. Those cookies look great, you took an amazing photo. I saw that book somewhere, too, inexpensively. I think I'll pick it up. I have a recipe for mock apple pie made with zucchini that's really good, too. I miss those huge zucchini's - we don't see them in FL.

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