Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Mountain Bars

What Makes a Great Run?

I’m trying to figure out why some of my runs are fabulous and some just stink.  I know that the latter and caused by stiff muscles but I do the same workout every day.  So what is making the difference?  I was thinking it could be how much I stretch during the day or maybe what I eat, but I think it might be how much I sit.  Bummer if that’s it because I can’t really control how much I have to sit for work.  I’m always been jealous of people who have jobs that don’t require sitting.  Maybe I need a second act?

What Did I Make Today?

An overly ambitious tri-fecto: Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction, Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Domestic Rebel, and Chocolate Chip Mountain Bars from yours truly.

Why Did I Make So Much (and How Did It Go)?

The Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction are for an upcoming road trip.  I’m planning to impress the in-laws with these.  They came out perfect!


I made the Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Domestic Rebel’s recipe because one of my kids is having a group of friends over to the house tonight.  I decided to have some fun with it and follow the direction from Sally’s post today.  I like the results.  Thanks, Sally!


Finally, I made Chocolate Chip Mountain Bars.  (We call these Madison’s Mountain Bars.)  I didn’t intend to make these, but my little bomber got me again.  So I had to make something for him to take to school.  Fortunately, he doesn’t take them in today, so I got to experiment.  I made some with a large scoop and some with a medium scoop.  I use the recipe for edible dough by Center Cut Cook.



Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread and Levian Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies

It Would Be Cool…

Our little town is pretty boring, but every once in a while something kind of cool goes down.  Last week the fire department challenged kids to go through a home safety inspection.  As an incentive, kids were able to turn their forms in to be entered in a contest for a ride to school on a fire engine.  The odds are pretty low, but I am still hoping for a win.

What Did I Make Today?

Two easy and fun recipes: Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread by Southern Plate and Levian Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies by Modern Honey.

How Did It Go?

Easy and fun!  I’ve been avoiding the Levian Bakery Chocolate Chip Crush Cookies by Modern Honey because the sugar-to-flour ratio is low for our tastes, but it is kind of a jiggy recipe, so I gave into temptation.


I didn’t make these big enough because I got 20 cookies instead of 12.  So that’s probably why I had to cut the bake time down to 8 minutes.

I also had to cut the bake time down on the Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread by Southern Plate.  I didn’t realize until too late that this was a 2-loaf recipe.  I baked it for 37 minutes.  I think it might be okay.


It’s going to a neighbor, so I’ll probably never know how it tastes unless it’s amazing.  Maybe I’ll try it again.  It is a really easy recipe.

Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies, Triple Chocolate Hersheys Brownies with Chocolate Mousse Frosting, and Banana Bread Brownies with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Finally Did It!

I finally got some good weather and made it to my daughter’s soccer practice to take some pics.  When she saw me there, she did some serious mugging for the camera.  The boys never did that!  Loving my new camera by the way.

What Did I Make Today?

All about Hubs today.  I made his fave cookies (Mrs. Field’s Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies by Can’t stay Out of the Kitchen) and two brownie recipes: Triple Chocolate Hersheys Brownies based on the Triple Chocolate Nutella Brownies recipe by The Domestic Rebel and Banana Bread Brownies with Chocolate Glaze based on the recipe for Banana Bread Brownies with Vanilla Caramel Glaze by Averie Cooks.

How Did It Go?

Both recipes were pretty easy and turned out well.  I did the full, lower-end bake time in 9×9 pans.  (Usually I use 8×8.)  The Triple Chocolate Brownies were edible pretty quickly, so I’m thinking I should have gone with my instincts to cut the bake time down by 5 minutes.  I think I may have made these before, and they didn’t go over well.  At least now I’ll know.



Well, the brownies were kind of meh so I decided to try out a frosting recipe on them.  I chose Chocolate Mousse Buttercream by Wicked Good Kitchen.


Seems like it needs refrigeration, but the recipe says not.

I think the Banana Bread Brownies by Averie Cooks baked pretty well in 45 minutes.  I’m going to add chocolate glaze after they cool a bit.  I think.  Or I may go with a frosting recipe that I haven’t tried!  Yes!  How about Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache Frosting by Foodista


Whoa!  This pre-icing pic of the banana brownies looks almost exactly the same as the pic of the triple chocolate brownies.


Frosting came out great.  Not goopy at all.

Sum total of all the brownies efforts: frosting good; brownies bad.

The Mrs. Field’s Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies by Can’t stay Out of the Kitchen tend to spread, so I popped the balls in the freezer for 10 minutes and pushed the temp up to 375 then back down to 350 when I started the bake.  Medium balls, 8 minutes, highest rack.


Chocolate Chip Cookies and Toffee Crumble Apple Blackberry Pie

He Dropped the Bomb on Me

One of my kids is a big time bomber.  In other words, he leaves things to the last minute or forgets to tell me about critical events entirely.  Argh!  Not a super good match for me.  I like a week of lead time.  Sure enough, as I’m heading to bed last night, there was a knock on the door, and it turned out that he promised to bring treats for the class today.  Double argh!

What Did I Make Today?

I went with Chocolate Chip Cookies by Domestic Rebel and a pie that was a combo of the Pillsbury recipe for Apple Blackberry Pie and the toffee crumble from Something Swanky’s Blackberry Toffee Crumble Pie recipe.

How Did It Go?

A little too crazy for my tastes, but I think there are enough edible cookies.  No idea about the pie.

The recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies by Domestic Rebel works best with refrigerated dough balls.  I didn’t have time for that so after the first batch spread like crazy, I upped the temp to 375 and the bake time to 9 and a half minutes.  That turned out to be a little much, so I moved the cookies to the top rack, and that seemed to work okay.


I was intending to make the Autumn Apple Blackberry Pie from Aberdeen’s Kitchen, but there was no way I had time for that.  So I used the Pillsbury recipe for Apple Blackberry Pie which was much easier.  But I only had one pie crust.  So I used the crumble topping from Something Swanky’s Blackberry Toffee Crumble Pie recipe.  Not sure how this is going to turn out…

I forgot to take a picture.  Dang it!  The pie was AMAZING, though.

Quilt Pic Instead?

I finally finished the Pete the Cat Halloween quilt!



The Best Banana Bread?

Attack of the Spider Webs

It was a nice, chilly fall morning.  I have no idea why that translated into a TON of spider webs, but it did.  I swear I was covered in them by the time I finished running.  I also tried out my new GoreTex running gloves.  They worked well, but I have to test them against my cheap Spyder gloves.  Not sure they are three times the price better.

What Did I Make Today?

Just one thing: The Best Banana Bread by Domestic Rebel.  Plus some fridge fare.

How Did It Go?

Fine.  I think the bread will be a lot better than the one I made yesterday.  I’m pretty sure I made another bread recently that had pudding in it, and it turned out well.


Okay, this may not LOOK like the best banana bread, but it definitely TASTES like it.  YUM!

I’m working on cleaning out the fridge so I baked sugar cookie sandwiches and the Biscoff Oreo Chocolate Chip cookies from a few days ago ’cause I think there’s a soccer game tonight.  Otherwise, we are going to have a lot of cookies on our hands.



My Little Pony Cake and Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread

Hello, Moon

It was just a small slice of moon this morning, but at least I got to see it.  During the summer, the constellations are close to the horizon, and I love looking at them during my run.  Now – not so much.  They’re out there, but I’d have to look up to see them which would probably end up with me doing a Superman.  I’ve done that twice, and I have no interest in doing it again!

What Did I Make Today?

Try as I might, I could not shake my daughter’s request for a My Little Pony cake since she is seeing the movie today. Then I had some fun with Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread by Little Bits Of.

How Did It Go?

Well, actually, although I was a bit grumpy about it.  Decorating a Wilton shaped pan is such a pain! At least this is a small one.  I used a Ghiradelli Chocolate Cake mix and baked it for 25 minutes.  Then I used a Wilton-ish recipe for the icing: 1 cup butter, 1 cup butter-flavored crisco, 6 cups powdered sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 4 TSBP cream.


I liked the Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread recipe by Little Bits Of. I thought I’d read a comment to use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar in the crumb topping, but looking back, I guess not.  Shoot!  Hope it still tastes okay.  Well, I can always make it again with powdered sugar and see how that tastes.  I also only softened the butter.  I baked it for 50 minutes.  Maybe should have gone with 45?  I don’t know if that would have helped.  This turned out to be pretty dry bread, the kind you have to spread something on.  Update: The middle of the bread was much better.  I actually think this is a decent recipe.  A 45 minute bake would have really helped.


Not-Quilty Bonus

Argh!  I still haven’t had time to finish my daughter’s Halloween quilt, but I did make these cute add-ons.


Sugar Cookie Palooza

Demerit or Gold Star?

On the Happier podcast, Gretchen and her sister give themselves demerits and gold stars, switching back and forth from week to week.  Is my bake today a demerit or gold star?  On the one hand, who needs all these sugar cookies?  And I didn’t even follow through on all my ideas.  On the other hand, who doesn’t love iced sugar cookies?  I think I can turn this around by finding a home for some of these.  Plus, for the most part, they are super cute.

What Did I Make Today?

A bunch ‘o cookies with my fave No Roll Sugar Cookies recipe by Spend with Pennies

How Did It Go?

Awesome!  Except for the fact that I couldn’t find the candy corn.  I think one of the kids gobbled it late last night.