All the goodies you never knew you wanted to know. Random tidbits about Caryn Pt 2

Caryn is grateful and thinks we all should be thankful for what we have. Thinks we should stop and breathe and enjoy the beauty of the world more often. Believes life is too short, so live it while you can and eat everything in moderation; except for dry chicken, she hates that. Wants to surround herself with positive people. Thinks you should respect your body and knees now because you’ll miss them when they are gone.

She has 75 pending posts and ideas in her wordpress draft box and more on her iPhone but still finds herself at a loss for what to write sometimes. Prefers to edit on a printed-paper copy rather than on the computer, but doesn’t have a working printer at home. Dependent on her daily planner that she carries around in her purse. None of this electronic shit, that doesn’t work for her. She must make lists and write everything down. She prefers real books to Kindles – in life and in the classroom, except when traveling. Strong believer in writing snail-mail thank you notes, you know the kind that you have to send through the post office, not via email. Apparently very old-school when it comes to anything paper-related.

Thinks technology is actually making us more stupid and less independent. She has a love/hate relationship with the Internet. (See: one of the many pending drafts) Thinks things like the Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, autocorrect, Twilight, and being heavily reliant on technology is collectively lowering the average IQ of Americans. Realizes this is a much bigger topic than this post allows. She’s flabbergasted by how little respect kids have for their elders & authority and how spoiled and entitled this millennial generation has become. Thinks it is important to have an opinion but it is just as important to be open-minded.

Cannot have her voicemail light flashing or leave messages unheard. She is a socially awkward extrovert or an outgoing introvert. She tends to remember people, but they don’t remember her. Does not need to drink to have a good time. Always makes friends with the neighbors. Caryn recently became the founder of Tweetup For Change. She believes that we can use social media for social change and to make a difference.

While others are out celebrating the warmer than usual winters and the hot summers, she is concerned about what this means in terms of long term effects for mother nature. Thinks people today are selfish and ruining the environment for our children.

Believes in setting goals, following your gut, putting vibes into the universe and karma. Believes dreams can come true, you make your own happiness and that amazing things are possible. Realistic. Believes in finding the positive in situations and learning from every situation. Doesn’t believe in regrets, but rather in learning from our past. Curious. Asks questions, a lot. Optimistic. Wants to see and explore everything possible. Likes that she defies many stereotypes.

Caryn is blunt and honest. Hates math and things being left unresolved. Gets annoyed when people don’t respond to emails or phone calls in a timely manner. Her personal response theory is: 24 hours for work or 7 days for personal; or at least an acknowledgment of receipt and expected follow-up if that can’t be met. Values respect and honesty.

Does not understand the Ermahgerd meme. Is entertained by all the Call Me Maybe parodies but is getting tired of the song yet still sings along. Tone deaf. Could watch the olympics just to see the swimmers’ abs after a race.  Thinks Ryan Lochte is better when he doesn’t talk. #jeah.

Has yet to try a red-velvet-anything that is worth all the hype.  Likes simple desserts like cookies and brownies, thinks cruise ships try too hard. Peanut butter M&M’s, soft gummy bears, and Tootsie rolls are her candy kryptonite. Loves cheese but is a lactard.

She likes to think she is on time but if she is being honest, she’ll usually get there 5 min late. Ever since Caryn was a little girl, she always dreamt of starting her own charity and volunteering abroad, two things she is actually accomplishing during The Year of Caryn!  Cannot wait until she leaves for Tanzania, soon!

Despite flying all her life, she is still mesmerized by the idea that we can sit in heavy metal tubular machinery and fly through the sky to any where in the world in a couple of hours, no less.  She’s not usually superstitious but without fail, every time she boards a plane, she kisses her fingertips and touches the right exterior side of the plane before she boards. Hates turbulence. Tries not to take things for granted.

Caryn thinks spearmint smells like cigarette smoke, probably smell by association from smokers covering up their horrible smell with gum. She never has nor will ever smoke a cigarette. She sweats when she travels (by car or plane). She changes deodorant brand frequently. Always paranoid about not smelling fresh enough. She hates the smell of coffee. Hates flannel sheets. Even in the winter, she’ll sleep with the window open and fan on.

She says too much. She needs a filter.

Past Random Tidbits Part 1

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My first blogged recipe: Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

My parents have a lovely garden in their backyard. They grow cucumbers, basil, zucchini,  broccoli, cauliflower, a variety of tomatoes, and they attempted strawberries but the rabbits ate them first. Nothing beats fresh veggies straight off the vine with no pesticides or chemicals. So when two zucchini’s were ready, I jumped at the chance to make homemade zucchini bread.

I love to bake but have yet to share any recipes with you so I thought this would be a great place to start. My recipe is a mix and match of many different recipes I’ve seen and my own creativity. I hand grated the zucchini, cinnamon stick and clove so it took a little while. I only have whole spices so I had to manually hand grate the cinnamon stick. (It was either that or go to the local store in pajamas and spend $5 on pre-ground cinnamon. This way was much more fun!) Both the cupcakes and bread turned out perfectly moist.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Zucchini Bread
I didn’t cut it because I brought it to work in one piece. I’ll update the photo next time.

Ingredients for deliciousness

  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter OR 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/3 grated zucchini (about 1 large)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large (brown) eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 freshly hand ground cinnamon stick OR 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 freshly hand ground pinch of cloves OR pre-ground sprinkle taste
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large handfuls ~ a cup of chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and grease or spray Pam in 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. In large bowl, whisk together the both brown and white sugar, butter (or oil), vanilla, and eggs. In small bowl, blend baking powder, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Mix contents then slowly add this flour mixture to larger bowl, stirring and adding more until complete. Mix well until there are no lumps. Stir in the grated zucchini.

Pour batter into the cupcake tin. Fill cupcake paper a little more than half full. I made 6 non-chocolate chip cupcakes. Just leave enough to have a full loaf. Once cupcakes are done, add chocolate chips to remaining batter. Fold until evenly dispersed. Pour batter into greased pan, spreading evenly. Bake cupcakes 30 minutes or until golden & firm and toothpick comes out clean. Bake loaf 40-55 minutes, depending on oven, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (my loaf was done in about 40 minutes). Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes or until completely cooled. Loaf should pop out easily and in one piece when cool enough. Slice and enjoy!

I brought it to work the next day and a coworker said, “I was wary of zucchini in my bread, but it was amazing! Do it again!”

If you make it, let me know how it turns out for you. Enjoy!