Monday, August 25, 2014

Disney's Aulani Zucchini-Carrot Cupcakes

Disney is great about sharing recipes so those of us Disney dreaming can have a taste of the magic at home. This treat is from Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawaii, and is tasty enough that the kids will not know that you've snuck in some vegetables.

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup finely diced peeled zucchini (I shredded mine)
1/2 cup finely diced peeled carrot
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup bran flour (I didn't have any, so used more bread flour)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 320. Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in zucchini, carrot, oil and salt. Gently add in dry ingredients, adding nuts last.

Fill mini muffin liners no more than 1/2 full. Cover with parchment paper and place a sheet pan on top to keep the cupcake tops flat while baking.

Bale for 15 minutes. Cool completely and frost with favorite butter cream icing.





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Why I Love Packing Cubes...or.. Pack For A Week In A 21 Inch Vera Bradley Rolling Duffel

Is your suitcase a jumbled mess when you arrive at your destination? Are you popping zippers and stuffing pockets to the point that you can't shove that carry on bag into the overhead compartment? Packing cubes may be your answer. I'm a convert and never travel without them.

These handy little lightweight bags, with super sturdy zippers, by the way, have many manufacturers, sizes, shapes and colors. I like the ebags ( brand the best, but have also purchased other brands and been pleased.
First assemble all your stuff. Lay pants out flat and roll. For shirts fold in the sleeves and sides and roll tightly. Are you getting the concept? Roll stuff and put it in then little cubes to pack. For a week long trip I can usually get pants and tops in a medium cube. Pajamas and swimsuit in a smaller one and underthings in the smallest.

Then you just stick your cubes in the suitcase and fill in with other stuff  Toiletries, medicine, etc., fit in those little zip cases as do all those electronic chargers. You will still have plenty of room for a small laptop, kindle, bath pouf and even a bottle of wine.
When you arrive at your destination, just pop those cubes in a drawer and unzip the tops. There is no need to even unpack if you don't want to. Even though items are rolled you will still battle wrinkles, so hang stuff you care about and think about bringing along a travel size of Downy Wrinkle Release.

Cubes are also great for family travel. Pack each kid's stuff in a different color cube. Break it down further and pack cubes with Ziplock bags pre-packed with each kid's daily outfit for even more hassle free packing. Taking a cruise? How about putting everyone's swim suits in a cube in your ship carry on. I travel a lot by train and put my train clothes changes in a small cube and have it in my train carry on. The uses go on and on, and these little gems are sturdy and well made and after the initial investment will last a long, long, time.