Fresh From the Garden Healthier Zucchini Bread


What to do with all that zucchini from the garden? Make zucchini bread of course!

This is my favorite recipe for zucchini bread. It was inspired by this recipe. I switched out the all-purpose flour for King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour. I like using whole grains whenever possible and using this white whole wheat flour gave it a richer, nutty taste.

I also substituted melted organic coconut oil for the vegetable oil. I am trying to avoid corn and canola oil and prefer the healthier aspects of the coconut oil.

You could add nuts, chocolate chips, or whatever you like to this. My grandkids like it just the way it is and they eat a whole loaf up quicker than you can bat an eye!

I hope you will try this recipe and let me know how you like it.

Fresh From the Garden Healthier Zucchini Bread

Yield: 2 loaves


3 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon ( I love the Kirkland Signature Ground Saigon Cinnamon from Costco)

3 eggs

1 cup organic coconut oil – melted

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract (Do not use imitation vanilla extract. Ever! For anything!)

2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium sized zucchinis)


-Preheat oven to 325º (I used the convection/bake setting on my oven but the regular setting is fine)

-Grease and flour two loaf pans.

-Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

-Beat eggs, coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla in bowl of standing mixer until well combined. (Or stir by hand)

-Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat on low until combined. It is best to use a mixer here as the batter will be thick.

-Add the zucchini to the mixture and mix on low speed just until combined.

– Spread batter into the prepared pans.

-Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took about 47 minutes.)

-Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.



Baker Stone Pizza Oven Box

When we were planning our new backyard living area the Hubs was contemplating building a pizza oven. While I love pizza, I just didn’t feel that we would use it enough to justify the cost. 

After researching alternative options to a built in pizza oven, we decide to purchase the Baker Stone Pizza Oven Box. 

So. Glad. We. Did! For right around $120 we now have an amazing little pizza oven that works right in our existing gas grill.  

This oven cooks a beautiful pizza in about 5 minutes and the crust turns out beautifully baked and toppings are cooked to perfection. 

We have had fun pizza parties with the kids and grandkids and everyone gets to choose their own toppings. There are a ton of great recipes on Pinterest to try and believe me, I have pinned a bunch for future use. This Apple Cheddar Rosemary Bacon from has become one of our favorites. 

I highly recommend this pizza oven as an addition to your backyard cooking options. You will not be disappointed. 

RV Camping – Zion National Park – Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

On our recent road trip we spent 5 nights at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Wow! This place has it all. In fact it was named one of the top six adventure resorts in America.

Here is what US News and World Report has to say about this resort: “Located just outside of Zion National Park, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers plenty of activities for those who love the great outdoors, including canyoneering, horseback riding, ATV tours, rafting, rock climbing wall, zip lining and other family-friendly adventure activities — and that’s just on its property.”

Glamping site

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has every type of accommodation to suit your needs. Tent sites, group sites, cabin suites, Cowboy cabins, glamping tents, and full hookup RV sites.

We had dinner at Ray’s Restaurant on the property one night. This is a nice, reasonably priced restaurant. The fresh homemade bread with honey butter that they bring to your table is out of this world. I must say that we probably most definitely ate way to much of it! Portions were large and very tasty. If you have been in the park all day and just don’t feel like cooking, this is an excellent choice. Breakfast is buffet style and they also serve lunch.

The pool area is super nice. It has two hot tubs and two pools. There are also a couple of water slides for the kids. I am sure that in the summer months this is a happening place.

Laundry facilities, showers, and all public areas are really well kept up and clean. We were there the week before Memorial Day and there were plenty of employees around getting ready for the crowd.

While we were there they were working on road improvements so there was some dust. They were getting ready to pave a lot of the roads so some of them were a bit bumpy. The paving should be done early June and I think it will be a huge improvement.

We stayed in RV site #8 and had a majestic view of a plateau full of pines. The only negative thing I would say about this particular site is that it was difficult to level our 40 ft motorhome due to the incline. The area for the picnic table and to set up your cooking area outside your rig was also on an incline. Otherwise, hookups were easy and we got great satellite reception. They offer free WiFi and it is just what you would expect in an RV park. Ok but not super fast or reliable.

The resort is about a 20 minute drive to the beautiful Zion National Park. Spend the day exploring and then head back to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort for a relaxing evening. Or spend the day at the resort taking advantage of all the adventure activities they have to offer.


Maria’s Four Ingredient Mexican Dip

When we were visiting my sweet cousin Maria in Utah last week she made this super good, super easy Mexican style dip. Maria is an awesome cook and I use many of her recipes. We have so much fun when we are together and I love her so much!

This dip was perfect to make for my book club last night. We had just finished reading “Rain of Gold” by Victor Villaseñor. The book is set in Mexico during the revolution and also in Southern California. So naturally, the theme for the food was Mexican.

This dip fit right in and was so good and got rave reviews. Serve it with veggies or chips. It was even good as a dollop on tacos!

You just need four ingredients. How easy is that?

Maria’s Four Ingredient Mexican Dip


1 16 oz container of sour cream (I used the light sour cream)

1 can refried beans

1 small can of diced green chilis

1 package of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip (make sure you get the “Fiesta” Ranch Dip)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for a few hours to let flavors blend.