Friday, 23 March 2012

Smile, and a Laugh, and a Hug for You!

My Aunt Heather is a bold, happy, wonderful woman. No matter what challenges she is facing in her life, or the battles you may be waging, she always brings a smile and makes others smile too. Being one of the oldest grand kids on my Dad's side, I have known Heather since before she married my Uncle Rich. I remember travelling home from Grandpa and Grandma's house one weekend, the three of us arriving late to the ferry terminal and having to sleep in the car until the next departure. I remember wearing a horrendous peach dress to their wedding, a wedding in which Heather wore a equally horrendous puffy sleeved white dress [am I dating you a bit too much? ha ha] I also remember a very sad day when I arrived home from the hospital having miscarried at 16 weeks pregnant, and there waiting for me were flowers from my Aunt Heather telling me she loves me, cares for me, and is always there to talk. Aunt Heather is thoughtful, kind, and tender. And today is Aunt Heather's birthday! Because she is always doing for others [right now she is half way through school to become a Nurse, raising five kids sixteen and younger, a loving wife, and so much more!] Darius and I decided it was time to venture into the kitchen and create a recipe in her Honor. We came up with something that is perfectly Heather - sweet, nurturing, and so good you'll crave more! Since we live fourteen hours apart she'll need to whip up a batch to try them [sorry Heather!] but trust me, it will be well worth her, and your, time! Happy Birthday Aunt Heather - may this be a year of dreams coming true!

Heather's Chocolate Cupcake-y Muffins

1 heaping cup zucchini, finely grated
1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 banana mashed [mash until there are no chunks so you don't get any banana bites in the finished product]
1 1/4c cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix the wet ingredients in your stand mixer, or in a bowl with a spatula. Once thoroughly incorporated, mix in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until there are no lumps. Then pour in the nuts and chocolate and stir to combine. Pour mix by the 1/4 cup full into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let stand on cooling racks until completely cool before enjoying as they need to set up or they'll be very soft and gooey.

Happy Birthday Aunt Heather! Enjoy!

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