Christmas in July

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If you’ve never celebrated Christmas in July, you’re doing Summer all wrong. Sure it’s fine to go to the beach, lay (lie…whatever) by the pool, go out on the boat, drink pitchers of margaritas and sangria, and wear your shortest shorts (that your dad hates) because you’re only young once and can only get by with it for so long. (okay so maybe I’m specifically applying that to me–and my sister.) Yes, that’s a fine, but the true Christmas season is only so long, and with Christmas in July, you don’t even have to buy gifts!  Now you can go about this several different ways.

The first year we (Nicole and I) made ornaments. In my case, I stupidly cut up parts of my favorite newspaper from the 2012 London Olympics that I actually purchased in London and paper-mâché/glittered it onto a a standard ball ornament. Then my roommate’s dog proceded to eat the almond ears off of the wine-cork Rudolphs that we made. Have you ever tried to not only slice wine corks (nearly, but not entirely, impossible) but a single almond with a paring knife?! I suggest you don’t–especially only to have those glittery-glue almonds eaten by the dog! Year 2–I donned my mom’s 1990s heavy as you-know-what Christmas sweater and curled up on the couch and ate cookies while watching Christmas movies with my sister and Nicole.  This year, we (meaning I) decided to make carrot bread. Nicole and I went to Target for carrots, flour, and applesauce and came out with this.

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Ridiculous. I also hate carrots. Don’t ask why I wanted to make carrot bread. Just know that it was worth it.  Note that my ideas are rarely perfectly executed. I would like to blame Nicole for losing the piece of the food processor needed to grind those carrots. So she had to use one of those old chopper things. Turned out fair enough, though! Then, of course while I noticed the racks in the oven looked a little funny, I couldn’t quite place what was wrong. Fast forward 40 minutes and when our breads were still jiggly in the middle, I realized the racks were too low. Resituate and add 10 minutes. Fortunately they turned out perfect, and Brix believed me when I “promised” (oops) I hadn’t done anything funny to them. Eh–he should be used to whole wheat and apple sauce subbed everything by now anyway.

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Proceeding–Nicole’s dad ground coffee beans and made us a pot of coffee. We watched Elf for the 100th time in our lives, sipped the world’s best coffee (don’t tell my mom), and ate way too much, but totally seasonally appropriate, homemade carrot bread. Now I present to you: the recipe.

Bread

Homemade (Pretty Healthy) Carrot Bread

Makes 4 mini loaves or 2 regular loaves
3 c Finely grated carrots
1/2 Mashed banana
1/4-1/2 c Walnuts
1 c Pumpkin Spice baked apples (impulse Target buy. Regular/Cinnamon will do.)
1/2 c Oatmeal, old fashioned
4 Eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Floud
3/4 c sugar
2 t (tsp) Allspice
3/4 t Baking Powder
2 1/4 t Baking Soda
2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Cloves
1/2 Nutmeg
1/2 t Salt

  1. Oil 4 mini loaf pans. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, including options, mix really well and set aside. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Fold moist ingredients into the dry ones gently and only until everything is damp. Over mixing can cause the bread to not rise and be too dense. Pour into the cake pan, avoid smoothing the top around as much as possible to keep air in the batter.
  4. Bake (on center rack!) ~ 25 min or until a tooth pick in center comes out clean and bread is still very moist.

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