Posts tagged ‘Juliette Fowler Communities’

June 2, 2014

Oatmeal Zucchini Nut Muffins



Are all baked goods bad for you? No way! To prove it to you, I’ll share one of my new favorite recipes that works for muffins or bread. These zucchini muffins are chewy, full of fiber, and delicious. Try them for yourself . . . then you’ll understand. 🙂

Delicious Details

cranberries and walnuts

What makes these treats so good? Every bite is full of juicy cranberries and plump walnuts, surrounded by moist, dense muffin tasting of cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Oats and zucchini give nutritional heft to these beauties, boosting the fiber content to help fill you up. And yes, they are sweet. But I made a little tweak to the original recipe, substituting coconut palm sugar for the regular sugar. The substitution was easy (1:1), and the muffins turned out excellent!

Here's the coconut sugar I used--yummy!

Here’s the coconut sugar I used–yummy!

Bonus: If you freeze your leftover muffins or bread, you’ll have the perfect last-minute nibble next time someone drops by unexpectedly.

Oatmeal Zucchini Nut Muffins

zucchini-muffins on plate


  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 c. oil (I used canola)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. raw, unpeeled zucchini, grated
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 c. dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. With a mixer, beat eggs and sugar together.

3. Add oil and vanilla to the egg/sugar mixture.

4. In a separate bowl, combine oats, salt, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder.

5. Add these dry ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture.

6. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in zucchini, walnuts, and cranberries.

7. Add batter to the desired pan, and cook as follows:

  • Large loaves (4” x 8”, quantity: 2)—1 hr.
  • Small loaves (quantity: 5)—35-40 mins.
  • Muffins (quantity: 24)—25-30 mins.

8.  Cook until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thanks for the Inspiration

Wanda and our doggie friend Gracie--love them both!

Wanda and our doggie friend Gracie–love them both!

My sweet friend Wanda shared this delicious recipe with me. Actually, she first shared a muffin, and then she gave me her recipe. She is a wonderful cook who delights everyone with her creations, and while she’s certainly talented in the kitchen, I know her secret ingredient . . . love!

May you all be blessed with someone like my friend Wanda. If you have no such person in your life, whip up these muffins and go be that blessing yourself. 🙂

Have a wonderful week!


March 10, 2014

Make Your Water Sparkle!

The orange and mint water was tasty!

The orange and mint water was tasty!

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. You know how important water is for your body, so why is it so hard to hydrate yourself? I struggle with getting my daily amount down as well, but I have found a solution for those of you who may prefer a bit more sparkle and flavor in your water.

Recently, I prepared a Gourmet Water Tasting at Juliette Fowler Communities (where I work) in hopes of encouraging our senior residents to drink more water. March 22 is World Water Awareness Day after all, so I was laying the groundwork. 🙂

water bird

I found 5 recipes for fruit- and herb-infused water for my friends to sample. They were delicious! What I hadn’t accounted for was how gorgeous the fruit and herbs looked in the carafes—jewel tones and freshness all over the place. I kept thinking how pretty a pitcher or two of fruit water would be at my next dinner party. And the prep couldn’t have been easier.

Have fun with your water and play around with your favorite fruits and herbs. Thankfully, there are no rules, except not letting the water sit too long. Here are some easy directions and the recipes I shared with my residents. Maybe you’ll enjoy them too!

Laurie, Liz, and Wanda--love these ladies!

Laurie, Liz, and Wanda–love these ladies!


  • 2-qt. or 3-qt. carafe or pitcher
  • Long spoon, spatula, or muddler (potato masher also works!)
  • Fresh water
  • 2-3 c. fresh fruit
  • Small handful herbs, torn or bruised
  • Ice (optional)


  • Chop or slice 2-3 cups of fresh fruit and place in an empty pitcher.
  • If you are using herbs, tear up a small handful and place in the pitcher with the fruit.
  • Optional—fill pitcher ¾ full of ice.
  • Take long spoon or muddler and press the fruit and herbs so that they can release their flavor—but don’t pulverize them. Just a little mashing is good.
  • Fill the pitcher with fresh water, close the lid, and let sit in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
  • Don’t prepare fruit water more than a day or two ahead of time. Sometimes the fruit will become bitter or pulpy if allowed to sit too long (especially citrus fruit with rind).

Beautiful and healthy

Recipes for Our Gourmet Tasting

Basic Spa Water with Cucumbers

  • Peel cucumber first, then thinly slice ½-¾ of a cucumber, add to pitcher, and fill with water.

Fruit Extravaganza

  • Rinse all fruit with peel. Slice ½ an orange, add a few slices of lime and lemon, a big handful or two of raspberries, 5-6 strawberries (chopped), a small handful of blackberries. Muddle fruit well. Fill with water.

Watermelon Basil

  • Chop 2 cups watermelon and add to pitcher. Tear up about 5-7 leaves of basil and add to pitcher. Fill with water.

Blackberry Mint

  • Slice 2 cups of blackberries and add to pitcher. Tear up 10 mint leaves and add to pitcher. Muddle blackberries and mint well. Fill with water.

Orange Mint

  • Slice 2 oranges and add to pitcher. Tear up 10 mint leaves and add to pitcher. Muddle oranges and mint well. Fill with water.
More friends: Audrey, Judith, and Hazel--what a crowd!

More friends: Audrey, Judith, and Hazel–what a crowd!

Surprise your friends and family with a special water treat that’s not only beautiful but also healthy. Have a lovely and healthy week!


February 3, 2014

Life Is a Feast

Do you need a little happy in your life? If you do, you can borrow some of mine for a bit—but only until you find your own. I found this talisman of my joy (at least the beginnings of it) at Office Max—who knew?!? Check out my Happy Kitchen Board below:

Just makes me smile!

Just makes me smile!

My Happy Kitchen Board makes me grin whenever I see it. It’s a bright, beautiful representation of my spirit settled happily in my kitchen, the center of our home. It also serves as a visual shortcut to my own brand of happiness, reminding me to stop and savor when I run too ragged and forget. Now I want you to zero in on that rabbit near the flower pot: “Life is a feast.”


Love this little guy.

There’s so much power packed into that tiny phrase!  Life should be savored, shouldn’t it? With joyful abundance and possibilities unbounded, conjuring up gifts freely shared. Recently, I was blessed with an actual feast for both the body and the spirit–double win! In case you don’t know, I work at a magnificent retirement community, Juliette Fowler Communities, and one of the sweetest parts of my day is Morning Devotions.

Dear friends: Amp and Ruth, and their helper, Tracy

Now, how many people can say that they begin their workday in a place overflowing with love and respect, spending time with treasured friends, sharing coffee and treats, and exchanging stories of how God moves in their lives? Not many! The group of residents and staff members that gather for this morning time together are very dear to me. I swear I’m doused in love and happiness by the time we say goodbye.

Sweet ladies: Hazel, Wanda, and Carolyn

Last Thursday, however, was extra special. My sweet friend and Director of Life Enrichment (the most perfectly named department I know) Marti Miller planned a bountiful, healthy spread for our residents. A quick trip to Whole Foods later, and we were set. Here’s what we enjoyed:


  • Fresh mandarin oranges
  • Iced mocha (made with almond milk, coffee, and natural cocoa)
  • Activia yogurt
  • Fresh papaya and mango
  • Fresh green juice
  • Cranberry juice with natural ginger ale
  • Hail Merry macaroons
Two of my very favorite people: Marti Miller and Deborah Armstrong

Two of my very favorite people: Marti Miller and Deborah Armstrong

The food was excellent, and the company even better. That delicious morning meal with my friends was a perfect reminder for all of us to keep enjoying this glorious feast of life. Have a super week!

Bon appétit, and God bless!