Archive | August, 2012

DIY Picture Boards

31 Aug

In an effort to make our apartment more ‘ homey’ I decided to tackle the walls. We have this huge and very bare white wall in our living room and I really wanted to bring a little bit of us into the room. So off to the stores I went to find the perfect frames. What a disaster! I couldn’t find anything I liked! They were all poorly made or way too expensive. I don’t think so! Then I remembered that I had seen a project very similar to this DIY and decided I would try and tackle this beast myself lol. The best part of it all, apart from looking great lol. This project cost less than $25! Wooohoo!

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So if you feel like tackling this project all you need is:

20×30 foam core board
Double sided tape
Ruler
Modge podge
Foam brush
Pictures

Now I cut my 4×6 pictures to measure 4×4. Stuck them down with some double sided tape, then threw on a coat of matte Modge podge let it dry and presto! I had these awesome photo boards for that big empty wall 🙂

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Nummy Naner Bread!

24 Aug

Remember those bananas you had sitting on the counter with all those brown spots? Instead of throwing them out, toss them in the freezer for when you get that yummy, nummy, warm Naner Bread craving 🙂 Yes they turn black in the freezer, but don’t freak out when you want to use them for baking it will make your life so much easier!

Today while doing the dishes I realized that I had no snack for my hubby to take to work with him and I was NOT about to head to the store to buy some already prepared sugar filled….for lack of a better term… Crap. Lol! So I looked in the cupboard, then the freezer and to what do my eyes fall upon….naners! I scooped them out of the freezer and tossed them on a plate to thaw (super important, when these things thaw there’s a ton of water) and went on with my cleaning 🙂

About an hour or so later I checked on the naners and they were finally ready to go. So I grabbed a large bowl, cut the tops off the naners and one by one turned them upside down and out them came. Now if this is your first time using the frozen bananas lol, it might gross you out the way they just fall out of the peels lol. Still to this day it grosses my father out when my mom uses this trick for her baking lol. BUT with a few strokes with the whisk you have your no fuss mashed bananas 🙂 Then I added the rest of the wet ingredients, sugar, spices (completely optional but I like the warmth that cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg can add ), baking soda and last the flour, mix it all together and pour into a greased and flour lined loaf tin. Toss in the oven and bake until you get that glorious brown colouring. Mmmmm mmmmm!

What I love about this recipe is that it’s easy to make, you only need one bowl and it stays super moist! If you’re afraid of it drying out over a few days (if it lasts that long) then toss half of it in a ziplock and put it in the freezer until you want to eat the rest of it.

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For those of you wanting to try my banana bread recipe here is my recipe 🙂

Preheat oven to 350F

List of ingredients you’ll need:

3-4 ripe bananas
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp of yogurt, full fat plain (optional)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of white sugar (you can easily get away with only using 3/4 cup)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp allspice (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cup of flour

Here’s the great part, all of this recipe can be done in one bowl, a whisk and a wooden spoon 🙂

Place the mashed bananas (or the thawed) in a large bowl with the melted butter and egg. Whisk it all together until well mixed.

Add the vanilla, applesauce and yogurt, mix well. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mix and mix well. Now add those yummy spices (if you want), and add the flour and mix with the wooden spoon until its mixed we’ll but not over mixed. Pour into your greased loaf pan and throw it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know it’s done when you have a nice glorious brown colouring and when you touch the center it ‘bounces back.’

I hope that you all can enjoy in this tiny slice of heaven as much as we do 🙂

Stay tuned for the Next adventure: picture boards!

Yummy Pumpkin Spice Tarts

21 Aug

I’m always on the hunt for new snacks for my hubby to take to work, rather than buying store bought snacks where I can’t pronounce the ingredients. Last time we were visiting his parents they gave me a pumpkin from their garden (I’m always up for taking any veggies or fruits from their garden when they’re overloaded LOL!). I took it home and I was so excited to get into it and make my own pumpkin purée! Mmmmm!

So a couple days later I scooped out the insides ( keeping the seeds to roast them for salads later on). I preheated the oven to 325F and cut the pumpkin into quarters and placed the pieces on a baking sheet, baking them for about 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven- mine always seems about 10 degrees hotter than what it says :p ). When you press down it should feels bit soft (think of a butternut squash). Take it out of the oven and let it cool so that you can handle it without burning your hands. Then scoop the flesh off the peel and put in your blender or food processor and purée until smooth and velvety. Once completely cooled I reserved enough on the side for my tarts and then froze the rest. If you don’t want to freeze it I’d recommend using it within 3 or days.

I added a touch of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon to the purée and went to add sugar, but dipped the spoon in to give it a taste and oh my goodness! It was sweet just like the little tiny pumpkins! Yay! I love when I can avoid having to add a ton of extra sugar to things lol. I covered it with plastic wrap and tossed it into the fridge. Now time to start the crust!

I love SIMPLE yet delish foods! That’s why I think everyone should give Martha Stewart’s pie crust a try 🙂 its simple, quick and super yummy! Check out the recipe herehere
Once you’ve got it made and chilled I started on the fresh pumpkin spice filling (which I had never done before) for this you need:

2 cups of fresh pumpkin purée
1 can of condensed milk
3 eggs lightly beaten
2 tbsp flour
Cinnamon
Allspice
Nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients ( don’t be scared that it’s a bit runny, I flipped out thinking I had done it wrong but I promise it will set up nicely :)).

Preheat your oven to 450F (yes you read that right and no its not going to burn). Roll out the dough and use a large biscuit cutter or if you’re like me, the lid to the empty sour cream container :p place the dough in a greased muffin tin and gently form the tart shells. Don’t worry so much about making perfect shells, i think the little imperfections make them all that much more perfect! Use a fork to prick the bottom of the muffin tins to get a nice flat tart with no bubbling or rising. Now grab the 1/4 cup measuring cup and gently pour the filling into the shells filling up to the top. Place the tarts in the oven at 450F for 10 minutes then open the oven and let some of the heat out, turn it down to 325F and bake for about 25 -35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the tarts cool enough for you to lift out of the muffin tins and let the tarts cool so that the filling can set.

I sent two of these with my hubby to snack on while at work and he came home and gave his seal of approval on these tiny huge flavor tarts :). Enjoy!

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