Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marshmallow - pop craze

Have you noticed the marshmallow-pop craze that has been going around? You can make them as fancy or simple as you want them to be. Use them as party favors, gifts or a fun dessert. All you need is a large marshmallow, lollipop stick, melted chocolate and cookie decorations and the result is this....







 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Dog Shaming

Why does it sound just so familiar... hmmm.....
 
 
 


Friday, July 25, 2014

Natural Fly Repellant ?

"Tragedy"  struck our household.... We got a fly invasion!! You seriously could not walk thru any room in my house without hearing buzzing in your ear. Horrifying, I tell you. SO, we put our electrical fly swatter to use. Yes, you heard it right, it's electrical and it's a fly swatter.



When you actually hit a fly with it, it works amazing - the fly burns off in seconds, however, to get a fly with it is quite a chore. It almost seems that using a towel "swooshing" technique is more efficient or.....



 I know, the anticipation of  the "or"...... or you can take a ziplock bag, fill it with water and put 4 pennies in it and hang it in a room or a patio. Yes, I know, you don't believe me. Well go ahead and try it!

 


 
 
 
Another thing that you can try is basil. Flies hate the smell of basil. To discourage them, place pots of basil at doorways and windowsills and on the kitchen counter. Don't have enough sun for potted basil? Put dried basil in a small muslin pouch, rubbing it occasionally to keep the scent strong.
 
 
 
Happy fly hunting!
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Best Banana Bread Recipe EVER

I know, I know, I have made this claim before.... "the best banana bread".... Somewhere on my blog already is a banana bread recipe which I claimed that was good until..... I found this one. It is so moist and delicious. Don't skip the nuts, though. I made the bread with and without the nuts and nuts are an essential ingredient in this recipe. Another thing that you want to pay attention to is the size of the baking pan. It's not very big (4 by 8) and therefore the bread comes out dense and moist and you know that you are eating  a banana bread when you sink your teeth into it.





Ingredients

4 bananas, mashed
1/3 c melted butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c nuts


No need for a mixer in this recipe, just a wooden spoon and a bowl.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and bananas in a large bowl. Add sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Lastly, add flour and then nuts. Pour batter into a 4 by 8 buttered loaf pan and bake it for 1 hour. Voila!

For added moisture I wrap my bread in aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge until gone which is a day or possibly two.

Blah, blah, blah, yes, I know that you can buy banana bread at your nearest supermarket but how satisfying is it to know that you made it yourself and you know exactly what you put in it and its shelf life is not two weeks but rather few days. Yes, it's very satisfying. Now if I could only grow my own bananas......
So stop fighting it and unleash the baker in you!! Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coconut macaroons

In my cookbook you can totally mess up two things (or maybe more), a banana bread and a coconut macaroon. Coconut Macaroons should be differentiated from the French Macaroons which look divine and are on my to do list. The French Macaroons are based on ground almond meal and of course the Coconut Macaroons are based on sweetened coconut flakes. They even look different!! Look at those beauties!

 
 
 

Having said that, Ina from FN made my macaroon dreams come true by coming up with the simplest and delicious recipe to make them. Thanks Ina!
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
 
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Two-Step Stamping with the Stamp-a-ma-jig




Here is a review course of Two-Step Stamping with the Stamp-a-ma-jig I promised you.
In case you don't remember here are some of my old cards where I used Two-Step Stamping. Have fun!










Monday, July 14, 2014

Triple stamping

Well, now that I look back at this card, maybe it was not the best choice of colors but at least the technique is there for you to see. It is called Triple Stamping and although it might look difficult, it really is pretty simple. Click HERE for full tutorial.
 


 
 
 The two stamp review course will be posted tomorrow! Ta,ta!
 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Strawberry granita

This is such refreshing dessert. I did not add mint to the recipe as I absolutely cannot stand mint so the recipe that I am advertising here is without mint and it's to die for! I also used cream cheese instead of mascarpone as I had it in the fridge already.
 
So what is granita? Granita is a frozen dessert made with water and a syrup base, much like sorbet. It is popular in Italy, especially in Sicily. There are endless types of granita from coffee all the way to pina-colada or watermelon granita. Enjoy this recipe from Giada at FN!





Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries, plus 1 cup finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
 
Place the water, 1/2 sugar, and mint in a small pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Let simmer over low heat to steep the mint. Then strain the mint from the simple syrup. Discard the mint.
In a food processor combine 2 cups of strawberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Run the machine to puree the strawberries. Add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, and salt. Run the machine until the mascarpone cheese is fully incorporated. Add the mint simple syrup and run the machine to combine. Place the strawberry mixture in an 8 by 8-inch glass dish and place the dish in the freezer. The mixture will take about 4 hours to freeze.


To serve, use a fork to scrape the granita. Spoon the mixture into chilled bowls. Top with the finely chopped strawberries. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lion,Tiger and Bear


 

This Lion, Tiger, And Bear Are Most Unlikely Gang Of Friends You'll Come Across.


They came from a background of abuse and fear. Now they've bonded together and are truly inseparable.
 
 
 

This is Leo the African Lion, Baloo the Black Bear, and


Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger.




 

The threesome were rescued as babies from the


basement of an Atlanta drug dealer’s home when it


was raided by authorities.




 

They were starving, traumatized, and had bacterial infections.




 

Since then, they were brought to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary…




 

…Where they’ve lived in the same habitat together for 13 years.




 

The only time the three were separated was when


Baloo was sent to surgery.





 

The two cats were distraught and cried for the bear’s


return when he was at the vet’s. Since then, no one


has separated the group.





They had clearly bonded during their earliest memories,


and never wanted to be apart.




 

Now they live together as if they were brothers of the same species.


They play together, nuzzle one another, and are extremely affectionate.




The threesome are the only lion, tiger, and bear known to


be living together in the entire world.




 

They’re just exceptional.




Humans could really learn from the bond that these three have.

 



No one ever told them they couldn’t love one another,


so they did just that.

And now, even all these years later, they continue to do so.




The trio are affectionately referred to as BLT, standing for bear, lion, and tiger. They might just be the most adorable sandwich ever!
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Delicious mashed potatoes

I have never claimed that my recipes are low fat. Many of them are not. What I am trying to achieve is to create a blog with recipes that have been tested over and over and are truly delicious. I hope many of you have tried some of them and enjoyed them. Having said that, Pioneer Woman Creamy Mashed Potatoes are amazing. Once you try them, you will never make mashed potatoes any other way. Remember the little thing I said about my recipes not always being low fat.... well, my thing is... if you already are going to sin by eating the potatoes, you may as well make them right, right? Right.
Here is the most amazing recipe and yes, Yukon Golds are way better for it than the Russet Potatoes. Enjoy!





Ingredients
  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 3/4 cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

 

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warm.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pink wishes

Good Morning, my crafty friends! I made this card for a card party last month copying idea from Julie Davidson's blog. Not very difficult to put together so it was perfect for a group of girls with different crafting skills. The flower is made with SU punch which I believe has since been retired. Don't you love the pink and grey together?!?
 

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The banners are rather easy to make. You start with a rectangle. In this case I had rectangles in three different shades of pink and one of them I embossed. You now can do one of two things. You can either use a punch...



 
 


.... or...  mark the middle on the short side of your rectangle and with scissors cut in about and inch and a half (depending on the size of your banner). Now, make a cut going from each edge into the end of your middle cut.
If you are using a ribbon and want to make a banner cut .... watch this video.


 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mashed cauliflower

Forgive me, as it has come to my attention that unintentionally I may have  withheld a very delicious and low fat recipe which my family loves. With all the carb fuss, the mashed cauliflower presents a healthy alternative to the not-always-so-healthy mashed potatoes.



Boil the cauliflower until soft. Drain it well. Usually I let it sit in the strainer for a minute or two to make sure that ALL the water is out. I then start mashing the cauliflower after adding some salt and garlic powder to taste. Some people add cream cheese to it or sour cream but I came up with a different way of thickening it's consistency. As I mash it, I turn the stove to low and add 1/4 cup of chicken broth mixed with 1 1/2 tsp. of corn starch. I let it cook until it thickens up.
There are different variations of this recipe. You can add roasted garlic instead of garlic powder, or parmesan cheese. Either way, it's absolutely delicious and low fat! Shocker! Yes, I know, a low fat recipe in my archive!