Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana-ChocolateChip-Almond Muffins

Every time we go grocery shopping, there will be at least 4 bananas in the cart - because bananas are healthy. I just don't like bananas. The smell drives me crazy. The texture is weird. So most of the times, they get not eaten and sit there until they turn almost black. I was about to throw them out yesterday and then thought, I just bake some muffins with them. With lots of sugar, bananas aren't so bad after all. :)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twelve 1/3-cup muffin cups with muffin liners. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Mix mashed bananas, egg, melted butter and milk in medium bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips and slivered almonds.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out with some melted chocolate attached but no crumbs, about 32 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

Now I can't wait to eat my bananas.

I'm linking up to:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentines Day Pillow

For Valentines Day I made a pillow for Brian. Since he doesn't read my blog I can give you a nice idea for your sweetheart! :)

I first sewed a red pillow case with zipper.

Then I downloaded a graphic off the internet (pdf) and re-did all the words in photoshop to fit to my page and make the quality better (Thanks BJ for all of your help). I bought Sew-In colorfast fabric sheets and printed the design in grey on the sheet.
Once washed, dried and ironed I sewed it on to the red pillow with red threat to match the pillow.

Wrapped it in cellophane, put a bow around and there it is..

My Brian's Valentines Pillow.

I'm linking up to:

The Shabby Nest                                          Days of Chalk and Chocolate                                

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentines Cookies

Heart shaped sugar cookies on a stick

I made those last year for Brian, but thought I will share with you this Valentines "Season".

First I made sugar cookies from scratch:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill.

Cut into desired shape (I did mostly hearts), attach a plastic lolipop stick in the middle of each heart and place on parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.

While the cookies are in the oven I prepared the Glace Icing.

Glacé Icing
1lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 Cups)
6Tsp whole milk

6Tsp light Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp extract (I use almond because I use almond in my sugar cookies)
With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth (no lumps!) Then stir in corn syrup and extract.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off the whisk in a pretty thin drizzle. For the piping just add some more powdered sugar until the consitency gets thicker.

I used one drop of red food color to make the icing pink and left half of it in white.

Pipe the outline of the hearts first. I used a #1 tip. Let dry and then flood the cookie with the glace mixture.

After they were completely dry, I wrote some sweet words on the cookies with the piping mixture (#1 tip).

I let them sit again until dry and wrapped each one in a cellophane bag. 


Have a wonderful Valentines Day!

ThriftyThurs Thrifty Thursday Week 59 A Crafty SoireeDays of Chalk and Chocolate            

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Superbowl is coming up

Only 2 more weeks until the Superbowl begins. If you are planning on bringing something to a party, check out my superbowl cookies!

They were really easy to make and a huge hit last year.

The ice cream cake would be a cool option as well, and for $9.00 right now available at Aldi.
Snickers Ice Cream Football Cake

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Laundry Room Decal

For Christmas I made myself a big present. I ordered a silhoutee CAMEO.
I'm still totally new to it and I need some more time to play with it. I ordered white self adhesive vinyl and finally finished my idea of a Laundry Wall Decal. 
Several months ago, I ordered some self adhesive vinyl, but without the CAMEO the vinyl ended up in a drawer somewhere.  

This was my first attempt. Printed and sketched papers, scissors, vinyl...

Now with that fabulous toy of mine it was "almost" easy. I used Garamond as font and went 9inch in width and 76 inch in length. (Speed 8, Thickness 12)

I had to cancel the job several times since my vinyl moved in the middle of the process and the letters were messed up. Not sure what I did wrong though. Finally, when everything was cut, I peeled off the negative space of  the vinyl from the backing. All that remains are the letters. Now you should use some transfer tape, which I did not have. I took a ruler made some marks on the wall and stuck one letter at a time on the wall.  

           Before: very empty wall decor        After: Laundry Decal 


I re-placed some of the letters to be somewhat straight. :)

 Now laundry will be so much more fun! LOL

I'm linking up to:

Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy   Todays Creative Blog  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes

For a going away party I was asked to bring dessert. I had cheese cake in mind, but when getting all the ingredients out, I didnt feel it and decided on the spot to go with cupcakes.

I still had a strawberry cake mix in the pantry, mixed it together, folded in some white chocolate morsels and baked all 18 cupcakes at 350 for 18minutes.

While the cupcakes kept rising, I put together cream cheese (8oz), 7 tbsp softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, mixed that in my kitchen aid, sifted in 3 cups confectioners' sugar and mixed it together by hand until smooth and creamy. I used a star tip on my piping gun and completed the cupcakes with some gold shimmer sprinkles. 

Perfect cupcake for a sparkling girl! We will miss you Alex - but wish you all the Best in San Diego!!

I'm linking up to:

ThriftyThurs Thrifty Thursday Week 59Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy            

                                                                 A Crafty Soiree     

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's time to say good bye

..for a full week. I will be leaving this afternoon for New York for one of our textile  tradeshows, check it out! :)

Internet is not complimentary in the hotel and really crappy in the convention center, so I assume I will be offline for the week.

Wish me luck that I will survive the cold temperatures New York has to offer right now (30F during the day, 19F during the night) but also that our exhibitors and attendees stay happy and won't give me a hard time.

I can't wait to come back next Thursday with a hopefully full weekend of REST.

Stay warm.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meat Love

This post is only for meat lovers.

While searching for a butcher shop yesterday, we stumbled into the most incredible international farmers market, which is actually right around the corner from us.

I haven't seen that many veggies, fruits and international goodies in a long time. That store is awesome and for sure  The meat and fish department is amazing. They have everything you can even think of cutting up from an amimal. I wouldn't eat most of it, but my interest in seeing all of those weird things, was stronger than anything.

We bought thinly sliced short ribs (which we were not able to find in any grocery stores around here)

Brian's mom introduced me to Korean BBQ - Kal-Bi, it is so delicious, you need to try it! Very easy to make too.

KALBI are short ribs, cut on the cross-section. They are thin 1/2″ slices of ribs that are marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, pear juice, garlic, ginger and sesame oil, but you can also use the marinade that comes in a jar.

Buy 2.2lbs of thinly sliced short ribs and marinade them in 0.45lbs Korean BBQ sauce for couple hours.

                Don't you love raw meat pictures? :)

 Put the ribs in a pan and fry each side for 4-5 min. We put ours into the oven to keep warm until all of them were done.

Besides the meat, we made baked potatoes as a side, with cheese and bacon/herb topping and sour cream.

The potatoes were washed, poked with a fork, oiled and salted and then baked in the oven 60min at 375°F.

Korean BBQ - KAL-BI