August 27, 2009

Blueberry-Banana Bread...

Blueberry-Banana Bread

3 large over-ripe bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup (80 ml) vanilla soymilk (or apple sauce)
1/2 cup (120 ml) agave nectar
2 cups (240 g) white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or wipe a 9x5-inch loaf pan with oil (I used a silicon loaf pan).

Mix the soymilk with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and let stand until it curdles. (If using apple sauce, skip this step and add the lemon juice to the bananas.)

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the remaining lemon juice, soymilk, and agave nectar. Stir well to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir just until the mixture is well-combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

Servings: 12

August 22, 2009

where do you go....

Got this idea from Torm's blog

she asks; "Where do you go?"

What are the first three sites you visit each morning?

1. FaceBook
2. Ravelry

Do you have an online exercise site that you love (I'm desperate)

1. bwahahahaha!!!!

What are your children's three favorite sites?

1. Littlest Pet Shop (LPS)
3. iCarly

favorite blogs?

1. Sherelle Christensen
2. Soule Mama
3. Stephanie Nielson

favorite places for inspiration?

1. Stephanie Nielson
2. Mary Jane’s Farm

favorite online shops?

1. EBay

favorite online scrapbook galleries

1. 2Peas

favorite site for online entertainment

1. YouTube

favorite site for the latest news?


favorite photography sites/blogs?


August 15, 2009

DIY Hanging Handkerchief Vases...

Several Canning Jars (1/2 pint wide mouth with the straight sides)
Several Handkerchiefs (in coordinating colors)
Bailing Wire
Rubber Bands
Wire Cutters
Iron and Ironing Board

Resources: Canning jars are easy to find at yard sales and thrift stores, so are handkerchiefs. Bailing wire is available at any hardware store.

1. Press all of your handkerchiefs flat. (if you’re going to be use these in a humid location, I would suggest using a little spray starch to help keep them crisp)
2. Fold the bottom of your handkerchief up (see figure 1) and the top of the handkerchief down (see figure 2) to create a band of fabric that is the same height as the jar. Press the folds.
3. Cut a 2 1/2 foot length of bailing wire. Wrap it tightly around the grooves in the top of the jar, then create a hanger. (see figure 3)
4. Wrap the folded handkerchief around the vase and secure it with a rubber band. (see figure 4)
5. Cut a length of ribbon (about 18 inches or so) and tie it around the vase to conceal the rubber band. Tie the tails in a bow. (see figure 5)
6. Add a little water in the bottom of your vase, insert the flowers. ( see figure 6)
7. Create a grouping of coordinating vases and hang from a tree, and arbor, or from the ceiling.

August 14, 2009

feeling like baking something yummy...

Strawberry Spice Loaf

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
• 4 eggs, beaten
• 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine oil and eggs. Add strawberries (juice and all) to oil/egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the strawberry mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool slightly before removing from pans.

baking's a good thing!

75 Extraordinary Uses for Baking Soda
by Marvin - All Posts By This Author

Baking soda is a chemical compound that appears as a fine powder. It releases bubbles of carbon dioxide when it interacts with an acid and a liquid. It’s most commonly used in baking, where it acts as a leavening agent. The following are 75 other uses for baking soda aside from making muffins soft and fluffy.

Health Uses

1. Use it as an antacid.
2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.
3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.
4. Use it as a face and body scrub.
5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.
6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.
7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.
8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.
9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.
10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.
11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.
12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.
13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.
14. Use it to relieve bee stings.
15. Use it to relieve windburns.
16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.
17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.
19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.
20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.
21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.
22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.
23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.
24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.
25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.
26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.
27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.
28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.
29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.
30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.
31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.
32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.
33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.
34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.
36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.
37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.
38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.
39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.
40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.
41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.
42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.
43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.
45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs
46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.
47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.
48. Remove grease from pots and pans.
49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.
50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.
51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.
52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.
53. Clean your shoes with it.
54. Clean garbage cans with it.
55. Use it to wash diapers.
56. Clean the fridge with it.
57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.
58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.
59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.
60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.
61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.
62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.
63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.
64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.
65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.
66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.
67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.
68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.
69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.
70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.
71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.
72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.
73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.
74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.
75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

The most amazing thing about baking soda is that it’s very cheap. You can do all these things for a very small cost. Baking soda is truly a miracle product, whether it’s used for baking or not.