Thursday, January 31, 2013

Salt Water Postcard

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.  
~Isak Dinesen

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

I make these pumpkin muffins all the time, but this weekend I thought I'd change it up and make pumpkin bread with dark chocolate chunks instead.  Delish!

For pumpkin bread you'll need:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon all-spice 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Toast the walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted, on an ungreased baking sheet.  Place aside to cool. 

3. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, all spice, and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk.  Mix all the ingredients. Gently fold in the flaked coconut, dark chocolate chips, and toasted walnuts. 

4. Place the batter in a greased glass bread pan. 

5. Bake for an 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Frozen Pumpkin Treat

Yesterday I made pumpkin bread, and I had leftover pumpkin puree and lowfat coconut milk. Of course I did not want to waste it, but thought I might have a pin or two on Pinterest that could help me out.  Sure enough this pumpkin frozen yogurt recipe was just what I needed. 

In a metal bowl, combine 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup plain Kefir, 1/4 teaspoon all-spice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.  Blend together.  Cover and place in freezer, stirring every half hour until to you reach the desired consistency.  Enjoy!

This pumpkin dessert was icy like a Jello Pudding Pop (chocolate was always my favorite) and tasted like the pumpkin yogurt I made this fall. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Martha Stewart has a recipe for Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan, but I made a simpler version for dinner with three Japanese eggplant. 

For this recipe you'll need:
3 Japanese eggplant
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped 
handful of fresh basil, chopped 
at least 1 cup favorite tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste 
about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
olive oil
mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  On a cookie sheet roast eggplant for about 45 minutes, or until soft.  Rotating the eggplant every 15 minutes.

2. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, make a length-wise slit in the eggplant and scoop out the insides. Chop into bite-size pieces.   

3. In a sauté pan, add olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft.  Then add eggplant, basil, sauce, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for about 10 minutes. 

4. Stuff the eggplant with the above mixture.   Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake in a glass baking dish until the cheese is melted and brown about 20-30 minutes. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lemongrass and Lavender Calming Spray

Before the holidays, I went to a yoga class and the scent in the studio was both calming and revitalizing.  I asked the owner what was so delicious and she stated it was the lemongrass and lavender spray she sells.  I knew I could make a less expensive calming spray for under her $18 asking price and I did, thanks to this site and Aura Cacia.  

You'll need:
glass spray bottle
2 ounces distilled water 
25 drops lemongrass essential oil
40 drops lavender essential oil

Add the distilled water to the spray bottle. Then add the lemongrass and lavender essential oils. Shake well.  Enjoy as a room spray or refresh your closets and clothes.  

Note: My spray is more lemony than lavender-y. The site above also suggested that you add equal parts lemon, lavender, and orange essential oils. You may want to experiment with the drops and add more or less oil to create your own unique scent.  Remember you can always add more oil, but you can't take it away if you add too much. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Felt Hearts

I whipped up some quick and easy felt hearts for our Valentine's Day tree by looking at this picture.

You'll need:
heart pattern (which I made out of recycled cardboard)
DMC floss (that matches or complements your felt)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Circular Felt Hearts

Our Christmas card tree is now a Valentine's Day tree filled with V-Day ornaments (more posts to come).

As a child, I had a turquoise, red, and white chevron bathing suit and my sister had a purple, white, and turquoise one.  The color combinations in these circular hearts remind me of those suits.

I made them with three different felt colors, DMC floss, batting, and 1/8" jute twisted cord.  You can find similar hearts here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Prosciutto and Cheese Finger Sandwiches

These prosciutto and cheese finger sandwiches are elegant and delicious.  M and I served them for a tea party; we toasted white bread and added stone mustard, Gouda cheese, Granny Smith apples, prosciutto, and watercress.  They are perfect for your next tea party or event.  The original recipe is here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Button Heart

Using some wire, scissors, old buttons, and 1/8" jute twisted cord, I made this button heart thanks to this tutorial