Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break...?

For someone who works full time and is also taking four classes (some that had assignments due during the week) there certainly is no such thing as Spring Break. Even when I was younger and went to college the first time, I never had a true Spring Break; I have always worked multiple jobs and never had the time or collateral to go out of town or anything like that. However, my husband and I did get some things done during this past week of spring break.

Home Improvement:
We painted the living room, breakfast nook, and kitchen a cheerful yellow; Sherwin Williams “Daffodil”. We hung some artwork on the walls… okay, okay, so the truth is too much manual labor makes my eye twitch. I honestly just supervised and showed him where I wanted some carved art and masks to be hung on the beautiful yellow walls. I also did some minor decorating, in the entryway to liven the area up a bit. We also (“we” being him and a friend NOT me; that manual labor thing again) installed laminate (faux wood) flooring throughout the house; everywhere except tiled areas and bedrooms. The house is starting to look extremely nice, adding new floors and paint certainly does make a huge difference! 

Everyday Stuff:
I went to work, did assignments, worked out, took the dog to the groomer, blah blah blah; everyday stuff really isn’t exciting enough to write about and I am sure those of you reading this truly do not care (however, do feel free to act like you care about the monotonous nature of my everyday life)! All in all, Spring Break was pretty uneventful, but productive none the less, the most important thing is my husband, and I were together and we had a fantastic time working together to improve our home. Yay, Spring Break…?



Living Room Walls

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Knead Honey Wheat Bread

This is a simple bread recipe that is easy to make and very good. Give it a try! The link to the original recipe posting is below. Thanks!

No Knead Honey Wheat Bread

2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour or all purpose
1 3/4 cups water, warmed (100-110 F)
5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets/ .5 ounces)
2 tbsp honey (I added more honey to increase the honey flavor)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a large, microwave safe bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour and bread flour. Microwave for 30-40 seconds, until flour is very warm to the touch. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the water with the yeast and honey. Stir and let stand for 5-10 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Add in the remaining water, vegetable oil, salt and about half of the warm flour mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine.

If using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook and continue adding flour with the mixer on medium. Add flour gradually until dough comes together into a smooth ball and pulls away from the sides. A small amount of flour might be left over. Turn speed up to medium and mix for 1 minute.

If mixing by hand, gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon with each addition. Mix until dough comes together with the wooden spoon for 1 additional minute after dough comes together smoothly.

Lightly grease a 9"x5" loaf pan, turn dough into the loaf pan and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 30-35 minutes, until dough rises 1" above the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Once bread has risen, remove plastic wrap and place loaf pain in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until bread is dark golden brown, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Baking Bites No Knead Whole Wheat Honey Sandwich Bread

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lemony Lemon "Brownies"

These "brownies" are different but very good, with a nice tart lemony flavor. However, nothing can really beat a chocolate brownie but these are worth making. Very tasty and will be a go to recipe when I'm craving lemony treats. The link to the original recipe is listed below.

Lemony Lemon Brownies 


The "Brownie" Batter: 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Tart Lemon Glaze: 

1 rounded cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoon lemon juice
8 teaspoons lemon zest

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Grease/Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter/cooking spray and set aside.
  • Zest and juice two small/large lemons; set aside. {whatever you have}
  • In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not over bake, or the bars will be dry.
  • When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze...sift the powdered sugar, add lemon zest and juice, and whisk together all three ingredients. Spread 1/2 the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula. Let glaze set. Spread the remaining glaze over the bars, and let it set. This glaze does not harden like most. Cut into bars, and serve!

Becky Charms Lemony Lemon Brownies

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Easy Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

This is the first cheesecake I have ever made, and I will say that it was easy and delicious! I will admit that I am addicted to  cheesecake and will need to limit using this recipe (but it's soooo good!). I hope you enjoy this yummy cheesecake! I am not sure where I got this recipe, so I will update with a link when I find it.

Topped with Cherries!

Easy Vanilla Baked Cheesecake

(8") Springform Cake Pan
9oz of Graham Crackers
5oz Melted Butter

  1. Prepare your cake pan by lining the base with wax paper.
  2. Use a food processor to make your crackers into crumbs. If you don't  have a food processor, place biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until you have crumbs.
  3. Place crumbs in a bowl and use your fingers to press the crumbs mixture evenly around the tin and up the sides to form a shell.
  4. Once you have a fairy to form a shell, place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
1.1 lbs Cream Cheese (room temperature)
10.5 oz Sour Cream
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
3 tbsp Vanilla Extra

  1. Preheat your oven to 320 degrees F.
  2. Place your cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a clean bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined and smooth. You can also use a food processor.
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix again until well combined.
  4. Pour mixture into your shell.
  5. Bake for one hour. Turn off oven and open the oven door slightly and allow the cake to cool slowly in the oven (this prevents cracking).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Before & After - Hubby's Dresser

I found an old dresser on Craigslist for $40 I bought it and after, some wood glue, filler, sanding, 5 cans of white spray paint, and some hammered metal paint for the pulls, my husband has a new dresser.

His previous dresser looked weathered, was falling apart, and did not go with my "vision" for our master bedroom. Now this wretched dresser looks clean and bright, I am happy with the way it turned out, and he is pleased to have more room!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Applesauce Bread

Applesauce bread is a hit at my house, when I make banana bread (for myself) I have to make applesauce bread for my husband. He prefers his applesauce bread with craisins in it (like I needed another reason to buy craisins in bulk). This is an easy recipe that is delicious. Give it a try and tell me what you think. The link to the original recipe from is listed below.

Applesauce Bread

Dry - 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup craisins (optional - my husband MUST have craisins in his personal loaf)

Wet - 
3/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter; melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Prepare bread pan with nonstick baking spray, or butter and flour.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of combined dry ingredients and add the applesauce, eggs, and butter. Stir well. Pour batter into a buttered bread pan and bake for 45-55 mins (for a full size loaf pan) at 350 degrees F, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

New Nostalgia Applesauce Bread

Before & After - Spice Rack

While digging through a barn at an estate sale, I came across a dirty, sad looking spice rack. Upon seeing this icky little spice rack what would come to my mind other than a nail polish holder (because nail polish is awesome and it is strewn all over my dresser and needs to be tamed)!!!

I think I paid 25 cents if that much for the thing. I painted it to match my wondrous, stupefying, marvelous dresser and all my nail polish fits perfectly (I'm going to have to hunt for a bigger spice rack because I will be running out of room VERY soon!!).

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