Recipe: Gluten-Free Coconut Banana Bread

By Jess on September 1st, 2014

GF Coconut Banana Bread

From the book, Food Matters, comes a delicious and wheat and gluten-free bread that can be used for breakfast and dessert! In my opinion, you could toast it and also use it as french toast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas; at least 1 heaped cup of chopped banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 organic free-range eggs
  • 4 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mash bananas with the chopped dates.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy and then combine with the mash. Stir through the oil and maple syrup or honey. Add the dry ingredients and combine well.
  3. Transfer the batter to a loaf pan, greased and lined. The mixture will be quite thick; flatten and smooth with a spatula.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes. Ready when a knife comes out clean and the edges are browned. Eat while still warm, or allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.

Note: 
It’s best to use overripe bananas in banana bread! Coconut flourit doesn’t have the glycemic load of grain flours, has no gluten or anti-nutrients, but it also doesn’t yield the ‘fluffiness’ of regular glutenous flours, so it might take some getting used to. This recipe gives the best bread texture without using wheat.

DIY Dry Shampoo For Both Light & Dark Hair

By Jess on September 1st, 2014

DIY Dry Shampoo Both Hair Colors

From Blossom Everyday, find this and many other tutorials and hints for style and beauty! This recipe for dry shampoo will save you A LOT of money on dry shampoo (that stuff can cost $5 for a tiny bottle!). Just store this mixture in an old plastic container or some prefer spice containers to place directly onto your head.

To make it more “your hair shade” add as little or as much cocoa powder as you need. Medium brunettes may not need as much as someone with dark hair. Experiment and enjoy!

DIY Dry Shampoo

Recipe: Homemade Baked Strawberry French Toast

By richel on August 30th, 2014

baked-french-toast

My kids love breakfast.  French Toast is one of their favorites.  They will eat slice after slice, covered in fruit and drizzled with a little real maple syrup.  I make homemade Challah Bread or other sweet bread and then slice it up, freeze it and then it is all ready to go when the kids want me to make this.  It is super simple.

Sometimes when I am up at the crack of dawn, I will fix this up and put it in the oven about 45 minutes before everyone’s set to wake up.  The house smells divine…it’s sort of like Christmas Morning…you have that warm fuzzy, it’s going to be an amazing day sort of vibe.

If you don’t have strawberries, peaches, blueberries and other berries work well.  You’ll love the recipe…it’s so easy!

Baked Strawberry French Toast

1 loaf day old challah, sliced into 3/4” thick slices
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus more for garnish
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon for dusting over the top

Butter a 9 x 13” baking pan. Arrange the challah slices so that they are overlapping, tearing a few pieces in half if needed. Tuck the strawberries between the slices.

In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, zest, and vanilla. Then pour mixture over the challah.

Make sure that all of the slices are just about covered by the egg mixture–add more milk or rearrange the slices until they are. If refrigerating overnight, cover and chill. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate for a half hour, or longer if you have time.

Then preheat your oven to 350 degrees and take the baking dish out of the fridge. Once the oven is up to temperature, bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the french toast is a light golden brown and has puffed up nicely.

Slice and serve immediately with maple syrup and sliced strawberries. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

Recipe: Red, White & Blue-Berry Trifle

By Jess on August 30th, 2014

Recipe Red White Blue Trifle

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert for Memorial Day or Independence Day that has simple ingredients and LOTS of fresh and juicy summer berries, you will love this Red, White & Blue-Berry Trifle. Make it any time of year!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (Note: Instead of red velvet cake, use 1 box chocolate cake & a bottle of red food coloring)
  • 1 (16oz) tub whipped topping
  • 2 pints blueberries, washed
  • 1 pint strawberries, tops cut off, washed

Directions:

  1. Bake red velvet cake mix according to package directions. Allow to cool.
  2. With a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1-inch square pieces.
  3. Line the bottom of the trifle bowl with half of the cake squares.
  4. Using a spatula, spread about a 2-inch layer of whipped topping on top of the cake squares.
  5. Layer about 1 1/2 pints of the blueberries on top of whipped topping.
  6. Layer the remaining cake pieces on top of the blueberries to create a second layer of cake.
  7. Using a spatula, spread remaining whipped topping over the top layer of cake.
  8. Decorate the perimeter (along the bowl sides) with the strawberries by placing the strawberries cut side down.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the trifle inside the strawberry perimeter.

Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Crunch Cake

By Jess on August 28th, 2014

Recipe Frozen Strawberry Crunch Cake

This simple take on an ice cream cake will be a big hit at your next family get together, or even just for dessert tonight! The Frozen Strawberry Crunch Cake from Spoonful calls for Nature Valley bars, but regular granola would work just fine as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly chopped strawberries

Directions:

  1. Unwrap and put the Nature Valley granola bars (or regular granola) in a food processor until you it becomes a course crumb.
  2. In a large bowl, add crumbs, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter, then mix together. Spread into an 8×8″ pan covered with parchment paper.
  3. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then divide in half and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs whites and sugar, then mix on high. Add the heavy cream and continue to mix for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and softened cream cheese to mixture, then mix on low speed until completely combined.
  6. Fold the strawberries into the cream mixture until as evenly mixed as possible.
  7. In a glass cake pan that has been buttered fully, press half of the crumb crust mixture to the bottom, then top with strawberry mix, then add the rest of the granola crumbs to the top.
  8. Cover and freeze for  at least three hours. ENJOY!

Layered Patriotic Non-Alcoholic Drink Recipe

By Jess on August 27th, 2014

layeredpatrioticdrink

When it comes to the beautiful layered drinks, whether they are adult beverages or not, the way to get the drinks to have the layered look depends on the sugar content of each of the types (colors) of beverages. The higher the sugar content, the lower it needs to be in the glass. Thanks to Made From Pinterest for the easy (and pretty!) recipe!

  1. To make this beautiful Red, White, and Blue Patriotic and non-alcoholic drink, you just need Cran-Apple juice (of any brand), Sobe White Pina Colada, and Gatorade G2 Blueberry Pomegranate (the last two drinks do make a difference for sugar content and color).
  2. Grab your pretty glass and fill it almost to the top with crushed ice.
  3. Pour the Cran-Apple juice down the side of glass as close as you can to leave as little red on the upper parts of the glass as possible. Fill the red juice as high as you’d like it.
  4. Then pour the Sobe Pina Colada with as much as you’d like of white. You’ll see the Cran-Apple juice stays low since it’s higher in sugar content.
  5. Finish off the top of your drink with the Blueberry Pomegranate Gatorade.
  6. Add the straws and any fun patriotic decorations you’d like. Enjoy!!

Patriotic Popsicle Sticks American Flag Kids Craft

By richel on August 26th, 2014

DIY patriotic Craft

I just love this craft because it is not only simple, but if you seal it, you can keep them for years to come!

You just need:

  • Blue Paint
  • White Paint
  • Red Paint
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Mod Podge (optional, for sealing)
  • White Glue
  • Cereal box or card board
  • White star stickers

Once you have painted your popsicle sticks, you will need to have a small square of cardboard.  I used an empty cardboard box for mine.  Glue the dried, painted popsicle sticks directly to the cardboard so they have a nice foundation.  Then layer on the second layer of painted popsicle sticks and secure with glue.  Add the stars by painting them or using stickers.

Once dry, the flags can be glued onto another popsicle stick to “wave” or put into the ground as decorations. Another option is to tie them onto a string and make them into patriotic garland that you can use year after year!

This is a super cute holiday craft!

Check out this cute patriotic table cloth!

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

By Michelle on August 25th, 2014

HW-VANILLA-PUDDING

Vanilla Pudding is rather simple when you make it from scratch & it tastes amazing also. So just because JELLO pudding was on sale and you have a ton of it. Give this recipe a try and save the JELLO for another time.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe

1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
Optional: Sliced bananas, 8 Oreo Cookies or Nilla Wafers 

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Pour in the half and half and egg yolks and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the pudding thickens and it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and then whisk in the butter and vanilla. Refrigerate until cold – about 3 hours. Garnish with Cookies (any kind will do) or sliced bananas (or your favorite fruit)

That’s It! Enjoy!

20+ Recipes for Homemade Flavored Coffee Creamer

By richel on August 22nd, 2014

homemade coffee creamer

My hubby and I love coffee in the morning with that lovely and oh so expensive flavored coffee creamer.  It is super expensive and it seems that prices are continuing to rise.  You can make this for just over 1/2 the cost of those that you buy in the store.  If you can grab the ingredients on sale, grab it for less than half the cost.

Ingredients for the Base:

  • 14oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 3/4 cup milk or cream (whole, lowfat, skim, almond, soy, heavy cream, half & half etc – whatever your preference, however the more fat, the more creaminess)

Then you need to choose which is your flavor choice.  If the flavor your choose has an ingredant that is powdered (like cinnamon or cocoa) then heat about 1.2 cup of the base and disolve the power in that first…it helps so that your creamer is not grainy!

Choose Your Flavor

French Vanilla Creamer

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR vanilla coffee syrup (most grocery stores have this now where they sell coffee or get it at Stabucks)

Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract will not work)

Chocolate

  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (any brand, I like Hershey’s)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Almond

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

(more…)

DIY Duct Tape Rose Pen Tutorial

By Jess on August 22nd, 2014

DIY Duct Tape Rose Pen Tutorial

If you aren’t aware, there are dozens of designs in duct tape now. People are using it more than for just fixing pipes – they’re making projects like these really cute flower pens! This is like origami for duct tape. Make these for gifts, fun teacher presents, for decorations, and with tons of different combinations! Thanks to CraftFoxes for the tutorial. There is a visual tutorial if it will help with your craft! What You’ll Need:

  • Green duct tape (for stems and leaves)
  • Designed or colored duct tape (for petals)
  • Plain pen

Directions:

  1. Take your pen and cover it in green tape lengthwise. This works best if you roll the pen across the tape, sticky-side up.
  2. To make petals, cut several strips of 2-inch long squares out of the colored or designed tape. Fold one edge over itself sticky side up, leaving some stickiness exposed on the side and bottom. It ends up looking like a sail on a boat because of the sticky edge left out instead of a perfect triangle.
  3. Take the other edge and fold it over, leaving only stickiness on the bottom of the strip.
  4. Wrap the petal tightly around the top of the pen stem.
  5. Repeat steps 2-5 with duct tape, wrapping the petals around the top. Continue until you’ve reached the size of rose you want.
  6. For the leaves under the base of the rose, repeat steps 2 – 4 with the green duct tape. Wrap these pieces around the stem at the base of the flower to cover up the tape edge.