Saturday, March 31, 2012

Banana Bread

Banana bread reminds me of Sunday mornings when my siblings and I would wake up early to create a feast for Mom and Dad. What reminds you of home ?

Sign by Husband



Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 40-45 minutes        
Oven: 350°F                         
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat flour)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten large eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (~6 medium or 4 large, I may have ended up using 6 large...)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cococnut oil
  1. Grease bottom and ½ inch up sides of two 7 ½ x 3 ½ x 2 inch loaf pans; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add wet mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir until moistened (batter should be lumpy, don’t over mix!). Spoon batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake in 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes. Wooden toothpick inserted near the center should come out clean. If bread needs more time but is starting to brown on top too much, coven the top loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes prior to handling. Then, remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.
To make Coconut Banana Bread, add in a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Garden Update - March 29, 2012

Nearly a year since the last garden update, much has changed but our love for the beautifully edible has remained the same if not grown. We have some flowers left over from winter as well as new blooms. Most vegetables were planted new but some sprung up on their own from last year! For this spring and summer, we are looking forward to several varieties of tomatoes, Black Beauty eggplant, Thai chilies, Serrano chilies, green onions, banana peppers, sweet bell peppers, zucchini,  summer squash, cucumbers, thyme, basil, cilantro, mint, and peaches! 

Enter Our Secret Garden. Jasmine. Raspberry.

Our Oasis. Calla Lily. Bougainvillea.

Left Column: Pansy. Tulip. Dianthus. Mint.
Right Column: Bougainvillea. Thyme. Ranunculus. Snap Dragon.

Top: Garden. Serrano.
Bottom: Tomatoes. Cilantro and Green Onions.

Desert Gold Peach. Meyer Lemon Blossom.

Oleander. Mesquite. Garden.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

18-24 Month Aqua Sweater (100% Cotton)

This cotton sweater of many blues and greens will keep your toddler warm as the flowers wake up in the spring and as the fireflies come out on a cool summer evening!



Available on Etsy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gray Striped Sweater (12-18 Month)


Medium Weight 100% Acrylic Yarn. 100% Washable. 100% Happy.
Available on Etsy!

Brown Striped Sweater (12-18 Month)


Medium Weight 100% Acrylic Yarn. 100% Washable. 100% Happy.
Available on Etsy!


Monday, March 19, 2012

3-6 Month Mint Sweater

Recently I've seen a lot of clothing and ads in blush, peach, and mint. This little mint sweater is inspired by those colors. The beanie was made to match the sweater but I seem to have a history of making beanies too small or too big. This time it is the latter. It fits an adult, not a 3-6 month old. Oops. Still cute though?



Available on Etsy


0-3 Month Plum & Peaches Sweater Vest

With so many pregnancy announcements in the past couple of weeks, it's hard not to be inspired by babies.  Congrats to all those Mommies and Daddies-To-Be! This sweet plum and peaches sweater vest would go so well with an equally sweet bundle of joy.

P.S.-I've been working on multiple projects with plans to open an Etsy shop in the near future!!!


Available on Etsy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vegetable Samosas (Baked) with Mint Chutney

Vegetable Samosas (Baked) with Mint Chutney

These samosas are the result of a conglomeration of recipes. Soooo... I can't (accurately) tell you what I used because I'm not so sure myself... (sorry!). I ended up with enough filling for double or triple the dough made and the amount of spice was adjusted based on taste. What I can tell you is they were delicious and I was so happy to use up some mint from our garden!

Top Row: Give me a sharp knife and something to chop and I'm a happy girl. Endless patch of mint.
Bottom Row: Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Curry. Whole Mustard Seed. Cilantro. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Garden Butterfly, no Moth, no Butterfly, no Moth....

On this beautiful spring day, I meandered out to the garden to see if anything was growing. Looks like the bell peppers, chilies, eggplants, tomatoes, green onions, tulips, and ranunculus are all coming up nicely. Even the winter flowers are still thriving. Within a few minutes, I was distracted by this beautifully intricate butterfly or perhaps it's really a moth? Any insect experts out there?





Striped Gingham Roll-Up Bag

Gingham : Comfort :: Stripes : Energy



Pattern courtesy of Pins and Needles Blog (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing).

Spring Meadow Roll-Up Bag

This color and pattern combination reminds me of a grassy meadow bursting with wildflowers! I can hear the birds chirping and bees humming.

Pattern courtesy of Pins and Needles Blog (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing).

Red Floral Kelly Green Roll-Up Bag


Telling myself I need to use up fabric I already have at home before running out to buy more whimsical combinations, I had the motivation to make several in one sitting. Thus, after the Striped Kelly Green Roll-Up Bag came this one!


Additional roll-up bags:
Striped Kelly Green Roll-Up Bag
Blue Bird Roll-Up Bag 

Pattern courtesy of Pins and Needles Blog (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing).

Striped Kelly Green Roll-Up Bag


For all you brides-to-be out there, this may be a perfect gift for your bridesmaids!


Additional roll-up bags:
Blue Bird Roll-Up Bag 

Pattern courtesy of Pins and Needles Blog (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blue Bird Roll-Up Bag

I'm on a roll (pun intended)! I just adore this print and bold blue combination!


Additional roll-up bags:

Pattern courtesy of Pins and Needles Blog (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing).

Pink & Brown Polka Dot Roll-Up Bag

After making my first Crochet Hook Roll-Up Bag, I found an excellent photo tutorial and thought I'd give it another shot (I omitted the medium weight fusible interfacing). It was much easier the second time around. The dimensions can be adjusted based on what you're storing. I can't wait to use this on my future travels!



Crochet Hook Roll-Up Bag

With an afternoon laid out to start some aprons, I chickened out and sought a smaller project instead. I started making a roll-up case but without a tutorial. After several mistakes made (before finding an excellent photo tutorial which led to the second, much more successful and easy to make Pink & Brown Polka Dot Roll-Up Bag), I finally ended up with a super cute crochet hook bag!



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet


Refreshing. Tart. Sweet.


Yield: 2 cups

1 large grapefruit
1 cup granulated sugar*
1 cup water

Bring sugar and water in saucepan to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let cool. Meanwhile, zest grapefruit, set zest aside. Juice grapefruit, should yield about 3/4 to 1 cup. Stir together juice, zest, and sugar water. Pour into ice cream maker and let it spin for about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container in freezer. 

Note: * I'm thinking of reducing sugar down to 1/2 cup but not sure how it'll affect the consistency??? May end up more ice-y and hard to scoop.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Mustard Yellow Camera Purse

Mom and I share a love for purses, totes, bags in general. Awhile back she found this perfect handbag for me to convert into a camera purse. Bold but classy color. Leather exterior. Medium-large size. Top magnetic closure. Side and inside pockets. Sturdy. I couldn't wait to see it! Mom started tailoring it for me. She added a zipper on top, structural lining to the sides, and buttons to the pockets on the outside. Gotta love Mom. Once it was in my hands, I added additional cushion to transform this beautiful handbag into a camera purse! Using one-inch thick foam covered in a lint-free fabric, I made enough pieces to protect an SLR camera body, three lenses, and an external flash. The middle divider cushions are removable. ♥ it!



Monday, March 5, 2012

The Orange Striped Tote (reversible)

Stripes? No, orange. No, stripes. Orange? Doesn't matter, take your pick! This double-strapped reversible tote bag can fit either sunny disposition. Take it on a picnic with freshly baked bread, brie, and apples!

100% Cotton. Reversible. Washable.

For additional totes, check-out:

The Big Project Bag
The Bubble Gum Pink Striped Tote
The Spring Green Tote
The Yarn Bag

Food & Family

The world goes round with great food and the warm company of family. On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a meal with my parents. We prepared whole grain bread, grilled chicken (marinated in home grown lemon juice, soy sauce, and red pepper olive oil), mixed greens salad (local tomatoes, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, corn, black beans, dates), orange slices (from in-laws' orchard), and plum wine* (homemade). What do you make when you have company? 


*Note: The "plum wine" may not technically a wine because there is no yeast. We made it July 2010; equal parts plum to sugar and sealed it. The color is like a beautiful rosé wine. It tastes like summer. Sweet. Clear. Happy.


The Pink Print Green Gingham Bib


100% Cotton. Reversible.
For additional bibs, check out:

The Big Project Bag

Some times you just need a bigger bag! This bag is designed to hold a few skeins of yarn plus the makings of a baby blanket or start of a bigger blanket. The inside has a brown and light pink polka dotted pocket to hold four crochet hooks (or pencils/pens) and a phone or keys. 

100% Cotton. Lined. Single Strap.