Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

In the past eleven years, I have moved between four states. This month we'll be on the move again. We're leaving the desert and moving back to our old stomping grounds where my husband and I met in college.

With each move, there are of course boxes to pack but also a pantry to empty. This time the majority of the kitchen has been packed up already so it's time to get creative. What can I make with one large mixing bowl, one wooden spatula, one baking dish, and a can of pumpkin puree? Pumpkin bread! Six years ago, I was moving for graduate school. I had a similar minimalist kitchen set-up and made pumpkin pie in the middle of summer. I called up my girl friend Erin, "Hey, I'm stress-baking. Please come enjoy pumpkin pie with me." Since then, she has made a few of her own inter-state moves and it has become a tradition (joke) to make pumpkin pie or bread with moving. Here's to another chapter in our lives!

 Ingredients:

  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (it's what was left in the container...cleaning out the pantry remember?)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in large mixing bowl using wooden spatula. If you have a hand mixer, even better but ours is packed so wooden spoon it is. Normally I would stir together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before adding them to my wet ingredients but I do not have another bowl at the moment so in the dry ingredients went, separately into the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick (or chopstick since I don't know where our toothpicks are) in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sparkle Shoes

June is here! Summer is here! I apologize for the lack of posts in May. With an almost-4 month old who loves to giggle and play, going back to work full-time, and packing up the house for an upcoming move, it has been a little nuts around here! 

My husband and I are Youth Leaders for the high school kids at our church. Today is our last hurrah with the kids and we're getting our glitter on! Yes, you heard right. Thank you Cotton+Curls for your inspiration. I figure it is probably a good idea to do a test run of these sparkly shoes and sunglasses before experimenting with the kids and here are my results: 


Fun right??? The canvas shoes were $5 and shades were $1 from the dollar store. If you have old shoes and shades that need some re-vamping, this is your chance! The rest of the materials add up to be a little more costly but they can be used for multiple projects so ultimately this is a low cost and fun project!!! For the shades, check out Cotton+Curls Gold Rimmed Sunglasses Tutorial.
Sparkle Shoes
There seem to be a couple ways to do this. Paint on the glue, pour on the glitter. I tried that but couldn't get a consistent result without making a huge mess. Instead, I found a small container, poured in some Mod Podge and a lot of glitter. Then I painted this glittery glue onto the shoe. Much cleaner and even results. 

Materials:
Canvas Shoes
Mod Podge in Glossy
Brush or Sponge Brush
Extra Fine Glitter
Clear Acrylic Sealer in Glossy
Painter's Tape
Newspaper
Small Container
Paper Towels
  1. Line work area with newspaper.
  2. Remove laces from shoes.
  3. Tape around edges - basically anywhere you don't want glitter. 
  4. Pour some Mod Podge into container. Pour in some glitter. Mix with brush. No science to this, just lots of glitter. 
  5. Paint on glitter glue evenly on shoe. I found it easiest to pick up the shoe with your hand in the shoe.
  6. Let shoe dry before applying more layers. You'll know the layer is dry when the glue is clear. Here in the desert, drying between layers took about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Apply layers as needed to desired glitter coverage. I painted three layers. 
  8. Stuff shoes with paper towels so you don't get sealer everywhere inside the shoe. Lightly spray on clear acrylic sealer all over outside of shoe. Let dry 15-20 minutes between layers. I did three. This sealer gives you a smooth surface (the Mod Podge can be a little sticky).
  9. Remove the paper towels. Remove the tape carefully. If you have any excess glitter glob, cut it off or smush it down. Put on the laces and you're good to go!