Thursday, August 25, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Necklaces

I added 2 new necklaces to my Etsy shop this week.  These are perfect to show your support of breast cancer awareness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Banana Bread

For the 4th of July I made a dessert that called for instant vanilla pudding.  When I originally went shopping, I mistakenly purchased cook-and-serve pudding mix..... Of course I didn't notice this until the morning of.  Thank goodness the local drugstore was open and had instant pudding.

So when I came across this recipe for banana bread, I thought it was a great idea to use up some of my cook-and-serve pudding mix sitting in my pantry.  The original recipe called for shortening which I replaced  with butter.  It's a great recipe because it works well with whatever amount of bananas you have on hand.  I was a little skeptical of putting the bread in a cold oven, but it baked up very well.  This turned out to be nice bread, not too dense, but very moist.  The folks at work loved it!  

Banana Bread

1 3/4 c flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

3/4 t salt
1 (3 ounce) package of 'cook and serve' vanilla pudding mix
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c softened margarine or butter
2 eggs
2 T milk
1 to 2 cups mashed ripe banana

Nutmeg and Cinnamon to taste (I use about 1 t each)

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla pudding mix. In a separate mixing bowl, beat sugar and shortening until light, scraping sides of the bowl often. Add the eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each addition. Mix in the milk.

Add flour mixture and mashed bananas alternately to creamed mixture, beating until smooth after each addition. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8x4 inch loaf pan or into mini individual loaf pans.

Bake in a cold, (non-preheated) oven set to 350 degrees. Bake for 50 minutes, then cover with foil to prevent burning and bake for additional 10 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the crown comes out clean. Leave in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Leather Cord Necklaces

I've been working with leather cord and have a few necklaces listed in my Etsy shop.  I like the look of the pearls and gemstones with the leather.... kind of an edgy classic look!  All of them are made with genuine, high-quality Greek leather cord and sterling silver components. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Very Special People

I received a request recently for a couple of necklaces for two very special people.  My customer was a nursing student and two of her instructors are oncology nurses in a women's breast health center.  Obviously I was flattered to be asked to make something so meaningful!

When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall, I was over-whelmed with how she was treated by all medical staff - the receptionists, aides, nurses and doctors were incredibly caring and comforting.  I couldn't thank them enough for helping my mom recover.  These are all very special people!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I heart cherry tomatoes

I planted 4 varieties of cherry tomatoes this year and am happy to have these little gems in shades of red, orange and yellow.  Other than tossing in salads, my favorite way to eat these is to roast.  Put them on a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 375 until they are shriveled.  I keep them in the fridge or toss them in the freezer to use later.  Here's a few ways to use the roasted tomatoes:

  • toss with angel hair pasta and sauteed garlic.  Top with parmesan cheese.  To make it even more healthy, use a multi-grain or whole wheat pasta. 
  • do the above pasta and add in kalamata olives and feta cheese for a greek version!
  • use as a bruschetta topping
  • toss a few in scrambled eggs

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Pandora-Style Charms

I've been adding some new Pandora-style charms to my Etsy shop today.  I just love the new anchor and cowboy boot charms I found to work with!