Feb 20, 2012

Gingerbread and Homemade Applesauce

Sometimes I get a hankering for a taste of the past.  This recipe is just that.  The smell of molasses and cinnamon transports me to when I was a little girl helping my mommy in the kitchen.  It reminds me of after-school snack while I shared about my day.  It brings me back to when life was simple and family was close.

 Now that I'm hundreds of miles from those family members, sometimes I just need a little comfort food.  Tonight was one such night.  And, because God is good, I had all the ingredients in my pantry.

I hope you enjoy this yumminess as much as I do.  And maybe, just maybe, it will bring you back in time....or help you create those memories for your future generations to remember.

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses (gold label)
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted shortening
1 cup boiling water
  2 cup sifted flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar, molasses, eggs and melted shortening.  When mixed well, add 1 cup boiling water.  Then mix in the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, salt and vanilla.  Pour this mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

4 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.


Feb 15, 2012

Lingerie & Heart Sugar Cookies

I had a lot of fun making these Valentine treats!  I giggled, a lot, while decorating them.  I just KNEW my husband would get a kick out of it!    (He did!!)

The cookies got a little overdone, but that just makes them look like they are tan.  ;)

After making several lingerie cookies, I decided to go a little more...modest. 
This one is my favourite.  I LOVE the continuous heart illusion!  So pretty. :)

Which cookie is your favourite?

The idea for these cookie designs came from here

Feb 14, 2012

Red Velvet Valentines Pancakes

Blair and I celebrated our personal Valentine's Day yesterday, on Monday, Feb. 13th. This morning, on the actual Valentines Day, he had to go into work really early because of a big inspection he has going on this week.  Plus, we have our Bible study Valentine's Day Italian dinner party tonight.  So, we celebrated a day early.  And it was really fun!

We started the morning off right with Red Velvet Valentines Pancakes.  Yummy!  I first heard about them here, and knew I had to give them a shot.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk*
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons red food coloring
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips  (you can use whatever kind you like best. I used dark chocolate chips.)
*I used buttermilk substitute.  Pour 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough milk to bring the juice/milk mixture to 1.5 cups.  Let this sit for 5-10 minutes.  Then use as recipe directs.*
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  In a separate bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, food coloring and vanilla. 
Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix just until combined.  Add chocolate chips and fold in batter.
Pour about 1/3 cup onto medium/high griddle and lightly brown on both sides.
 I also wanted to try to make two heart pancakes.   I used a heart-shaped metal cookie cutter, and poured a small amount of dough into it.  *Don't fill it all the way up, because it puffs up and will overflow as it starts to cook.
 Flip the pancake while it is still in the cookie cutter.  If you try to take it off before it's flipped, it will ooze over the edges.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve with maple syrup.

Enjoy!  I know my husband and I sure did.  Very tasty, indeed!

Feb 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Nails

I really wanted to do a fun manicure for my first Valentine's Day with a date.  I know, I know.  I'm 28 and this is my first legit Valentine's Day.  Last year, I was newly engaged on Valentine's Day- but my fiance was 1500 miles away.  Soooo...I'm excited to have a date this year!  And a reason to fancy up my nails.  I'm not sure my husband will care all THAT much, but I'm having fun.  :)

So I tried an experiment - hearts.  It is Valentines day, after all.  And I REALLY like the way they turned out!!  

I used four nail polishes for it:
  1. Revlon number 955 - Quick Dry Base Coat
  2. Revlon number 285 - Oh My Magenta
  3. Wet n Wile Wild Shine number 449C - French White Creme
  4. Revlon number 950 - Extra Life No Chip Top Coat
I started my nails with the base coat to prepare my nails.
Then I painted two coats of the Magenta colour to give a nice background punch.
Now for the hearts...this is the tricky part, but it's really not at all as difficult as I was expecting.  Place a drop of the french white polish onto a 3"x5" index card.
Next, I used an embossing tool.  You heard me correctly; an embossing tool. 
(I did these next steps on the 3"x5" card, so you could see it really clearly in pictures.)
I dipped the large end of the embossing tool into the drop of french white colour.
Then I put two dots, side by side, onto the magenta.
After that, flip the embossing tool over to the small end, and dip that into the french white colour.  Using that, I connected the two dots moving down in a somewhat 'V' pattern to finish the heart design.
Once the nails were completely dry, I covered them with the no chip clear top coat.  Let them dry completely again, and voila.  Fancy pants Valentine's Day nails.  :)

Feb 9, 2012

Eye Shadow Turned Nail Polish

I have an apology and a confession.  Apology - I'm so sorry for the lame picture quality of this post.  That problem was do to this fact:  Confession - I really didn't think this experiment was going to work.  Therefore, I only used my iPhone to take these pictures.  Oops!

I've been wanting to try out a brown nail polish.  I didn't have one in mind, but for some reason, I just thought I'd like the idea of it.  With my budget being what it is, and with all extras this month going to Valentines Day presents for my husband and birthday presents to my nephew and best friend, there wasn't a penny to spare on new nail polish.  So I decided to experiment.

I took an old brown eye shadow that I never wear.  Flaked some off onto a 3x5 card.  Then I did my normal base coat on my nails.
After that, I poured some basic, cheap clear nail polish into the brown eye shadow dust and mixed, mixed, mixed.  Make sure you mix it really well (and quickly, because it dries fast) so you don't get clumpy nail polish.  *TIP - do little sections at a time.  I found out that it dries really quickly on the 3x5 card.  So I learned to mix a little at a time and work my way through.  Worked a lot better!*
Then paint your nails as you normally would.  :)   I also added my normal clear top coat polish as well, to give it a little shimmer and to keep it from chipping off.

I'm not sure I'll do it again because it was a bit more effort than I usually like to put into doing my nails.  But in a pinch, it works pretty well!