The (simplest) Banana Bread

Last week I shared a pineapple upside down cake recipe, and was surprised it took so long for me to get to it! Another recipe that I almost as frequently as chocolate chip cookies is banana bread. There is almost always bananas browning in my fruit basket! The key to a great banana bread is ripened bananas, the blacker the skin gets, the taster the bread is!

What makes this recipe simple? It's the fact that its a one bowl recipe! YES, throw everything into one big bowl, beat with an electric mixture until well blended, add in the "extras" and you are ready to bake!

Extra? Well I love adding walnuts and chocolate chips, but you can add cinnamon chip, pecans, slivered almonds, raisins (although I am not a fan). This is such a flexible recipe that you can play around with it till you find your perfect combo :)

Let's also not forget that the recipe yields two loaves, which means that you can share or freeze a loaf for later! Just let it thaw to room temperature over night before serving, As for serving, a dollop of nutella tastes great with it!

Hope you try it soon, just typing this post is making me want to bake up a batch now!

The (simplest) Banana Bread
Recipe Adapted from multiple sources

2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil or butter (melted)
1/4 cup greek yogurt/sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste/extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 -1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 large or 3 medium)

Optional :
chocolate chips
chopped walnuts/pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and lightly flour two 8 x 4 loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the optional ones and beat until everything is well combined. Fold in your choice of extra ingredients.
2. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 45 mins, or until top is golden and set.
3. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 mins before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If you chose to freeze a loaf, then bake it in a foil tray or wrap in foil after removing from the pan. Make sure that the loaf is completely cooled before freezing.


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#footballsunday 3.1 : Seahawks Themed Scrapbook Layouts

A while back I shared our baby announcement picture, along with our Seahawks themed gender reveal, today I'm going to share the layouts that I made for the Baby S's scrapbook. When one of your closest friends sends you the biggest box of scrapbooking supplies all in pink and baby theme, you drop everything to get scrappy! Plus I've been hoarding enough supplies that need to be used (you can read about my "buy less use more" goal for 2016, here).

Supplies used for the layout are listed below the picture!

Supplies used:

That's all for today! After the amount of time I spent in the kitchen and doing house chores today, I deserve some more craft time! Have a great weekend! If baby S doesn't make an appearance today, then we have a fun packed weekend ahead!

Happy Crafting!

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#craftingnotcoding : Coloring with Distress Inks (and a #tbt)

This post is more about the technique that I used instead of the actual card design, reason being I made the card already about a year ago! (Hence the #tbt) For details of my original post, check out this post.

Back to the technique, I finally used my distress inks that I have been collecting over the past year. It was so much easier than when I used the distress markers, for starters there is just more ink! I just use an acrylic block along with a paint brush. I used to previously use a water brush, but watercolor paint brushes are way way better as I get to switch different sizes.

I am in no way an artist, so I color in stamped images. There are multiple ways that crafter's stamp images to make sure that the ink doesn't run when you add the water color. Here are the ways that I have tried and tested :
1. StazOn Ink : This is a really strong permanent ink that stamps onto any and almost all surfaces. It also stains stamps and has a strong smell. I prefer not to use it, since I found another way to get around it!
2. VersaFine Ink : I now use this method, as it damages my stamps less! I just stamp with it, add some  clear embossing powder, hit it with an heat gun! This is the method that I have been using and I'll be sticking too it!

I've heard that some us Archival Ink, but I am yet to try it!

Supplies used:

  1. White Cardstock // Michaels
  2. Distress Inks // Impress Cards and Crafts
  3. VersaFine Ink in Black // Amazon
  4. Clear Embossing Powder // Amazon
  5. Watercolor Paint brushes // local grocery store
  6. Sequins // Pretty Pink Posh
  7. Sentiment Stamp // Right at Home

Happy Crafting!

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#craftingnotcoding : Winter Theme Scrapbook Pages

So I don't make resolutions, but I do make yearly goals, which I sometimes add on to during the year as things change or I accomplish some of the goals. This year my main one was to use more and buy less when it comes to my crafting supplies. That is I have to see if I have something that works, before going out and buying piles of new supplies. So far, I must say that it has been working pretty well for me, esp since I went through every box and bag that I had store stuff in and actually organized my craft space, I know what I have! Here are some layouts I did for a family vacation almost a year ago!

Supplies used:

  1. Cardstock // Walmart (leftover from multiple banner projects)
  2. Rhinestones // Michaels (leftover from a scrapbook that I bought supplies for!)
  3. Diecuts // Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames
Happy Crafting!

Don't forget, caring is sharing!

The Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Changing things up today to share a recipe! This did start of as a baking blog, so I guess desserts should make an appearance once in a while!

Did I ever tell you about the first dessert that I baked for my husband? It was a pineapple upside down cake. And he loved it! Surprising how much he loves it, considering he is a chocoholic! And I'm also surprised as to how long it took me too blog about it. I messed around with the recipe a few times, maybe that's why? I finally have enough confidence in this recipe to share it now.

A lot of bakers out there place cherries in the center of pineapple slices, but neither one of us like them, so I have excluded them from the recipe. Also try serving it with vanilla bean ice cream on the side, delicious!

The Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Recipe Adapted from multiple sources

for brown sugar glaze
    1/8 cup butter
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar

5 slices pineapples, drained
9 maraschino cherries, drained (optional, I stopped using it as my husband is not a big fan)

for cake
    2/3 cup all purpose flour
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 cup granualted sugar
    3/8 cup cooking oil
    3/4 cup sour cream (I sometimes substitute with plain yogurt)
    1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In 8-inch round pan, melt butter in oven.
2. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.
3. In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over.
6. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.


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#craftingnotcoding : Mother's Day Cards

Why hello there! Yes I am back again, I guess this is what happens when you are stuck in semi-bed rest, and can't drive or do anything. So I guess I might as well try and finish all the random projects that I have started over the years, but never finished! Today I made a stack of Mother's day cards, I really hope I remember to send them out with the baby and all, but I'll share them here now as I might forget some May, and they might just end up in a random folder on my hard drive.

This cards were a little time consuming, as I stamped an embossed the backgrounds and fussy cut the flowers, but as long as time passes by faster, I'm okay with it!

The stamp set is from Right at Home Shop. I'm so glad that I splurged and got the whole release! Yes I am a sucker for layered flowers and sentiment stamp sets!

 This time instead of using the solid stamps, I just used the outlines, embossed on watercolor paper and then watercolored using distress inks and pigment inks. I definitely see more pigment ink water coloring in the future!

After a ton of fussy cutting and diecutting, along with a bunch of foam tape, I ended up with 19 cards, the 20th one ended up being collateral damage and was beyond repair.

Now that I have actually blogged these I have to remember to mail them out when the time comes!

Supplies used:

  1. Right at Home Stamps // Abstract Florals
  2. Right at Home Stamps // Grid Background Stamp
  3. Newton's Nook // Love Grows
  4. Impress Cards and Crafts // Fresh Inks
  5. Tim Holtz Distress Inks
  6. Mama Elephant // BASIC SET - CREATIVE CUTS
  7. Golden Embossing Powder
  8. White Embossing Powder

Happy Crafting!

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#footballsunday 2.1 : Seahawks Gender Reveal Cupcakes

Say what! Back within a few days! Now that never really happens. I am probably the most inconsistent blogger out there these days, no matter how hard I try I can never manage to stick to a schedule, mostly cause I am lazy. But for now I will play the preggo card and blame it on the pains and aches of pregnancy! Back to the post, yes its not Football Sunday, but it is a Sunday and I thought why not share some of the pictures that I have been hoarding before I go an spend some time in the craft room. Its been a week since sudden leg cramp have kept me from driving, so trying to make the most of my "me time" at home!

So I know that some people go all out with gender reveal parties, but my husband and I wanted to keep it simple, he wanted it to simple that the ultrasound technician telling us was good enough for him, I on the other hand wanted to do something a little fancy with family, as they were coming into town for the weekend. Plus how could I give up on a chance to bake and decorate!

My sister in law thought that the baby was a boy because of the green and blue, clearly she hasn't come to realize how obsessed I am with Seahawks! She know now with all the Seahawks themed things that were done for the baby!

Back to the cupcakes! As I used a Seahawks theme, you can use them at an upcoming game party or Seahawks themed birthday too! If you choose to use them for a gender reveal, then you'll need to go to the extra step of baking the inner color (blue or pink) separately and instead of a dozen cupcakes, you'll end up with 8-9 finished cupcakes.

I just tinted my cream cheese frosting green, but you can also top with green sprinkles or green tinted coconut. By the way, the toppers can be found online (Amazon or Ebay) but I forgot to order them on time, and ended up getting them from Trophy cupcakes.

Seahawks Gender Reveal Cupcakes

What you need:
One batch vanilla cake batter
One batch of your favorite frosting (I used cream cheese frosting)
green and pink/blue food color
cupcake toppers
piping bag and star nozzle
8 x 8 baking dish
cupcake pan plus liners

What to do:
1. Once you have the cake batter ready, tint 1/4 of it to pink or blue. Bake in the 8 x 8 dish until a toothpick comes out clean.
2. Stick the baking dish into the freezer as soon as it is done, in the meanwhile liner the cupcake tray and fill each one 1/4 way. ( you should only fill 8-9 cups as you have used some of the batter already)
3. Take the pink/blue baked cake out of the freezer, cut it up into small cubes and add one cube to each filled cup and top with remaining batter, You will still be able to see some of the baked cake, but the plain batter will bake around it and cover it up. If not there is always the frosting!
4. Once the cupcakes are baked, cool them completely, pipe them with the green frosting and add the toppers!

Go Hawks!

#craftingnotcoding : Baby Milestone Cards

Attempt #2 at this blog post. Yes, I typed up a post and then instead of publishing the post my web browser decided that it wants to delete it! Oh boy, was I MAD! Especially after getting back to blogging after almost two months. Its amazing how much more time I had at hand, yet I never got to blogging, I did manage to sort out a TON of my crafting supplies, organize incomplete projects, so hopefully as I finish more projects I will actually have the time post baby to blog them! Maybe when my better half gives me some me time!

I tend to hoard a lot of crafting supplies, I see them used in a project by someone and have the need to get my hands on them, forgetting why I got them by the time they come around, BUT not with the Abstract Florals stamp set from Right at Home. I couldn't wait to get my hands on them and get them inky!

My most recent "completed" projects have been baby related, so I thought why not use this stamps to finish off a baby project. Just a few days before I was browsing the aisles at Ben Franklin with an out of town friend (its a thing we do when she comes to visit!) and picked up some baby girl themed scrapbooking paper from Authentique that would work perfectly as milestone cards! I got two sheets so that I could use the other side when scrapbooking.

To make the cards I used Mama Elephant's Femme Frames to cut the kraft cardstock, I used a smaller rectangle die from My Favorite Things to cut up the scrapbook paper. Then I used a bunch of different fresh inks from Impress Cards and Crafts to stamp the flowers and leaves. Then I fussy cut to my hearts content! Lastly I added the flowers using some foam tape for added dimension!

Thanks Nicole from Right at Home for the quick shipping and encouraging me to get back into blogging, hopefully I will be able to share more cards and crafts in the coming days! Oh and by the way Nicole is hosting a National Craft Month Celebration Blog Hop on her blog, so I head over there to link this up and also hop along. Stop by if you get a chance!

 Happy Crafting!

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