Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Banana Blondies

Sometimes I make really good decisions. 

Sometimes I find something on Pinterest, and it just turns out. Like really turns out good. (see below for a delicious example)

And sometimes things don't turn out at all. Pinterest Fail. 

So before I tell you about the best-ever-so-easy-it-can't-be-good-for-you recipe for Banana Blondies, let me tell you about my fail making banana bread. Banana bread---it should be so easy to make, right?

Not for me I guess!

I do have a great recipe for banana muffins, maybe I should just put those in a loaf pan, is that how these things work? Would that even work? Hmmmm.

I found this recipe for Banana Bread on Food.com. The picture show delicious, warm (I'm only assuming it's warm, I didn't see that in the photos per se), yummy banana bread. Mmmmm, my mouth was watering, and I had a whole bunch of ripe bananas to use up; let's get started!! 

So I mixed it up (easy enough) and greased and floured my loaf pan (thanks Mom for teaching me how to do that!) and then poured it in and popped it in the oven. Easy! Wait an hour (which seemed like a long time, but whatever), and then smell something burning and pull out this mess: 



Ick.  It was burned and didn't look at all like the pictures, didn't look appetizing at all.  I took it out and tried to salvage it by cutting off the burned parts, but it just was a soppy mess. Le sigh. I tried!!


Now, on to the success of the day:

Banana Blondies! 

Look at how delicious these look!

And homemade frosting too!!

Mmmmmmm.  



I found the recipe off of Pinterest, from this website, Cookies and Cups. 

It was surprisingly easy, and so deliciously sweet! I've never really even made frosting before, and I couldn't believe
a) that I made it and 
b) that I had all the ingredients already in my pantry!

This is all that was left after the kids got into it!
Ready for the recipe?

Here goes!  

Banana Blondies 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 medium to large mashed ripe banana

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8x8 pan or a pie plate with foil, then spray with non-stick baking spray.
2. Using your stand mixer, combine melted butter and sugar. Then incorporate in egg and vanilla. Then stir until salt, flour and banana until batter is smooth. 
3. Bake for 25-30 min. Center should be set when you take it out.
4. Place pan on wire rack to cool, then make the frosting!


Brown Sugar Frosting


Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 cup powered sugar

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add brown sugar and milk; stir until  it begins to boil. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes.
2. Whisk in powered sugar.
3. Pour over blondies and let sit while frosting hardens. When everything is completely cool and set, cut and enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers. 

Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups. 


Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween bottles and a pasta problem!

Today I finished up working on my Halloween decor, by putting the final touches on these bottles that we painted. I really liked how they turned out!


I still have to give them a final spray of sealer, so the paint doesn't chip off, but other than that, they are ready to display! The smaller one is a pasta jar that was painted orange on the inside, and other two are green bottles (one olive oil, one wine) that my 5 and 3 yr olds helped to paint on the outside.  

I much prefer the clean, inside painted look, but since I'm also about letting the kids help with the crafts, I'll take whatever I can get! 


The other thing I have going on today is my never-ending battle with pasta. Awhile ago I brought some pasta home from the grocery store that had pasta bugs in it. 

They.are.so.gross!!

And I didn't realize at first what it was, so I did nothing about it. Then they were everywhere. All over my pantry closet. Trying to climb out and on my counter. Ick. 

I took drastic steps. Cleaned out and sprayed down the entire pantry closet. Threw a ton of stuff away. It was probably about time. Ever since I started the Konmari Method  I've had an easier time just throwing things away.  I'm never going to make those strawberry lemonade flavored cupcakes, never. Why did I buy those? I ended up doing some research about the pasta bugs, and the best way to kill them is to put the boxes in the freezer when you get home from the store so the cold can kill the bugs and their eggs. 

Again, ick.

So that's what I've been doing, and I'm happy to say, NO MORE BUGS!!

What a relief!

Except for tonight, when I took a box of pasta from the freezer, emptied it into the pot of boiling water, and a ton of gross little bugs started floating on the surface of the water. I panicked and threw the entire pot down the drain, which lead to my (temporarily) clogging my garbage disposal. But, thankfully, I got rid of all of it! Shudder.


Which lead me to this photo. I had a half a box of clean rotini left, but the other pasta was down the drain, literally. So I found a box of tri-color pasta and picked out all of the white pastas (red bowl) to go with the half box. My 3 kids were none the wiser. Then I made the red and green pasta for myself (and extra for lunch tomorrow).

Dinner was saved, a mess was made but our bellies are full. For that, we are thankful!

Until next time, come and hang with me on Instagram!  It's the perfect platform for a visual person like me; I love looking at all the photos!

-Patricia

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Easy DIY: Trash Bag Spiderwebs!



Do you ever poke around on Pinterest, hoping to find that perfect craft to do? One that's not too hard, not too cheap-looking; one that will be done in the course of one afternoon without having to go to five stores to find exactly the right shade of pink or three different kinds of glitter?

Let me present to you: (drum roll please)......

Trash Bag Spiderwebs! 

They are perfect, perfect, perfect for Halloween: not to hard to make, easy to find materials (you probably have a giant box of black trash bags from Costco sitting under your sink right now), and definite decorating punch for the holiday season.

Sold? Me too.

Let's get started!

For full directions and for more info, see the source of this project: Howaboutorange.blogspot.com

Materials Needed:Large Black trash bag
Scissors
Tape
Black Sharpie

Start by cutting off the four sides of the trash bag, so that you have 2 giant squares of black plastic-y material.  I found it easiest to not unfold the trash bag the whole way, but rather cut off the sides while it's still folded up (soooo much easier!).


Then you'll want to fold up the one of the squares into a giant triangle, and tape the open side together, so it doesn't slide all around.  Each bag will make 2 spiderwebs.


Using your black sharpie, make the spider web lines that you want on the triangle (like those in the picture) and then cut those pieces out, leaving something that looks like the image below.


When you unfold it, you'll have a cool giant black spiderweb that you can hang anywhere in your house to give the kids (and Grandma!) a good scare! 


Spooky!!

Want to see the rest of our Halloween decorations take shape? Follow along on the blog via email or follow me on Instagram

Happy Decorating!
-Patricia