Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seaside Summer Mantel

Since summer is soon coming to an end, I thought I better post pictures of my seaside mantel.  I incorporated shells and coral from our honeymoon.  The shells in the ball jars were found on the beaches of North Carolina decades ago by my Great Aunt "Boo".  I never got a picture made for the shell frame,  so that may have to wait until next year.  

Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.  I'm ready for pumpkins and sweaters!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Our heat wave has finally let up a bit, and we've been airing out the house all weekend.  The cooler temperatures have left me craving fall comfort foods, so I threw together a batch of chili in the crock pot, and made these super easy pumpkin muffins.

1 18 oz box of yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin puree
1.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat your oven to 350, and line muffin tin.
2. Combine ingredients until well blended.
3. Spoon even amounts of mixture into each cupcake liner.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

I was tempted to throw in a handful of chocolate chips, but I resisted.  I did sprinkle the muffins with powdered sugar, though.

Do you see how much my lettuce is growing in the background?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced into small pieces
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground flax meal
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, flax, and baking soda in large bowl and mix well.
3. Beat the eggs into the oil, then add the strawberries and mix well.
4. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, mix together until the batter is even.
5. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 

I found this recipe online, and it's a great way to use up strawberries.  The texture is kind of crumbly, and it didn't slice well for me.  But it did taste good!  I may have added a little more chocolate chips than called for.  :)  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Extending the life of your lettuce: A Pinterest success.

I originally saw this idea on Pinterest, and gave it a try earlier this year.  I have had success with romaine and artisan varieties.  

1. After removing the edible portion of the lettuce, do not discard the root end. 

2. Fill a shallow container with about one inch of water.

3. Place root ends right side up in container and place in sunlight.

4.  Change the water every couple of days.  

This won't reproduce enough for a big salad, and once the growing comes to a halt, you can't reuse the same root end.  I usually use my little leaves for a sandwich or to mix into a side salad.  

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