Friday, April 22, 2011

New Stuff In the Shop!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I have listed a few new items in the shop today! Above is a new acrylic painting on a 5"x7" wooden plaque, "Little Miss Raspberry Buttercream." I don't know if its all the baking I've been doing or what, but I had the urge to paint a little cupcake girl who could be hung up in the kitchen (or anywhere else :)

I also have a 5"x7" and an ACEO print of "The Enchanted Garden"...

An 8"x10" print of "Alice in the Forest"...

A lovely 8"x10" print of "Free Bird"...

And a pack of 5 postcards of "Free Bird"!

I have been trying to lay off the baking just a little (its not exactly diet friendly :) but I did make this delicious banana bread the other day (I am a little ashamed to admit that Daniel and I ate half the loaf for lunch that day :)

My good friend gave me the recipe and she gave me permission to share it with you, so here it is:

Briana's Banana Bread
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all purpose, 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9"x5" loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Stir eggs and mashed bananas into the butter/sugar mixture until well blended. Stir banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir just until everything is moistened. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack or stack of paper towels. Let cool until the bread firms up a little, then slice and enjoy!

I hope you are all having a great Friday, see you soon! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

All Settled In

 Hi everyone! I am finally back from my little moving vacation--we are pretty much all settled into our new apartment and we (including the kitties) just love it here! We have so much more space now, including a spare room where I can have a larger crafting area (that is the main part of it above). Daniel also has half  of the room for his desk and hobbies. We have almost everything organized and really feel at home. We also have a nice little porch garden started, I will have to get some photos for a future post :)

I have managed to get a little bit of painting done--here is "Jane," inspired by the fabulous Jane Austen of course :) She is available in my shop.

I have also been taking advantage of our larger kitchen and have been doing a lot of cooking and baking--I made my very first pie all by myself! I couldn't believe it when I took it out of the oven and it actually looked like a pie :) I used this blueberry pie recipe--the crust came out flaky and delicious!


I also made an asparagus quiche...

And some really yummy Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes (here they are ready to go into the oven).

These are really light and great for this time of year. Here is the recipe if anyone wants to give them a try (I got the recipe from the July/August 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times):

  • 8 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. plus 4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 very thin zucchini slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice tops off tomatoes, and scoop pulp out of centers to make stuffable tomato shells; set aside. Discard half of tomato pulp; remove seeds from and finely chop remaining half of pulp.
  2. Whisk together eggs and ricotta in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in red onion, basil, 2 tbsp. Parmesan, and garlic. Add corn, diced zucchini, and chopped tomato pulp; stir until combined.
  3. Fill tomatoes just to top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture. Sprinkle each tomato with 1/2 tsp. Parmesan, and top each with 3 zucchini slices and tomato top. Place in large baking dish.
  4. Bake 45 minutes, or until filling is puffed up and tops are browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
[To freeze and enjoy later: Cool stuffed tomatoes completely, then place in foil-lined baking pan. Wrap tightly in foil, then in plastic wrap, and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw tomatoes completely. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes, or until filling is hot.]

I am looking forward to making some long overdue blog visits, I hope you are all doing well! See you soon :)