Monthly Archives: March 2015

Make your own almond butter!

Make your own Almond Butter!

I am so excited by my latest discovery – How to make Almond Butter!

Our house is a peanut free zone therefore, NO Peanut Butter!  I love peanut butter so to compensate for its loss I have tried every type of nut butter I can find. My favorite is almond butter, but even that can be disappointing!

I don’t know how many times I have opened a new jar of almond butter only to find it was beginning to go rancid.  The use by date says it should be good, but the flavor says something else.

So good bye commercially prepared almond butter!  These days I am making my own!

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

To prepare the almond butter, I use my newest love – the NUTRiBULLET! I love how easy it is to use and clean.
Oh yeah – it makes great smoothies too, but that is for another post!

The almonds I purchase are from Blue Diamond!  They are peanut-free and so far these are the only peanut free nuts I have found!  Thank you Blue Diamond!

Almond Butter Recipe
1/2 cup almonds (I use Blue Diamonds Whole Natural Almonds – they are raw!)
3/4 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp honey
Dash of salt

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

Let’s get started!

Grease a frying pan with a small amount of coconut oil and warm over medium heat.  Toss in the almonds and stir gently until the almonds become fragrant and begin to toast!

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

Remove the almonds from the pan and cool until just warm.

If your almonds cool completely, warm them in the pan again.  Warm almonds is the key to making almond butter quickly.  You do not want to burn out your blending device so make sure the almonds are warm.  Also, be sure that the blending appliance you use is powerful enough to grind almonds!

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

I toss my warm almonds into my NUTRiBULLET!  After blending for 10-20 seconds, I shake the bullet so all the almond pieces drop down to the blade area and blend again for 15-20 seconds.  After 5-6 blending cycles, I end up with almond butter.

As you can see in the above photo, the paste appears a bit dry.  The butter can be used as is, but to improve the flavor and add smoothness, add the coconut oil, honey and a little salt!

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

Blend again and it will result in a smooth and delicious almond butter!  Store the almond butter in the refrigerator!

Notice that I only prepare 1/2 cup of almond butter at a time.  Why?  Because I am a pig and there is always the fear that I will eat all of it in one sitting! – Don’t laugh – it has happened! For me,  it is best to keep it at 1/2 cup!

The other reason to prepare small amounts – Nuts will go rancid  faster after heating and grinding.  Small amounts alleviate the fear of this delicious butter going rancid before you have time to gobble it up!

Make your own almond butter!
Make your own almond butter!

Enjoy!

 

Rice Krispie Treat Baskets

Rice Krispie Treat Baskets
Rice Krispie Treat Baskets

Everyone loves the crispy goodness of Rice Krispie treats.  Mold the treats into a basket, add Easter candy and you have created a fun addition to your Easter celebrations!

What do you need?
Fresh batch of Rice Krispie treats
Muffin Tin – you will be using it upside down!
Candy – lots of candy!

After mixing up a batch of Rice Krispie treats, cool slightly then mold the Rice Krispies around the underside of a greased muffin tin.   I used a standard size muffin tin and a mini-muffin tin.  The mini-muffin tin worked best.  The baskets made with the standard muffin tin held up pretty well, but if not eaten quickly enough they will start to sag!

You will need to alternate holes on the muffin tin to have room for the bowls!

Rice Krispie Treat Baskets
Rice Krispie Treat Baskets

After the bowls set up, I removed them from the muffin tin and decorated them with melted chocolate and pastel sprinkles!

If using sprinkles, you will need to gently press the sprinkles into the Rice Krispies in order for them to stick!

Rice Krispie Treat Baskets
Rice Krispie Treat Baskets

I filled my eggs with an assortment of candy and to some of the bowls I added “grass”.  The grass I made by slicing the green and blue Dot Candies that I had on hand.  Any type of green jelly candy would work wonderfully.  Just slice them into thin pieces, clump a few grass blades together and add them to your baskets!

Rice Krispie Treat Baskets
Rice Krispie Treat Baskets

This is an easy treat to send to college students, friends and family for a tasty Easter surprise!

If you want other ideas for a college student or anyone else on your Easter list, check my other posts:

Easter Egg Hunt for the College Student!

Easter Bouquet of Peeps!

Felt Easter Eggs to Fill with Treats!

I linked up to iheartnaptime!
I linked up to iheartnaptime!

Felt Easter Eggs to Fill with Treats!

basket-of-eggs

Refillable Felt Easter Eggs!  Who wouldn’t like a basket filled with these?

Refillable Felt Easter Eggs
Refillable Felt Easter Eggs

I wanted to try something new this year so I came up with a way to make an egg that could be filled with goodies! The eggs are designed to take the place of Easter baskets for those occasions when Easter baskets for everyone is not practical! Times when grandma invites friends, family and neighbors to Easter or when you wish to send a little something to five college roommates!

These adorable eggs are made out of felt and have a velcro closure so the egg can be filled with Easter grass, candy, money (for the poor college student), gift cards, movie tickets… The sky is the limit!

Creating the eggs involves simply cutting 4 pieces of a single pattern piece (included in the post – of course!); sewing 3 seams; turning it right side out and attaching an adhesive velcro closure!  It is that easy, until you get to the hard part – What to fill the eggs with?

What do you need?
Felt
Adhesive Velcro Closures
Filler – Definitely Easter grass and candy! The rest is up to you!

Felt for making Fabric Easter Eggs
Felt for making Fabric Easter Eggs

Head over to your local fabric store and select a few pieces of your favorite felt colors. Because the pattern piece is 8″ long, a quarter of a yard is a good amount to buy.  I purchased a quarter of a yard of the above 4 colors and it cost me $4!  Felt is perfect for a project like this!  It’s inexpensive, easy to work with and comes in so many wonderful colors!

With my total felt yardage of one yard, I was able to create 18 of these 5″ eggs!

pattern

A printable pattern piece can be found here :  Egg Pattern

Each egg requires 4 pieces and I cut out two at a time because of the thickness of the felt. Any more than that and I can’t squeeze my scissors!

If you check the pictures you will see that I made some of the eggs a single color and mixed the colors on others!  Put them together however you like!

Refillable Felt Easter Eggs
Refillable Felt Easter Eggs

Put two pieces together and pin one of the sides.  This is the side you will be sewing first!

Felt Pieces for Fabric Easter Eggs
Felt Pieces for Fabric Easter Eggs

Sew  the two pieces together on the one side.  Sew where the dotted line on the pattern piece indicates. I used a 1/4″ seam.

To prevent your seams from unraveling, “knot” the ends of the seam by using the backstitch to overlap a few stitches! Backstitching at the beginning and end of your seam will create a strong seam that will not unravel!

Sew the other two pieces together in the same manner.

Felt Pieces for Fabric Easter Eggs
Felt Pieces for Fabric Easter Eggs

Open up the pieces you have just sewn and pin them, right sides together.  Sew around the outer edge of the egg where the dotted lines on the pattern indicate.

The rounded flaps are not sewn.  The flaps will create the closure at the bottom of the egg.

Refillable Felt Easter Eggs
Refillable Felt Easter Eggs

As you can see in the above picture, after you turn your egg right side out there will be 4 rounded flaps.  After filling your egg, fold two of the opposite flaps down creating a seal at the bottom of your egg!

fill-eggs

Attach the adhesive velcro closures on the last two flaps and seal up your egg!

You are almost done!

felt-egg-basket

To finish your eggs. I created fun Easter tags for you to print for free!

Using embroidery floss and a large needle, I ran a double piece of floss thru the top of my egg and used that to tie on the gift tag!

You can find free printable copies of the Easter Gift Tags here!
Click here for small tags (shown in picture) that print 9 to a page –   Easter Tags
Click here for large tags that print 3 to a page –   Large Easter Tags

If you want other ideas for a college student or anyone else on your Easter list, check my other posts:

Easter Egg Hunt for the College Student!

Easter Bouquet of Peeps!

Happy-Easter

Happy Easter Everyone!

I linked up to iheartnaptime!
I linked up to iheartnaptime!

Easter Bouquet

Easter Bouquet
Easter Bouquet

Gather your Peeps because it’s time to make Easter Bouquets!

Adults will love the Peeps Bouquet  because it is so darn cute; college students will love it because they love anything from home; kids will love it because they love Easter Candy!

What do you need?
Peeps
A Container Filled with Foam
Bamboo Sticks
Ribbon
Easter Grass

Easter Bouquet
Easter Bouquet

The container I used came from Target.  If you look in the “dollar” section of Target, you should find seasonal containers that will work perfectly and will only cost you $1!

Fill your container with floral foam except for the top inch.  Leave that for Easter grass and candy filler! I used wrapped chocolate eggs as my filler!

Buy Peeps of any color!  Today you can find them in lots of fun colors – pick your favorites!

Skewer the Peeps with your bamboo sticks and arrange them in your foam filled container. I broke off the ends of some of the sticks to get a nice variation in heights!  Fill in around the sticks with Easter grass and add additional candy if you like!

Bow for the Easter Bouquet Gift
Bow for the Easter Bouquet Gift

Attach your bow to a bamboo fork with floral wire!  The fork makes it easy to attach your beautiful bow to the Easter Bouquet!

Easter Bouquet
Easter Bouquet

How fun and easy was that?

Easter Bouquet
Easter Bouquet

Need Easter tags for your Easter Bouquet or any Easter gift?

You can find free printable copies of the Easter Gift Tags here!
Click here for small tags that print 9 to a page –   Easter Tags
Click here for large tags that print 3 to a page –   Large Easter Tags

If you want another idea for the college student, check my post:
Easter Egg Hunt for the College Student!

Gingerbread Pancake Recipe

Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe

I love gingerbread and what could be better than starting the day with rich, moist, wonderful pancakes!  These Gingerbread pancakes can be prepared gluten-free and are full of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and the special ingredient – buckwheat!  Top them with luscious whipped cream and everyone will be coming back for more of these hearty and delicious pancakes!

I was challenged to make this recipe from my sister who is very good at varying her diet.  I tend to get stuck in a rut with cooking so I was up for the challenge.

This recipe includes two ingredients you may not commonly use – Molasses and Buckwheat!

Molasses is an excellent sugar to use when baking and blackstrap molasses is the healthiest because it contains the least amount of sugar and the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals.  Who knew sugars could be healthy, but don’t go crazy with it as it is still a sugar!

Buckwheat is gluten-free and is very good for you!  I have to admit, until now I have never been a fan of the flavor of buckwheat.  In this recipe though, the buckwheat seems to enhance the dark richness of the molasses!
Buckwheat – you have a new fan!

For more information on buckwheat, here is a wonderful link to check out!
The World’s Healthiest Foods

Now on to the recipe!

Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Molasses
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pancake Mix (I use Pamelas’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix)
1/3 Cup Buckwheat
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Whipped Cream for a delicious topping!

Molasses for Gingerbread Pancakes!
Molasses for Gingerbread Pancakes!

Using a whisk, blend the eggs, oil, buttermilk,  molasses and vanilla.

Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe

Mix all the dry ingredients together!

Cinnamon, Cloves & Ginger
Cinnamon, Cloves & Ginger
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe Ingredients

Blend the dry ingredients  into the egg mixture until just mixed!  A few lumps are fine!

Lightly oil a griddle and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto your pan.  The pancake will begin to form bubbles. When the bubbles on your pancake begin to pop and the edges look dry, flip the pancake and cook until browned.

Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
Gingerbread Pancake Recipe

My favorite topping for gingerbread is whipped cream, but the pancakes would also be delicious topped with apple sauce!

If you wish to use maple syrup on your gingerbread pancakes, skip the brown sugar in the recipe.  I added the brown sugar because I knew I would be topping my fabulous pancakes with whipped cream!  Yummy!

Here is a printable copy of the recipe!

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Pancake

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Pancake Mix
  • 1/3 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Whipped Cream

Directions

Step 1
Using a whisk, blend the eggs, oil, buttermilk, molasses and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients together and blend into the egg mixture until just mixed! A few lumps are fine!
Step 2
Lightly oil a griddle and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto your pan. The pancake will begin to form bubbles. When the bubbles on your pancake begin to pop and the edges look dry, flip the pancake and cook until browned.
Step 3
Top pancakes with a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream and enjoy!
I linked up to iheartnaptime!
I linked up to iheartnaptime!