Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mini Apple Bread Loafs

I had some apples that needed to be used but I didn't feeling like just eating them so I decided to make apple bread. I also have mini loaf pans so I decided to use them for once.

1 egg (Yum finally have local farm eggs again)
2 tablespoons safflower oil (Or vegetable)
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 apples peeled and chopped.
Optional: I added 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of honey
(inspired by when I make apple pie)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease/flour your pan
(I used silicone mini loaf pans so no pan prep was needed)

1. Beat the egg with the oil, apple juice and optional lime juice and honey. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
3. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just moistened.
4.  Fold in apples pieces and pour mixture into the prepared pan/pans.
If using one pan: Bake for 45 minutes. 
If using smaller pans: Bake for 25 then check for doneness.
If using muffin pans: Bake for 22 minutes then check for doneness.

I had some extra apples so I made a new batter. This time with chocolate. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chunks (whatever amount you want) when you fold in the apples. It sounds odd but tastes awesome. Next time I might mix in some cranberries too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patricks Day/Pure Romance

On St. Patrick's Day I was invited to a ladies night/Pure Romance party. Every seems to think these parties are dirty but they're not, they are really more informative than anything. (Comments from the crowd on the other hand...).

It was also a potluck! So I decided to make sugar cookies. I racked my brain trying to think of how to decorate them and then I got an idea: The PR logo in green and the words "Get Lucky" That way they went with both themes. I really need better piping skills but it's getting better.

I flavored the icing with hazelnut because most people went with mint (just because it's green doesn't mean it has to be mint). I was so happy that these came out like store bought (Soft but not too soft and not too sweet)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Make your own laundry detergent

For a long while now I have wanted to make my own laundry detergent but never got around to it. Finally I have. Recently I watched a video on how to make it and decided to just gather the supplies and do it.

  Check out more from her at:

Here are the written directions and some of my photos:

- 5 gallon bucket with lid
- long paint stick (You'll need it to stir or something sturdy)
- bar soap (5.5 oz) that is not perfumed, My soap came from Sappo Hill
 (You should be able to find soaps that contain only: “Saponified Oils of Palm and Coconut; Glycerine”)
-1/2 cup of Borax
-1 cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda but by Arm & Hammer – buy it in the laundry aisle)

Note: It says "Not perfumed" but that wasn't an option at my store so I got aloe vera. I'm not concerned because Sappo hill uses all natural ingredients and colored with mineral pigments.

1. Cut bar of soap into small pieces or grate. I strongly recommend grating because it will melt faster.

 2. Cook soap pieces in 4 cups of hot water over medium heat; stirring frequently until fully dissolved.

 3. Fill bucket half full with hot tap water
4. Add the dissolved soap/water from cook-top.
5. Pour in the Borax (left) and Washing Soda (right) and stir until dissolved

6. Fill bucket with additional hot tap water (to the 5 gallon mark) and stir.
7. Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight to gel.
8. The next day, stir and pour solution into smaller containers.

Note: This solution is a concentrate, so be sure to add it to your machine water before adding clothes.
Also, this soap will not form suds: don’t worry, it’s not the suds that do the cleaning; it’s the components of the soap. Give the jug a quick swish before each use, but vigorous shaking is not necessary.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A cupcake that will ruin your diet

Also know as...
Chocolate Doughnut Cupcakes w/ Salted Caramel Filling & Chocolate Ganache
(I know, I'm down right love it)

The Batter:
(Based on THIS one with some changes)
1 1/2 cups AP Flour (or cake flour)
1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (room temp)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2-3/4 cup fresh brewed coffee of choice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla

The Filling:
(So...I cheated. I had to come up with a new filling because my original idea didn't work out.
I didn't have time to make caramel from scratch but luckily we had those wrapped caramel squares..
so I improvised.)
1 bag caramels
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2-3 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter (room temp)

Preheat oven to 425°  and prepare a cupcake pan.
Brew your coffee (if using, I suggest you do).
Once coffee is brewed pour 1/2-3/4 cup into a mug then add the butter and chopped chocolate to it, stir until incorporated and set aside (this also melts your butter for you!)

Make the batter: 
1. In a large bowl mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. Mix in buttermilk, vanilla and eggs.
3. Once cooled add in the butter, coffee and chocolate mixture.
(don't overmix..or eat the batter..that second one is really difficult)
4. Fill cupcake liners about half way (they puff up!).
5. Bake for 7-10 minutes (10 minutes in my oven was perfect).
6. Cool completely before moving onto the other steps.

Make the Filling:
Like I said..I cheated. I will eventually update this with a real recipe.
1. Unwrap the caramels.
2. Place in a pan with the liquid aminos/soy sauce and heavy cream.
3. Melt together over low to low-medium heat and stir often.
4. Take off the heat and move onto the next steps.

Prepare the cupcakes:

1. Make a well for the filling. I used my handy-dandy apple corer to make a well in the middle, you can also use a melon baller...or whatever else as long as it works for you. Save what you take out!
2. Fill them. I filled them once the caramel was fairly cool then I placed each on in the fridge after filling (because it will soak into the cupcake, the warmer the cake/caramel the more it will absorb)

3. Place the tops back on.

Make the ganache:
1. Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a pan.
2. Heat over low-medium heat while stirring constantly.
3. When it almost comes together add in the butter and stir until it's all incorporated.
4. Allow to cool slightly before topping the cupcakes.
5. Top the cupcakes and place them back in the fridge for the ganache to set up.

I added none but you could add sprinkles, nuts, anything!
Another way to top them is to put a layer of caramel on top and then the ganache.