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July 31, 2017

I HEART BANANA BREAD

I HEART BANANA BREAD


I have a few favorite sweet treats that I love no matter what time of year. The one that I love the most and will never turn down is Banana Bread. I am in love with bananas. The smell, the taste, the texture. Love it. I even love the trees! I have some in my backyard and I am trying desperately to grow my own. I have yet to like a banana bread I didn't make myself. I think the reason is because well, I am an awesome freaking cook. The best really. I am sure someone somewhere is telling their friends all about my greatness. Ha! Okay maybe that isn't true, but I do think the reason is that I like my bananas to be really banana-y. I know it's not a word. Let's pretend it is just for today.

I like to let my bananas get to the point that I can smell them as soon as I wake into the kitchen. You know that point. That's the point you are about to toss them. Before they become banana wine. Did you know they did that? I didn't, maybe I get to them before that happens but, yep. They get all liquefied. Kinda gross, kinda neat.

At any rate, that is why my banana bread is so darn good. Old bananas. That's the secret. Class dismissed.

Oh. The recipe. It's super simple and fast to whip up.

BANANA BREAD


2 CUPS FLOUR (I use 50/50 all purpose/whole wheat)
1 TSP BAKING SODA
¼ TSP SALT
½ CUP BUTTER
¾ CUP BROWN SUGAR
2 EGGS
2-3 CUPS BANANAS (Overripe)

OPTIONAL-
CINNAMON TO TASTE
½ CUP PECANS (Or any nut)




INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Begin heating the oven at 350º
  2. Slightly melt butter, while that is happening, mash bananas in a bowl
  3. Toss EVERYTHING into bowl minus eggs.
  4. Beat eggs and add to mix.
  5. Mix by hand or with a mixer, the choice is yours.
  6. In a 9x5 loaf pan, coat with non-stick spray or butter, fill the loaf pan with bread mixture.
  7. Bake for 60 mins at 350º. *Cooking time may increase or decrease depending on your oven. So check periodically while baking. If need be cover when almost done to prevent the top from burning.

Do you have a favorite sweet treat? Is it another version of banana bread? Tell me about in the comments. I'd love to see and try out your recipes!  

May 4, 2017

BOIL WATER WARNING




Not too long ago my city had a boil water notice go out. Now my city never had a boil water notice in all the years that I have I have lived here. I wasn't even that sure on why I was really supposed to do. After a couple hours, it got me thinking...

What if this was worse? What if this was a regular thing. Am I prepared? Can I handle boiling water for everything for long periods of time? The answer was no. Which is really shameful seeing that I live in in a state that gets lots of hurricanes. Hell, we even have a football team named the hurricanes. That should let you know how common they are here. I had only a couple bottles that I could keep water in and a big plastic jug in the fridge. That's all. Well, that won't get me far. So I started looking to see what was available. As much as I'd love to not have plastic I have to be realistic here. Plus I need to be able to easily store and access the items. 

I looked around and came across some neat storage containers that stack which is awesome because this will help save space. I also thought camping gear would be of good use just in case power went out as well during hurricane time. Below are just some items that would be useful primarily in a boil water order. Of course, they can be used any other time if you wish.

Camping Shower
I have this one. In a pinch, it's great as long as you have some place high to tie it too. Our shower wasn't high enough to allow the spray hose to work without kinking up. So we had to use it outside. Long term use would get annoying but for a few days, this would work well.  





Mass Storage
Even though I try to not to gt things that can't be just folded away when not in use, I really like these, I like the fact they stack and look easy to fill. It may take some time to fill them when boiling water, with only being 5 gallons each it shouldn't be too bad.  




Pots
If you are able to boil on your stove then go ahead and use the pots you already have. I do not have grill safe pots but this on is pretty nice. Lighter in weight than I expected and get's the job done. I like that it holds a good amount of water. Allowing the process to happen faster.



Water Bottles
For fast access when washing hands or drinking we always have glass bottles around. I swapped out my plastic and metal ones for glass. The glass bottles are a lot stronger than they used to be and the tops are usually bpa free which is nice.



All of these items can be used year round if desired. But they are just really handy when you freak out over a boil water warning like I did. :)

Have you ever had a boil water order? How long did it last? Were you prepared? Do you live off the grid and this is daily living for you? Let me know in the comments and share any other suggestions you might have. 


March 30, 2017

DIY SPICE MIXES


Making your own spice mixes is a lot easier than you think. By making your own you can really lessen your trash pile since you would be able to buy in bulk. Which allows you to control the chemicals you are consuming if you are buying from bulk stores. Bulk stores tend to support non-GMO and organic farmers. Now if you are growing your own spices and herbs, invest in a dehydrator (I am eyeing a solar one). This way you can truly control what you are putting into your body. Win win.

I've compiled a short list of commonly used spice & salt mixes.


POULTRY RUB 1
2 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Sage
3 tsp Garlic Salt (**look at the salt list to learn how to make it yourself)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Thyme

POULTRY RUB 2
(1 TB Each)
Garlic
Onion
Thyme
Salt
Paprika
Chili
Black Pepper

CURRY
2 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Coriander
2 tbsp Turmeric
1 ½ tsp Cardamom
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Salt

LEMON PEPPER
Zest from 2 Lemons
2-3 tbsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp Salt

CHILI
2 tbsp Chili
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cocoa (unsweet)
½ tsp Garlic
¼ tsp Cayenne
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Smoked Paprika

TACO
2 tbsp Chili
2 tbsp Cumin
1 ½ tsp Onion
1 ½ tsp Garlic
½ tsp Cayenne
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ tsp Oregano
1 tsp Paprika

ALLSPICE
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Clove

PUMPKIN PIE & SWEET POTATO PIE
2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp All Spice
½ tsp Cloves

APPLE PIE
1 tbsp Cinnamon
dash Cardamom
1 tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp Cloves

SALTS
When making seasoned salts, you need to bake them a little to make sure the salt absorbs the flavors well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your salt mixture. Bake at 200º for 20-30 mins. You can use whatever salt you want, I choose to use a certain Kosher salt because it is the lowest in sodium
.

SEASONED SALT
1 cup Salt + (1 tsp of each) Garlic + Paprika + Black Pepper

GARLIC SALT
1 cup Salt + 2-3 Garlic Cloves

CHILI LIME SALT
1 cup Salt + 3 tsp red pepper flakes + 2 tsp lime zest

SRIRACHA SALT
1 cup Salt + 3 tbsp Sriracha

ROSEMARY LEMON SALT
1 cup Salt + 3-4 tbsp Rosemary + 1 Lemon zest

SAFFRON-FENNEL SALT
1 cup Salt + 1 tsp Saffron threads + 2 tsp Fennel seeds

LAVENDER SALT (excellent on cantaloupe)
1 cup Salt + 3 tsp Lavender buds

TRUFFLE SALT (so good over eggs) (Do not bake this mix. Let sit over time)
1 cup Salt + 1 small Truffle finely chopped + 3 tsp Truffle Oil

There are plenty of other combos. Feel free to make your own mix. The point is, there is no point is paying so much for chemical filled ones.
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