Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brown Sugar

There's nothing quite like opening up a new bag of brown sugar. Perfectly soft and sweet. I always end up nibbling on bits of sugar when I open up a new bag as I pour it into my brown sugar storage container. It never ceases to make me feel a little warm inside.

I made Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars with my new bag of brown sugar. A simple recipe, I must say. It made just the right amount, a small batch, just right for a good nibble for a few people. The same day that I got my Sunbutter and Peabutter I also bought some strawberry/raspberry jelly and it worked perfectly for the recipe. Not too many ingredients, quick prep, just the right amount, seems like a good deal to me. I'll make this one again, for sure.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sherwin, Sure Doesn't Win Today

Today feels awful. I'm trying to think of happy, carefree, interesting things...but it goes back to the same tormenting thoughts and there seems to be nothing I can do...no words, no resolution, nothing I can do. I feel as though I've failed. I feel hateful and angry. Unpleasant...

Attempting to sew a fun, happy, rainbowy long sleeve shirt in hopes it will even cheer me up slightly...and it's doing nothing. As happy as the colors are in front of my eyes, I just don't feel them. Perhaps this shirt will turn out to be darker than planned? I guess we'll see.

Even the 1959 Home Decorator booklet that arrived in the mail today failed to bring a little sunshine to this dreary day. I uploaded the photos from it, and they are lovely...especially the kitchens that I usually get excited over and oggle...but not today. I uploaded them to my flickr and that was that. Perhaps another day I will be more excited for them. Do check them out though, it's a shame for them not to be enjoyed.

Peanut Butter Project

So it's not really about peanut butter, but rather a peanut butter substitute. I'm deathly allergic to peanuts and other nuts and have never had peanut butter cookies, pb&j sandwiches, or any such things. My fella felt bad for me and after a conversation about such, we looked into substitutes. The best result we found was about Sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds instead of peanuts. I promptly found and ordered a little jar of the "creamy" stuff off of ebay (since I couldn't get it locally) and the wait was on.

The Sunbutter arrived in my mailbox on St. Patrick's day and I happened to be at a local co-op food store that same day looking for jelly to make a sandwich and happened across another substitute I had come across as well, Peabutter.

Sunbutter vs. Peabutter

Upon first taste my fella told me that Sunbutter tastes just like peanut butter, but the aftertaste is definately sunflower seeds. The taste almost changes while in your mouth. I found sunbutter quite strong, but it was ok. The texture was more runny than peanut butter, so I've been keeping it in the fridge to firm it up.

Peabutter on the other hand...didn't really have that much flavor. Slight taste of the "golden brown peas" that the product is made of, not much else. It was actually a bit strange. The texture seemed more like real peanut butter, but it seemed...well, waxy. I'm still not too sure how I feel about peabutter, but I know no one here will touch it now, so I guess I can safely say I won't be buying it again.

As far as packaging is concerned they were both differently labeled, and I must admit that the peabutter won me over with it's little rabbit illustration. Bunny lovin' - good stuff. Too bad the peabutter flavor disappointed. Ah well, just like the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover.

I made cookies out of both the Sunbutter as well as the peabutter. The sunbutter was more runny so it was actually better to work with, the peabutter being waxy seemed my crumbly. After tasting, the peabutter cookies actually weren't too bad. Not a lot of flavor, but not bad. The sunbutter cookies had lots of flavor, and my Dad and fella have been eating them, so they must be ok. Overall a nice new food experience.

So if you're on the lookout for a peanut butter substitute, check into Sunbutter. It may be just what you're looking for!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I packaged up some banana muffins for Gramma.
Simple brown bag, scallop cut, little lace bow, and I used my label maker.
I love color...but neutral can be so classy for packaging.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Banana Baking

Once again, blogging about my baking adventures. This time around I made banana muffins. Nothing new for my, sorry to say, I make them quite often. Personally I prefer mine without chocolate chips, yes, I said it. No chocolate chips. Just pure, tasty, awesome banana muffins. An easy recipe, I don't recall how I got this one but I've been using it for a while now and it's never failed me.

3 Large ripe bananas
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 Cups flour
1/3 Cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F.
Mash the bananas. Add the sugar, slightly beaten egg, then the melted butter. Stir in the dry ingredients and bake for about 18 minutes.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Carrot Creativity

After deciding to be daring and choosing to try something new, I made...drum roll please...carrot cupcakes! Now I don't believe I've ever had carrot cake before, since most of the time I've had the chance it has nuts and, as we know, I'm deathly allergic. So, alas, I have never had the chance to taste the carroty confection.

Like most of what I bake I found the recipe on allrecipes.com and chose one of the highest rated. The carrot cake was fine, like all cakes, but the cream cheese frosting was the ultimate. Yum. Very yum. I don't have a pastry bag or any of that sort, so I just filled a sandwich bag and cut a little off the corner. It did the trick just dandy.

Swirly topped wonders. I'll be making this one again soon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh, Betty!

I've been in a baking mood these last few days, if you didn't notice. I've also been dreaming a great deal about my future house and the lovely old style kitchen I shall have. Oh I shall. I already have a start on my kitchen goodies, some of which you've seen in previous posts, some that will be harder to photograph properly until in a kitchen setting, properly displayed.

Good stuff? Oh yes. The baking cups were something our family had hanging around, and I believe this Mirro press was from a garage sale, though it's hard to say since we have three or so around the house at the moment. Then of course the polka dotted handmade pot holders. Moo.

I suppose part of this baking bonanza was partly due to the fact that I had ordered a fantastic little Betty Crocker cake booklet (from I believe about the 1950's) filled with amazing old cake photos and ideas. Photo snippets are actually in my flickr account now, the rest will be there soon enough. Take a peek!