Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn Apple Muffins

I miss seasons.
Don't get me wrong,
Phoenix does have it's own
ebb and flow of weather.
The heat is breaking now, 
and the air is 
cooler in the mornings
reminding me why I love living 
here, at least 9 months out of the year.

I still miss seasons.
I miss waking up one morning 
and noticing a snap to the air
that announces the passing of 
summer into autumn.

Thoughts of autumn bring with 
them thoughts of apple picking.
The typical cool weather
part of the world ritual that 
announces to all the change 
in the season.

in celebration of cooler weather
I decided to bake some apple muffins
this morning while the weather was still

The muffin has a 
spice cake kind of texture 
and flavor.
With big chunks of apple and 
crunchy nuts these muffins 
are a nice hearty snack.

Autumn Apple Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease or line muffins tins
  • Combine dry ingredients and mix well
  • Combine Oil, sugar, egg and vanilla beat until well combined
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix well. This mixture will be very stiff and thick. Do not panic! The moisture the apples give off during cooking will make the muffins nice and fluffy, promise.
  • Mix in walnuts and apples, stir to combine well.
  • Fill muffin tins about 3/4 the way full
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
Tip: For extra sweetness you can sprinkle a little brown sugar on the tops before you put them in the over to bake. It makes for an almost struesel like topping.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guest Posting at A Little Etsy Love

a little etsy love

I have been very privileged 
to be asked to guest post

Head on over 
take a look at the 
tutorial for Scrabble Tile Pendants

While you're at it take a look
at the great giveaways they have!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins

I hate bananas.
OK, that's harsh,
but I really can't say that I 
enjoy munching on one straight out
of the peel.

bananas in my house tend to 
go black pretty fast.

I love banana muffins.
So the bananas never go to waste.
Here's the recipe I have perfected over the 
years of trying recipe after recipe.
These muffins are sweet and full of nuts,
perfect first thing in the morning with a
big cup of coffee!

Kitty's Banana Nut Muffins

  • 4 big bananas (black)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mash bananas in a big bowl with sugar(brown and white), butter vanilla and egg. 
  • In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add dry ingredients to banana mash mixture and stir gently to combine.
  • Add walnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Grease muffin tins well (or use muffin cups).Fill muffin tins 3/4 full
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, run a knife around the edges and remove.
Tip: I use an ice cream scoop to fill my muffin tins. One scoop per tin seems to be the perfect amount and it cuts down on the mess!

If you do not use the chocolate chips I suggest you add 1/4 cup of brown sugar without the chocolate the muffin is a little less sweet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Farm Fresh

I was recently the recipient 
of several dozen farm fresh eggs.
How lovely!
But wait...
your eyes are not playing tricks on you,
and it isn't a bad camera shot,
those eggs really are faintly
The blue eggs really do come from chickens,
apparently a very special breed
called Araucana
picture from Wikipedia

That look like this!

Oh yes, you did see right.
I didn't get just chicken eggs,
I also now have several dozen
quail eggs!
Not sure what to do with these little guys.

The Mr. suggested deviled quail eggs!
Ha ha funny guy, mini deviled eggs.
I'll let you know what I come up with.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ikea Plant Marker Deal

A very cute and colorful way to identify plants
or to remind yourself what seeds you put down 
and where in your garden.
I found the Navy and Pink plant markers
on clearance at my local
Ikea yesterday for
25 cents a package!
I grabbed 4 packages for a buck!
My dear friend who is moving 
will be receiving these lovelies in
a gardening basket I'm putting together for her.

You can write on them with a pencil,
chalkboard marker, or a Sharpie if you want
it to be permanent.

These cute little markers are made from
a pretty heavy grade metal
and are powder finished so they will resist rusting.
This makes them perfect for garden use.

Let's hope I get a few squash this year!

If you have an Ikea near you
head over and grab a few!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm in the Garden

The heat in Phoenix seems to 
be breaking,

The temperatures are starting
to only hit 100 degrees 
that means it's time to start 
planting my garden

I know it must seem strange to any of you
who live in areas that actually get snow,
but here in AZ the summer is brutal 
generally anything in the garden is
That's what happened to my Basil.
Thankfully it's recovering from 
this summer's brutal heat.

So Fall begins garden season here,
and I am no exception.
I have dreams of a garden that I can pick
fresh vegetables from all winter long.

I decided to go with what the
locals generally plant,
squash, and beans.
I also decided to try okra which does well
in warm climates.
Last year the Mr. made this garden for me.
We dug up an area that has some shade,
dumped in a ton of soil 
and he bricked it in.
He even got me a trellis for the 
beans to climb.
It doesn't look like much now,
but hopefully soon there
will be a bunch of little green plants.

I also stoned in a small patch 
up against the gate wall.
Yes that little shrubby thing is 
actually supposed to be there,
it's a rosemary plant.
I'm hoping to have some primrose 
and native wildflowers growing
there soon.

 Stay tuned and I'll have garden updates!
Are you out in the garden?
What are you doing?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Picnic Planning!

One of my dear friends is moving!
I'm so excited because this brings
her much closer to me.
because I'm one of those weird people
who LOVE to help people move.
There is something fun to me
about helping someone settle down into 
a new home.

I also know that on a moving day there
is no way anyone is going to want to cook.
That's why I try to pack a
"Moving Day Picnic"
Basically I pack up a cooler full of yummy
items that are quick and easy to eat, 
and require NO heating up.

My friend LOVES cucumber sandwiches,
so naturally they are on the menu.
Look at how fancy these are!
I think I will stick to the plainer kind.

Here's how I make easy cucumber sandwiches...

What you need:
1 pkg of chive flavored cream cheese (Philly is my Fav)
1 loaf of soft white bread
1 English cucumber

- Thinly slice the cucumber,
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on bread
- Arrange cucumber slices on one slice of bread with cream cheese and top with another slice of bread and cream cheese.
- Cut the crusts off the sandwich and cut in triangles

These sandwiches are very delicate 
and refreshing.
Perfect on a hot day
while moving boxes around!

Stay tuned,
I'll be sharing the menu 
for my
"Moving Day Picnic"

Monday, September 5, 2011

World's Easiest Choker

Did you like the burnt
ribbon flower choker?
If you did,
you want to know how to make one
for yourself
here is how you do it.

Things you need:
~ Crochet thread Size 10 in Black (or your favorite color)
~ Steel crochet hook 2.75mm
~ 2 medium sized jump rings
~ Lobster Clasp
~ Extension chain 
~ Flowers or other embelishments

Step 1:
Chain stitch until you get a piece that 1/2 inch smaller than your neck. You don't want the chain ends to touch.
For me it was approximately 130 chain stitches.

Step 2:
Single crochet in the second stitch from the hook and then in every chain stitch.
Chain 1 and turn.

Step 3:
Extended single crochet in every SC
(Extended Single Crochet: Insert hook in stitch as for SC, yarn over, draw up loop, yarn over and pull through 1 loop on hook, yarn over again and pull through both loops on hook
Chain 1 and turn

Step 4:
Extended single crochet into every stitch
Chain 1 and turn

Step 5:
Single crochet into every stitch.
Finish off.
This is how the band will look
Instead of blocking, 
I just ran a steam iron over the band.


Sew the jump rings to either end of the band.
Join the lobster claw to one jump ring 
and the extension chain to the other jump ring.
I took the extension chain off 
an old broken necklace

Sew flowers into place

And wear!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Making Flowers with Fire

I found this tutorial
for making burnt ribbon

Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

I just loved the look of these flowers 
So, I gave them a try.

This is NOT
a child friendly craft
as it involves open flames.

I used a synthetic satin-like material 
I found in the odds and ends bin at some
fabric shop that has been collecting dust.

I also found some wide silver ribbon 
and gave that a try too.

When "burning" your fabric
be careful of the melty ends,
they are very hot and stick to the skin!

Now that I have a bunch of flowers 
I naturally needed something to do with them.
I crocheted a choker, 
sewed the flowers into place,
and added a lobster clasp and
extension chain.

Instant pretty!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Make a Glass Pendant: Part 2

Now that our pendants have cured overnight
we are ready to finish them.

This is what you will need:

~Make sure your scissors are sharp! 

~You can use fine grit sandpaper instead of a nail file.

~Again make sure your craft knife is sharp, otherwise you will have a mess.

Step 1:
Trim away the excess paper.
Try and cut it as close to the glass piece as you can.
This will save you 

Step 2:
Use your craft knife to trim the edge 
flush to the pendant.
(Yes my "knife" is really a scalpel,
use what ever works, right?)

Step 3:
Smooth the rough edges with the nail file.
Make sure all edges are nice and even
or else your pendant will have rough edges.

Your pendant should look like
this when you are done.
Nice even edges that are smooth
and not hanging over the edge of 
the glass.

Step 4:
Apply your glaze to the back of the pendant.
Make sure to cover all the paper,
get the edges too.
This will seal your paper.

Your pendant should have a nice,
thick even coat when you are done.
Now let this cure.

Step 5:
Get your bail.
These can be bought online at a 
number of vendors.
(I get both my bails and my glass
from my friends at

Apply your glue to the back
(textured) side of the bail.
I like to use these pen style applicators,
way less mess.

Position on the back of your pendant
glue side down and press firmly.
I let these dry over night to be sure 
they are cured.

After they have cured again over night.
Add a chain and wear!

I hope you 
found this little
"How To" 

Now go and make yourself some pretties!

What a Pintresting Idea for Fall

once again has my
full attention.

All the Fall themed 
pins have me wishing
this awful heat would break.
(It's going to be 109 today)

So instead I'll crank up the 
air and try some of these great
Fall themes ideas!

                                                                 Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

How about this great idea for Halloween?
Lady Finger Cookies!
They look impressive but the recipe 
is fairly straightforward.

                                       Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

Scarf weather is coming soon
(I hope)
This is pattern requires nothing 
more than a pair of scissors 
and an old T-Shirt.

                                                 Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

          Aren't these rings just beautiful?

                                               Source: via Kitty on Pinterest

       Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing!
    Nothing says fall to me better
   than a good pumpkin recipe

   If you haven't made it on
   to Pintrest yet, why not?
            I still have some invites