June 23, 2011

Victoria's secret recipes...

Hello friends!

 For those that have been wondering when I will reveal my summer line, I haven't forgotten just have some things changing here and I am trying to get it all in order before I can share.  Sorry it has been such a wait, but I hope you all will think it was worth it! ;)

One of the changes that I am excited to tell you about, I am starting to share recipes here. Not just any recipes, but my secret recipes. :)  Those that know me well can tell you, as much as I love to create in my home, I love to be in the kitchen and cooking too!  It brings me great joy to share things I bake, cook or make in my kitchen with those I know and even those I don't.  I love to feed people and  I always add a little love into everything I make. ;)

Some of my recipes are ones that have been passed down, given to me by friends/family, my own creations, recipe books I treasure and of course my favorite recipes I have come by over the years.

Today, I am going to share a recipe that I have had for over the last 18 years.  I am not even sure where I found it, I just know I wrote it down and it is one of my favorite's! 

So, for my first Victoria's secret recipe I will be sharing...my very yummy banana bread.  It is so moist and good, one of the best banana breads I have ever tasted! It's the perfect recipe for when you have lots of ripened bananas and you don't want to throw them out...

Here are the ingredients you will need...

  • 2 ½ cups of sugar
  • ¾ cup of applesauce
  • ¼ cup of canola oil 
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • * ½ cup of buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups of chopped walnuts (optional)
  • *I don't always have buttermilk on hand, so I am substituting the buttermilk with a 1/2 cup of  milk mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar; let sit 5 minutes before using

In a large mixing bowl add your bananas...

Mash them together...

Now add the sugar...

Then mix your applesauce and oil in a liquid measuring cup, next...

* You can use 1 cup of canola oil, but I use the applesauce and 1/4 cup of oil to cut down on the fat. I use applesauce in place of oil on a lot of my baking...you can't tell the difference and I think it's more moist! 

Separate the eggs.  Yolks in one bowl and egg whites in the mixer... 

Now add your egg yolks to the batter and with a mixing spoon stir it all together by hand...

Whip the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form... 

Wait to add the egg whites till the end. 

*Tip when using baking soda in a recipe, pour some into a 
bowl then scoop with your measuring spoons and level.  

 Add 2 teaspoon's of baking soda to the buttermilk,
 use a large liquid measuring cup as it will rise when the soda is added.  

Alternate between your buttermilk/soda mixture and flour as you mix...

Once mixed add your vanilla...

*Note use a large mixing bowl, unlike me who started off with a medium bowl. ;)

And chopped nuts if you like...

Once stirred now it's time to add those fluffy egg whites...

Fold in gently...

Now it's ready for the bread pans.  Fill *greased and parchment lined pans  3/4 ways full.  This will make 2 large loafs, or you can do like I did (I am not sure what happened to my other large loaf pan?)  and use a smaller loaf pan.  I still had enough to do some big muffins. :)

*I use parchment paper on the bottom of the pans and a spray oil like PAM for the sides to keep from sticking.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven in the middle for about 30 minutes or until center comes clean when you insert a toothpick.  The top should be nicely browned and risen.  I brush with melted butter over the top when it first comes out of the oven and then cool on wire racks.  Once cooled invert onto a cutting board and slice.  So moist, with a crusty outside...it is so yummy!! If you don't have a large family to feed like I do, you can always share with a friend or even freeze a loaf for later. :)

Enjoy with a little pat of butter and a cold glass of milk! 

I hope you try this at home, please share with me if you do.  Would love to know if you like it.  I will be trying to post recipes here more often.  I am hoping to share the change I have going on here in the next several days.  Back to work I go! ;)

Hugs to you all, 

June 13, 2011

shabby apple giveaway...again!!

  I hope everyone's summer is off to a great start so far!  I have been enjoying the sleeping in and not having to be on an exact schedule.  I know however by August, I will be tired of hearing "I'm bored" and ready for the kids to go back to school! :)  For now though, I am  just enjoying listening to the kids fight play nicely together and the lazy days of summer.

I am happy to once again be sharing a shabby apple giveaway with you all!!  Who doesn't need a new summer dress?!  I for one, love wearing dresses in the summer and shabby apple has so many great styles to choose from.  I especially like their new summer line Set Sail !!  So many cute styles, colors and patterns to choose from.

From the collection "Set Sail" ~ Overboard

This is just one of the beautiful and fun women's dresses you will find at shabby apple!  They carry a variety of vintage inspired styles for everyone!  They have everything from dresses, girls dresses, maternity, bridesmaid, plus sizes and so much more!!

A playful and pretty aquamarine swimsuit~Costa

The Rosso dress can take you from the beach to ballet and back again!

shabby apple carries beautiful accessories and jewelry as well, like this Genoa ring!

Needing a perfect white dress? 
 You will find this dress Freshwater Pearl under the "white" category.

 With their Fit Guide you will also have a great way to find the perfect size for you!  Shabby apple carries modest, beautiful, and vintage inspired styles that you will love!  Are you ready to start shopping?!  

Well, before you go...shabby apple is giving one of my lucky readers a chance to win a beautiful dress!!!  You get the option to pick your favorite from these 3 dresses...

Choice #1

This hollywood starlet inspired-summer frock the Ahoy! has a beautiful carribean-cool turquoise color! 

Choice #2

The San Gabriel dress in light grey cotton poplin, a playful air of femininity!

Choice #3

A  Crisp cotton poplin that is tailored into a classic silhouette with a slightly fuller
 skirt and higher neckline—prefect for the modest modern woman.

A beautiful red dress always say's summer to me!  
You will make a statement in this dress Duck Beach  a cherry red shirt dress! 
 A classic style with a fun sash!  If cherry red is not your color, than you can pick the apple green instead! 

So there are your choices to choose from if you win!!  Shabby apple is also offering my readers a 10% off coupon on their entire order for the next 30 days!!  All you have to do is put in the code "whimsy10off" at checkout!  So have fun shopping!!

Here is all you have to do to enter to win...

Go to shabby apple's FB page and "like" them! So easy!! Please let them know I sent you and come back here and tell me you did.  

Here are a few more ways to win!

1. Blog this
2. Tweet this
3. FB this...don't forget to link back here!
4. If you follow me or let me know if you now are.

5 ways to win to enter! This giveaway starts today Monday June 13th, 2011 and ends Thursday June 16th, 2011.  Winner will be posted on Friday June 17th, 2011!  You must have a US shipping address and there will be no exchanges for the winning dress.  I wish you all luck!!

Have a great week friends!! I wanted to let you all know how much I love hearing from you and enjoy your visits...thank you!!  There is also some new changes that will be happening here soon...I will share more as they are closer.  :)  Hugs to you!!

Thank you to all who entered! This giveaway is now closed!

June 6, 2011

Gold elegance...

I have always loved gold.  Not only because it is one of the most precious metals, but because of the beautiful, elegant, warm and rich feel it can bring to anything.  

Over the years I had found myself using more silver in my decor and jewelry.  Even though I love silver as well, gold still always has my heart.  I seem to be drawn to using less silver again and more gold.  When I say "more" gold, I am not talking about everything done in, over the top and too shiny gold.  That just is not my style.  I am talking about a matted, antiqued gold with a beautiful patina.  I love to see some gold elements in any room.

Being that I am using a lot of cool tones such as grey blues, whites, and soft pinks, gold tones just add warmth to the room.  As I just shared with you in my post "Butterflies & ballet slipper pink" the gold mirror I hung above the hutch looks so pretty with the soft cool tones of the room.  However, I have decided differently on the mirror since my post.  I love the gold in the mirror, but think the mirror is too heavy for the piece it is hung over.  I have now added a different mirror you can see here on my Facebook page.  I will share more on the updates soon.  

So, how have I decided to still add the elegant, warm gold in to this room that I love?  Through all the accessories such as picture frames with other touches here and there.

I thought I would share some beautiful ways to add gold into a room without overdoing it.  Remember you can over do anything with too much of a good thing! ;)  Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate gold elegance into your home....

Seriously inspired to do a piece like this in my house.  I found a french sofa and chair 
that I need to re-upholster and thinking I might do it with a gold frame and pink fabric...

Love the mirror in this room!  Just enough gold to warm it up with the blue...

The gold mirror adds the refined and elegant feel this room needs with all the vibrant, playful colors.

Bringing gold in helps to keep this room from being to cool and having some warmth...

I love this room and all the textures, patterns and colors with the gold tones...

The room is calming and simple with a touch of elegance from the gold mirror...


This room definitely exudes whimsy, vintage and gold elegance!

Ornate and beautiful gold mirrors grouped together...

O.k. so this is a little over the top for me, but I can appreciate the beauty of the tub!

Love the farm house feel with a pop of gold and unexpected mirror in the kitchen...

Designer Annette Tatum uses gold in her rooms perfectly! I love everything about this room!!

Here is another version of it with some things changed, but still touches of gold...

Well I hope this brings some inspiration for using gold if you haven't already done so in your own decor. I would love to hear if you are incorporating gold elegance into your home?  

You can find all these images on my pin board "Rich in gold" on Pinterest.  If you haven't checked out this site it is a must...love it! Oh, if you are on Pinterest I would love to know and if not I would be happy to send you an invite!  

I hope your Monday has you off to a great start to your week!! I have been enjoying a few "lazy day's" of summer, but now I am feeling the need to get back to work! ;)

Hugs friends!