Thursday, March 13, 2014

The best beer bread I ever did have!

Today, I bring to you the most delicious, mouth watering, 4 ingredient beer bread around!
My sister came over from Ohio to visit me, and whilst here, she whipped up a loaf of this scrumptious bread and I am here to share it with you today!



INGREDIENTS
One 12 ounce beer
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Cups self-rising flour
One stick of butter

DIRECTIONS
Divide butter in half. Place one half of the butter in a standard sized metal loaf pan (ours is about 5 x 9 inches) and allow the butter to melt in the pan in the oven while the oven is pre-heating to 350 degrees.

In the amount of time that it takes to melt the butter in the pan (and pre-heat the oven), empty the beer into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Add the flour and mix with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients disappear and form a blob of dough.

Remove the heated pan from the oven and add the dough on top of the melted butter. Avoid smoothing the dough. Your finished loaf should have a lumpy outer crust (nice pockets where the butter can collect). Return the now filled bread pan to the pre-heated oven for one hour.

As the end of the cooking time approaches, melt the other half-stick of butter and set aside. Remove the bread from the house after one hour and immediately (while the bakes bread remains in the pan) pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the bread. As quickly as you have finished pouring the butter over the bread, turn the bread out of the pan (do not delay, as the bread will sweat and lose its crustiness  if left in the pan).

More even slicing will result, if the bread is allowed to cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before cutting (but will still feel warm after an hour, and it will cut even better after that much much time). A serrated knife works best.

If you have leftover bread, store it so the bread can breathe (it is moist and contains no preservations, so it will mold relatively quickly). A clean brown grocery bag with a section or two of paper toweling in the bottom would probably work fine for a day or two (you could also use a clean dish towel, but you might want to use an older one that can be bleached, because it will become oil-stained with residue from the butter). Beer bread makes good toast the day after it is baked (not ideal sandwich bread).

Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Day of Love… tomorrow

Can you believe tomorrow is Valentine's Day!?

Sure snuck up on me!

Today, is also my one year blog anniversary! 
One year ago today I published my first post that was about making a Valentine's Day gift for L!

So in honor or a full year of blogging, I bring to you this years Valentine's Day craft!
Each year, I try to make something handmade and crafty for L. While this is our 5th Valentine's Day together, I can not for the life of me remember what we did for out first two together. Isn't that sad? We were in high school. There is only so much that can be expected.

I do remember that for V Day 2012 I made the "52 Things I Love About You" card deck, and V Day 2013 I mod podged basically every picture ever taken of us onto two huge wooden letters that read "L & K". So in an effort to keep the crafting alive, I whipped up a fun framed project that commemorates the two places where we have lived.



Inspired by Pinterest, I printed out maps of the states we had lived in together, and cut them out.


I got about halfway around the Cape when I realized I should have used my Silhouette to cut these out. Lesson learned.


I used an 11" x 14" floating frame to display the states.


I used my labeler to print out the city and state of each location as well as cut out small hearts and a mount for the labels. 






Happy Valentine's Day! (tomorrow)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

To eat… or not to eat

I wanted to bake cookies today, so that I could have a decent excuse to chow on some cookie dough, so I found a store with some Pillsbury Cookies Dough, frosting, and sprinkles and went to town with it.

While I was trying to cut the dough into heart shapes and failing miserably, I thought… why don't I just turn these into fruit pizza's!? So I ran back outside and all over the North End to 4 different produce/grocery stores until I finally found what I needed. Good Times.

So basically I did a little rendition of these AMAZING fruit pizza squares that I made in the summer, just Valentine's themed.


All You need is:

1 - Roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
1 - 8 ounce package of Cream Cheese
1/3 cup of Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Fruit of your choice
Food coloring if you want to get creative!


Directions:

Bake the cookies as directed on the package.

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and then let cool.

Once both the cookies and cream cheese mixture is cool, frost the cookies and top with fruit.


My absolute favorite fruit to use for these are strawberries! Strawberries and kiwis! Delicious!

Once you're done "decorating", throw those suckers back into the fridge to cool!


I went for the Valentines Day theme for these ones today, and colored the cream cheese mixture pink!

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Utility Drawer Revamp

Living in a 350 square foot apartment in Boston leaves you with little to no room to store your belongings :( The space is VERY limited, and I'm always trying to think up new ideas to organize everything without it looking cluttered and messy.

The kitchen alone only has 2 drawers and 4 cabinets (including the one that holds the sink). Where am I  supposed to put all my stuff?!

We use one of the drawers as a "throw all" that houses everything from tape measures, screw drivers and hammers to scissors, notepads and pens. We don't have a garage or a coat closet to store these necessary tools, so we just toss them in this drawer in the kitchen.

Let me tell you what, if I would have taken a before picture, you would have been disgusted! We had everything shoved into that drawer! Napkins, trash bags, tools… EVERYTHING!

SO! I emptied all of the contents out of this tiny 12"x19"x2" drawer and started fresh.

...boring…

Lined it with some cute, bright and happy craft paper…

Filled the drawer with acrylic containers to use as organizing dividers.

…and then filled them! 
The best part!

I did what I could to keep it as neat and orderly as possible without it looking too cluttered, and I am loving the splash of red from underneath.

I was able to fit everything that I wanted to into this drawer and am pleased with the outcome!
I used other smaller containers to help corral flashlights, batteries, nails, hooks and other randoms, and was able to perfectly slide the paint stirrers and hammer right on the side. 

Score!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

FIVE ON FRIDAY

How is everyone's first Friday of the year?

Linking up with these 4 ladies again to share with you my Friday thoughts!


-ONE-
Has everyone made their New Years resolutions?
If not, or if you're looking to add another one, be sure to try the 52 week money savings challenge!


Each week of the year, you save that much in dollars, so that you have a total of $1,378 saved by the end of the year!
Find all the templates and instructions here.

-TWO-
I have officially made and posted my 30 BY 30 list!
Join in and make a list of goals for yourself!
So far I have already completed one! My polar plunge!

-THREE-
You can't beat this walk to work!

I am loving this snowy weather!
I woke up yesterday morning around 6am to find a fresh coat of powdery snow! 
Absolutely beautiful!
Definitely makes the walk to work (and everywhere else) 10x better!

-FOUR-
New Years was great!
My Dad picked me up in Boston and we drove over to the Atlantic City area to be with family!
Nothing beats our Dutch traditions!
Oliebollen (fried dough with apples and raisins served with powdered sugar), Pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes with bacon, cinnamon apples, and raisons cooked in)
cards, and family!




-FIVE-
I don't know if this is something that goes any farther than the East Coast, but has anyone else heard of Alex and Ani bracelets? It is especially popular in the Boston area, and I only just learned about them when I moved here in August.

Everyone I work with wears them, my roommate wears them, everyone I see in the city has them.
Basically, they are like charms to a bracelet, except you collect the bangles and wear them altogether. You can wear just one, you can wear a couple at a time, or you can wear 10 to 15, or as many as you can run up your arm. 

I think they're really fun, and are a great way to accessorize your outfits, as well as collect charms that you like!

Thanks to my roommate my one and only sponsor I am quickly adding to my Alex and Ani collection!
She bought me the Boston skyline charm for my birthday, and then she bought me my birthstone charm and a compass charm for Christmas! It's so fun to add to the collection!

I think I'm going to run on over to the Garden and snatch up the Celtics and Bruins charms since they are only sold there! FUN FUN!


Have a great weekend!

Polar Plunge

A couple days ago I shared with you my 30 BY 30 list that I put together!

Well folks, I think it's safe to say that I can cross one of those bad boys off of my list!

For New Years this year, I was talked into a polar plunge! 

Every year, some of my family members dare to take the jump into the river (close to Atlantic/Ocean city) and frantically swim back to the ladder. This year, my younger cousins wanted to give it a whirl! They are much braver than me. Once I mentally built up enough confidence, and dragged my butt outside we all plunged into a freezing bath.

Thankfully, we were lucky enough to score a sunny thirty degree day!




It felt so good when I got back out of the water.
Who would think 30 degrees would be warm?

Quite a day to go swimming on January 1st in Jersey.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014!

HELLO 2014!


I guess it would only be right if I would list off to you my New Years resolutions.
Half of them are the same from last year since I never actually did them.

Find a gym, get a membership, and get toned!
(I haven't seen the inside of a gym since forever)

Organize and keep better track of every single receipt

Sleep! Get more of it! Aim for 9 hours, get 8 hours… every night!

Increase my GPA by maintaining at least a 3.5 each semester

Complete another year of the "52 Week Money Challenge"

$ave, $ave, $ave!

Try to meet some of my 30 BY 30 goals!

What are your 2014 goals?