Wednesday, 23 April 2014

(Amazing) Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter

In an attempt to try to keep myself sane as I wait around for this baby to show up, I've been trying to keep as busy as possible. Lately, my brother and I have been spending a lot of time during the day in my parents kitchen trying new recipes or cooking dinner for the family. The other day we decided to try our hands at making nut butters. 


Just a random side note, but isn't the word nut butter terrible? Ugh it makes me cringe every time I say it. It just sounds so unappetizing.

Anyway we decided to try a peanut based one (cheaper) and then a pecan based one (more expensive). If you have a Bulk Barn and a food processor you can easily whip up some of this stuff in 15 minutes tops. It's really easy. And ridiculously addictive. I almost wish it was harder to make.

(Amazing) Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter


Ingredients


  • honey roasted peanuts
  • chocolate chips


I didn't measure anything because it really comes down to how much you wanna make and how chocolately you want it. We probably used about 3-4 cups of peanuts (around $4 at Bulk Barn) and 1 cup of chocolate chips.   

Make It!

1. Get out your food processor. It doesn't have to be a fancy one I found. In fact my mum has a restaurant quality processor that crapped out on us while we made this and we had to use her old back-up one instead and it worked better. Figures! Also, sorry Mum.

2. Pour your nuts in and process. At first it will be REALLY loud. Then it will just look like ground nuts, then a few minutes later it will start to clump in large balls and you'll start thinking, there ain't no way this is gonna work! Then keep going a few more minutes and it will magically turn into a liquid.

3. Now you could stop here and have delicious homemade honey roasted peanut butter. Or while the processor is still running you can start adding your chocolate chips, handful by handful until it reaches your desired chocolate level. I liked mine really chocolately, but you could always add less if you want the peanut flavour to be the main star.



You can either leave this at room temperature if you plan on eating it within the week, or if you want a thicker consistency, you can keep it in the fridge (this does harden it quite a bit though).

I guess I should at least comment on the (failed) pecan one. We processed the crap out of the pecans (with some maple syrup, ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg) but the sucker just wouldn't liquify. It comes out spreadable, and tastes amazing, but it doesn't have the right texture. Plus the pecans were about $10 for 3 cups. Bummer.



Now I love me some Nutella (see here) but I think I may like this better. And it's way cheaper and probably better for you. At least that's what I'm gonna tell myself.

What do you think, would you try out some homemade (cringe) nut butter?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

S'mores Tarts



There's this running joke in my family (there seems to be a lot of these actually) that I am a very ambitious yet lazy baker. That at least once a week I'll proclaim that I shall make something labour intensive like a cherry pie (from scratch!) only to wait an hour and then decide that I can just use a store bought crust, then change my mind to make something easier like cookies, to then not making anything and bringing a bag of chips over or something. Today was one of those days. Dave had a bbq to go to and I wanted to make this epic frozen peanut butter pie, only to feel rather lazy an hour later and decide to make these instead.



But these are delicious! And easy!

S'more Tarts 

Ingredients 


  • tart shells
  • package of instant chocolate pudding
  • milk for the pudding (depends on the kind you buy, usually 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa 
  • chopped graham crackers/ teddy grams 
  • chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows 

Make It!

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Bake your empty tart shells for about 10-12 minutes until browned. Set aside to cool completely. 
  2. Make your pudding according to the package directions, adding the cocoa to the mix. Set aside in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up a bit.
  3. Preheat your broiler
  4. Assemble your tarts! First spoon in some pudding, then sprinkle some graham crackers on top, then press some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips on top of that. 
  5. Place all your tarts back on a baking tray and pop them under the broiler. DO NOT LEAVE THEM! It will literally take 15-30 seconds for the marshmallows to brown so have your oven mitts ready to take the tray out as soon as this happens.



I've made these with marshmallow fluff before too for a no-broil option, but these look a little prettier I think. There's something very summery about a toasted marshmallow, no?

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Our (DIY) Co-Sleeper

Today I thought I'd share the co-sleeper that Dave and my mum helped make. I think it's pretty nifty. Have a look!




Dave and I are both really into the whole co-sleeping thing which I've learned can be kinda controversial. Let's just get it out of the way that we both did a lot of reading/talking to people on how to co-sleep safely and it's what we've personally decided to do :) When we started looking at co-sleeper options we were pretty discouraged. Most traditional co-sleepers we found are pretty large, expensive and rather ugly. I did some research on Pinterest and found a few home-made options that were based on a co-sleeper design that unfortunately is only sold in Norway or something like that.

Click here to see the designs we based ours off of: Design one, design two

From these two designs Dave came up with a hybrid version. The main changes we made were to make the baby mattress level to our mattress and we made the walls a little higher. 


Dave decided to go with untreated sanded pine because it hasn't been varnished in chemicals, is sturdy, and pine just smells really good. You can't tell by photos, but there are two long boards attached to the bottom of the co-sleeper that are under our mattress which adds more stability.

In terms of the mattress, I'll admit that that was the one part I was a little nervous about DIYing. Working closely with Public Health for the past few years has instilled the fear of soft (read: dangerous!) mattresses and SIDS into me, gah! I decided to go with a thin firm piece of foam that we cut down to size and my Mum sewed a quilted waterproof cover on to it. She also sewed two snug flannel sheets that can zip on and off to wash.


Right now we have the co-sleeper pushed right up against the wall (to make it easier for me to get in and out of bed lol)  but when the baby comes we'll probably move it a little further down the bed so our pillows don't fall into it. 

We're super pumped about how this thing turned out! I can tell Dave is really proud of it because I always catch him admiring it while nodding his head with his arms crossed. Now we just have to see whether the baby likes it or not! *fingers crossed* 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Life Lately...

 

1. Last day of work tulips (thanks Anna!)
2. We've bought a few new records lately, Beck is our go-to night time listening
3. I can no longer see anything from the waist down without a mirror, GAH!
4. Planning the week out
5. The $1 Ikea mouse. You can use stuffed animals as decorations right?

Friday, 4 April 2014

DIY Confetti Garland


I love me a garland. Sadly up until today the only one I knew how to make was the classic paper chain one. Which although is very easy and can look pretty cool at new years, it's not something you really want to keep up every day. I had read a few tutorials on how to sew a garland but I was a little uneasy about sewing tiny pieces of paper on my sewing machine (would the paper rip? would I accidentally sew my fingers?!). But it was actually a really quick and painless thing to make! If you have a sewing machine, you can easily whip one of these babies up in 15 minutes.



I decided to buy some precut confetti instead of buying a punch and paper and spending hours punching them all out. I found a bag of pre-cut gold card stock confetti in the party section of Target for $3.



So really all you have to do is get your sewing machine, pull the two threads out about 20 cm to be one of the ends of your garland and then just feed the pieces of confetti through one at a time. You don't have to push it all the way through the machine as it'll kind of grab it and pull it through itself (I clearly have no idea how to talk about sewing machines, sorry). But still, watch your fingers! If you want space between your confetti, just add a few stitches before you feed the next piece through. When you get to the end, pull the threads out another 20 cm and cut. BAM. CONFETTI GARLAND. 



I put mine up in the baby room above the change pad, but you can use yours for cooler things like decorations for raging champagne parties or photobooth backdrops. Things I obviously will not be doing anytime soon.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Baby Bucket List

Guys, I am finally on mat leave, yay! Holy cow, where did the time go?! So that means I have about 3 weeks (if baby comes on schedule) of glorious time to myself. My ankles have started swelling and I get mad contractions if I'm on my feet for too long so I know I'm going to have to take it easy until the baby gets here. That being said though, I really really don't want to spend my days just watching Netflix and sleeping (which sounds kinda nice for one day but not everyday). So I made a kind of bucket list of things I want to do in the next few weeks to keep me occupied (and sane).


I tried not to make it too ambitious, but I figure if I plan on doing at least one of these a day, it should keep me happy and busy.

P.S OMG I'M HAVING A BABY SOON!!!
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