Monday, April 8, 2013

bananas! simple dairy-free "ice cream"

Faced with a few over-ripe bananas late last week I was trying to work up the motivation to bake up some banana bread.  But it just seemed like so much effort.  Also I didn't have eggs.  (It's been that kind of month around here - I don't have eggs on hand!).   But then I remembered that I had seen a lot of non-dairy "ice cream" recipes on Pinterest so I browsed and found this super-simple recipe.  I whipped up a batch late Thursday night to the delight of my co-workers on Friday a.m.  It was such a hit that on Saturday I whipped up a second batch for a girls' night potluck.   I was really impressed with how well the consistency turned out - rich and creamy and just like old-school ice cream!

This is the recipe based on 6 bananas but it's super easy to adjust based on what you have on hand - I don't even measure.  And you could tweak flavours etc. for a variety of flavours.   Best part is you don't even need an ice cream maker!

what you need:
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp agave syrup  or sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup in the second batch!)
Slice the bananas and freeze for at least an hour.    This is the trick to getting the ice cream consistency as opposed to freezing banana mush, I think. 

Combine frozen bananas and other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  It will now be the consistency of soft serve.  Transfer to a container and pop in the freezer until frozen.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

happy birthday maya angelou

look sharp(ie)

I didn't really need  another reason to love Sharpies but if you spend any time at all on Pinterest you've probably seen lots of pins about using these pens and markers to transform inexpensive dishes.   I hit up a local dollar store to pick up some white dishes and grabbed a couple of my favourite bronze metallic Sharpies.  Then I got to work.   I just played around with designs not worrying too much about perfection although you could definitely plan out more exact designs!  The result is an inexpensive way to dress up a table. I'm planning a spring birthday party with a tangerine and Tiffany blue palette and these dishes will definitely be making an appearance!

what you need:
  • white oven-safe dishes
  • a Sharpie in the colour of your choice
  • an oven
Wash and dry the dishes thoroughly.  Draw a design of your choice on the dish.  Bake in an 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to set the design. Let cool.  That's it. You've got cute custom dishes!

$10 of dishes get a custom makeover

In terms of caring for your dishes I probably won't put these in the dishwasher and I'm not sure I'd necessarily want to do the design on a surface that comes into contact with food but I haven't actually looked into that.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

easter weekend, grand manan

  With the coming of spring, I am calm again. 

Gustav Mahler

This winter's been a bit gruelling and there are a lot of changes ahead this spring so I was glad to get away for a few days to spend Easter weekend on Grand Manan.  Lots of ocean air, good food,  a little beach-combing, a few walks and many, many hands of this with my mom.  I also got to see my grandfather sing in church on Easter morning.  He turns 90 this year and I think this was probably his singing debut.  A great memory! How did you spend your weekend?

I always sleep really well near the ocean so I'm usually up to catch the sunrise over the cove.

A walk down Shore Road to check out the beaver pond. They've been hard at work already this spring adding a second small dam.
Beach-combing yielded a few treasures.
Easter morning at the Anchorage. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

home again

If you haven't discovered Songza yet I can't express to you how much you are missing!  Not only does it supply you with free streaming playlists (based on your mood, activity or time of day!)  but it's a great way to discover new music.   I'm currently loving British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and his album Home Again - such a perfect soothing and uplifting spring soundtrack. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

april, come she will

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
Pablo Neruda

And just like that, April is here.  This was the first weekend where it felt like spring might actually come (or at least it did until I drove back to Fredericton in freezing rain and snow...)   I spent the long weekend on Grand Manan recharging my batteries after a very long winter.  It was a gorgeous weekend of blue skies, ocean and family.  My mom and I discovered that some little yellow flowers were already poking their heads out.  Surely spring and fresh starts can't be far behind?

How did you spend your long weekend? Did you get out and enjoy some fresh air?