Friday, May 18, 2018

Strawberry Coffee Cake

When Strawberries are in abundance, this recipe is one of our family favorites.  I love to make it for a special occasion or when company comes by, and usually double it, because it always gets enthusiastic requests for more. I have adapted some of the ingredients, by using Almond flour, and Einkorn flour in the place of "All Purpose Flour", you can also use Almond flour with a wheat free or gluten-free flour  for wheat-free or gluten-free version.
1/4  cup butter, softened
3/4 organic raw sugar or coconut sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use half almond flour and half Einkorn flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sliced, fresh strawberries 

Ingredients for the topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour, einkorn, almond flour or gluten-free flour
1/2 cup organic sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 chopped pecans
organic powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, cream together 1/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture , and alternately add the buttermilk, and mix until well blended.
  5.  Pour the batter into prepared baking pan. 
  6. Arrange strawberries on top of the batter.
  7. Using the topping ingredients, make a topping by blending 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter into a crumbly mixture
  8. Add chopped pecans and blend together. 
  9. Sprinkle topping over strawberries.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until firm and golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. 
  11. Dust lightly with powdered sugar (optional).
  12. Enjoy! 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and then layer the fresh strawberries over the top.

Add the crumbly topping over the fresh strawberries.

Bake approximately 40 minutes or until lightly golden, and firm.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar.


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

DIY Fruit and Vegetable Prints

This is a fun craft for you or the kids, that is as easy as opening the refrigerator and laying hold of whatever fruits and vegetables you have on hand. Get out the paint and paper, or fabric and you have a delightful and inexpensive piece of art.  Use the base of celery, bok choy, or lettuce to make roses, slice oranges or lemons for a beautiful citrus print, carve carrots or potatoes into stamps such as leaves or simple designs, use bell peppers or squash for fun shapes,  slice apples or mushrooms and stamp them on fabric or paper. Use parsley and corn on the cob for texture and repetative design, and end up with some lovely scrapbook paper, pictures, cards or fabric prints.


Fruits and vegetables, such as:
Bok Choy, Lettuce, Carrots, 
Celery, Potatoes, Apples, 
Oranges, Lemons, Peppers, 
Squash, Mushrooms, Corn on the Cob, etc.
Craft Paint 
(if you are stamping onto fabric, use a fabric paint) 
Paint brushes or sponges
Paper or Fabric 

  1.  Slice the fruits and veggies in any manor that you wish
  2.  Brush on Paint.
  3.  Stamp onto Paper or fabric
  4.  Allow to dry
  5.  Use paper or fabric to create something else.
The base of bok choy, lettuce, or celery makes lovely roses. 


Carrots and potatoes can be carved into simple designs to create a stamp, such as the leaf stamp here.

 Bok choy rose, with carved carrot leaves.

 Peppers make fun shapes, such as flowers or shamrocks.

 Celery stems can be used separately as designs, or to add petals to your roses.

 I now have a nice pile of scrapbook paper to use.

Create greeting cards,

 scrapbook pages,

  or picture/plaques

Have fun and happy stamping.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Paper Shamrocks

A simple little craft for March is just what I needed this week.  These Paper Shamrocks are so simple to throw together, you will want to keep making them.  They are  perfect to make  flower arrangements coffee stirrers, or  some delightful garland to drape around and decorate.

Green Scrapbook Paper 
A small heart punch (or a larger shamrock punch)
Double sided tape 
Coffee Stir sticks
Bakers Twine
Glitter Glue
Tiny Buttons

Instructions:1.  Punch hearts out of the scrapbook papers (you will need six hearts for each shamrock, or two if you are using a shamrock punch).

2.  Lay down three hearts (backside up, pretty side down).

 3. Run the double sided tape several times over each heart.

 4. Place the three hearts together, so that they are slightly touching.

 5. Place a flat wooden stir stick down on the middle of the Shamrock.

6.  Add more tape to the other three hearts, and begin to place them over the first three hearts (wrong sides together). Smooth them down, pressing the two hearts together.

 7.  From here, you can decorate them if you want.

 8. Add buttons of glitter, or anything you might like.

 9.  You can use bakers twine instead of the stir sticks, if you want to create a garland.

 10.  Put them in a little jar, along with some Spanish moss and create an arrangement.

 or just a jar of stir sticks for a special coffee time.

Have fun everyone, and.....

May God give you, 
for every storm a rainbow,
 for every tear a smile,
for every care a promise, 
and a blessing in each trial.
 For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share
for every sigh,  a sweet song,
and an answer for each prayer.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Chocolate Salt Dough

You can make these delightful little essential oil diffusers and "play chocolates", just in time for Valentines Day with this chocolate salt dough recipe, inspired by the Cinnamon salt dough  recipe I posted a few years back.  This one came as a brain storm one day when I had the cocoa out. I realized I could use it to make a chocolate salt dough, very similar to the Cinnamon Salt dough.  Eureka! It worked wonderfully.  I had a lot of fun with this, by the way,  Whenever glitter and the wonderful smells of essential oils are involved, I guess fun is a sure thing for me.  These would make a cute novelty gift, something the kids would love to play with, or  fun Valentines craft and decoration.  They make great little essential oils diffusers as well; simply drip essential oils over them periodically and enjoy the smell for days.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup ground Cocoa powder
1 cup salt
1 /1/2 to 1 3/4 cup water
Essential Oils if desired.

Extra Ingredients:
Silicone Chocolate Candy and Cake molds
Cookie Cutters
Straws or Toothpicks to make holes to hang the ornaments (if desired)
Brown Craft Paint
Glue or Mod Podge
Glitter and glitter glue
Candy Pearls or sprinkles 
Paper Clips for hooks if desired

  1. Mix together Flour, Cocoa and Salt.
  2. Stir well, until completely blended
  3. Add desired amount of Essential oils (10 -15 drops) to water and stir well.
  4. Pour water into flour and salt mixture, stirring as you pour.  Mix until well blended,  using just enough water to make a workable dough.
  5. Form, shape or cut out ornaments. 
  6. For the candy ornaments, spray each candy mold with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Pinch off a piece of dough in the approximate amount needed for the mold, and roll into a smooth ball before placing into the mold (this helps create a smooth salt dough candy, with very little cracks.  
  8. Place the dough balls into the molds and then press the dough ball to fill the molds and imprint the shape.
  9. Turn the molds over onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Gently ease the salt dough candies from the mold, and arrange on the cookie sheet. 
  11. Bake at 300 degrees 30 minutes to 60 minutes, until the ornaments are hard.

Decorate however it suits you. I decorated in the following two basic ways:
  1.  Paint with a coat of Brown Paint, allow to dry then paint with a coat of Mod Podge, allow to dry and add glitter glue, candy pearls, and more fine glitter.
  2. No paint, but drip more essenetial oils over the ornament, to give it a rich dark brown color, and more delicious smell. Then finish with glitter glue, candy pearls, and fine glitter dust.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure the flour, salt and cocoa and mix together.

Measure out the water.

  Drip 10 - 15 drops essential oil into the water.

Add the water and essential oil mixture to the flour salt and cocoa mixture, stirring as you pour.  Add enough water to form a well moistened (but not too sticky), dough.

Knead until the dough is well blended and moist, but not sticky.  If needed you can add more flour or water.

Prepare the silicone candy or cake molds by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.  Pinch off an approximate amount needed to fill each mold, and roll into a smooth round ball.

Place the balls of dough into the molds, and smash evenly to fill the mold.

Turn candy molds onto a lined cookie sheet, and gently ease out the salt dough candies.

Place Chocolate salt dough shapes into the oven (pre-heated at 350 degrees)  and bake 30 -  60 minutes, until hard.  

Warning, your family will think you have just made brownies or fudge just for them and may be very disappointed when they find out these are not edible.  I would suggest warning the family ahead of time, to ward off disappointment.  I know this from experience.


     Use Brown Craft Paint, Mod Podge, Candy Sprinkles, Glitter                  Glue, Glitter and anything that seems good to you.

Have Fun!