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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Experimental Fun

I have not been on for the past couple of days because I have been busy doing a bunch of different stuff!!! All of which I have experimented with and love but have no idea for whom nor why I am creating them -- just simply having fun!! You all know about that, though, I'm sure!! I have been crazily attempting to complete all Christmas gifts before August 1st because I am waiting for a job to come through - well, waiting patiently for the Lord to show me my new job. I have recently completed my education degree in special education and am waiting for my blessing that He will be sending my way...

Anywho, today was my 'cooking' day where I was experimenting with breads, some familiar and some new, dry rubs for meat, and other goodies that I can prepare and freeze (closer to the holidays, obviously!) to have on hand for gift giving or unexpected friend drop-ins.

Here is the banana bread that I have made several times and, most often, I will make in the miniature loaf pans but this one is for someone whom I thought would enjoy the whole thing!
The recipe actually came from the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) Cookbook that was created by all the women of the Chapel at the Naval Weapons Station Charleston, which is the church that I grew up in. The recipe collection was published in 1981, I believe!! Each of the women contributed at least one recipe and this one happens to be one of Ms. Ethridge's contribution. It is so mm mm good and so, so easy!!! Here is the recipe....
Banana Bread:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 cups sifted flour (I sift before I measure)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup nuts (I use walnuts)
Mix ingredients together and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees in loaf pan.

This recipe is new for me ... it is a peanut butter coffee cake out of the Better Homes New Cookbook. This, too, was incredibly easy and, as you can see, I made these into the miniature loaves for gift giving. The recipe actually says to bake in a 9x13 dish, but I wanted little ones, so tried it this way. They seem to have turned out but haven't taste tested as of yet! So, the recipe also has a substitution for a chocolate peanut butter coffee cake and so I made 3 of them with the chocolate (the 3 in the back, if you couldn't tell) and 4 plain peanut butter. I hope that they will wrap nicely and then can be tucked nicely into a bread bag and given as a gift. No, I'm not expecting these to last until the holidays -- I was just experimenting to see what kinds of goodies could be easily prepared in bunches to wrap and hand out at Christmas.
Here is that recipe....
Peanut Butter Coffee Cake:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
For topping, in a bowl stir together first 2 ingredients. Then cut in the next 2 ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 eggs
1/4 cup margarine or butter
              In a bowl stir together 2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add milk, 1/2 cup peanut butter, the eggs, and 1/4 cup margarine or butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl frequently.
             Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan, spreading evenly (remember, I used miniature loaf pans). Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or cool. Serves about 16 people.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Coffee Cake:
Prepare as above, except add 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces to topping and stir in 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces into batter after beating. (I used regular sized morsels because that's what I had and I think it turned out ok!) I'll let you know what it tastes like but it was again, a super easy recipe. Can you tell I'm into super easy?!!?!?!?

So, that's what I've done this morning. I also created some dry rubs but haven't 'dressed' them, so can't show you quite yet....stay tuned to see those little babies.

A Couple of Days Ago...

I have also been making some bags - all of which are from others' tutorials - and are just adorable!!!These are the pictures of the ones that I have stitched together.

These are 6 of the little bags that I have made ...either to put goodies in or just to give as a stand-alone gift.

This one (and the one below) have a travel tissue holder sitting in front of the pouch.

These are the cosmetic pouches that I actually started at my mother's during the summer - she gave me a personal tutorial on how to create them and then sent me home with a paper one:) So, when I got home, I was a stitchaholic with these!!! I am my mother's child ... when I discover something I like and that is cute, I make a zillion of them!!!

These are the pencil pouches or personal pouches that I made for some friends' children.

Hope you enjoy all the wonders I shared today...stay tuned for more glorious handmade items:)

Till later ... Deanna


  1. Wow! That peanut butter coffee cake sounds scrumpy....... will have to try. And what a beautiful array of gifts!
    xxoo Honey

  2. Thanks for the comment, Honey!!!I am sorry that it is so delayed ... still working on the 'tricks of the trade' when it comes to blogging, as you know. I will try to do better with the responses!! So much more to do and so little time, or so it seems. Off to do some more ... hope you enjoy!