Banana Macadamia Nut Muffins

Recipe from veganinthefreezer.com

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 bananas, possibly - 1 cup mashed

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup granulated beet sugar

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1/4 cup almond milk

1 egg replacer

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped for the inside of the batter

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped to sprinkle on the top of the muffins


Directions

Lightly grease 12 muffin tins or use muffin cup liners.

Mix the egg replacer according to your package directions. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

Mash the banana and combine with the sugars, vegan butter, almond milk and prepared egg replacer.

Fold in 1/2 cup of the macadamia nuts.

Divide evenly among the 12 muffin tins.

Sprinkle the remainder of the macadamia nuts over the tops of the muffin batter in the tins.

Bake at 350• for 25 minutes.

When done baking let set 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.





Homemade Streak-Free Window Cleaner

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Washing windows is a tiresome chore. Here is a great method to clean your windows, and they will be sparkling and streak-free after this treatment.

You will need:

1/2 bottle of “Jet Dry”
4 Tablespoons Alcohol
1/4 Cup Ammonia
1 handful of powdered dish-washer soap
2 Gallons of Hot Water


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This idea comes from Jill at One Good Thing. Go to her blog to find out more about this project.



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A shiny, streak-free window


DIY Brilliant & Easy Projector

Make your own Projector.

Step 1 Choose an image you want.

This image was taken straight from a catalog.

Step 2 Trace the image.

Trace your image onto an overhead transparency.

Step 3 Projection

Make a makeshift projector using a box, a lamp and some tape. Project the transparency onto the wall. Using a light bulb without the "frosting" on the inside made for a clearer picture. Now that was easy!

Thank you Instructables.com


Decorating your house with recycling in mind

When the time comes to give the home a makeover, it is natural to focus on what color paint to use, which items of furniture will look good and what kind of floor covering to purchase. Nowadays, there are numerous choices available and many people try to combine their home décor ideas with some prudent and chic recycling options.

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First things first

When a room needs painting, especially to make an attractive backdrop for reclaimed and up-cycled artifacts and furniture, consider using environmentally friendly products. Modern interior paints are exceptionally durable, which means they are great value for money and the absence of harmful chemicals makes them kind to both occupants and the environment.


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Flooring

Floor covering manufacturers have embraced the message that sustainability and ‘green’ living is important when decorating a home. Carpets can now be made from ‘green’ materials and are recyclable. Cork harvesting does little harm to the trees and the material is becoming as popular as wood or stone flooring manufactured from sustainable sources.


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Interiors

There are hundreds of up-cycling and repurposing ideas that provide decorative, useful and unique features for any home. Old furniture, such as a chest of drawers or a wardrobe, can be given a new lease of life when repainted. Rectangular coffee tables can be constructed from half a barrel resting on wooden plinths.  Attach a top, made from an old kitchen cabinet door and either paint or varnish.

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  • Make comfortable cushions out of old sweaters or shirts. Stuff them tightly with cotton to provide stylish additions to any room.

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  • Redundant light bulbs make wonderfully attractive candleholders, planters, floral arrangements and even containers for miniature ships in bottles.

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With such a wide range of choices, the only limitation is the extent of the individual’s imagination. So why not search out great decorating ideas on our website and get recycling?

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Tags: Pantone Chips, Interior Ideas, Before & After, Pallet Ideas, Pillow Ideas, Flooring, Table Ideas & Designs, Bottles

Salt Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts

Recipe from alexandracooks.com

What an interesting recipe, must try this one!

Here is the article in Alexandra's own words

I’m not sure why I’m so excited about this salad. There is nothing novel about the combination. Beets, goat cheese, walnuts. They’ve been married to death. Like tomatoes and basil and mozzarella. Like prosciutto and figs and blue cheese. Like smoked salmon and cucumber and crème fraîche.

But, have you ever salt roasted beets? Don’t freak out. The beets don’t taste overly salty. In fact, they don’t taste salty at all. They taste delicious. And sweet. And perfectly firm.

I was inspired to blog about this method after reading an article in the March issue of Saveur — all about where to eat in Los Angeles — which offered a recipe for Wolfgang Puck’s beet and goat cheese napoleons, an appetizer served at Spago. A short article in the back of the issue addresses how to cook beets so that their color doesn’t run. To preserve color and nutrients, Saveur recommends placing beets (5 to 6) in a 9×13-inch baking dish, pouring in an inch of water, covering the dish tightly with foil, and roasting until a knife easily slides into the beets, about 1 1/2 hours. I used to cook beets just as prescribed.

That was until I learned the method of the chef (former chef) from the cafe where I used to work. He salt roasted his beets with rosemary and thyme, and his beet salad, served with a goat cheese-topped crostini, Blue Heron Farm greens and a lemon emulsion, was one of his signature dishes. When I tried his cooking method at home, I discovered something remarkable: not an ounce of liquid (well maybe a teensy tiny bit) leeches from the beets. If preserving color and nutrients is the goal, then salt roasting is the way to cook beets.

Beets’ affinity for orange makes the dressing for this salad, adapted from Saveur’s, particularly nice: reduced orange juice, orange zest, shallots, rice vinegar, chives and olive oil. I like to spoon this dressing over the salad rather than toss it with the ingredients — beets turn a tossed salad into one big red mess.

Think you don’t like beets? Try salt roasting them. As a final endorsement I’d like to share that my husband never liked beets until he tasted them cooked this way. The first time I salt roasted beets and served them to him, he asked me what was different and why he liked them. Had I not been so impressed by his discerning palette, I might have been offended — I never knew he didn’t like beets. And it turns out he didn’t. I just didn’t know how to cook them.

Salt Roasted Beet Salad

Serves: However Many You’d Like

Roasted Beets:
beets, washed, greens removed
kosher salt
a few sprigs thyme and rosemary, optional*

Dressing:
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (store bought works fine, too)
1 T. rice vinegar or balsamic (I used rice vinegar)
zest of an orange
1 small shallot, minced
chives, minced
kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

goat cheese
walnuts, toasted**
greens, optional***

* Not sure if these herbs impart any flavor, but if you have them on hand, use them
** I toast nuts in a dry skillet until fragrant and slightly darker in color
*** This salad is delicious with or without the addition of greens

Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Pour kosher salt into a shallow roasting vessel to make a thin layer. (See photo to help estimate how much.) Place beets on salt bed. If using herbs, nestle a few sprigs among the beets. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in oven for about one hour, depending on how many and how big your beets are. Note: To test for doneness, remove foil and slip a pairing knife into one of the beets. If the knife meets little resistance, they are done. When beets are done, remove foil covering and let them cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skins and discard. Cut beets into nice chunks.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce to 1/3 cup. Let cool. Add vinegar, zest, shallots, chives and a pinch of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

To assemble salad, arrange greens on a platter. Top with goat cheese, walnuts and cut beets. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Spoon dressing over salad. As you plate the salad, the ingredients will all toss nicely together. Note: This method of serving is merely for looks — beets are so messy that if you toss everything together, it becomes one big red mess. If you don’t care about looks, go ahead, toss everything together. If you try spooning the dressing over the salad, however, and tossing lightly as you serve it, I think you’ll find it both tastes and looks wonderful.

Apricot & Coconut Balls

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Delicious apricot and coconut balls recipe from apairandaspar.com

You need:

  • 4 handfuls of dried apricots (approx 500g)
  • two handfuls of almonds or any other nuts you like – cashews or macadamias would be delish (approx 250g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of dessicated coconut
  • a few spoons of water

How to:

  1. In a food processor or by hand, chop up the nuts and apricots into tiny pieces.
  2. Add the water, salt, 1/3 of the coconut  and mix together so you have a slightly moist rough dough. You can do all this in the food processor if you are using one.
  3. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and press into balls.
  4. Roll in coconut.
  5. Leave to set in the freezer. I like to store mine in the freezer all the time so they are cool and solid to snack on.