Friday, April 15, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

My daughter and I LOVE blueberries!!! 

It’s not blueberry season yet, in fact it is months away. However, we have lots of blueberries in the freezer from the summer so we decided to get them out and make some muffins today.

The recipe is from Flavors of Home by Patti Shenfield. My grandmother bought me this cookbook years ago and we have been working our way through it, trying the recipes out as we go.

Searching for the perfect recipe, we have tried MANY different recipes for blueberry muffins over the years. I think that this one may be the winner, hands down.

The recipe was easy to make and you can substitute other berries or chopped fruit for the blueberries. I think that the next time we make them we may add some chocolate chips to make them super, extra yummy!!!
The recipe makes 18 – 24 muffins which are lots to enjoy right away and extras to put in the freezer until later when you are looking for a quick, nutritious snack. These were light, moist and truly delicious!

2/3 cup                 butter or margarine
2/3 cup                 white sugar
2                              eggs
1 ½ tsp                  vanilla
2 1/3 cups            flour (you can use white or whole wheat)
2 Tbsp                   baking powder
½ tsp                     cinnamon
½ tsp                     salt
1 1/3 cups            milk
1 ½ cups               blueberries

1.       Preheat over to 350F (180C)
2.       In a large mixing bowl, cream butter & sugar.
3.       Add eggs & vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

4.       In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt.
5.       Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. After each addition, stir until everything is mixed.
6.       DO NOT OVER MIX
7.       Fold in blueberries.
8.       Pour into 18 to 24 greased muffin cups.

9.       Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (We put BOTH muffin pans in the oven at the same time and baked for 30 to 35 minutes)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Decorative Bulletin Board

We finally got rid of all the old, beat up, college dorm style furniture from our home office. I am so excited to have an actual grown up desk that looks really nice and works the way I need it to. 

Our old desk was quite tall and took up a bunch of the wall space. I had pictures and favourite quotes taped on it in various places where I would see them when I looked up from working.

The new desk is all one level which left me with a big, blank open space right above the computer monitor. It was really not very inspiring and I missed looking at my pictures. I looked at it for a few weeks and decided something had to be done so I enlisted my daughter to help me make a custom bulletin board for the space.
I was honestly not sure how it would turn out because we had never tried anything like that before. 

We made 2 different bulletin boards. One hangs in my office above my desk and the other one hangs in my bedroom beside my bed. Both are filled with pictures, quotes, aspirations, inspirations, artwork from my daughter and other things I love to look at.

The project turned out really well and was easy and inexpensive too. It was easy enough for my 3 year old daughter to do and fast enough to keep her attention from start to finish (not including the drying time).

1 framed, unpainted cork bulletin board in your desired size
Black acrylic paint
Little dish or plate for paint
Foam brushes
Glitter Glue
Spray adhesive
Piece of fabric the same size as the cork part on one of the bulletin boards

1.       Prep the bulletin board by taping around the frame to keep the paint off the cork. 

2.       Paint the frame of the bulletin board black on the front & sides. My daughter had a great time helping with this. Allow to dry.

3.       For the glitter glue board pick your favourite colors and make a pattern with the glue on the black frame. Allow to dry.

4.       Spray frame with clear acrylic sealer. Allow to dry.

5.       Remove tape and hang up your new bulletin board.

6.       For the fabric bulletin board, after the acrylic paint has dried, spray the frame with clear acrylic sealer and allow to dry. Remove the tape.

7.       Cut your piece of fabric to the same size as the cork part of the bulletin board. Try to get it as close to the same size as possible.

8.       Following the instructions on the can, spray the cork board with spray adhesive and leave the time recommended for it to get tacky. Try not to get it on the frame – it will make it sticky until it dries.

9.       Starting on one side and going slowly, smooth the fabric, right side up, onto the cork board. It is like putting on wallpaper, go slow and try not to get any bubbles between the fabric & the cork. I used a ruler to do this so I could make sure I got it all stuck down with no bubbles. It did take me a few tries so if it doesn’t work quite right the first time, be patient and try again.

10.   Once it is all pressed down the way you like it, allow it to dry according to the instructions on the can. We left ours to dry overnight to make sure that it was good and dry.

11.   Hang it up and fill it with your favourite things.