Monthly Archives: March 2016

Quick and Easy Hot Cross Buns

IMG_4357I was determined to make hot cross buns for Good Friday today and although they came out differently than I had anticipated, they came out delicious and far quicker than I had planned!! I thought I had yeast to make the traditional version, but because just assumed I had some, when it came to the yeast step and went to grab it…sigh…I was out. So with a little improv and internet checking, I came up with a baking powder version for what I had already started and they came out yummy and easy!!! A little different in texture of course, but the flavors are there ūüôā The recipe is below as well as some instagram easter basket and egg decorating idea pics I posted for Easter.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups¬†flour
  • 4.5 tsp baking posder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of one navel orange
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp¬†butter room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar¬†sugar
  • 1/4 cup¬†dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup¬†buttermilk

Directions: Makes 12

Preheat oven to 350 F

  1. Whisk dry ingredients, sugar, orange zest and fruit into a large bowl.
  2. Rub in butter with fingers until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Whisk buttermilk and egg together and add to dry ingredients. Mix just until a soft dough forms.
  4. Turn onto a floured board, knead lightly.
  5. Pat out to approximately 1 inch¬†thickness and, using a 3-4″ round¬†cutter, cut into buns.
  6. Place onto lightly greased oven tray.
  7. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Glaze: Mix 1/4 cup powdered sugar with buttermilk one tablespoon at a time until a paste is formed.
  9. Remove from oven and brush buns with glaze.  
  10. Cool buns on a wire rack. Cut slivers of dried apricots to make crosses and place on top of buns.

 

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Easter basket inspiration. Most of these items are from the Target Dollar Spot…ummm…super cute bunny tote, right?!

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I decorated some eggs and went the super simple, yet chic route: brown eggs and a white Sharpie – how easy can it get??!!

 

Easter Art Print: Freebie!!

IMG_4313Here is a little free a Easter art print! Easter has not been much on my mind like everyone else because we celebrate Greaster (Greek Easter) and it’s not until May 1st this year…way far away!! But I didn’t grow up in a greek family¬†so there is a part of me that still wants to celebrate this week with you all and so I got my Easter pants on and made a freebie printable art print to celebrate the occasion ūüôā And I will for sure be making some hot cross buns for Good Friday!¬†One of my favorite Easter traditions my mom always did.

Click here for the PDF print.¬† …can you tell I’ve been in to watercolor lately?!

Natural Food Facials: Simple, Natural and Costs Pennies

IMG_4218Last Friday, I had a rare morning with just my oldest daughter while she was off school for the day and my youngest was at her school for a few hours. I wanted to do something special with her and since she’s seven now, I thought trying facials together would be a fun way to spend it. And it was!!

I was about to go buy a facial mask from the store, but then remembered that I have always wanted to try using ingredients we have in the kitchen for an all natural approach. After we dropped little sis’ off, we looked online for some inspiration and then we proceeded to rummaged through the kitchen. Low and behold, I had everything we needed and didn’t need to make a trip to the store…another rare moment ūüėČ Amen to that!!

You don’t really need to follow any hard and fast recipe for the amounts, but we used 1/3 cup oatmeal soaked in hot water for a few minutes, two tablespoons greek yogurt, a mashed banana, a few tablespoons of honey, an egg white and of course some cucumbers for our eyes. My daughter thought this part was a crack-up!! After a little bit of mixing and then putting it on our faces, we were good-to-go and relaxed by the fireplace for 15 minutes while our faces soaked up all the goodness we put on our faces.

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I feel like our lives are so rushed and going¬†here and there, that there are so few moments for us to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I’m so happy she chose to do at home facials instead of a bike ride (would have meant me chasing after her!). My younger one is far more needy of my time, so to have the chance to try something new with my oldest, uninterrupted, low-key, fun and silly, was a joy.

Cocoa and Cookies Birthday Party

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I’m over the birthday party hump with both of my girl’s birthdays under wrapped – phew! My five year old was stuck on having hot cocoa, pajamas and a puppy movie for her birthday party so I tried to tie it together with a Cocoa and Cookies theme (…and where your PJ’s!). I kind of phoned this one home this year with everything we’ve had going on these last few months, but she seemed pleased with her party and the little touches I did do, I think turned out pretty cute. Here are a few pictures of her party.

I was indecisive about having a white border or not on the invitation (see above) and in the end I went with no border. I added a coral colored straw because I’m well aware that cocoa and cookies for a birthday theme in March is not exactly seasonal ūüėČ and in the end I went with no border.

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I designed little thank you tags for the homemade hot cocoa and cookies the kiddos took home. Simple and certainly inexpensive. Yahoo!

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This number 5 balloon was from her actual birthday the week before, but it survived a week and a half later…barely!

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My attempt at a icebox cookie cake. It didn’t turn out exactly like my #magnoliabakery inspiration cake, but it was a worthy effort ūüėČ Cake decorating is certainly not my forte!! But it was delicious!

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I’ve fallen in love with these adorable sparkler candles and it adds a fun surprise to the cake!

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Finally making use of our chalkboard wall we have! My husband does a great job at projecting the text from his mini projector and then tracing the text so it turns out level and in the font I want.

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The kids got to decorate their own mugs with a monogrammed letter and take them home with them along with their hot cocoa and cookies goodie bag.

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The two older girls hard at work on their mugs. I wish I got more pictures of the table before it got all messy, but the sun was shining in so brightly that it was hard to see beyond all of the shadows. Oh, and lastly, the kids dropped marshmallows from a chair in a mason jar. They all said how simple it would be, but it was harder than it looked and they all had to eat their words!