Monthly Archives: March 2012

And The Winner Is…

Kathryn you are the winner of the Zeke’s Candy Company butterscotch! You are in for a treat for sure!

Just email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com to claim your prize and give me your mailing address to receive your sweet treat.

Thank you to everyone else who entered!

Refined Sugar.

I’m busy preparing for a takeover sleepover this weekend so I’ll have to keep this brief.

As if three preteen girls need any help in the hyperactive department, I decided I would be a swell idea to feed them at least three different kinds of sugar with this Maple Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread.

Granulated sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup. They’ll never sleep. Ever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a vacuum cleaner with my name on it.

Maple Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Source: Adapted from my family recipe

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 bananas
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter a 9 inch loaf pan and line it with a thick strip of parchment paper with enough overhang to lift the finished loaf.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, egg and melted butter and lightly blend it in. Add the dry ingredients and mix it until it’s just combined.

In a small bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Alternate layering the banana bread batter with the cinnamon mixture in the prepared loaf pan, beginning and ending with the batter. Briefly and quickly run a knife a couple times through the batter.

In a small bowl, mix up the 1 tsp brown sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle it on top. Bake it for 35 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the pan cool for a few minutes then lift it out using the parchment paper to cool completely on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

How To Tuesday: Master of Disguise.

  I have been dying to share this simple and resourceful DIY idea with you for what has felt like ages. It’s so easy but yields beautiful results! I’m sure just about everyone has unsightly yet necessary blemishes on their walls at home. Maybe an electrical panel, an intercom, a doorbell or a thermostat. I’d like to propose a ridiculously simple solution that you may or may not have thought of.

Cover ugly wall fixtures with pretty art! Because sometimes you need to access to these wall fixtures I’m going to show you two ways to install the artwork: fixed and hinged. I have been suffering the ugliness of the doorbell speaker above my pantry and the outdated thermostat in my dining room for far too long.

Artwork is the best way to brighten any dull room and covering unsightly wall fixtures is just an added bonus. If you’re lucky enough you might have a clever friend to paint you a lovely work of art like this one of the sunflowers and bumblebees. You could also paint one yourself like I did with the tree silhouettes. Or there’s always the option to buy a painting either from an Ikea or a gallery or anywhere in between.

For fixed…

Artwork on gallery stretched canvas
Bubble level

To cover something like a doorbell speaker, unclip the plastic cover to reveal the speaker’s insides and set it aside. Fit the painting over top, center and level it. A standard gallery canvas should be thick enough to cover most doorbell speakers. Mark the location of the nails with your pencil and hammer them in place.

Voila! Perfectly disguised doorbell speaker! The painting acts as a great cover to protect the mechanics from dust.

For hinged…

Artwork on gallery stretched canvas
Flat head screws
Bubble level
Drywall anchors

To cover something like an old thermostat you’ll need to hang the painting in a way that allows for easy access. The best way to do this is with hinges. You could choose to fasten the hinges on the side so the painting would open much like a disguised safe in the movies. I found that it was far easier to level it with the hinges fastened at the top. This also means that over time the screws will be less likely to become loose and cause the painting to slant.

Flip your canvas on it’s face and fasten the hinges in the far top right and left corners. Make sure that once the painting is turned around you’re not going to be able to easily see the hinges poking out the top or sides of the painting. Make them as hidden as possible while still allowing room to fit at least two screws. Mark the holes for the screws with your pencil and drill pilot holes with your drill. Securely fasten the hinges in place with your flat head screws.

Choose the location of your painting and level it. Carefully pull the bottom of the painting away from the wall while still keeping the hinges in place and the painting leveled. An extra pair of hands is a good idea for this part. Mark the holes for the screws and drill pilot holes for the drywall anchors. Hammer in the anchors so they’re flush with the wall and line the hinges up with the holes again. Erase any pencil marks you may have made. Screw the hinges into the anchors and make sure they’re as tight as possible.

And there you have it! A cleverly disguised thermostat with easy access for those chilly nights.