Friday, 27 May 2016

How to Make a Chalkboard Board

Lately, I have been obsessed with chalk paint, chalkboard paint and anything chalk.

A few years ago I made a pêle-mêle board to hang above my daughter's desk.  

Now that she is older she is not so keen on pink anymore (gasp!) she has been asking to replace pêle-mêle with a different board. I have decided to give my chalk obsession an outlet.

All I needed was an old dresser mirror (a street find) a chalkboard paint (a gift) and some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in White.

Why a mirror you may ask. Once you remove the actual mirror the backing is a smooth stiff board that does not need any prep work, other than just wiping it with a damp cloth. Perfect.
I painted the backing with chalkboard paint using a sponge applicator. I applied 2 coats.

The frame needed to be scrubbed well, as it was a bit porous, and I painted it with chalk paint. I applied two coats. I like the chalk paint mainly because you do not need to prep the surfaces that you are going to paint, it covers well and dries in no time.

After the paint on the frame dried I applied a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. Polished it with a soft cotton cloth and Voila!

My very own chalkboard board!

There are many fun projects that you can do using blackboard paint.

Have you tried painting with chalkboard paint? Please share your project.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Very Exciting News

I have to share this with you as this news has made my day today!
National Post (a daily newspaper here in Canada) has a culinary section called Gastropost. Every week editors decide on a Mission and members of the Gastropost community can submit their photos to be featured in the printed edition. I had my dishes posted twice in the past.  
And today I have received a notice that my shot of Guacamole is very prominently featured in today’s Mexican Fiesta edition. I better run to get a copy before the paper sells out!


For those who are curious to see what were the other dishes that made the paper in the past, here they are:

Pumpkin Spice Shake – Mission SQUASH THE COMPETITION

Acorn Squash with Rice Stuffing – Mission RICE

and  Guacamole for the Mexican Fiesta 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

6 Ways to Use Up Ripe Bananas

Are you ever faced with a bunch of bananas that is getting darker by the minute? 
Me either (wink, wink).
I do not like waste and especially hate to throw away food. If I see that we are getting bored with some type of food (meaning there is spoilage) I stop buying it for a while or get half of what I normally would.

My black bananas dilemma was actually solved by freezing them. It only takes a minute to slice and pack them for freezing.
Place your slices in a single layer to prevent from getting stuck together. Once frozen you can move them to a container.

Frozen bananas are wonderful in shakes as they add super creamy texture. Try them in Pumpkin Spice Shake , Chocolate and Mango or Pineapple-Ginger   smoothies.

Make instant ice cream. I especially like to make 

Raspberry and Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream
1 cup sliced frozen bananas (1 large banana)
½ cup raspberries
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. Greek yogurt or milk. You can use water if want to avoid dairy.
1 tsp. spicy chocolate shavings to sprinkle I use Mayan Hot Chocolate Mix from SOMA)
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Mix until smooth. Transfer mixture to container and freeze for 3 hours or enjoy right away. Do not forget to sprinkle with spicy chocolate shavings.

Freezing bananas allow for a later use but fresh ones are great in banana bread or breakfast muffins. So if you see that blackening mound and have 10 min try making the bread. Muffins take a little longer but are easier to eat on the go.

Banana Blueberry and Walnut Muffins
Makes: 12 muffins     Prep Time: 15 min    Total time: 35 min
Preheat oven to 375 F (190C)
1 ½ cup fresh bananas (2 small bananas)
1 egg
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Place all of above ingredients in a bowl and mush with a fork.
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cup unbleached flour
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
½ cup walnuts chopped
½ cup wild blueberries – fresh or frozen. Frozen ones require longer baking time.

Mix together wet and dry ingredients, just to combine. Fold in blueberries and walnuts.

Line muffin pan with baking liners. Fill to about ¾ and bake for 20 min. or until inserted toothpick comes out dry.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.

If you would like to make other things using bananas try making Banana Pancakes, Banana Fritters or Oatmeal Cookies.

I would like to know how you use quickly ripening bananas.