Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12 is Peanut Butter Cookie Day

Peanut Butter Cookie Day

Today is peanut butter cookie day! What a delicious day ;-) For the occasion, I bake some cookies yesterday using my favorite recipe, titled The Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies. It is my way to go recipe and it becomes everyone's favorite at the first bite. Check Diana's website for more great recipes by checking her website: Diana's Desserts.

About the Recipe, Texture and Taste
It is an easy recipe and the instructions are straight forward. The only note that I will make is that I have to bake the cookies around 11 minutes. It might be an altitude thing (at 5280 feet). Talking about texture and taste, the cookie has a nice crunch at the first and every bite. you will taste the peanut butter flavor and aroma with a feeling of warmth and with a hint of saltiness at the end of your bite.

Happy Peanut Butter Day for all the Peanut Butter Lovers,


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easy and Delicious Pound Cake Recipe

For Memorial Day, we had some friends coming over and decided to make a pound cake at the last minute. My only experience with pound cake was the frozen kind from Sara Lee which happens to be ones of my husband's favorite. We had all the ingredients in the house for the recipe. So a pound cake from scratch was going to be for dessert with a side of whipped cream and fresh fruit (strawberries and blueberries). It was my first time baking a pound cake and it turned out wonderfully. After checking several recipes online, I concocted this easy and delicious recipe. It is the only picture that I have of the cake. I did not think about taking pictures after plating. I will have to make it again....

Easy and Delicious Pound Cake

Feedback from our guests and husband :-)

The pound cake is soft and light at the first bite and you will get a nice taste of sweetness after you chew your bit 2 or 3 times. For the texture, the cake hold nicely together removing it from the pan and slicing it. A bit sticky on the top from the sugar which provides this extra sweet taste for every bite.

Recipe for 1 loaf


- 1/2 C unsalted butter or 110g  at room temperature
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 C buttermilk (3 T powder and 3/4 water)
- 1 and 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 1/2 t kosher salt


1. Pre-heat oven at 350. Spray a rectangular bread pan with canola oil and cover it with flour. Make sure to remove the excess of flour (I do it over an empty kitchen sink. It will be way easier to clean up.
2. In a big bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until it feels light and fluffy. Then, incorporate the eggs to the batter, 1 egg at a time, and keep mixing for several minutes.
3. In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk powder and set a side.
4. In a measuring cup, measure 3/4 cup of water, add the vanilla, stir and set aside.
5. Alternatively add the flour mixture and water/vanilla to the creamed butter/eggs/sugar. Make sure to start and finish with the flour. Use the electric mixer the entire time of this process.
6. Pour the batter in the pan and set the timer for 45 minutes. The cake would need a total of 1 hour. But you might want to check if the top is not getting too brown and start burning.
7. When done, let the cake cool down 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and let it cool down completely on a rack.
8. Store in the fridge and well wrapped using clear wrapping paper.

Happy Baking!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Upholstery and Paint - Vintage Chair


Before and After Picture

I found this vintage chair (October 1969- Missouri, from the stamp on the bottom of the chair) in my alley way 2 years ago. My neighbor was clearing up his house to put it on the market. It seems to be an office desk chair to me. When I saw the chair, I immediately thought that it would be perfect to put Lucas’s booster seat to share his meals with us at the table instead of using our regular dining chair (all covered up). The chair appeared to be somewhat smaller, narrower and the seat sits higher than our current dining chairs. I saw this chair as a Perfect Chair for the messy-mess meals!

  • Project: Repaint the chair’s frame, upholster the cover seat and back.

  • Chair Description 

The frame of the chair is in metal. It was painted in beige and had some chipped areas. The seat itself was covered with a black vinyl cover and with some areas which were really damaged. The original seat underneath (I am guessing) was yellow and made out of coils. The back of the chair (top) was in covered in black vinyl as well.

Back View of the Chair
Front View of the Chair

  • Supplies:
- Fabric: ¼ of a yard of Oil cloth Glen Plaid Yellow (100% Vinyl) from
- Paint: 1 spray paint can – black Valspar gloss finish (paint and prime in one)

  • Painting
1. Sand the chipped paint areas on the chair.

2. Spray paint the chair and crews. As you can see on the picture, I screwed the tip on the screws in a cardboard box to easily apply the spray paint. I only apply 2 quotes in some specific areas.

3. Let it dry for several hours (outside if you can).

  • Chair Top Cover

After cutting enough fabric to cover the front of the top seat, I thought that I would use some tacky glue to apply on the original vinyl cover to cover it. It did not work. It was not sticking after waiting few hours.

The oil cloth is cut to cover the front of the top of the chair

Trying to have the Tacky Glue to stick!

Plan B: I used my hot glue gun. I only put some glue on the edges of the fabric flowing the original template of the top chair cover. I also made some "V" looking cut in the fabric for the corners to fit to the top seat.

The Hardest Part: The Corners

Hot glue on the edges of the fabric for the back of the top of the chair

View of the Back Top of the Chair

  • The Seat
I cut the original seat cover to have a perfect template for the new fabric. The seat had 2 pieces sewed together. Because of the nature of the fabric (oil cloth - vinyl), I could not use pins to hold the 2 pieces of fabric together. I used some painter’s tape to connect the 2 pieces of fabric on the top to help with the sewing part.

Using the old parts to make a perfect template

My 2 pieces to make the seat (folded into 2)

Painter's tape to help the fabric stay together while sewing

This part was tedious but was necessary to sew the 2 parts of the seat. The sewing part took a long time because of the angles and corners. Make sure to use the appropriate needle for your fabric. I had to use a special needle for strong fabric. My only recommendation for this part is to take your time because the end result will show.
Back of the Seat

Back Side of the Seat

Front Side of the Seat

Front of the Seat

My original plan was to make a cover that I would slide on the top and would till and secure the seat by pulling a string just like the current black vinyl cover. I had to go with a plan B (again). The seat cover perfectly fitted the seat and there was no need to make a hem to pull a sting through to secure the seat cover. Instead of making a seat cover, I ended up upholstering the seat. Because I was working with a metallic chair, I used my hot glue gun to glue the extra fabric from the seat cover to the bottom of the metallic chair.

Magic of the hot glue gun to seal the fabric to the metallic bottom of the seat

I had fun giving a TLC to this chair which was a first for my working with a metallic chair. The experience was positive and learned a lot making this new seat. I will definitively do another one. Check for a coming up post about an antique Canadian school desk!

Laetitia :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Healthy Whole Wheat Waffle Recipe - For Mother's Day

Healthy Whole Wheat Waffles for Mother's Day!

Just few words to describe those Wonderful Waffles: Nice, warm, fluffy waffles with a crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside on your first bit. Delicious! Perfect for this morning special breakfast for Mother's Day!


Time: 45 to 1 hour
Servings: 14 waffles

- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk (2% or fat free)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of mom's favorite extract (vanilla, almond, maple, etc)

1. In a measuring cup, pour the milk and add the white vinegar. Leave it stand for 10 minutes. Note:  You are making soured milk. I know, it seems strange and even disgusting. I had the same reaction when I read it for the first time in a cooking book. Don't let it stopped you! You will not taste the vinegar (I promise) and will promote fluffiness by enhancing the baking powder activation. This first step is Very Important. You will not be disappointed ;-)
2. In a large bowl, all the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until well blended.
3. In smaller bowl, combine apple sauce, eggs, honey and extract of your choice and beat well.
4. Pour the egg/apple sauce mixture to the flour bowl, stir and gradually incorporate the soured milk. Note: Make sure that you do not over mix your batter.
5. Let you batter rest for 10 more minutes. Note: After 10 minutes, you will see some bubbles forming on the top of the batter. Do Not stir it Again! It would deflate the bubbles and impact the fluffiness of your waffles.
6. Spray your waffle maker and pre-heat it.
7. Once your 10 minutes are over, directly pour a scoop of the batter into your hot waffle maker. Note: Remember, NO Stirring!
8. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day!

Laetitia :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Play Dough Beads - Tutorial

Time To Play!

Several months ago, I got some inexpensive PlayDough like at the Dollar Tree for a dollar. I thought it was a deal. It turned out that the dough was getting hard after been open for few weeks. It got to the point that it was not fun to play with it. It was hard to shape for our pretend play... I was annoyed with the fact I had to to throw it away when I though about using the PlayDough to make some beads. I had planned to buy some round wooden beads for sometimes. I could not find what I was looking for or it was too pricy for the longevity of the interest in beads. This package of Play Dough came at the right time. Let's make some BEADS!

Beads. Beads. Everywhere.

Play Dough Beads Project

Time: few days
Cost: $1
Difficulty: Super easy and you can do it with you little one
Total beads: around 100

  • List of What You Need
- Different colors of Play dough (red, yellow, green and blue)
- Small cookie cutters
- A rolling pan
- Plastic knife
- A straw (the one from the small drinks like milk or juice work well because they are stronger than the long ones)

  • Round Beads
Take the play dough of your choice and make some balls (around ½ inch in diameter).

Make a hole by pressing the straw through the balls and place it in a box to dry.

  • Flat Beads
Take some play dough and roll it with a rolling pan (around ¼ inch thick).

Cut different shapes using your small cookie cutters.

Make a hole by pressing through the flat surface and place it in a box to dry.


Option: Instead of using small cookie cutters, you could use bigger ones to make few

  • Cylinder Beads
Roll some dough of your choice and shape it as a snake (around ½ inch in diameter).

Take a knife and carefully and slowly slice ½ inch high cylinder

Make a hole by pressing through the cylinder and place it in a box to dry.

Option: You can use a pair of scissor to cut the cylinder instead of the knife

Let the beads dry in a container such as a cardboard box for several days and turn them at least once a day to allow to dry allover. In a few days (depending on the quality of your Play Dough) your beads are ready! If you would like a shiny finish, you could paint the beads with some varnish (plain and/or with sparkles).

To store your beads, you can use the containers that they came from. To facilitate "Clean up time" put a colored sticker on the front of each box. Your beads are all nice and sorted for the next time you want to play with them.

On a side note. If you want to make some nice Play Dough to play with and stay nice and soft for a long time try: Jello Play Dough. You can find several recipes online. The texture is better than the PlayDough brand and it is super easy to make. It is the one with make and use at home.

Happy Crafting!
Laetitia :-)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Cracker Jack Brownie Recipe from Rachel Ray - Feedback

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."
by Jack Norworth (1908)


A piece of Baseball Game Brownie

Yesterday was the 2014 Baseball Season Opening Day! For the occasion, I am coming to share a brownie recipe with Cracker Jack. Last year I was watching Rachael Ray around the baseball opening season and her guest (Katie Lees) came to the show to share a brownie recipe especially  for baseball games. The ingredients of the recipe seemed so interesting and out of the ordinary that I had to try it. What would you say to chocolate, pretzels, peanuts and Cracker Jack! The opening day was few days away and we were invited to the opening home game day party of the Rockies which was a perfect to make this brownie. I have made this recipe several times and came with some recommendations (mentioned at the end of this page).

 The Recipe

Serving: 16

- 1 box brownie mix (such as Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup caramel popcorn (such as Cracker Jack)    
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pretzel sticks
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped lightly salted peanuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease a small square baking dish (9 by 9) with cooking spray. 
2. In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, egg, oil and water, and stir until well-blended. Gently stir in caramel popcorn, pretzels and peanuts. 
Pretzels, Peanuts and Cracker Jack

3. Spread evenly into greased pan.
Ready to go in the oven

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack completely before cutting into squares.

Out of the Oven

  • What do I think about this recipe?

1. Do not follow the instructions on the back on the package and stick with the one from the recipe. Otherwise your batter with be extremely stiff.

2. Use the double chocolate brownie mix from Ghirardelli. The mix comes out nice and moist and the extra chocolate is a great addition to the recipe. I tried another brand and it did not work as well. It was more on the dry side.  

3. Cut the pretzel sticks ¼ in. long by hands. It might seemed time consuming but you only have a ½ cup to go throw. It will take you only few minutes. It is worth it. It will fit better into the batter and provide a more interesting texture. The pretzels do not get most a little during the baking process. They still stay hard. Having very small pieces will help cutting the brownie into pieces and eating it. It is not pleasant to have a bite of brownie with long pretzel sticks to chew on considering that you also have peanuts and caramel popcorn.  I tried with the food processor and it gave me more trouble than helping me. The sticks were still too long and after 2 or 3 more pulse it was into crumbs.

4. Incorporate the pretzels, peanuts and cracker Jack as indicated in the recipe at the end. Mixing all the ingredients might appeared a bit stiff and fell very dense. It will make you wonder about the texture of the brownie once done but it will come out just fine. It will not be a brick.

5. The brownie is soft and moist with a real taste of chocolate at the first bite with a bit of crunch. You will get some texture with the some pieces of pretzels and peanuts. However, the caramel flavor of the Cracker Jack is gone and the popcorn fells very soft. It is disappointing to your palette. Because you know how the Cracker Jack taste on its own, you want it to fell the same way in the recipe but it does not work. 

6. Suggestions: To get that Cracker Jack taste and texture, which is a symbol of a baseball game, I would make some chocolate and/or caramel icing and sprinkle some quartered Cracker Jack. I have not try it yet but if you do before me let me know what you know what you think and if you have additional suggestion. Another option would be Cracker Jack cookies. I have not heard, see or taste any but I am sure that there is a recipe out there

Enjoy The Baseball Season!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

*** ROCKET SHIP APPLIQUE - Tutorial ***

Rocket Ship appliqué
For our little guy's third birthday (which was back in December), I made another appliqué. This time is a ROCKET SHIP! After searching on line for an appliqué idea with a tutorial or a template for clothing, I finally came across a rocket ship pattern to make a birthday card from Paper Crafts Mag for my appliqué. I was finally happy with the pattern and would work perfectly for my appliqué.

Rocket Ship to the Moon

The ROCKET SHIP Appliqué Project

Difficulty: Easy

Stars on special applique paper
Time: 2 afternoons to complete if you already have the pieces of fabric and the long sleeve shirt.


I directly printed the template provided on the page from a PDF file for the rocket ship (click on the link to get to the pattern). As for the moon, I used a circular Playdough container and made my our stars. Option: you can draw or print a number "3" to place it in the center of the rocket ship. It was my original idea. However, I ended up not placing the number "3" on the appliqué because I did not like the way it looks. Then, I traced on the "Steam-A-Seam" all the different parts of the template with the original template underneath. Tracing on a window will help see the lines better. Make sure to layer your different pieces of paper (template and special appliqué paper) on the correct sides to have it ready to be ironed on.

Long sleeve shirt, Fabric and Threat:

The long plain grey sleeve shirt was bought at Target. I found it few months earlier for $2.50. Target always have sale at the end of each season or when they have too many of the same item. As for the fabric color palette, I went with the pieces of fabric that I already had at home and used mainly primary plain colors: blue, red, light green, yellow, orange and white. The threat colors choice matched the color of the pieces of fabric selected (white, orange, yellow, red and blue).

Stitch Selection:

Straight, Zig Zag and "long line". To saw the main pieces of the rocket ship, I used the straight stitch selection. To add more texture and definition to the rocket ship, I selected the Zig Zag option for the stripes on the rocket ship. It was the best option to hold the thin stripe. The edge of the moon was done with the Zig Zag as well. To sew some sections and pieces of fabric, I did not used the pedal. I manually turned the flywheel. It was easier to move around the fabric and adjusting the foot of the machine at every turn and at a speed that I could control. To sew so closed to the edge and having the same interval, I traced a line with a washable pencil which made it easy to follow while using the sewing machine. For the stars, I made a border by sewing a straight lines for each side.
Playing with the pieces until I like it


1. Place the different appliqué pieces on the long sleeves shirt until you like the way it looks. To remember where things were exactly placed, you can make some marks with a washable pencil, use pins or take a picture with your phone. It is what I do most of the time.

2. Rocket Ship
Iron the red body, the nose cone (green) and the stripes. Note that I cut the stripes the exact length after I decided were they look best on the body of the rocket ship.

Playing with thread colors and stitching selection to make the design more interesting.

Sewing with a white thread closed to the edge after tracing with a white washable pencil to help keeping the line straight and with the same distance from the border. 
Do not sew the bottom of the body because you will lay the blue part on top of it and finally sew it.

3. The Exhaust 
a. Leave an interval for the blue part between the body and the fire.
b. Lay the yellow piece and then the orange.
c. Trace with washable pencil on the fabric to help you while you sew to keep a straight line and stay in the same distance from the border.
d. Use different thread colors (white and orange) to sew the pieces in different areas.

4. Fines and Propulsion Reactor (just 1 blue piece) 
Place the blue piece where you left a gap and sew with white thread using the same technique as mentioned above.

5. Moon and Stars
a. 1 yellow star with an orange thread for the edge.
b. 2 white stars with 1 red and 1 blue thread.
c. White moon with blue Zig Zag stitch


Check my last applique by clicking right here A giraffe applique for additional notes on appliqué.