Friday, April 29, 2011

An English Breakfast Treat

I saw this recipe for Strawberries and Cream Mini Muffins in the latest issue of People magazine. British chef Nigella Lawson suggested that they would be the perfect breakfast for watching the royal wedding. "Strawberries and cream are about as British as you can get!" says Lawson.

I did not get up at 4am, but I did make the muffins and turned on the TV in time to see the happy couple exiting Westminster Abbey.

And no need to wait for a wedding (royal or otherwise), these muffins are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

With strawberry season just around the corner, you'll definitely want to give these a try!

Strawberries and Cream Mini Muffins

1 cup strawberries, slightly under-ripe and diced

1 squeeze of lemon juice

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 24-cup mini-muffin tin with paper baking cups.

2. Put diced strawberies in a bowl and spritz with lemon juice.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking soda.

4. In a small bowl, beat together oil, sour cream, vanilla and egg. Pour mixture over dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Fold in strawberries.

5. Divide batter evenly in baking cups. Bake 12-14 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.

6. Place tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins and dust with powdered sugar when cool.

*** I made 12 regular-sized muffins instead of the mini-muffins and baked them for about 18 minutes. Then I dusted them with the powdered sugar and ate them while they were still warm. They were very moist and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. Delicious!

Were you a royal wedding watcher?

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflecting Pool Nightstand

This sweet little nightstand came from a yard sale last fall. She sat buried in my garage all winter long.

A few weeks ago, I finally broke out the paint. I couldn't wait to use this color - Sherwin Williams Reflecting Pool. Isn't it pretty?

It was still pretty chilly outside, so I brought her inside for her makeover. After a light sanding and priming, she got two coats of this yummy color.

And if you've been here before, you can probably guess where I was going next. Yes, white glaze of course. I use all kinds and colors of glaze, but my favorite technique is to use Valspar's Clear Mixing Glaze with a little white paint. Here is the drawer after a light distressing, but before glaze.

I just mix the glaze and paint together in a plastic cup and brush it on liberally with a foam brush.

Then I wipe it off with a soft cloth. The finish is so soft and pretty.

And finally a coat of clear Minwax Paste Finishing Wax gave her a durable finish. Isn't she sweet? I love her curves and details! I had two oval glass knobs that were just the perfect finishing touch. And with the glaze and wax, she is silky smooth!

I'll definitely be using Reflecting Pool again. And if you haven't tried white glaze yet, I highly recommend it!

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