Banana and Honey Doggie Nibbles.

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I was looking online for new flavor ideas for doggie treats.  No matter how much our dogs like the Pumpkin and Peanut Butter flavored ones, I want to give them different options, too!

I came across this recipe from All Recipes.com.  We had some bananas leftover and they were really overripe. So this was perfect timing.  I was busy the past couple of days so I froze the bananas for the meantime.

Today, I was feeling all hyped up and eager to try out the recipe.  So I took the bananas out from the freezer and started preparing.

First, smash the bananas!  The original recipe called for 2 bananas.  My initial thought was, “What size? Or kind? Or to make it simple, what’s the total weight of the two bananas did the author use?!” No fuss though.  In this recipe, I used 195 grams of bananas.  You can use more or less and just adjust later on.

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Then I added 2 tablespoons of honey.  I was initially against adding honey to my recipes for dog treats, but upon research, I read that it is safe for dogs in moderate consumption plus it’s a natural preservative.

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I only added 4 tablespoons of water.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of water and based on the reviews/feedback, a lot of people who had tried the recipe complained about the dough being very wet and sticky.  So I was careful in adding water.  The bananas were already “liquidy”.  I think even if I put two to three tablespoons of water everything would go fine.  After the water, I mixed in one egg.  Before I forget, I didn’t include the vanilla flavoring in this recipe.

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I added the flour a cup at a time.  I thought that the 4 1/2 cups that the original recipe indicated was too much.  And by adding less water, I only used three cups in total.  This is so the dough won’t feel as sticky.

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Then I had to knead the dough for about 5 – 10 minutes to make a firm dough.  You may need to add more flour at this point. I think I added about 1/4 cup more flour while kneading to keep the dough from sticking to my hands and on my working table.  Totally manageable. After kneading, wrap in plastic film and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

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I like to work in small batches. Mainly to not put a strain on my wrists and arms.  I divided the dough in six.  With a slightly floured surface, I started to roll the dough to flatten it.  Just like the other dog biscuit I made, this dough tends to shrink as you roll them.  Just be patient!  When you’re satisfied with the thickness, cut them using your desired cookie cutter shape and position them in a cookie sheet.  Mine was a little thicker, about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Again, the thicker it is, the longer the baking time.

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I only pre-heated the oven by my third tray of biscuits.  Baked them at 300F for 20-25 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through.  I didn’t want my nibbles to turn very brown so I lowered the oven temperature.  I was surprised that they puffed up the way they did.  I might have to adjust the baking powder for next time.  The kitchen smelled of bananas for quite a while!

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Once the nibbles are baked, turn off the oven and let them sit inside your oven until it cools down.  This is to make sure that the nibbles are dehydrated and prevent it from accumulating mold and get spoiled.  Let them cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

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* Will post the complete recipe card soon.

* Will update you how my dogs liked it! =P

DIY: Stamped Gift Tags.

It’s time for some DIY! Oh yeah! =P

Okay.  Enough of that.  Christmas is fast approaching.  I should know, I was born that day and there’s only about 107 days before I turn 30!  The BIG THREE-OH. Lol

I am very unconventional when it comes to gift giving.  A little personal touch is a trademark.  Whether it be the wrapping material I use or the actual gift itself.  It doesn’t matter if they notice it or not.  I get the satisfaction knowing that I used or made something from the heart.  And it saves me a lot of money, too! :)

One of my favorite things to innovate on are gift tags.  Not only for Christmas, but for any occasion!

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A couple of months back, Don and I were at SM Aura and we passed by the Living Well store.  Good thing was, they were on sale.  Living Well doesn’t only sell items for the home (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).  They also have a crafts section.  As I went around I saw these cute little stamps that were 50% off!  Who would pass up on that?! Haha I had to get the approval of the mister before I could buy anything.  I wanted to get all of them!  But I only got 3 sets that I thought I’ll have good use for.  He even chose one for himself! =P

Anyway, today, I thought I’d use one of the sets I bought to make gift tags! For this project, I used leftover “special” paper I used for a school function.  Folded them and cut them to the size I wanted ans started stamping!  FYI paper size is 70 cm x 55 cm.

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There were four stamps in that set: an owl, an squirrel, an acorn and the one I assume was a leaf.  The eighth note was part of the Music set Don bought for himself.  I didn’t want to use the acorn.  I used a black stamp pad for a more neutral look.  This way I can use colored pens to write my message.  You can mix and match as you please.  Easy and economical, right?

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Enjoy!

Lipstick Mania.

Okay. I’m not about to blog about lipsticks again! Haha I just want to share this amazing organizer that I bought from Lucky Princess Online Shop via Instagram. And it only cost me Php 250 including the shipping fees!

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As much as I love this, I couldn’t fit my lipsticks that had square-ish caps. I think I might need another organizer that would fit all of my lipsticks. I can repurpose this to hold my mascaras and other make up tools. In the meantime, This will have to do for now!

Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies.

I was in the mood to bake some brownies today.  Everyone has their own favorite kind of brownies, but for me, the true quality brownie doesn’t need to have nuts for it to be tasteful, not too sweet either.  I want a little crunch and a little chewiness, too. And this is why I like this recipe.

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In this recipe, I used Dark Chocolate Couverture Callets with 64% cocoa content, but you can use dark or unsweetened compound chocolate as substitute.  I just can’t guarantee that it would have the same taste. ;)

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I don’t really follow baking times.  I think I have mentioned that before.  I check on the pastry every 15 minutes or so when baking.  But since this is a big cake-like pastry, I only checked on the brownies after 30 minutes to allow the brownie to cook evenly.  If I opened the oven too early, there’s a tendency of having a sunk “cake”. Bakers out there, you know what I mean!  I was happy with the result: a thin crust/film has formed on top of the brownies and it rose beautifully!  So don’t be surprised if you see the same thing when you bake.  The top crust will crack once you take the pan out of the oven.  That’s normal. :)

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I baked the brownies for another 5 minutes, turned off the oven and let the pan stay inside the oven for  5 minutes, just to be sure!   No toothpick test.  Pure instinct. Hahaha

Let the brownies cool before unmolding and cutting.  I was able to divide it into 15 squares.

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Best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea… or coffee if you prefer! :)  Or… serve a la mode!

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For a printable PDF recipe card, click here.

** Original Recipe Cards Template from Love vs. Design.  Edited  by me. :)