Thrift Store Finds: Practical Surprises

[caption id="attachment_6898" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Brand new Gaiam BPA-free water bottle and a sweet little book about herbs."]Useful Thrift Store Finds[/caption]

Thrift Stores = Eco-Friendly Shopping

My husband took our son to take his California High School Exit Exam a couple of days ago (omg, I’m that old now…).  While he waited he killed some time at the Salvation Army.  He surprised me with a brand new BPA-free Gaiam Water Bottle – $1.39 (which I’ve seen selling at Whole Foods for nearly $20!), and a lovely little book about herbs.  He’s such a sweetie!

What have you found at the thrift store lately?

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It’s DIY Friday! | Easy Chocolate Nut Bread

Chocolate Nut Bread

Yummy Chocolaty Homemade Goodness!

Happy Friday readers!  It’s time once again to share a little DIY know-how with you.  This week I give you my recipe for some tasty chocolate nut bread.  It’s super easy to make, and sure to leave you wanting more.

This recipe comes from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, one of my many awesome thrift store finds.  Although the sticker in the picture reads $1.00, I paid maybe a whopping $0.50 for the book from my local Hospice Thrift Store (that’s quite a bit more than I usually pay for a book, but I love baking goodies for my family!).

It’s chalked full of delicious goodies, many of which I hope to share with you in the future.  So stop salivating, grab a pen, and get out your shopping list.  Here’s what you’ll need to bake your own lovely loaves:

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate  (I use Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar 60% Cacoa Bittersweeet Chocolate.  It does contain some sugar, but the end result isn’t too sweet.)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten (I use organic eggs because they’re organic, and I feel they truly do taste better..)
  • 1 cup milk (also organic)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like to use walnuts, but any of your favorites will do.  I like to experiment with different combinations from time to time, usually when I’m out of a particular ingredient and have to make a substitution… Necessity is the mother of invention…)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small pan over low heat; set aside to cool.

Stir and toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Place the sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla, and nuts in a large mixing bowl, and beat them together until blended.  Add the combined dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture and beat just until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Viola! A scrumptious treat to pair up with your favorite tea, coffee, or a cold glass of milk.  Enjoy! ;)

What about you?  Do you have a favorite quick bread recipe?  Are you a chocoholic?  Fee free to leave a comment and let us know what you think. ;)

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