About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fresh Banana Cranberry Bread

Out of all the banana-combination breads I've made, this one is my hands-down favorite because it is so moist (even using whole wheat flour). I just made a loaf last night, and half of it is gone already (not all my nibbling!).

Banana Cranberry Bread
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
3 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup fresh whole cranberries (if frozen, thawed)

First, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Next, cream the sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, flour, and baking soda and mix until moistened. Mash the bananas and fold them into the mixture. Lastly, roughly chop and fold in cranberries.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean). Let cool somewhat on a wire rack still in the pan. Turn out onto a cutting board. It's delicious to slice and heat while still warm! (Extra good with a scoop of whipped cream on top).

Happy eating!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toad House

Everyone is talking about "eco-friendly," "green," and "eco-conscious" living. In fact, I've written numerous articles on the topic for a handful of magazines over the last couple of years. What I've found is the most eco-friendly way is to recycle what you have. I do it in the garden all the time. Old vegetable peelings go in the compost bin, as do the leaves I rake out of my flower beds, to be reused as food for new plantings. Bubble wrap from packages gets reused to wrap more materials I mail out.

And broken terra cot pots (there are always a few around) get recycled, too. Smaller pieces get used as shards to block the holes in the bottoms of other planters so soil will not flow out everywhere when I water the plants.

The bigger part of the broken pot makes a great toad house.
Toads? Why would you want toads in your garden?

Because they are gooooood for hostas (and other plants).

Toads eat slugs and snails. And although God made slugs and snails for some reason, it wasn't for their care and concern about the green plants in the garden. Oh, they are concerned with them. They are concerned how many of those fat, juicy leaves they can stuff in their tiny, slimy mouths every night. And toads eat them all up so they can't eat my hostas all up. Lovely. Really.

Since I have created the terra cotta toad house by simply turning a pot upside down in a shady corner of my garden (where slugs like to hide out, by the way), a whole toad family has moved in. And my hostas are looking better than ever. Really.

Hope you can use this easy tip in your garden.