Deck of Love

I have been saving this project from my Pinterest Challenge for a very special occasion: our 1-year anniversary!  Since the traditional gift for your first anniversary is paper, it seemed like the perfect present for my other half.

Deck of Love

ShinyHappyPeebles’ Deck of Love

I love handmade presents! Plus, this is such an unconventional use of an every day item. 🙂 While the time investment is substantial, the cost is minimal.

Here is what you need: deck of cards, hole punch, binder rings, card stock, adhesive spray.

Supplies: less than $20

Supplies: less than $20

Take one of the joker cards from the deck to create a stencil for punching the holes in the other cards. Using a printer or a ruler, create a table of 1.25 by 2.25 inch rectangles on the card stock. I would recommend making more than 53 because you will make mistakes!

You could print the words on the card stock, but again, I prefer the personal touch of something handmade. I like that each card has my words for Bryan in my handwriting.

IMG_0704

52 Reasons I Love You

To attach the card stock recantgles to the playing cards, I used an adhesive spray. Some people find it hard to work with, but I like the even, light coating it provides much more than other pastes which can be too thick and warp the paper. Just get some cardboard from the recycling and go outside.

After I finished gluing, I split the deck into four and put weights on for a few hours to secure the bond. Double check that your cards are in the right order (and none have stuck together) and then put on your binder rings. Voila!

Deck of Love

Deck of Love

I also used some name tag stickers on the inside and back covers to write a personal message.

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All in all, I am thrilled with how this project turned out! It is a wonderful affirmation of our relationship, and I hope it will be something my husband can turn to on rough days for a boost of self-esteem or a reminder of how much I love him.

I would call this a Pinterest WIN — and a marriage WIN! 🙂

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Nutella Mug Cake

It is Day 5 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge. And today, I have a major sweet tooth. So, I skipped ahead to Nutella Mug Cake!

Sorry, meatloaf. Maybe you’ll get made on Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella

1) Combine all ingredients in a LARGE mug. Mix the dry ingredients first and add the Nutella last.

I used my ginormous cat lady mug, which is usually reserved for ramen noodles.

Giant Cat Mug

Giant Cat Mug

I also ran out of Nutella (imagine that) and had to substitute 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.

2) Whisk ingredients with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3) Top with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, etc. I pulled out my fat-kid card and threw some mini-marshmallows on top during the last 30 seconds of microwaving.

You should definitely check out this blog: livelovepasta. They use normal-sized mugs there.

livelovepasta

livelovepasta

My marshmallows may have been a little white-trash compared to homemade whipped cream, but it was still delicious! Some vanilla ice cream would have been lovely, too.

ShinyHappyPeebles

ShinyHappyPeebles

However, this is definitely a two-person dessert. Or, a very unhealthy lunch for someone with a major sweet tooth. 🙂

Mug o’ Mac & Cheese

It is Day 4 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge. I am so glad today’s recipe was simple, because I had zero time to spare!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pasta
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) Add pasta and water to a large mug. Even in a large mug, a little water is going to boil over. Microwave on high for two minutes, then stir. Repeat at two minute intervals until water is completely absorbed.

2) Add milk and cheese to cooked pasta. Microwave for another minute. Stir until the pasta is coated in cheesy goodness! Add salt and pepper to taste.

How easy is that? Actually, the microwaving and stirring is a teensy bit tedious.

But look — a normal-sized mug!

TheNapTimeChief at babble.com

TheNapTimeChief at babble.com

I just used regular, shredded cheddar cheese as the recipe directed, but you could really play around using different cheeses. You could also throw in some bits of ham or sausage!

ShinyHappyPeebles

ShinyHappyPeebles

Convenience-wise, I don’t think making this in a mug really works. Next time, I’ll probably just toss these same ingredients in a small saucepan. Still, it’s a great comfort food to keep in your pocket for rainy, lazy days. And either way, this is certainly healthier than neon orange powdered cheese in a pouch!

Banana Bread in a Mug

Day 3 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge! Today, we are having Bannana Bread! Check out the original recipe here. It’s a great recipe, but I made a few alterations: some on purpose, others … not.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • pecan pieces, handful
  • brown sugar, to sprinkle on top

First, I have to ask: does anyone actually own a 1/8 teaspoon measurer? Or am I the only one just eyeballing it with a 1/4 teaspoon measurer?

1) Use a big mug because the banana bread will rise and expand and attempt to do summersaults in your mircowave. I selected this lovely Harry Potter mug. 🙂

I solemnly swear I am up to no good!

I solemnly swear I am up to no good!

2) In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Now, I accidentally forgot to add the brown sugar in the batter when I made it because the original directions just said to add sugar. I missed the implied plural. And so, I have made my directions a smidgen more O.C.D. 🙂

3) Add egg and combine until incorporated with dry ingredients. Don’t over mix!

4) Stir in vanilla, vegetable oil, milk, mashed banana, and pecans. I added the pecans to this recipe, because I like a little crunch! Feel free to use any nut you like, or make yours sans nuts.

5) Pour the mixture into your mug. Pop into the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

6) Remove and sprinkle with brown sugar and more pecans. Microwave an additional 1 minute. Let sit for 1-2 minutes because it will be nuclear hot!

You might find someone to help you eat this, because I found the portion to be a little much for one person, at least for breakfast anyway.

Here is PassThe Sushi‘s Banana Bread:

See how it tried to escape her tiny mug?

See how it tried to escape her tiny mug?

And here is mine!

ShinyHappyPeebles' Banana Bread in a Mug

ShinyHappyPeebles

It turned out more like a yummy banana cake — perhaps because I missed the brown sugar in the batter — but I do believe I made up for my error by garnishing with brown sugar and pecans. They make a delicious, caramelized topping!

What I love the most about these microwave recipes, besides the convenience of single servings and fast cook time, is that I have yet to go shopping for supplies. They all use basic ingredients that most people have in their home on an average day.

French Toast in a Cup

Day 2 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge! Check out the original recipe here.

I found it a little hard to follow with the directions split up with step-by-step pictures. I love including pictures, but I also like to have all the important parts in one place so I can review the whole process before beginning. I am a nerd.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of bread
  • butter, 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 egg
  • milk, 3 tablespoons
  • cinnamon, sprinkle
  • vanilla, to taste
  • syrup, if desired

1. Lightly toast the bread and cube into 1-inch pieces. I used two slices of bread, because who just eats one piece of French Toast?

2. Microwave the butter in the mug until melted; slosh around until the inside is coated. Fill the mug with the bread cubes.

3. In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour into mug over the bread pieces. Stir around until they are evenly coated. Microwave for 1 minutes and 20 seconds.

Once again, these people are using Lilliputian-sized coffee mugs.

Staged photo, anyone?

PrudentBaby’s French Toast in a Cup

I’m sorry, but that photo is just too pretty. Nothing comes out of the microwave looking that pretty. Mine certainly didn’t!

ShinyHappyPeebles' French Toast in a Cup

ShinyHappyPeebles’ French Toast in a Cup

Pretty easy recipe with minimal mess — though I would say it turns out more like a bread pudding. I still prefer some crispy on the outside, mushy on the inside, skillet French Toast!

Coffee Cup Quiche

Day 1 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge! I made a few edits. Check out the original recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 Whole Wheat Bagel Thin
  • 2 teaspoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 slice ham
  • Thyme
  • A pinch of Cheddar Cheese

1. Beat egg and milk together with a fork in a coffee cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tear bagel into dime-size pieces; stir in. Add cream cheese; stir in. Tear ham into small pieces; add to mixture. Sprinkle with thyme.

2. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Garnish with cheddar cheese. Microwave 20 seconds.

Now, I don’t know what kind of miniature coffee mug they used for their picture, but it definitely doesn’t puff up that much!

St. Louis Today's Coffee Cup Quiche

St. Louis Today’s Coffee Cup Quiche

Perhaps my Bagel Thins substitution made a difference in the puffiness? I also substituted cheddar cheese on top for the Dijon mustard, because that’s what I had in my refrigerator! I also used a thick, sugar-glazed Curel ham slice — I don’t usually have fancy-shmancy prosciutto on hand. 😛 Anywho, mine didn’t look as pretty, but it certainly tasted delicious!

ShinyHappyPeebles' Coffee Cup Quiche

ShinyHappyPeebles’ Coffee Cup Quiche

Unfortunately, I took my picture after stirring it up to incorporate all the ooey-gooey cheddar cheese and cream cheese. My stomach got ahead of my camera!

What I really like most about this recipe, other than the simplicity, is the portion size. It was the perfect amount of food to start my morning!