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The Better Kitchen Conversions

February 26, 2013

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1 gal = 4qt = 8pt = 16 cups = 128 fl. oz
½ qt = 1 pt = 2 cups = 16 fl. oz

1 cup = 16 tbspn = 48 tspn = 250ml
⅓ cup = 5⅓ tbspn = 16 tspn = 75ml
¼ cup =  4 tbspn = 12 tspn =50ml
1 tbspn = 3 tspn = 15 ml

300℉ = 150℃
325℉ = 165
350℉ = 177
375℉ = 190
400℉ = 205
425℉ = 220
450℉ = 230
475℉ = 245
500℉ = 260

1 stick = ¼ lb = ½ cup = 8 tbspn = 4oz = 120 g
1 tbspn = 15 g


1 lb all purpose flour = 4 cups all purpose flour

1 lb granulated = 2 cups granulated = 454 grams
1 lb packed brown = 2 1/4 cups packed brown
1 cup packed brown = 1 cup granulated
1 pound powdered sugar = 3 1/2 to 4 cups
1¾ cups powdered sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar = 80 grams
100 grams granulated = ½ cup

The Better Living Room Colors I Adore

February 15, 2013

Just by looking at the title of this post can you tell who has been looking through home decor websites and catalogues again?
It's so interesting to see the way my style is progressing. A few months back I would have chosen the pink and blue living room as my favorite, but as of late I have been leaning towards styles that don't scream girly-girl. Hands down the gold and black is what makes me swoon the most. It's super edgy. How many living rooms with this color scheme have you seen? The floors, the black moulding, and the black built-ins have me sold on!!!
living room colors

The Better Banana Bread

February 06, 2013

This is another one of my dad's favorites. From experience I have learned that making one loaf is never enough since it serves a breakfast treat to accompany coffee and a mid afternoon snack when he gets home from work. 
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The key to the perfect banana bread is using overly ripened bananas. The peels should be primarily black; the bananas should be too soft for eating, but they shouldn't show any signs of rotting. 


4 cups flour
2 tspn baking soda
½ tspn salt
1 cup butter
1½ cup brown sugar gently packed
4 eggs
4¼ cup mashed bananas (approximately 2¼ lbs peeled bananas) 
½ cup honey
1 cup raisins 

1. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat sugar and butter until creamy then add eggs one at a time making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl
2. Add bananas, baking soda, salt, raisins, and honey to the mixture 
3. Add flour in three additions and mix until just combined make sure to scrape down sides of bowl 
4. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray
5. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350℉ for 50 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean)

The Better Simple Chocolate Cake

February 03, 2013

For every non-baker out there, this is for you. A cake that requires no serious skill or effort and no leveling or frosting. Really, this is as simple as cake gets folks, so you have no excuse for those store bought atrocities that pass as dessert. 
If you have managed to stick to your healthy new year's resolution, I'm afraid that ends now. Please put down that carrot and or celery that you are sadly gnawing on. Chocolate cake may not be healthy per se, but you'll be in a great mental state once you take a bite. 

I am in LOVE with this recipe because I have never been a big frosting lover and the clean up that comes with decorating a traditional cake is never fun. Like seriously, who wants to deal with a sink full of dishes when they have a chocolate cake waiting to be eaten?
Again I was struck with the desire to bake at 3 o'clock in the morning while everyone in the house had gone to bed. I have such a great mother; she doesn't mind (too much) when she wakes up to a sink with my dishes. With a glass of milk, this made a perfect treat as I watched The Hunger Games before the sun came up. 
If you can be bothered to put in the extra leg work, a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a dollop of fresh whipped cream add a special touch.
*adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

½ cup (1 stick or 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6½ oz) firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (6¾ oz) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (2⅝ oz) Hershey's special dark cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy
2. Add in egg, vanilla, and buttermilk (batter will look curdled)
3. Sift in dry ingredients and mix until just combined (DO NOT OVERMIX) making sure to scrape down sides of bowl
4. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and pour in batter
5. Bake in 325℉ oven for 65 minutes (or until cake passes toothpick test)