Courtesy of Melanie Press

HEALTHYPEANUTBUTTERBANANABLENDERMUFFINS

Ingredients: 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter) 2 medium sized bananas (the riper, the sweeter) 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract if using almond butter for extra almond-y flavour!) 1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt, depending on the salt content of your nut butter Optional toppings: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, raisins or other dried fruits, or chopped nuts.

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400° F degrees. Throw all ingredients into the blender and blend well into a smooth, pourable batter. Yep, it’s that easy! 2. Pour into greased muffin pan, filling molds nearly to the top. These muffins are on the dense side with just a bit of rise, so you can fill the molds slightly more than you would a regular wheat flour muffin batter. For more info about how to increase rise, read the tip at the end of the article. 3. If desired, top with: chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, raisins or other dried fruits, fresh or frozen berries, or chopped nuts. 4. Turn down oven temperature to 350° F degrees and bake 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tray. Makes 12 smallish but dense and flavourful muffins. Tip: Expect to see your muffins rise in the oven, but deflate a bit once removed and cooled - this is normal. For a fluffier muffin, try adding an extra egg (or egg white) and/or bumping up the baking soda to a full teaspoon. It’s also important that you don’t leave out the vinegar, as an acidic ingredient is necessary for the baking soda to do its job. You also don’t want to let your batter sit around after blending the ingredients, as it will lose its rising power with time.

Courtesy of www.ehow.com

MIMETICARCHITECTURE When the government of Hyderabad, India, built a structure shaped like a fish in 2012, they were participating in a movement known as mimetic architecture. The three-storey aquatic building houses the National Fisheries Development Board and the designers thought it was fitting the exterior reflected the activities of the interior. Far from being a new movement, mimetic architecture was developed in the United States in the early twentieth century. Early examples are hot dog stands shaped as wieners, coffee shops shaped as giant cups and stores selling donuts shaped as delicious pastries. Mostly thought of as kitschy and silly, mimetic architecture actually has a deeper reason for existing – to illustrate exactly what the building is for. It is also a reaction to modernism, which stripped

all ornamentation – and sometimes meaning – from architecture. And while some mimetic buildings are certainly over the top, more recent forays into the style are subtler – such as Tokyo’s Asahi Beer Headquarters, which looks like a normal skyscraper, but is the same golden colour as the company’s product.

SHOULD YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER BE CERTIFIED? Thinking of hiring a designer to help you with your home’s interior? Wondering if they should be certified? Well,

that depends on what you’re hiring them for. If you need someone to help you with the contents of your home – paint colours, furniture, textiles – then someone who isn’t certified, usually referred to as a decorator, should be qualified. However, if your project has more complex design requirements such as adding or removing walls and windows, or electrical or plumbing changes, you should look for someone with a certificate, diploma or degree. Of course, no matter who you chose – make sure you ask for references and do your own research ahead of time.

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