two coast kitchen

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DIY Holiday Decorations

diy holiday decorations | two coast kitchen
We are now in full swing of the holiday season. This means long lines at the post office, spending way too much time online shopping, food blogs are full of sweet recipes, and instead of working all I want to do is bake. However this is not a food post. Instead I thought I would share with you some of my holiday decorations ideas that are simple and add a bit of sparkle.
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If you are traveling for the holidays like we are, it may seem like kind of a waste to get a whole christmas tree to then leave it for a week. Coming home to a dead tree kind of kills the holiday spirit. However, I can’t imagine the holidays without the house smelling of pine. So instead I pick up some evergreen branches which are available at most grocery stores or tree lots. I arrange them in different sized vases and place them all around the house.
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For the larger branches, you can even hang a few ornaments for a makeshift tree. This is also helpful if you have a small apartment and don’t have room for a tree. Flat ornaments work well hanging off of vases.
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Just because you don’t have a big tree doesn’t mean your ornaments won’t go to waste. I take similar colored ornaments and place them in glass vases, bowls, or mason jars. For my mantle, I stuck with silver and gold ornaments.
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I also had this string of globe lights made out of thin wicker strips. I bunched them all together and placed them in a serving dish. I love the light it throws on the wall. You can also do this with regular string lights or small twinkly lights because you can never have too much twinkle during the holidays.

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Brown Butter Banana Bread

brown butter banana bread | two coast kitchen
It’s a known fact that holiday season = baking season. While your oven works overtime baking all types of cookies, bars and sweet treats, don’t forget about some trusty standbys. This banana bread is one of them. Of course it is a little dolled up with the brown butter, so it can totally be invited to the party with the gingerbread.IMG_3504
You can leave out the walnuts if you want, but I like having the crunch in the soft, moist bread. You can also add chocolate chips. I did both walnuts and chocolate chips in my second batch and oh man, it was crazy good. Definitely more on the sweet/dessert side, but I totally had some for breakfast too. Chocolate for breakfast is totally a thing in my book.
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Above is after the batter is just mixed (don’t over-mix!) and the walnuts are mixed with the remaining flour. This is a little trick to help additions like nuts or chocolate chips not sink to the bottom of the bread while baking, but stay speckled throughout.
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This bread is easy to throw together and makes your kitchen and house smell AMAZING as it bakes. Even if you aren’t a big banana bread fan, bake it anyway and give it as a gift so you can a) get the smell all up in your house, and b) the person you gift this to will love you forever.
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This recipe only makes one loaf, but you can easily double the recipe to make two loafs. Continue reading