Get Valentine’s Day off to a flying start this year by serving these heart-shaped egg-in-a-hole toasts for breakfast (in bed, of course). If anything says ‘I love you’, it’s the combination of egg, bacon and avo… now that’s a language we can understand.
8 rashers free-range British streaky bacon
4 thick slices good quality bread
Olive oil for frying
2 medium free-range eggs
Butter for spreading
1 ripe avocado
Juice 1 lime
Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
Your favourite sauce to serve (we like sriracha chilli sauce) You’ll also need… Heart-shaped cookie cutter Large non-stick ovenproof frying pan
1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the bacon in a single layer on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Set aside (keep warm), then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan/gas
2. Using the heart-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out a heart in the middle of 2 of the bread slices. Heat a splash of oil in the frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the bread slices with the heart-shaped hole, cook until golden on one side, then flip over, remove the pan from the heat and crack an egg into each hole. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 4-6 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Toast and butter the remaining bread slices and stamped-out hearts.
3. Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a medium bowl with the lime juice, chopped coriander and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
4. Once the eggs are cooked, top the buttered toast with bacon and sandwich together with the egg-filled toast. Serve the sandwiches with a dollop of mashed avocado on the side and the toasted hearts, with a drizzle of your favourite sauce.
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The key to falling in love with a home, whether it's a rental or purchase, is to bring your own personal style and flair to the space. There are plenty ofways for renters to remodel without losing their security deposit, and these do it yourself projects make for great, quick upgrades to any home. Really, easy decorating options for rentals are endless once you start looking for inspiration. We’ve rounded up eight home improvement ideas, all DIY, that anybody can choose to tackle. Here’s where to get started.
1. Get crafty with cup hooks
If you can’t put holes in your walls or cabinets, command hooks are a fantastic, removable alternative. However, if your landlord does permit nails in the walls, then you can use cup hooks for a ton of great design updates.
These small and inexpensive pieces of hardware are incredibly versatile. Use them around your home to put up string lights. Screw them into the bottom of a kitchen cabinet and hang your favourite mugs. Or use them on a kitchen wall to hang utensils, colanders, pots and pans. They’re a great (and affordable) way to put your favourite items on display.
2. Upgrade your outlet and light switch covers
This home improvement project is often overlooked, but it’s one of our favourite DIY projects for several reasons. Most notably, the amount of effort it takes is next to nothing, and it can have a huge impact. Change all of the covers to a black or bronze to add a stark contrast to your white walls. Or, for even more character, go for a bright and bold pattern.
If you don’t want to buy new covers (as you’ll need to store the originals somewhere), then go for contact paper. It will be more time consuming since you’ll have to wrap each one individually, but start with one room, see what you like, and go from there. Just don’t forget to remove the contact paper or swap back to the original covers before you move out.
3. Change your light bulbs
This is another simple project that anyone can - and should - do. We recommend swapping out the lightbulbs in all of the rooms with energy-efficient LEDs, then customize the feel of your room for brightness and temperature. You may want a warm light in the bedroom and living room, but cool lighting in the bathroom and kitchen. This quick swap can really enhance the ambiance of your home, as well as decrease your electrical bill.
4. Use the space above the cabinets
Some homes don’t have bulkheads, leaving an awkward space above the kitchen cabinets. Instead of using it as a vase graveyard, you can make this a sleek extension of your cabinets. Decorate it with carefully curated décor, or add storage boxes, such as wooden milk crates for easy storage. If the space above your cabinets is quite large, add floating shelves or shelf risers to make it even more functional. This would also be a fun place to play with removable wallpaper.
5. Customize drawers and shelves for optimal storage
Customizing the inside of your drawers is a great way to stay organized. While you could buy some cheap, plastic containers from the dollar store, why not DIY-it? Check out these instructions for an inexpensive, home-made kitchen drawer organizer.
Also, take a look inside your cabinets. Are your shelves far apart, to the point where there’s wasted vertical space? Shelf risers are a great solution to make the cabinets in your rental unit work for you. You can purchase inexpensive risers from stores like Ikea, or make your own. Shelf risers also work great in fridges and freezers!
6. Disguise or transform your radiator
If you’re renting in an older building or house, you’re likely familiar with the hot, clunky, metal radiators that we’re talking about. The good news is you don’t need to just ignore this equipment. Instead, disguise it and make it functional. For a quick fix, put a floating shelf an inch or two above the radiator, and line up some books or other trinkets. If you’re handy and have the time, build a complete radiator cover.
7. Make a portable garden
Many renters are lucky enough to have gardens at their homes. Some apartment buildings are even offering community garden spaces these days. But, if that isn’t the case at your rental, raised planter boxes are a great temporary garden solution – and they can even be packed up and moved when it’s time to go. If you have power tools and a workshop, YouTube has plenty of detailed tutorials for DIY raised planter boxes. If you don’t have the time, skill, or patience, most big-box hardware stores have pre-fab versions in a variety of sizes that you can paint and decorate to fit your style.
8. Turn your balcony into an oasis
This is a fun project that will turn any balcony or patio into an Instagram-worthy space you’ll never want to leave. First, lay down some green artificial turf to get a grassy feel. Then, string up some outdoor twinkle or cantina lights, or paper lanterns (if it’s sheltered enough from the wetter elements). Then, start decorating! If you’re in an adults-only home, set up some lounge or Muskoka chairs and a cute metal table. If you’re able to screw into the ceiling, hammocks add even more comfort. Surround your sitting space with patio-friendly plants: for a woodsy vibe, choose potted cedars, or to bring the tropics up north, go for potted banana trees. Your local garden centre will be able to set you up with the best plants for your climate, sun exposure, etc.
If you have kids, turn the balcony into a play area just for them. Add a playhouse, a slide, or a little table for tea parties. You could even add a small, raised sandbox for some extra tactile play. If you have a full yard for your kiddos, check out these DIY outdoor play areas.
Don’t shy away from creating a personalized, cozy home that you love spending time in just because you might be in the space temporarily. You can find so many DIY projects that will bring life and character to your home, no matter your budget, skill level, or space size. Just remember to revert back to the originals before move out day!
Are you interested in selling or buying your home in the next few months? Work with award winning realtor, Carmen Leal and her team that specialize in Real Estate Vancouver and have qualified Buyers that are looking for a home in your area! 604.218.4846 &www.carmenleal.ca
This communication is not intended to induce breach of existing listing agreement.
This recipe makes a sweet, lemony, and rich-tasting cake with a light and fluffy texture. It is common to enjoy them at breakfast with café con leche and they would make a great addition to a Sunday champagne brunch or tea time.
1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
4 large eggs (room-temperature)
4 ounces unsalted butter (room-temperature)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon milk
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Gather the ingredients.
Position oven rack on the middle shelf and heat to 375 F. Place 18 liners into the wells of cupcake pans and set aside.
Measure 1/4 cup sugar, place it in a small bowl, and set aside.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
In a small saucepan on the stovetop, melt the butter over medium heat. Alternatively, you can melt it in the microwave. Before adding it to the egg mixture, make sure the butter cools slightly and is not bubbling.
While you continue to beat the egg mixture, slowly add the melted butter, making sure to mix thoroughly.
Stir in the lemon zest and milk.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until thoroughly combined.
While stirring the egg mixture, add the flour mixture with your other hand. Continue to stir until all ingredients are mixed well. The batter will be very thick.
Using a large serving spoon or cookie scoop, place batter into the pan, filling each cupcake liner halfway. The batter will more than double in size when baked.
Use a teaspoon to sprinkle each cupcake with a bit of the reserved sugar.
Place pans in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cupcakes have turned a golden color and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack before removing cupcakes from the pan to cool completely.
Make sure that your eggs, butter, milk, and any other dairy ingredients are at room temperature before beginning. When mixed together, these ingredients create an emulsion that traps air. During baking, this air expands and results in a fluffy baked good.
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