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Make it


Guest Post | Pinneapple Almond Upside-down Bars

Hello Darlings!

Today I am so excited to host another great guest post. Remember the Chocolate dipped Tahini cookies I posted a few weeks ago inspired by the master mind behind Half Full? Well today I am happy to present the source of the inspiration herself! She so kindly agreed to custom make a wonderful recipe for our blog that will make you salivate. Enjoy!

Hello lovelies! This is Ruby of Half Full, writing to you from my quaint blue terrace in Tangier, Morocco. When Valerie and I first started chatting, we were both so inspired by how the blogging community can bring together people from different cultures and places around the world. Even though she's all the way in Puerto Rico and I've somehow landed headfirst in North Africa, we are connected by common loves of new recipes, making lists, and taking painstakingly perfect still-life pictures of food & crafts. Sometimes the internet is just magic. 

In honor of our international home-bases, I've created a treat for you guys combining flavors from breezy tropical Puerto Rican beaches and the bizarre cultural melting pot of Tangier. Gathering the ingredients for this recipe also allowed me to use my favorite french word with three different fruit vendors until I finally found un ananas that wasn't overripe or overpriced. It's all in the little achievements. 

However, these Pineapple Almond Upside-Down Bars, if I do say so myself, turned out to be a pretty grand achievement. I mean, you already can't go wrong with fresh pineapple drenched in butter and brown sugar, but to add my own little flair to a classic recipe, I turned the base into a dense & nutty Moroccan style cake, rich with ground almonds and sticky sweet dates. Not only does this make the bars slightly healthier and heartier than the traditional yellow-cake base, but it adds a depth of flavor that will make you go back for seconds. And thirds. Until the entire pan of bars disappears down to the last crumb in a single day. 

Pineapple Almond Upside-Down Bars (gluten-free & vegan)

makes 12 servings

1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into rings
1 oz vegan margarine/your preferred butter substitute 
45g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
150g (1 cup) almonds, ground finely in a food processor
105g (3/4 cup) rice flour
110g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz. vegan margarine
1 1/4 cup vanilla soy or almond milk
8 pitted medjool dates, processed in a food processor until roughly blended
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat your oven to 375º F and grease an 11x7" rectangular pan.

Melt the 1 oz of margarine and mix together with brown sugar. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of your pan and lay pineapple slices on top. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt together the margarine and almond milk and let sit until lukewarm. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the wet into the dry ingredients, add pureed dates and mix until combined. Quickly whisk in the apple cider vinegar and pour batter over the pineapple slices in your prepared pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the middle is set and doesn't jiggle to the touch. Let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes before carefully carving around the edges and flipping onto a flat serving plate or cutting board. Slice into bars and enjoy!

Sending love from Morocco to wherever you may be in the world.

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Make it | Rustic Fresh Flower Crown Tutorial

Hello darlings! 

Today I am sharing how to make my "Instagram famous" rustic, fresh flower birthday crown. Many asked for a tutorial and I heard you so, here it is. I did this crown myself for under $25.00 and if you happen to have most of the materials at home, it will be even cheaper. 

I used 2 types of flowers: Pink Wax flower and White spray roses. I purchased 1 at a florist shop and the second in the flower section of a supermarket. 

I chose to do this crown without any metal wire as a base because I wanted something a little more rustic and I have a  "not so round" head shape (it is less weird looking than it sounds) and I wanted the crown to fit my head and hairstyle more organically. 


- Filler blooms (wax flower) to make the frame for the crown (babies breath will also do) I picked wax flower because it lasts longer, it is robust when playing with it and it's gorgeous.

- Spray roses (the trick is to pick bigger flowers than the ones you pick for the frame and preferably a different color that complements the base) 

-Florist green tape (the thin one because it is easier to manipulate) 


Step 1: cut several single branches with little or no flowers on them. Ideally you will cut them at different lengths and witdths.

Use those branches to start designing your crown frame. Place them as seen in the picture above, in an uneven circular shape. 

Step 2: Begin taping the branches, leaving the final closing branch open for measuring before deciding to tape it.

Note: In order for the florist tape to stick you must expand (just like an elastic) the small section you want to use which will release the glue and stick perfectly.

As you tape the branches of your frame for your crown, it will begiin to look something like the image above.

After measuring and making sure you like how it countours your head and how it sits, put the closing branch by taping it and creating a full branch circle. (As shown above)

Step 3: Now is the time to choose clusters to put around the branch frame you first created. (Ideally you will pick flowers from the first type of blooms you picked but this is where you can get creative and add whatever small flower or even small fruit you like). 

Note: I decided to make the left side of my crown the focal point just because it would look better with my hair style. That is why you will notice extra small flower clusters on one side. 

Step 4: after adding clusters of the smaller types of flowers, choose the spray roses (ronanculus look great but they are a little more pricy and not always available here) you want to spread around the frame. Secure them with the florist tape. 

I finished my left side cluster by adding 3 bigger spray roses to the first cluster I had created. 


Note: When making a crown it is wise to keep the tape discrete even though it's green. To achieve this, I suggest taping closer to the bloom as opposed to lower on the stem. I also suggest taping between clusters in one same branch for the flower to hide the tape itself. 

If you cut a longer stem you will be able to intertwine it with the branches of the frame you first create. Even so you should still secure at least part of the flower with florist tape so that it stays in place all day. 

Disclaimer: my birthday crown was made with fresh flowers bought the same day and the pictures of this tutorial were taken a week later which is why the blooms look smaller. 

I used these specific instructions and I loved the results! 

Here's the Instagram Image I shared the day of my birthday celebration. 

Let me know you tried it by tagging me on your creation. Thanks for reading!