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Don't read this, you should be working!

We here at Handband love what the internet brings us... the ability to sell our products from here to you, everywhere. We love the fact we can often work from home. And we love distraction. Here's some of what distracted us this week. (And while you're here, take a look at the new range.)

1. Las Vegas is big, bold and beautiful. Sort of.  It's America's 'bad' city where what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas. Elton John sings there (at $250 a shot), Celine still does too and you enjoy a tasting degustation for $750. Success has made it grow and you can see how much it has grown from space, right here. Fascinating.

2. When in doubt, bake. With a few bananas left over from school lunches over the weekend, we thought hmmmm... Banana Bread. So we scoured the web for a recipe, found this and then got stuck in. We can heartily recommend the outcome. Num num.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature, plus more for loaf pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Honey Butter, for serving, recipe follows

 Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put a rack on the middle shelf. Butter and flour a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas with a wooden spoon, leaving a bit of texture.

In another large bowl, use a hand electric mixer or stand mixer to cream the 1/2 cup of butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and gently stir in pecans. Pour the batter into the pan and put on a sheet tray.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve with Honey Butter.

*Cook's Note: To ripen bananas quickly, put them into a paper bag and fold down the top. The bananas should ripen in 2 days.

Honey Butter:

1 stick salted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons honey

Mix the butter and the honey together in a small bowl with a wooden spoon. Serve with the banana bread.

Yield: 1/2 cup

 

3. Gadgets are nice, gadgets are cool, but what's happening to the smartphone in 2012? Can it get smarter? Seems the new trends will be ... they'll be waterproof (good news for anyone with teenage sons), Android will try to interrupt Apple's dominance with something called 'Ice Cream Sandwich' (just throw that in to the next bbq conversation with your tech-head nephew and watch his head spin). Budget phones will get good. Cameras will get better. Batteries won't improve that much anytime soon. You can check out the rest of the trends here.

4. Losing weight at breakfast. Forget Banana Bread, it's bad for you! But apart from no Banana Bread how does your breakfast choice impact on losing weight? The secret is a whole grain, fibre breakfast without added sugar. These guys give more details, but it comes down to the fact that eating a light breakfast makes you hungrier mid-morning, which leads to you snacking on (probably) rubbish which leads to weight gain. Simple really.

5. Got a big family? Need a van to cart the kids and their friends to soccer and back? Then Ford's new people mover concept is for you. They're showing off the new improved family wagon in Geneva and it's got all the comforts of home like inputs for ipods, dvd players everywhere and they're calling the driver's seat area a cockpit, so that dad can feel like he's driving a jet fighter and not... a family wagon.

Clearly too much time on their hands...

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkDBlEvfbgg']
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