Trust Hardware Blog

Grilled Banana Boats

 Your grill doesn’t just have to be for burgers; don’t be afraid to get creative with unique recipes! One of my favorite childhood memories is eating banana boats cooked over the fire on family camping trips. One of favorite adult memories is discovering that I could do the exact same thing quicker and easier on my grill.

Never heard of a banana boat? That’s ok, they’re simple and easy to make. The banana acts as a “boat” for peanut butter or chocolate or whatever tasty toppings you can come up with.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Ripe bananas, one for each person (or 2, they’re just that good)
  • Filling: peanut butter, Nutella, marshmallows, Biscoff spread, etc.
  • Toppings: chocolate chips, pecans, peanut butter chips, you get the picture
  • Aluminum foil

Now for the assembly:

  1. Get your grill heating while you craft your banana boats; they won’t take long at all.
  2. Cut each banana lengthwise following the curve, making sure not to cut all the way through (leave the flap of banana peel attached, you’ll need it later).
  3. Cut out about a third of the banana, creating a hollow space for your fillings. Feel free to eat this part, no banana should go to waste!
  4. Now stuff it! To overflowing! Smear the banana with your choice of filling, then place your toppings inside. I’m a chocolate lover, so my favorite is Nutella with chocolate chips. The rest of my family usually does peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless!
  5. Replace the strip of banana peel back over the fillings and wrap foil tightly around the banana. If your fillings poke out the edges of the peel that’s perfect, just make sure everything’s securely inside the foil wrapping.
  6. Grill your banana boat over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the banana softens to your liking. (You can also bake it 15 to 20 minutes, in the event of cookout-ruining weather).
  7. Unwrap your banana boat, grab a spoon, embrace the messiness, and enjoy! The banana and toppings will be gooey and delicious, the perfect dessert for any occasion.
How to Decide When to DIY and When to Hire a Professional

 DIY projects can be a great way to improve your home and save money, but it can be hard to decide what projects are good to DIY and what’s better handled by professionals. Here’s some factors that can help you make that decision next time you’re considering DIY-ing your home.

Time and Patience
Do you have the time and patience to dedicate to this scale project? Even if you have the knowledge to complete it well yourself, it might not be worth it depending on what else you’ve got going on. If you can only devote a small amount of time each day to the project and it would end up taking weeks, it might be better to hire a professional. On the other hand, if you’ve got plenty of time to commit to a project or don’t mind the long timeline, go ahead and DIY!

Are you familiar with this kind of project? How much time will it take you to learn any new skills needed, and do you feel confident in your ability to learn them sufficiently? Some projects are easy to learn via internet tutorials, while others are best left to professionals trained in that field.

Get a quote from a professional and see the cost difference between hiring and doing it yourself. Consider whether it’s worth it to you to save money vs time and effort.

Consequence of Mistakes
What happens if you make a mistake? Would it be dangerous or cause damage to your house? If the consequences are more than just visual effect, it might be better to hire. Another factor to consider here is the value of your home. If you’re thinking of selling anytime soon, any small errors can be a turn-off for potential buyers.

Do home renovation projects seem like more of a chore or a fun activity to you? Do you take pride in seeing the finished project that you completed yourself? If so, DIY may be the way to go, even if it takes more time and effort to learn how to do something and fix any mistakes you make.

Does this job require a permit? These can be a hassle to obtain on your own, and may be a sign that this level of work is most safely done by professionals with specialized knowledge.

Can you safely do the work yourself, or is it best to hire a contractor for safety reasons?

Do Dogs Make Us Better It's long been said that dogs are man's best friend. But are they more than just cute faces to fawn over and soft fur to pet? Science says they are–here's a few science-based benefits of owning a dog.

  • Dogs relieve stress. You might have guessed this one because of the existence of therapy dogs, but studies have proved that playing with petting a familiar dog counteracts the physical effects of stress. It can lower blood pressure and heart rate, slow breathing, and relax muscle tension.
  • Dogs are good for your heart health. Stress is a major cause of cardiovascular problems, so the stress-relieving bond between dogs and humans can lower people's risk for heart-related health issues.
  • Dogs make us more social. They can help us connect with neighbors out on walks or make new friends at the dog park. Studies have shown that young adults who grow up with a dog become more confident and empathetic.
  • Dogs keep you in shape. Dog owners are more likely to engage in regular moderate physical activity than non-dog owners. All those walks do more for your health than you realize!
  • Dogs help your immune system. Being around pet fur and dandruff can strengthen dog owners' immune systems, and children who are raised with a dog are less likely to develop allergies.
  • Dogs make us happy. Just looking into your dog's eyes has been shown to raise your oxytocin, or "love hormone," levels. Owning a dog can even alleviate symptoms of depression, especially for older adults.
  • Dogs can help keep people safe and healthy. With their heightened sense of hearing and smell, dogs can alert us to possible dangers we might not notice at first. This can include anything from dogs' barking deterring home intruders to service dogs detecting seizures, cancer, blood sugar highs/lows, and more.
  • A dog can make you more attractive. Seriously! In a UK study that surveyed 700 people, 60% said that owning a dog can make people seem more attractive, and 85% said people with dogs are more approachable. Who knew your dog could be such a good wingman?

Most dog owners don't need convincing of the merits of being around dogs, but if you still have any doubts, come visit Roscoe at our store! He'll be happy to see you, and he's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.