My Weekend According To My iPhone

In case you’ve been curious about my whereabouts or what I’ve been up to I can sum it up in one word - PAINTING.  My girl friend and her husband just got into their second home and my SIL is working towards putting her bachelorette pad up for sale.  I’m an experienced painter so I’ve been tied up, but hopefully someday in the near future it will all be paid forward when Mr. G and I buy our first home!  Plus alcohol really eases the pain…  Paint brush in one hand, beverage in the other and my favorite tunes on the radio.

Have a great week all!

For Sale: Gold Dipped Furniture

Last year I upcycled a dining room set from Mr. G’s days as a bachelor.  It sold within in the day and after that he’d caught the bug!  He was bringing home different pieces hoping for me to “flip” them, but I was pooped and so it’s sat in the garage for MONTHS.  Until a couple weeks ago… When I first saw this set I knew THIS was their destiny!  Dipped furniture is all the rage and the cylinder legs would be perfect.


So now they’re FINALLY done and for sale!  If you live in the Sacramento area, check it out and make us an offer!

Strawberries + Cream Jell-O Shots

In my opinion we’re never too old for Jell-O shots.  I probably enjoy them more frequently now than I did in college.  I think they’re great when you’re at an outdoor concert or something fun to bring and share at a party.  I’m a big fan of on the go beverages.  I really like getting creative now with all the different flavored vodka options that are in the supermarket.  I bought a bottle of Smirnoff’s iced cake vodka for a fancy recipe I saw in People magazine in January and it was not tasty so the partially used bottle has been sitting ever since.  Until I came up with this!



[Make according to Jell-O box directions]

  • Dissolve the package of strawberry jell-o in 2 cups boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved
  • Stir in chilled iced cake vodka
  • Pour mixture into 2oz plastic cups (I buy mine at Smart &Final) 
  • Let shots set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
  • Spray with a dollop of homemade whipped cream


I brought these to a birthday picnic at a winery (classy, I know) and they were a BIG hit!  I’m sharing these now because I thought they’d be fun for you to make in honor of our nation’s upcoming birthday.  Maybe drop a blueberry into the whipped cream to achieve the complete red, white and blue look and then bottoms up! :)

Milk. It’s Not Just For Babies.

To some of you this may sound sinful, but I love milk.  Most adults think that’s weird or gross, but when did milk become uncool??  Milk and I started to battle a bit in my early 20s when I stopped playing volleyball and I joined WW.  I didn’t want to use my precious points towards a glass of milk when I could apply that instead to the coming weekend’s cocktails.  Probably not what the group was talking about when we discussed a “lifestyle change”, but you’ve got to pick your battles.  Since my days of meetings and calculating points are long behind me, my love for dairy is back in full swing.

I’ll take dairy in pretty much all forms - cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, and ice cream cones.  I love me some FULL FAT!  Heavy cream in my coffee, vitamin D with my oatmeal.  Judge me.



Speaking of CHEESE, take a look at this interesting cheese timeline. My favorite is that cheese was given as a royal wedding gift in 1840.  I bet my friend Kaila would fully support this type of gift, even if it wasn’t on the registry!

I’d like you to rethink dairy because it’s not the enemy.  Everything in moderation (I learned that at WW), but if you don’t believe me check out this link.  And tonight, I’ll celebrate the final day of Dairy Month with a big fat bowl of ice cream! :)

My Weekend According To My iPhone

When I don’t take a lot of picture on the weekend it could mean a couple of things.. One, I did nothing.  Two, I was having so much fun I didn’t even think about my phone or three, I was too busy holding a drink in my hand.  I’d say this weekend was a combination of the last two.  Mr. G and I had one final wedding celebration with friends and family.  I spent most of the weekend preparing and then cleaning up from said party.  The only break was for my niece’s swim meet.  Now I feel like I need another weekend to recover from this weekend!

Farmers’ Libations

A few weeks ago I attended Raley’s and FSB amazing dinner to benefit their Food For Families program at Vierra Farms.  It’s funny how I’ve lived in Sacramento my whole life and just recently I stumbled into some really unique, local spots that I never realized existed.  My friend Kaila and I had a great time running around this beautiful venue and for anyone newly engaged - I highly recommend checking this place out!  It’s a rustic bride-to-be’s dream.



FSB had countless special details that pulled us in from the moment we drove up.  We passed through a set of shabby wooden doors to enter the orchard for the “libations” part of the evening.  Old metal Coca-Cola ice chests held cider and cold beers and a fun old timey, jazz band performed among the trees.  Someone’s Pinterest board had come to fruition!




Even in the country we were not left without power.  Some people really think of everything.  Charge those iPhones and Instagram the heck out of this event we did!






At one point Kaila and I snuck off to Dave’s Jumping Pillow and helped ourselves to this airbag of awesomeness.  Do not confuse it with trampoline!  It was so much fun!  Not sure if it was the drinks or the company, but we were having too much.




And of course there was dessert!  I was truly impressed with the event and this is coming from the daughter of a caterer.  I usually find it hard to sit back and enjoy myself at an event or a restaurant because you tend to have such a critical eye - watching the staff, critiquing the food, but everyone did a really wonderful job.  Down to the have dinner coffee!  Thank you to everyone and I’m so glad Raley’s was able to raise so much money for a great cause.

My Weekend According To My iPhone

I had what I’d consider a very creative weekend, filled with spray paint, sprinkles and snapshots!  I’m really looking forward to sharing the photos that were taken this weekend by a real true, blue photographer.  In the meantime I’ll share my silly iPhone shots, but fun projects are in full swing over here at TGK.  Check back soon! 

My Weekend According To My iPhone

I could have literally filled every picture in this collage with a different cocktail.  Friday and Saturday I celebrated my friend’s 21st birthday.  I gave it my best shot and partied like I was a decade younger!  We braved the heat on Saturday and rode bike’s from East Sac to Midtown and back.  Each stop we guzzled a refreshingly cold beverage from champagne to lemon drop shooters to margaritas.  Nothing was out of the question.  On Sunday I switched gears, staying in bed and watching movies all day with the pups.  It was glorious and I didn’t let the heat wave hold me down.

What’s On My Plate?

The final installment of my contribution on Best Friends For Frosting is live!  Check it out.

Newly Married and On The Go

Let’s be honest, you don’t visit this blog for my delicious, easy, healthy meals. I’m all about the sweets so I won’t pretend to be a chef now. Today I’m sharing on BFFF my little cheats in the kitchen since Mr. Goddard doesn’t think we should be eating cake for dinner. At least not every night. To discover my latest tricks head on over to Best Friends For Frosting.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ConAgra Foods. All opinions are 100% mine.

Coffee Crisps

My new SIL bought me a handful of baking cookbooks a couple months ago so I wouldn’t have to always have to be referring back to my phone -haha!  I guess she didn’t realize that I was usually referring to my blog’s recipe list, but I would never turn down a gift.  Especially when there are cupcakes splashed all over the covers.



The first recipe me that drew me in was actually this cookie recipe.  I love the flavor of coffee so I thought this might be delicious new treat.  I brought these cookies in to share with my coworkers and get some feedback because I’m always my toughest critic.  I thought these tasted light, but not coffee flavored enough for me.  They all agreed that they liked the texture of the cookies, but there were mixed feelings on whether these cookies were coffee flavored enough or not.  I definitely think I would add more instant coffee next time and after a suggestion from a coworker for chocolate chips, I think this could be a yummy mocha cookie!



Recipe from 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & Other Tempting Treats

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp. instant coffee grounds
  • 1 tbs. hot water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Scoop the instant coffee grounds into a small bowl with the hot water to create a paste.  Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk and cappuccino paste.  Sift together the flour and salt into the mixture and stir until combined.  Halve the dough, shape into balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30-40 minutes.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap the dough and scoop with a 1oz. ice cream (cookie dough) scoop.  Place them on the baking sheets, spaced well apart.  Bake in the preheated oven 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool slightly, then transfer to wire racks.


My {Holiday} Weekend According To My iPhone

Since I arrived home on Monday evening from the lovely town of Fallbrook, I have been busy working on a fun collaboration with another local blogger.  That will be coming up in the next week or two!  Now I’m a bit late with my weekend update, but I had to share my fun photos from the long weekend with Mr. G’s grandparents.  If you’re ever in San Diego I highly recommend their trolley tour, which starts and ends in Old Town.  This takes you all over the city with lots of stops for shopping, dining, beach time and it goes until the 5 o’clock hour.  GK approved! :)


Contest: Farmers’ Market Muffins

I love the farmers’ market.. In theory.  I just wished it happened in the evenings instead of during my weekend sleep window.  If I roll out of bed at 10ish then it’s hard to get it all together and make it before they end.  Farmers’ markets are made for early riser and so unfortunately I only make it from time to time.  Last weekend though I just barely made it for fresh, local blueberries - a must have for my muffin recipe!



I also made the sleep sacrifice for the kickoff of Placer Grown’s Taste Bud Giveaway!  Beginning yesterday nine Foothill farmers’ markets opened for your shopping pleasure.  So many delicious items are already in season.  If you’re anything like me then you love local produce, wine and all things FREE!   Keep checking back for the freshest things going on in Placer County, but for now make sure you enter to WIN!



{Recipe adapted via Eat Cake For Dinner}

Topping

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

Muffins

  • 2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
  • 1 1/8 c. + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preparation

1.  For the topping: Pulse the sugar and lemon zest together in food processor until just combined; set aside.  

2.  For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray).  Bring 1 cup of rinsed blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.  

3.  Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  Whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar with the lemon zest until fragrant.  Then add the eggs, one at a time until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds.  Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined.  Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined.  Toss the remaining cup of blueberries with one tablespoon of the flour mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened.  The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.  

4.  Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter and top with a spoonful or so of the cooked berry mixture.  Use a toothpick and swirl together.  The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly.  Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.  

5.  Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through.  Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving.  Yield: 16 muffins. 




New Oven, New Recipe!

For two years I’ve been limping along with an old, half broken double-stack oven.  A month ago my landlord finally relented and installed a brand new one!  Lucky me!  Or as he said, happier than a pig in shit. Not pretty, but accurate.



Macarons are currently on trend, the new cupcake some say and I’ve slowly grown to love them.  Like most things I realized that all are not created equal, I wanted to try making them myself.  They’re intimidating though!  Other bloggers have been pretty upfront that they rate high on the difficulty level so I knew to not even try until I had a properly working oven.  Egg whites are a tricky thing and an unstable over would have never worked.




Before I started I did some research, tried to get a feel for what has worked for those before me and what needed to be done differently.  One tip that I think definitely benefited me was after piping out my cookies I let them sit for 20 minutes before they went into the oven.  After that you can touch the tops lightly and they’ve slightly dried.  I’m told that’s what creates the smooth top and the crinkled footing of the cookie.  This blogger had a lot of helpful tips that I followed.  Check her out!

I think besides being just slightly overcooked my first attempt was rather successful!  Texture was a little off, but the flavor was on point. Most recipes I browsed suggested 15-18 minutes in the oven so I started on the lower end, but I probably could have pulled them out around the 13/14 minute mark.  If anyone has pointers I would LOVE to hear them!



Recipe via Love & Olive Oil

Ingredients:

For  Macarons:

  • 85 grams almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 150 grams powdered sugar
  • 90 grams egg whites (from about 3 large eggs), room temperature
  • 55 grams superfine or granulated sugar

For Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon heavy cream (or as needed)
  • 1.5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely grated using a vegetable peeler (about 1/4 cup grated)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine almond flour and powdered sugar; pulse for 20 to 30 seconds until evenly distributed. Sift at least once through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any larger particles.
  2. Place egg whites in a clean metal mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until frothy, then slowly add superfine sugar, a little bit at a time with the mixer on medium speed, scraping down the side of the bowl periodically. When all the sugar has been added, increase speed to medium high and whip until meringue is firm and glossy and forms medium-stiff peaks.
  3. Pour half of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and stir, folding and scraping a few times until no dry flour remains. Add the remaining flour and mix, folding and spreading the batter against the sides of the bowl about 15 to 20 times or just until the meringue and flour are incorporated and the batter falls off the spatula in thick ribbons. Do not overmix.
  4. Transfer the batter to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, twisting the end of the bag to prevent the batter from leaking. Pipe small circles onto a parchment or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch of space between them.
  5. Rap the baking sheet firmly on the counter, then smack the bottom of the baking sheet multiple times with your hand to remove any remaining air bubbles. If any pointy ‘tips’ still remain, you can gently press them down with a lightly moistened fingertip. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs (if using), and set aside to dry.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. When macarons are dry (you should be able to just barely touch the surface of the cookies with a dry finger without them sticking), stack the baking sheet on top of another empty baking sheet (this will help them bake more evenly). Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure they do not brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack, then gently remove from baking sheets.
  7. To prepare filling, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in flour, salt, vanilla, and almond extract on low speed until incorporated. Add cream and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes, adding more cream if necessary to acheive desired consistency. Stir in grated chocolate. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Gently pipe about a teaspoon of filling onto underside of half of the cooled cookies, then top with remaining cookies.


This adventure in baking has given me a HUGE appreciation for those who bake and sell these daily.  It was a sh*t ton of work!  My entire sink was full and don’t even get me STARTED about the almond flour!  They’re definitely work $2 a piece for the labor alone, but totally WORTH it. :)

Toasting walnuts for some special chocolate chip cookies I’m bringing to work. In honor of tomorrow’s holiday!

Toasting walnuts for some special chocolate chip cookies I’m bringing to work. In honor of tomorrow’s holiday!

Share on Tumblr Site Meter