Hello darlings! Today I’m going to share with you some photos I took during a little 4th of July celebration in our home and some tips and tricks to help keep your summer entertaining stress-free. The Godfather and I really like to have guests over so we can feed them, but feeding a lot of people can be stressful sometimes, and as a host, you want to enjoy your party! I’ll be the first to tell you we haven’t always managed to do this successfully, but we have learned some things over the years that I’d like to share with you today. (more…)
Archive of ‘Miscellaneous’ category
This fall, we are planning our first “with a kid” trip to Walt Disney World, and I’m excited. I’m looking forward to experiencing the parks through new eyes and doing some of the kid things the Godfather and I skipped on our previous trips. One thing we won’t skip though is the World Showcase in Epcot, and I hope A enjoys it, because the World Showcase has always been one of our favorite places to visit on WDW property. It’s definitely not the same as actually traveling to the countries, nor are the pavilions an accurate representation of life and culture, but there is some good food to be found in some, and it’s fun to walk around. We also got married there millions of moons ago. (more…)
Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can make her dreams come true! While not all of us may have dreams of running away from home to marry Prince Charming, I do believe in the power of a good pair of shoes.
As you must have heard by now, the much-anticipated live action Cinderella movie is being released this Friday. I’m sure we will watch the movie at some point, but I’m a classic girl myself and the animated version will always win out. It was the first movie that taught me the importance of outsourcing the housecleaning to helpful birds. When you find some, please give them my address. 😉
I decided to make this cake, just because I felt like it, and also because I’ve decided I really want to improve my cake decorating skills. My goal is to be ready to test for my Sugar Artist Certification within the next 10 years. That seems like a long time, but it’s a very intense test and I am training for this part time. I also want this to be a fun process because I love making beautiful food! I’ve also decided to take you along for the journey, so expect to see a few more tutorials on the blog so we can all learn together. The next one I plan to film is for the leopard and zebra print quilted cookies I designed and posted on Craftsy. Sweet Ambs then featured my design on her Facebook page, which I thought was pretty cool.
But back to the cake. I’ve always wanted to make a pillow cake, especially one of the really cool looking cakes with multiple tiers, but after seeing a trailer for the movie, I thought it would be best to start with a single pillow, and practice my fondant modeling by making a shoe! I went through so many tutorials and even cut out a pattern trying to fit the shoe together, but I really didn’t love how it turned out. I made a decent enough fashion shoe, but Cinderella’s shoe was a single piece of glass and that just didn’t translate for me making the shoe via traditional methods. I wanted a softer look and wasn’t really finding a guide to help me. So I just started experimenting and made the shoe on the cake. In making that shoe, I learned a few things, so I filmed a video to document the process of making another shoe and I’m sharing that with you today. Hopefully what I learned will help you!
A few quick notes about making the shoe that I think it’s important to highlight:
- It’s good to plan ahead! The shoe will need at least 24-48 hours to dry. If you need a faster dry time, mix in gumpaste. Gumpaste dries very quickly, and I found that the heart topped shoe (1/4 gumpaste, 3/4 fondant) dried faster than the butterfly topped shoe, which I made with just fondant.
- Some people eat fondant, so if you think there’s a chance someone will try to eat the shoe decoration, skip the disco dust and use something edible like silver luster dust instead. Disco dust is for decoration only.
- I think this could also work beautifully with modeling chocolate and I may try that next time. You don’t spackle the modeling chocolate with gunge, you’ll just need to take the extra time to smooth everything out very well. Modeling chocolate still requires drying time, but not as much as fondant in my experience. This is good if you haven’t planned ahead. 😉
- The paintbrushes I use are from the painting section of the craft store, but they are only used for food! Please don’t mix your craft and food brushes.
- Have fun!
Should you like to know which materials I used, I’ve included a list below the video. Some of them are affiliate links, which means that should you make a purchase, Goodie Godmother will receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for helping me continue to share my joy with you until pixie dust and baked goods are accepted as official currency. 😉
Enjoy the video and don’t forget to subscribe to my e-mail list so you don’t miss any delicious recipes or tutorials!
I used the following items to make the shoe. The first five items are clickable links:
- Wilton 710-2301 Decorator Preferred Fondant, 24-Ounce, White
- Cosmos ® 8 Pieces DIY Cake Fondant Decorating Modeling Tools Set
- Americolor Sky Blue Soft Gel Paste 13.5 Ounces
- Tropical Blue Luster Dust by GSA
- CK Products Disco Dust, 5gm, Silver Hologram
- Paper Towel
- Styrofoam Board for drying
See this post and other great ideas on the following sites:
I was going to lump this in with tomorrow’s Nutella truffle post, but I think this “how to” merits its own spot. Hazelnuts are versatile and taste great in a lot of dishes, especially baked goods, but aren’t often sold in their toasted and peeled variety. Typically, these are sold skin-on and un-toasted. It’s easy to toast and peel them yourself in 15 minutes. You can toast up a big batch and store them easily for use in whatever dish you are making, a salad, or just snacking.
How to Toast Hazelnuts
Author: Goodie Godmother
- 8 oz hazelnuts
- tea towel
- baking sheet
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Spread the hazelnuts evenly over an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until the skins are crackled and blistered. Remove from the oven and cover with the towel for one minute.
- Move the hazelnuts onto the towel and rub gently to remove the skins. You may not remove everything, that's okay.
- Allow the hazelnuts to cool and use in your favorite hazelnut dish or as a snack!
Last night I finished my first complete Whole30, meaning I had no dairy, soy, wheat, legumes, or sugar for 30 days. I admit I was nervous when I started because of the dairy and my love affair with cheese and butter. I could have fruit, so sugar was not a big deal. I worried because the Godfather did not do this with me, we did no cleaning of the pantry, I even baked him bread several times during the month. I thought that would be more challenging, but it wasn’t. I really enjoyed my Whole30 month. Read my story below…
Here’s what I learned the past 30 days. There’s an INCREDIBLE variety of foods one can eat aside from dairy, soy, wheat, legumes, and sugar. I read about food boredom on the Whole9 Life website and on various other blogs, but I have to say, I never felt it. Instead I felt more creative, more motivated to explore flavors and keep things varied. The Godfather helped a lot by trying new meat recipes and modifying spices to be sure I was always compliant.
I learned to eat more at meals and less/little in between, and when I thought that would result in immediate blood sugar crashes, I found I was wrong. I didn’t go looking for coffee or something sweet as an energy boost in the afternoon, which given the amount of energy required by one small human and one small dog, is pretty amazing.
I think I noticed the biggest change from “before” when I decided to track my calories one day. As I put in what I was eating, and saw how different it was from the “recently added” suggestions from the last time I used the app, I paused. I was eating much more bread, smoothies for breakfast, etc, a far cry from the high protein diet I know makes me feel my best. I have never, ever, been good at cereal for breakfast.
Starting today, I’m adding things back into my diet slowly, and in moderation. I fully believe in maintaining a balance while enjoying all food, and I have some really amazing ideas for recipe development coming your way. But I’m working now from a better place, starting with a clean slate, feeling balanced again, and so I know it will help me maintain long-term.
I had several non-scale victories I celebrated this month. The first, posted on Instagram last week, was fitting into my first flamenco costume again. It’s snug, but the dress was custom made for me when I was just about at my smallest adult weight and has zero stretch, so it’s a much better judge of changes than most things in my closet. So I am very excited about that, especially since it’s hard to be as active in the winter than in warmer months when I can go outside.
The second, is the reason for my official “after” photo outfit choice. On May 19, 2013, I found out I was expecting. I had been feeling a little bloated, but my clothes still fit so I didn’t think too much had changed. We were booked to go to Arizona for our wedding anniversary that week and I packed this little black dress to wear the evening of our anniversary dinner. When I went to put it on at the resort, it didn’t fit over my hips and I broke down in tears. Part of it was hormonal, but the other part was me feeling I was losing a battle I fight constantly. I struggle to look in the mirror and seeing what’s actually there and not just every flaw blown way out of proportion. When something that used to fit, doesn’t, I feel like I’ve failed myself and, as a dutiful first child with the personality that comes with, failure is not an option.
So I kept the dress, and every few months after the birth of our daughter, I’d check again and see if it not only fit, but didn’t leave me looking like a stuffed sausage. I tried it again yesterday, and for the first time it passed the “I can wear this in public” test. So this is my after picture, for now, and no, my hair is not done and it’s just daytime makeup. I still have lots of room for improvement, and I’ll get there, but this is a beautiful way to start 2015. If you’d prefer numbers, I lost a total of 9 pounds and a couple inches everywhere, I just didn’t bother tracking how much because the dress was my progress marker.
Thoughts About the Program
I loved it. Should I feel in the future that my food “balance” has disappeared, I’m going to do this again and I’ll probably do a week or two here or there from time to time just because. I’m not ever going Whole365, and those of you who know me know that I’m not into Pterodactyl wings and fads enough to go whole-paleo/primal/whatever, but I do firmly believe in balance and whole foods. Eat mostly unprocessed foods, in the best quality possible, prepared in a variety of styles, and then you can have treats and junk food in moderation. Because food is meant to be enjoyed and shared with those you love, not vilified.
If you’re thinking about starting a Whole30 and want someone to cheer you on, let me know. I’d love to! I’m also happy to answer any more specific questions about my experience, including a zillion different ways to enjoy scrambled eggs, or share resources I’ve found.
To help you, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Whole30 compliant recipes on the Goodie Godmother website below and a few other resources I found useful. Enjoy!
Whole 30 Recipes on Goodie Godmother (as of Feb 6, 2015):
- Chipotle Sweet Potato Latkes
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Beef Potato Bites
- Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- Vegan Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Rice”
- Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Easy Cauliflower Flat Bread
- Cilantro Lime Egg Salad
- Pan Seared Lemon Brussels Sprouts
- Cilantro Lime Aioli
- Crock Pot Apple Sauce
- Rosemary Garlic Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Ghee
- Winter Kale Beef Soup
- Crispy Oven Pork Belly
- Ropa Vieja – Cuban Shredded Beef
- Mashed Coconut Boniato
- Baba Ganoush
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Rosemary Garlic Oven Roasted Chicken
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup
- Slow Cooker Cuban Chicken
- Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Poached Egg
- Tortilla Espanola
Other Great Resources:
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