Jul 15

Peachy Black Tea Drink Recipe

I made this peachy black tea drink recipe with Sweet’N Low as part of a series of sponsored posts for Socialstars. #SweetNLowStars

Peachy black tea drink recipe made with Sweet'N Low. #SweetNLowStars
It’s summertime and you know what that means… PARTIES! Parties all day, every day! Wahoo!

OK, maybe just on the weekend, but still.

I have been feeling especially boozy with all of the wedding hustle and bustle going on this summer, so I have a extra tasty drink series coming your way. Like, go buy a gallon of rum because they will all contain fruit infused rum. Oh, and they will all be delicious. Just sayin’…

This peachy black tea cocktail will be served to the guests, who happen to be 21+, of Michael’s birthday party this weekend. Dudes. His party is in FOUR days! FOUR DAYS! Ermahgerd!

Making peach infused rum for a peachy black tea drink recipe. #SweetNLowStars

Peachy Black Tea Ingredients

  • 16oz Black Tea Infused with Peach
  • 6oz White Peach Schnapps
  • 6oz Whiskey
  • 6oz Peach Infused Rum (Let peach slices sit in a jar of rum for about a week, pictured above.)
  • 3oz Simple Syrup (Dissolve 8 tsp of Sweet’N Low in 1 cup of boiling water.)
  • Fresh Peaches, for garnish
  • Fresh Mint, for garnish
  • Blackberries, for garnish
  • Ice

This peachy black tea drink recipe is the perfect party cocktail. #SweetNLowStars

The beauty of this peachy black tea drink recipe is found in its ability to morph into whatever you are in the mood for. Straight peachy? Yes, sir! A minty, berry twist? Whatever your heart desires! Let’s face it, you might wake up feeling peachy, but once 5 o’clock rolls around… you are ready for a minty shock to the system. It happens to the best multi-taskers out there.

Simply muddle whatever combination you would like to try before pouring the peachy goodness into your glass.

Not to mention, guests can design their own cocktails based on their palette and mood. It’s brilliant, I tell ya!

You can turn peachy black tea into 3 different cocktails simply by muddling different ingredients into your glass. #SweetNLowStars

Now, I know the blogosphere is full o’ skeptics, so I thought I would break down each version of my peachy black tea.

Straight peachy- This version is sa-weet! I know the fellas will veto a ‘foo-foo’ drink, but it is flippin’ tasty and perfect for a girls night. Like, sit me down with a pitcher and play video games all night, tasty. Isn’t that what all girls do during girls night?

Minty fresh- The mint gave the peachy black tea a refreshing kick. Think about a cocktail you would enjoy on a hot summer day.

Blackberry mint- This one is the best of the fruity and minty worlds because the peach base makes it sweet, the blackberries inject a dash of tartness, and the mint gives it a refreshing finish. Oh, and it is easy on the eyes.

Which version of peachy black tea would you choose  #SweetNLowStars
There you have it, folks. Which version of peachy black tea would you pick?

And one more thing before I sign off!

I used 8 teaspoons of Sweet’N Low in my simple syrup, versus 1 cup of sugar, because I am trying out a few drink recipes that are a little more diabetic friendly. And the fresh fruit totally counts towards my daily serving of fruit, right? I vote yes! After all, it is summer and summer means there is an abundance of party food and drink every time you turn around. Your waistline is cool with the substitution. Promise.

Cheers until August!

 

Jul 14

How to Throw a Party for a Party Planner

How to Throw a Party with the perfect cake for a Party Planner's Birthday
I think it is time to discuss the purple elephant standing in the corner of this room. He is standing at your six. You don’t believe me? No, I wasn’t drinking before noon! I’m a classy broad, you know this!

Well… maybe a little sip with my cake. I mean, it WAS right there. And it WAS my birthday. And it WAS delicious.

Whatever. It’s my party and I’ll drink if I want to, drink if I want to, drink if I want to.

<Puts fingers in ears> La, la, la. I’m not listening until you agree to talk about the purple elephant.

El-le-ffff-ant!

How to Throw a Party for a Party Planner's Birthday

Purple elephant. Yes, that.

Do you know how to throw a party, specifically a birthday party, for a party planner? I ask because my mom brought it up when I told her I won’t have a birthday party until I turn the big 3-0. You know, when I start looking old and wishing I was able to turn 30 over and over again. Wait? Isn’t that why Botox was invented?

Please, no birthday gifts unless they are gift certificates to Dr. Feel Good. Kthanks!

How to Throw a Party with simple decorations for a Party Planner's Birthday

It might blow your mind to hear this…

Are you sure you want to know how to throw a party for a person who is absolutely OCD over party details? Are you wo-man enough for this gig?

The odds of a party planner wanting a slammin’ shindig are pretty low. I’m talking low like hanging out with the trolls, low.

We (meaning some, not all) party planners throw parties for our loved ones because… well… we love them long time. That, and we are self-confessed introverts. Parties? Yes please! Talking to every single guest? Imma gonna take this here bottle and find me a cozy spot in the restroom. Let me know when it’s time for cake.

How to Throw a Party for a Party Planner's Birthday with easy cocktails.
My bottle happened to be Jose Cuervo Iced Teagarita this year. Umm… chyeah! Like, I did not expect it to be as tasty as it was. And no, my opinion wasn’t formed towards the end of the bottle because we all know what happens at the bottom of a bottle. I’m pretty sure there is a song about that… (Which is why you should drink responsibly. Do as I say,  not as I do.)

I cracked the bottle of a new twist on a classic and let it waft to my sniffer, over and over again. It was glorious. Iced tea and margarita babies are where it’s at, according to a recent family poll.

Did you know my name in French class was Marguerite? So, if my calculations are correct…

Jose Cuervo Iced Teagarita is quite possibly the love child of my French personality and a rapper from the 80′s.

Wait, what?

I’m sorry, I didn’t see the line in the sand. Let me take a step back and get back to the point of this post. Forgive me?

How to Throw a Party for a Party Planner's Birthday- Make sure you have their favorite cake.

How to throw a party for a party planner

  • Incorporate her favorite color.
  • Give her a nice cake, unless she prefers cookies or pie.
  • Make an effort to decorate. Don’t go overboard, but do grab a roll of cheap crepe paper and tassel it up. The effort you put into the minimal details will not go unnoticed.
  • Provide a delicious drink that she will slurp down no problem.
  • And always, always whip out her ‘pimp cup’.

How to Throw a Party for a Party Planner's Birthday- Never forget her special drinking glass.

What did I tell you? Any man can forget about a birthday and still throw together a special cake and drink. Oh, and my cake? Freaking fantastic! I don’t care who you are, coconut is amazing.

Be sure to keep your eyes wide for the rest of the summer because Teagarita launched in May and the new kid on the block is worth a quick scour of the booze department. You won’t regret it.

Cheers to party planners everywhere!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

Jul 10

Dark Side of Potty Training

“Don’t play with your penis at the dinner table.”
“Don’t pee on the wall!”
“Hang on, I have to wipe your butt!”
“Just pull down your pants and pee on the tree.”

The dark side of potty training boys.

I received the cleaning products mentioned in this potty training story for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions and sense of humor do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

After a countless number of soggy bottoms, I think it is time to announce to world that Michael is…

I hope I don’t jinx myself…

Michael is potty trained! As in officially dropping deuces on the porcelain throne! Man sized deuces that make me thankful I no longer have to clean a butt that has been sitting in a poopy diaper for any period of time. Woot!

But it hasn’t been all drop your drawers, flush the toilet, and wash your hands. Nope. My life has been dowsed in urine. Lots and lots of warm, musty urine. Process that smell, whydontcha.

Using Ology products to cleaning up potty training messes.

I hate to break it to ya… the road to potty training doesn’t contain a carpool lane. There is no magic wand. No bippity, boppity, boo. They either want to, or they don’t. You will either drown your frustrations in a bottle, or let them tell you when it’s time to start. You might be the parent, but they control this rodeo. Give up the reins unless you enjoy uphill battles full of wax on, wax off as you clean up mountains of fecal material with cleaners that don’t contain harsh solvents and tree-free paper towels.

It’s your choice.

You never know what you will see when you start potty training a boy.

And then the day will come where you want your newly potty trained toddler to bend the rules a little bit. Only they won’t because you once told them not to. You know, like peeing in the lake. Or on the tree. Or that you don’t need new shorts if you dribble a little.

You see, we recently went on a family trip to the cabin and Michael would NOT pee in the lake. Well, he would, but not the way normal people typically do it. He had to get out of the lake, stand on the dock, drop his drawers, arch his impressive stream back into the lake before pulling his trunks back up and hopping back into the water. The same spot he just peed. Which is the same concept as letting it go and hoping the people around you don’t notice the temperature difference. The brain of a toddler!

Oh, and he wouldn’t pee over the side of the boat, but he sure didn’t care about peeing into the trashcan… twice! And for the record… I was caught in the golden crossfire the first time. <not amused face>

Piles of laundry as a result of potty training boys.

And the laundry? Ooooo, gurllll! The laundry will gitcha because you have trained your toddler for however many years to put dirty clothes in the hamper. Except when you go to empty the hamper now you are smacked in the face with the smell of old urine. Forcing you to scoop out piles of smelly clothes to find the potty training accident.

Dang it, Jim! That’s it! No more liquids after 9pm! None. Done. Ugh!

We are giving the Ology™ brand from Walgreens a whirl because it is all over the interwebz. I’m talking about everywhere! I can’t speak to the effects on Michael’s eczema because it is way too soon and there have been too many factors with travel, swimming in a duck poo infested lake, etc, but I am hopeful.

You all know how my OCD likes controlled tests. Ha!

The funny stories they don't tell you about when you are potty training boys.
What I can speak to is how Ology is working to avoid toxic chemicals. Me likey! I have high hopes for my new natural ingredient detergent. Have you tried it on one of the sensitive bums in your household yet? Hook a girl up with the details! What do you think?

 

Jul 09

Breakfast Bruschetta

Breakfast bruschetta made with Great Day Farms hard boiled eggs is the perfect brunch appetizer.
What do you think of when you hear ‘breakfast bruschetta’? Tomatoes served on bread with a side of sunny siders? Perhaps, but you would be wrong. This party diva was given the task of making an easy egg appetizer (that wasn’t deviled eggs) using hard-boiled eggs from Great Day Farms.

Psshh…. please! Challenge accepted!

Note- You will find the packages of hard-boiled eggs at Walmart, in the same area as the pre-made sandwiches.

Baking the bread for breakfast bruschetta.
You guys, I purchased four different types of cheese for this project, and you know what I figured out? I’m not big into soft cheese. Yuck! Hard cheese only, please!

(See what I did there?)

I guess that means I will never be one of the ladies covered in baubles sitting around eating all sorts of fancy looking cheese while sipping on something delicious? My dreams of retirement have been squashed! My life is over! I have no idea how I will keep myself occupied in my old age. The horror!

WAIT a minute!

I can totally see myself as the crazy, yet hilarious, old lady on YouTube.

Yes, let’s plan on a slightly inappropriate YouTube channel that makes Michael shake his head at me into his parenting years. My future daughter-in-law will either LOVE me or tolerate me. Ha!

Everything you need to make breakfast bruschetta.

Oh, hey, did you know I am now writing recipes for Great Day Farms? For real, guys! They are paying me REAL doll hairs for recipes. I’m living the dream, yo! Hooray!

Which is why you will find the full breakfast bruschetta recipe in their neck of the woods. Go now and eat food! Or pin them to your boards so it looks like you make food. I don’t judge.

 

Jun 21

Paleo Egg Scramble

Paleo egg scramble recipe
It always happens. I wake up with every intention of earning my wifey status, only it never seems to work out that way. Nope. Michael strolls into bedroom around 8:30 demanding we watch the same ABC show we watch every morning. To which I reply, “Go potty and we will watch ABCs.”

I lift my face mask and follow the pitter patter into the bathroom just in case he decides to pee all over the wall. Again. Then he insists on using my fun bags as pillows for the entire 50 minutes and 52 seconds we spend learning our ABCs. AGAIN. And then we discuss whether or not we should go to the gym. Which brings me to my first point…

I firmly believe everyone in need of an accountability partner should rent a toddler for the duration of their workout plan. Especially a toddler who is an only child and relies on the gym daycare for social interaction. Thigh gap is attainable when you have a tiny human reminding you it’s time to hit the weights!

Paleo egg scramble is the perfect meal for the days you find yourself with just a few ingredients in your fridge. But the fun doesn’t stop there. My day is filled with lots of “wipe my butt”, “I want green juice”, “Jeep doesn’t go in garage”, and my favorite “Cuddle on couch, watch mommy daddy shows”. Which means, by the time I even think about dinner, it’s nap time. I usually cross my fingers and hope there is something edible in the refrigerator for dinner.

Only, there isn’t.

I find a cooked chicken breast, pitiful asparagus, and eggs. Wifey fail.

Do I make omelets… again? Do I really feel like wrapping the asparagus in bacon… again? Efffffff! When was the last time we had pizza? Yesterday? Damn!

By now I realize I have to get creative.
After you bake the asparagus, paleo egg scramble becomes a one pot recipe.

Paleo Egg Scramble Ingredients

  • Great Day Organic Eggs
  • 1 Bushel of Asparagus
  • 12 oz Bacon
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Recipe Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking dish with a single layer of asparagus, coated with olive oil and seasonings.
  • Cook the asparagus for 15-18 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon and cut up the chicken.
  • In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil and scramble the eggs.
  • Mix in the chicken, bacon, and asparagus.
  • Open your mouth and shovel goodness in!

How to turn leftover ingredients into a delicious paleo egg scramble meal.
And that, folks, is how I saved dinner.

Oh! I totally didn’t have to do any chores that evening. I might have even gotten a foot rub that night. My work here is done.

Enjoy!

 

Jun 13

Pink and Gold Bridal Shower

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for MY M&M’S. I received product samples to facilitate my pink and gold bridal shower and to thank me for my participation.”

Pink and gold bridal shower ideas with plenty of glitter and sparkles. #ambassador #sponsored

I never thought, even in my wildest dreams, I would ever utter the words you are about to read. At first, every fiber in my body slowly deteriorated as I planned this pink and gold bridal shower. I cried silent tears as I spent my hard earned doll hairs on pink glitter, and curled up in the fetal position whenever I walked past the VERY pink box of supplies.

I feel like this party was my forced midlife crisis. My come to Jesus meeting, if you will.

Pink and gold bridal showers should be full of glitter and feminine accents. #ambassador #sponsored
There was a point, after all the crafts were completed, that I sat at the table and just admired my work. I fell in love with my PINK party theme. I was smitten. I wracked my brain for hours trying to figure out the point I fell, but it was a hard and fast fall.

Speaking of… I should probably ice my bruised tailbone.

Light pink, dark pink, and gold personalized M&M's make easy pink and gold bridal shower decorations. #ambassador #sponsored

It’s no secret that details are my everything. I want guests to come in with a WOW and continue their WOW journey as they uncover each and every tiny detail. Everything from the bowl of personalized M&M’S, to the perfect bridal shower favor. Finding a party planner with OCD as fierce as mine means every speck of glitter has a purpose.

I guess that means you should sit down with your wedding planner, party planner, etc. and ask about their OCD? You know, because anything less than perfect makes us twitchy.

Create personalized wedding shower favors for a pink and gold bridal shower with MY M&MS, pink or gold nail polish, and pink nail files. #ambassador #sponsored
Let’s talk about the bridal shower favors for just a moment, mmmkay?

I scoured so many stores looking for the perfect nail polish colors. I didn’t want janky looking colors, but I also didn’t want to spend more than $1 a bottle for a party of 50. Which is why I encourage you to visit every stinkin’ dollar type of store and Big Lots in your neighborhood because you never know what type of gem you will find.

This is a great place to save on your budget if you can’t swing the polish and files. MY M&M’s has bags of bulk M&M’S and various packaging options, so you can still send your guests home with a unique party favor regardless of your cash flow.

A great favor for a pink and gold bridal shower includes a pink nail file, pink or gold nail polish, and a small bag of pink and gold M&M's. #ambassador #sponsored

I ended up going with

  • $1 nail polish
  • Pink organza bag filled with personalized M&M’S
  • Pink nail file
  • All placed inside a larger organza bag with gold hearts.

Decorate a bottle of blush cocktail with pink and gold glitter for a pink and gold bridal shower. #ambassador #sponsored
I decided on a blush cocktail because it was the only blush with a gold wrapper and, you know, details.

Gold glitter champagne flutes trimmed in gold sprinkles with a blush cocktail are perfect for a pink and gold bridal shower. #ambassador #sponsored
You see, I wanted my glasses to be gold, with a blush drink, rimmed in gold sprinkles. I mean, it only makes sense, right?

I thought so.

Cotton candy frosting and gold details make the perfect cupcakes for a pink and gold bridal shower. #ambassador #sponsored

Do you see a pattern? Pink charger, gold charger, pink frosting, gold details. Is there any other way?

The answer is no.

Little details make a pink and gold bridal shower special. #ambassador #sponsored

Make it romantic with words describing the couple and you, my friends, will have one happy bride-to-be.

Mirror trays make classy centerpieces for a pink and gold bridal shower. #ambassador #sponsored

I will be 100% honest with you, the centerpiece on this table was crafted from items Michael’s grandma passed down to me. If you want the vintage, glamorous feel of hand mirrors and perfume atomizers, you better get to the thrift store because it is expensive!

What girl wouldn't want a classy pink and gold bridal shower with vintage perfume atomizers? #ambassdor #sposored
Pretty perfume atomizers are a solid $20 everywhere I looked. If you are planning a party for a bride that has her heart set on this look, see if you can talk her into having a special centerpiece for her head table. That is, unless she has deep pockets. You can have whatever pretties you want if you fork up the cash!

You can never have too much glitter and sparkles at a pink and gold bridal shower. #ambassador #sponsored

So, what do you think? Are my fellow pink haters swooning with me?

You better be!

Or not, it’s cool.

Do a girl a favor and pin this pink and gold bridal shower collage!

Pink and gold bridal shower ideas. Perfect for the girl in love with glitter and all things girly. The party is adorable! #ambassador #sponsored
 

 

Follow Mallery’s board Pink and Gold Bridal Shower and/or Wedding Decorations on Pinterest.

Jun 06

Ellipsis 7 Tablet

Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless

The Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless is a great example of why you should research a major purchase before making any decisions. There will always be pros and cons to a gadget. Always. Without pros and cons, we would be left with companies creating gadgets with one person in mind. And that one person would probably be a millennial male who is tech savvy.

I don’t know about you but I am very much a female.

Quick Ellipsis 7 Tablet Video


Don’t you love how Michael’s personality is starting to come out on camera? I do because he is a side splitter in real life!

PS- You guys know this isn’t sponsored, right? Verizon sends us gadgets to play with and we send them back after a month of use. Our job is to simply report our findings to the interwebz!

The Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless has a 3.2 MP camera.

We will start off with the important things, like the camera.

I kid.

Please do NOT use a tablet to take pictures unless you are still rocking out an ancient beast of a cellphone. Just no. The Ellipsis 7 has a 3.2 MP rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera, so not good. The only time this might be a thing is if you are using your tablet to participate in a video conference. I mean, I guess you might need to do a video conference with a tablet, but you better have a way to keep the attendees from getting motion sickness.

Are you wondering what Michael thinks?

The Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless comes with a micro SD card slot.

Its 1.2Ghz quad core processor works well for internet usage and limited apps. It is running a stable version of Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) which makes it perform adequately. It is still a very beige device in an overcrowded marketplace of tablets.

The Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless only works in 4G service areas.

The lack of 2G/3G is a big disappointment for someone who travels, but if the majority of your usage is either in 4G areas or places with Wi-Fi, this could be the tablet for you. UPDATE as of 6/6/2014: Verizon is now offering it free with contract, so you could add it on to your Share Everything plan for just $10 per month.

Comparing the size of the Ellipsis 7 Tablet from Verizon Wireless to the Samsung Galaxy 2 and Dell Venue 8 Pro.

Now, don’t start thinking we are dogging on the Ellipsis 7 like a lot of other tech sites out there because we aren’t. Well, Michael is one of the millennial males I mentioned earlier, so yes, he wasn’t impressed with this tablet. I, being the main user during our review period, thought it got the job done.

And if you follow me at all you know I recently traveled to Arkansas for SoFabCon. What you don’t know is that Verizon picked this specific tablet for me to test out because I was traveling. I know Michael mentioned the lack of 2G and 3G, but since I was in a 4G area, the connectivity actually ended up being a lifesaver. Again, pros and cons.

A lot of reviewers are also critiquing the dismal design and thick bezel. Listen here… I have a hammer thumb and enjoyed taking notes in my lap without my thumb touching the screen. So, I encourage you to think about the why behind your desire to own a tablet. What specifically is important to you? Connectivity? Sleek design? Latest technology? You decide.

Jun 01

German Chocolate Cookies

German chocolate cookies recipe with homemade german chocolate frosting. You don't want to miss the secret way to prepare this cookie  so it becomes your favorite cookie recipe! #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

German chocolate cookies came into my life during the beginning of a pretty tough time. I remember one of my mom’s co-workers sending a batch of cookies and the recipe home with her in the midst of more than I can remember doctor appointments. She wanted to give me something that would make me feel better. Something capable of providing comfort, even if just for a moment.

And they did.

Her german chocolate cookies soon became the favorite treat in my circle of friends. That is, until I lost the recipe during a move. I even scoured the internet over and over again looking for something similar, but I always ended up with less than perfect cookies. Gah! I had given up hope when the recipe popped up out of nowhere! No joke, dudes.

It’s funny how things have a way of working out. I found the recipe for my absolute favorite cookie in the entire world at the right moment and now I can hand it over to one of my friends who could use a little comfort herself. Sure, it’s just a recipe for german chocolate cookies, but they have a way of making people smile.

And we all know smiles are contagious.

Ingredients for german chocolate cookies made from cake batter. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

PS- This is sponsored, but you already knew that. ;)

German Chocolate Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 Tub Cool Whip
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Box German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1/2 c Flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Powdered Sugar, for rolling

Add the ingredients (except the powdered sugar) to the cake mix and prepare to get dirty. You think I’m joking?  Pssshh… you better wash your hands and roll up your sleeves for this one!

For real. Roll up your sleeves.

Mixing the Cool Whip into the german chocolate cookies batter. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

As someone who has mixed in the Cool Whip with her hands, a stand mixer, and a spoon, I can expertly say I prefer using a pastry blender. Why? Using your hands is SUCH A MESS. A stand mixer will only get you halfway there because the batter gets thick in record speed. A spoon… who uses a spoon anymore? No, really, who still uses a spoon?

I think a pastry blender mushes the dry mix into the Cool Whip the best, but I almost guarantee you will end up with your hands in the goodies until you figure out your own mixing groove.

Roll the german chocolate cookies in powdered sugar. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Use a cookie scoop to form the balls because bigger is not better in this situation. (That’s what she said!) 

Next, roll the cookie ball in powdered sugar before baking at 350 for 15 minutes.

Note- The recipe says 15-18 minutes but 15 has always been my perfect cookie time.

Ingredients for homemade german chocolate frosting for the top of this german chocolate cookies recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

German Chocolate Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 3/4 c Butter
  • 1.5 c Pecans
  • 2 1/3 c Shredded Coconut
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 1.5 c Sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla

Mix everything in a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once you have brought the pan to a boil, reduce to low heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently because you will cry giant, salty tears if the frosting burns.

I recommend letting it cool all the way before frosting the cookies because the frosting is OMG yum when it has cooled. Trust me.

I know you won’t listen to that tip so go on with your bad self and sneak a taste early!

Frosting german chocolate cookies with homemade german chocolate frosting. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

When the frosting has cooled down, I use my silicone spreader to frost the cookies because it is sort of amazing. By sort of, I mean it’s at the top of my list of favorite kitchen utensils. I use the crap out of it!

But I digress…

I don’t care how you enjoy your german chocolate cookies as long as you recognize how flipping amazing they are. You can frost them, eat them plain, or take a spoon to the frosting. And kudos if you come back to tell me how in love you are!

Oh! And don’t forget to PIN ME!

Drawer full of kitchen essentials that include all of the utensils required to make german chocolate cookies. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Do you remember how I mentioned the contest from Good Cook in my paleo beef stroganoff recipe? Good. Here is the drawer of must haves I put together for this event. I will even explain why my drawer is the best drawer EVA!

Tools in My Drawer

  1. Measuring Spoon- (Used in recipe.) Everyone needs a measuring spoon, and this one saves you space because you don’t need multiple sizes.
  2. Egg Separator- (Used in recipe.)  I cook with a TON of eggs and prefer to not spend oodles of time separating eggs. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
  3. Pastry Blender- (Used in recipe.) Because everyone deserves one tool that makes them feel like a real baker.
  4. Silicone Spreader- (Used in recipe.) I use it ALL THE TIME. Seriously, you need one if you bake at home.
  5. Silicone Spatula- (Used in recipe.) A spatula is sort of like the pepper in your spice cupboard… you need it.
  6. Measuring cup (1 cup)- (Used in recipe.) Very important. Must have. Every homeowner should have one. Unless your house doesn’t have a kitchen.
  7. Measuring cup (2 cup)- (Used in recipe.) I prefer both sizes so I can use one for dry and the other for wet when I whip up a recipe.
  8. Knife- Once college is over, you should definitely trade your dollar store knives for something nice.
  9. Ice cream Scoop- Because who doesn’t eat ice cream? Duh!
  10. Locking tongs- I LOVE my tongs. I use them for marinating, browning, grilling, ev-ver-ry-thing.
  11. Salad Tongs- We eat a butt-ton of salad so salad tongs are required.
  12. Pizza Cutter- We eat whatever is larger than a butt-ton of pizza so yeah, this is my life line.
  13. Rolling Pin- Bakers everywhere know the value of a rolling pin.
  14. Folding grater- I cook a lot from scratch so I save a little cashola by chopping and grating things myself. The struggle of a clean eater is intense. <Cue the violins!>
  15. Spaghetti Server- And finally, I thought about this one for a while. A turner is a valuable tool, but so is a spoon. Hmmm… So, I decided on the spaghetti server because it can act like a spoon and still do the spaghetti thing. Does that make sense? Maybe?

Good Cook Build Your Kitchen Drawer #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

I’m guess you love my drawer, right? I mean… c’mon, you know it’s pretty freaking amazing. In the rare instance that you don’t pick my drawer for the Build Your Kitchen Drawer contest, you can look for the above picture when you are shopping around the Good Cook site. Just click on ‘add me’ and that item will be added to your drawer. Easy peasy.

Don’t forget everything on the Good Cook site will be 25% off during the contest. That means you can either enter to win an instant prize, additional discounts, or play it safe with 25% off. The choice is yours.

If you tweet, follow Good Cook on Twitter and at the hashtags #‎goodcookcom#‎goodcookkitchenexprt, and ‪#‎KitchenDrawerContest.



 

May 25

Paleo Beef Stroganoff

Paleo beef stroganoff with cauliflower rice recipe with step by step instructions and tips to make this a one pot recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkichenexprt

Paleo beef stroganoff is a favorite ’round these joints. Sure, noodles are nice, but this recipe… this recipe doesn’t make me feel like the Michelin Man after inhaling a giant bowl. One might even go out on a limb and say I woof it down. Screw the eat slow and let your brain realize it’s full. Ain’t nobody got time for table manners when the grub is this good!

Psst… if you couldn’t tell, this is sponsored. But sponsored to me still means a quirky rambling of chaos. Enjoy!

Ingredients for a paleo beef stroganoff with cauliflower rice recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Paleo Beef Stroganoff Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sirloin, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup Almond Meal
  • Coconut Oil, for pan
  • 2-3 Eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 2 tsp Pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1.5 cups Beef Stock
  • 3 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • Chives, for garnish

Coat the sirloin in almond meal for a delicious paleo beef stroganoff recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Start by whisking your eggs into a bowl so you can send your sirloin through the dip (2-3 eggs), dip (almond meal, 1tsp salt, 1tsp pepper), and finish obstacle course.

Use an Egg Separator if you are watching the number of egg yolks you consume. It’s a lot easier to finagle the slippery goop, better known as an egg, with a special gadget.

I heart gadgets.

Add chives to the cauliflower rice before removing it from the heat so you can finish the Paleo beef stroganoff recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Next, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, over medium high heat, and brown the sirloin. (Tip- Do not crowd the pan! Brown the meat in batches so you don’t burn your very expensive cuts of beef.)

I wish I was joking. I always purchase two sets of ingredients for blog recipes and because I did… I will now be eating lettuce all week. Thankfully it was totally worth it.

But I digress…

Pull the beef out of the pan so you can move on to the mushrooms and onions. I let them sizzle (medium heat) a bit before adding in the head of cauliflower (that has been through the food processor) and 1 teaspoon of salt. The cauliflower should cook, covered, for about 10 minutes before removing the lid, adding in some chives, and cooking for 5 more minutes.

Oh, and that Pot Clip Holder? You sort of need it. Like, for real need it if you cook or want to LOOK like you cook more than microwave meals.

Use Arrowroot Powder to thicken the sauce in this paleo beef stroganoff with cauliflower rice recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Remove the cauliflower mixture from the pan and pour in the beef stock and coconut milk (full fat, in a can, you need a Safe-cut Can Opener). See what I did there? Subliminal messages, dude.

Mix in the Arrowroot Powder and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, stir in 1 teaspoon pepper, and stir some more so the powder doesn’t clump up. Once it has boiled, add the meat back in and cook until the sauce gets nice and saucy. Saucy like the woman pretend to be.

Sayyyy what?

Oh, and that Flip Measuring spoon? It’s the answer to your sink full of random measuring spoons. Or is that just how I cook? I mean, I have been known to make a mess (or ten) when I cook.

Paleo beef stroganoff with cauliflower rice recipe. #goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexprt

Now that everything is cooked, use something like a SMART Ice cream scoop to dish out a fair portion of the cauliflower rice on everyone’s plate. And I do mean fair. You will see us acting like rabid dogs as we shovel paleo beef stroganoff into our face holes.

It goes something like this.

You gonna eat that? Huh? Huh? Are you sure you’re not full? You look full. I’m just gonna go ahead and take care of your plate. <Insert freakish dog snarl here.>

In case you didn’t catch my attempts at planting subliminal messages in your noggin’, Good Cook is running a Kitchen Drawer Event on their site with an additional 5 day giveaway on the Good Cook Facebook page. It starts June 2nd so you better start thinking about the 15 kitchen items you can’t live without right meow.

And be sure to check back on 5/29/14 because I am preparing my own drawer for the event. You know, because I like gadgets. Drawers upon drawers of gadgets.

One final note… everything on the Good Cook site will be 25% off during the contest. That means you can either enter to win an instant prize, additional discounts, or play it safe with 25% off. The choice is yours.

I lied. I have one MORE thing. Don’t forget to follow Good Cook on Twitter at the hashtags #‎goodcookcom, #‎goodcookkitchenexprt, and ‪#‎KitchenDrawerContest.

 
AND. AND. AND! Pin me because you love me. Kthanks.


 

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May 23

Pink and Gold Bridal Shower Decorations

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for MY M&M’S. I received product samples to facilitate my pink and gold bridal shower decorations and to thank me for my participation.”

PSSST… The full bridal shower is live here if you want to see the finished product!

Wedding season has descended upon families everywhere. So, we can either bury our heads in the sand to avoid wedding stress, or we can help with the festivities. I obviously picked the latter because… yanno, parties are my thing.

Even though I’m only sharing crafts, money saving tips, and a super rad personalized favor in this post, I will be back in a few weeks to show you the finished product. It’s GORGEOUS. Absolutely stunning. I’m in love and I am far from a fan of the color pink. You really need to poke your head back in early June.

Wait a minute… you should stick around just because I am wicked awesome. Seriously. Why fight it?

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Spray painting dollar store chargers pink.

The best price I found on chargers was at Dollar Tree. They were gold, $1, and pretty good quality. I only spray painted them with pink glitter because I found smaller gold ones to set on top of this charger for the cupcakes. I know that doesn’t make a ton of sense. A smart person would have spray painted the smaller plate to save on the amount of paint needed, but I was going for a pink, gold, pink pattern so this is the way it had to be.

DIY Bridal Shower Chargers

  • Gold chargers from Dollar Tree
  • Smaller cupcake chargers (I found mine on sale at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store after Christmas.)
  • Krylon Glitter Blast

This glitter is hella expensive for what it covers. It’s BEAUTIFUL, but it costs something ridiculous like $5.99 for a tiny bottle. I would shop around for a better option if you are on a budget.

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Painting the couple's initials gold.

Personalized anything is one of the easiest ways to envelope the bride and groom in warm and fuzzies.

DIY Glitter Initials

  • Gold glitter paint (Or gold glitter spray paint. Or gold paint with a single layer of gold glitter paint.)
  • 12″ Paper Mache Letter

 Crafting note- At $6.99, I do not recommend this acrylic paint as a stand alone option. I used the entire container on this project and painted a million coats. What a time suck! I would 1- Use a glitter spray paint. or 2- Paint the letters gold with a few layers of gold glitter. 

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- {TIP} Skip the pink glitter paint and use pink glitter spray paint on cardboard letters.

You can sort of see what I mean in this picture. I started with the pink version of the previously stated gold acrylic paint and ended up pulling the spray paint out because I was over it. Spray paint solves all problems!

Glitter Paint vs Glitter Spray Paint

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Using spray adhesive and gold glitter to glam up old vases.

You can pretty much glitter anything your little heart desires.

DIY Glitter Vases

  • Spray adhesive
  • Gold glitter
  • Random vases

Money saving tip- Scour garage sales for cheap items! I found a few vases from my high school PROM in the basement for this project. And you know what I learned? Glittered vases look really cool when they are different shapes and sizes. The glitter must make things look uniform in an eclectic sort of way.

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- {TIP} Use a container to catch the loose glitter so you don't have any waste.

Crafting tip- Use a container to catch the glitter that doesn’t stick to the current item you are making so you can save as much of your precious glitter as possible. Just be sure to spray the vase/votive/glass/etc. away from the box so it doesn’t contaminate your loose glitter.

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Add another glittery detail with gold glitter champagne flutes.

I searched high and low for cheap champagne flutes. Ugh! Of course I had to be diva-like with my desire for tall and skinny glasses! I can’t explain it much more than I wanted a specific look.

You have a few options when it comes to glasses: plastic (cheap but plastic), garage sales and/or thrift store (glass, loads of work, eclectic look), IKEA (shorter but only .80/glass), Dollar Tree (shorter, $1/glass), and the random dollar party store in town.

I don’t know how I did it, but I stumbled into this random dollar store and she had all of her stores ship their glasses to her so I could purchase 50 matching glasses. I got lucky!

DIY Glitter Champagne Flutes

  • Champagne flutes
  • Gold glitter
  • Spray adhesive
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Parchment paper (Or whatever you have at home, like newspaper.)

I’m sure you can get away with just the tape if you are careful but let’s be honest… do you really want to skip a step that might save you a massive headache down the road? I didn’t think so.

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Save money on votives by cleaning up old candle holders.

These glitter votive holders are another way to save on decorations. As you can see, I found some sort of blue votive holder in my basement that probably should have been pitched. I filled up a bowl with hot water and scooped the softened (not melted) wax out with a spoon.

Next, I cleaned off the yuck with a paper towel and some Goo Gone.

I wanted my pink votives to poke out a little so I made sure I kept the glitter to about 1 inch. Again, Painter’s Tape and spray adhesive. Are you seeing a pattern?

DIY Glitter Votive Holders

  • Spray adhesive
  • Goo Gone
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Votive holders
  • 1 1/4 inch pink votives (This eBay store has the best price on candle/votive combos.)

Money saving tip- Votive holders do NOT have to match if they are on different tables. Think of each centerpiece as its own piece of art. I highly doubt your guests will walk from table to table pointing out the size differences. 

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Make your own napkins and napkin rings.

I’m super geeked to unveil this one! I have been dying to use rhinestone ribbon for something and it just so happens that sparkly napkin rings are SO easy to make.

Figure out the correct size for your napkin (mine was 4 inches) and glue it to the 1 inch piece of elastic. Why elastic? I wanted a little bit of stretch just in case one of the napkins had a little more bulk to it.

DIY Bridal Shower Napkins & Rhinestone Napkin Rings

  • E6000 adhesive
  • 1 inch elastic
  • 4 inch, 8 row rhinestone ribbon (This eBay store has the best price.)
  • 10-12 x 26 inch gold fabric, hemmed, for cloth napkins (26 because the fabric isn’t heavy)

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- Make your own cupcakes liners out of scrapbook paper.

Finally, the last bridal shower craft is something I personally only do when I’m in a pinch. I prefer to order cupcake wrappers on Etsy because they aren’t my favorite things to make, but you can save a ton of cash if you make them this way. All you need is a pattern, scissors, writing utensil, and scrapbook paper. Easy peasy but tedious.

DIY Glitter Cupcake Wrappers

  • Sparkle scrapbook paper (Makes 4)

Pink and gold bridal shower decorations- 8 craft ideas to help save money on your big day.

^^Pin me!^^

But this isn’t all about pink and gold bridal shower decorations! Nope! I have a few more special surprises for the big reveal! <Insert so much girly excitement here.>

I ordered personalized M&M’s from MY M&M’S because you know me and the little details. Details are my life when it comes to a party. I went with pink, light pink, and gold so they matched the party colors, and I decided on 2 images and 2 text so I could give a few of my own little somethings. I mean, I am gaining two sister-in-laws this summer. They will either learn to love or hate my weird quirks.

I hate (No I don’t.) that I’m leaving you with such a cliffhanger but I had to dangle the carrot to ensure you would come back to see my perfect bridal shower favor. It’s delicious. It’s full of glitter. It’s girly. It’s everything a girl could ask for. You NEED to see what comes next!

Check out my Pink and Gold Bridal Shower Decorations board and pin away!

 

Follow Mallery’s board Pink and Gold Bridal Shower and/or Wedding Decorations on Pinterest.
 

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