Sunday, July 20, 2014

Where in the World is Ms. Toody? (and a Giveaway!)




Can you guess where in the world I am?

Take a guess... 
and leave me a comment,
and I will send a small souvenir 
to whoever comes closest (in miles) 
to my vacation location. 

Please list a city/state/country,
because if you say "Antartica" or 
"The Equator,"
it will be hard for me to include you in the contest.
In the event of a tie,
I will select the person who leaves
the first comment with the correct (or closest) location.

In order to receive the gift,
I will need a way to contact you,
so if you are not a blogger with a link back, 
please leave an email address in your comment. 

After I contact the winner,
 I'll need to hear back from you within 48 hours, 
otherwise, I'll select the next closest person.

Oh, and if you are a friend or relative
who knows where I am,
I'm sorry to say that you are not eligible :(

Good luck, y'all!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake


Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Are there certain herbs that just grab your attention 
when you see them in a recipe?

Me? 
I'm crazy about cilantro... 
besotted with basil...
red-hot for rosemary...
I lust after lavender... 
and lately,
I'm loving lemon thyme.

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I don't have anything against the other herbs...
in fact, I'm an equal-opportunity herbalist.
But show me a dish with my top five "superb herbs"...
especially when they are used in
desserts or beverages, 
and I'm ripping and pinning recipes like crazy. 

This recipe came from Edible Boston magazine,
which I picked up in April on my crazy "girls weekend."

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've got to admit that I can't easily
detect a strong lemon thyme flavor,
but this cake was still delicious... 
in an understated way.

To me, this is not a true "pound" cake,
because it doesn't have a pound each of
butter, sugar, flour and eggs.
If it were my recipe, 
I'd just call it a lemon bread.

Usually Mr. Goo Shoes and I are on two different
planets when it comes to desserts.
 He prefers rich and gooey...
I like plain and simple best. 
But he liked it,
he really liked it! 
So that, in and of itself, 
is a good endorsement.

This lovely lemon-thyme pound cake
is perfectly suited with a glass of iced tea,
(or a cup of hot tea),
maybe after lunch with the ladies...
or perhaps while reading a book
 in a secret garden nook.

Or, if you're like me...
just eat it with whatever, whenever,
like while you are vacuuming,
or just after you've exercised. 

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

A couple of notes about the recipe:
I didn't use all of the lemon juice in the glaze.
I thought it would be too thin,

so I used about 1/4 cup, instead of 1/2.

Next time, when brushing the cake with the glaze,
I'll poke some holes in the top with the cake tester,
so some of the glaze seeps into the cake.

There's something about a lemony glaze
 that's lip-smackin' good, isn't there?

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake
(recipe courtesy of Edible Boston magazine)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons lemon thyme, finely chopped
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a loaf pan and dust with flour.
Cream together butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add lemon thyme, grated lemon peel, eggs and vanilla, and mix well.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream, and blend.
Pour batter into pan and bake for approximately 1 hour.

Place confectioner's sugar in a bowl.
Gradually whisk in the lemon juice (see my note, above).
Brush the top of the hot cake with some of the mixture.
Let it  stand for 10 minutes, then brush cake again.
Repeat again after 10 minutes. 


Lemon Thyme Pound Cake --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



Enjoy!


Linking With:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Secret Garden Nook


A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Do you have a spot where you can steal away
on a summer's day?

A  secret nook to read a book...
 sip a glass of iced tea...
listen to the birds...
 have a little snooze... 
feel the breeze...
and get away from it all?

A place where you won't hear,
"MOM! WHAT CAN I EAT???"
 
If you do,
I'll be right over.

The idea for my garden nook came about    
when we did some landscaping last summer,
which left a little clearing 
just off the side of the yard.

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

My friend's beautiful secret garden
that I posted about last summer
was another source of motivation.

 I was busy pinning inspiration photos all winter long...
daydreaming about the ideal little bistro set,
rusted to perfection...
interesting decorative accents...
lush foliage...
pretty pillows...
I had it all laid out in my mind.

Yeah, well..
it didn't quite work out like that.

 When it came right down to it, 
I couldn't see spending lots of money
on things that no one can really see.

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I know, I know...
it's not supposed to be seen...
otherwise, it wouldn't be a "secret," duh.
But when it comes to certain things,
I'm frugal like that.

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I decided to work with what I had, for the most part.
It's amazing what you can find
when you shop your own house.

I started with a weathered red bench,
that used to reside on my deck.
I think it came from LL Bean, a few years ago.
It didn't really fit in with the rest of my deck furniture,
so moving it made sense.


I like that you can see the red through the trees from the deck. 

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I accessorized with things I had...
Flower pots...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  Lanterns...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  A wagon wheel...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

A little table covered with a napkin...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

oh, and watermelon (heh-heh)


A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I painted some terra-cotta flower pots,
and stacked them to make a table.

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I did purchase a few things...

 The lobster pillow at Home Goods...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 The sundial from Joss and Main...

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

and the bird feeder from Home Goods.  

A Secret Garden Nook --- Ms. Toody Goo Shoes