Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Friday, February 28, 2014

My Photo Diary: February


Did you ever keep a diary?

I did, for several years, when I was a teenager. Most of what I wrote was about boys, or how unfair my parents were...or rather, how unfair I thought they were. Now that I'm the unfair one, I have a slightly different perspective.

I'm too lazy to write in a journal these days...but I thought it would be fun to keep a daily photo diary. I decided to give it a shot for February, and then see if I want to keep going with it. I'll tell you, it is not easy to get a great picture every single day, so please excuse the ones that are so-so...like this first one, for instance.

             ***************************************************   

February 1
Great start to the month: Didn't see Junior Goo Shoes' friend's bike in the driveway, and ran over the tire. Yeah, that's how I roll...literally.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 2
Most boring Super Bowl game ever? Yes! (Sorry, Peyton). Thank goodness for good friends, commercials, and Mini Nachos.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 3
Early morning snowfall.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 4 
Walking by the Silk Exchange Building, in SoHo, New York City, on the way to my haircut appointment, which I fortuitously scheduled in between snow storms.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 5
Six more inches of snow today. Lazy girl's snowman. Junior Goo Shoes says, "Hey, I wanted to wear that hat today!"

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 6 
Lunch with one of my oldest friends, who is in from Michigan. Nothing says "New Jersey" like diner food. Some diners say it better than others, though.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 7
I "Heart" a baking day while watching Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 8:
Hanging with Mr. Goo Shoe's childhood friends from Brooklyn...and sipping a Blue Hawaiian...or two.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 9:
Sadie, relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. It's a dog's life.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 10:
Went to Trader Joe's to get something for dinner; came back with tulips. Needed a spring "fix" bad!
 
February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


February 11:
Another day, another diner.  Had lunch with three friends I've known since childhood.  Can we really have known each other for so long? Did I really eat that entire salad?

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 12:
Acorns again for lunch? This guy sits on my deck railing just about every day having his lunch. He must work nearby.
 
February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 13:
Nor'easter came up the coast, and left another 12 inches of snow. I cheated a bit and took this early the next morning, when the sun came out, and ice was gleaming on the tree limbs.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 14:
Packed up my "Have a Heart" shortbread cookies for my boys, and my bags for Florida! Happy Valentine's Day!

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 15:
Hello, Florida! Solar therapy badly needed.


February 16:
House-hunting in Florida. Ah, yes, I could live with this as my backyard view.


February 17:
 
Pina coladas at the pool always taste better when it's snowing at home. 

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes 

February 18:
Wondering how I can pack up one of these palm trees and bring it home with me.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 19:
Came home to NJ to find 3-foot long icicles all around the house. 

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 20:
Sadie says, "You're not the only ones sick of all this snow. How come you didn't take me to Florida with you?"


February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 21:
An interesting juxtaposition...'nuff said.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 22:
This cardinal looks especially dashing on the white snow.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 23:
Most unusual sighting at Home Goods ever. Any guesses as to what it is? A giant planter? A bar? A playhouse? Pricetag: $2000. Who wants one?

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 24:
"The dog ate my homework!" No, REALLY!!!

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 25:
Hey, this place is like Grand Central Station! Oh, wait, it IS Grand Central Station. Walking through on my way to meet a friend/former co-worker for lunch. 

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 26:
In New York City two days in a row? Note to self: Must have head examined. Meeting a friend in Times Square for lunch. 

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 27:
How much wood does a woodpeck peck...oh wait, I think I've got that wrong. Never mind.

February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

February 28:
Morning sun light in the living room.


February Photo Diary --- by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
               
There's one thing that I learned from taking a picture a day. If you open your eyes wide enough, there is always something worth photographing! Now, if only my photography skills were better...

And with that, I say, Buh-BYE, February! So sorry to see you go -- NOT!




Linking With:
Best of the Weekend
Share Your Creativity
Mosaic Monday 
Metamorphosis Monday 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mini Cupcakes With Coconut Frosting


What is your favorite part of a cupcake -- the cake...or the frosting?

For me, it's all about the frosting.

But, I've got to tell you...the cake part of this equation is pretty darn good on it's own. Without the frosting, they'd make for some pretty fabulous muffins. 


I came up with this combination when I was trying to figure out what to bring to a get-together with Mr. Goo Shoes' oldest friends. The four men have been friends since their childhood days in Brooklyn...and the wives, well, we have developed our own special friendship over the years. 


Every few months, we get together at one of our homes. We usually gather at about 4pm, and wrap up around midnight. Eight hours is never enough time to cover everything we have to talk about. The ladies discuss everything under the sun, but the guys tend to tell the same stories over and over again...

...like how they used to stand on a street corner in Brooklyn, singing and dancing to The Isley Brothers' "SHOUT" to keep warm while they waited for the school bus.

"You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)

Or, when they drove down Flatbush Avenue and mooned everyone out of the car window (why do I tell you these things)?
    
Oh, how I would pay LOTS of money to travel back in time to witness those scenes!

Now I know this crowd loves coconut cake, but because we always have enough desserts to feed not just all of Brooklyn, but the other four boroughs as well, I didn't want to bring a big cake. Cupcakes were the answer. Mini cupcakes, actually. This way everyone could have a little bite of this, and a little bite of that.


When I'm looking to make a rich cake, I head to my bookcase straight to Rosie's All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, by Judy Rosenberg. Rosie's never lets me down...and it didn't this time, either. The recipe for Coconut Fluff Babycakes sounded perfect.

I'm sure the frosting in Rosie's cookbook would have been fabulous (everything in that cookbook is a-MAZ-ing), but I was trying to replicate a cream-cheese based frosting from a cake we all love, and I found one on allrecipes.com


A few pre-baking notes  -- 
  • I used Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves, because it is my favorite.  I used just the jam part...I didn't want any lumps of cherry in the middle of the cupcake.
  • For the frosting, I cut the original recipe in half (it made 5 1/2 cups). The recipe below is for half of the original recipe. If you like gobs of icing, you may want to make the full recipe.
  • You can make the cupcakes in advance and freeze them; then frost when you are ready to serve them. 

Coconut Fluff Babycakes 
Recipe from Rosie's All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, by Judy Rosenberg

Yield: 24 mini cupcakes

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg whites
3-4 teaspoons fruit preserves

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. 

Cream the butter, oil, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light in color. Stop the mixer once during the process to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Lightly stir one-third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture with the spatula. Then turn the mixer to low speed and blend partially. Scrape the bowl. Add half of the milk, and blend it in with several broad strokes of the spatula. Then fold in the remaining dry ingredients by hand, followed by the remaining milk. Turn the mixer to low speed and blend until the batter is velvety. 

Beat the egg whites in another bowl with the electric mixer on medium-high speed until frothy.  Gradually add them remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.  

Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter.

Fill each cupcake liner half full with batter. Then place 1/8 teaspoon of the preserves in the center of the batter, and fill the liner with more batter so that it reaches almost to the top of the liner. 

Bake until risen and set, 15 minutes.   Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and set them on racks to cool completely, about 40 minutes.

Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from allrecipes.com by Lilster

 Yield: 2 3/4 cups   

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (optional)


Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners' sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Stir in the coconut. Spoon  coconut (toasted, if desired) over the frosted cupcakes.



These cupcakes are SO good, they made me want to SHOUT...kick my heels up and...oh, sorry, I just got a little carried away.  I caught my self just short of mooning people on the Garden State Parkway, however.  I'm a lady...after all :)






LINKING WITH:
The Scoop
A Return To Loveliness 
Tweak It Tuesday 
Wow Us Wednesdays  
Home and Garden Thursday 
Simply and Sweet Fridays
Feathered Nest Friday 
Be Inspired
Ladies Only Blog Share
Tickled Pink Times 2 
Best of the Weekend 
Fabulously Creative Fridays 
Bouquet of Talent  
Share Your Creativity
Metamorphosis Monday 
Totally Talented Tuesdays 
Whimsy Wednesdays 
Recipe Sharing Monday 
Foodie Friends Friday