Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Best of the Weekend 110...and See Ya!

We're happy to have you join us for Best of the Weekend!
Now that it's officially summer, we've definitely settled 
into a more relaxed schedule around here.
Soon the house will be very quiet, 
as Junior Goo Shoes will be leaving for sleep-away camp.
 I plan to take a little vacation from blogging after he leaves,

so this is probably going to be my last post
for the next couple of weeks
However, I will be doing my guest post over at A Little Claireification on July 2,
 so please remember to visit me there.

Just a bit of BOTW housekeeping before we move on to the features.
Next week, on July 3, we will not have a BOTW party,
as most folks will be busy enjoying the holiday weekend.
Just remember to come right back here on the 10th,
after our one-week hiatus to see features from tonight's party.  
Hopefully, we'll have twice as much inspiration to share!

 And now...let's start the party!  

Meet our fantastic and talented co-hosts...
Amy (me!): Ms.Toody Goo Shoes|FB|Twitter|Google+|Pinterest|Instagram
Remember that each co-host selects her own favorite posts, 
giving you a better chance of being featured each week,
so be sure to check out Ginnie, Cindy, Sheryl, Deb and me...
to see if you were featured on their blogs.
And...we'll be pinning our features to a 
Pinterest "Best of the Weekend" Features board!

Follow Cindy Eikenberg (Little Miss Celebration)'s board Best of the Weekend Features! on Pinterest.

This week's most clicked link was:

Lemon Creme Puffs from Sweet and Savory by Shinee
Two for you; five for me.

My features for this week are...
 My Favorite Infused Water Drinks from Curly Crafty Mom
 Not your grandmother's water, that's for sure.

Cannoli Ice Cream Sandwiches from A Sprinkle of This and That
Oh, baby. This is where my instant-gratification needs don't serve me well.

Key Lime Pie Lasagna from Oh My God Chocolate Desserts
If it's lasagna, that means I can eat this as my main course, correct?

Peaches and Cream Martini from Real Housemoms
These would go down nice and easy.

DIY Chalkboard Easel from My Love To Create
How cute is this? I really want to make one.
But what should I write on it?

Alrighty, then...let's start this party! Link away!

25 Easy Recipes For July 4th

25 Recipes For July 4th -- and they are all easy! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #July4 #recipes #summer

Are you planning a July 4th celebration, 
and don't want to make the same-old same-old?
Did you sister-in-law ask you to bring a gluten/dairy/sugar-free-Paleo-
New Atkins-Weight Watchers-Slimfast side dish to her July 4th barbecue?
Did you promise the neighbor a dessert, but you can't bear to turn on the oven?

I've got you covered!

If you follow me regularly, you know I'd rather do anything but cook,
so everything I make is EASY! 
OK, admittedly, the Stars and Stripes Cupcakes take time, 
but everything else is a cinch. 
Some of my photos are a little bit wonky,
since they are from my early days of blogging.
The recipes, however, won't dissapoint.
A lot of these dishes can be made in advance;
in fact, many taste better if you make them the day before.
This way, you'll have more time to plan your BBQ outfit :)

Happy July 4th!!!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Spinach Artichoke Bites | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
2. Spinach-Artichoke Bites
Avocado Hummus | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
4. Avocado Hummus


Gazpacho | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
5. Gazpacho
Silky Zucchini Soup  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
6. Silky Zucchini Soup
Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
7. Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho

Simple Macaroni Salad | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
8. Simple Macaroni Salad
Black Bean and Corn Salad  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
9. Black Bean and Corn Salad
Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tomato & Basil  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
10. Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tomato & Basil
Cantaloupe-Tomato Salad | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
 11. Cantaloupe-Tomato Salad

Corn and Peach Salad | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
12. Corn and Peach Salad

Stars & Stripes Cupcakes | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
13. Stars and Stripes Cupcakes
Nutella Black & White Mousse Pie | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
14. Nutella No-Bake Black & White Mousse Pie
S'mores Brownies | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
15. S'mores Brownies

Lemon Thyme Pound Cake | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
16. Lemon Thyme Pound Cake
German Chocolate Cake | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
17. Plain Jane German Chocolate Cake
Brookies: Brownie + Cookie | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
18. Brookies
Lemon Basil Cake | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
19. Lemon Basil Cake

Lemon Basil Cake | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
20. No-Bake Key Lime Pie
Sand & Surf Cupcakes | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
21. Sand & Surf Cupcakes
Four-Ingredient Nutella Brownies | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
22. Four-Ingredient Nutella Brownies


Basil Mayonnaise | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
23. Basil Mayonnaise

Strawberry Mint Water |  Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
24. Strawberry Mint Water
Lavender Lemonade |  Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
25. Lavender Lemonade
I hope that something here inspires you!
Let me know if you make anything from this list.
I'll see you tomorrow night for Best of the Weekend!
Bring your recipes, home decor, DIY, travel posts, etc.! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sand & Surf Cupcakes...and Life's A Beach

I am not being compensated for this post. However, it does contain affiliate links enabling you to make purchases. If you do buy something on the affiliate website, I will get a small percentage of the sale.

Sand & Surf Cupcakes: So perfect for a summer BBQ or beach-theme party! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Are you a beach person?
I's in my New Jersey DNA.
From the time I was a little kid,
the beach has always been there, ebbing and flowing
alongside the milestones in my life. 
Wherever my next home may be, 
I don't think it can be too far from the ocean. 

To me, there's nothing like a day at the beach...
except for maybe a nap on the beach...
or a shower after a beach day. 
Yeah, life's simple pleasures.

Living fairly close to the ocean 
was definitely the best thing about growing up in NJ.
In just over an hour, your could drive "down the shore" 
to spend the day slathered in baby oil and iodine,
in the full, blazing sun, perhaps with a reflector in hand.
Sitting under an umbrella? Unheard of. 
Oh, how we didn't know what we didn't know!

Sand & Surf Cupcakes: So perfect for a summer BBQ or beach-theme party! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I remember one day, my friends and I cut school to go down the shore.
(Be True To Your School? Nah! 
We were high school seniors and already accepted into colleges, 
so we figured, what the heck. 
As we were driving south on the Garden State Parkway,
my friend's mother was driving north...
She spotted us with her eagle eyes, as we were quite conspicuous 
in our Little Deuce Coupe -
 a yellow Volkswagon Beetle convertible.
I think we went anyway, 

and suffered the consequences when we got home.

 Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The beach always seemed to be a backdrop for the best of times...

A post-senior prom overnight at a beach house down the shore 
(how in the world did my parents ever let me go?)
I am telling you right now, Junior Goo Shoes will NOT have that same privilege!
Renting houses at the Jersey shore for a couple of summers ... 
We were college Girls On The Beach! 
Taking my first "share" in a house on Fire Island, when I started working in NYC, 
and continuing that for 10 years...
That was Fun Fun Fun! 

Meeting Mr. Goo Shoes during one of those summers in Fire Island...
Ah, the Summer of Love.

Movin' on up, and spending summers in the Hamptons with a group of our friends...
We I Get Around, oh, yes I do.

Having Mr. Goo Shoes asking me to be 
his permanent Surfer Girl on the beach of Westhampton.

  Buying a house in East Hampton, because God Only Knows that we thought 
there wasn't going to be a Baby Goo Shoes (read about it here).
But we were wrong :)
Sand & Surf Cupcakes: So perfect for a summer BBQ or beach-theme party! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Is it any wonder that we picked these birth announcements?

 Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Boy, this is turning out to be a pretty sappy post.
Time to switch gears and make some cupcakes.

I wish I could take credit for the design of these cupcakes, 
but I saw variations of them all over Pinterest.
I combined a few ideas to try make them my own.
 All that's needed to decorate them 
are a few ingredients and a somewhat steady hand.
I tinted the frosting with Sky Blue Icing Color.
The waves were made with Sparkle Gel for cakes, cookies and cupcakes. 
The sand? It's just brown sugar.

Sand & Surf Cupcakes: So perfect for a summer BBQ or beach-theme party! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Vanilla Cupcakes:
(Yield: 15-16 cupcakes)

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract  
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°
In a medium bowl, add cake flour baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with a whisk and set aside. 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. 
Add sugar, and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. 
Add vanilla and oil; beat.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour, and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
The batter will be thin. Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full.
Bake cupcakes 12-14 minutes.
Cool in pan for 2 minutes; carefully lift out of tin and finish cooling on a wire rack. 
Frost cupcakes when completely cool.
Note: Double the recipe for an 8 or 9 inch cake. 

Buttercream Frosting:

I pound box confectioners sugar 3 3/4 cups
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3 -4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed 1 -2 minutes until creamy.
If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. 

For Blue Icing:
Add drops of Icing Gel (or food coloring), one or two at a time, to achieve desired color.

For Waves: 
Draw squiggles with Sparkle Gel.

For Sand:
Dip edge of cupcake in brown sugar.

Sand & Surf Cupcakes: So perfect for a summer BBQ or beach-theme party! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
So, I'm sitting here on my deck on a glorious afternoon, 
itching to hop in the car and head down the shore to Catch A Wave.
I could be there in just over an hour, which would get me there by 4pm.
Oh, Wouldn't It Be Nice!
Hmmm...Two hours on the beach, 
and then I could drive home in rush-hour traffic.
I think not.
I'll just have to crank up the Beach Boys,
and eat one of these Sand and Surf cupcakes, instead.
These days, I have to take the beach in any way I can get it.

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