Cupertino CityWIDE Garage Sale! (9/20 & 9/21/14)

There’s one last all-you-can-eat City Wide Garage Sale for 2014 and it’s this weekend in Cupertino, CA.

Yup, that’s right the LAST one of the year and I’ll be honest, Cupertino is always my favorite. Maybe it has something to do with Cupertino being my old stomping grounds but I’m convinced that the best stuff and bargains can be had there; I’m still ranting about my Pottery Barn finds almost 10 years later!

If you’re itching to get a few more garage sales in before the weather starts changing check out the Cupertino City’s website for more details.

Detailed Printable PDF Map HERE

List of all Registered Garage Sales (with item descriptions and dates) HERE

See all the Red dots, those are garage sales and I’m hoping to make quite the dent in those on Saturday.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Review: High Tea Fall Fashion Show

I had such high expectations for The High Tea Fall Fashion Show and I have to say that I was pretty bummed when it didn’t deliver. Somehow I got the start time mixed up and when I showed up at 3:30 I thought I had a ton of time and I was wrong. The Fashion Show was already under way and I was late.

I quickly signed in, grabbed my “bites box”, an iced tea since it was that or champagne and headed off to find my seat.

The show was enjoyable and while some of the “fashion” was questionable for Fall, Oakley and Tommy Bahama I’m talking to you; I did find a new favorite store in C. Wonder.

The biggest let down was the “High Tea” part. The bite boxes as they called them were provided by Lisa’s Tea Treasures and consisted of 1/2 a cucumber & cream cheese sandwich on white bread and a tiny scone the size of a silver dollar. Really guys that was the best you could do? Next time I’ll just skip a ticket, save myself $25 and just watch the show from the sideway.

I do have to say that after the show there were after-parties hosted by some of the sponsors that served drink and munchies so we all walked around and enjoyed the freebies.

Oh well, live and learn.

Yours Truly,

Mel

P.S. For a short 30 second video from the Fashion Show check us out on Facebook.


Apple Galette

Ever since my Mother made me an apple galette last year for my Birthday (read more about that HERE) I’ve been fascinated by them and I’ve seen them everywhere. They’re at all the farmer’s markets, in food magazines and now recipes are even popping up in my Facebook feed so I thought it was finally time to bite the bullet and try my hand at one.

This recipe for a Fruit Galette from The New York Times isn’t anything special but it looked tasty and most importantly easy enough; if you’re interested they also have a step-by-step VIDEO.

You see, when it comes to any kind of dough I always seems to mangle it and the crust ends up either too soft to do anything with or super dry and crumbly. Lucky for me the stars were in perfect alignment and my galette crust was easy to work with, not too sticky and it came out all kinds of perfect.

I’m a huge fan of apples and it just so happened that I had a bunch that had gone soft and weren’t good for snacking but would be perfect for baking.

Bonus points for making the dough entirely in the food processor.

Then take your dough and form it into a flat circle, cover it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for an hour or more.

Now it’s time to peel and cut your apples. After it was all said and done I ended up with more apples than the recipe called for but I went with, “the more, the merrier,” philosophy and it came out just fine.

Don’t forget to toss them your fruit with the cornstarch and lemon juice; for an added kick I sprinkled in some cinnamon and omitted the lemon zest.

Here’s a little trick my Mother-in-Law told me when you’re working with dough. As you know after you roll it out you’ll need to transfer it to a pie tin, or in our case a cookie sheet and to do that without poking holes in it you’re going to fold it. I know what you’re thinking but do it anyway; first in half and then in half again (you’ll end up with a crust 1/4 of the size) and now it’s easy to move and no big deal. See, not that crazy.

Brush your galette with either milk or if you’re like me a  milk/cream mix and add a little turbine sugar for a bit of crunch.

Now into the oven and once it’s done it is best to eat it when it’s still warm with a little ice cream. Or even cold or standing up in your PJs for breakfast; whatever works for you.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Lemon Blueberry Bread

As part of my 3-Day Weekend celebration I decided to make some sort of sweet bread (vs. savory) and this Lemon blueberry recipe really fit the bill. Back when blueberries were in season I might have bought way more than I could eat with the intention of freezing some and now I was all to happy to break into my stash.

The recipe was submitted by ChezSpice onto All Recipes and I have to admit that I made a few minor tweaks. Before I started I knew that I wanted to make mini loaves so I doubled the recipe and divided the batter into 3 mini pans.

Also, after reading the ingredient list I decided that 2 Cups of sugar was an awful lot of sweet for 3 tiny loaves so I switch it out for 1 Cup of C&H light. C&H light was something that on purchased on a whim and it is a mix of stevia and pure cane sugar and now my go-to sugar substitutes. That’s because it’s still sweet, you don’t sacrifice flavor and most importantly; you don’t feel guilty when you eat six cookies instead of the just one you meant to have. Don’t lie, I know it’s happened to you too.

I did find that you don’t need to bake the mini loaves for as long as the single loaf; mine were about 40 minutes but be sure to check them with a toothpick and only remove them when it comes out clean.

As soon as these were out of the oven I was right there with the glaze and boy, did they look great. I even made sure to share a few loaves and I was rewarded with this text from a friend.

My favorite type of compliment is the kind that requires no words.

Yours Truly,

Mel


3-Day Weekend Baking Extravaganza

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Labor Day weekend; I know I sure did. I spend most of the weekend alternating between baking and cooking (or doing both simultaneously) in the kitchen and I couldn’t have been happier.

What that mean for all of you is that I have a couple new favorite recipes and I can’t wait to share them!

Here’s a little teaser for your Tuesday.

Yours Truly,

Mel

P.S. Would anyone be interested if I shared a really great marinara sauce recipe that’s heavy on the garlic and incredible on chicken parmigiana?


FREE – Online Knife Skills Class

Okay, so there really isn’t much of a call for good knife skills in baking but when I came across this offer for a Free Knife Skills Class via Craftsy on My Baking Addiction it was too good not to share.

Photo via Craftsy

It requires you to create a Craftsy account, which is a breeze and then you’re in. The class is broken down into 5 Lessons and each one varies from 30 minutes to an hour. I wasn’t sure how I felt about talking and online class but they’re taught by Chef Brendan McDermott and he’s good, like really good. The lessons are interesting, easy to understand and he definitely knows his stuff.

Right off the bat I knew this was a good choice because my lack of knife prowess was embarrassing and I was doing everything wrong. I wasn’t holding the knife right, I wasn’t slicing but chopping and the whole “be careful or you’ll lose a finger thing,” yeah, I’ve come precariously close to that a few times. A few participants even commented that his lectures were better than the ones that they paid money for so that’s always a plus too.

If you’re game and want to brush up on your knife skills you can find the class HERE and I strongly suggest you do it.

Yours Truly,

Mel


High Tea Fall Fashion Show

The other day my Sister forwarded me some information on an Event called the High Tea- Fall Fashion Show at Santana Row and I was all over it. It’s $35/person (or $25/person if you use this Living Social Deal) on Saturday, September 6th from 3- 4:30PM and although I have no idea what it’s going to be like  I’m totally okay with that.

It’ll be a chance to spend a little more time with my youngest Sister before she heads off to College in Seattle, WA this Fall and I get to have high tea like I’ve never had it before. That to me is a win, win situation.

Of course I’ll be sure to post pictures after the fact.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Rocky Road Fudge

I’d never made fudge before but lately it’s been all I could talk about. I finally had some down time and when I mentioned that I wanted to make something but that I didn’t know what, The Husband offered up the suggestion of fudge. That sounded like a great suggestion and the perfect dessert for us to bring along to a party the next day.

With a great excuse in place I started off with THIS from Camille of Six Sisters’ Recipe. In her post she said that is was  simple enough (it doesn’t even need a stove) that she’s okay with her kids helping out. Which means if kids can do it, I can do it and sure enough she was right. I’m now hooked and the wheels are already turning in my head for a white chocolate version with cranberries and pistachios.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s only 4 ingredients? (Plus my mini chocolate chips because they look pretty.)

Mix together your chocolate chips and condensed milk and microwave on high for 60 seconds and then in 15 second intervals stirring in between each set until it’s all melted together.

Once it looks like this it’s time to add the tasty bits.

Chop up your nuts, then grab your mini marshmallows and toss them in and mix well.

I wanted a thicker fudge so I passed up on the 9 x 13 pan and went with a 9 x 9 pan; covered with aluminum foil and sprayed with PAM.

Into the fridge it went and an hour later it was ready for me and boy, was it tasty. Creamy and thick with a little bit of crunch from the walnuts.

Doesn’t that look scrumptious and I bet you’ve probably got all the ingredients and the 15 minutes it’s going to take to make it.

Yours Truly,

Mel


Disneyland Roadtrip

It’s always when you have a long weekend but when it’s Disneyland you need an equally long time to recover. I mean you’re on your feet all day, waiting in lines for your 30 seconds of awesome and I can’t be the only one that thinks its exhausting.

I’m a huge fitbit fanatic and according to my zip I was averaging over 25,000 steps which is roughly 11+ miles a day and that’s about as close to a half marathon as I’ll probably ever get.

The redeeming part of the trip was that I got to spend almost all of it was my Sibling and since its been over 5 years since we last all traveled together it was nice to do it again.

Here’s a few snapshots for a quick peek into our vacation.

Anyone else out there a fan of family/sibling trips?

Yours Truly,

Mel


DIY Mickey/Minnie Mouse Ears

If you’ve noticed my absence from the blog it’s because I’m still in recovery mode from our weekend trip to Disneyland; two weekends ago.

While I may not be a big fan of road trips I have to admit that it was a great excuse to get all my siblings together and visit my Brother and his Fiance in Irvine.

As a surprise/souvenir I decided to make everyone their own custom, one-of-a-kind mouse ears. At first one of my Sisters wasn’t really on-board with the idea but as soon as she saw mine she was all in and we rocked them all weekend!

I must say that I wasn’t sure if they were going to hold up through water, wind and roller coasters but I was pleasantly surprised to find that mine still look like they did pre-Disneyland.

If you want the tutorial I used a mish-mash of these DIY  projects (see below) with a few added items and I think each pair cost me no more than $3. Not too shabby when you consider that they go for $20+ at the park.

1. Mouse ears template (To view a similar one visit Jen of The Suburban Mom & her DIY post HERE)

2. Sewing Chalk – to trace the template onto the felt

3. Pipe cleaners – I used them to cover the sides of the ears so that you couldn’t see the foam between the felt

4. metal headbands – We left them plain and I found that the smaller headband was A) super comfortable and B) blended into your hair really well

5. Foam Sheets – Extra support & stability for the felt ears

6. Embellishments – You can leave the ears plain, decorate them with flowers/bows OR if you like variety you can just put a piece of pipe cleaner over the ear and use it to clip on different hairbows

7. Regular and glitter felt

8. Scissors

9. Sharpie – The silver was actually really easy for me to see when I used it to trace the template onto the foam sheets

10. Hot glue sticks

11. Puffy Paint – *optional: I used this to write names on the back of the ears but that’s not necissary

12. Hot Glue Gun

DIY Mickey/Minnie Mouse Ears via Summer of A Happy Mum

DIY Minnie Floral Ears – Disney Style Blog

As soon as I’m done editing my photos from the weekend I’ll be sure to post a few pictures.

Yours Truly,

Mel