BRING SANTA TO YOUR NEXT PARTY

‘Tis the season for holiday baking! We know you’re all busy shopping and entertaining so we’re here for you with our last minute holiday dessert. This one is so simple and a real crowd-pleaser as well. Whether it’s a workplace potluck or just a party with friends, we’ve got you covered. Keep it simple and fun with these Santa Hats. These bite size wonders are sure to invoke smiles and laughter during any holiday festivity.

SANTA HATS SANTA HAT

TOOLS :: Mini muffin pan
EXTRAS :: Pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag for frosting
INGREDIENTS ::
Box of your favorite brownie mix (we said ‘simple’, right?!)
Can of Vanilla or Buttercream frosting
24 Strawberries ~ washed and green tops cut off

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Prepare your favorite brownies according to package directions and let cool.  
  • Place frosting in pastry bag and swirl frosting on top of each brownie.
  • Top each frosted brownie with a strawberry, topside down.  
  • For a finishing touch, add a dot of frosting to the top of each strawberry to complete the hat. 

 

NOTE ::
If you don’t have a pastry bag, don’t worry! Grab a sandwich-sized Ziploc plastic bag. Scoop the frosting into the bag, focusing the contents into one corner. On one of the bottom corners of the bag, cut a small piece from the corner. Don’t cut off too much…you can always cut more if the frosting isn’t coming out fast enough. Now that you have a hole cut, hold the bag like you would a pastry bag and frost away!

BE A STAR ON THE 4TH OF JULY

Are you hosting an Independence Day party or attending a picnic and watching fireworks? If you answered YES, this is your lucky post because we at G+LaR want to make you the STAR of your event. Even better news: we can guarantee your stardom using one simple, in-your-fridge-already ingredient – a WATERMELON! You’ll be surprised at how simple this is to make.  With a little effort (and a big knife!) you can transform an everyday picnic dish into the dessert everyone will be talking about! While we’re at it, a big shout out goes to Martha Stewart for the inspiration.

We know you can do it and you will enjoy being the shining STAR. Happy 4th of July ~ love, G+LaR

THE NO-BAKE WATERMELON CAKE

Elegant and refreshing

Elegant and refreshing

TOOLS ::  Cutting Board, Large Knife, Melon Baller, bowl
EXTRAS :: Cake Stand or Plate + Bowl* for serving
INGREDIENTS ::

1 seedless Watermelon, washed and dried

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Lay your watermelon down horizontally.
  • Using your knife cut the top and the bottom thirds off the melon and set aside. Keep in mind ~ in the end, your center third of the melon should be about 4” tall. This is your cake!
  • Place the middle third of the melon onto your cake plate. If it doesn’t sit evenly, use your knife to shave small slivers to level off to make flat. Focus on the side of the melon that will sit on the cake plate. Don’t go crazy trying to level off the top because you will cover it up in melon balls.
  • Cut your new Watermelon Cake it into ~8 good size wedges. If you have a lot of people to serve, cut up to 10 slices but don’t make the slices skinny. You want the slices to be between 3” to 4”.
  • Take the two ends of your watermelon and using a melon baller, scoop out balls of watermelon. Place into a bowl to reserve.
  • Cover both the cake and the balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve your Royal Watermelon Cake, arrange the balls on top of the watermelon cake.  There isn’t a perfect way to arrange, just do what looks best and try to keep the rounded ball portion of each melon ball facing upwards. This looks nicer. If you’d like, you can garnish with mint.

NOTE ::
Our cake platters were in storage when we decided to make this cake, so we used an old trick handed down from our Moms ~ use a plate and bowl combo. Cake stands look beautiful if you’re going for a more formal look or just want to finally use that cake stand. For a more casual look, simply pick out matching bowl and plate, turn the bowl upside down and place the plate on top. Voila! Cake stand! This is a much easier option of you’re packing up for a picnic, too. Have fun!

SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE!

The Strawberry season is here in full swing and we are happy to let you in on this surprisingly delicious desert. With only 3 ingredients this simple desert is guaranteed to be a hit. So much in fact, that we’re willing to bet your friends will be serving it at their next party too! So embrace the weekend with a bottle of chilled Prosecco and this (soon to be your favorite) fresh Strawberry desert!

p.s. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…you’ll be surprised at how good it is!

STRAWBERRIES WITH SOUR CREAM & BROWN SUGAR

Give it a try ~ you'll love it!

Give it a try ~ you’ll love it!

TOOLS :: Decorative Glass Bowl and 2 small glass bowls
INGREDIENTS ::
2 pints fresh Strawberries
½  cup sour cream
½  cup brown sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Wash and dry strawberries
  • Place in glass bowl
  • Place sour cream and brown sugar in separate bowls

HOW TO EAT IT ::
Dip Strawberry in sour cream, then dip into sugar

Enjoy!

 

SWEET + SPICE = Niiiiice

The majority of people think a good party starts with something savory to eat and a great libation. We agree, but let’s face it – who can resist a plate of cookies? (Did your sweet tooth just say ‘Hello!’?) The distinctive flavor of ginger, cloves and cinnamon add character and make these tasty treats more of a grown-up cookie. You probably have all the ingredients you need already and now what you need is about 15 minutes from start-to-baking. That’s it. When was the last time you made a batch of cookies? So take a chance, break your routine tonight and surprise your family, friends or co-workers with an irresistible plate of cookies!

GINGERSNAPS

TOOLS ::  Big mixing bowl, non-stick cookie sheet, hand mixer
EXTRAS :: Small bowl of sugar
OVEN :: 375 degrees

The perfect balance of spicy + sweet ~ Gingersnaps are a classic!

INGREDIENTS ::

2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. cooking oil (or shortening if that’s all you have)
¼ c. molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ c. sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

In your mixing bowl, combine about half of the flour and the rest of the ingredients in the top list. Don’t add the ¼ c. sugar yet – that’s for later.

Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till thoroughly combined.
Beat in remaining flour.

Cookin’ old school with my wedding gift from 20+ years ago! Now that’s a classic!Shape dough into 1-inch balls.

Roll each in sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or till set and tops are crackled.

BLACKBERRY FRESCA – Fun with Vitamin C + Antioxidants!

Gotta love the citrus that’s surrounding us during these winter months, right? Everywhere you look there’s lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. It’s a virtual powerhouse of Vitamin C at our fingertips. While these tart little wonders are great for a simple Lemondrop or a Gimlet (Gidget+LaRue’s Gimlet version coming later this week!), we decided to test drive a less-traveled citrus – the Pink Grapefruit. Grab a pink grapefruit for this ‘delish’ little cocktail and while you’re there, you’ll need some antioxidant-rich Blackberries too. Here at G+LaR we love that you can have a great cocktail and be healthy at the same time. Besides…it’s purple and we love that!

 

Grapefruits, Blackberries, Vodka + Port…oh my!

BLACKBERRY FRESCA

TOOLS ::   Shaker, ice, muddler, fine metal strainer
GLASS ::  Coupe
EXTRAS ::  Lime wedge, blackberry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

2 oz. of fresh squeezed Pink Grapefruit juice
.5 oz. of fresh squeezed Lime juice
6 fresh Blackberries
4 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Port Wine (we used a Zinfandel)

Pour the first 3 ingredients into the shaker with no ice. Use your muddler and smash up the blackberries to mix them into the other juices. Add some ice, then add the Vodka and Port.  Now, shake it like you mean it! Hold your metal strainer over your coupe glass and double strain the shaker contents. Garnish with one blackberry and lime wedge and serve.

Sugar + Champagne + Gin = Romance

At Gidget + LaRue we think there’s nothing more romantic than all things French. Champagne, the Eiffel Tower, chocolates and the perfect perfume. Oh la la! So for this Valentines Day, we’re giving you a French spin to celebrate the holiday. Get ready for the delicious French 75 cocktail, partnered with the perfect (and easy!) pastry.  The pastry is ready to serve in 5 minutes so get those in the oven and while you mix up your cocktail.

Cheers to LOVE from G+LaR!

FRENCH 75

The French 75 – Oh la la!

YOU’LL NEED :: Ice, shaker
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Maraschino cherry  + lemon wedge and garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 oz. Gin (Hendricks or Bombay Sapphire work great)
2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
Bottle of chilled Champagne

Pour the first 3 ingredients into the shaker with a little ice and shake it like you mean it! Fill your Collins glass to the top with ice. Strain shaker contents into glass. Top with your Champagne. Garnish with cherry and lemon wedge and serve. Straws recommended just because they’re so fun.

 

LOVE Cookies

TOOLS :: cookie sheet, heart shaped cookie cutter

The perfect nibble to go with your French 75!

INGREDIENTS ::
1 frozen pie crust, softened
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar
Unroll dough onto a lightly floured surface
Cut hearts into the dough using a cookie cutter
Brush butter (we use a paint brush – new of course) over the hearts
Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top of each

Bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned