Friday, December 17, 2010

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Erin and Marilisa's household recently threw a casual Christmas party in the midst of finals (I think everyone need a break). Cookie decorating was the main event of the party and I wanted to bring something to contribute. I considered baking sugar, but that seemed boring. So I decided on LEMON sugar cookies and used to tastespotting to look up a recipe. I stumbled upon this blog and got to work.


Lemon Sugar Cookies


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon, finely minced
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
6. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. (I somehow missed this direction so a few of mine broke in half)

Makes approximately 24-30 cookies depending on size

This cookie was perfect for the party and added a little punch to the classic sugar cookie. Enjoy!

Simple Celebration

After two years of hardwork, some tears, and hours of studying my beautiful and brilliant mother passer her National Board Certification. I am so proud of her and I know she worked so hard for this opportunity. Today I just wanted to share the lovely spread that my grandma and I created.

Recipe for a celebratory moment
a wooden cutting board
candles (2 longs ones and a couple tea lights)
different types of cheeses
(we got a blueberry chevre from Trader Joes -- DIVINE)
and of course...Champagne!



Monday, December 13, 2010

Kale Salad with Yogurt Garlic Sauce

This past semester I have been trying to go to the Athens Farmers Market as often as I can. I love buying fresh vegetables and using them throughout the week. The farmers there are so wonderful and dedicated to what they do. Going this semester has really reinforced my belief of how important it is to support local agriculture.

Lazy Willow Farm is smart and in addition to selling an array of fresh, seasonal vegetables they have a couple of recipe handouts that complement the vegetables they are currently selling. I decided to make this Kale Salad recipe and had excellent results! It was delicious the night I made it and even better the next day after I refrigerated it.

Kale Salad with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce
From Turkey
serves 4-6

1.5 T virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh tomatoes (chopped) or one 16 oz jar canned tomotoes
1 cup of cooked rice
1/2 cup sweet peppers, preferably colored
1 lb kale
salt and freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for Yogurt-Garlic Sauce
1 2/3 cup plain yogurt
4 garlic cloves

Chop the kale, stems and all. If the stems are large, remove and chop fine

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, cook gently for about 2 minutes. Add peppers and continue to cook until softened. Add the chopped kale and stems and cooks, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and stir, cooking until the tomato juice has reduced substantially and the kale is tender.

Take the pot off the heat and stir in cooked rice. Taste for salt and let it cool to room temperature. Serve with garlic-yogurt sauce and healthy sprinkle of paprika [the perfect finishing touch].

Sauce Directions
In a bowl, stir the yogurt, garlic, and salt together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, if not longer, to allow all the flavors to blend.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy meal and be sure to support your own local farmers market!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Can I just say how much I love Anthropologie?I have been looking for fashion internships for Summer 2011 and there is probably no other place I would rather work for than them. I created an inspiration board to submit along with my application and i thought I would share it with you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just a little more pumpkin please!

Even though we are moving into the tail end of winter, the leaves are falling, and the chill is no longer comforting after the hot summer, but now makes you wear your weight in clothing, I am STILL craving pumpkin. Some of you may be sick of it after the holidays but I keep cravings. So I made these pumpkin muffins

They sat in my kitchen overnight and if I had not put a "Do Not Eat" sign in front of them, I'm certain my roommates would have devoured them. But they were a special gift for my boyfriend. However, I made the mistake of bringing them to his parents house and soon learned that out of the eleven I made (well I ate one of course) he only ate ONE! poor guy...

Anyways enjoy!

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman


1 cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
½ teaspoons Nutmeg
½ teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
1 cup (heaping) Pumpkin Puree
½ cups Evaporated Milk
1 whole Egg
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla


1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet (or savory) Dreams

Today, I had three projects due, THREE!! ok one got canceled, but lets just say I have been really overwhelmed. Also I am frustrated, because when I am stressed all I want to do is cook. I'll sit in class and scour the food blogs for delicious, seasonal, and mouth-watering recipes and yet I have no time to cook them. So, today I am going to post five recipes that eventually I will cook.

1. Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Apple Cider Sauce

2. Sesame Shrimp

3. Veggie & Quinoa Pot Pie

4. Blueberry Breakfast Buckle

5. Butternut Squash Soup

Any recipes or food you have been dreaming about lately???

Monday, November 8, 2010

Earrings for the BIG day...

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend. I'm not necessarily ready for another week of papers and exams so I thought I would procrastinate with searching for earrings to wear on my wedding day and I need your opinion!

I discovered Carolee through a bride on Wedding Bee and could not get over all the pretty options! I'm thinking about putting some of these on my Christmas list so tell me which one is your favorite...

 Option #1: I love this pair because I will have blue accents in my bouquet.
 Option #2: This pair is dainty and pearls just seem like a classic wedding choice!
 Option #3: Does this pair seem too glam or could they be pulled off as rustic?
 Option #4: I like these because they seem like a hybrid of choice 2 and 3 :)

If you have any other jewelry recommendations or Etsy shops I should check out let me know! Thanks for your help.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


photo courtesy of lovin' from the oven

One of my favorite things about fall is apples! Marilisa and I took a road trip up to Hillcrest Orchards in North Georgia with our significant others to do a little apple picking last weekend. Unfortunately we missed the actual "picking season," but we still had a great time eating all sorts of treats, buying about 10lbs of different types of apples and listening to some bluegrass in Taylor's jeep.

Apple strudel bars are one of my favorite things to make when I have a couple extra apples on hand. The last time I made them, I sent the treats in the mail to my boyfriend Blake from Austin and he called to tell me he "straight up ate the entire batch in about 3 minutes" and that I needed to make more and send them stat... So I guess they are pretty good :)

Here's the recipe (adapted from here):
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. real butter, softened (no substitutions!)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I used macintosh)
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • About 3 Tbsp. milk or coffee creamer (I love using flavored coffee creamer)
  • 1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract (which ever one suits you better)
  • 1 dash cinnamon
To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x9 baking dish
with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.

To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss with apples and spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes (mine took a little longer to cook in the middle). When finished, allow to cool completely.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place glaze in a Ziploc bag and cut off a very small portion of one of the corners. Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along). Cut into bars and serve!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Feelin' crafty

It's been a very chilly and rainy day in Athens. The buses were late, the Learning Center was packed, and the line for Jittery Joe's was extra long...but coming home to a warm, cozy house put me in the mood to make something pretty with supplies from around the house. Erin collected the leaves and berries when she went on a walk the other day.

mason or jam jar
tea light
or anything pretty from nature :)

 I assembled some of the leaves at the bottom of the jar, placed the tea light in the center and added the greenery and berries.

Ta da! Instant mini fall centerpiece! Hopefully nothing will catch on fire...What do rainy days inspire you to do?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Duover - A Delightful Duet

I am still planning on doing a post to explain our blog name, but I just had to share this band I heard today. They are Duover from Portland, OR. They have a lovely folksy, mellow sound and they are the perfect band to study to. You can download their album and "name your price," for free if you want! Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our first day.

It's official. We have started a blog. Amelia, Erin, and I could not be more ecstatic about sharing our ambitions and passions with the online world. As we get the hang of posting, we hope Grits & Gigs can eventually encompass everything we love about life- feeling close to our Creator in the great outdoors, creating and eating food that makes us happy (as well as discovering amazing restaurants), exploring new places around the country and world, going to concerts, planning special events, and spending time with those that bring out the best in us. Oh and living in the most glorious college town- Athens, GA!
greetings from Switzerland