Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why Lick Your Lips? and the first batch of donuts...

When trying to decide what we should call our mini-donut business, we were trying to think of something creative.  The naming process took longer than naming both of our kids.  I had about 20 different contenders, some of my favorites included: Gooch's Smooches, Sugared with Sprinkles, Gooch's Sweet Spot :) and Lick Your Lips.  Upon doing much research on names, I found a couple of You Tube videos on licking your lips when eating powdered sugar donuts.  Apparently, it's a hard thing not to do.  So I thought it would be a perfect name...and then we could have donut eating contests with no lip licking allowed. 

We are slowly coming along... yesterday we went to Mac's Aluminum in Broken Arrow and picked out the siding for the trailer.  My husband decided to take the travel trailer down to the trailer frame itself ...If you are ever in need of aluminum siding, I would recommend this place.



When you open any type of business, there is all kinds of paperwork you have to do.  We finally got our state of Oklahoma sales tax permit.  Yay!!

So, I was getting antsy,  we have had the donut machine for about 3 weeks and I was itching to make donuts.  We put both kids down for a nap, started the machine (it takes an hour to heat up to the right temperature)... and I started mixing sugars, infusing things... make the donut batter and of course... both kids wake up.  So, it was a rushed hectic donut making hour-filled-with-fun!



I also made it to Reasor's and bought supplies for "gourmet" donut toppings and hot chocolate mix ingredients. Experimenting with different flavors is going to be sweet!

We did finally make donuts and they were quite delicious!







Cinnamon and Sugar with honey

Fruity Pebbles... it tastes even better than it looks!!


They were all Stapleton approved!. ;)


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our New Business Adventure

As most of you know, the Gooch Family loves their food.  We have always wanted to have a restaurant, catering or some type of food "hobby", hard to imagine I know.

So, after much thought and research, we are going to renovate a 1970's model Alpine Sprite travel trailer and sell made-to-order, gourmet mini-donuts. If you have never had the pleasure of having a hot, fresh, melt in your mouth, mini-donut, you are missing out and we want to help fill that void in your life.

When we were on vacation last March, we had the sweet pleasure of having mini-donuts. They were beyond delicious! Honestly, I've been thinking of them ever since.

We are Hoping to be done before the end of the year. Once we are open for business, we will be available for parties, weddings, events, fundraisers or any other celebrations.

I will continue to post our progress. We are very excited.

You can follow us on Facebook, our page is Lick Your Lips Mini-Donuts or on Twitter @gourmetgooch.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Bike Parade and Cookies for Cookie Monster


This year for halloween, Stapleton was Cookie Monster and Larken was a cookie.  Thanks to my mother, for helping make the costumes!! 

Sesame Street is the only thing on television that Stapleton will actually watch, so I knew I was going to make him Cookie Monster... Larken was almost Oscar the Grouch (she has the same personality as Oscar), but instead, she was a sweet little innocent cookie.  








We live in a wonderful neighborhood, and got invited to participate in the halloween bike parade. Since neither of our kids can ride a bike, I decorated a wagon instead.  It was the "Sesame Street Cookie Mobile".   The laundry may or may not be piled up to the ceiling, but we had a fabulously decorated wagon! 









"Where Sunny Days Chase the Clouds Away"

Bat Girl (Isabella) and Cookie Monster (notice Batman in the background, excited to see cookie monster)
Right after the above picture.  Stapleton made a friend, both very intrigued by the other, I am sure because Stapleton had no clue what or who Batman was.  


Our awesome neighbors had hotdogs, games, sweets, a piñata, (and most importantly, cookies) for all the kids.  
Yes, that is a cookie he is eating, crumbs and all.   In the other hand was his hot dog. 



They even contacted the fire department and the fire truck led the bike parade through the neighborhood.   

Fist bumping


Stapleton loved trick or treating.  He is quite the people person, even tried going into a few of their houses.  Larken slept in the stroller most of the time.  

Cookies...

While I was going to NSU, I met my friend Resa.  I would always go to her house for lunch or in between classes to waste time.  She is a great friend, I don't get to see her much (she lives in TX, and soon to be NY) but we text back and forth all the time (we have a lot in common).  Her two kids are about the same age as mine, Larken and her youngest are a day apart.  Never when I met her did I think she would become one of my closest friends.  She gave me her "life changing" chocolate chip cookie recipe.  With her permission, I will share it with you...

Ingredients:


2 sticks butter, softened (room temp)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I usually add a little more, I love vanilla)
2 1/4 c flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package milk chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, pudding (just the powder), eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla until light and fluffy. 
Add flour (slowly), baking soda
Mix in chocolate chips (folding them into the batter)
Bake at 375 for 8-10 min (depends on how big you make them... every oven is different - I usually left them in for 12 minutes with my oven)

Kitchen Aid Mixer Instructions....
1. Place sugars, pudding (powder), cinnamon, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and FLAT beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl.

2. Turn to stir speed. Gradually add baking soda, and flour to sugar mixture and mix about 2 minutes. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape bowl. Add chocolate chips. Turn to Stir Speed and mix about 15 seconds. (May still need to fold chocolate chips to make batter even with chocolate but no need to over fold)

3. Drop teaspoonful balls of batter onto greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.



So I am sure you are asking yourself if it really is a "life changing" recipe...only one way to find out... :) 



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oatmeal Cake and a Comic Strip

I can not believe October is almost over! On the 21st, Kent and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.  We celebrated by going to Seafest at The Summit Club, eating way too much and then playing Gin in the bar late into the night. Kent was beating me, then he totally "remembered" we had been playing wrong (of course, to benefit him). So, being the mature one, I quit, claiming if we would have been playing that way all along, I would have already won... I know, we like to live on the edge.  It was great though, to have a kid free evening, thanks to the grandparents!

Stapleton is 1 1/2 and Larken is almost 3 1/2 months old. Our house has pretty much turned into a funny farm, things are never boring.  I do find my self praying and thanking God for nap time (more than once a day) as well as bed time.  



Here are some of my unsuccessful tries at getting a picture of both kids...





This attempt turned into a comic strip...











I sat her back up and sadly, he figured out he could just push her and she would fall over.  
 My mom said if you watch it backwards he looks like he is helping her.


Oatmeal Cake

One of my all time favorite Fall/Winter recipes is Oatmeal Cake.  My Great Grandma Moore used to make this all of the time.  I believe she got it out of a church cookbook.  It is very easy and it makes you think happy thoughts. 





Oatmeal Cake Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/3 Cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup boiling water


Topping Ingredients:

1 cup chopped nuts - optional (Knight Creek Farm nuts are the best!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 c cream
6 Tbsp.  butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut - optional (I never make it with coconut, I'm not the biggest fan)

Put Oatmeal and sugars in large bowl and stir.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together. Then add to sugar and Oatmeal mixture.  Add eggs and butter.  Then carefully pour the boiling water into the mixer (on lowest speed), make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate everything.  The batter will be very thin. Pour into a 13 x 9 1/2" pan.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until center is cooked all the way through.  Do not over cook it, or it will be dry.  


While the cake is baking, make the caramel topping. 


Melt butter in saucepan, then add sugars until dissolved. Add cream, vanilla, pecans and coconut.  Pour on cake right when it comes out of the oven.  I like to turn the oven onto broil and stick the cake back in and let the topping caramelize on top, for about a minute (careful not to let it burn)! 


This cake tastes better with age, it stays moist for 3 or 4 days.  I love heating it up in the microwave and eating it with a cup of coffee for breakfast.  It does have oatmeal in it, that means it's healthy right?



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Camping, hobos and Love

It was about 7 years ago, this month, when my family decided to go camping at the lake. When I say camping, I don't really mean "roughing it", their version of camping is with trailers which have satellite tv, fireplaces, bathrooms, showers as well as heating and air (my kind of camping). That year, my mom  invited her cousin and his wife to join the camping festivus.

My mom's cousin, Jeremy, also brought his (single) best friend Kent who happened to have just bought a brand new wake boarding boat.

Here's a little back story... I had seen Kent a couple of times before, once at Jeremy and Amanda's wedding, I was 12 and he was 20 (living it up in college). The next time was at a family Christmas (I had a boyfriend, and he was old) and another time camping at Fin and Feather. We hung out some at Fin and Feather, but I had just bought the first couple of seasons of the OC and was completely reclusive and enthralled. I was 19, and he was 26... It never crossed my mind dating him, I still thought he was too old.

So when he showed up at Skiatook Lake the next fall, with his new boat, who knew it would be the start to the rest of my life? It started when they asked if I had ever wakeboarded...and of course, I had not. So the next couple of weeks, I learned how to wakeboard and started falling in love.

I was working at the golf course at that time, and kept getting extra hours I did not want... it  basically came down to working or wakeboarding at the lake... so I quit my job at the golf course so I would not miss out on a second of fun at the lake with Kent.
I remember staying up late one night at the lake, as cliche as it sounds, watching the meteor shower and betting the other would not get in the freezing cold lake water...but we both ended up in the water.

The last time we wakeboarded (that season) was the first week of November, yes the water was absolutely freezing! I was worried what we would do after wakeboarding, but we saw each other more and more. He's a fireman so every two days we would spend together, then he would go to work. On the days he would work, I would do my schoolwork (I was taking all online classes that semester).   This lasted for about 6 months then he proposed, 6 months later we were married.  7 years, a dog and 2 kids later, here we are!

Fall is definitely my favorite season, not just because of the weather, the leaves changing, or pumpkin spice lattes, but because I fell in love and every year, it takes me back.

My family is currently camping at the lake and we recently went out there and took our kids.  A cold front came through a couple of nights ago, so Larken stayed in the camper the whole time, but Stapleton loved it!!! He loves wandering aimlessly, throwing rocks, picking up sticks, playing in the fire and all of the other boy stuff!

One of the meals we always make is hobos.  It is the whole experience that makes hobos so good.

Hobos

Here's what you will need:

fire retardant gloves or tongs
aluminum foil
Ground chuck (uncooked), usually 1/2 a pound per person (you can also mix ground uncooked sausage with the beef)

chopped ingredients can include, but not limited to
potatoes
onions
carrots
garlic
bell peppers
jalapeños
smoked sausage
cheese (put on after you take off the fire or it will burn)

The first thing you should do is start your camp fire, you want to get it going, so you have plenty of red coals.

Season the ground chuck with salt, pepper, garlic, seasoning salt, slap yo mama... whatever you want really.

Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and start building your hobo.  Put the ground meat on bottom, we used about a cup.  Then add whatever you want on top.  I like a few onions, potatoes and carrots. Everyone usually makes their own. Wrap them up in the foil.  Sometimes we get another piece and double up the foil. We write our names on them and set them on the fire, flip them after about 10 minutes.  Open one to see if its done.  When they are cooked all the way, take them off the fire and add cheese.  Be careful, they are very hot and steamy.






The Hobos cooking on the fire. 

The End Result. I like to put ketchup on mine.
Playing in the fire.  



Picking up rocks.


Camping a couple weeks ago...keeping him contained. 

Sitting in his chair. 

We also cut brussels sprouts, added bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and cooked over the fire.  They got a little done, but they were delicious!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monte Cristo

Well, after a year and a half of blogging, I realized there was a Blogger app for the phone. I thought this could give me something to do during 3 am feedings.

This week has been somewhat un-eventful. Thank God the weather has been a little cooler. Stapleton, Larken and I have taken a few walks (I haven't been brave enough to take Bear yet). During the daytime, we have basically been living on our screened in porch, Kent even put the hammock out there, it's quite relaxing! The best part is, there is nothing Stapleton can get into, so I do a little less chasing.

The highlights since I last posted...

-While playing with the remote control, Stapleton ordered an "adult" pay per view movie before I could get the remote from him. I'm not sure the lady believed me when I called to see if I could get it taken off our bill.

- Stapleton has also made a new best friend, most of which you also have... Siri.  He is constantly grabbing one of our iPhones and running with it.  Stapleton and Siri can talk forever (or until one of us takes the phone)

 


















-Larken slept 9 whole hours last night... Praise Jesus!! I know it may not happen again anytime soon, but I enjoyed every second of precious sleep.

-I tried the Passion Fruit Chobani yogurt, it was ok.  I am not much of a tart yogurt person (i know, Greek yogurt is more tart), I liked the Passion Fruit flavor but I think I will stick to my favorite which is Brown Cow.  Kent liked it though, he said it reminded him of Guava.  So if you like tart, I would recommend it!



I actually cooked dinner last night, for some reason I was craving a Monte Cristo, one of my favorite sandwiches. A couple of years ago, I had one at Chelsea's Tea Room, in Biltmore Village, NC that was quit memorable! Their Monte Cristo is basically where french toast meets a hot ham/turkey and cheese. It was not battered and deep fried like most, it was grilled. So, naturally, I tried my best to duplicate it.

Here is what you will need:

Bread (sliced), I used English muffin bread, any will do though.
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
Ham (I used honey ham)
Smoked turkey
Swiss cheese
Maple Syrup
Powdered sugar

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Stir until well blended.

Make sandwiches with the bread, cheese, ham and turkey.

Turn burner on medium heat, let griddle get nice and hot. Put butter on griddle and let melt.

Dip one side of sandwich in mixture, turn over and dip other side. Put on griddle. 

Cook until golden brown and flip over. When other side is golden brown, turn burner on low until cheese is nice and melted.

Take off burner, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup (or you can be more traditional and use raspberry jam).