Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Let's Get Baked | Stout Gingerbread

*this post originally appeared on The Rich Life

You see that above picture? All wrapped nicely and camera ready? That’s not exactly how my recipe turned out. 

I had all the required ingredients, down to the recommended molasses brand. My assistant (read: mother) helped me rap the bubbles out. The temperature was on point. I checked on the loaf about halfway through and it was flawless. The timer goes off: bzzzzzzzz. I open the oven. It collapsed. My once-beautiful bread fell at the last minute. 

Could nothing in my life go right? This was just the cherry on top of things that I couldn’t succeed in. I had just uprooted myself from a city that held all of my friends and the biggest potential for a career to move to a smaller city where there was no job or friends waiting for me. And now my loaf of bread fell. 

But this little bread story has a surprising twist: the stout gingerbread loaf was moist and sweet and well, bread-like. All my assistant and I had to do was sprinkle some powdered sugar on it and you couldn’t even tell anything went wrong. It was a Christmas miracle hit of the party. Touché, gingerbread. Touché. Just because your final product doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, doesn’t mean you failed. Life lesson learned. 

Also, don’t open your oven in the middle of baking bread.

Stout Gingerbread
Adapted from epicurious

  • 1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout 
  • 1 cup dark molasses 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
  • Pinch of ground cardamom 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously butter a *bread pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into bread pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. 
Bake in the middle of the oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs, approximately 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.

*recipe calls for bundt pan, but bread pan will suffice as long as you rap out the bubbles

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Currently Loving | Two

This is the best part of the end of the year.

Christmas ornaments...for your beard.

What 20-somethings actually want for Christmas.

President Obama on The Colbert Report was brilliant.

A letter to the woman who doesn't love her body.

A pygmy goat and his human. I found my husband and my kid all in one video.

I don't know how to describe to you my excitement for The Last Five Years. This musical is so heartbreakingly beautiful. I can't wait to see how the transport it from stage to screen.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | Gilmore Girls Fan

How many seasons of Gilmore Girls have you made it through since it's release on Netflix merely a month and half ago? I'm on season six of seven, so clearly I have nothing going on in my life. 

Oy with the poodles already. 

Jess and Rory 4ever

Dean and Jess Print — Roaring Softly
Doose's Market Tote — Cafe Press
Luke's Diner Mug — Too Legit To Knit
Viscous Trollop Throw Pillow — CafePress (Let's pretend it's spelled correctly)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Original Christmas Songs

There are covers upon covers upon covers of O Holy Night and The Christmas Song and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. And every one has a favorite of each and every popular Christmas song.

But what about the people who write their own holiday songs? Those are hardly ever played in the Christmas mixes because they aren't what the people want. Well, guess what? I'm making you listen to them today.

These are my favorite original *modern Christmas songs. Enjoy.
*A few of these song are almost 20 years old so I clearly use that term loosely.

Don't Shoot Me Santa | (RED) Christmas | The Killers

Love's In Our Hearts on Christmas | Home for Christmas | NSYNC

One King | A Christmas Story | Point of Grace

Cold December Night | Christmas | Michael Buble

All I Want for Christmas Is You | Merry Christmas | Mariah Carey

PS. You have no idea how hard it was to make this list. Songs that I thought were originals, were not actually originals. In fact, I'm not even 100% sure these weren't all written in 1935.
PPS. These are my favorite Christmas covers. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review | Yes Please

Yes Please
by Amy Poehler

Goodreads SynopsisIn Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

ReviewAll hail, Queen Poehler.

What we wanted was an afternoon with our best friend and we got that and so much more. Amy Poehler is witty and honest. She admits her faults and is humble when she talks about her good doings. She hit the ground running in comedy and she never looked back and I love being able to take a peek, not only into her career, but into her life. Queen Poehler is basically my spirit animal. She was raised in a supportive family, found her calling in life early and worked her ass off to get to where she is today. She is the perfect feminist mentor without even trying to be one. 

She is everything I would ever want from a friend/sister/life partner. 

I think what I really want to say is, Amy Poehler, will you marry me?

Rating: 5 out of 5 goats

Buy Yes Please here (or borrow it from me)

Song of the Blog: Hero by Mariah Carey

Follow Katie Grimmer's board Read on Pinterest.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekly Wishes | Thirty-Five

Last Week's Wishes

Get Through the To-Do List: So I got through most of it but there's quite a few things that I have to finish and nothing gets crossed off until the fat lady sings.

Christmas Shopping: Yes! I did all of it! Now to head to UPS to send them. Ugh. Gross.

Kick Ass At Guitar Showcase: So this is the most unprepared I've been for my guitar showcase and I'm quite nervous. I don't know the lyrics. I don't know when to play which notes when. Basically, I need to practice for about two hours every day until Sunday.

Christmas Errands: Send Christmas presents. Send Christmas cards. Bake all the things for restaurant Christmas party. Eat all the things at restaurant Christmas party.

The Nutcracker: I'm seeing The Nutcracker on Friday. There's nothing I need to do to prepare for this — I just wanted to rub it in your face. I'll now have seen it in every city that I've lived in.

Song of the Blog: White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix (Fleet Foxes cover)

Weekly Wishes is where I join up with The Nectar Collective amongst many other bloggers to share the goals or challenges we wish to achieve this week. We're a community of goal-setters.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | For the Goat Lover

You know that friend you have who loves goats? The goat section at the petting zoo is the first place they go to at a state fair. They have paintings of them on their walls. They have a weird desire to work on a goat farm. They love goats so much, they use them for their blog title.

Oh, wait. that just me?

For that lovely goat lover in your life, here are some wonderful goat gifts to give them this holiday season.

Goat Cookie Cutter — Cookie Parlor
Mini Goat with Heart Necklace — Christy Robinson Design
Market Tote Bag — West Elm
Goat Head Throw Pillow — Minnie and Maude

Song of the Blog: Paddy McGinty's Goat by Val Doonican