headerchop.jpg

4.24.2014

Blueberry Buttermilk Scones




We made these scones for our Mother's Day Brunch feature with Zooey Magazine and Paper Fox LA. They are amazing.  That's really all that needs to be said here, but seriously, you should go make them right now.  They are soft and flaky, slightly sweet and lemony, buttery with crispy golden edges that have a sugary crunch...  Best served warm out of the oven, topped with salted butter and maybe some of your favorite jam.  They are also easily mixed together in one bowl, which means minimal dishes and maximal enjoyment.  These scones are perfect for a Mother's Day breakfast-in-bed.  Display them in pretty basket with a set of gorgeous DIY hand-dyed napkins and you have the loveliest gift around.  And yes, all props were eaten after the shoot.

Ingredients:

  • 4 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (255 g) unsalted butter (very cold, cut into cubes)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (using frozen berries will keep your dough from turning blue)
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk to brush on top of scones (you can also use melted butter)
  • turbinado (coarse) sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions:


1.  Preheat your oven to 400 F.

2.  Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar & salt together in a large bowl.

3.  Using a pastry cutter (or food processor) cut cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (butter pieces should be about the size of peas).

4.  Fold in buttermilk & lemon zest until dough begins to form.

5.  Gently mix in blueberries.

6.  On a floured surface, form dough into a circular disk (about 1.5 inches thick) and cut into 6 triangular wedges (like a pizza!) using a sharp knife.

7.  Place wedges on a baking sheet, brush tops with buttermilk & sprinkle with coarse sugar.

8.  Bake at 400 F. for 25-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.  Serve as-is or with butter and jam!


(Table runner, cutlery & floral label card courtesy of Paper Fox LA).

Happy Mother's Day!

4.17.2014

DIY Ombré Dip-Dyed Napkins

When the incredibly talented and lovely gals from Paper Fox LA asked us to come up with a craft for their Mother’s Day Brunch (featured on Zooey Magazine), dip-dyed napkins came to mind immediately.  Not only do they make a beautiful table setting but they are also the perfect gift.  Who wouldn’t want a set of gorgeous hand-dyed napkins?  These are super easy to make as well as being inexpensive -- the perfect combo when trying to come up with a gift for the mom who still appreciates things that are thoughtfully handmade.  And don't they all?


Materials

  • Rit Dye in whatever colors you want.  We used these colors: Lemon yellow, fuschia, rose pink & sunshine orange mixed with rose pink for the peachy color.
  • White napkins (we got ours from Bed Bath & Beyond).  Just make sure that they are 100% cotton and not polyester.
  • A large bowl
  • Salt
  • Liquid laundry detergent

Directions


Before you get started, remember that you are working with dye.  Don’t wear clothes that are white/special to you.

1.  Prepare your dye in a large bowl according to the directions.  We used Rit Dye but didn’t need a giant batch so we used about half the package for each color.  First, mix the dye powder with 2 cups of hot water, 1/2 a cup of salt and a splash of liquid detergent in a bowl and stir well (this insures that all the dye crystals dissolve). Then mix in an additional 6 cups of hot water. 

2.  Rinse the napkins under hot water getting them fully wet. Wring them out and then fold your napkin the way you would like it to lay on the table.

3.  Quickly dip the napkin until it’s 3/4 of the way into the dye leaving about 1/4 of white fabric at the top.  This creates your first & lightest-colored layer.



4.  Then dip it about halfway into the dye, holding it there for about 5 minutes.



5.  Then dip it to about 1/4 of the way into the dye, again holding it in this position for about 5 minutes. 



6.  Finally, dip the bottom 1/4 of the napkin into the dye and leave it submerged until you have achieved your desired (and darkest) color.  We draped our over the edge of the bowl and let them sit for about 25-30 minutes.



*Note* With a couple of our napkins the dye bled up into the top area that we wanted to leave white. To fix this we put some bleach in a bowl and dipped that portion in for about 30 seconds until it was white again.  Afterwards, rinse thoroughly.

7.  Repeat this process with as many napkins as you want in as many colors as you want.  You can even try mixing different dyes to create your own custom colors!

8.  Once you have achieved your desired results, rinse the napkins under cold water until the water comes out clear.  Hang them to dry.

9.  Put them through a cold rinse wash (without anything else in the load) & tumble dry.  They'll probably be wrinkly so give them a good iron and fold them up the same way you did when you dyed them.

We placed our on the table with a cute little jar of jam (to go with fresh baked scones!) and a few small flowers tied together with some twine.







For more Mother's Day ideas, check out our collaboration with Paper Fox LA & Zooey Magazine and stay tuned for more upcoming tutorials!

Photos by Amanda Crew and Andrew Abajian.





3.20.2014

A Visit to Bath Bar

Confession:  This post was supposed to go up last month.  In fact, I’ve actually had this post ready to post for a few weeks now, but for some reason I couldn’t muster up the motivation to do a final edit on it and press post.   What’s that about?  

Things have been a little quiet here on Granny Girls for a bit.  Life lately has been swamped with a healthy dose of changes, a new job, press for a new show, side projects and anything else you can file under “Makes Me Overwhelmed.”  I’m the first to admit that I’m not good with change.  And I’m also not good at managing my time wisely (aka I tend to overload my plate with way too many commitments, exhaust myself trying to “do it all,” then throw my hands up in the air in defeat and not finish any of them).  It’s a Classic Crew syndrome, as I like to call it.  All joking aside, it frustrates me to no end because it’s a repeated pattern that I always seem to battle.   

So here I am a month late on posting this, but still doing it.  So that’s something.

Last month Amber & I were invited to check out a cute shop called Bath Bar in Hermosa Beach.  Side note: If you live in Los Angeles but hate driving to Santa Monica and dealing with the crowds, I highly recommend checking out this adorable little beach town.

Created & owned by Kristina Vogel, Bath Bar is a place where you can create your own custom fragrance (with plenty of help from their excellently scent-trained staff) and then add it to a wide range of bath products from lotions to perfumes to body washes and so much more. 

Obviously Amber & I jumped at the opportunity to make our own personal scents. 

After drooling over the decor in the shop (hello adorable couch), Kristina and her awesome associate Kelsey helped us create our own fragrances.  


As you can see, Bath Bar offers a HUGE range of scents from floral to fruity to woodsy.  It was a bit intimidating to choose from their giant selection of scented essential oils but Kristina & Kelsey were extremely knowledgable and helped guide us through the process.  

We each started with one scent that we knew we loved.  I chose Egyptian Musk & Amber chose Black Current.  From there, the girls showed us scents that paired well with our base scent to compliment and balance it out.  After much humming and hawing, Amber & I finally settled on our custom scent cocktail. 





Mine: Egyptian Musk, Vanilla and White Patchouli Flower
Amber’s: Coconut, Black Current, China Musk & China Rain

After you create your signature scent, you can choose what product you want to get with your scent whether it be a body lotion, a body wash, bath salts or hair butter.  We both decided on a a roll-on perfume and Kristina whipped it up right in front of us!


Added bonus, Bath Bar’s products contain biodegradable, natural and organic ingredients, have no parabens and are free of cruelty testing.

Kristina was an absolute delight to meet.  Her passion for what she does is so apparent from the details in her shop to her personal care for her customers.  

Also, Kelsey has an amazing line of candles that are sold at Bath Bar called Piece by Paz.  They are made from recycled wine bottles and smell AMAZING!  Naturally I had to buy one.  I chose Bad Habit, a mix of “sweet tobacco, creamy vanilla and crisp white tea.” 



We had so much fun learning about scents and meeting Kristina and Kelsey.  If you are ever in the Hermosa Beach area you should definitely check them out.  They also host parties in their space where everyone gets to make their own scented bath product.  And if you aren’t in Southern California, you can buy their products online here


And thanks for being cool with my absence around here.  


2.20.2014

Girls' Trip to Ojai


It’s hard to put into words how amazing our girls' trip to Ojai was.  If you follow us on Instagram, you probably saw some beautiful pictures of a whimsical cabin and four girls enchanted by things like orange trees.  



As I’ve been sorting through the photos for this post, I can’t help but dream about returning to this peaceful place.  It was probably one of my first trips where I didn’t come home feeling like I needed a vacation from the vacation.  You know those trips where you come home more tired than when you left?  Not the case with this one.  There was something magical and soothing about this hidden gem.  The air was crisp, clean and fresh, the food was delicious, the people were incredibly friendly, and the company was perfect.  




The house we stayed at was an adorable guest cabin with a fireplace (in which I failed to keep a flame going for longer than 10 minutes), enough cozy crochet blankets for all of us, and a huge front deck complete with granny rocking chairs.  The property was filled with flowers, fruit trees, avocado trees, a vineyard, chickens, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 




Most of our mornings were spent drinking coffee on the front porch while munching on Amber’s homemade biscotti and granola, chatting about anything from funny childhood stories to deep thoughts on life.  Then we would slowly get ready to venture out to the little town and see where the day took us.  


I think all of us girls agreed to go on this trip with our only agenda being to relax, explore and enjoy.  It created an environment of carefree adventures.  We went to the beach, cute cafes, local restaurants, charming bookstores, went for walks around the neighborhood and spent a lot of time on that front porch. 






My favorite part of each day was, without question, the sunset.  On the property there was a cozy seating area for us to drink some wine (or a mama-to-be “mocktail”) and sit in awe of the sun setting into the ocean.  There’s something soothing about taking in the immense ocean that makes my problems feel so unimportant.  






Needless to say, we had an incredible time.  Ojai, we will be back.










Photos by Amber & myself.