April 2015 CookBook Club Wrap-Up

lemon bars

Whew! This month really flew by. I don’t know what happened, but here we are, about to enter May, and I didn’t get nearly everything I wanted done. But I DID make a lot of delicious treats from Lesley Stowe’s Desserts from My Kitchen!cookies

This book is gorgeous–you all know that. But it’s so pretty it could almost seem intimidating. Luckily, the instructions are fabulous and I was making brand new dishes that all turned out delicious! You can see the pictures and reviews of all the recipes by searching for #GHCookBookClub on Instagram.

The recipe I loved the best (and will be making ALL spring and summer long) was Lesley’s vanilla semifreddo (on page 219). According to Lesley: “A semifreddo (which translated means ‘half cold’) is a partially frozen Italian dessert that has the texture of frozen mousse and is slightly richer than ice cream.”

This cookbook has 5 different semifreddo recipes and variation suggestions in addition to those. I thought I’d start simple and I may work my way to the other ones next time I whip up a batch. This recipe is quicker and easier (in my opinion) than regular ice cream and tastes SO much better. But it does require that you have an electric mixer and a LOT of bowls. Lesley Stowe was kind enough to let me share this recipe below!

Vanilla Semifreddo 

semifreddo

Ingredients:

  • 4 large free-range eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, beat cream until it holds soft peaks. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. In a third mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue mixing until firm (but not dry) peaks form.
  5. Fold whipped cream into yolk mixture, then fold in half of the egg whites and mix until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared loaf pan and freeze for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Slice with a hot knife to serve.

Once you’ve got the hang of that, you can check out her book for the other flavors! Or just fold some Nutella in it and eat it straight out of the loaf pan like I may have done. I’m classy like that.

One embarrassing and fun fact about semifreddo: I always accidentally say “semi-frodo” when I read it. I may have also accidentally written that a few times. But I like to think it’s a desert a hobbit would enjoy. Speaking of hobbits, stay tuned for May’s cookbook club book: I think it’ll be an unexpected culinary adventure for many of you! 😉

One last piece of business before I say goodbye to April’s GH Cookbook Club pick: Lesley Stowe’s giving away a copy of the book and some Raincoast Crisps to one lucky Geeky Hostess reader! Enter below for your chance to win:

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It’s Fashion Time with AMI Clubwear!

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Photos by the always lovely Liz Leo!

I’ve known AMI Clubwear as a site that has tons of really, ridiculously hot dresses and (you guessed it), clubwear, but it wasn’t until they reached out to me that I found they also carried some fun geeky items.

When I go to cons, I often pick a couple of tiny little dresses like this for after parties, and this is one of the first I’ve seen with long sleeves. This means that I can pair it with leggings and boots in the winter and actually stay warm! Plus, having all of the Adventure Time characters makes it ridiculous and fun. It’s definitely a conversation starter!

Adventure Time DressAMI Clubwear wants to give one of you a $50 gift card so you can splurge on some awesome partywear as well. The Cartoon Dress I’m wearing is only $32.99, so you’d still be able to treat yourself to something else if you got it! They also have an incorrectly labeled Ewok dress, a Corpse Bride dress, a Lumpy Space Princess dress, a South Park scarfcostumes, and more.

Wanna win? Enter below!

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WIN The New Espionage Cosmetics “Curses” Collection!

Espionage Curses Espionage Cosmetics is releasing a new collection today–a set of glitters named after your favorite fictional curse words. The set includes “Gorram,” “Frak,” “Zark,” and “Frell,” and these glitters are GORGEOUS. And because they love you, they want to give one of you a set for free! Just enter below for your chance to win! A new product launch isn’t all Espionage has up its sleeve: Tomorrow (May 1st) is their 3 year anniversary and they’re going to celebrate by having a sale and featuring five new mask nail wraps in a variety of colors! The winner of our contest will ALSO receive the mask nail wraps! So, enter below and then pop on over to EspionageCosmetics.com to check out their goods, and stop by their Facebook page and congratulate them on the new launch and 3 years of making nerdy makeup!

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Fashion First Aid: Your Cosplay/Convention/Life Survival Kit

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I don’t know about you, but it takes me FOREVER to get dressed in the morning, especially if I have something important like an interview, a convention, or an event planned. Will this outfit be comfortable? flattering? Make me sweat? Do I have the right bra for it? Is it going to show too much cleav? Will the shoes end up hurting? Are there pockets? I often drive myself crazy just figuring out any potential issues that could arise and try to solve them before I leave the house.

Fashion First Aid came to my rescue last week when they sent me their Fashion First Aid Kit and a copy of their book “The Dirty Side of Fashion.” With the kit, I don’t need to worry about all of the above issues before I leave the house–I can just pack up some of their goodies and deal with problems if/when they happen. (For instance, when Stan Lee walks by you at a convention and you break into a nervous/excited sweat, not that I’m speaking from experience…)

I’m not taking a trip or attending a con without these products in my bag. I’m going to be the Macgyver of all fashion-related problems and the savior of my cosplaying and fashion-forward friends everywhere. The Fashion First Aid Kit includes:

  • Collar and hat protectors
  • Tattoo and skin shields
  • Temporary sticky pockets
  • Disposable underarm shields
  • Adhesive wardrobe tape
  • Racer back bra clips
  • Deodorant, drip & drool erasers

And once you’re back home and need to know how to clean your outfit, “The Dirty Side of Fashion” comes in. As the main laundry-cleaner of the household, I thought I knew my stuff. But this book goes into specific types of stains and materials, and suggests the best ways to clean them (as well as how often you actually need to clean). It sounds a bit dry, but the book is actually fascinating, and gave me a lot of tips I can’t wait to try out!

Why am I bragging about all of this stuff? Because you can WIN it! Fashion First Aid will be sending one of you their Fashion First Aid Kit and the book “The Dirty Side of Fashion.” Just enter the Rafflecopter below!
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Contest: Win an Unplugged Vacation in Vermont

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One of my new year resolutions (like many of you) was to unplug and find time away from electronics. It can be so nice to have the time to connect with your loved ones, with nature, and with your activities without the distraction of new emails and tweets. Well, Vermont Perfection heard us loud and clear, and they want to help. They’re giving one reader an unplugged 2-day vacation at the Amee Farm Lodge in Pittsfield, Vermont.

The prize is a $600 value and includes:

  • A 2 night stay at Amee Farm Lodge (based on availability)
  • Deluxe Continental Breakfast each morning of your stay
  • Gift Certificate for Lunch to Original General Store
  • Welcome Basket/Bag from Riverside Farm

It does not include transportation to Vermont. But if you have some airline miles to spend or happen to live close enough to get there on your own, you need to enter. The area has 30+ miles of hiking and biking on the Green Mountain Trails,
yoga classes, snow-shoeing, skiing at Killington and Pico, tubing on the Tweed River, kayaking and fishing at Kent Pond and Tweed River, and on-site massages.

I’m ridiculously jealous that I can’t go and desperately want to hear from whoever wins. But after the trip. Put your phone and laptop away while you’re there, bring some board games and a good book, and get ready to relax. Find out more at vermontperfection.com and enter below:
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Super Epic Awesome Contest!

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I teamed up with a bunch of other amazing bloggers to do a HUGE contest. You want to enter this. The contest includes a KitchenAid Mixer, Coach bag, Tiffany necklace, Fujifilm Camera, and a $100 PayPal gift card. Your holiday shopping will be done and/or you’ll have tons of goodies for yourself. The amount of entries may look scary, but you can get up to 148, so it’s not as bad as it looks. And bonus? You’ll get to know a bunch of awesome party bloggers! Enter in the Rafflecopter below. For more information, check out Pretty My Party’s post!

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Nudo: Adopt Something Delicious

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Why give a friend a gift of teas or olive oils when instead you can give them their own olive tree or tea garden? This is the concept of Nudo: you can adopt a tree or garden and receive a seasonal selection from your own adoptee. I’ve written about Nudo in the past and have loved checking up on the company. (I mean, how cool would it be to tell your friends the story of the exact tree your oil is from?) This holiday season, they’ve expanded their olive tree selection and added Darjeeling Tea Gardens.

I had the pleasure of sampling their new Sicilian Feudo Giulfo single-estate extra-virgin olive oil as well as their Darjeeling Tea, and oh my gosh you guys, the stuff is good. The olive oil is spicy, fruity, and so good on its own with a bit of bread. The Golden Harvest tea was indeed golden in color and tasted like the ultimate cup of tea. This is the stuff tea parties are made of.

If you’re looking for a fun, unique gift for someone that loves food or tea, or cares greatly about where their food comes from, Nudo is for you. And because they’re so awesome, they’re giving away a tea adoption! You’ll receive an adoption certificate from your tea garden and a shipment of the Golden Harvest Darjeeling loose leaf tea. Enter using the rafflecopter below:

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CONTEST: Win an Inkedibles Edible Airbrush Ink System!

 Inkedibles Airbrush

Do you enjoy baking? How about painting? Model building? Why not incorporate all of your loves into something amazing (and edible)? This edible airbrush kit will allow you to airbrush food-safe ink onto items of your choice (preferably ones you plan to eat). Use it to paint an accurate rendition of a nebula on a cookie, get the perfect shading on your cake shaped like Hogwarts, or just let your artistic side take over on a white fondant-covered cake.

What would you do with an edible airbrush system?

I told Inkedibles that my readers are great cooks/entertainers and are crafty, and that they like unique and interesting things to use while cooking/crafting. They offered up one of these amazing airbrush sets in return. Enter to win below and you could win the Edible Airbrush AND the pack of 17 edible inks to go with it! You lucky folks, you.

Too impatient to see if you win the contest? You can grab your own airbrush system now from Inkedibles.com.

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I have more plans with Inkedibles in the future, and they’re going to be a lot of fun! Keep an eye out!

Giveaway: Ariel Apron by Jordan Dené

 Ariel Apron

I was sitting down to watch The Little Mermaid the other day when Jordan reached out to me. “Would you like to review a Little Mermaid apron?” It was like she was psychic.

The apron is fun and extra-pretty to wear because of the style of the bottom. It feels more like a skirt than your average apron. The construction of the apron in general is really nice: it feels sturdy but girly, and I was impressed with the level of detail in the design and stitching. I look forward to wearing the apron while making some Shark Week cupcakes–it’s only right.

The Ariel Apron is one of four different designs in the “Princess Aprons” category of Jordan Dené’s shop, and that is only one of the many fandoms she works in. Between the astronaut, TARDIS, Arrested Development, and Harry Potter aprons, I would have a ridiculous time trying to pick my favorite. Check out everything available in the shop here.

You can win your own Ariel Apron by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway below! Too impatient, or want a different apron? Use code “geekyhostess20” to get 20% off your order! Get shopping now at jordandene.com.

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I was compensated in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own!

Geeky Hostess Makeup Collection

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Today I have something pretty ridiculously awesome to announce. I’ve teamed up with Espionage Cosmetics to curate a Geeky Hostess collection of makeup, available exclusively in the Geeky Hostess store.

I curated the collection to be as versatile as possible. You can stick it in your suitcase or your purse and be set with all of your colors for the day! The colors include:

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Not Today: A pure, matte red (I use it for blush and mix it with lip gloss for a great lip color, you can also see it on my nails in the pics)
Mrs. Reynolds: A soft, sheer, sparkly pink (This is my go-to base eye color, and mixes well with the red for cheeks/lips)
White Chocolate Mocha: A white frost with a hint of copper shimmer (A great mixer to tone down the red/pink, and a fun highlighter for the face/eyes)
Josephine Baker: Dark shades of cocoa mixed with iridescent green (This makes a GREAT smokey eye and can also be used wet as a liner)

To launch it properly, I’m doing a giveaway! Enter below! And then go check out the cosmetic collection or see all of the photos from my Wonder Woman/Pin-Up inspired shoot on Facebook!

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