California Girls Take on the Nation's Capital.

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Basically, more fun than you’ve ever had at a grocery store.

It’s Friday! Congrats–you made it! You know what would have made your week so much better? SnapChat. What is SnapChat? It’s an app on your iPhone (or whatever smartphone you’re using) that allows you to send pictures to your friends that only last on their phones for up to 10 seconds (you determine how long the picture can last). You can add captions, draw on your pictures, or even take short videos that your friends can only see for a short amount of time. It will even tell you if your friends try to screenshot you (Big Sug is always screenshotting me–creeper!). Now, there are techy people who can find SnapChat pics in your phone despite the 10 second thing, and there will always be a way around all of that–so don’t be dirty (or if you don’t care, be dirty). However, for people like me–pics only last for up to 10 seconds.

It’s essentially the most personal form of electronic communication ever. For real. SnapChat lets you take ridiculous photos of yourself, draw all over them, and then caption them. That means that people are not only seeing the real you, they are seeing the you that you think is the real you. That’s deep. SnapChat is deep. It also lets you convey more than just words. How will someone know you’re joking over text? Take a SnapChat of you laughing. Totally fixes any misconstrued notions. Take, for example, my lobstah tail picture seen above. I sent that SnapChat to a lot of cool cats. What does it say about me? It says I love lobstah. It says I’m hilarious. It says that I definitely think my food is smiling at me. It’s deep.

Do yourself a favor: download SnapChat. It is the most fun you can have by yourself. Or, if you’re like me, you can send creeper shots of your friend who is sitting next to you to your friend who is sitting next to you. Whit knows that one all too well. So get on it now, and share with us your clever SnapChats (you can save your own). Do not send dirty pics. I will post them on the internet and I will make sure they come up when people google you. You’ll know I took a screenshot  ’cause SnapChat will tell you.

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I love being a Californian in DC. But I hate being a Californian who has to travel back and forth between DC and home. It’s a long, annoying flight and I frequently find myself stuck on a red eye with a screaming baby. This makes for a sleep-deprived and cranky Whit.

Luckily, I have LG to take care of me. When I returned to DC after a trip home last weekend, it had been an entire week (gasp!) since I had seen her. I was in dire need of three things: LG-time, food and sleep. And carb-free LG (I love rhyming) was looking to take her new-found love of cauliflower for a ride and make a cauliflower crust pizza.

Cauliflower boobies – as uneven as real boobies.

The recipe for the cauliflower crust, which LG found here, was pretty easy. You will need 2 cups of grated cauliflower, 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzerella cheese and 1 egg. We doubled all of the ingredients for our batch. We like leftovers.

The greatest grater.

After you break the cauliflower down into chunks, you will need to grate the florets into smaller crumbles. I was strictly an observer but LG noted that it was extremely easy to grate up. When you’re through, it will resemble chunks of feta cheese. Mmmmm, cheese.

Cheese? Not Cheese? Ahhhh, so confused!!!

LG measured out 4 cups of cauliflower, put it in some cheesecloth to help it dry out and then microwaved it for 8 minutes to soften it up. Then she added in 4 tbsp of parmesan cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella (if you’re doing one batch use 2 tbsp of parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella). We may have eyeballed the cheese measurement. A little extra won’t hurt anything.

Egg boobies are smaller than cauliflower boobies.

Then LG stirred in 2 eggs. Finally, for her own twist on the recipe, she added in a few shakes of Italian seasoning. I was an extremely helpful taste-tester and then added a couple more shakes. Then she spread the whole mixture evenly over a pizza pan, sprayed it lightly with some cooking spray and stuck in in the oven.

Seriously, it looks just like real dough. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

While the crust cooked, LG whipped up some homemade tomato sauce. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t totally paying attention here, but I think it involved 3 cans of crushed tomatoes thrown into  a Vitamixer, then a can of tomato paste added in, and then it was all stirred together and heated up on the stove.

LG loves her (kitchen) toys.

Once the crust was done baking, we pulled it out of the oven to add on all of our toppings. It was a really nice golden brown and smelled AWESOME. We probably could have eaten it right then and there.

Get in my belly.

All that was left to do was add the toppings! We dolloped on the tomato sauce, sprinkled on a bunch of cheese, threw on some fresh basil from LG’s new plant, tossed on the turkey pepperoni that we hadn’t already eaten and finally added on some chopped mushrooms.

Clearly an artiste.

Once the pizza came out of the oven, we dove right in. This might have been our only mistake. The cauliflower crust needs a little time to cool and harden or it crumbles up a bit too easily. However, a slightly crumbled crust did not stop it from tasting AMAZING. And it was shockingly filling. I’m usually in for at least 3 pieces of pizza but I was good and full after only 2!

Might have forgotten to take a final picture in our hurry to eat it. Leftover picture will have to suffice.

It really was an amazingly easy recipe to make and it was exceptionally delicious. I’m not as carb-averse as LG but if all of her recipes taste as good as this one does, she may drag me over to the dark side. And after I got my LG-time and my food, I promptly fell asleep on the couch. Best way ever to recover from a trip home.

LG here! Now that we’ve all fallen in love with cauliflower, let’s have Round II. Cauliflower mash is such a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. I never thought I could replace mashed potatoes, but boy was I wrong. This recipe is SO easy: a cauliflower, have a packet of cream cheese, butter, and a fork. The fork is for eating the cauliflower mash. I highly recommend using it.

First, wash your cauliflower! Always wash your veggies, and your hands.

Yes, I took a picture of washing cauliflower.

Now, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, throw in the cauliflower. Don’t be like me, though–put it in gently. I may have burned myself. After about 10 minutes take out a piece and see if it crumbles easily. If it does, throw everything back in that strainer.

That weird looking stuff is veggie “meat.” Yes, we go far and beyond just carb free. We’re straight up freaks!

Put the cauliflower back in the pot and get to mashing!

Love Big Sug, but this is def a blurry picture. Apropos?

Now, add in the cream cheese. I’d recommend adding it in slowly. It will make everything more consistent. I, however, do not have that kind of patience.

ALL THE CREAM CHEESE!!!

You are so close. Mash and mash and mash some more! Once it has a steady consistency, throw the butter in there. Mash some more while it melts.

I think this picture beautifully illustrates our height difference.

Add in whatever you like in your mashed potatoes! Garlic? Absolutely! Salt! Pepper! Graaaaaaaavy!!!

We added veggie gravy to this batch. Delicious!

Then get that fork out! It’s so delicious AND it’s a veggie.

Cauliflower is my new miracle veggie. I am not big on sitting down and just eating a vegetable (I prefer candy), so this recipe was perfect for me. I felt as if I was eating a starch, but really I was getting a HUGE serving of veggies. Trick your kids! Trick your friends! Trick yourself! Cauliflower is so versatile, so take it off that antipasto plate and cook it up real good.


Oh, hello beautiful.

Every Friday we are going to fill you in on our obsession of the week. This week’s obsession: cauliflower. This sassy little minx was once the vegetable I loved to avoid. It was the wallflower nerd vegetable that I would never dance with in high school (ugh, high school LG was the worst), and then it grew up, graduated college summa cum laude, got a great job and some experience with the ladies, and came back hotter than a pro football player. It looked at me begging to be devoured, but no! I would not have cauliflower. I just wouldn’t.

And then my life changed. I went low-carb and I needed something to replace all I had lost.  What about pizza? What would I eat with lobstah tail? Vegetables are OK and all, but they were losing their allure. Even my love of green beans couldn’t replace my desire for mashed potatoes. What could fill  that void? Then a friend turned me to cauliflower–that vegetable I wouldn’t even look at. I mean, come on! It full on looks like a colorless brain. No, I do not eat brain looking food.

I was desperate. I made some cauliflower mash to eat with my green beans and lobstah tail. I didn’t expect much of this brainy looking food. I was wrong. I hate being wrong, but I was wrong. Cauliflower is my taste bud’s new lover. After the first night of cooking with it, I did it again the next night. I can’t get enough. It’s so delicious, it’s a perfect replacement for starches, it’s easy, AND it is filling. Oh wait, another “and”: AND IT COUNTS AS A VEGETABLE!

Tune in next week when FlipFlopsandFreedom teaches you how to make cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower mash ALL IN ONE POST! Eat healthier, trick your kids into eating a veggie, or just try something new. We will teach you how.

And for the love of all that is sparkly: go buy some cauliflower!


We hear all the time from the fashionistas of the world that we only need a few basic pieces, and our wardrobes will have endless possibilities. Yeah right. I collect clothes like hoarders collect free trash. I LOVE shopping, I love having a full closet I can just stare at. However, this means I always have a too-full closet, overflowing drawers, and clothes seemingly decorating my floors (but really–how do clothes end up in the kitchen?!). Maybe there is such a thing as excessive clothing, but I really hope not.

I decided to see if my favorite work dress could really be used for more than just work. This dress is just a little black sheath dress from Gap. I bought it years ago, but I found a similar version at Ann Taylor for your purchasing pleasure. I wear it all the time for work/grown-up events (engagement parties, dinners, yawnyawnyawn), so it seemed like the perfect piece to use. I took three different occasions: a museum trip with my family, a more casual day at work, and a night out with the girls for Whit’s birthday. Let’s see what I did.

Outfit #1: Museums with the Fam

Chambray Shirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
Tights (Amazon–I love Capezio tights; they last forever)
Bobble Necklace (Eastern Market)
Black Flats (Tory Birch)
Yellow Suede handbag (Hand-me-down from my boss)
Bun

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I loved this outfit because it was easy, carefree, and yet I didn’t look homeless. It was also nice because I could just take off that chambray shirt and be dinner ready.

Outfit #2:  A casual day at work

Gold Studded Belt (Betsy Johnson)
Black Flats (Tory Birch)
Gold Ring (Goodwill find!)
Gold bracelets (B Thrifty and Off Fifth)
Black quilted jacket (Burberry)
Cross body small black purse (Dooney and Burke)
Side Braid

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Roaming the cold, hard sidewalks of DC.

This Burberry jacket is my favorite jacket ever. I love it more than I could love a child (not a joke). As you will also notice, I love to wear gold. I will always try to bling out, and this is my way of blinging at work. That studded belt is fun and edgy, but with the dress/flats/jacket combo it tones it down enough to be work appropriate. This is basically my fall/spring wardrobe.

Outfit 3: Whit’s Birthday Dinner

Gold Studded Belt (Betsy Johnson)
Gold Sparkly Pumps (Enzo Angiolini)
Gold bracelets (B Thrifty and Off Fifth)
Black A-line skirt (Ann Taylor Loft)
Pony Tail

I wear these gold shoes more than is socially acceptable.

I’d thought about pairing a dress with a skirt for awhile, but never did it (if you’re wondering what I sit around thinking about…you’re definitely in for some disappointment as I am sitting around thinking about pairing skirts with dresses). I love this outfit, because it accentuates those shoes. My grandmother bought me those shoes. I’m not joking. Best. Grandma. Ever. When I go out with the girls, I want to sparkle, and that night I sparkled (but not more than Whit, because it was her 4th birthday party…of the week…and she outshone even the smores pie).

What amazes me about these three outfits is that it’s just 4 pieces of clothing overall: the dress, the shirt, the jacket, and the skirt, but I could get 3 very different outfits out of it. This is useful when traveling, on a budget, or when you have very little closet space.

Try taking one piece and basing a few different outfits off of it. We’d love to know how you did–so tell us in the comments or shoot us a message!


WE ARE CALIFORNIANS!!!

That shout alone should let you know three things about us: 1. Snow is a place, not a weather pattern. 2. Yes, we WOULD rather be at the beach. 3. We L-O-V-E In ‘n’ Out.

Now, In ‘n’ Out is pretty strict about where they’ll build their restaurants. In the foreseeable future, there is just no way we’re getting one within 1000 miles (and we probably wouldn’t drive more than 500 for a burger–but we would def drive 500 miles for an In ‘n’ Out burger if that were an option). Luckily, some crazed chef did a serious breakdown of an animal style double-double. Here is the link. That man is a saint.

With recipe in hand, we tracked down all the necessary ingredients.

Image

You may notice a lack of buns. Totally on purpose and not ’cause we left them in the car.

What you’re looking at is:
-half pound burger patties (the recipe calls for 2 quarter lb burger patties, but we’re rebels)
-six onions
-a tomato
-a head of lettuce
-mustard
-mayo (for sauce–2 tablespoons)
-sweet relish (for sauce–2 tablespoons)
-ketchup (for sauce–1 tablespoon)

In ‘n’ Out Animal style burgers have a few components that make them different than a regular In ‘n’ Out cheeseburger. The one that really stands out when you take a bite, though, are the caramelized onions. Oh my. Those onions…they are perfection.

Now, the recipe says that the onions take a while to cook. A while? A while is the length of a sitcom. This was forever. It really should say, “the onions will take forever.” But when we want something, we put in the hours. Hours. 3 hours. Not joking. Start the onions EARLY. We thought this would be a lunch meal, but it ended up being dinner, because of these onions. However, let us say two words: WORTH IT!

So! Now that you’ve got your six onions in hand, chop ’em up. We stuck ’em in the food processor after chopping. And LG left quite a few on the floor, too.

"Chopping is hard."-LG

“Chopping is hard.”-LG

After chopping/food processing the onions stick ’em in a pan with some oil over medium heat (let’s be honest, we started them on high heat and then realized that impatience didn’t make them cook more quickly–it just burned the bottom ones). After about an hour, pour 3/4 cups of water over the onions to “deglaze” the pan. We’re not chefs–that’s just a word the chef used. But it works, so whatever.

Wow. that is a TON of onion.

Wow. that is a TON of onion.

When the onions FINALLY start turning brown, turn the heat down a bit. Get up from your game of Wii Monopoly about once every hour to deglaze the pan again. You’ll end up doing it 3 times.

No joke. Here is what you’re left with at the end. It’s delicious. It’s fragrant. And it’s about 1/6 of what you started with. This is the bowl we used to move the onions (one at a time) to the pan. They REALLY cook down.

Delicious onion jam.

Delicious onion jam.

So, now you have your onion jam. Next step: make your special sauce.

Special Sauce to be Mixed

So, this is where we thought the recipe guy got a little nuts. You broke down the exact amount of ketchup, mayo, and sweet relish of the sauce? I bet they don’t even try that hard at the restaurant. However, we thank him, because it’s delicious. The special sauce is easy: take the 2 tablespoons sweet relish, 2 tablespoons mayo, and 1 tablespoon ketchup and mix them. Easy peasy.

"Special sauce is gross." Whit the weirdo (possibly captioned by LG)

“Special sauce is gross.” Whit the weirdo
(possibly captioned by LG)

Now it’s time for burgers!!!

Whit did our burgers (LG is scared of raw meat…unless it’s fish. Weirdo). She added some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the meat for taste. Then the magic happens: mustard. What? Mustard. Whaaa? Mustard. For real. We’ve more or less decided anything cooked on a pan should be cooked with mustard. What? Mustard. Whaaa? Mustard.

Just some raw meat hanging out in a pan.

Just some raw meat hanging out in a pan.

SO! After seasoning, we threw the burgers in a skillet. Then mustard was added to the top. THEN we flipped the burger. The smell of that mustard cooking is so good. SOOO GOOD! Then throw some cheese on top and let it melt. Once your burger is cooked through (please make sure your burger is cooked through) it is ready to go!

Dinner Prepped

Assembly line dinner: what it looks like to live with roomies.

We won’t run down burger assembly–we’re assuming you can assemble a burger. We wrapped them in lettuce ’cause LG-the-weirdo doesn’t eat carbs.

No. Thank god.

The burgers were AMAZING! We made ours with thicker patties instead of two patties, and it worked just fine.

Whitney with Burger

Whit

LG

LG–eager much?

Really, what makes it great are: the onions, cooking the burger with mustard, and the special sauce. We figured it out! And yet, we will definitely still pay for In ‘n’ Out every time we’re back home.

Whit and her protective eye wear. Onions are dangerous, people!

Whit and her protective eye wear. Onions are dangerous, people!

We’re giving this a HELLA INVOLVED rating, because the onions took forever.


We are Central Valley natives–we can’t even claim Southern Californian, much less south-of-the-Mason-Dixon Southern. At Taste of the South, however, everyone gets to be Southern for one night. Taste of the South is an annual soirée to benefit a number of Southern charities. It’s one of our favorite events of the year! Each state provides local food and beverage (and swag!!!).

One of the best parts of TOTS is getting dressed up. I am a hair person: I love any opportunity to play with hair. Here are a couple up-dos I did for the event.

Whitney has shoulder length, thick hair. And when I say thick, I mean thick. I may have a quarter of the hair she has. If I had Whit’s hair growing talents, I’d go full Rapunzel. I digress. This style looks complicated, but it’s not. That’s the best type. Really tight up-dos aren’t super in right now (except the beloved sock bun), so I went for a look that seemed polished, but not overdone.

I started by putting tight spiral curls in 6 layers of Whit’s hair.

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Our own little Shirley Temple!

Then I ran my fingers through each curl.

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Kinda 1950’s housewife fabulous?

Then I pinned the curls into what I’ve started calling a curl-hawk. I made sure that none of the curls were pinned down too tightly. Next I gathered the hair at the bottom of her neck into a low-ponytail and pinned it under.

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The curl-hawk is here to stay!

Next, I tackled our friend Leslie’s hair. Leslie had already curled her hair. All I did was a low topsy-turvy ponytail. Then I pinned the bottom of the ponytail over the topsy-turvy loop. Easy, simple, and super elegant. This took, maybe 5 minutes.

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…and an awkward LG taking a photo in the mirror.

Remember, when getting ready properly you MUST take all the obligatory pics!!!

Like the group shot:

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Where are we supposed to look?

Or the “awkward prom” pic:

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I’d make fun, but this is one of my favorites ever.

Or the “stacked friend” pic:

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Always crop this pic. Otherwise, you look like a small stack of friends in a large room.

Now you’re ready to have fun!

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No red-eye = No fun!

Thanks to Leslie for the invite/ticket/letting me borrow a cocktail dress. It ended up being somewhat of a girls’ night, which just made it that much more fun. TOTS was such a spectacular event! Congrats to the committees for their hard work! If you’re interested in going next year, check out the Taste of the South website. We promise, you will have a fabulous time and support some great causes.