Monday Mood: Picnic Perfect

Today I am in the mood for a picnic, especially because it is Memorial Day. Summer is the perfect time to whip up a simple salad, grab a bottle of lemonade, call a few friends and meet at the park for a picnic.

The first place to start for a picnic is a comfy blanket…this one even zips up for easy carrying! Next, keep your salad chilled and ready to serve with this 3-piece salad bowl. Classic red gingham napkins are essential for picnic-ing! And you can store fresh fruit, pasta salad or crackers in stylish translucent take-out cartons.

Picnic Time!

I’ve always wanted a traditional picnic basket. The one pictured above can be customized into any color! Ice mats will keep your food chilled and won’t melt like ice cubes. Don’t forget some festive plates with a rockin’ pattern! If you’re bringing a bottle of lemonade or wine along, use this Jet Bag to keep it from leaking.

1. Target $19.99, 2. Crate and Barrel $11.95, 3. Etsy $14.00, 4. The Container Store, 5. Crate and Barrel $3.50, 6. Etsy $25.00, 7. Target $15.99 for set of 8, 8. The Container Store $3.99.

Let’s be honest – it’s rough getting back into the swing of things on Mondays. I hope that my weekly Monday Mood posts will give you a little something to look forward to this summer. Stay tuned for the fun! Happy Memorial Day!

Love food. Love self. Love life.



Graduation Party Ideas

Graduation season means two things: festive parties and tasty sweets. My cousin Emily just graduated from high school in North Dakota. She and my Aunt Buffy were Pinteresting (planning) for months coming up with lots of fun ideas. I had a blast helping them craft, bake and decorate for the celebrations!

Cupcake Icing

My Aunt Buffy baked 400 mini cupcakes in Chocolate, Vanilla and Red Velvet. The mini cupcakes are fun for parties so people can sample one of each.

Cupcake Icing

The homemade Peanut Butter, Buttercream and Cream Cheese Frostings were so divine!

Cupcake Sprinkles

Icing cupcakes is so therapeutic for me…I love making the uniform swirls! Adding a pinch of multicolored sprinkles is a magical touch.

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

These little toothpick flags printed on scrapbook paper added personalization to the cupcakes, not to mention lots of pizazz.

Emily and Gabriela

Here’s my cousin Emily, the graduate, and I! We are all about bright colors this summer…and just happened to match the party’s theme.

This was the “party wall!” We made tissue paper flowers to hang from the ceiling. Buffy made flag banners out of scrapbook paper and printed letters. Tied together with some ribbon and ta-dah! The dessert plates are made out of drink glasses or vases, glued to plates, and spray painted. Inexpensive and adorable!

Graduation Party Wall

The table center pieces were my favorite part of the decor. Spray painted wine bottles accented with multicolored ribbon were filled with mini tissue paper flowers. I made these little flags with scrapbook paper and wooden dowels. Adding a quote of advice from Emily’s family members made for great conversation and even a bit of inspiration!

Graduation Quote Center Pieces

“Be nice…to everyone…all the time!” -Words of advice from Emily’s Mom

Don’t these pictures make you want to have a summer party? I’m ready to bake some lemon bars and have a few friends over to celebrate. P.S. For more details from the graduation party check out my Aunt Buffy’s (aka Sara) board on Pinterest!

Love food | Love self | Love life … Gabriela

Sonoran Living

All my life I have dreamed of hosting my own cooking show and this summer I became one step closer to my dream! I was asked to appear on a local Arizona television show called Sonoran Living to share a simple and fun dessert recipe. The experience of being a part of a live television show was unexplainable…I was on cloud nine!

For the first section of the show I was a guest judge for a Chef Challenge. You can watch a little bit of that segment here!

Later in the show I also had a short segment making Peanut Butter Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches….YUM! These are great to make in the summertime with the whole family and can be customized in infinite number of ways. Watch the segment of me making this treat with Andi Barness here! You can also get the recipe on the link.

Here are a few snapshots of my experience!

Me and Sonoran Living host Andi Barness

Me with Chef Challenge judges Susie Timm and Chef Jon Paul Hutchins, celebrities Chefs Matt Carter and Eric Guerin, and hosts Stephanie Sandoval and Andi Barness.

Overall, the experience of appearing on Sonoran Living is something I will never forget. The crew and hosts were so welcoming to me, and the support I received from friends and family was amazing. (Thank you!) I am more certain, now than ever, that this is exactly the career that I want to pursue and how I want to make my mark in the world. Food Network–here I come!

Love food. Love self. Love life. 

How to Make Iced Tea

I have been in love with Iced Tea this summer and have enjoyed it at every restaurant with every meal possible. Then I realized that I don’t have to wait to enjoy it when I’m dining out–I can make it at home!

Ironically, I also discovered that June is National Iced Tea Month…what a coincidence. Follow a few simple steps and you can celebrate the last 10 days of June with a refreshing class of Iced Tea in hand.

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Step 1: Choose your favorite tea.

Step 2: Boil 2 quarts of water.

Step 3: Put 3-4 tea bags in a pitcher and add almost-boiling water.

Step 4: Let steep for 4-6 minutes. Brew tea to double strength because it will be watered down by the ice!

Step 5: Add sweetener while the tea is hot.

Step 6: Refrigerate until chilled and serve. Enjoy!

Love food. Love self. Love life.

Let the Summer Baking Begin!

There are officially two causes for celebration on Gourmet Gab. The first is that it is summertime! Now that school is out and I am no longer living in the dorms I am so excited to bake and cook in our family kitchen.

The second cause for celebration is that Gourmet Gab blog has hit 10,000 all-time views! Thank you for following my food journeys and supporting the growth of Gourmet Gab. You’re the best!

My goal this summer is to bake delicious desserts as often as possible. My dear friend, Catherine, and I started off the summer baking with these two treats that I am obsessed with and hope you indulge in, as well.

Swirled Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

This recipe from Musings of a Housewife Blog is dangerous. The little squares are the perfect amount of rich chocolate cheesecake flavor, contrasting the savory graham cracker crust and peanut butter chunks. Mmmmm.

Rainbow Cake in a Jar

The second treat we made were these adorable little cakes in canning jars! After dying the cake batter with food coloring, we spooned the rainbow batter into the jars and baked them in the oven. The recipe called for icing, but we topped the cake with homemade whipped cream for a light and summer twist. (Tip: A scoop of vanilla ice cream would be divine!)

The cake batter even looks cute before it's baked!

Catherine and I with the finished product.

These cakes were bursting with fun and were just as fun to make. Don’t be surprised if a couple more similar recipes pop up on the blog this summer. I’ve got a list of desserts to bake and Red Velvet and Nutella Cake in a Jar is in the top 5!

Love food. Love self. Love life.