cereal milk

You may think this post is an April Fool's joke, but it's not. Cereal Milk is a thing. You can get it at one of the five Momofuku Milk Bar locations in New York (and now a location in Toronto). Cereal Milk is basically akin to the leftover milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl... you may find it intriguing or disgusting.

The recipes are on the Milk Bar website and also the official Momofuku cookbook. This is a quick overview of making cereal milk at home.

Measure 3 and 3/4 cups cold milk into a cup or jug. The recipe called for 2 tablespoons light brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to be added at the end but Saucy added it to the milk at the start.

Not for any particular reason, she just wasn't reading too carefully.  It probably didn't matter.

In an oven preheated to 300 degrees, toast 2 and 3/4 cups cornflakes for fifteen minutes. Toasting the cereal supposedly deepens the flavour of the milk. 

After cooling, place the toasted cereal in a large jug and pour the sweetened milk over the flakes. Stir vigorously.

Let the mixture stand on counter at room temperature for twenty minutes.

Strain the milk through a fine sieve - you may wish to do this twice. The mixture will be thickened (because after all, the flakes are basically corn starch waiting to happen).

You can push the excess liquid through the strainer using the back of a spoon.

Serve the cereal milk cold. It will keep covered in your fridge for a few days.  You can sweeten the milk or flavour it with just about anything. At Momofuku, they sell small bottles of flavoured cereal milk as "milk shakes."

The best thing about cereal milk is that it makes a super rich alternate baking ingredient to regular milk. Saucy added it to her blueberry muffin recipe yesterday, it gave the finished product a nice, nutty flavour.

Otherwise, how do you feel about the idea of "cereal milk", in general?  Yay or yuck?

another wedding gown refashion

This wedding gown refashion challenge comes by way of an awesome blog reader and now Facebook friend Lisa who sent Saucy her mother-in-law's wedding gown from 1946. Yes, people... dresses are arriving from super-cool people who send them this way just to see what will happen with them. How will Saucy refashion it? Which of The Cheerios will model it? These are the questions that most certainly have been hanging over Lisa for the past eighteen months or more since she so kindly shipped such a precious garment northward.

Truth: Saucy felt like this one had to be super-amazing. Sure, she has lopped sleeves off vintage gowns, seen halters and strapless tops where there were once poufy shoulder pads, cut dresses into skirts, added sashes and ribbons... but never on a gown with such a lineage. Let's do the math... almost sixty years old!  Lisa assured Saucy that she was more than ready to see it transformed, but Saucy felt like it had to come to life in a pretty substantial way. 

Vintage + family owned + reader donation = plenty of thinking and overthinking on the part of a very undereducated seamstress.

Have a look at the original dress in the wedding photo above and then take a gander upon it before Saucy took to it with scissors. Let us make note of a few points:

1.  It may have been altered and adjusted over the years for several family members to wear. There were some seriously funky seams to deal with.

2.  It had been moth-bitten, which could be seen as a negative, or a super-cool artsy positive. Let's just assume positive for a minute.

And, 3. Those things hanging from the waist right there. What are they?

Lisa.  What will we do?  How will we refashion this garment in a cute, modern way while keeping its integrity as a piece of vintage bridal fashion?  Who will model it?  It appears Lisa, that your mother-in-law was a tiny woman with formidable fashion sense in the forties.

First, we will go to the fabric store and buy some cute, inexpensive trim lace and some ribbon.  Then, we will get busy with the scissors.  Very busy.

Saucy cut right down the middle of this dress.  She did not see it as a dress anymore.  She needed to answer the questions.  Lisa had waited long enough.  

The first answer was: Saucy did not see it as a wedding gown anymore. She saw it as a super-cute beachy topcoat, one worthy of being worn at a hip music festival like Coachella. Something like that. And there was only one Cheerio who could pull this off: this little Guardian Angel of Cheerleading.

Why is she a Guardian Angel?  You may not recognize her as one of the regular "Cheerios" seen on the blog, but she was pivotal to the success of the team in its last year. She was on the other team in the program and after Velcro's devastating knee injury near the end of competition season, Angel swept in and became a cross-athlete. Meaning, she competed for the school on both teams, at different skill levels. 

That's not even the most amazing part.  She jumped in - literally jumped - during the last week of the season.  She learned an entire two minute and thirty second routine in two practices.  Let's put that in perspective: she learned the dances, formations, counts and places in stunts just a tiny fraction of the time the rest of the team learned their parts.  They had the entire season, three practices a week.  This Angel had about three hours.  Then she pulled on a uniform and performed her part seamlessly... all to ensure that The Cheerios (the "other team in the school") could participate in year-end competitions.  It truly was an act of well, Grace.

She was the perfect choice to model this dress. She lives across the street from Saucy and when she popped over to try the dress on before it was refashioned and it fit perfectly, Saucy took it as a sign. This, Dear Reader, was meant to be.  This Angel was meant to wear the special heirloom garment that meant so much to Lisa and her family.

After cutting it open, Saucy cut strips from the bottom to shorten it and fashioned the moth-eaten scraps into lace trim for the neckline and cuffs. It was pretty delicate to work with but has a fabulous draping quality.

Those mystery things from the front of the bodice were cut open and swirled into rosettes on each side of the open coat. They were finished with a vintage rhinestone button and some trailing ribbon.

Our model/Angel arrived wearing jean shorts, a bikini top and a light, lacy tank.  It's a perfect rock festival look.  It's very Stevie Nicks, do you agree?

Now let's "jack this look up" as they say on the bridal shows on TLC.  Let's add a Coachella-inspired floral crown and see where that takes it.

Are you loving this as much as Saucy is?  It might be her favourite wedding gown refashion yet, because it's now a wearable piece of vintage clothing that can come out for other occasions. 

Does it make you want to hang out near Palm Springs in April listening to indie-rock bands while looking fabulous?  This is the coat to have.  Imagine it thrown over a halter top and faded, torn blue jeans.  With boots. Yes, with boots.

It's just now entirely young and fun and perfect. Like the model who is wearing it.

Just a couple of final thoughts:  All of the regular team members cannot thank this little Angel enough for saving the day which allowed both teams in the school to become champions in their respective competitions and levels.  It was a classy move, to be sure.

Also, Lashes has been recruited to model reader Sarah's fabulous Vegas wedding getaway dress.  Little Sarge will be showing off the rework of reader Sue's flowing Grecian gown. Saucy is staining a tulle confection in a tubful of hibiscus tea for ShyGirl to show you.  There's also a downright basic satin hideous beaded gown from the late eighties that Saucy hasn't even begun to wrap her head around but it might involve black dye in a kiddie splash pool in the back yard.  Any Cheerios up to model that?  Show of hands?

A recap of previous gown refashions:

The first: Loopy wearing a shredded gown with a sash fashioned of old taffeta as camo for the tears

JWOWW dons same gown for a trash the dress shoot wearing her funky old cowboy boots

Toes bravely allows Saucy to carve the entire bodice away and into a halter top while it is on her body
Later, Trooper wears just the skirt with a denim shirt for a country look 

Capt'n Quinn's dress had layers and layers of outdated lace removed and replaced with billowing tulle, Vera Wang-style

Removing the sleeves of Fred's seventies gown revealed a sassy halter
The gown donated for Snookie's shoot lost its satin bodice and became a skirt for an upscale tomboy look 
Snookie later models a Vera Wang knockoff that needed repairs and a new sash and accessories

The dress McSteph wore needed no major refashion, but it will surely appear again with less lace around the neck and possibly a cap sleeve and as a tea length. 

If you have a dress you'd like to challenge Saucy to recreate, by all means pass it along if you are so inclined. There are still plenty of Cheerios looking for modelling gigs on the blog.

jackson pollock cupcakes

One of The Adorables that you met on a previous post went to art camp this summer. On the last day of camp, Saucy made Jackson Pollock-inspired cupcakes for her to share with her fellow budding artist-campers.

These cupcakes came together quickly and easily. Saucy baked a batch of her favourite Funfetti cupcakes and started with a simple batch of vanilla buttercream.

Use a giant round tip to achieve a big, fluffy blob of buttercream on your cupcake. Start with the first tier of frosting, add the paint-tinted frosting "splats" and repeat with another tier of buttercream and more frosting dribbles.

The "paint" is super-easy. Use a tub of prepared icing from the grocery store (Saucy isn't sure why, but when it melts it has a nice, runny consistency and after a while it solidifies and won't drip anymore). It also accepts food colouring nicely.

Just place a few spoonfuls of the store-bought frosting into a microwave-safe bowl and tint it to the desired colour using good quality gel food paste or a professional tint. Stir it up and pop it in the microwave for about ten or twelve seconds. It will be nice and runny. Give it a stir and splatter it over the piped mounds of buttercream (you can just drop if off a spoon or palate knife, not unlike Pollock himself). 

Saucy chose a bright palate of colours - this was an art camp for kids after all. But can you imagine a dark buttercream with light splatters? That would be very Jackson Pollock, indeed. The possibilities are endless.

Now, we can all discuss whether or not this is true cupcake art or not. The question dogged Pollock his entire career. True art - or simply random blobs of frosting landing where they might? 


monty's graduation, a true story

The younger Cheerios are now graduating high school. This June, Monty, Lashes, Boots, Porcelain, Hard-Sell, Jose, Brooks, Zen, McSteph, Lindsay the Text Shooter and girls from the other team all left the halls of good old ABCI.

Monty was the first to book Saucy for graduation photos so they're the first ones to get posted on the blog. We set this up months ago.

Monty showed up rocking these amazingly fun bubblegum, neon platforms. How very Monty, indeed. 

Monty is the young lady who once found a funky old gold lame leotard in the lost-and-found at the school and wore it to practice. True story. Gross. Saucy is glad she lost that accessory long before graduation day.

And Monty was one of the team captains. A leader.  'Nuf said.

Aww, she cleans up so nicely! No more lost-and-found duds for Monty. High school days are beyond her.

Must get the requisite full-length pose with the grad escort!

Poses like this make Saucy happy because this is how she remembers Monty the most, sitting on the cheer mats, looking around at her teammates, scanning the room to see what everyone was thinking. Monty didn't say much, but when she did, it was priceless. She has a fairly dry sense of humour. The kind of gal who can wear a gold lame leotard with a straight face kind of humour.

Is it still quite amazing to you, (as it is to Saucy) that all these girls are so grown up? They've always been smart and beautiful but now they're just perfection. 

And most importantly, they're happy. That's the most important thing. Do you remember how happy you were when you finished high school and the world was wide open for you to explore? Think about it for a minute. Look at Monty's expression of pure joy. Try to capture that today for yourself if you can. The world is wide open for all of us.

True story.