Aug 30, 2015

Ulta Matte Lip Cream Review

Alright Lovelies... here we go. It's been a while since I really had anything to do with makeup. I mean, in the whole, blogger/reviewer/artist kind of way. Something finally snapped and I realized how much I enjoyed this and that I needed to get back to it.

I purchased these babies during the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty this spring. Let me tell you, money well spent in my opinion. I purchased them for 2 for $8, currently they retail for $9 each. They have a pretty good variety of colors, although most of them are on the safer side. I do think that these are a wonderful choice for someone that wants to try a matte lip but not special order, or pay $20 for a single color. They take a good 10-15 minutes to dry to a matte finish. They go on deliciously creamy and pigmented for the most part. The only one I really have an issue with is Artistic. For me, it was very patchy and streaky, not my favorite look.

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Aug 10, 2015

Makeup Revolution Review

Alright kids, I went to Ulta a little while back and picked up some pretty things. There was a new endcap full of Makeup Revolution products, and I almost went totally crazy. I did purchase one pallet and two lippies. I will be honest, they only had a few things out, it was mostly empty. I will most definitely be going back to purchase more.

I got one pallet in Girls on Film, and I got two Velvet Lip Lacquers in Rebel and Vamp. The eyeshadows are awesome. There are 18 shadows in this pallet, 6 matte and 12 shimmers. The brightest color is the purple. All of the others are quite neutral, but very pretty. I love the mauvey matte shade. it is the bees knees.

Feb 8, 2015

1ish Hour Cinnamon Rolls

I have a serious weakness for cinnamon rolls. Is there anything better than a warm ooey gooey cinnamon roll slathered in cream cheese frosting? The only downside? They tend to take quite a while to make at home, and store bought? Well those just don't compare for me. I have been trying many different recipes for "quick" cinnamon rolls. I think I may have finally perfected my own version of a quick cinnamon roll. These take about an hour... which for many wouldn't qualify as a quick recipe, but when compared to cinnamon rolls that take several hours, I feel like they are a definite win.

3 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 C Warm Water
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Melted Butter
1/2 Tbsp Salt
1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
5 - 5 1/4 C Flour (This will vary, I usually end up just at the 5 C mark)

1/2 c Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 c butter, softened

1 8 oz brick cream cheese, room temperature
2 c confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook combine yeast, water, sugar, and butter. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes until well combined.  Turn off mixer and let yeast proof for about 10 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl combine salt and flour. Add eggs to mixing bowl, turn mixer on medium. Slowly add in flour and salt mixture until well combined. You will know you have added enough flour when it pulls away from the bowl on its own. Leave mixer on to knead dough about 7 minutes. Turn off mixer, cover bowl with a damp towel and let rest at least 5 minutes.

While the dough is resting combine sugar and spices for filling.

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to be about 12" x 18" rectangle. If you roll from the center out towards the corner it helps the dough turn into a rectangle vs just an oval. Once the dough is rolled out to the correct size slather on the softened butter. I just use my hands but you could use an offset spatula or butter knife if you prefer. Sprinkle the sugar spice mixture over the butter. Starting on the longer edge of your rectangle tightly roll your dough into a cylinder. I typically cut my rolls with a sharp knife, but if you want to use string or unflavored dental floss then go for it. I don't mind if the rolls get a little smushed, they even out enough in the end for me. Cut the rolls about an inch in width.

Place your cut rolls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between each roll if you can, they need room to rise. Let the rolls sit for 10 minutes before putting them in the oven. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges become golden brown.

For Icing combine all ingredients. Let rolls cool before icing.

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After yeast has proofed start adding the flour mixture.
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Dough after resting.
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Dough all rolled out
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Slathered with goodness. Left side is Nutella, right side is Butter.
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Covered with Cinnamon and Sugar
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Waiting to go into the oven. Nutella on top, Cinnamon on bottom.
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After Baking.
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Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing.

Nov 17, 2014

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

1 large head of cabbage
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c cooked rice - I cook mine with beef bullion for extra flavor
1 egg
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes if you prefer)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Sour cream sauce
1/2 c Sour cream or greek yogurt
1/2 c Tomato Sauce
3 Tbsp Paprika
Pinch Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl combine sausage, beef, garlic, onion, rice, egg, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. I always use my hands for this, but you could use a spatula or spoon if you like. Make sure it is well combined, you will not have another opportunity to mix this, it cooks inside the cabbage.

In a separate bowl combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Core and microwave the cabbage on a pie plate fully covered for 5-6 minutes at a time. Peel off outer leaves, they should be perfectly steamed.  If the inner leaves are too stiff to roll put them back into the microwave for a few minutes.

Lay out on cabbage leaf. Place 1/4 c of your filling on the bottom edge of the leaf roll once, fold in left and right sides and finish rolling. Place cabbage roll in a 9x13 glass pan. Make sure you put your seam on the bottom. Once you have rolled all of  your cabbage leaves cover them with your tomato sauce. Cover your dish with foil and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or so. If you have leftover meat roll it into meatballs, shred your leftover cabbage that was  not big enough to use for rolls and lay that out in a glass baking dish. Place your meatballs on top of the cabbage, drizzle with sauce. Cover and bake alongside your rolls, an extra dinner done!

While this is baking add together your greek yogurt or sour cream, tomato sauce, paprika, and salt and pepper. When you are ready to serve your rolls drizzle this creamy sauce over the top.

1 hour to 1 1/2 hour 350 degrees

Sep 25, 2014

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

My parents have an adorable little garden in their backyard this year. Basic and easy plants, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, green beans, onions, jalapenos, serranos, cucumber, and most importantly from my Moms perspective, zucchini. She absolutely loves zucchini, and always has as far as I can remember. She makes an amazing zucchini bread of her own, I decided I wanted to switch it up a bit and try something different. Since we have been trying to eat better as of late I needed a sweet treat that I didn't feel quite as guilty about indulging in. Chocolate Zucchini Muffins were born. I took a basic zucchini bread recipe and kind of morphed it into muffins. Let me know what you think!

2 Eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1/2 c zucchini, grated and drained
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cocoa powder
Palm full of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Grate your zucchini first and set aside. I put my grated zucchini into a collander usually and put a bowl underneath. Your zucchini will give a lot of liquid after it is grated, if you do not drain it your batter will be full of that liquid and will not set up correctly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla paste in a large bowl. Mix well. Sift dry ingredients gradually into wet. Add drained zucchini and fold in very gently. Add chocolate chips. Scoop with a muffin scoop, ice cream scoop, or 1/4 c measuring cup into cupcake liners.Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.

May 31, 2014

Rhubarb Custard Bars

This recipe is one I found on a clipping from a Taste of Home magazine that was stuck inside of a cookbook I bought at a second hand store. It's fairly simple,  very rich,  and sinfully delicious. They are sweet, creamy, and tart. If you don't like Rhubarb go ahead and substitute any tart fresh fruit, strawberries work well, I've tried it.

Crust Ingredients:
2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 c butter, frozen and grated

Filling Ingredients:
2 c granulated sugar
7 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 c heavy cream
3 eggs
5 c rhubarb, chopped

Frosting Ingredients:
2 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c heavy cream, whipped

In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Mix in your frozen grated butter until there are no large pieces, you're looking for coarse crumbs here. Press into a greased 13 x 19 baking pan, press it up slightly higher on the sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking get your filling ready to go. In a medium sized bowl combine sugar and flour. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over your prepared crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until custard is set. Cool completely.

For frosting, beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Gently fold in your whipped cream. Spread over the top of your cooled bars. Chill. Store in refridgerator.

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Frozen butter.

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Shortbread crust done.

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Eggs and sugar.

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Custard mixture.

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Add the beautiful rhubarb.

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Custard ready to go.

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Bars cooked, waiting for frosting.

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Feb 10, 2014

Spicy Cabbage Soup

First post in a long while, sorry about that. I've discovered it's harder to justify cooking new fancy stuff when it's only for me. I've been trying to get back on the experiment train, but haven't quite made it there yet.

It's cold out. Cold and wet. Recently I've been feeling a bit sluggish and behind in everything, I needed to clean myself up. As I'm sure you all know I've got a penchant for rich delicious foods, regardless of calories or fat. I fall back on this soup every time I know I need to clean up my diet to feel good again. It is a truly clean and delicious soup. I can eat huge portions of it, and not feel guilty, thereby making myself feel better about needing to eat the larger amount. This soup is so full of veggies I feel good about eating it, and it helps kick my digestive system back into gear. I like mine spicy, but you can choose to tone it down. Some would say this is bland, but I find it to be the perfect mixture of veggie flavors and tomatoey goodness. Check it out, and tell me what you think!