Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dry Shampoo: So Many Choices, Which to Pick?


Approached by Reviews.com to post their top five choices for dry shampoo options (read here) https://www.reviews.com/dry-shampoo/

Personally, I've been trying to work towards purchasing certified cruelty free products (beauty supplies are actually not that hard to find) and sadly only two of the "Top 5" for Review.com (print on their bottles that they) are "Not Tested on Animals":


Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Powder Spray and Dry Shampoo by Batiste Original

Sometimes it's good to give a little tossel to your locks and look fresh and dry. With my new haircut (post coming soon) I may need to explore more into these brands. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

A New Year. A New Try.

It's been five months since my last post and while I'd love to report that there was all sorts of adventures and trips and major life changes...mostly I was off line because of wave after wave of illnesses through my house - head colds, stomach flu, brochitis...you name it we had it.

Not that there weren't some fun adventures:

Pumpkin patch and hay rides at Roloff Farms

Oregon Children's Museum production

Celebrating the Spirit of Halloween-town!
But it's a new year, I'm feeling better, the BF and I are trying to bring more art into our lives (I bought him acting classes for Christmas, we've gone to a Laika Animation exhibit at the Portland Art Museum and are talking about doing a PaintNite for my birthday next month), and I'm hoping to use my blog and social media (see links to the right) to help with my artistic release.


So here is to a new year and to a new try!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Broccoli Apple Salad

With weather predictions of over 100 degrees, this last week was all about easy-cool meals...and trying to not eat "salad" every other night. So I changed things up on the family with this Broccoli Apple Salad (yes, I know "salad") recipe. I had made it a few weeks (months?) ago for the BF and he loved it!

 It is fresh and vibrant, can be eaten the next day for lunch leftovers, taken to a summer BBQ potluck, and easy to substitute out ingredients or alter for a different flare.

Don't have raisins or broccoli? No worries, use dried cranberries or cauliflower?
Substitute the red wine vinegar for rice wine, toss in some sesame seeds and a dash of ginger for an Asian slaw.



Broccoli Apple Salad

Ingredients:
3 C broccoli florets, diced small
3 Gala apples, chopped small
1 C carrot, grated
1 C raisins
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (optional)
2/3 C Greek yogurt, plain
1/3 C mayonnaise
1 1/2 TB Red wine vinegar
1/2 TB honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix broccoli, apples, carrot and raisins in large bowl
2. Add cooked chicken (I cooked in skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper)
3. In separate small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour
4. Toss dressing all over salad and return to refrigerator (ideally) or serve

My family ate it on croissants as a sandwich, I ate mine as is with some fried onion crunchies on top. 



Monday, July 31, 2017

Almond Joy Macaroons

One of  my favorite candy bars is Almond Joy - the creamy chocolate, crunchy almond and the chewy coconut... so delicious. And my mother has memories of growing up with giant 2-person macaroons from Canter's Deli in Los Angels. So why not combine the two?

Almond Joy Macaroons

Ingredients:
1 egg white
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 C. sweetened condensed milk
3 1/2 C sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 C slivered almonds
1 C dark chocolate chips
12 (or so) almonds; roasted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F. and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1. In a large bowl, stir together the egg white, vanilla, salt and sweetened condensed milk.
2. Mix in the coconut and slivered almonds until well combined.
3. Using large spoon (or ice cream scoop for larger cookies) drop the dough onto the baking sheets (they do not spread very much so you can put them closer together)
4. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, 15 - 20 minutes.
5. While cookies are cooling, melt dark chocolate over double boiler
6. Dip cooled cookies into melted chocolate and top with almond!

The best thing is these cookies are very kid-cook friendly. I made mine with my 8yo niece; she mixed, scooped and was on almond duty!

Now they really are best warm out of the oven but chocolate dipped is delicious too. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Cold Shrimp and Crap Soup

Growing up in Southern California with 112 degree summers, you'd think 91 would be no big deal...WRONG! There is a reason I moved away and after 8 years up north I've acclimated to cooler PNW seasons. So these last few weeks, with weather bouncing between 85 and 91 means staying indoors and keeping cool.

Which also means thinking of cool dinner ideas for the family (i.e. no oven or standing over the stove top) and let me tell you, you can only tell them dinner is "salad" so many times before they start to rebel.

Thank goodness for Pinterest and magazines in the doctor's office. In the same week my mother and I both found the same recipe for Cold Shrimp and Crab soup (her from a Sunset magazine from the doctor, and I on Pinterest).

As always (because I really think it's a compulsion and I can't help myself) I altered the recipe ever so slightly.

Changes:
  • Substituted 3 cups crushed tomatoes (because I happened to have a giant can on hand)
  • Substituted shallots for green onions
  • Substituted 2 (of the 5 TB) lime juice with lemon
  • Sauteed the bell peppers, a shallot and garlic before adding to the puree
  • Add 3 cups homemade crab stock and 2 cups water to the tomato puree to thin and stretch 
  • Added a TB dried basil before chilling
  • Served with avocado and a choice selection of hot sauces (for individual taste)
With the right hot sauce this definitely hit the spot on a hot summer Monday night and brought me back to vacation in NOLA. *drifts off to dreamland*