Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recipe: Hoisin BBQ Chicken Wings

As I've stated in a previous blog post: I love chicken wings.  I love them every which way cooked.  I came home from a long day of work to a package of chicken in the refrigerator and the below ingredients in my pantry.  This is the result of beggars not being choosers.

Anyone who knows me knows I prefer to eat healthy food that doesn't compromise in flavor.  With this recipe, you will be able to enjoy crispy chicken wings that make you feel like you're eating fried chicken without the unhealthy aspect of actual frying.  Many thanks to Chef Ellie Krieger for this healthy "fried" chicken alternative.

Hoisin BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp caramel sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 tsp fish sauce

1. Combine all of the above ingredients.  Thoroughly mix and adjust to taste.

Chicken prep (1-2 pounds of chicken wings, split at joint)
1. Place chicken into a huge pot and fill with water to cover all of the chicken.

2. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes.  Drain.

3. Place chicken under the broiler oven until the chicken skin starts to blister and crisp up.

You can stop here if you prefer to dip your chicken wings into the bbq sauce.  However, if you want the sauce on the chicken...

4. Mix the chicken wings with the bbq sauce.  Place chicken back under the broiler for 1 more minute.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recipe: Cioppino

A few years ago while I was in San Francisco, I tried cioppino for the first time.  It was amazing!  I was on a tomato kick at that time and anything with a tomato base or note had me hooked.  Naturally, I had to recreate the dish at home, but I had some willing guinea pigs to help me devour the entire lot!

Stock pot or dutch oven

3 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 - 28oz can of diced tomatoes
8 cups shrimp stock (thank you Insatiably Epicurious for this)
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb of shrimp
1 lb of scallops
1 lb of green mussels
1 lb of manila clams
1 lb of firm-fleshed fish fillets (sea bass, halibut, salmon) cut into 2 inch chunks
Lemon zest
Chopped parsley

1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the chopped shallot, onion, and fish sauce.  Saute until

2.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Saute for about a minute.

3. Add the tomato paste and stir until it is evenly coated over the shallot, onion, and garlic.

4.  Add the can of diced tomatoes, including its juices.  Stir for about a minute

5.  Add the wine, shrimp stock, and bay leaves.   Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

6. Add the clams and mussels.  Cover and cook about 5 minutes until the clams and mussels begin to open.

7.  Add the shrimp and fish and simmer for another 5 minutes.  At this point, discard any clams and mussels that did not open.

8.  Season the soup to taste using fish sauce and or red pepper flakes.

9.  Garnish with lemon zest and chopped parsley.

Bon appetit!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

So this post may come a tad bit too late since summer is officially suppose to end soon.  However, those of us who live in CA know that summer won't end for quite some time.  This means tank tops, flip flops, shorts, skirts, rompers, bikinis....basically anything that shows skin... will continue dominating our daily wear.  For me, this means my pasty pale legs continue to blind everyone around me.  I'm one of those unfortunate people who just can't seem to tan.

My solution?  St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse.  I've been using this self tanner since December of 2013 (a good 9 months now) and absolutely recommend it.  It gives an extremely natural tanned look to the skin, is easy to apply, and doesn't leave you with a self tanner smell.

Winner of award from the Best of Beauty Allure Award, InStyle Best Beauty Buys, Bridal Beauty Awards, Cosmopolitan Beauty, Cosmo Girl, Debenhams, Choice Awards, Pure Beauty, and Elle Beauty Awards, just to name a few.

Prep work
For newbies or first time self tanners, it's extremely important to prep your skin before applying self tanner.  In order for the self tanner to "glue" or "cling" to your skin, your skin must be prepped properly.  Think of self tanner for your body as the foundation you apply to your face.  If the skin on your face is flaky, your foundation will apply unevenly and will appear flaky.  This same concept applies to your body.  Thus, it is extremely important to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!  Get rid of those dead skin cells.  I like to prep my skin by using a body scrub in the shower.  I currently use a salt scrub, but any brand will do so long as it gets the job done.

The bottle itself is a pump that expels a brown colored mousse.  St. Tropez has a mitt that is sold separately that you use in order to apply the tanning mousse over your body.  The St. Tropez mitt costs $6.50.  ULTA also sells a tanning mitt for $5.99 (BOGO 50% off right now actually) and is an exact dupe of the St. Tropez mitt.  Pump the mousse out onto the mitt and then use the mitt to apply all over your body.  That's IT.  I apply this right after I shower and then go about my nightly routine.  It doesn't transfer to my clothes or my bedding.

Simple.  Easy.  Not messy.  Love it.

A gal pal of mine remarked one day that she liked my tan.  When I told her it was the result of a self tanner, she was completely surprised.  I'd like to think that speaks volumes as to the natural look this product achieves.

At $42 for an 8 oz bottle, this is a pretty decently priced product.  I usually wait for the 20% coupon from ULTA or the Beauty Insider coupons from Sephora to pick this product up.  It lasts quite a while.

Verdict: A+ for affordability, natural look, and ease of use

Monday, June 16, 2014

Makeup for Ira

I had the opportunity to do makeup for one of the most easy going brides a few weeks ago while I was in Indonesia.  You HAVE to love a girl who starts off her wedding day by eating a huge tiramisu cake for breakfast.  Fabulous much??  After filling her tummy with tiramisu and some Indonesian noodles, the bride was ready to get her makeup done.  Ira opted for pink lips for the ceremony...

....and then red lips for the reception

A few more pictures from the big day:

Here are the details of Ira's makeup:

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 7
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW30
MAC Prep and Prime Color Correcting Powder

LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
MAC e/s in Soft Brown
Makeup Geek e/s in Creme Brûlée
MAC e/s in Honey Lust
MAC e/s in Ground Brown
MAC e/s in Sketch
MAC e/s in Mylar
Makeup Geek e/s in Corrupt
Inglot Gel Eyeliner in #77

False Lashes
Ardell - Demi Wispies

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow Gel - #15

Contour - MAC Powder Blush in Harmony
Blush - MAC Powder Blush in Peaches
Highlight - theBalm Cosmetics Mary Lou Manizer

MAC Lipliner in Dervish
MAC Lipstick in Angel (for the ceremony)
MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam (for the reception)

Setting Spray
Motives 10 Years Younger  Makeup Setting Spray

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Makeup for Shirley

As I was going through the drafts portion of my blog to see which posts I need to finish, I was shocked to find that I never published the makeup I did for Shirley on her wedding day.  Mea Culpa to me for such oversight!  Without further ado then!

By the time I was almost done applying foundation and concealer to her face, I remembered I hadn't yet taken a before picture.

If any bride can rock leopard print on her Big Day in a stylish yet feminine way, it'd be Shirley.  This Cross Fit Merge superstar agreed to marry her sweetheart of 18 years when he popped the question in Italy!  Tres romantique, oui?

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Plus
BareMinerals Mineral Veil

MAC paint pot in Painterly
MAC eyeshadow in Woodwinked
Urban Decay eyeshadow in Blackout
MAC eyeshadow in Mylar
MAC fluidline in Blacktrack
MAC eyeshadow in Soft Brown

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brows in 25

Benefit Hoola
NARS blush in Orgasm
Sleek contour in medium for highlight

MAC Lipliner in Plum
MAC Lipstick in Creme de la Femme

Monday, April 21, 2014

Recipe: Cathy's Crab Dip

Hello, hello, hello.  I'm aware it's been quite a long time since I've updated this blog.  What can I say?  Life happened.  However, I'm back today with this delicious recipe for you all.

One of the perks of your good friend being a food blogger is that she can recommend recipes for you to try.  When I mentioned wanting to make a crab dip with the crab I had on hand, the culinary talent over at Insatiably Epicurious mentioned her BFF's recipe.  Thirty minutes later, I had a recipe to play with.  Thank you, Cathy, for allowing me to post this recipe with my tweeks (shown in italics)!

-11 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 small onion, minced (I used 1 medium shallot instead)
-5 tbsp mayonnaise
-12 oz of canned crab meat, drained and flaked
-1/8 tsp garlic powder  (I used 6 garlics, minced)
-salt & pepper (I used sea salt and white pepper)
-3 tbsp of lemon juice OR 1 tbsp lemon juice and zest from 1 lemon
-1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup green onions, minced
-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the ingredients to "marry."

3. Transfer the dip into a casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
(Cathy also likes to serve this dip in a sourdough round at times.  To do so, bake in the casserole dish for 20 minutes, transfer the dip into a sourdough round, and then bake for another 10 minutes.)

Serve hot with crackers or toast points.

Bon appétit mes amis!