A little bit of me, a little bit of you & a lot of sharing in between.
All day yesterday I thought it was Friday! I woke up thinking it was Friday, I kept checking my Friday appointments at work, I was sooooo ready for Friday. Oh well, TODAY is Friday and I am excited for the weekend because my whole family is going out to dinner and then to see West Side Story. Yahooo!
And it also means it’s time for our Friday Recipe!
You can read the full recipe at Plain Chicken (click here) but I’ll give you a quick run down:
Take a triangle of premade crescent roll dough and lay it out flat. Lay down 4-5 slices of pepperoni (I prefer salami, make it your way), overlapping them onto the crescent roll starting at the widest part of the roll. Take a hunk of string cheese and place it on top of the pepperoni. Roll up your dough, covering up your pepperoni and cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder and bake. Serve with marinara sauce on the side as a dip.
With the Superbowl coming up, these could win you some mondo brownie points!
Hope you have a great weekend, I’m going to be singing “Maria, Maria, Maria!!!” all weekend.
I haven’t shared one of these with you in a long time: things I just “gotta have”. Sometimes it’s a kitchen item, sometimes it’s music or another small but important thingy that makes my life easier. Once again, my Gotta Have It item is a lip balm, but this time with a spin.
My best-buddy LeiLani is a makeup artist extraordinaire and one of the perks to having a makeup-artist-friend is that she has her ear to the ground on all the newest cosmetic products. Plus she knows that I’m obsessed with lip balms & glosses. I choose my friends wisely.
So one day last year she brought me a gift, a Clinique Chubby Stick in the shade “Graped-Up”. The weird thing about the Chubby Stick is that unlike a regular lip balm, this balm comes in a pushup-pencil-like container. When you open it up, it looks more like a lipstick or lip pencil than a lip balm.
Ohhh but then you try it on and it goes on so smooth, so subtle, so dewy, just like a lip balm. It has a touch more color than your average tube of grocery store lip balm but it is so light. You don’t feel like you are wearing thick, heavy lipstick.
And talk about moisturizing! According to Clinique the Chubby Stick is “loaded with mango and shea butters”, perfect for supplying silky moisture to your winter-dry lips.
The color is pretty sheer but you can make it darker by applying a little more. I have 2 colors, Graped-Up and Whole Lotta Honey, both fairly neutral:
But as you can see there are some brighter, spring shades if that’s what you go for.
One last thing about the Chubby Stick, it has great staying power, especially for a lip balm. One application lasts me a couple of hours. This is an important selling point for me because I don’t like re-applying makeup.
Like most cosmetic-counter items, it’s a little pricier: $16. But I use it all the time and I am still working on my first tube. So I think it’s well worth the price. It’s the perfect “kiss” of color and moisture.
Next time you are looking for something new for your makeup bag, give Chubby Sticks a try!
I meant to do a little blog-iversary post in the fall when we hit our 1 year mark together, but I was so busy with 31 Days of the Simple Things that the anniversary came and went. But it’s still the new year so now is as good a time as any to stop and take a look back over the past year here at ATC.
WordPress (our host) sends out a nifty little report at the end of the year to show you some interesting stats about your site. For instance:
2011 was a crazy, crazy year. 2012 is looking to be even crazier. But one thing I will continue to do is share with y’all here because I do truly love it. I do get a little overly busy from time to time, and I have to take a couple days off but I always miss sharing with you when I’m away and I have some great things in store for the coming year.
Thanks for coming along with me on this journey!
It’s raining, the first rain of 2012. California really needs the rain so I won’t complain but it is making me crave comfort foods. Soup, hot chocolate, macaroni & cheese, pot roast… all good choices for this rainy weekend. But you know what else would be comforting? Some warm, homemade bread. I know what you are thinking, making bread is a bit time consuming. Maybe a little too time consuming for a lazy, rainy weekend. I think The Kitchn might have a solution that will give me the satisfaction of warm, homemade bread and keep me from spending all day in the kitchen wrestling a big wad of dough.
I saw this recipe as I was speeding through my reader and it caught my eye because it mentioned “buttermilk.” I am always looking for ways to use up buttermilk because when I make my angel biscuits the recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk but the stores in my area only sell it by the quart. So I’m left with all this extra buttermilk and I just hate to throw it out, but sadly that’s usually what happens.
The only other things I make with buttermilk are salad dressings: Mom’s Bleu Cheese and Grandma’s Ranch dressings. I haven’t shared those with you yet, have I? Hmmm… maybe I can make those soon for ya. Any-who….
The other great thing about this bread recipe from The Kitchn is that there is no kneading involved. These are what you call “quick breads” or in other words “dump it all in a bowl, slap it in a loaf pan and after a short bake you’ve got bread.”
Yet one more plus about this recipe is that it’s a base recipe, with unlimited options for either sweet or savory. Craving something sweet? Make it into an cinnamon-scented Apple-Cinnamon Loaf. Want something savory to go with your meal? A couple slight adjustments and you can make Pesto Loaf. The base gives you a great textured quick bread and the add-ins help you make it what you need it to be. And use up any extra buttermilk. Win-win!
It’s cold and rainy but I hope we can all enjoy the weekend anyway! I get to fill out FEC reports for my brother’s congressional campaign. That should be fun.
Right before Christmas I stopped in at the Carwash. This particular Carwash has a gift shop, just a mish-mosh of cute items that you don’t really need but you find yourself drawn to since you have nothing else to do while waiting for your cleaned vehicle.
Anyway, while browsing all the trinkets I saw not one, not two, but three squirrel items!
And that was my trip to the Carwash.
I’m not sure if this matters to anyone but me, since I have to check it periodically to make sure it’s working all right, but did you know you can add ATC to your home screen on your Iphone. It’s really simple too!
Just open Safari and go to accordingtocarey.com. See the little button at the bottom of your screen, the one with the square and arrow? Tap that button.
Next it will give you a list of options, choose “Add To Home Screen.”
Next my little crown icon will come up and you are given the option to name the button whatever you wish. ATC, According2Carey, CAREY, The Queen, Her Majesty… all good choices. Tap “Add”.
Ta-Dah! Anytime you tap that button you will be taken straight to the website, via your browser. The website is automatically formatted for Iphone viewing, but you can switch to normal viewing if you wish. You won’t miss a thing that goes on around here. Standing bored in a grocery line? Come on over to ATC and see if there are any new recipes. Sitting in traffic school just trying to stay awake? Click over to the website and learn how to do gel medium transfers, you already know how to drive
(I know some of you are looking at my mail app and wondering why I have 42 unread emails. Mind your own business, I’m a busy girl!)
Sorry I’ve been so quiet this week. I knew it was going to be a crazy-busy week, but it was even worse than I had planned. Oh well, maybe next week will be better, right?
One thing I did get a chance to see this week was a “pin” by my sister Amy about a food site called SkinnyTaste.com that looked intriguing… so I clicked over to it and wow! The food looked so yummy and then I realized it was weight-conscious food, complete with calorie counts and everything. I hesitate to call it “diet food” because that evokes some pretty tasteless memories. But she (Gina) tries to do smart veggie “swaps” and use smaller amounts of the good stuff like bacon to get the flavor but not all the fat. Plus, she lists the calories, fat, fiber, carbs and protein for each serving AND if you are a Weight Watchers follower she even lists the points right there on the recipe.
Most of the recipes I previewed looked really easy (and tasty) but this crockpot bolognese recipe looked especially simple. I love the idea of cooking something slowly all day, letting all the flavors marry and intensify. But I really don’t want to have to babysit it on the stove all day, I’m a busy girl. You could do all the prep the night before and set it to cook before you leave for work the next day. When you came home from work your sauce would be done and all you would have to do is boil up some pasta. I would love to get better at using a crockpot and this recipe just might help with that. I’m sure one of you will get to it before I do so let me know what you think.
And be sure to check out the rest of the recipes over at SkinnyTaste.com!
Happy Weekend, friends!
Had to take an unexpected break for the last couple days, just a lot on my plate this week. I’ll be back Friday with our Friday Recipe!
PBS Nerds rejoice, Downton Abbey Season II is finally here! For those of you not in the know, Downton Abbey premeired last year on PBS. It is a story about a noble English family as they maneuver through the changing social times of the early 1900′s. You can learn more about it here, as well as the cast of characters.
For those of you who are already up to speed, weren’t the clothes beautiful??!
The style and clothing are just as lovely as last season, maybe even more so. I absolutely loved the above dress Mary wears to dinner.
It’s a little hard to see from this photo, but I couldn’t stop staring at the necklace Cora wears throughout the show.
I don’t remember who was wearing this dress, but isn’t it gorgeous?
Oh, the storyline was good too! But I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I will say no more!
We have reached the end of Granola Week! I laughed all the way through it, I hope you enjoyed it and found something new to try. As promised, I am sharing with you the link to the OTHER recipe I used for my Christmas gifts this year. If you missed the story, I had originally used a recipe by Ina that got a little too toasted so I made a batch of this recipe by Shutterbean and combined the two… and Christmas was saved.
What originally attracted me to this recipe was that it was made with coconut oil. Coconut oil is all the rage with the granola tribes these days, but for good reason (taken from this article at doctoroz.com):
Now, coconut oil is a saturated fat which means it is solid (or mostly solid) at room temperature. If you google it you will see there is all sorts of controversy over the fact that it is a saturated fat, something the good ole doctors will tell you to steer clear of.
Let me give you my 2 cents on that subject: my grandmother is 80-something years old, just retired from work last year, still mows her own lawn and has been eating loads of saturated fat in the form of dairy, natural fats and unprocessed meat every day, her entire life. She is healthy as a horse. She’s actually much healthier than me. My opinion is, any food that is in natural form, free from chemicals or over processing, and used in moderation can be a welcome addition to your life. Don’t be a smart-tushie and think that means you can eat a brick of cheese every day (however tempting that may be). You need to eat a sensible diet full of plants, whole grains, protein from a variety of sources and a little bit fat to keep your skin healthy and your insides happy. Oh, and the occasional sweets.
That, of course, is just my opinion. Take it or leave it.
Back to the coconut oil…
I have been wanting to find ways to incorporate it into my diet so when I saw this recipe from Shutterbean, I knew I had found an opportunity. This granola is the perfect blend of flavors to me, but feel free to add dried fruit or seeds or flax meal, if you so desire. Or if you don’t like nuts you can leave them out. The recipe calls for almonds but I switched it walnuts because I love ‘em.
It is sooooo yummy and so easy. The maple flavor is barely detectable so if you tend to shy away from maple give it a shot anyway. My sister is not a huge fan of maple and I don’t think she had any idea there was maple syrup in it. I really hope you give it a try, I think you’ll like it.
Here’s the link again: Coconut Maple Granola by Shutterbean
That concludes this year’s Granola Week but in light of my declaration to eat my colors, I’m sure there will be lots of veggie filled recipes in the future! Have a great weekend, friends! Eat some granola!
This by far is the most “granola” thing I have done in the last year: the oil cleanse method. What is it, you ask?
The oil cleanse method is simply this: Instead of regular soap or cleansers, you mix together various high quality plant oils and wash your face with. Your FACE, you cleanse your FACE by smearing oil all over it. I kid you not.
Before you think I’ve completely lost my marbles, if you think back to what you learned in high school chemistry, like dissolves like. So while it may seem counter-intuitive to cleanse dirty, greasy skin with more oil, it does in fact make sense. The good, clean oil dissolves all yucky, dirty oil, allowing it to be rinsed away, leaving your skin soft and healthy. What is counter-intuitive in my view, is that your skin creates and releases oil on purpose, to keep your skin moisturized. If you rinse away all that oil via harsh cleansers, the body’s natural reaction is to create and release more oil. More oil, more potential for clogged pores and dull skin. It’s a vicious cycle.
The idea of “washing” your face with oil is not a new one, there are high end skin care products lines that specialize in this type of treatment and have been around for years. But it wasn’t until about a year ago that I found out you can create your own custom oil cleanse system at home.
I’m going to give you links to a couple different articles that cover this topic in depth, I don’t want to rewrite what these authors have already gone and done, but I will share my experience after the links:
Here are the basic ingredients:
Cleansing Oil- this is the cleansing part of your potion. Castor oil is the most popular cleansing oil. Castor oil is actually very astringent and can make your face feel dry if you use only castor oil so be sure to read the articles to get the right ratio of oils for your skin type. Other good cleansing oils are olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond, avocado & more.
Carrier Oils- these oils, or any combination of them, make up the rest of your cleansing potion. These are the oils that replenish your skin, leave it feeling silky and moisturized.
Xtras- some people like to add a little scent to their potion with essential oils. You only need a couple drops! Some great scents to try are lavender, rosemary, and citrus.
Here are the basic ratios:
Depending on your special skin needs, you might have to play around with the ratios of cleansing oils to carrier oils but you can start out with these ratios below.
Normal Skin: 1:1 cleansing oil to carrier oil
Oily Skin: 3:1 cleansing oil to carrier oil
Dry Skin: 1:3 cleansing oil to carrier oil
Here is the basic method:
After you have mixed your oils, squeeze out about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of oil into the palm of your hand and rub gently in between your palms to warm. Rub the oil mixture directly onto your skin and massage gently for a minute or two. Next, get a washrag or flannel cloth wet with hot water, hot enough to really warm up your face but still cool enough that you don’t burn yourself! Lay the rag over your face and let the steam do it’s magic. After the rag has become room temperature, gently wipe off the oil and if you have time, get the rag wet again and steam one more time. Gently wipe off any remaining oil. Clean, moisturized skin remains!
So that’s the basic method, here is what I do:
I have combination skin, some weird dry patches and large pores so I mixed just slightly more than half castor oil with a combination of jojoba and sweet almond oil to fill the rest of the bottle. I chose jojoba because it’s supposed to be good for acne-prone skin and sweet almond because it also is good for oily skin. I also toss in about 10 drops of tea tree oil for the anti-bacterial qualities it has.
I am often in a rush, so I don’t always have time to “steam” as long as I should but it doesn’t seem to matter. Since starting the oil cleanse method my skin seems less confused. My Latino skin has never really been short on oil, but it definitely used to over-produce oil and I don’t seem to have that problem anymore. Also, the dry patches I occasionally fight with have greatly improved.
For me, I have to be careful not get the oils on my neck area or at least rinse really well if I do and even apply a little witch hazel or other toner just to make sure my pores don’t get plugged.
My mother used to rinse her face every night with apple cider vinegar and cold water and I find that if my skin is feeling… overly moisturized or “thick”, a good rinse with apple cider vinegar and cold water does the trick. It’s a natural toner. Witch hazel will also tone your skin naturally.
I only use the oil cleanse method about once a day, usually at night. The rest of the time, I just “rinse” with a little warm water and if I feel like I need moisturizer I will take just a couple drops of my oils and rub into my skin. I do still like Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizer, it’s so light, so sometimes I will mix a drop of oil into that and massage into my face. I find it a little awkward to travel with my oils so the Dramatically Different is good in a pinch. I need to get a reliable bottle to carry my cleansing oil in when I travel. Oh, and I don’t use the oils in the shower. I use whatever body wash I have on hand but when I get out of the shower I immediately massage in a drop or two of my cleansing oils to make sure my skin doesn’t get confused.
It took about 2 weeks for my face to get used to the new method but once it did I realized I would never go back to traditional cleansers. I would like to experiment a little more with my ratios and maybe get some aromatic essential oils to make it even more of a spa-like-treatment.
One important word of advise: whatever you do, DO NOT use coconut oil in this method! I made that mistake once and it was a disaster. Coconut oil, while a great body moisturizer, is comedogenic. That means it will clog your pores and can cause major breakouts. I learned that one the hard way.
Before you dive into this method, please the read the 2 articles above to get the particulars down. I would definitely recommend it for dry skin. I would definitely recommend it for combination skin. If you are acne prone, I would recommend it but with the disclaimer that you need to use your noggin. If you think it’s making your acne worse, give it up. I have read testimonials of people with acne who tried the method and wear by it but I have also read testimonials of people who couldn’t find a ratio of oils that worked for them.
Let me know what you think!
Continuing with our Granola Week, and all it’s crunchiness, I will reveal to you my personal challenge to myself for 2012. I don’t call them resolutions, I don’t like that word. One of the bloggers I read calls it Project 2012 and I really like that because that means it’s something I’m going to be working on all year as opposed to something I’m going to force my self into cold-turkey on January 1st. It’s about adopting good habits, one little change at a time.
So here it is, my Project 2012… eat my colors!
The last 2 years I have made a concentrated effort to eat more pure food, less processed food, fewer chemicals. And it paid off. Now that I have a decent grip on that, I want to concentrate on upping my fruits and veggies intake in 2012. It’s not that I don’t eat any, I think I do a better job than some people I know, but I want to do better. I think there’s room for improvement.
Why does it matter?
Number one reason, hands down, is that colorful foods contain essential nutrients, antioxidants, & phytonutrients that help your fuel your body and help it fight disease and inflammation, including DNA breakdown and cancer. You can take supplements to try to get these disease-fighters into your body but the best way to do it is through the food that you eat.
How do you guarantee you are getting the right combo of nutrients? Eat your colors.
There are a few exceptions, but in general foods of similar color contain similar nutrients, antioxidants & phytonutrients. At the end of this post I will include some good articles on which colors will give you which phytonutrients but here a few guidelines to get you started (via Fitness Magazine and American Dietetic Assoc.):
Green- protects your vision, protects against UV damage, fight depressions, and defends against certain cancers. Try avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, melons, kiwi, limes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach
Red- boosts metabolism, whitens your teeth, increases cardio endurance. Try cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, rhubarb and tomatoes
Yellow- heals wounds, beats bloat, boosts energy and protects skin from free radicals. Try apricots, grapefruits, pineapples, yellow peppers, yellow corn
Orange- improve memory, prevent breast cancer, boost immune function and improve muscle function. Try cantaloupe, mangos, papayas, peaches, carrots, and sweet potatoes
Blue/Purple- fight the flu, improves memory, and improves blood flow. Try blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes
White- lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, promotes heart heath and may reduce the risk of stomach cancers. Try bananas, cauliflower, turnips, garlic, ginger, jicama, onions, potatoes
All that just from eating more fruits and veggies!
I’m going to give it a go, hopefully I can get a little closer to the recommended daily servings!
Here are some great articles if you want to do a little more reading:
In case you missed the announcement yesterday, it’s officially Granola Week around here.
This week we are giving some attention to the healthier side of life, maybe adopt some good habits for 2012, and who knows what else!
Today, I thought I’d give you some sites or references to help you explore your “granola-side.” These are some resources that I have enjoyed lately:
Joy the Baker and Shutterbean are two food-blogging friends who do a podcast for Homefries. I wouldn’t exactly call either of them “granola” per se, but like you or me they try to balance it all. So not too long ago they recorded an episode entitled “Embrace Your Inner Hippie” and it was hilarious AND helpful. They bantered back and forth on subjects like: nut milk, coconut oil and kale chips. If you are a granola-newbie, this episode is a great place to start. You can listen to the podcast straight from the website or download it to your media player.
I stumbled on to Crunchy Betty’s site a few months ago and have really enjoyed it. She makes a healthful lifestyle seem less stodgy and boring with her wit and very honest articles. Her focus is on healthy beauty so there is a ton of information on her site for homemade facials, hair masks and household remedies. She recently wrote an e-book about healthy skin care for acne prone skin. Lot’s of fun information on her site, be sure to check it out.
Molly Katzen’s book, The Moosewood Cookbook, was revolutionary when it was published in 1977 because it is “credited with moving healthful vegetarian food from the "fringe" to the center of the American dinner plate.” My mother cooked from this cookbook, and we are die-hard carnivores. Molly Katzen’s easy style and delicious recipes can help you get some more veggies on your plate. Even if you can’t afford the book, her website is full of recipes.
Some of you may be familiar with simplemom.net, a site all about, well, being a mom. But you may not know about the offshoot site simpleoranic.net. It runs tandem with simplemom.net and is all about living an organic lifestyle. They cover health & nutrition, inspirational stories, living mindfully and more. It’s a great site for learning how to incorporate organic, chemical living into your lifestyle. A good place to start would be their 2011 recap.
Hope these resources give you some inspiration!