Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Healthy Recipe Cooking Tip:

Sautee your kale in 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil.

That makes it easier to slide the burned, slimy mess into the trash while you get pizza.  :-)
Salami and spicy honey on woodfired crust - Chicago may have its negatives but bad pizza is not one of them.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tornado Alley - Playing Chicken With Dinner

Before the storms hit, I had to make a dash to the local grocery for two things I'd forgotten. Partner in Grime was driving back from O'Hare where he was arriving after a week on the road and I wanted to make him a nice "not Subway" meal.  He looked at my purchases, lemon juice, and foil, raised an eyebrow and said: "so, making batteries for supper?"

Most of you have seen at least the lower front of his shirt over a dinner table. For those of you that haven't met him, Partner in Grime is my husband,  but also that fellow I share a last name with (trying to look all serious for me, vinegar and yes, he has blue eyes)
No batteries for dinner!  I was going to try and make supper out of just what was on hand (emergency rations not counting).   I had a few chicken breasts.  There was also some odds and end bits of frozen veggies, some leftover chicken stock, and the usual herbs, and vinegar.

Plus, with the tornado sirens going off to our south, I needed something that could get interrupted with no ill effect. Abby was NOT leaving the closet and showed no interest in what I was making.

Champagne Balsamic Chicken - It's not the most photogenic dish in the world, but it was really good.  I made it with a champagne balsamic vinegar I picked up at Artisano's  the last time I was in Indianapolis and hadn't tried yet. For those that don't live in Indiana, they ship, and if you order something -  get a 1 or 2-ounce sample of the applewood smoked salt, ghost pepper salt (hot!) and espresso sugar.

It was pretty simple, cooked on the stovetop in my favorite Red French Oven (you can use any big, sturdy pot.

In the pot mix:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup champagne balsamic vinegar (or any good quality balsamic)
3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons chicken stock (or canned broth)
3 generous teaspoons of jarred minced garlic
2 dashes of sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 heaping teaspoon mixed dried herbs (I used a mixture of chives, basil, tarragon, chervil and a tiny bit of dill, but just tarragon or basil would work).
a couple grinds from the pepper mill

Add 3-4 skinless chicken breasts and bring to and maintain, a low boil.  Cook for 15 minutes, flip chicken pieces over then reduce heat slightly and cook at a gentle simmer until internal temp is 165 F. on a meat thermometer, (around 30-40 minutes for the pieces I had), keeping lid OFF so that the liquid is reduced to better caramelize the chicken pieces, still leaving enough for you to drizzle on other things.

When the chicken is about 160 degrees F., remove the bay leaf, lower the heat slightly and put some bread in the oven.  What's good?  Popeovers, (Moosewood Kitchen recipe)  always good on a cold, blustery day.]

The popovers were 1/4 of the cost of packaged frozen rolls and much tastier. Between gust fronts, they went in, as those are a little more temperamental cooking wise, but they were worth it, tall, buttery custard-like texture inside, flaky layers on the outside.
Dinner was easy and good, the chicken staying really moist and the garlicky champagne balsamic sauce, absolutely wonderful drizzled over the sweet potatoes (there was also broccoli). Even better, we didn't have to hunker down in the basement when the sirens went off, watching the radar on the computer and seeing the cells with rotation potential going well south of here.

I hope all of you out there are safe, warm and happy and if you're going to play chicken, do it in the kitchen, not with the weather.

OK, I'll come out of the closet for a piece of chicken.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What's In YOUR Beauty Bag

Sorry, it's been a while since I posted.  My husband has been on the road for work a LOT, and when he's gone I don't really "cook", I just eat bagged salads, smoothies, and pizza which doesn't make for very interesting diet and fitness posts.

But I did update my beauty products based on new finds and a couple friends recommendations.  Today, I'm going to show you three collections and the reasons for them.

(1) This is the stuff I spoil myself with at home.  Makeup wise, I'm pretty minimal, but I like some really nice organic skin care for my at home regiment.

Starting at the upper left - Eminence mineral foundation.  I have super dry skin and this is the FIRST mineral foundation that didn't look like I had talcum powder on my face.  It's great light coverage that looks very natural.

Next to that is my favorite mascara - Benefit Bad Gal Lash. (has over 3200 five star ratings on Sephora).  A simple black mascara with a huge brush - it builds beautiful big lashes.

Below that is my newest find. Rodan + Fields Lash Boost.  A clear serum you apply to the lash line at night - it gives you visibly longer lashes in a month without some of the nasty side effects (such as eye color change) earlier prescription lash products had.  I found that if I used it nightly, my eyes were a little itchy.  An R + F rep suggested using it every other night and it worked perfectly.  I can eve skip mascara now my lashes are so long.

On the left Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA with Salicylic Acid and Antioxidants.  As I hit middle age I started getting this itchy bumps on my face and back.  The dermatologist said it's common and they're called keratosis pilaris.  This product zaps them in no time and leaves my skin overall much smoother (I even use it on my face).

To the right of that is my Honey Girl Organics Skin Care,  some full size, one a travel size.  I LOVE Honey Girl - organic, smells wonderful and SO moisturizing and made of such pure ingredients you could eat it.  They are also moderately priced given the ingredients and the owner always throws in free travel sized samples. The detoxifying Hawaiian blue-green algae, honey, and French clay mask is incredible.

The light blue tube to the right of them is a new try - First Aid Beauty mineral sunscreen.  I think it might be a little heavy for summer (for which I'll wear my Rodan + Fields Sooth Mineral sunscreen) but it was great during the cold weather and didn't break me out.

Eyes and Lips at the bottom - A Mac and a FitGlow (Canadian organic line) in light and dark pink, and a MAC shadow and highlighter.  To their right is Victoria's Secret pink lipgloss (purchased when I was getting some V.S. Heavenly - one of my favorite inexpensive perfumes).

That's pretty much my products at home. I do use other organic skincare lines - Frangipani Organic and Meadowlake Farms bee products, for blemishes and other issues that pop up with hormones and weather.  Their products are awesome and mix and match well with anything, but what you see above is what's in my cosmetic and beauty tray in the bathroom right now.
(2)  What I keep at Dad's so I'm not hauling stuff back and forth.  Mostly cheap, with an exfoliating product that's TSA size to transport out there since I buy it on the internet only. From left to right.

Paula's Choice 1% Retinol Treatment. With rosacea I have to avoid any manually exfoliating products and this works really well, just a couple times a week keeps my skin smooth and it does smooth those really fine lines.

Next up is Alba Kids Mineral Sunscreen.  It's pretty thick so I wouldn't use it on my face every day at home, but it's super cheap and is a great all over chemical free sunscreen for when I have a lot of yard work to do when tending to Dad's place.

Makeup is just a drugstore mascara. whatever lipstick is in my purse, and a Boom color stick for cheeks and eyes.

For cleansing and moisture all over you can't beat the Ceravie cleaners and the giant tub of CVS cream (their version of Cetaphil).

(3)  What I keep in a small overnight bag (with some personal care items and jammies and fresh clothes) in my locker at work, just the basics for a short-notice meeting in DC or elsewhere.

The products are the priciest of the group but they also pack an incredible "bang for the buck" giving me excellent anti-aging with only a handful of products. The larger jar is individual little capsules of retinol - I just put those in a sandwich bag.  The larger square is Rodan + Fields facial and eye cleansing clothes - as well, a few go into a baggie.  That allows me to put everything in just a tiny makeup bag.

From left to right.

NARS tinted sunscreen.  It actually has a shade light enough for me (called Alaska, how fitting).  It leaves a luminous finish (not shiny) and provides light coverage AND sun protection that doesn't break me out.

Next,  BOOM by Cindy Joseph Color and Glimmer sticks with another Bad Gal Mascara lurking in the background. The "Color" one can be used as eyeshadow, blush, and lip color and the "Glimmer" stick provides highlighting to bring out your best features.

For skin care it's simple.  Rodan + Fields Redefine night cream (which when traveling I use day and night as flying dries out my skin) and a travel sized eye cream (hidden in the picture), their retinol capsules, and a sunscreen stick that's part of a two part hand treatment I use, perfect for hands and neck.  Rather than haul a cleanser that may leak I use the R F Makeup Removers, then just wipe my face with a warm washcloth (in the winter I'll replace the clothes with a small R + F Sooth cleanser for extra moisture)

The red thing?  Well, that's a clown's nose - you never know when one will come in handy at a meeting.

For product link for items you can't get at the local drugstore:: note: (none of the products were provided to me, all were purchased)

Paula's Choice:  http://www.paulaschoice.com/

Honey Girl Organics:  https://honeygirlorganics.com/

MAC:  http://www.maccosmetics.com/

BOOM:  https://www.boombycindyjoseph.com/

Sephora : (mascara and First Aid Beauty sunscreen):  http://www.sephora.com/

Eminence makeup and Skincare:  https://buynaturalskincare.com/skin-care/type/

Fitglow Cosmetics: https://fitglowbeauty.com/

Victoria's Secret"  https://www.victoriassecret.com/

Rodan Plus Fields - One of the Lab Rescue volunteers is a consultant:  Her contact info is below. Jane's a good friend and a very caring consultant. (my consultant is actually in Chicago but I could NOT find her contact info today).  Jane is in Maryland but the products can be shipped anywhere.

Jane Slavin
Consultant ID: 1432479
Market: United States
Location: Columbia,MD
PWS URLhttp://jslavin.myrandf.com