Friday, June 27, 2014

By Jessica
This is a very easy yet impressive main entree. Its nice because you can always have the ingredients in your freezer and dig them out when needed.

Salmon en Croute
Serves 2-3
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • Two Salmon fillets of about 5 inches
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped dill
  • 3 Tablespoons softened butter
  • Half of a package of softened cream cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Highway to Heaven:

Heat oven to 325.
Mix together the butter, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Roll out your puff pastry and place one fillet of salmon on top. Cover with the cream cheese mixture. Cover the other fillet with mustard and place on top of other fillet with mustard side down. Fold pastry in half over the salmon. Trim the side pieces of puff pastry if needed. Fold the ends. Place package with seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Create cross-hatch marks on the top. Brush with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown on top.

Scary mascara!

Greetings again!
1. Yes I am still alive
2. Yes I gave up on blogging
3. I am back!
After going through some dramatic life changes, becoming a licensed esthetician/makeup artist, I realized this blog is something I need to continue even just for the fact that I can help others with any cosmetic/skin concern. After realizing the lack of knowledge of certain beauty routines I feel like its helpful to have a resource to guide and create awareness of whats really going on. Who am I? I am the one who is here to find the optimal results for you and your skin. This is my job as an esthetician is to take care of my clients and my business. Looking at skin everyday is something I love to do and finding products that work is something I take seriously.
 My first order of business is Mascara. This is something I feel like most of us struggle to find is the perfect mascara and I will get to that in a moment....but first I have been made aware of the practice of some baby boomers, trouble makers that they are ;)
I have been doing eyelash extentions as well and while doing a set on one such a sweet lady I was having a difficult time due to them being sparse/thin, later finding out that all her life she used waterproof mascara...everyday. I have heard this from others as well and it seems to be a common practice.
The truth about waterproof mascara is that it lacks the moisturizers, emollients that regular mascara has, therefore is not going to benefit them and in fact will end up suffocating them like an annoying mother-in-law. The ingredients are key to what will benefit your lashes. Think of it like your skin, you dont want to add something thats going to smother it to death, unless you have suicidal tendencies towards your skin. So finding ingredients with aloe, sunflower oil, extracts etc. are going to change your lash life. There are plenty of mascaras that contain harmful ingredients as well that arent helping your lashes or you in general.
Some of the ingredients you may want to pay attention to are:
RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE) - Biochemical or cellular level changes, Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) (usual carriers: Elizabeth Arden, Almay, Revlon)
PARABENS - Used as a preservative and is an endocrine disrupter that messes with your hormones. (usual carriers: L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Avon, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon, Chanel, Lancome)
FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING PRESERVATIVES - Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. (usual carriers: Almay)
PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Linked to acne, eczema, and other skin allergies. (usual carriers: L’Oreal, Mineral Fusion, Rimmel, Avon, Maybelline)

The best resource you have right now is the EWG skin database. This thing is better than google when it comes to knowing about specific brands and ingredients. They have a rating system to get the big picture.

The second aspect of water-resistant mascara is that it takes more effort to remove the stuff so the constant scrubbing wears on your natural lash which can cause them to break, become brittle, and fall out. If you do remove this god aweful mascara be sure to do so with an oil based remover. Remember that science class about lipids and oils and waters and how they get along? well you arent going to get an oil based waterproof mascara off with just water silly, you need something oil based. I reccomend Coconut oil or my absolute favorite is Aura Cacia Almond oil with Vitamin E. Great at removing makeup but will also asist in your lash rehab helping them grown longer.
Can be found at most organic stores or online from $5-$12

The beast of this for those of you is how to wear regular mascara without it ending up all over your face? I am still doing research but standby for my reccomendations on better mascaras to use, And now for something gross....

Hair follicle and friends.

This is a close up of your eyelash follicle. Notice those round things coming out of the pore? those are the rear ends of dust mites. Rude dont you think? Some of these creatures are healthy but an over abundance can cause the pore to become crowded resulting in the fillicle to fall out. So PLEEEASE wash your eye makeup off well everyday! THANK YOU!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Tarte Tatin

By Jessica

Its no secret that I love apples. On Thanksgiving my brother and I could practically polish off a whole apple pie on our own, but we leave some for the rest. The story of origin is an example of a happy accident, and sounds like something I would do. The creator, Stephanie Tatin was tired at the end of the day and was making an apple pie but she left the apples, butter and sugar on the stove too long. In an effort to salvage it she draped the crust on top and put it in the oven to finish off the crust. Upon turning it upside down and serving it she discovered how popular it became. Brilliant! I wish we could give her some title like saint of food or something. You can also use other fruits in this if you wish. Granny Smith apples are best because you want the apple to hold up well. What makes this recipe so special is the extra flavor from the apple cider and vanilla seeds.

{I sliced my apples like this but doesn't matter really}



Highway to Heaven

For the crust:

  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pea size pieces
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 egg yolk
  •  ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pats
  • 6 apples, such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh or your favorite baking apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • Garnish of your choice 


To make the crust : In a food processor combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse until it like grated cheese. Add the egg yolk and gradually add as much water as needed.  Pulse until the mixture comes together. If it seems a bit dry add a little more water.  Pat into a smooth ball. Using a rolling pin or your fingers roll or press the dough out to an even circle about 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight, covered with plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

While dough is chilling, place the sugar, apple cider, lemon juice, and vanilla bean seeds in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof pan. Stir to combine. Over high heat bring the mixture to a boil. After 6 to 7 minutes the mixture will eventually begin to turn light brown. Swish the pan around gently to promote even cooking. Careful! Cook the mixture for another minute or so until the mixture becomes a much deeper amber color. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, 2 pats at a time. The mixture will bubble up. That is okay, just be VERY CAREFUL not to get any of this on you. When all of the butter has been incorporated, begin to arrange the apples rounded side down in circles. Try to do this neatly and in a pretty way. Remember, the bottom will be the top!

Return the pan to the burner and cook over medium for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Retrieve the chilled pastry from the refrigerator and place it on top of the apples. Tuck the pastry in around the edges of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crispy. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the pastry and CAREFULLY flip the platter and the pan over. Let the tart fall gently out of the pan.

Source: Anne Burrell via Food Network

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo board

I had an old photo board that had some tacky fabric on it. I love love love how this turned out. I was stressing a little bit about what to paint on it but with some browsing on the web this mix-matched design works.
What you will need:
  • Some MDF (medium density fibreboard) or any base. (make sure it will be strong enough to hold the nails)
  • batting or thin foam
  • jute or ribbon
  • nails or decorative tacks
  • staple gun
  • fabric of choice (i used burlap)
  • supplies to adorn with your own art

I took all the fabric off until I was down to the board and went from there. Wrap your batting around and staple it to the board on the back side making sure its tight.
If you are using a burlap that is more see though you can staple some muslin around the board and then add the burlap so the batting wont show through the holes.

Now you can get creative. Decorate it how you want to. You can make a stencil, tape it down, and paint or spray paint the exposed areas. You can also use stamps or free hand. Acrylic paint works best.
Next take your jute, or ribbon of choice and begin to staple the ends on the backside to make your criss cross pattern.
Make sure you aren't hammering on a surface of particular value :P Now start hammering your nails or tacks where the strands intersect. I get to use my new hammer for this one!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Simple Things

There are so many wonderful things about Fall. Here are just a few this week that made me really happy.
{Cute idea from I am Baker}

{Caramel apple from the fair}
{homemade wreath}
{Sperry Fall shoes}

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healthy Harvest Bread

 I was very surprised by how well this turned out. The corn made me a bit nervous but it all blends together so well and is a healthy treat anytime of year.

Healthy Harvest Bread
Yields: 5x9 loaf pan. Double recipe for 16 muffins

  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil (I used grapeseed oil and it turned out fine)
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 Cup corn kernels (can be frozen)
  • 1 Medium zucchini, unpeeled, grated.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease the loafpan. Mix together flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium size bowl. In a stand mixer combine oil, applesauce, eggs, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in two batches. Gently stir in the corn, spinach, and zucchini with a spatula.

Pour into pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, about 30-45 minutes.

 Adapted from Kosher by design Lightens up