DIY Beauty Treatment : pore mask

Of course I found this on pinterest. Where else would I find all of these crazy ideas!

Okay beauties!  We have all used those expensive biore pore strips. I have found a recipe to make your own at home and for dirt cheap! I made one for my entire face!

All you need is 1tbs unflavored gelatin and 2tbs milk. Stir together quickly and microwave for about 10 seconds. Apply this quickly! I used a makeup brush and applied it in my kitchen. Haha anyway,  once you apply wait at least 15 minutes. Peel away the mask and now your pores are clean and your face feels like a baby’s bottom!

A few warnings:
~ don’t apply to eyebrows.
~ it smells horrific
~ it doesn’t feel great when removing mask
~ your face will get red

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Courtesy of Petite Elefant

Please let me know how this turns out!  Thank you!

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Thanksgiving Feast

As most of you know Thanksgiving is a huge foodie holiday.  I am still learning something new every year. Here’s what was served at our Thanksgiving prepared by ME!

Appetizers: 
– Cheese Platter
– Cold Spinach Dip
– Roast Beef Rounds
– Sausge Crescent Rolls

Main Dishes:
– Turkey
– Lasagna
– Spiral Ham (made by my Mother in Law)

Sides:
– Creamy Mashed Potatoes
– Corn
– Green Beans
– Stuffing
– Biscuits
– Green Garden Salad (made by sister in law)

Dessert:
– New York Cheesecake
– Chocolate Pudding Pies ( made by sister in law)
– Brownies ( made by sister in law)

The Turkey:

I had wet brined the turkey this year. I combined 2 gallons of water, 3/4 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups of apple cider,3 tablespoons ground pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage, 6 garlic cloves, and 3 bay leaves. I brought all of the ingredients to a boil until the sugar and salt dissolved. I made an ice bath in my sink and placed the pot in the sink. Once the brine was completely cooled I poured it in the bag with the turkey breasts side down. I let the turkey brine for about 16 hours.

I then rinsed the turkey off and let the turkey take a cold bath for about 20 minutes in the sink to remove a lot of the salt.
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After patting it dry with a towel I went under the skin and placed compound butter and slices of lemon. I sprinkled salt and pepper on the turkey. The turkey was stuffed with a lemon (halved), one onion, carrots and celery.

I let the turkey rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in a 350°f oven covered with tin foil.

While it was resting, I made clarified butter to baste the turkey with. I also had chicken broth warming up on the stove to use to baste as well. I placed herbs in both and kept them warm on the stove.

I roasted the 18lb turkey for 4 1/2 hours and let it rest covered for 1 hour.

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The Cheesecake:

Normally, I make Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake. However, this time I wanted to try an easier recipe. BIG MISTAKE !

The cheesecake was great but not my best. Everyone was upset when I said I changed recipes. They found this cheesecake very dense and very filling.

From Food For a Hungry Soul
New York Cheesecake
(Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan.  This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie.  Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit. 

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. 

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.  Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan.  Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.  Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.  For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

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My Cheesecake

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

Recipe Review #5: Chocolate Chip Cookies (Martha Stewart)

After trying many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies for my husband I finally found the perfect one!  The cookies turned out perfectly! 

I give this recipe 5 stars!

It is Aiden Approved!
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Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes about 3 dozen

2.25 cup(s) all-purpose flour
0.50 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1.00 cup(s) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
0.50 cup(s) granulated sugar
1.00 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
1.00 teaspoon(s) salt
2.00 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
2.00 large eggs
2.00 cup(s) (about 12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Recipe Review#4 – Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

I decided to test out this recipe before making for Thanksgiving as an appetizer. I did tweek this recipe a bit. I added less cheese and added onion powder to the butter and garlic mixture. Also – i did not cook it for the extra 15 whole minutes. I cooked it for about 8 minutes after the initial 10.

My family found it delicious and I cannot wait to make it for Thanksgiving! I highly recommend this recipe. If you try it please let me know if you enjoyed it too.

This recipe is courtesy of The Brown Eyed Baker Blog  http://www.browneyedbaker.com/about/

CHEESY PULL-APART BREAD

yield: 4 to 8 servings

prep time: 10 minutes

 

cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 large loaf or boule-style Italian bread (Sourdough or French could also work)
½ cup butter (unsalted or salted is fine), melted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a sheet of heavy-duty foil with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Cut a cross-hatch pattern into the top of the bread by slicing ½-inch grid lines into the bread, stopping about ¼-inch from the bottom of the bread so that it stays together. Place the bread on the piece of foil that has been sprayed.

3. Stir together the melted butter, garlic and scallions.

4. Gently separate the bread with your fingers, then spoon the butter mixture in all of the seams, making sure it is evenly distributed among the whole loaf. Wrap the loaf up in the foil and place on a baking stone or directly on the oven rack and bake for 10 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

6. Open the foil and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the bread. There will be a lot of cheese, so try to push down as much as you can in between all of the crevices in the bread. Leave the foil open and return it to the oven. Bake until the cheese is completely melted, bubbling and starting to brown on top, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving, then sprinkle with parsley (if desired) and dig in!

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Recipe Review#3 – Blueberry Buckle

It has been forever since I have done a review and I have so many to do! .

 

So going off of my Baking Bucket list on a previous post; I decided to bake a Blueberry Buckle. I did not find the Blueberry Buckle too appetizing. I found it dry and with zero flavor. I did not tweek the recipe in any shape or form. However, my son loved it. -HAHA I do not recommend this  recipe. It needs more sugar and I would use Maine Blueberries. Maine Blueberries have this delicious sweetness to them.

Blueberry Buckle
Author: Cooks Illustrated
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Streusel:
  • ½ cup (2.5 oz) all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup packed (3/5 oz) light brown sugar
  • 2 Tb granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tb unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups (7.5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 10 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup (4⅔ oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 20 oz (4 cups) blueberries

 

Instructions
  1. For the Streusel: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar clumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter; beat on low speed until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2½ minutes. Transfer to bowl; set aside.
  2. For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9″ round cake pan.
  3. Whisk flour and baking powder together in bowl; set aside. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, salt, and zest on med-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs 1 at a time; beat until partially incorporated, scrape down bowl, and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogeneous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.
  4. Transfer batter to pan. Spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze portion of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel.
  5. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

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Sauteed Chicken and Creamy Smashed Potatoes Smothered with Garlic Mushroom Wine Cream Sauce

So my best friend wants to make this dish as soon as possible so I had to post it as soon as I could.

For the chicken :

– 1 lb of Boneless Chicken Breast
– 2 tbs EVOO
– Salt
– Pepper

Heat up EVOO in pan. Liberally salt and pepper chicken breasts. Cook thoroughly. *more than welcome to add any spices like garlic powder and onion powder.

For the Smashed Potatoes:

– 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered and washed.
-Salt
– 1/2Cup Heavy Cream
(depending on how creamy you like your potatoes you can use more or less)
– 2TBS butter
-salt and pepper to taste.

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Sprinkle a good amount of salt over potatoes. Bring to a boil until fork tender. Using a masher, mash the potatoes after draining them. Add heavy cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Then MASH AWAY! I like mine really creamy almost like a puree.

For the Cream Sauce:

– 1 Diced Onion
– 1 Package of sliced mushrooms
– 2 cloves of minced garlic
– 1 Cup of White Zinfandel Wine (you can use any wine you have on hand)
– 2 Cups Heavy Cream.
– Salt and Pepper to taste

Put EVOO in the pan and heat it up. Add mushrooms to pan and saute until almost tender. Then add onions. Once the onions become translucent add garlic. Saute for another few minutes.

Now add wine and let reduce for 5 to 7 mins. After reduction add heavy cream, salt, and pepper. I like a lot of pepper. I also added some garlic powder as I really love garlic. Bring to a slow boil on low. Let boil for 10 mins.

Scoop smashed potatoes and place on.plate or shallow bowl. Top with chicken and smother with cream sauce. Garnish with some fresh parsley and bon appetite! Enjoy!!

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Baking Bucketlist

So after my adventure with baking my first batch of cookies from scratch. I have decided that for winter I am going to create a baking bucketlist and I am starting today! Everything will be made from scratch. Here’s the list!

* Snickerdoodle Cookies
* Blueberry Buckle
* Cheesecake
* Cinnamon Rolls
* Chocolate Lava Cake
* Brownies
* Scones
* Bread
* Chocolate Layer Cake
* Tres Leches Cake
* Apple Bread

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