Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking By Cara Reed Book Review+ Giveaway!


If you are gluten free, dreaming and aspiring of being gluten free or not even gluten free at all like me, you are going to absolutely adore the book I am featuring today! From the basics to the more creative baked goods recipes, Cara covers it all!  The good news for all of you, my dear readers is the giveaway included. One of you will win a copy of your own which I will personally ship out to you. So DO read till the end of the post to see all of the details for that. 

Now, let's talk about the amazing cookbook full of mouthwatering recipes for every baked treat you'd want to whip up!  


How it looks: Enticing. I really love the black background with the white lettering as it reminds me of a chalkboard in a fancy bakery with all of the dishes of the day written out in pretty cursive lettering. Also, don't those cookies look so chewy and perfect? I think you really can't help but flip through the entire book immediately after seeing them!

What's inside: There are over 100 different recipes included in this soft cover book all of which are written out clearly and seem to be super easy to follow, even for the gluten free newbies. As would be expected from a popular food blogger, the pictures in this book are so clear, beautiful and tantalizing! For me, great photos are always a big plus.    

Price: This book is sold for about $19.99 which is very decent for a cookbook of it's size!


What I love: The pictures obviously! I also really like that she has a basic blend for her powder ingredients which she's included in every recipe so if you have that already prepared, you have the foundation of every recipe already set each time.  

What I don't love: I really can't think of anything I don't like about this book. I feel like it would be really easy to follow for anyone both gluten free or not. 

My favorite recipe: Definitely those gingerbread cupcakes. They are so clever and cute and also great for the season we're coming upon. This may sound absolutely ridiculous but I am certainly planning to prepare a non-gluten free version of my own. I don't think I will ever be able to cut out gluten- it is what I live on, literally! 


This book can be purchased here or here and of course go and check out the author's site forkandbeans.com for some more amazing vegan and gluten free recipes! 

Finally for the giveaway! There are two ways you can enter since I know not everyone is on Instagram. If you do have instagram then the first way is going to be super simple to you. Go over to my instagram account here where I will post a photo when this post goes live. All you need to do is follow my instagram account and like the photo by double tapping it. Simple! If you do not have instagram, don't worry I am going to offer a second way to make sure everyone can enter. Head over to my facebook page here and give it a "like", then give the photo I will put up when this post goes live a "like" as well. 

So in simple terms you can either:

1) Follow me on instagram and "like" the photo that goes along with this post   or 
2) "Like" my facebook page and then "like" the photo that goes along with this post

You will then be automatically entered in to win this cookbook, really easy! 

This giveaway will end in two weeks time on October 15th at 10 pm. 
Good luck to all!

Thanks so much for stopping in!

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XX.
Gigi.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rosh Hashana Cooking & Baking: 10 Recipe Roundup

I think I may be the only person who hasn't spent the past 6 weekends kneeding challah dough and putting kugel ingredients through the food processor to freeze for the upcoming holidays. Even with all the pressure holiday preparations bring, I always find myself doing it completely fresh, from scratch the night before. It's just a personal preference. Some people plan vacations for months, others by plane tickets closer to departure. It's the same right? In hopes of slightly changing up my game this year and making my life just a tad bit easier, I have recently begun scouring the internet for perfect dishes to add to my menu. Soon after coming across several amazing recipes, I knew it was my obligation as a food blogger to share them with you, my readers. Today, I am giving you all a pre-holiday gift: 10 recipes that really must be added to your menu's immediately and I did throw in a couple of my own of course. I just want to add that all of these recipes will be linked, just click on the photo to be rerouted to the recipe or click on the description words. Also, if these recipes weren't exactly what you were looking for, I have created a Rosh Hashana Pinterest board with almost 100 suitable recipes so go have a look at that here

Now for those Rosh Hashana Recipes: 

Beer Braised Brisket with Onion Jam, recipe from the blog Cherry on My Sundae 


Kale, Beets & Pomegranate Salad with Poppyseed Dressing 


Grilled Duck Breast with Citrus Fig Thyme Sauce, recipe from the What's Cooking with Doc Blog


Honey Glazed Salmon, recipe from the Damn Delicious Blog


Sweet Potato Apple Kugel, Recipe from the Cuisineous Blog 


Pear & Honey Sorbet with Pomegranate Sauce


Baby Arugula Butternut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, from the Healthy Seasonal Recipes Blog.


Goat Cheese Apple Tartlets


Roasted Beetroot Soup, Recipe from the Kitchen Highlights blog


Caramel Apple Pie Napoleons, Recipe from the Living Better Together Blog


So there you have it folks, 10 amazing Rosh Hashana Recipes and they are all begging you to prepare them for your holiday meals! I think I have covered it all from meat to soup, salads and deserts. Don't forget that if you didn't find what you were looking for there is an entire pinterest board dedicated to Rosh Hashana recipes over on my page, so go feast your eyes on that here!

Hope you all have a wonderful, enjoyable and most delicious Rosh Hashana! May all of your tefilos be answered l'tova!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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XX.
Gigi.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My September 2014 Wishlist


I've been a real slacker and for that you have my sincerest apologies. I haven't done Friday Fashion in weeks...no more like months. I haven't shared any kitchens of the month and my wishlist posts came to a halt back in June. I'm trying to be a better blogger. Stick with me here. Finally I've got my latest wishlist for you and it is packed with goodies. So what's been on my mind lately? Moisture for the skin. Booties and jackets to keep the chill out and of course darker lips and nails.

Here is what made it to the wish list this month:

1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream- As soon as the weather gets slightly cooler, my skin and lips react. Dry uncomfortable skin is the last thing anyone needs or wants and I've heard fantastic things about this moisturizing cream.

2.  Military Shirt Jacket- I love the military look in the autumn and I really must have one of these!

3. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Berry Tinted- Berry lips with a moisturizing factor are just the thing this time of year.

4. Paris Eiffel Tower 18" Square Decorative Printed Pillow- In an attempt to spruce up my living room a but, I have already added 3 decorative pillows to my couch. I am very tempted to purchase this one as well. I am just a sucker for pillows.

5. Aqua Marine 3 Drawer Console Table- I have been in search for the perfect entry way table and I've recently decided I want it to be aqua. That thought may change but in the meantime, I love how this looks!

6. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone- If you haven't heard about this highlighter with the power to give you that lit from within look, then I don't know where you've been! All I know is, I want it NOW!   

7. Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara- Another cult product in the beauty community, and the fact that I haven't given it a try yet is simply dumbfounding!

8. Butter London Brilliant Bronze Nail Lacquer Trio- The orange and bronze both make me think Autumn and they are two colors I have yet to own so ya know I need these in my life.  

9. Crate & Barrel Vitamix S30 Blender- I mentioned wanting this back when I wrote my smoothie review and recipe post. My old piece of garbage has to go and this is going to be it's replacement.

10. Modcloth Restricted Festival Desert Daybreak Bootie- Classic booties. Need I say more?

What are you wishing for this month? Let me know in the comments form below, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by!

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XX.
Gigi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pineapple Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe


Brisker days, the start of the new school year and the job of unpacking the sweaters once again means the ushering in of Fall. These are all things that make this girl very happy. I am not one to rejoice cold weather, but a slight breeze and colorful leaves scattered all around are nothing to complain about. And the food! I'm thinking of everything that equals comfort- soup, root veggies, apple anything! And that brings me to what I am talking about today, this incredible apple pineapple upside down cake that had to be sliced and tasted warm out of the oven with some ooey gooey caramel of course. My 4 year old was not happy with me for making him wait until I could grab a few photos. Try explaining to him, how mommy was going to share this recipe with many other moms in the world so they could enjoy that goodness too.  


There, I said my piece. Now go whip this up and stick it in the oven. 55 minutes later you will have a light, moist sponge topped with sweet fruit! Make it because your kids will love you for it or prepare it for the upcoming Rosh Hashana holiday, but do not leave it off your to do list! 




As I always like to add, don't forget that you can make this your own. So if you don't favor pineapples or apples, change up the fruit for pears or possibly apricots even. I personally really liked how the coconut vanilla dream works with the pineapple flavors but straight up coconut milk or even regular milk will do (if you are willing to make it dairy). Also, serve it with whatever desert sauce you like if you'd prefer to use one at all. You can go for chocolate syrup, raspberry syrup, custard, white chocolate drizzle, seriously have fun with it!

 Pineapple Apple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith Apple, Sliced into thin half moon shaped wedges
1/2 Can Pineapple Rings, each piece sliced in half
7 Tablespoons Margarine, softened
3/4 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs 
3/4 Cup White Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Pinches of Cinnamon Spice
3/4 Cup Coconut Dream Vanilla Flavored Coconut Drink

1 Loaf Pan & Parchment Paper 

Method:

1. Remove the margarine from the refrigerator a little while before starting to bake so that it can soften, or place it in the microwave for about 30 seconds so that it softens without melting into an oil-like consistency. Add the sugar to it and mix it together with an electric hand mixer or hand whisk. The more you whisk it together the better the actual cake will be since this makes it light, airy and fluffy. 

2. Add the eggs to the sugar and margarine mixture one at a time, whisking them in as you go. 

3. Put the flour and baking powder through a sifter to make sure there are no lumps throughout. Then add it to the rest of the ingredients already whisked together. Mix in the sifted powder ingredients to combine. Then add the cinnamon and mix again. 

4. Lastly, add in the coconut milk which will bring the mixture to more of a liquid like consistency. Stir well so there are no lumps throughout. 

5. Lay the parchment paper out into the bottom of the loaf pan and fold up the edges on the sides to ensure none of the batter slips through. 

6. Preheat the oven to 350.

7. Lay the pineapple and apple slices out in the bottom of the loaf pan one after the other, slightly overlapping their openings. Then pour the already prepared cake batter over the fruits. 

8. Put the cake in the oven and let it cook for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean and the apples have risen to the top of the cake. The top of the cake itself should be light golden brown. 

9. Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack for about 20-30 minutes. 

10. Turn the cake over onto a plate once it has completely cooled and you will see the pineapple on this side. Flip it back over and you should see the apple slices at the top. 

11. Serve a thick slice of this cake  warm, atop a few dollops of caramel. 




Thanks so much for stopping in, I really hope you will try this recipe!. Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! 

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Gigi.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Purple Every Day Eye Makeup Look using the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette


I'm back with another tutorial today and this one is a purple eye look that is both suitable for every day and easy to glam up for a special occasion if needed. You may have read my full review of the Smashbox Full Exposure palette here on the blog a while back, but nothing does it better justice then a demo where I actually use the product. This post comes along with a video tutorial, so go check that out here if you'd like, or read till the end of the post where I will insert it as usual. 


I always love playing with purples since they compliment my brown/hazel eye color really nicely. Regardless of what color your eyes are, this will look lovely on you as well I'm sure. So if you are looking for a new eye look to try for every day wear, put this one to the test! 

Please keep in mind that purchasing this palette to recreate this look is completely unnecessary as you can certainly find shadows and products in your collection at home to use. If not, the drugstore is packed with inexpensive options!  


Here is how I got the look:

Products & Brushes Used:



1. Start by placing a eyelid primer all over eyelids from lash line to brow bone. This will help the shadows stay put all day and stay vibrant. 

2. Use a blending brush and blend a medium brown color through the crease. 

3. Lay down a slightly metallic purple/pink shadow over the entire lid for a wash of color. 

4. Using a clean blending brush, place a slightly sparkly darker purple color into the outer corner of the eye and then blend that same color up through the crease slightly. 

5. Use that first medium brown color on a blending brush just above all of the colors you've laid down to smooth out any harsh lines. 


6. Line the lower water lines with a nude eyeliner. 

7. Using a pencil brush, apply that same medium brown shade used through the crease underneath the lower waterline/ lower lash line area and blend it out until smooth. 

8. Using a flat shader brush and a sparkly gold color, go into the inner corner and blend upwards into the rest of the shadows. 

9. Then highlight the brow bone with that same flat shader brush using a matte nude ivory shade. 

10. Last step, apply loads of  mascara to the upper and lower lashes. 


Let me know what you think of this look in the comments form below, I love hearing from you! 

If you like this video, let me know by giving it a "thumbs up". You can also subscribe to my Youtube Channel here

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stay updated.

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
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XX. 
Gigi. 
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