Friday, March 30, 2012

Product Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Studio 24 Hour Eye Shadow: In Color: 45 Bold Gold


When this product first hit the shelves I was very skeptical on purchasing it. I have tried so many cream shadows and cream shadow bases and many have just been disappointing (Maybelline's eyestudio trio creams and e.l.f.'s studio cream eyeshadow are 2 that really did not make the mark) I thought this would just be like any other not such great quality cream shadow from the drugstores. Then I noticed that they were causing quite the storm. And of course I just had to try. I went to many different stores and they were completely sold out. I finally found some in a Duane Reade. The first color I picked up is this one: 45 Bold Gold.

 What a pleasant surprise! They are extremely comparable to some of the best cream eyeshadow/bases out there like Mac Paint Pots. I don't know if they truly last 24 hours because I don't wear any makeup overnight. But they do last from the morning until I take them off at night.  

               The packaging is also very nice with it's large transparent pot and nice black screw on top.
                The formula of the product itself is great as well- it's creamy, it goes on smoothly and it doesn't fade or crease. 

Another really great thing about them is they come in 10 vibrant shades! And they are extremely inexpensive- $5.59 at drugstore.com


This product can be applied all over the lid for a gorgeous pop of color as they are extremely pigmented! I know some people like to use it as a liner. I put it all over my lid with my finger or a flat shader brush and then just apply a different crease powder color. It works well alone and with shadows over top of it acting as a base.

All in all a really fabulous product. I will definitely be picking up some more colors in the very near future!

Hope this product review was helpful to you!

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Have a Wonderful Shabbos!

Xo! Gigi.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes


Over Pesach (Passover) we are pretty limited on what we are permitted to eat. So we end up eating alot of eggs, matzoh and potatoes. At the end of it all potatoes are the last thing I want to see even though they are one of my ultimate favorite foods! For now, still enjoying my potatoes. When I'm in a bind for time and I want to throw together an easy side dish mashed potatoes usually come to mind. It's so easy to either microwave a couple of potatoes or boil them up in a pot. So although I don't have a lot of prep to do for Pesach I still have a nice list of things to take care of and not alot of time for cooking lavish dinners. Monday was a dairy night and we had homemade pizza snaps- they took pretty quick to prepare. And along side of the pizza snaps I threw together these easy and yummy mashed potatoes. I was going to add a salad as well but turns out we got full pretty fast so no salad after all.

You are going to love this recipe for when you don't have much time. Here it is:

3-4 Large Potatoes
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Tsp Fresh Garlic
A little Veg Oil for frying
1 Tsp Vinegar
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tsp Salt
 A little Pepper

Start by boiling up the potatoes in a pot of salted water. Boil them up until they are soft and easily mash-able. While the potatoes are boiling, saute' the onion and fresh garlic in a frying pan with oil. Once the potatoes are ready let them cool and remove their peel. Put them into a large serving bowl and mash them. Add the fried onions and garlic along with whatever is left of the frying oil. Then put in the vinegar, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese immediately before serving. Mix up all the ingredients very well with a spoon and this easy side dish is ready to be served. 

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Afternoon!

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     Thanks for stopping in!
      Gigi.
       

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins

Soft and chewy, these sweet chocolate chip cookie muffins are the ultimate treat for the cookie-lovers in your home. I know it's so close to Pesach (Passover). I live in a small apartment and have very little to prepare so yes we are still eating cookies, bread, pretzels and pizza. :)


These were last weekends special treat. I made some chocolate chip cookie batter and had some muffin pans from a previous failed muffin recipe. I decided to put some the cookie batter in those muffin pans and see what happened. It worked out really well.


Recipe:

3 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
A Sprinkle of Salt
2 Sticks of Butter (or Margarine) Melted
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Hot Water
3 Large Eggs
1 Package Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Put the two sticks of margarine in an oven proof pan in the oven allowing it to melt completely. Once it has melted remove it from the oven and stir the brown sugar and hot water in with it. Put the margarine mixture to the side for one moment. Then, put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and turn it on a medium setting to combine the ingredients. Slowly add the margarine mixture and eggs to the mixer bowl with the dry ingredients and turn the mixer on once again. Then slowly spread out the chocolate chips over the top of the newly formed batter in mixer. Keep mixing slowly adding more chocolate chips and allowing them to fold in. Grease a few muffin pans. Drop 2-3 tablespoons of cookie batter into each slot in the muffin pans filling it 3/4 of the way. Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then serve.

Other incorporated topping options are colored or white chocolate chips, nuts or coconut, lemon zest or any other toppings of choice for different flavors.

These muffins can be stored in an airtight container for a week at the most. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. So if you make the recipe and don't know what to do with 20 plus leftover muffins you can save them for a different occasion.

Happy Baking!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Makeup Tip of the Week: Keeping Eyeliner From Smudging On The Waterline


Something that a lot of women struggle with when applying eyeliner is keeping it from smudging. Especially on the waterline. And I have had that same trouble many times. I have tried different eyeliners and techniques and have found a few things that work for me to keep the eyeliner in place for hours.

So here's some quick tips for you:

1) If you have a more oily or sweaty eyelid, then you'll want to start by drying the waterline lightly with a q-tip.

2) Before applying liner or any product to the lid start with a eyelid primer and after priming your entire lid like you usually would, take a little and put it under your lower lash line. Blend it in and let it set. It'll help provide a barrier between the eyeliner and the under eye area.

 2) Find an eyeliner that works for you. Some of the ones that work well for me are:

A) A Kohl style pencil liner. They are truly some of the best for intense color that stays! They slide right on and dry to a formula that usually won't budge. Lots of companies make them. Mac Smolder Eye Kohl and Loreal Intense Liquid Liner Pencil are two that I really like. 

                                                                               Mac Smolder Eye Kohl

B) A gel liner. Just make sure that the one you choose is safe for your waterline since some can irritate. Gel liner can be applied with a small liner brush and depending how good the quality of the product is it should not move around at all after it's applied. My favorites are Mac's Blacktrack Fluidline and Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner. I have not tried Bobbie Browns gel liners but I heard they are great as well.

                                                                         Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner

3) If you chose to use a pencil liner, apply it to your waterline. Let it set for a minute and then take a small pencil brush with a matte powder of similar color and run it over the liner. This will  help set the liner even more to stay all day just like using powders to set liquid foundations or cream blush etc.

These are just some things that work for me. If you see that something is just not working and your eyeliner smudges you may want to switch it up a little. Try a new liner or technique and see what works well for you.
                                          
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate all my readers and comments so much! Enjoy the rest of your day!
                            
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                                                                                         Xo! Gigi.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Love All Things Spring!

I love all things Spring- the colors, the smell of fresh cut grass, birds outside my window,  fresh cut flowers in the center of a table, the warmth of the sunshine,  sweet fresh fruit, all the gorgeous shades in clothes, nail polishes and makeup and even flowery table settings!



.



                  
 What do you love about Spring?

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None of the pictures above are mine. They are mostly from google or pinterest. To see the sources of the ones from pinterest visit my pinterest.
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                                                                            Thanks for Visiting!
                                                                                   Xo! Gigi.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easy Treats Made with Challah Dough

It's Thursday and it's pretty close to Pesach (Passover) ! Some of you may have switched over and are busy cooking and baking Pesach food. Lucky for me that I have a very small apartment- very little to clean for Pesach and I will be with my parents and in laws for parts of it! So I am still in Chometz mode and besides for some regular cleaning and Spring closet organizing I won't really be doing any major pesach prep till right before it's here. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my cookies, pretzels, bread, challah and pasta as long as I possibly can! So if you are still baking challahs or making some challah dough for this Shabbos, this is for you. This past weekend I decided to try something different and have some fun with my challah baking. So I tried a few new things with my challah dough. I made my very first 6 braider. Traditionally challahs (bread) are braided with 3 ropes. I had always hoped to eventually learn to make a 6 braider. They come out of the oven looking so nice. But they always seemed to be a lot of hard work. Then I came across a video series which was all about challah on YouTube by Jaime Geller. Jaime is the the writer of the Quick and Kosher Cookbooks- some of the first I ever owned. She is a huge inspiration to me as a blogger, cook, baker etc. and her website is JoyofKosher.com. To read more about her and see her really unique recipes: check out her website and then go check out her Challah Video Series which will help you with every detail of challah baking etc- How to make challah dough, how to braid a 6 braid challah and some other cool things you can make with challah dough. She made the 6 braider seem easy. Not only did I learn to make that  6 braid challah I also got some inspiration for some easy treats!

We enjoyed our Challah so much as usual. After a long while of trying different Challah recipes and figuring out what kind of challah we like we have finally come to a final easy recipe that we really love! Click Here to see my Challah recipe which is the one I used for all the baking in this post. You can use your own Challah recipe or Jamies challah recipe as well.

A few hours after Shabbos is over we are usually really hungry again. We usually make a snack like macaroni or get pizza or make mozzarella sticks anything small, easy, fun to make and delicious to eat. I am a firm believer in enjoying what I eat on the weekends and not counting the calories. But strictly weekends! 

So this past weekend we saved a little challah dough Saran wrapped in the refrigerator to make some yummy treats that Jamie showed in her videos:

 these cinnamon buns with a sweet glaze

      
  And these savory Garlic knots.


The coolest part is that they were all made from Challah dough!  So for this Shabbos go check out her clips for details on how you can make these simple yummy treats before pesach comes along...it's almost here!

 Hope you are enjoying these wonderful first days of Spring! Look out for some exciting new very Spring-ey posts to come! 

 -Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen soon. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!

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Thanks for Visiting!

Xo! Gigi.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Favorite Spring Makeup Trend Inspirations 2012


Spring is my favorite season and it has finally arrived!  Blooming Flowers, Bright Sunlight, Chirping Birds, Blades of Grass swaying in the breeze. I just love it all. Time for some of the more spring/summer makeup products to come out, switch over the wardrobes and enjoy some outdoor time with family.

Speaking of makeup for Spring, there are some really amazing makeup trends around now. I am not one to really follow the trends as much personally. I just wear what I'm in the mood of and what I think looks good on me. But some of the more wearable trends can be pretty inspirational for my Spring looks. Here are some of my favorites:


1) Face makeup that is completely natural and doesn't look like you are wearing any at all. This is one of my favorite looks in general. It's flawless, glowing and smooth. This look can be achieved by blending face product of choice (cream foundation, tinted moisturizer, bb cream) into the skin very well. This will give you a sheer, skin - like look as though you are wearing absolutely nothing. At the same, concealing blemishes and imperfections giving you a flawless look.


2) Doll lashes- long, fluffy, sleepy looking lashes. To achieve this look Apply lashes that are a little too long and come out just a little too far on the sides. If you do not want to apply fake lashes a really good lengthening mascara with a thicker formula can do the trick as well. Apply a little extra mascara to the outer lashes. This will weigh the eyes down at the sides giving you a dreamy lash look.


3) Winged Liner- Wether it's just a small flick of liner at the outer corner of the eye or a full out cat eye with funky colored liners it just takes some practice and a steady hand and you will have those beautifuly defined eyes.


4) Smokey Eyes- I feel like smokey eyes are on trend alot. Smokey eyes of all colors and style are always nice! I will be wearing this one alot in all different shades this Spring for special ocassions.
Some other great trends for Spring 2012 are red lips, glittery, sparkly eye shadows, thicker, bolder brows and pink natural looking cheeks.


 Not necessarily my favorites but great just the same.

Which of these trends do you think you may incorporate into your makeup routine this Spring?
-Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen soon. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!
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Thanks for Visiting!
                                                               
Xo! Gigi.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicken Egg Drop Soup

Tired of your same old chicken soup for Shabbos? Here's a new recipe for chicken egg drop soup. This was last night's dinner along with some fries and tomato corn salad , and very humbly I must say it tasted like I picked it up from a Chinese take out! We all really loved it! I know the picture does not do it justice. I was in such a rush to finish dinner and Shabbos cooking that I had to snap one from my iphone in a rush. Not to say Iphones don't take good pictures but the difference between that and my new canon camera's pics is huge! Oh well.
We have had such confused weather lately. Some days it feels like Spring is finally here and some days it feels like we are back to winter. Yesterday was one of those cold rainy days. Considering I have hardly posted any soup recipes this winter I thought I would grab this opportunity and enjoy some warm soup before it's back to Spring again. Next week we will be back to 70 degree weather ahhhh cannot wait! I am a huge sun lover.

Here's the recipe. It's Asian inspired. I found a newspaper clipping in my folder that I had clipped almost 2 years ago from Food Networks magazine if I'm not mistaken which is where I derived inspiration for my recipe.  I have been around the world this week with the recipe backgrounds :) French, Asian, American.

6-7 Chicken Drums with Skin, Baked in Oven
1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
1  Heaping Tablespoon Chicken Consume
6 Cups Water
1 Bunch Scallions, Chopped up
2 Tsps Cooking Sherry
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Tsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Ginger Spice
3 Eggs


Begin by putting the water in a pot. Bring it to a boil and then lower the flame a little. Add the chicken consume. If you are planning to make a larger soup with more then 6 cups of water just adjust the rest of the ingredients and add more chicken consomme. Let it dissolve and add the brown sugar, sherry, sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper and ginger spice. Let it all combine while cooking for a  few moments. Then start with the chicken. I always end up with leftover chicken when I make it for dinner since I'm not a huge fan and I don't eat much so I either grind it up for my husbands lunch or use it in a soup. So for this one I used the leftover chicken from the night before that had already been baked with a more plain sauce and just chopped it up. If you don't have already cooked chicken you can bake your chicken before preparing the soup in pot. Just lay out the chicken drums in a greased pan and bake them till cooked through but not roasted. If you are using chicken from the night before like I did, try to use a plainer sauce. Take all the meat off the bone with a sharp knife. Do not remove the skin you want it to cook with the chicken in the pot along with the soup to add some shmaltz- the best part of a good chicken soup. Chop the chicken meat into small pieces and roll them around in the corn starch to completely cover each piece. Cornstarch is the thickening agent for the soup. Drop them into the pot. Then add the chopped scallions. Allow the soup to cook for about 20-30 minutes on a medium flame or until soup water has cooked out a little and scallions seem softer. Now time to drop those eggs. Take 3 eggs out of the fridge about 15 minutes in advance. Crack an egg carefully over the pot to avoid dropping in eggshells (not the best additive for a soup) allow the egg to drop right in while the flame is on. As soon as it drops in swirl the soup around with a fork separating the egg. You should have the whites and yolks in strips/strings. Add the other two eggs the same way. Once the egg has cooked a little- soft but not raw (this should happen within a few minutes) You are ready to serve. Ladle it into bowls and  if it's a week night you can serve with fries, salad, bread or all three. This will be an amazing addition to a cold Shabbos night meal!

What kind of soup do you make Friday night? Plain old chicken soup or do you change it up? Comment below! I love to hear from my readers!

-Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen in two weeks. So what are you waiting for? head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!


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                         Have a Wonderful Shabbos and a Restful Weekend!

Xo! Gigi.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kitchen of The Month & Cool Kitchen Product Picks

                                      
     I love beautiful kitchens. My kitchen at this time is at the center of my apartment. I love to cook and the kitchen has the best lighting for makeup so it's my most used room.  I constantly am in search of kitchen ideas and looks. I can't wait to design my own one day. My dream is to find some beautiful kitchens and derive inspiration from them to create a beautiful masterpiece with bits and pieces that suit my personality. Some people collect stamps, others old coins, I am a magazine clipping collector. I rip out bits and pieces from many different magazines and compile them in one folder or box  and seperate them into categories- makeup looks, fashion ideas, kitchens, cool kitchen products, recipes etc. I pull them out from time to time when inspiration is needed. With my new iphone I have discovered pinterest- an online pinboard. It's great for my paperless collection. Of course my large magazine clip collection remains!  From time to time I spot a picture of a kitchen with detailing that gets me really excited- the lighting, the island, a fruit basket, the colors, the cabinetry etc.

So I've decided to choose a kitchen of the month from now on. A kitchen that says my name on it in one way or another.

The kitchen above is the kitchen of this month of March! It's one I found on pinterest. You can click Here. to see it's source. It has a really nice Outdoorsey- Rustic feel to it. My favorite details are the lighting- the three box hanging lights are so beautiful, the cabinetry- simple but what gorgeous color, and the island with a little shelf on it's side for cookbooks, wines and other items to display (Not for when there's little kids running around though! :) )  Do you like this kitchen? What detailing would you take from it if you were designing your own kitchen?

Do you have a kitchen that you've recently designed or a picture of your own kitchen that suits you perfectly? Did you clip a kitchen recently for inspiration? Send pictures to me by email. Perhaps your kitchen will be featured in my next months kitchen of the month. :)

And now for some cool kitchen products that I chose. You can easily create a kitchen that suits your personality with some inexpensive decor, tabletop products and kitchen accessories.


Cool Kitchen Product Picks
 
                                   

All from qvc.com
Twiztt by Joan Lunden 10" Cvrd Skillet w/ Bowl & Cutting Board $60
Colm De Ris Pottery Pitcher with Shamrock Detail -, $61
Mikasa Bamboo Reeds 4-Piece Place Setting , $60
Mikasa Brushstroke 9-1/2" Vegetable Bowl - $40
KitchenAid Stand Mixer Cover with Accessory Pockets - $20
Rachael Ray Stoneware EVOO Dispensing Bottle - Purple - $17
Set of 4 Straining Containers w/ Locking Lids By MarkCharles -$20



-Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen in two weeks. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!

Don’t forget to subscribe by email or with Google connect.

You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin'!

Thanks for reading!

Xo! Gigi.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Smashbox Product Review: Photo Op Eye Shadow's


Today I am going to review some Smashbox eyeshadow trio's for you. Why do I do product reviews? I don't get paid to do them. I was thinking about this recently as I organized my constantly expanding collection of makeup. I realized that when I first started getting excited about makeup (when I was 12) there wasn't really any product reviews or anyone telling me what products to buy and what to leave. I used to walk up the block to the local CVS and spend all of my camp counselor money on makeup products. I found a lot of great products that until today have stayed in my collection of favorites. I also wasted alot of $ on items that were total garbage. I could've used some help. Only within the past few years have I discovered the high end makeup world which has some amazing items. Those can get really expensive though. And that is the beauty of product reviews which have started to pop up everywhere more recently! All you have to do is type a product name into google and you have the information at your fingertips. So I am hoping that by discussing specific cosmetics and beauty products in depth and voicing my honest opinion I can help others. Whether you are first building up your makeup collection or if you just want to get some new really decent products it's easy to read up before purchasing. I have tried a lot of makeup since those younger days and I continue to add products to my collection as a makeup artist and with my constant curiosity. I started reviewing products from Smashbox cosmetics recently here on the blog as I have just discovered them. Alot of their products I have found to be not so great and I would say not to spend money on but there are also loads of amazing ones that I found from them as well! I will continue to try out and research their products and then tell you what I think as I find the ones I like and the ones I don't like as much so you can be wary of them. Obviously it is just my opinion. What works really well for one person sometimes does nothing for the next. I will continue discussing some of my favorite and least favorite products from the drugstore and some from the higher end category like Mac, Bobbie Brown, Nars, Laura Mercier etc.

Here is another Smashbox review of some of my new favorite eye shadows. The photo op eye shadow trio's.  I don't know if these are some of their newest products but I recently tried them and I am so happy I did. I have wanted to review them for a while but I like to really try things and test them over and over before saying what I think of them. For those of you who read my blog often you know that some of my all time favorite eye shadows are wet and wild and those cost $4 at the drugstore. These are extremely similar. The only difference is that I have always found that the wet and wild ones are extremely crumbly and create alot of fallout and these smashbox ones don't get all over like that. Also the smashbox ones are definitely a lot more pigmented. But for the price on those wet and wild ones you are getting an amazing product. So I recommend both of those but here's what I think of the Smashbox ones:


-In general I find that the packaging on their products are a little more junky looking but they do hold up well. I noticed that all of their packaging is travel friendly though and mostly smaller- meaning less packaging and more product. These specific eyeshadows come in similar packaging to the smashbox blush rush's.

- The color payout on these things are crazy! They are extremely pigmented. I have found that some eyeshadows I've purchased from other brands in the past tend to change colors or get a little more saturated once they when they are applied in the morning till late night. They also come with quite a bit of product which means that they will last.

-They are a little sparkly. But not too much that it gets everywhere and creates chunks of glitter on the outsides of your eyes (my worst nightmare!)

-They come with three colors, hence their name. A lid color, a crease color and a highlight color. Which is exactly what you need for that beautiful eye look. It also makes it easier for those who are newer to applying eyeshadows.

-They blend beautifully.

-There are 16 different choices for these trio's. I really like that because you are bound to find one or two that will look really good with your eye color or for what you need it for.

-There is only one thing I dislike and it's really more of a  general thing about all high end products. These trio's cost a whopping $28. In my opinion that is way too expensive even if they are really good quality. So although I would love to own more of these in all different colors I don't know how fast I would purchase more.
I own 3 at this point. Head shot- neutral every day colors,  Dark Room- dark colors for smokey eyes and Develop- greens and purples look great on my brown eyes! 

Head Shot
                                      
       

                                                                     Dark Room
  
              

                                                                           
                                                                         

                                                                                                  
                                                                                 Develop



Alrighty. So I hope this product review will be helpful to anyone looking for new eyeshadows that look as great on as they do in the packaging. Treat yourself to one of these! You will not be disappointed. 

 Have a beauty product you are looking to try but not sure if you should? Comment below. Perhaps I have already tried the product and I would happily review it for you!

 -Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen in two weeks. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!


                                          Don’t forget to subscribe by email or with Google connect.

                               You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin'!
                     
                                                                        Thanks for reading!
                                                                                Xo! Gigi.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nicoise' Style Salad

Last week was super busy. Not as much blogging got done but I am back and I have a alot more exciting things to share!
The healthy eating in preparation for purim noshing was a really good idea. I'm not going to list for you the amounts of cookies, cakes, hamantashen and candy I consumed over Purim- it's too long and it makes me feel sick even now. It was an amazing purim spent with family and friends exchanging gift bags, boxes and dishes filled with goodies. I saw so many creative themes and ideas. The work and thought that goes into them is just unbelievable!
Now that all the holiday festivities are over it's time to get back to the healthy eating! My cabinets are all filled up with candy that needs to go because I have always had a sweet tooth.

 

I planned a decent healthy lunch/snack and dinner menu for the week. For those of you who are looking for a way to keep healthy and stick to healthy eating: planning a menu and preparing your shopping list ahead of time should keep you organized and on track. That is one thing that I have found to always work for me. My shopping day is Sunday. So for about 15 minutes every Sunday morning I sit down and prepare a menu and shopping list for the week. Do you have some easy tricks that help you keep to a healthy eating plan? Please share!

The recipe I am sharing with you today is my spin on a nicoise' salad (pronounced  "ni╦łswazi"). What is a niciose' salad? It's traditionally a mixed salad consisting of a variety of veggies (tomatoes, olives etc), Sliced boiled egg, on a bed of lettuce topped with tuna and a vinaigrette. It's origin is French.
Some add red peppers, shallots, red onions etc. etc. I made this salad to suit what we enjoy. Perhaps because we are all pretty small we don't eat such large dinners. We get full very quick. So in my family this was the perfect dish as a dinner. Some may argue that it's more of a lunch. My husband actually took it to lunch as well. It's pretty healthy and very nutritious. It can be eaten cold or warm. So at last here's my spin on a yum dinner/lunch niciose' style salad:

Salad:
1/2 lb Rotini
A Couple Handfuls of Red Potatoes
4 Eggs
1 Can Tuna
1 Medium Onion
1/2 lb Green Beans
1 Carton Grape Tomatoes, Sliced in Half Lengthwise

Sauce/Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tsps. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Sugar
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

Boil up eggs and red potatoes in pot with salted boiling water, till cooked to desired done-ness. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil and add rotini and a sprinkle of veg oil so they don't stick to each other. Let that cook up till light colored and fluffy. In the meantime cut off the ends of the green beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and chop up the onion. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl whisking it together to really keep it from separating. Lay the green beans, tomatoes and onion out in a baking pan and pour the sauce ingredients over them evenly. Put the pan in the oven on 450 for 20 minutes or until slightly roasted. Once the potatoes and eggs are cooked and cooled a little, remove their peel. Chop both into pieces. Drain the can of tuna. Combine cooked pasta, potatoes, eggs, tuna all crumbled up and green bean mixture along with it's sauce for a vinaigrette and serve.

P.S. Like the pics? I am really enjoying my new camera and it is not an easy task to learn all the buttons and settings. I am spending quite some time using it and reading manuals etc. Hope to slowly get a hang of it!

-Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen in two weeks. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!


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                  Xo! Gigi.

Glamorous Cake Decorating with My Sister Rae + Fondant Recipe

When there is a choice between cooking and baking I tend to choose cooking. I am better at cooking then baking. I guess baking takes practice and patience just as cooking does. I feel like when I attempt to bake the cakes, cookies, cupcakes etc. they taste great but don't usually look perfect like they do in recipe books or magazines. I am slowly perfecting my baking and hope to get a little better at it eventually.

My older sister Rae on the other hand, is amazing at both cooking and baking and making things look and taste absolutely scrumptious. She recently baked some cakes and cupcakes for recent special events and decorated them on her own. ( something I would never even attempt to do at this point ) They looked so glamorous and beautiful so I just thought I would share some pictures and the recipe and her easy instructions for the fondant. I don't know about you but I think she is really talented when it comes to decorating cakes! Let me know what you think.

She made this one for a recent family birthday. I love the heart shape with that really cool detailing!
                

                                  
This next one is a cupcake. She made these for her purim bags. I finally got to taste one of her beautiful creations and it was as good as it looked! The pearl decorations up on top were edible btw.



       
This last one was for her most recent anniversary.      



 Here's the recipe for the fondant so that those of you who would like to challenge yourselves can try it as well.

From Rae Lloyd:

"Here's the basics, you will need two cakes to layer and the cakes have to be dense enough to be able to hold the fondant. Also use a butter cream to crumb coat the cakes before putting on the fondant.
I watched a lot of you tube videos of how to roll out the fondant and how to get it on the cakes without it ripping etc. it take a lot of art to make sure it come out right.  If you are preparing cupcakes you just take a cookie cutter and cut out the right size for the cupcake and put icing on the cupcake and then put the round fondant shape (roll it out so its thin but not too thin) and put that onto the cupcake then smooth it out so its on the whole top of the cupcake. with the cake its much more complicated cuz you have to get it on the whole cake and rub it out so its on smooth and tight."

the actual fondant recipe is: take a microwave safe bowl and rub Crisco on the whole inside of the bowl. take a bag of mini marshmallows and pour them it into the bowl. Then pour in two tablespoons of water. Next, you need to put it in the microwave for increments of 30 seconds. my microwave takes 60 seconds. Once the marshmallows begin to look puffy and liquidy you  can stir them up with a spatula (put Crisco on the spatula b/c the marshmallows get so sticky) until its nice and smooth. Then, take a box of confectioners sugar. Decide where you want to knead the fondant and spread Crisco on that area as well. Then take the confectioner sugar and pour it all out on the area (I use my counter) make a little hole in the pile of confectioner sugar and pour the marshmallow into the hole in the sugar. Then, Crisco your hands and quickly start putting sugar into the marshmallow mush. It gets really messy and sticky but you need to keep kneading and putting more sugar into it and eventually it will become a solid dough consistency. Fold it up and wrap plastic wrap on it and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. When you are ready to use it  you  will need to warm it up in your hand again to make it pliable and then roll it out with a rolling pin so you can put it onto your cake. I colored the pink fondant on my second cake with Wilton's coloring gel. The one bag of marshmallows can generally cover two 9" cakes. But you can also make square cakes, smaller or bigger and round cakes. It depends on how much you need. You can also save the fondant for a few weeks in the fridge. Just rub Crisco on it and wrap it up tight in the plastic wrap or a bag and put it in the fridge. You can buy Wilton gel food coloring if you want to color any of your fondant or you can leave it white. Michaels is a great place to find great easy items for decorating and doing things with fondant. "
                                                                                                                                                           

I can't wait to see what kind of decoration she will come up with next. These are so glamorous looking and so delicious as well! As she prepares more of these cakes she will send me the pictures so that I can share them with you. I would also love to watch her prepare one of these to perhaps learn to do it as well. Hmmm.

Thanks Rae for sharing this! Xo!
                                                    
                   Comment below and tell me what kind of baking you like to challenge yourself with! I love to hear your preferences and opinions!

-Join my amazing giveaway going on at Facebook right now! 3 winners will win a free makeover/makeup application by me. Winners will be chosen in two weeks. So what are you waiting for head over there now and check it out for easy rules and details of how you could win!

Don’t forget to subscribe by email or with Google connect.
also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin'!

Thanks for Visiting!
Xo! Gigi.
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