I’ve been busy, as I mentioned a few days ago. And ugh, BB! It hasn’t helped that I agreed to take on a second summer job (working for an organization working with digitizing American Modernist magazines), and my dissertation advisor became a little concerned that I am overextending myself. Ugh, boo BB! I think I tend to say “yes” to things immediately (impulsively) and then figure out later that might not have been the best plan. Something I need to work on!
Anyway, my consolation is this Roasted Turkey Breast (with white wine ) by Ina Garten that I adapted, which turned out fabulously. Have I ever told you how much I love Ina? All her recipes become my favorites!
Because of my reading/writing marathon, I’ve been going crazy in the kitchen–experimenting with flavors, making food for next week, and trying to decompress and relax.
One thing I’ve recently become obsessed with using is Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. Jiffy mixes are cheaper than the average brand (I just bought two boxes of Jiffy for 50 cents each at Target!), and they’ve always delivered tasty muffins for me.
With Easter Sunday tomorrow, wouldn’t it be fun to whip up a batch of cute and sweet Southern muffins for Easter morning? I wanted to keep things healthy and quick by using a Jiffy mix as my base and then adding healthful ingredients. I tinkered a bit, and figured out how to make the best damn little corn muffins around: Light Lemon-Blueberry Corn Muffins (with Southern Comfort).
Yesterday, I visited friends and wanted to bring them baked goods. Have you noticed how a good cookie or cupcake can brighten anyone’s day? There’s something friendly and inviting about offering a baked good (or food). But, gasp! My plans to visit these friends arose somewhat spontaneously, and I had nothing on hand to offer them (and I only had an hour to make something). I wanted to bring them a refreshing April showers-esque dessert– something sweet and cool, yet tart and refreshing. I noticed I had a yellow cake mix, greek yogurt, lots of fresh lemons, and local Raspberry Rum jam. How about Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes (with a sugar glaze)? (These are my first foodie pictures! Whoops, the second one is off-center.)
If life gives you lemons, you make lemon-infused sugar, right?
Because I’m on a citrus kick (and this California girl can’t wait for spring), I decided I wanted to include yet another DIY tip to use up the remaining citrus fruit and zest from your Grapefruit-Orange Scrub and Morning Glory Toner. (I swear this is the last one!) How about you take the peels from your grapefruit, orange, and lemon, and make something that looks pretty on your shelf and tastes just as sweet? Something like this…
Good morning, Beautiful!
I woke up excited to tell everyone about my experience with Green Tea as a toner! I wanted to make my Morning Glory Toner last night, but I couldn’t conveniently find fresh mint while out on my errands yesterday (a busy girl can’t make multiple stops!). I am a determined woman, though, and was just too excited to wait. I decided to use the mint green tea, honey vanilla chamomile tea, and lemon wedge I had on hand to whip up a toner. It was quick and easy, and after my hot shower last night, I dried off, and then immediately gave my face a spritz. I actually really liked the mint green tea–it smelled earthy and minty, and was refreshing! I let the spritz dry on my face, and then put on my daily night cream.
I woke up–and maybe I’m experiencing the placebo effect—but my face looked a bit more bright and clear this morning! I think the combination of green tea, mint, and lemon really gave my fair skin a refreshing boost. I’m sold—I’m definitely going to incorporate this into my beauty routine. I might even infuse some cool cucumber in the toner one day. (Maybe an update later…)
For breakfast, I was going to make a version of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (because I still have a can of pumpkin sitting in my fridge!). Somewhere along the way, though, I ended up making a Spiced Pumpkin-Almond Spread/dip that I ate with apples (bye bye, oatmeal.) I actually really like this recipe! It’s quick, healthy and, like always, hearty because I am a hungry girl. This spread is actually made with mainly almond butter, which is a great source of protein and fat, and sweetened with applesauce. You can spread this on wheat toast, eat it in a tortilla with banana and greek yogurt (pumpkin burrito), and even use it to make a pumpkin banana sandwich (wheat toast, pumpkin spread, banana, and honey!). I am a big believer in good base recipes, and this spread can be used in a zillion ways. You could also add greek yogurt to this if you wanted a more creamy taste!
Spiced Pumpkin-Almond Spread
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp almond butter
1 spoonful of applesauce (a healthy sweetener)
a smidge of honey (to taste)
2 shakes of pumpkin pie spice
1 shake of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of vanilla
Optional: If you wanted this to be a more Pumpkin-chocolatey spread, add cocoa and use either Stevia or Splenda to sweeten. You could also add chocolate chips! (Everyone knows pumpkin and chocolate together are delicious.)
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and then start spreading this on everything! Yum.
I was reading Tina Haupert’s Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog, and tonite Tina reviewed Amy Gyles McInerney, a Licensed Massachusetts Medical Aesthetician of 18 years who specializes in skin treatments and skincare. Along with getting her skin done, Tina asked Amy some questions about her everyday skin care. Amy recommended not only taking flaxseed, calcium, and Vitamin C supplements for healthy skin, but also suggested making your own Green Tea tonic for your face!
Inconceivable! Why isn’t this as a tonic more popular? I have heard of rose water and lemon, but never green tea. This does make alot of sense, though! Amy reports that green tea is an anti-imflammatory agent and high in anti-oxidants, which makes it the perfect solution for your skin.
After I read this post, I was inspired to do a little more research on homemade tonics, and I made the perfect recipe: Morning Glory Toner. Enjoy! And if you know of any good DIY recipes, please share!
Morning Glory Toner
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tbsp dried)
3 green tea bags (substitute one chamomile, if you like!)
2 cups of water
1 plastic spray bottle (I found a blue mini spray bottle in the travel section at Target)
1 wedge of lemon (optional)
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, and allow to steep for 2 more minutes. Once cooled, strain liquid into the spray bottle, and keep for one week as your daily toner. This would be especially refreshing for spring and summer!
As mentioned before, I am still sick with a cold that seems more like the plague (yuck). I have congestion, I am coughing, and I am overall feeling like a stuffy mess. My boyfriend introduced me to this tea recipe (Salabat), and let me tell you: it is just the thing for a sore throat and congestion!
Basically, Salabat is a Filipino ginger tea that is made by boiling and simmering water with brown sugar (preferably Palm sugar) and ginger. I change this recipe a bit by adding lemon slices or orange slices, and substituting honey for the brown sugar (or doing both). I have been drinking this day and night, and it makes me feel so much better. Very soothing! Do you all have any go-to home remedies?
“Feel Better” Tonic (inspired by Salabat Tea)
Makes 1 serving
1 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
1 to 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (depending on your taste, it packs a kick!)
1/4 of a lemon or orange
1 Decaf Green or White Tea bag (or some other citrus herbal tea)
Combine all ingredients (except the tea bag) in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the stove, add the tea bag, and let stand for 3 minutes. Discard tea bag and enjoy!