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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Eos Effect

Why are the Eos lip balms so popular?  I am not exactly sure.  I first saw one on my coworkers desk last year.  I had no idea what it was.  I thought it was an office supply.  Then I saw a second coworker with one just sitting and again I had no idea what it was.  I did not want to ask so I just waited and watched.  Lip balm! Well it sure had a different shape. 

After a long weekend I came into work and a third person had one.  Well, I then had to find out what it was.  What brand and why it was so popular. I went to my local Target and found them.  Eos.  They were kind of pricey but I decided to get one.  I had to seeif it worked. 

It works.  The Eos lip balm is pretty amazing. First the shape makes it very unique.  Fun and very easy to apply.  It is made with shea butter, vitamin E and it glides on giving long lasting moisture. It is flavored and feels wonder on my lips.  It is also 100% natural. I love it.  A little goes a long way so it seems like it will last forever.  It gives smooth, soft kissable lips!  Eos!  Try it!

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

The Price of Beauty

The price of beauty is high.  Coming up as a young teen in my home there was not a lot of emphasis placed on skin care of make up.  My mother barely wore any makeup and if so it was almost like she had none on...mainly lipstick.  None of the many small bottle rituals of today.  When I got in high school some of my friends began to use make up and soon I was introduced to the world of skin care regimes and  makeup.  A whole new world.  I started with Charles of the Ritz as it worked well for African American skin as well as Caucasian skin.  They had everything from the skincare to the make up to Charles of the Ritz fragrance that I absolutely loved.  My mom was a little dismayed I was getting into all of that.  I had to. I had skin that was so oily, I could fly eggs on it, if it was hot enough. So much oil.  So much!  There was not a lot of skincare products out there for black woman.  We only had Ebony Fashion Fare and that did not do well with me. While the colors were beautiful, it was oily.  And there was something in some of the frosted lipsticks that made my lips beak out.  Not good.  I rallied on using drug store acne products and Charles of the Ritz.

After college and after major burn out in a large, high pressure job, I decided to work in retail.  Something that I thought would be mindless and would give me a mental break.  I went to work at the cosmetic counter at my Thalheimers.  I started out at the Charles of the Ritz counter which was combined with Naomi Sims cosmetics.  I did very well. So well that I was soon promoted and moved to Estee Lauder.  Estee Lauder, the best of the best.  Soon I was educated in all the products and benefits of their line. It was eye opening.  The line was for all skin types and all people.  That was about 30 years ago.  Once I worked for Estee Lauder I used nothing else for skincare and color.  About 10 years ago I discovered MAC for color, so now it s Lauder for skincare and MAC for color.  It works well.

It works well but of course Estee Lauder is very expensive; but so worth it.  Last week I bought a bottle of Diminish and the new moisturizer for oily skin and for those two very small bottles and jars, they were $54 and $50 apiece.  If those products did not work I certainly would not be buying them for all these years.  It costs to be beautiful!  Diminish minimizes pores and helps with oil.  The new moisturizer is clean, light weight and feels wonderful on my skin.  My face seems to soak it up. 

The price of beauty is high.  Paying $50 for a small jar of cream that works wonders is so very worth it! 




You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sparkle!

Leave a little sparkle wherever you go!
 
You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~
 

Raccoon Stew


Ready to get cooking? - JONATHAN BONCEK

In February, this article in the Charleston City Paper had lots of people stewing.  Check it out. 

Are you brave enough to try the recipe?
Raccoon Stew Recipe
  • 2 raccoons, deboned (should be about 5 lbs.)
  • ½ lb. fatback or salt pork, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 2 bags peeled pearl onions
  • 1 lb. white mushroom caps
For the marinade:
  • 1 bottle good Burgundy
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 3 finely chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 5 sprigs of parsley
  • 4 stems of thyme
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Put the cut raccoon meat in the marinade and mix together by hand. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
For the stew: Strain the raccoon from the marinade in a colander, reserving the liquid and thoroughly dry the raccoon meat out on paper towels. (If the meat is wet, it will not brown.) Fry out (brown and crispy) in a big skillet at medium heat fat back or salt pork (minus the skin). Set aside on paper towels. Drain off some of the fat and hold in reserve if needed.
In manageable doses, salt and pepper and then add the raccoon meat to the fat and brown all over at medium heat. Set aside on paper towels until all is done. Add more fat if necessary. When finished, add flour to the pan and stir until flour has browned. Add a little more fat to this if necessary. When flour has browned, add the strained marinade and stir well. Add the browned raccoon meat and browned fat back. Reduce heat to medium low to low, cover and cook until tender (about 3–4 hours.) Then add carrots, pearl onions, and white mushroom caps, and cook for a half hour longer at medium heat. Serve over rice.


You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

Organic Granola Today

 
Organic granola. I love all sorts of granola and granola bars.  This was the morning breakfast! Rise and shine!  Raspberry and almond granola with almond milk. The only tedious thing about is is the chewing.  It takes about 20 chews to get through a teaspoon of granola and milk.  Final bit of breakfast was tea.   A steaming cup of earl grey!  Carpe diem!



You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crock Pot Corn Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients

    • 4 cups hot water
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 large onion, cut into quarters
    • 3 lbs corned beef brisket ( with spices)
    • 8 small white potatoes or 8 small yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
    • 1 head cabbage, cored and cut into 10 wedges ( about 1 1/2 pounds)
    • 4 -5 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces

Directions

  1. Combine the water vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, in a 6 qt crock pot and mix well.
  2. Place corned beef and contents of spice packet in the mixture.
  3. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.
  4. Cover and cook on high heat setting 4 hours.
  5. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top.
  6. Cover and continue cooking on high 3-4 hours longer, or until beef is tender.
  7. To serve, carve the beef into slices against the grain and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist.

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Egg Salad Escapade


Middle school. Most likely 6th grade. 1972.

I was making egg salad for lunch the next day. The time was about 7pm. I was very tired. I had put 2 eggs on to boil. My father was finishing up the dinner dishes at the sink. Mom was in their bedroom getting ready for work the next day.



All I know is that I am tired. So...so tired that I tell myself I will just go lie down on my bed and rest my eyes for just a minute. My father leaves the kitchen. I leave the kitchen table and collapse on my canopy bed just to rest my eyes. I will get up in just a few minutes and make my egg salad. Just a minute...

My eyes open to pitch blackness with a hand covering my mouth tighly so that I could not scream. It is my mother.
She is whispering. What I do not know. I just woke up and do not know what is going on. She whispers some more and will not remove her hand until I understand the whispers.

The whispers are orders... over and over again orders--to get up, to not speak, to tiptoe and come with her. I get up and follow her out my room into the hallway. There is my father with the shotgun aimed ahead of him. There is my brother as well. My mother places us in the correct order. She gets behind my father, I am behind her and my younger brother is behind me. We all tiptoe down the hall toward the kitchen.

I hear sounds now and we are all terrified. Sounds like someone is moving in the kitchen and looking for something. It was a burglar. Why else would my father have the shot gun and why else would the four of us be tip toeing in the pitch blackness toward the kitchen. Why did'nt my parents simply call the police? That was the only thing I could think. We were going to die or get shot with that gun or would have to fight for our lives.

We continued to tip. The sounds got louder. Popping sounds like a gun going off in the kitchen. We got to the entrance of the kitchen and my father fired that shotgun blindly into the night. I think my father fired all the bullets. I heard a click and no more firing from his gun.


We only heard silence from the kitchen. We all stood frozen in the hallway for what seemed like an eternity. We still only heard silence. My mother whispered for my father to turn on the light. He did. I was expecting to see dead bodies. There were no dead people in the kitchen.

The only thing of any great notice in the kitchen was just my pot sitting on the stove, black from heat. It was devoid of all water and had been for quite some time. It was also devoid of eggs. The burglar sounds we thought we heard was the sound of eggs exploding right out of their shells. They had burst wide open and yoke and egg white was strewn all over the cabinets and the floor.

My parents turned to look at me. My legs turned to jelly. My father had shot up the kitchen for the love of egg salad!  I did not make egg salad again for a long time.




You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dinner: Wilted Kale and Asian Chicken


Deciding what to cook day in and out can be a chore but I have decided to really let the spices do the talking.  Simple meals with lots of flavor are what I am trying to make now.  Quick, easy with lots of flavor.  Today I will be making this exact meal except for the meat.  Pictured here is shark steak seasoned with Asian spices.  Today I am making it with baked, Asian chicken instead. 

My most favorite thing on this plate is the wilted kale.  I use the same recipe whether it is for kale or chard.  It always turns out great and my child loves it!  She even asks for seconds when it comes to the vegetables. 

To make wilted greens all I do is first sauté onions and sweet peppers until they begin to sweat. I use either olive or coconut oil.  Then I put in the greens and strip as needed until they are wilted and they shrink down.  It is amazing how a large bag wilts down to just a few cups.  If there are a lot of stems which sometimes occurs with the plastic bags of kale, I may even add about 1/2 of water and let them simmer for about 15 minutes until they get tender.  I do let the water all simmer away because I want the wilted flavor of the greens to be there.  About 25 minutes later, a great wilted green dish. 

The rice is the jade pearl rice.  It is green because it is infused with bamboo juice.  So, the rice, wilted greens and Asian chicken....it's what's for dinner today! Happy eating!




You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ~~Unknown~~