Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cherry Almond Crisp

Yesterday while out grocery shopping I came across cherries for the practically unheard of price of $.99/lb!  I didn't have a plan in mind for what to do with them but figured I'd be able to whip up something with the basics in my pantry.  A simple crisp or cobbler crossed my mind and then I remembered making a Cherry Crisp from Iowa Girl Eats a couple years back, so I decided to go that route again!

The ingredients:

First things first - pit the cherries.  If you don't have a cherry pitter an empty beer or soda bottle and plastic straw works wonderfully!  Next, slice them in half and toss them with some sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Then, mix up the topping ingredients using a fork and knife or your fingers until it's all nice and crumbly, and pour it over the fruit.

Bake until golden brown and crispy! Allow to cool a little bit and serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Almond Crisp
1 to 1 1/2lbs cherries, pitted and halved
1T sugar
2t flour
1t vanilla extract
1/4t cinnamon

Crisp Topping
1/2c old-fashioned oats
1/2c brown sugar
1/4c flour
1/4c cold butter, cubed
1/4c sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine cherries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon and spread into greased baking dish or pie pan.

Recipe lightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July Allure Beauty Box and Gift

This month the editors at Allure put together the summer essentials they use to look amazing despite the heat and humidity.  With it being 95 outside today the timing on this couldn’t be more perfect!  And…  I received an amazing surprise in the mail!

What I got:

  • Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème
  • Feel Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
  • Redken Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray
  • Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil
  • Wander Beauty Lipstick in “Barely There”
  • Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in “Bali”
  • Beauty for Real Lip Revival Exfoliating + Hydrating Lip Scrub

  • All products I haven’t tried previously and I’m not even sure which one I’m most excited to test first.  Maybe the facial oil.  I love argan oil and am interested to see if Burt’s Bee’s blend of rose hip and primrose oils is even better!  (Or if it will make me break out.)

    And the surprise?  Two full-size Marc Jacobs lip glosses that I received for being a long-standing subscriber!  The colors they sent me are “Hey You” which is a bright pink/cherry shade, and “Moonglow” which is a pale pink/nude.

    I’ve said many times that Allure’s Beauty Box is my favorite out of all the boxes I’ve subscribed to (both past and present).  It’s good to know they love me back!

    Friday, July 7, 2017

    Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Vanilla Sauce

    The rhubarb abundance continues and therefore so do the rhubarb recipes!  This is actually the third rhubarb recipe I've made in the last couple of weeks but only the second I'm posting about.  (The other recipe was a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, which while delicious, was not very pretty.  I'll try again on that one!)

    This is one of those recipes that sounds kind of fancy but is actually fairly simple to throw together! First, fold 3 cups of chopped rhubarb into a buttermilk batter.

    Next, spread the batter into a greased pan and sprinkle a simple streusel topping over the top.

    Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and until the top is golden brown.  (Mental note to self:  use Windex on glass cooktop prior to taking and uploading photos for blog post.)

    It will look golden and beautiful and you will want to dig right in, but for the love of baking powder, please allow it to cool a bit!  Make the vanilla sauce while you wait.

    Once the cake (and sauce) have cooled to a not mouth-scorching temperature, pour over a generous amount of the vanilla sauce and serve!

    Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Vanilla Sauce
    2T salted butter, softened
    1c sugar
    1 egg
    2c all-purpose flour
    1t baking powder
    1/2t baking soda
    1c buttermilk
    3c fresh rhubarb, chopped

    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  Beat just until moistened - do not overmix.  Fold in the rhubarb and pour into a greased 9" square baking dish.

    Streusel Topping
    1/4c all-purpose flour
    1/4c sugar
    2T butter, melted
    Combine all ingredients.  Sprinkle over prepared rhubarb batter.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  Top with Vanilla Sauce and serve.

    Vanilla Sauce
    1/2c salted butter
    3/4c sugar
    1/2 evaporate milk
    1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

    Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add sugar, evaporated milk, and scraped vanilla bean.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a storage container.  Refrigerate leftovers.

    Lightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

    Thursday, June 29, 2017

    Wal-Mart Summer Beauty Boxes

    Both of my seasonal Wal-Mart Beauty Boxes arrived earlier this week!  Is it silly that I'm most excited about a sponge?  (Maybe a little bit lol!)  Though to be fair, I do use a lot of masks so anything that makes them easier (and less messy) to remove is golden in my book!

    The contents of my "Trendsetter" box

    • Schwarzkopf Got 2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel
    • imPress Press-On Manicure
    • Ecotools Mask Remover Sponges
    • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
    • Pantene Dream Care Shampoo and Conditioner
    • Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Gel (sample packet)

    My "Classic" box was full of daily necessities as always.  The dry shampoo was inexplicably missing it's cap upon arrival...

    The contents:

    • Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen
    • Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo
    • Ponds Original Fresh Towelettes
    • Pantene Dream Care Shampoo and Conditioner
    • ROC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck, and Face Cream
    • Burt's Bees Skin Nourishment Night Cream (sample packet)
    As always these are a super steal at $5 each!  If you haven't signed up for yours yet you can do so here.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    June Allure Beauty Box

    This month's box is themed "Glow Getters" and contains the following summer-worthy products:
    • Deco Miami Nail Lacquer in "Feeling Fuego"
    • John Frieda Frizz Ease Keraflex Hairspray
    • Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer
    • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum
    • St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask
    • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
    I'm very happy with the samples in this box although I'm most excited about the YSL Primer and Tata Harper Mask! The only item I won't use is the bronzing sheet mask, and that's only because I'm not quite dumb (or brave) enough to try self-tanner on my face when I haven't even mastered using it on my legs yet LOL!

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Rhubarb Pudding Cake

    An abundance of rhubarb in my and one of my good friends backyards meant it was time to get baking.  (It's good to have friends with gardens - she gave me a lot of rhubarb!)  First on my baking list is the super easy Rhubarb Pudding Cake.  With an ooey gooey not-to-sweet center and a crispy sugary crust, this recipe is sure to be a hit with kids and grown ups alike!

    Here we have about 2 cups of chopped rhubarb spread across the bottom of a 9" square pan.

    Next you'll spread the prepared batter evenly over the top of the fruit and follow that with a healthy (ok, not "healthy" per se...) sprinkling of sugar and cornstarch.

    Now for the part that made me do a double-take the first time I saw this recipe:  Pour boiling water over the top.

    "Did I read that correctly?"   Yes you did.  Yes it's very soupy looking.  Yes it will be ok.

    Bake at 375 for 45 minutes and you'll have this golden brown dessert that is both gooey and crispy.  It's best served hot straight out of the oven with some sweetened whipped cream, but isn't too shabby eaten cold straight out of the pan the next day either.  Not that I would know that personally. *cough*

    Rhubarb Pudding Cake
    2c rhubarb, chopped
    1 3/4c sugar, divided
    3T salted butter, melted and cooled
    1t baking powder
    1/2c milk
    1t vanilla extract
    1c all-purpose flour
    1T cornstarch
    2/3c boiling water

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. 

    Spread chopped rhubarb over the bottom of a 9" baking pan.

    In a bowl, mix together 3/4c sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, milk, and flour.  Spread batter evenly over rhubarb.

    Combine remaining 1c sugar and cornstarch and dprinkle over the batter.  Pour boiling water over the top.

    Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Target Beauty Box - June

    Hello Sunshine!

    Target's June Beauty Box is all about products that will keep you looking summer ready all month long!

    • John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Salt Spray
    • Masque Bar Soothing Sheet Mask
    • NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer in "Medium"
    • Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Mask Treatment
    • Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen
    • Schick Hydro Silk Women's Razor
    • Sinful Colors Nail Polish in "Island Coral"
    Every single thing in this box is something I will use almost immediately - the NYX Concealer is definitely too dark for me to use as a concealer, but I think I will try a drop or two mixed with moisturizer and see if that works for some sheer coverage.  Other than that, every thing else is spot on!

    Time to go get a pedicure with my new coral polish! :D