Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Good Ramen

What makes the good ramen good, vs. the cheap supermarket kind? Well, for one thing, the noodles are dried, not fried. I use Myojo Chukazanmai Japanese Style Noodles With Soup Base. They cost about $1.75 a packet and if you split it in two, it's manageable for two giant bowls of amazingness, otherwise it can be a big overwhelming with all the stuff I add. I usually add a ton of veggies, cilantro or watercress and a protein or two (salmon and tofu are my fave combo) but you can do anything here. I also throw in some sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes, and sometimes some light soy (light in color, not sodium) for extra zing. You can add a raw egg at the end. The swirly fishcake is great too. The key to making this taste fresh and clean is to cook it to boil and then turn it off and serve. This does not need much cooking. Just boil for a moment and eat while watching the movie Tompopo asap!

I found this amazing blog - apparently this ramen is very popular with the noodle-obsessed - read on for details:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Filet Mignon and Mad Men

My dear husband and I have been watching a lot of Mad Men lately...we just started with season I on DVD about two weeks ago and now we're in the middle of season II. It's an amazing show. Amazing. It does, however, make him want to smoke again (he quit in May) and it makes me want to eat 1960's-style square meals. At Fairway (aka: mecca, where I belong) on Saturday, I decided we should have steak as our Sunday dinner. My dear husband decided to kick it up a notch and suggested filet mignon. I've made it before and screwed it up, so this time I committed to researching the preparation first. I checked Youtube for videos and found one with Christopher Kimball, the Cooks' Illustrated test kitchen guru know-it-all guy. He makes me hate Alton Brown with his brainiac posturing. Christopher is much humbler and pleasant to watch. In any case, I followed the directions to a tee (au poivre avec fleur de sel, c'etait parfait!) and it came out juicy and pink and delicious. We ate it while watching Season II, episode III of Mad Men. A perfect Sunday feast!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

J'Adore My Dior Catwalk Set

I'm a huge fan of Dior cosmetics.  Not so much their foundations or skincare, which I've never had the pleasure of getting involved in, but their color products get my heart thumping, specifically, their eyeshadows.  The textures of their singles and duos are to die for, and their quints are like tiny pieces of art (mass-produced art that is sold in many different cities and countries all over the world, but pretty fantastic nonetheless.)

This set includes a full-sized DiorShow Blackout Mascara in Kohl Black and a mini-quint in Smoky Light.  I'm generally a Chanel Exceptionnel girl when it comes to my mascara, which reminds me, I need to do a post about that's the shizz.  DiorShow mascara has never excited me - it doesn't really stand out as far as high-end mascaras go.  It's a bit too wet, makes my lashes stick together and smudges.  I'll use it anyway, I'll live.  The draw for me here was the quint.  Oh Dior, you torture me so, with your creamy champagnes and your rich taupes ... shimmer so glowy and easy to wear, and yet your little piece of perfection so tiny, how it fits in the palm of my miniscule hand.  This sparkling jewel seems to threaten to disappear in so few uses, it mocks me with its finiteness, but I simply had to have it.  

A exclusive, the set costs $24 (the regular price of the mascara alone).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Noshies: A Revolution in Healthy Snacking

My friend Debra is a certified nutrition counselor, professional trainer and fitness guru - she knows a lot about health and what the body needs, and of course, what it doesn't need. She's one of those amazing athletic types that can bend herself in a pretzel. Don't hate her just yet. There is something in it for you. She makes snax.

Debra's snax are called Noshies. They're homemade balls of energy, loaded with protein, complex carbs, a little bit of good fats,  and only uses sweeteners that are low on the glycemic index, which means you won't have to come down from any sugar crashes with these. They are not vegan, however they don't contain any wheat, soy or refined sugar. The protein comes from whey, which comes from milk.

Each Noshie is rich in: Protein, Complex Carbohydrates, Omega 3 Fats, Fiber, and Antioxidants.
Noshies are also: Wheat Free, Soy Free, Flour Free, Refined Sugar Free, Artificial Sugar, Color and Flavor Free, Preservative Free, (And 3 Flavors are Nut Free). *

Enjoy 7 delicious flavors and my mini-review of each:

-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie - peanutty outside, semi-sweet chocolate peanutbuttery goodness inside
-Chocolate Almond Macaroon - bittersweet, more cakey, absolutely delish - like a flourless chocolate cake but healthy! Oh, and hope you like coconut!
-Banana Nut Bread - nutty and banana-y - not too sweet and very satisfying
-PB&J - TBA - she was out of these when I ordered...makes me wanna try them even more =/
-Super Chocolate Trail Mix *nut free - if you like chocolate and sesame and sunflower and pumpkin seeds, this is your ball. There's also cherries and figs involved...fanchy!
-Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookie *nut free - zomg tastes like health in a ball - oatey and chewy and raisiny! I don't even like raisins!!! WTF!
-Chocolate Covered Apricots *nut free - WOW. Holy flavor. I love apricots and this was the first ball I tried. Tastes like a truffle with the cocoa on the outside, and inside it's a sweet, tart, fruity treat. I think I'm in love!

As a pregnant lady who loves candy, keeping these babies in my desk have stopped me from eating the Kit Kats I picked up last week during my last CVS run. They satisfy my sugar craving while actually providing my body with energy it needs, so there are no empty calories here. I'm addicted and I think you will be too!

To order, contact Debra at and if you mention "prosh", you'll get 10% off your first order through October 5! 

She can customize combinations of flavors you choose - variety, it's the spice of life!

Nutritional Content (all calculations are approximate)

Calories: 78-108 calories per ball
Fat: 2-4 grams
Carbohydrates: 10-13 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Fiber: 3-4 grams

Ingredients VARY per flavor:

Whey Protein Isolate, Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Ground Flax Seeds, Organic Hemp Seeds, Organic Walnuts, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Almonds, Organic Almond butter, Organic Peanuts, Organic Peanut butter, Organic Shredded Coconut, Organic Unsweetened Cacao Powder, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Banana, Organic Dried Apricots, Organic Unsweetened Dried Cherries, Organic Raisins, Organic (Apple Juice Sweetened) Dried Cranberries, Organic Figs, Organic Acai powder, Organic Blueberry Powder, Organic Mangosteen Powder, Organic Maple syrup, Organic Agave nectar, Organic Palm Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Raw Honey, Organic Oat Milk, Organic Vanilla extract, Organic Almond Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Sea salt and ABUNDANT TLC!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Salmon Teriyaki Makes Me Happy

Oh delicious, nutritious salmon. You are so perfect in so many ways. You were farmed responsibly on an independently-run farm with lots of room to swim, and then purchased from the Green Grape in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. There were even sea urchins planted below you to make the water even happier for you to grow. I knew so much about you before you ended up on my plate, and yet, I have no remorse. I marinated your delicious self in teriyaki sauce (San-J is my fave) with a touch of mirin and paired with roasted hot curry cauliflower and sauteed baby bokchoy and scallions. Then I enjoyed you while watching Mad Men on dvd.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jarred Strawberries? Vraiment? Pourquoi Pas?

I went on a random food shopping excursion today at my local Key Food. Key Food is a very ho-hum neighborhood supermarket. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. They have sales, mediocre produce and the usual, predictable staples, but every once in a while I find something interesting. I live in a primarily Mexican neighborhood, so they carry unfamiliar foods in addition to the regular, run-of-the-mill American stuff, which makes it worth not completely avoiding. Once I found lychee-flavored aloe vera drinks-in-a-bag. Another time, I saw blood sausage. Today I was lucky enough to find these tiny delectables: strawberries in a jar. Like maraschino cherries but less plastic, these are actually kind of delicious! The liquid they're preserved in (until October 2012) is more sugary juice than syrup. I would imagine they'd come in handy during girly cocktail hour or on 'build-your-own-sundae day'. Imagine the pancake possibilities!!! Pardon my kvelling, but I've just never seen these before and the superadorable trophy-vase-shaped jar was only 99 cents. Do your mouth (and your wallet) a favor!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pappardelle with Meat Ragu

Pappardelle is one of my top 3 favorite pasta shapes of all time - the other two are rigatoni and linguini. I got this fresh from Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was my first time making the fresh, flat, noodley pasta at home - normally I get this when eating out but when I saw it in the huge, fresh refrigerated pasta department I knew i had to try it. It was absolutely delish, and supereasy to make - the only issue was when I boiled the pasta I think my pot was too small because there was some sticktogetherage. But it cooked in less than 4 minutes and was just as good as any restaurant's fresh pasta...a little thicker than what I'm used to but, let's get real here. Nothing beats fresh pasta.

I made the ragu from 1 box of Pomi chopped tomatoes, 1 lb. grass-fed ground sirloin, a few drizzles of truffle-infused olive oil (to give it a little more of a pork-y flavor), garlic, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, and fresh basil and parsley from my very own herb garden...and of course, salt and pepper. Don't forget the grated parm! If you have it, throw in some ground pork or sausage. Even better than pork, is wild boar. No wild boar handy in my freezer, unfortunately, but it makes an amazing ragu for pappardelle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Aquaphor - Let The Healing Begin

Aquaphor is one of those mystery products. You go to the drugstore, walk by shelf after shelf of skincare items not knowing what they are or what they do. So many brands, but you just want to get in and get out. Your lips are chapped and there's no lipbalm in the world that's been able to help. You have a nosebleed. Your elbows are cracked. To what do you turn? You turn to Aquaphor.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment isn't really very ointment-y. It's like vaseline but less greasy and messy. It comes in a tub or a tube (I'm a tube-girl, personally) which is nice. I'm a fan of options. Options are your friends. I get miniature tubes from my fellow makeup-ho supplier who shall not be named (you know who you are!) and I keep one in my makeup bag, one in the medicine cabinet and one on the nightstand at all times. I'm never without it. You shouldn't be either.

Monday, August 31, 2009

District 9

I’m not really a sci-fi geek. I enjoyed “Star Wars” and I remember being addicted to the series “V” back in the day, and I loved the new “Star Trek” movie, but I wouldn’t call myself an avid fan. It’s all amusing and fun but that’s where it ends for me. I did, however, really enjoy “District 9.” It’s an alien movie, plain and simple, shot documentary-style and is extremely innovative and well done. I think these days it’s hard to put together an alien story without recycling ideas, just as it is with vampire and werewolf stories. Aliens in “District 9” like cat food, just like they did in “V” (as my darling husband pointed out). Vamps in “True Blood” opt for True Blood vs. arbitrary killing, just like the “vegetarians” of “Twilight,” who have risen above their basic needs. And once you get past the initial “how and why” plot holes, you can really enjoy yourself. The prawn-like aliens were amazingly well-designed and super-intelligent, even though they lived like dogs. The human/prawn interactions were suspense-filled and possibly allegorical, since this took place in South Africa, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to notice apartheid references throughout. Without spoiling it, the ending leaves ample room for a sequel (or five). I will be waiting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guacamole time!

I've been making guacamole since forever. I've mastered it at this point and I use secret ingredients to make it zingy and really flavorful. I won't say what I put in it, but I will say what I never put in it: tomatoes, garlic or anything creamy/dairy. Avocado is a delicious vegan butter, so I feel that it really doesn't need a lot to make it delicious - it's already delicious. It just needs a frame of flavor around it. A little salty, a little sweet and a little heat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Omg, it's Gosh!

Gosh Velvet Touch Eyeliner pencils are my love. They're a waterproof formula which means they don't budge all day long. They come in a rainbow of colors and in matte and shimmer finishes. They're comparable to Urban Decay 24/7 liners, Make Up For Ever Aqua liner pencils and MAC Pearlglides, but they're a fraction of the price. They cost about $8 US, however these are extremely difficult to find here (I've only seen them at the airport). They sell them at drugstores in Canada and in the UK. A lovely lady I "met" on a certain makeup website *cough* did a CP (custom purchase) for me for these.

From left to right and in alpha order:
Black Ink (matte black), Golden Moss (golden green with grass green shimmer), Hypnotic Grey (shimmery blackened grey), Metallic Brass (deep brown with amber shimmer), Pretty Petrol (shimmery denim blue), Purple Stain (violet purple shimmer), Truly Brown (matte dark chocolate brown) and Woody Green (deep shimmery teal).

Swatched on arm, in reverse order:

I swatched these about three strokes each. I ran my finger over the whole thing a few times, and firmly, and nothing budged. I cannot express enough my love for these magical wonders of makeup technology.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Darling Kuhn Rikon...

I've had a few garlic presses in my lifetime...some worked better than others. Some didn't work well at all, and one has actually changed my life. That one, is the Kuhn Rikon. I came upon this jewel of kitchen gadgetry while looking through various product reviews on, an amazing source of culinary information that I refer to often and with much reverence.

The Kuhn is a swiss design - easy to clean to the point where it's almost silly. Silly, I say! I'll never forget one press that I had, that you needed a separate plastic cleaner in order to get the garlic bits out of the holes...and of course, I lost the cleaner-thingy when I moved this one time, so if I ever wanted to press my garlic, I had to dedicate 10 minutes of cleanuptime just to poke a toothpick through all of the tiny holes. FAIL. This beauty of a press has the press/hole mechanism on a separate swivel, so you just open the press and swivel the thick screen out like sections of butterfly wings, and rinse with your hands. As a lefty with small hands, I find that squeezing these things can be a challenge, but with my Kuhn, it's a no-brainer. It's dishwasher safe and as sturdy as my beloved stainless steel All-Clad cookware. I've already owned mine for about 5 years and it performs as though I just purchased it yesterday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I'm not a big Brad Pitt fan. I kind of never thought he was attractive or sexy or interesting. I still don't. I am a big Quentin Tarantino fan, however. I loved the Kill Bill movies and thought Grindhouse was oodles of fun. Pulp Fiction is still one of the best movies ever made. Reservoir Dogs still haunts me to this day. I went in to see Basterds with no expectations. I had read a little about it and had an open mind. I didn't expect to love it. Brad's Aldo Raine, leader of the pack of misfits out for Nazi scalps was absolutely spot-on hilarious. Brad seriously needs to stick to comedy. The last time I enjoyed him so much since Fight Club was in Burn After Reading. He's amazing at being cleverly retarded. The ying to Brad's yang was Christoph Waltz, the "Jew Hunter" who you instantly feared. His performance was simultanously dreadfully tense and comically delightful.

I enjoyed the fact that Inglourious Basterds doesn't take itself seriously for one moment. It has the usual brand of Tarantino pulpy over-the-topness but this was one of the most well done things he's directed since Pulp Fiction in my humble avid moviegoer opinion. It's a fictionalized account of a WWII story, but it should have happened. Who knew killing Nazis could have been so much fun?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

As a longtime fan of both Julia Childs and Meryl Streep, I knew I had to see this on opening weekend. Julia was an original. A woman who stood tall, who never apologized for her clumsiness or for anything for that matter, she was an icon, a pioneer for women cooks and a hero to anyone who used to watch early PBS cooking shows, long before the Food Network, before there was ever a Giada, a Paula or a even that puffy wastoid Emeril. As a child, I watched a regular rotation of Julia, Justin Wilson, Jeff Smith (!!!) and that guy who made vegetarian Indian food, who taught me to saute the spices before you grind them. Julia was the best of them all. I remember fondly the episode of the Buche de Noel, in which Julia makes her jelly roll look like a festive Christmas log and then vendalizes her studio kitchen with threads of molten sugar in order to make the moss that laid on top, and subsequently, looked nothing like actual moss. Julia was entertainment.

Meryl's Julia was tall and jovial, lightening the hearts of every sourpuss frog that crossed her path (all but the beyotch at the Cordon Bleu who tried and failed to keep Julia out of the kitchen.) Her performance as the French Chef was absolutely perfect, hilariously funny and of course, touching and lovable.

The Julie half of the film was typical Nora Ephron, please-the-people filler, Hollywood-style. I love Amy Adams but this role did nothing to showcase her acting abilities. This was akin to Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. No big challenge to the role. Just be cute and quirky, and let's finish this movie.

I give it 3.5/5 stars!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thai isn't hard!

I had this bizarre urge to make chicken satay the other day. I love chicken satay. What's not to like? Everyone likes it. Everyone likes peanut butter. Everyone likes food on a stick. I happened to have everything I needed already, in order to make this (except the skewers, cucumber and asparagus), so DH made a stop on his way home. In the meantime, I marinated the chicken in a hot curry lemon marinade as per a bunch of recipes I read online. I love to read recipes, take mental notes and disregard the directions completely. I mixed a delicious peanut sauce (sooo easy, it's retarded) and after 30 minutes, DH arrived, so I skewered the chicken. I grilled the asparagus on my Le Creuset grill pan (coated in olive oil and fleur de sel) and made the salad (soy/rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing) and sauteed the mini-kebabs. The chicken came out soft and buttery, just like it does when you get saucy indian chicken dishes (while Thai chicken satay is usually tough and a little rubbery and mysterious.) Once the chicken was marinated, it all took about 20 minutes. Who knew it was so easy to make this kinda crap at home???

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pesky Pork Tenderloin!

Last night, I made pork tenderloin. I found this recipe for a sweet and sour glaze online and it looked great before I put it in the oven. There was brown sugar, soy sauce, honey, balsamic and minced onion and garlic involved. I baked it in the oven within an inch of its life. It came out grey and dry. I think next time, I shall braise it in some kind of creamy wine and mushroom situation, slowly and maybe with some pearl onions. I served my pork-fail with sauteed carrots with butter, salt and pepper, and frisee/mache salad with campari tomatoes, red onion and a pumpkinseed oil (THANKS SARAH!)/balsamic vinaigrette, with shaved parm on top.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Atlantic City on DVD

I watched Atlantic City (dir. Louis Malle) this weekend, starring Susan Sarandon and Burt Lancaster. I believe it was recently released on DVD for the first time, and since this came out in 1980 (when I was just six), I never saw it before. It starts off very avant garde and slowly comes together with some kind of semi-cohesive plot. Susan plays Sally, a waitress and aspiring casino dealer who dreams of working in a casino in France. Sally meets Lou (Lancaster) and they engage in some creepy flirtation/manipulation together, each getting something they need from the other. Lou used to be a big shot (I think he's a metaphor for the city itself), Sally is trying to be a big shot, Lou windowstalks Sally as she rubs lemons on herself to clean off the smell of failure, drugs are bought and sold like candy bars out in the open. It's all so very. However cliché, the real star here is the city itself and the criminals who run it, the decrepit town that once was a gem in its hayday. It's quite a rundown snapshot of a forgotten moment in time. Definitely worth watching.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Up! (in 3d?)

Up in 3D this weekend. Cute movie: funny moments, heartwarming, clever, pretty, blah blah - Pixar rarely disappoints. However the fact that they needed to release this in 3D is a little odd. A regular movie in NYC is around $12.50 now. This is enough to almost make me want to blow my brains out. Especially since it means that next year, it'll probably cost $1 or $1.50 more. Grrr. Reason #548 why I go to the movies as much as possible whenever I visit Florida, which is like, incessantly.

To see a movie in NYC in 3D, we're talking $16.50. For a movie. For a movie that doesn't even really have any 3D stuff going on in it. I know, because I saw Coraline, and that shit was in 3D. It was worth having to deal with placement of clunky plastic glasses over my own glasses for almost 2 hours because 3D stuff was happening. Over my own glasses. For two hours. It made me gasp. A couple of times. I don't recall a single 3D moment in the entire length of Up. I must be a fracking idiot.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Swapping: LOLs Optional

I'm an avid swapper. I'm on a certain makeup website *cough* wherein one can set up an account, establish a reputation and swap makeup that can be sanitized/ clothes/ fragrances/ nailpolish/ accessories/ jewelry/ books/ cds, anything you can think of. I've been doing this online for over two years now and it allows me to try new things without having to buy them. I highly recommend it. There are all kinds of swapping sites out there now, some for books, music, movies, furniture, everything. In this crappy economy, it's really just the best and most fun way to get things you want or need without shelling out the cash.

The fun thing about swapping is the interaction with the people you swap with. People can be incredibly generous. Swapping has nearly re-established my faith in humanity. Some people put crazy-generous extras in their swaps. Extras are the icing on the cake. Samples of skincare, toys, costume jewelry, hair accessories, crap you don't need, stuff you can throw in to other swap packages. Coming home to a swap package is like having a birthday on any random day of the week. There are also RAOKs, Random Acts of Kindness. You know someone from the website, you know she's lemming (wanting) something and you have it lying around, so you get her address from someone you trust and you sent it to them. RAOKS are very common. The internet is not as evil as the news makes it out to be. I have only encountered one or two loonies in all of my experiences with swapping and I've been swaplifted only once.

(click to read)

This note was in a swap I just completed. I swapped her a barely touched MAC Cream Colour Base from the Ungaro collection. An impulse purchase based in great reviews. I hated it. It didn't work on me at all. She offered me a MAC giftcard for it. She was at work at the mall and sent me this along with it on the very same day. It says: "Thank you for this swap! Sorry no extras. I was at work. Have a Coke on me." The note was stuck to a dollar bill. I cracked up. This gal would rather send me a dollar than have there be no extras in my package. I thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comfort Food Redux

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. My mother was a dinner-assembler, not a cook, so if it was fast, convenient and simple to do, my mother was all for it. If a meal took more than 20 minutes to prepare, it was called Passover. Cubed steak, a.k.a. "poor-man's steak" was a family favorite. Less work and slightly more luxurious-seeming than a hamburger, cubed steak is a special piece of meat. In its natural state, it'd probably too tough to eat. But when pounded with a meat mallot within an inch of its life to a thin cutlet, it's quite simply, delicious mediocrity. Slather on the A-1.

I marinated this cubed steak in worcestershire sauce, sauteed in a hot frying pan coated in a layer of ground salt and pepper. While that was scorching, I sauteed some cleaned, halved brussels sprouts, another favorite from my youth, only when I was served these, they were usually bought frozen. These babies are fresh. Salt, pepper, olive oil and a tiny dab of butter.

Finally, I slapped together a baby arugula salad with some quartered campari tomatoes. If this was true to a dinner at home in Rosedale, Queens when I was 12 and my mother was tired, the salad would have actually been a pot of instant mashed potatoes. Idahoan "mashed potatoes" were my mom's brand of choice. Oy. Not until I grew up did I actually taste the real thing (which, by the way, are supereasy and quick to make, especially if you like them skin-on like I do.) The instant ones don't even really taste like potatoes. They kinda taste sludge? In any case, I'm involved in a lowcarb diet situation and the salad was delish, thankyouverymuch!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Time to Prime

So those who know me well know I'm kind of a makeup whore. Ok, that's an understatement. I love the makeup. It's all like toys for me. I used to play with stickers and now I play with makeup. Pretty/fun/cute stuff to play with that adds a little spring to my step. Stuff that sparkles, shimmers, glows. Stuff that's nude, stuff that's colory. I love looking at it, shopping for it, talking about it. I love all of it.

But before any of that stuff can go on properly, one must consider a base, something to smooth out the canvas and make it all last. So what do I use? I use primers.

For my eyes, I use Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP). It's easy to find (Sephora/Ulta/ and it works. A thin layer of this before shadow and it makes my eye makeup stay put all day. Like, seriously, ALL DAY. Until I take it off. I've tried a few other brands (Lumene, Too Faced, Smashbox) and I'm trying Art Deco right now - a German brand that's hard to find here in the US, although they're beginning to sell it in sets on HSN (how random is that?) but I always go back to UDPP. It's lifechanging. Before I discovered this, every day, by noon, my once-beloved (not anymore since I know better) Stila Kitten had shifted into my crease, and I was shadowless for the rest of the day. *shudders*

For my face, I use MAC Prep & Prime SPF 50. Not only does it protect from the sun, but it keeps my makeup on and it keeps the oilies away longer than anything else I've tried. I've tried Peter Thomas Roth, Smashbox, Bare Escentuals, Dr. Brandt, Arcone, Avon, Shiseido, YSL, Chanel. You name it, I've tried it. This is the best. This in combination with Clean and Clear blotting sheets and MAC Blot Powder, I can go anywhere. I can ride horses and do trapeze and go rollerskating.

For lips, MAC Prep & Prime Lip keeps my lipstick on and prevents feathering. I love this for those sheer lipsticks that tend to run off your face within 15 seconds of application. All those lipstick-balm hybrids that are out there now, without this primer, are completely useless to me. It also keeps my lips from drying out when I use my MAC lipsticks, which are notorious for sucking the moisture out of lips.

I know this all seems like a lot of steps, a lot to go through to keep your face on, but I love all this stuff. It's not work to me, it's the kind of stuff that helps me when I can't get myself out of bed in the morning on a Monday. Gives me a little ritual to look forward to.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Onaga: The Final Frontier

Last night, my dear husband (DH) brought home some onaga, which is a hawaiian red or ruby snapper. Onaga sounds to me like some wonderful place I should visit before I die, or some sushi-inspired sex position I might want to skip. But it's just a pretty little fish, with red and white scales, thick and white flesh, steaklike and firm, moist but not oily. I had never made this fish before. I dressed it as I do all my new fish, with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic and fresh parsley from the herb garden. I figure, next time, I can make it more adventurous when I know better how long it needs to cook and how it tastes shining in its own light. I was about to stick it under the broiler when DH suggested that I saute it so it could be golden and crusty. So I did. It stuck to my stainless steel pan but it ended up with a deliciously rewarding crust. And I picked as much skin out of the pan post-crust instead of having dessert. I love crispy fish skin. It's my thing, let it go.

I'm on a low-carb diet, so I made mashed cauliflower with a little butter, olive oil, garlic, and fresh garden chives and I sauteed some bokchoy with garlic, light soy, hot pepper and sesame oil.

I promise, I shall get better at plating/lighting. This is my very first foray into the world of food porn. Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yummy, Dirty Japanese

One of my favorite spots to eat good, cheap food and drink good, moderately-priced sake is Kenka, located on St. Marks Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenues (underneath Search and Destroy). You kinda can't miss it, with its confusing Japanese awning and the giant, fibreglass 'mystery mongrel' figurine posing for pics in the front. As a creature of habit, I tend to order the same thing every time I go, not because it's the only good thing on the menu, but because I'm a little afraid of the meat there. They have all kinds of traditional meat dishes, fried mystery fish, frog, testicles, you name it. Plus, the place is kinda dirty. There's a no-vomiting policy listed on the menu. I think I'm just gonna go ahead and pass on that. I'm generally not a big fan of 'food-adventure' when there's meat involved anyway. I'll try any fruit or vegetable you put in front of me, but I just choose to follow my instincts/anticipated gag reflex when venturing out into meatfood I've never eaten before.

At Kenka, I always start with sake - any sake, dry, cold, hot, unfiltered, whatever. I'm an equal opportunity sake person. Gimme the sake. Then I get the stir-fried mixed vegetables, the age dashi tofu and the miso rice balls. The vegetables are a no-brainer. Onions, scallions, cabbage and carrots, stir fried with sesame seasoning. Slightly greasy and delicious. Nom. The age dashi tofu is decent here, safely meat-free, except for the bonito flakes they use on top. It kind of tastes like the bottom of a new sneaker, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. Fried tofu has such a strange texture but I can't get enough for some reason. The miso rice balls are great for sharing because they're served as a pair, a pair of balls, grilled and crunchy, hot, salty and fantastic. I also think it's important to mention the REAL reason I like Kenka: when they bring you the check, they give each diner/embiber a tiny medicine cup with a half teaspoon of cotton candy sugar, with which you can make your own cotton candy on your way out! Fer serious.

Go after 5 on an early weekday or wait like a dog. A hungry, sober dog.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Drag Me To Hell

Last night I saw Drag Me To Hell, the new Sam Raimi horror flick. I remember seeing a preview and getting very excited about it, because not only did it look scary and funny, but it's also relevant. That bank loan officer could be you or me, and that old lady could be any random loony off the street, losing her house, asking for another extension on her mortgage. Very mid-recession - nice touch with that. It COULD totally happen?! Ok, maybe not. Maybe it couldn't happen. All I know is that I had to go see it ITT (in the theater).

This movie made me laugh, made my palms sweat and made me cringe. I enjoyed all of the glory of the classic sound and visual effects reminiscent of the masterpiece that was The Evil Dead. It's hard to keep the films separate and if you see it, you'll know what I mean.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

That was what I had originally wanted to call this blog, but the title, well, it was already taken. Not that I work on a ranch, or have any ranch affiliations. I just say that a lot - it's one of my -isms. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch, that's the thing of the matter." So what is this blog's purpose? Really, it has none. Just a place for me to ponder, express the goings on in the world there yonder, and here thither, and write about stuff that I see.