Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Like Buttah Baby!

   So the other night, me and Sweetie were watching an episode of 24 hour Restaurant Battle on the Food Channel. For those of you not familiar with the premise of the show, 2 teams of 2 are given 24 hours to create their dream restaurant (on a budget of course) and then are judged on food, decor, etc. The winner wins money towards opening up their very own restaurant. An interesting gimmick one of the teams used was when they brought your bread to the table, they gave you a little ceramic jar with cream in it and by shaking the jar, you churn your own butter! I know, too much work for some but think of it this way, you are burning some calories by shaking the jar and that means you can eat more bread and butter!

       So that led to a discussion between Sweetie and me about churning butter. I remember being in 1st grade and that was one of the cute little projects they had us do-that and make a Waldorf Salad (???WTF???) It must have taken my little 5 year old hands an hour to churn that butter but I did it and I remember being very proud!

       So where do you go when you want to learn how to do something? YouTube of course! YouTube is one of the greatest creations ever! Want to learn how to do a smokey eye? Want to watch a monkey sneeze? Want to learn how to build a deck? A spaceship? Watch puppies frolic or people fall down? Want to learn how to churn butter?! You get the picture.

       You all know how I feel about additives and preservatives in my food, so what better way to control that than by making it yourself? Anytime I can make something from scratch-I do. I have even started making my own tortillas! Most things are so much easier to make than people realize!

       So just like 2 pilgrims, we decided to churn our own butter! 2 pilgrims with a Kitchen-Aid stand up mixer!

What you will need:

Kitchen-Aid mixer with wire whisk and paddle attachments.

2 cups heavy cream ***MUST BE HEAVY CREAM***  Preferably organic-why make it from scratch if there is a bunch of additives in it, you may as well just buy it.

3 cups ice water ***MUST BE ICE WATER***

Step 1-Put 2 cups heavy cream in bowl of mixer and mix on highest speed with the wire whisk attachment. Whisk until cream starts to break, that means just past the whipped cream stage when you will see it start to breakdown. It will look a little more curdled than whipped and will start to be a bit yellow. This took us about 15 minutes.

Step 2-At this point stop the mixer and switch the wire whisk with the paddle attachment. The reason being is you are about to have butter and it will be impossible to get the butter out of the wire whisk. Keep beating the cream for another 40 seconds to a minute, the cream will turn to butter and stick to the paddle and there will be a bunch of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. This is the buttermilk, pour the buttermilk into a glass-now go make some biscuits!

       So now you have butter! There is one more step-cleaning the butter. If you are making this butter for a special occasion such as a dinner party or you will be using it within a day or 2, you can omit this step. If you are going to make it and then keep it in the fridge, then you will need to clean it so it stays longer.

Step 3-While still in the bowl of the mixer, add about 1 cup of ice water-don't get any ice cubes in the butter. Let mixer run for about 20 seconds. Stop and drain water out, repeat this 2 more times until the water is clear. What this is doing is cleaning out any remaining buttermilk so the butter will last longer. You may want to press the butter against the side of the bowl with a spoon after every "washing" to get all the buttermilk out of the butter.

       I know this post should have had a video to go with it but it took 2 tries -the first time we thought we had messed it up because it took longer than we expected. Next time I will make a video because I will be doing this again! With 2 cups of heavy cream we yielded 1 1/2 cups butter and 1 cup of buttermilk. We still have 2 cups of heavy cream left over to make mousse and whipped cream! We are already discussing how we are going to flavor our next batch. Maybe a touch of sea salt and roasted garlic? Yum! and Honeybuns is now fantasizing about living on a farm and raising pigs and chickens and churning barrels of butter! For now we will have to settle for whipping it up in my tiny kitchen!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little Goddess Cream Blush

Hello all you pretty people!!!!

I must express my love of cream blush to you!!! 
 I LOVE cream blush!

I love a dewy looking cheek-and let me clarify-when I say dewy, I do not mean sweaty, like you just ran 10 miles, more like you just skipped through a field with a puppy and chased a rainbow!

Dewiness equals youthfulness! Just think of the glowing, healthy, fresh faced 17 year olds, they have a natural radiance to their skin. They don't look dry or dull-they look dewy. Little Goddess Cream Blush can provide that youthful glow. Or think of Jlo, they pretty much dip her in liquid highlighter from head to toe before she hits the American Idol stage. You obviously don't have to go as extreme as Jennifer Lopez but she was just voted the most beautiful women in the world by People magazine. See what a little glow can do for a gal!
I love when skin looks like it is glowing from the inside out. That's what Little Goddess Cream Blush can do, it lets your skin, look like skin. Skin that is flushed, not an overly powdered version of itself. Powder blush can make skin look a little dry sometimes, especially in the winter. If you are going to use a powder blush, you should stick to a mineral blush such as Little Goddess Mineral Blush-but I will save that for another post.

As we get older, because of hormone changes, our skin starts to get drier. Sometimes we need help recreating the youthful glow we once had. If you have any concerns about dry skin, you should definitely consider trying a cream blush.

It always surprised me when I see women past a certain age mattifying everything. They wear a matte foundation, powder blush and matte lips-I don't know why but usually in a brick red color. A nice look for 1989 but most people should not wear a full matte face, it is definitely not a natural look. Ladies you want to look juicy! You do not want to look like a piece of particle board!! 

Little Goddess Cream Blush comes in 5 shades and can be applied with your fingers, a sponge, or a synthetic brush. I use a foundation brush and more recently have been using True Techniques contour brush, which I will review soon.

A great summertime look for when the weather is hot and you don't want to wear a ton of makeup:

Get that Goddess Glow with Little Goddess Cream Blush!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Favorite Things!!

Photo taken from Sanre Organic Skinfood's website.
I wish I could be like Oprah and give everyone in my audience boatloads of my favorite things! (and be a billionaire)

Since I cannot send each of you my favorite things, the very least I can do is pass along some of my favorite beauty booty!

I have been on the hunt for the Holy Grail of sunscreen for years and I think I may have found it!

Let me first say that as I have become involved in the beauty industry and have researched ingredients, I now have specific criteria that have to be met before I can consider a product for Holy Grail status.
  1. No parabens, petroleum or harmful chemicals.
   2.  No fragrance. Fragrance is very irritating to the skin and if your skin is constantly irritated, that means it is constantly working to repair itself and that equals stress!

   3. The product should have nutrient rich ingredients for skin health.

With that being said, let me introduce to you, Sanre products. I found Sanre Supple Sunshine moisturizer with SPF 30 while I was searching the Environmental Working Group's website for a non-toxic sunscreen. This was on their 2009 top 10 list, coming in at number 5. I decided to give it a try and have been hooked ever since.

***Side Note- EWG is a group that works to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions.***

Sanre Organic Skinfood is a skin care company who believe in using organic ingredients and never using artificial, synthetic chemicals. Their line includes eye creams, face mask, lip balms, moisturizers, toners and cleansers. I find them to be a bit on the pricey side but when you find a product that is everything you have been looking for and works, sometimes you just have to splurge!

Sanre Organic Skinfood products are approved by PETA, certified vegan, part of the Leaping Bunny Program (which means no animal testing) and Green America certified.

Now back to Supple Sunshine! Supple Sunshine is an organic rosemary and lavender day cream for normal to dry skin that has an SPF of 30. The benefits, as listed on their website are as follows:
  • Shields and protects your skin from sun exposure and pollution, while gently restoring moisture and elasticity, all without clogging sensitive pores.
  • Applied as a daily moisturizer to provide a soothing and healing barrier against mother nature as it strives to reduce skin irritation, inflammation and free radical damage.
The ingredients are:

Organic Safflower Oil (Carthamus Tinctorius Oil): Highly moisturizing oil with an exceptionally high amount of Oleic acids. Deeply soothing.

Organic Grape Seed (Vitis Vinifera) Oil: Antioxidant, rich in Vitamin C, combats free radicals, rejuvenating agent.

Purified Water (Aqua).

Zinc Oxide: Natural mineral used to shield against the harmful effects of the sun, which is here utilized in a non-irritating, non-sticky form. Unlike other chemical sunscreen ingredients it cannot be absorbed into the skin and is not metabolized by the body. SanRe is very careful with its zinc oxide particle size; never using micro "nano" particles that can be ingested into your skin's pores.

Organic Beeswax (Cera Alba): Natural thickener and emollient, with emulsifying, hydrating and protective properties.

Organic Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil): Antifungal, anti-inflammatory, reduces the appearance of intrusive pigments like Lipotuscin (brown, freckle like spots) on the skin. Reduces free-radical activity and oxidation, while healing, repairing and encouraging the growth of new healthier tissue. Protects the skin from the damaging rays of the sun.

Organic Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Gel) Gel: Healing, soothing, oil-free nourishment minimizes wrinkles and infuses the tissues.

Organic Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia) Essential Oil: Has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which are calming, healing and purifying. Also provides a fragrant natural scent.

Organic Rosemary (Rosinarinas Officinalis) Essential Oil: Astringent, anti-bacterial, and helps to improve skin circulation.

Organic Red Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Essential Oil: Natural preservative has antiseptic and aromatic properties.

Organic Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin) Essential Oil: Excellent rejuvenator, which invigorates and restores the skin.

Organic Hyssop (Hyssopus Officinalis) Essential Oil: Has tonic, sedative properties, and is an anti-inflammatory agent.

I have been using this product for 1 year and I am just finishing up my 2nd jar. The jars only come in a 1 oz size. I work from home most of the time so it is not used everyday, so for everyday use it would probably last about 4 months.

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this product! It is moisturizing and provides great sun protection without causing any irritation or breakouts or that unsightly white cast that some mineral sunblocks can cause. It is nutrient rich and does not contain any chemicals.

My moisturizing sun protection Holy Grail. I will be using this product for a long time to come!