Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Brown Sugar Pear Bread with Pecan Topping

This recipe had an odd evolution. Or rather, people I tell this to find it odd, while it just seems like baking to me.

I had pears going bad, so I wanted to use them in something. I hate hate hate throwing food away. But I knew I was out of white sugar, so I looked for a recipe to use both brown sugar and pears. As a result, I found this. Then I had 2.5 pears to use instead of just 1, so I needed to double it. But I only had enough flour to make one batch, so I threw 1.5 cups of oats in the food processor to make oat flour for the other half. I also only had one egg, but figured that the extra liquid in the extra half a pear would even out.

Finally, what kind of topping is just nuts and brown sugar without anything to hold it together? I used pecans instead of walnuts because it's what I had, and added a little butter.

All in all, this could have been a catastrophic failure. Somehow, it is one of the best things I've made in a long time, and I think my coworkers would agree.

Brown Sugar Pear Bread with Walnut Topping
Makes 2 loaves
(Adapted from http://southernfood.about.com/od/pears/r/bln307.htm)

Bread Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oats, powdered in food processor
1 cup brown sugar, packed
5 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pears, chopped finely
1 egg
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup vegetable oil

Topping Mixture
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a stand mixer. Add wet ingredients, and mix until combined.
3. Divide batter into the two loaf pans. Top with topping crumbles.
4. Bake until set in the center.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Coconut Curry Eggplant and Squash

I want to like eggplant. It's healthy and stuff. There aren't all that many purple foods, and I do believe in eating as many colors as possible. But it's just so... seedy. And mushy. I cannot with this.

Because I had an eggplant and some butternut squash to use up, I searched for recipes that used both in the same dish to save time. I settled on a coconut curry with chickpeas based on components of several similar recipes I found online.

It turned out pretty tasty, quite healthy, and nice served over brown rice.

I used chopped fresh onion, butternut squash, and eggplant. I cooked them in a little oil to start.

Then I drained the tomatoes and chickpeas below, and dumped these three cans into the mix.

Then I added red curry paste to taste. Coconut curry dishes are really that simple!

I love that this dish ended up accidentally vegan and gluten-free!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Banana Gingerbread Mini-Muffins

I had one overripe banana. What do you even do with one overripe banana? It's too squishy to eat plain or put in yogurt. But my favorite banana bread recipes have a banana-to-egg ratio of at least 1.5:1. This is usually the point at which I look for a vegan recipe to avoid eggs altogether, but instead I poked around for a 1:1 ratio. And I'm glad I did because I found this: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Baby-banana-gingerbreads-369103?servings=1

The full blog post is here, but I didn't even really read it.

The recipe is halved from the original and made as follows:

3/4 cup flour
1/6 cup sugar
2/3 tsp ground ginger
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/6 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 banana (very ripe, mashed)
1/3 stick butter (softened)
1/6 cup molasses
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line mini muffin pans.
3. Melt butter in a plastic bowl in the microwave. Add other ingredients to the same bowl and mix well.
4. Divide into approximately 24 mini muffins and bake until cooked through.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Little Pony Makeup Look

I picked up this dress from Hot Topic and wore it to my Halloween party. Then I did my eyes to match. What do you think?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall Produce Dinner: Baked Acorn Squash and Pears

I made this for dinner last week and loved it. It's just two baked pears and and a baked acorn squash. Cut in halves and brushed with butter, they both finished cooking at the same time. I diced them up and split it into two meals. I added honey and cinnamon at the end. So good!

This could be made vegan with oil instead of butter and agave instead of honey. I'm also convinced this would puree into a fantastic soup.

It also kind of looks like baby food. But if I had a baby, I'd probably feed this to the baby.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Roller Derby Makeup Waterproofing Tips

I've written about derby makeup in February 2012 and September 2012, so basically the beginning and end of my rookie season. With another year of derby behind me, I've tweaked the process just slightly.


Face Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish
Foundation: MAC Face and Body Foundation and Tarte mineral powder
Concealer: Cargo OneBase
Blush: None! My face naturally reddens quickly mid-bout.
Finishing Powder: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinishing Powder

Rub a little primer all over clean skin. Apply foundation. Touch up with concealer. Cover with powder. Finish with finishing powder.


Eye Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight
Eye Shadow: MAC Paint Pots, MAC/Urban Decay shadows, Bare Escentuals in Queen Phyllis, LORAC 3D Liquid Lustre
Waterproof Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes!
Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 liners
Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Sephora Waterproof Smoky Gel Liner

Do eye primer first. Then line top and bottom lids with pencil eyeliner. Use Paint Pots as shadows all over. Top painted areas with similar powder colors. Dab Liquid Lustre over color for extra glitter if desired. Then go back over the liner on the top with liquid eyeliner and angled brush. Touch up the bottom liner with pencil if necessary.


Lip primer: MAC Prep + Prime Lip
Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam I or NARS Cruella
Lipliner: MAC Pro Longwear lip pencil in Kiss Me Quick
Powder: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinishing Powder

Line lips fully with lipliner. Apply just enough lipstick to cover evenly. Dust lightly with powder. Reapply lipliner. Reapply lipstick. Do not use lipgloss.

When you're all done, finish with Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Makeup Tips: Semi-Vampy Red Lips

Lately, I've taken to wearing red lipstick most days. It's practically cliche for a vintage-loving roller derby skater, but I'm helpless to its charms.

I used to swear by only MAC Viva Glam I and wear it on gamedays, but now I've got an embarrassing stash of lipsticks. This particular mix of reds got a surprisingly positive reaction on Facebook. So here's the red, the second time I wore it.

And here are the products I used. I lined the outside of my natural lip line with MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Trust in Red. Then I filled in with Makeup Forever Aqua Rouge in #9. The latter is drying, so I covered it with NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, then MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass in Driven By Love.

The result is a really deep red that's also shiny, and a nice summer-to-fall shade. This is probably the most individual products I've put into a lipstick application, as I usually just line and fill. My favorite way to wear a dramatic red lipstick is with a simple black cateye liner.

What reds are you loving right now?