Feeling Down

What do you do when you feel sad?  Some cry, others read a book or books, some watch a movie or eat a pint or gallon of ice cream.  Me, I baked a cake.  Sunday wasn’t such a great day for me.  Nothing major happened but non-the-less it bothered me.  I won’t give details of the situation because just thinking about it makes me feel sad and embarrassed at the same time.

The cake…

Was the same old apple spiced cake which I posted about a couple of weeks ago.  But instead of making that orange zest cream cheese toping I made a coffee butter cream.  Which was awesome!  There is something about making butter cream that I just LOVE.  Supper therapeutic.

I was going to make a two tier cake but I didn’t buy enough ingredients due to… you guess it, the budget! “Check out Being Held Down by the Man” posted a few weeks ago.  In any case it kind of looks like a two tier cake.  Not too pretty though.  I think I’m going to pick a day in October to do nothing but to bake a super big cake!  It may be ambitious, but you have to grab the bull by the horns.

Keep yourselves… chubby?  Maybe not.  The diet starts on Monday…. urr next Monday!

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Butter!

As winter approaches skin needs more care.  According to Janice Cox, “cheeks, arms, and legs have almost no sebaceous oil glands and are therefore drier in winter months”.  My skin in particular is dry so I decided over the weekend to make a body butter.  Body butter are much thicker and moisturize better.     

Below is how you can make your own body butter.     

Ingredients.     

2 oz     Shea Butter     

2 oz     Cocoa Butter     

2 oz     Jojoba Oil     

1. Melt the oils with a double boiler method.     

Oils Melting

     

 2.  Whip the oils until they cool down a bit.  Now you can add whatever essential oils you would like.  I used Lavender, Neroli & Frankincense.     

Whipping Oils

     

 3. Refrigerate for a couple of minutes and whip some more!     

More Whipping

     

4. Refrigerate again and whip again.     

     

Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl for any oil stuck at the bottom.  Once you are all finished, you will have a nice and smooth butter.  Be aware that if the temperature is on the cold side you will have a hard body butter.  If the temperature is on the warm side the texture will be softer.     

Finished Body Butter

The body butter should be applied to damp skin.  It will melt into your skin as soon as it gets in contact with it.  If you want a more chocolate smell change the recipe to have a higher cocoa butter consentration than shea butter.     

Keep yourselves beautiful

    

Being Held Down By The Man!

 “What man?” some of you may be asking.  Simple, just pick any of the man featured on the bills.  Even George Washington is mocking me although he is only worth $1 per bill.  In any case creativity is going to have to get along with accounting since I’m going to be on a budget. ugh!  I’ve decided that I am allowed to spend 1 Ulysses S. Grant ($50) a month for hobbies.  That includes deserts as well folks, so you will not be tasting them as often.

Any hobby taken seriously is very expensive.  I really can’t say how much I spent on cake decorating.  I had to pay for the classes, materials, and lots of frivolous things that I thought might look “cute” on my cake.  Then there was playing the clarinet.  Needless to say I had to buy the clarinet, which I still have and plan to practice; seriously, I do! Then I had clarinet lessons when I could afford them.  Crochet! ha! I have a bunch of yarn and that didn’t pay for itself.  Most of the pieces I made were with very good material because they were for gifts.  Anyone that crochets and wants to use natural yarns knows that ain’t cheap!  Let’s not even talk about making my own concoctions of lotions and soaps and hair recipes.  That’s a lot of money as well.

For the month of September I’ve already overspent.  October will be a clean slate and I’m already thinking of what can I spend my $50 on.  Dessert? Food? Crochet? Maybe I can save them over a period of time to take sculpting classes or glass blowing classes or cooking or sewing or painting or… well you get the point.  I need to get myself better situated about that.

Keep yourselves liberated from the man!

The Best Fruit: CAKE! :0)

Warning: Due to the nature of the post, please make sure to cover your keyboard with some sort of plastic.  I can not be held responsible for damage of electronic devices due to drooling over said devices.

I love cake.  Not only are they easy to make but they are delicious if you can bake it just right.  On Friday I baked an apple spice cake.  It was a the first time I tried this particular recipe.  I will have to make modifications to it because it came out a bit too heavy for my taste.  I wanted it to be lighter, more fluffy, more scrumptious… please stop salivating over your keyboard (read warning above).

The cake was made with your usual suspects, flour, butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla (which I did not add) & eggs.  What made it an apple spice cake was apple sauce, ginger powder, clove powder, cinnamon powder & nutmeg powder.  Once the cake was baked it had a really nice spice like aroma.  I was making this cake for some friends that were coming over to our place on Saturday.  I have to say it almost didn’t make it.  My dad was threating the life of the cake saying that it was taunting him.

To accompany the cake I made a nice orange cream cheese butter cream.  The cream consisted of cream cheese (11 oz), powdered sugar (sifted after measuring 3-3 3/4 cups), finely grated orange zest (2 1/2 teaspoons), finely grated lemon zest (1 1/4 teaspoons), lemon juice (1 tablespoon), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon).  It was simple enough, just mix all ingredients until well blended and free of lumps.

If you are interested, the recipes I used are found in the recipe book The All-American Dessert Book.

I haven’t checked on my guest to see if they are still alive, but since I ate  two slices and I’m here to report on the cake, I can assume that all is well.  All my guest enjoyed the cake, some even had two slices (JFR) I was counting ;). Others loved it all (AM).  And some enjoyed the frosting the most (SM).  My parents enjoyed it as well, but I’m sure that my mom won’t ask me to make it again since she has her all time favorite dessert.  I will post what it is in October.

I know that some of you didn’t taste it, but make sure to enjoy the picture! LOL

Yum 🙂

Staying round and happy with cake consumption.

What does the future hold?

You won’t find out by looking at the stars.   But on the night of August 12 to the morning of August 13 you will be able to see a magnificent meteor shower.  It’s called Perseids.  This year it should have its peak from 8/12 to 8/13.  During the peak of the shower it is possible to see 60 to 100 meteors per hour!

The best time to view the shower is after midnight.  For those two days the waxing crescent moon will have already set by midnight.  That will make it ideal to view the shower. 

This will be the first meteor shower I will see.  I will be way up north of the city, where there will be little light to bother us.  For those of you who will be in the city, I suggest going to the top of the Empire State building.  You should do so at the peak of the shower because although you may not be able to see the smaller meteors, due to light pollution, you can still enjoy the bigger rocks that will fall.

So this Thursday night keep your eye on the northeastern sky and watch one of the most spectacular meteor showers!

I’m a big girl now

According to my mother I was a difficult child when it came down to food.  I don’t doubt it at all.  I remember an instance way back in the day.  I must have been 8 or 9 years-old.  My mother made soup, which I hated with a passion.  She poured me a bowl and sat me at the table and said, “drink it all”.  I, of course defiant as ever, thought “yo no quiero sopa!” which I dared not express.  My mother gave me another warning, and this one seem harsher, “You can’t eat anything else unless you drink all the soup”.  It was lunch time so I would definitely need to eat it to survive the rest of the day.  Can you guess what I did?  That’s right, I didn’t eat the soup and I didn’t eat for the rest of the day!  The next day my mother let me eat whatever I wanted; she must have known that I would go down fighting for my anti-soup cause.

Now as an “adult”, I use that term loosely since I still enjoy naps!, I’ve started thinking about my health and how important it is for me to take care of my body.  According to the many articles and books I’ve read, whatever I eat will affect my mood, performance, skin and let’s not forget, waistline! After analyzing the way I eat, I know that most of the things I consume are processed foods full of corn syrup and with very little natural ingredients.  Most of the snacks are also processed.  I barely eat fruits and I certainly don’t exercise.  I’m surprise that I am not falling apart at the seams!

But something amazing happened about a week ago.  My mother made a salad of steamed vegetables.  When I walked to the kitchen and saw it, I reluctantly took the ladle and served myself some vegetables.  I also had salmon on the plate and some rice.  I sat there looking at the vegetables having a hard time not going back in time to that living room in Barquisimeto, Venezuela thinking “y ahora, ¿como le doy esto al perro?”.  I braced myself and told myself “I’m a big girl now, I can eat vegetables.  All the other big kids do it.”  I started with the steamed carrots and I was surprised that my face didn’t do the wrinkly thing it does when I eat something I don’t like.  I moved to the broccoli and that wasn’t too bad either.  And there I was, sitting in the living room, like the big girl I am, eating my vegetables!

Now I’m certain that my future will be brighter.  Who knows, one day I will be eating zucchini, eggplant (that I can actually see, my mom can be crafty), brussels sprouts, collard greens, squash, artichokes, asparagus and turnips.  Maybe I won’t mind seeing bell peppers in my food.  I will look onions in the eye… sort of speak… and eat them instead of putting them to the side.  My body will finally be nourished the way it is supposed to, with vegetables and fruits instead of vitamin pills.  Maybe, just maybe I will eat more fruits than just apples, grapes, bananas and cake. 😉

Keep yourself healthy.

Beautiful You

I spent some time last week looking at a book I bought a few month ago.  The title is Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles.  As I looked through it I thought “I should make one of these recipes”  They were quite simple to make.

 The first thing I wanted to make was a facial cream, solely because as a woman I use lots of facial cream.  I use it everytime I wash my face.  On a side note, do guys moisturize their faces each time they wash it?  Anyways…  I had must the ingredients to make the Rich and Royal Regeneration Flower Cream.  I substituted a couple of things because I didn’t have them.

 The acting ingredients are as follows:

 Almond oil: Nutritious it has a high fatty acid content and penetrates well.

Grape seed oil: is excellent for moisturizing the skin It works well as a lubricant and is instrumental in rejuvenating and has regenerating qualities.  Another of the benefits of grape seed oil is that it is very high in antioxidants and contains high amounts of vitamin E, vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, and vitamin D

Beeswax:  Used to thicken the cream.  “Adds a sweet, honeylike fragrance”

Vitamin E: Acts as a preservative.  “It aids in the prevention of scar tissue resulting from burns, weight gain, pregnancy, cuts, wounds, and surgery.”

Lavender: “Its aroma is known for its relaxing, calming effect on the central nervous system.  Sedative, antispasmodic, and antiseptic; it can be used to relieve sunburns, insect bites, buts, blemish, headaches, muscular aches.”

Neroli: Promotes cell regeneration and improves elasticity.

Ylang-Ylang (so nice they named it twice): “The scent relaxes muscles as well as the central nervous system.  Regulates sebum production for all skin types.”

 It was fairly easy to make.  The recipe was easy to follow.  The final product was not all that smooth, but it may have been because I took a couple of short cuts.  As you can see in the picture it give a tiny amount, 1/4 of a cup to be exact.

 I applied a little bit of it on my skin and told my brother to smell… and he coughed!  He thought it was quite strong, and I would have to agree.  But I guess it makes sense; the author did mention that the “cream is highly concentrated; you’ll need only a pea-sized amount to cover the face and throat and a little more to cover the décolleté.”

 I did try it after the cream was synergized.  I did not dare try it on my face first (I didn’t want to mess up the money-maker) so I went with my décolleté and throat.  My skin looked really nice.  No allergic reaction (YAY!).  And I felt like I was wearing a really nice and floral perfume.

Keep yourselves beautiful.

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