Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Foodie Files: Heirloom Tomato Pesto Pizza with Roasted Kale

I've been on a pizza-making spree recently and this latest tomato and kale is my new favorite -- plus it's easy to make!  It all starts with Indian naan for the crust.  My favorite is Stone Fire naan available at Costco in the refrigerated section.  They make for perfect individual sized pizzas and you can top them however you like!

   Pesto (a quick google search will lead you to some pretty basic recipes)
   Heirloom tomatoes
   Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
   Olive Oil
   Parmesan Cheese

Preheat your oven to 300 °F.  Place naan on parchment lined cookie sheet and toast them up for 5 minutes to get them warmed up.  Remove the naan from the oven and spread evenly with pesto leaving a small crust around the edge.  Add sliced heirloom tomatoes and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and salt, Then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is to your desired "crispiness".  

In the meantime cut your kale into half inch slices and place in a bowl.  Toss the kale with a small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese.  Place the seasoned kale on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place in the oven until wilted an slightly crips around the edges.  

Place the roasted kale on top of the pizza once you are ready to serve and sprinkle with some more parmesan cheese.  The nutty flavor from the roasted kale compliments the sweet heirloom tomatoes and, well melted cheese on anything is always tasty! 

You'll notice I didn't put any measurements on the ingredients list as it really depends on how many pizzas you're making and on your preference!  But this is so easy and it tastes like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours!  You could even add a bit of truffle oil to your kale if you wanted to be extra fanciful!  

My husband doesn't even like kale that much and he ate it up like it was covered in bacon! haha 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Color Crush: RED

Have you ever been hung up on any particular color, finding yourself swatching almost the same exact shade every time you're within arms distance of some testers at the drugstore or at Sephora?  You're wondering, "what testers at the drugstore??"  I swear that I have never and will never open a sealed package or peel back a sticker to test anything because I hate it when I'm going to buy something and all of the same product and color have been opened and tested! But if someone else has already taken the liberty of opening a product to swatch it - by all means, I'll be testing it on the back of my hand too!  I don't know why they don't just put out testers at the drug store- grr!!

Anyway, you guessed it -- all four of my most recent drugstore lip purchases were RED!

A classic red lip with an otherwise bare face is just so chic and timeless.  And by bare face, I mean a glowy bare face with a hint of bronzer in the hollows - perfection!

Top: Revlon COLORBURST Matte Balm in 250 Stand Out
L-R: Revlon COLORSTAY Moisture Stain in 040 Shanghai Sizzle,
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in SMLC 10 Monte Carlo,
Rimmel London SHOWOFF Lip Lacquer 501 Stellar

 Revlon always kills it when it comes to lip products!  The two Revlon lippies I picked up, swatched on the far left and far right below are two of my favorites. The Moisture Stain in Shanghai Sizzle (left) is beautiful and has amazing color pay off.  It is reminiscent of the infamous YSL Glossy Stains but at a fraction of the cost.  The moisturizing claim definitely holds true as this product has a very cushion-y feel on the lips and is not sticky at all.  The Color Burst matte balm, while it is matte, is NOT drying like many matte formulations out there.  The shade Stand Out is a fabulous brick red that would be perfect for the coming fall and winter months!  I would also say that these matte balms are a great dupe for the NARS matte velvet lip pencils but with a far more superior packaging with a twist up tube (NARS, please take note -- I am tired of sharpening my matte velvet pencils).

With Flash from left to right: Shanghai Sizzle, Monte Carlo, Stellar, Stand Out

NYX's Monte Carlo lip cream is a bright raspberry red color that comes off a bit more sheer than I thought it would from the tube.  I own a few other shades of the NYX soft matte lip creams in the colors Amsterdam, Milan, and Antwerp and these shades have a far more opaque finish.  This product was my least favorite of the bunch.

Last, but certainly not least, Rimmel London's Show Off lip lacquer in Stellar is a stunning shade of coral/hot pink (close enough to red, right?).  The scent of this product is a little off-putting as it smells like watermelon candy mixed with plastic.  The formulation is a hybrid between a gloss and a lipstick and also wears very well.  I really like dotting this very sparingly on my lips and blending out for a stained effect.

In Natural Light (same color order as above)

Loving these colors as we wrap up the summer but they will also transition beautifully into the fall and winter months! Yay for color all-year-round! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Foodie Files: Squash-getti Bolognese

I never thought I would be one of those people who would replace good ol' carby pasta for squash - but here I am and I totally love it.

After taking a striping peeler across the entire length of the squash (about two large squash) to create strands of spaghetti-like strips, I placed the mound of squash-getti into a microwave safe bowl and covered it with some wax paper.  After a few minutes in the microwave, I tossed it with tongs and put it in for another couple of minutes to let everything steam evenly-- and before long it was ready to be topped with sauce!

For this, I made a basic Bolognese sauce I found in an Italian recipe book (let me know if you'd like me to share the recipe, surprisingly easy and delish to boot) which I then stewed for hours on end until it reduced to a nice, meaty, and robust consistency that paired perfectly with the light squash. 

It's little life-hacks such as this pasta substitute, that can let you feel super naughty when you're really being nice!  Think of all the bowls of squash alfredo you can enjoy using this technique without feeling guilty since you're obliterating the calories you would've consumed from eating actual fettucine pasta!

Green and Yellow Summer Squash Bolognese a la AlphabetStew

It has also been immensely beneficial for us to use squash to replace pasta since we joined our local CSA farm share, which is a weekly delivery of locally grown organic produce.  While it's amazing to have such fresh veggies delivered on the weekly-- good lord we have been receiving a ton of squash and it's sometimes hard to use up all of the produce during the week in time for the next week's crop to be delivered!  Picture the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel work at the chocolate factory packaging line; too many chocolates come out on the belt at a rate that's too fast for them to package so they end up losing some and stuffing some down their shirts and in their mouths!  That's basically how I've been feeling about our vegetable share of late!

At any rate, I am looking forward to trying more new veggie dishes!  If you have any you'd like to share, please do so :)

The Yearly Chop Vol. 2

As the saying goes, "better late than never"--  I am finally sharing this haircut I got two months ago when I went for this collar-bone-skimming hairdo with bangs cut straight across.  After the wedding, it was such a liberating experience to chop it all off since I no longer needed to maintain length for a bridal updo (phew!).  I can't even begin to express how amazing it felt to have the wind blowing through my newly chopped hair as I walked across the Highline.  Not to mention, this haircut instantly made any remotely cute outfit into an edgy one...I mean button-down shirts buttoned all the way to the top became Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction-esque.  Part of me wants to keep getting it cut this short but I have to admit that the bangs have become a bit of a chore as evidenced by how often I've been pinning them back for work.  When I wake up in the morning, sometimes they just don't want to cooperate.

I got my haircut at the lovely Tomoko Shima Hair Salon in Chelsea just blocks away from Chelsea Market and the Highline.  I have nothing but praises to sing for this place from the friendly staff, clean environment, and amazing cut from my hairdresser, Grace.  They often have deals on Lifebooker for this salon and I definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone!  They offer quality haircuts at a price that won't cause you to dip into your savings (which is definitely not unheard of in Manhattan).

A shameless #selfie I took when I got home from my hair appointment at Tomoko Shima in Chelsea