Saturday, 30 October 2010

The voice of your lipstick

Good Morning,


The other day I read in a magazine that there are some rules, or some trends to colour and style of lipstick according to your age range. It is very interesting and funny enough, quite real.
if someone knows who should I credit this image to, please let me know.
I thought about sharing in here:


For teens:
Pinkish - red lips and fruit flavored gloss. as natural as it gets.



twenties:  It's all about finding the right balance. You can pair red lips with clear eyes but basically anything goes well.


Thirties: A class yet opaque red tone will suite basically every skin tone and gives a rich and serious appearance. It's a return to the classic


Forties: Use bright shades and sheer textures to freshen your look. You can layer gloss over your lippy for extra dimension.


Fifties: Creams and matters should be worn with confidence and applied with a lip pencil.


I must say that like everything in Fashion, that might change in a couple of years, but as per today, October 2010, apparently these are the rules to follow.


xoxo

Friday, 29 October 2010

Tzatziki

have you ever tried Tzatziki?

It is so simple to make and it's a match made in heaven. It gives a fresh Mediterranean taste and reminds me of summer. 



Here is a simple recipe of Tzatziki that would easily serve 10 people and you can prepare in 10 minutes.
Attention, I don't know about other recipes, but this one can't be frozen so if you think you wont eat it, you can try and make it in smaller quantities.


You will need:
3 Lebanese cucumbers, halved, seeded, and grated coarsely.
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
500g Greek-style or natural plain yogurt
2 tbsp shredded fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice


Method:
1. Using absorbent paper, gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the grated cucumber.
2. in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and mint. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.



Thursday, 28 October 2010

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

This recipe is from Julie Goodwin, the first Australian masterchef ever. I didn't know that, but apparently she has a tv show, on the nine network every Saturday at 5:30 pm.


Here is one of her recipes: Salmon with avocado salsa. It is delicious and can be made in around 20 minutes.


You will need (For 4 people):
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 small French shallots, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 small red capsicum, chopped
1 medium ripe avocado, chopped
4 salmon fillets (around 800g)
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice


Method: 


Combine the tomato, coriander, shallots, capsicum, avocado and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to avoid mashing the avocado.


Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan. Brush the salmon with the olive oil. Place the skin side down in the pan and press gently to keep the skin in contact with the hot surface of the pan. Season the top of the salmon with a little bit of salt and pepper. After 3 minutes. turn the salmon and cook the other side for a further 2 minutes or until is done as desired. 
Salmon is best served a little rare in the centre. Remove from the pan and cover loosely with foil for 2 minutes before serving.


Plate it with the Avocado salsa.
You can also add steamed new potatoes.


Bon Appetit. 

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Zumba time!

Speaking about Fitness, Weight loss, etc...I went to try a Zumba class,  and I must say: So much fun!


For those who doesn't know: 
he Zumba® program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away. Our goal is simple: We want you to want to work out, to love working out, to get hooked. Zumba® Fanatics achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exciting hour of calorie-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements meant to engage and captivate for life!




Apparently there is a Zumba fever around Sydney, and I would say around Australia, so you wouldn't have any problems finding a Zumba class around you. In my case, I could understand the lyrics, given I speak Portuguese and Spanish!


So I would definitely go to another class, and who knows...maybe will become an weekly event. I hope so.


I let you know my progress...


Love,

Vic

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

My shopping list

Today I am not working, so I went to do grocery shopping. This time I went without a shopping list. I sometimes think about what I am going to buy and cook during the week, and sometimes I ...don't.
The only thing that we really ran off, that was written in my fridge door, was body wash...


I always think and wonder what other people buy in the supermarket...do they think about it before? do they have a list or play by ear? Do they come with a list but see things on special and buy it extra? ( I do that, although today I behaved very well).
Either ways, without having a list, while I was there I started to think what has good price, what could I do with each of the items, etc.


Here is what I bought: 
Bodywash (Obviously)
this photo was taken by ME! but a while a go,
with a very good camera that I use to have


Avocado
Cherry tomato
bukchoy
spinach
asparagus
onion
pumpkin
mix salad
Corn cobs
mushrooms
green apples
pears
bananas
mandarins
oranges


wrap bread (this one I dont make myself, because I probably can't freeze it, but 
Actually I will think about it)
Almonds kernels ( I always have almonds at home, but actually don't know why)
Water crackers
Grana padano cheese
ricotta cheese
Tofu


Sparkling water
Cereal bars


I spent 64 dollars.
that should be enough food for a week or even more, for Ben and I.
Have you notice that I basically only bought fruits and vegetables? I am still trying to be healthy, lol!

So tell me, what do you buy?

Love,



Vic.xx









Breakfast on the go

We learn, since we were little peeps, that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that people shouldn't skip it and have it very balanced and healthy.

True? Yes. Easy task? No way.
I know I can only speak for myself but I am sure happens to everyone. We try but  a lot of times you get caught with something else in the morning and when you check your clock, it's time to go...and no breakfast.
So here is a recipe of a very nice and healthy breakfast, that can be prepared in minutes and it's on the go.
The combination of ingredients will make you feel full for a while.

Breakfast Smoothie
You will need (for 2 people)
4 or 5 strawberries, washed
1/2 cup of another berry (I use the frozen ones)
1 banana, peeled
1/2 low fat yogurt ( I suggest Vanilla flavour, but its your call)
1 cup skim milk or soy milk
5 tbsp muesli
Honey, sugar or sweetener optional

Method:
In a Blender, place all ingredients and blend it.

Bon Appetit!
This photo is from weelicious website.

Monday, 25 October 2010

cafe Roma

Was a cold and windy Saturday night. Ben and I were bored and hungry. We took the train to get some fast food actually, in Kings Cross, and ended up finding Cafe Roma by accident.
What a delightful accident.
The place smells and resembles to those restaurants you find in Rome itself. and the food was amazing.

We had a mixed salad and a porcinni funghi pizza. (you can see more details in their website but I must advert the prizes in website are not updated)

The food was brilliant and light. Pizza with a very nice dough that doesnt feel heavy in your stomach.


The dessert was also brilliant.
We had Pear and Apple crumble pie and Tiramissu. I dont personally like tiramissu but apparently was very good! :)


So its definitely worth it a visit!
Hope you enjoy

Sunday, 24 October 2010

5 minutes microwave white cake in a mug

Do you remember the 5 minutes microwave chocolate cake in a mug?
So what about a variation without Chocolate? I am trying to avoid chocolate at all cost, given is my weakness, but that doesn't mean that I can't have a dessert, right? ;)

There is another recipe, let's call it the 5 minute microwave white cake in a mug.

You will need (For 1 mug cake)
6 tbsp all purpose flour
4 tbsp caster sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp water
1 dash of Orange Extract, or Vanilla Extract, or....be creative.

Method:
Add all the dry ingredients to the mug and mix it to combine.
Add the egg, water, oil and extract, and stir well.
Microwave it for 3 minutes in high

Voilá!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Puff Pastry and Shortcrust Pastry. what's the difference?

We see all this options of pastry available in the supermarket. So what is what? what to use for what?
Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/pastry


At its most basic, pastry is a mixture of flour and fat bound with water to form a paste. Historically it was used as a case for baking other items, but people eventually realised the pastry was worth eating too. The wide range of pastries made today vary in texture and taste according to the proportion of fats used, the way in which it is incorporated with the flour, and the method used to shape the dough


Puff pastry can generally be described as flaky, light and buttery, good for pies and pastries; while shortcrust pastry has a more crumbly, biscuit-like texture which is good for tart or quiche cases. Sweet puff pastry is literally puff pastry with sugar added to it, while sweet shortcrust pastry is not commercially available. When making a pie, many cooks use shortcrust on the bottom and puff pastry for the lid.
Puff pastry Puff pastry is best for pastries, sausage rolls, sweet or savoury pies, turnovers and palmiers. Puff pastry is usually made with canola or a vegetable oil. Butter puff pastry is puff pastry made with butter instead of the vegetable oil and no sugar. Whether you use normal puff pastry or butter puff pastry is entirely a matter of personal preference. Sweet puff pastry is puff pastry made using sugar. In Australia, it is not available ready-made. It is used in sweet recipes that require a flaky, buttery pastry such as a sweet pie.
Shortcrust pastry Shortcrust has a slightly biscuity, crumbly texture that is resistant to soaking up fluids so is perfect for quiches, tarts, samosas and other savoury delights with wet fillings or those that are not being served immediately. It is surprisingly sturdy when removed from its tin. Plain shortcrust is usually used for savoury fillings but can be a good counterpoint to very sweet fillings too so it is an all-purpose option. Pate sablee is a sweetened shortcrust pastry, though more like a biscuit dough, in that butter and sugar are beaten together before the flour and liquid are added. The word sablee means sandy or grainy and this effect is sometimes enhanced by the addition of ground almonds.
Fillo Fillo is wafer thin and crunchy and brown when cooked. Use fillo when a light, crunchy pastry is required, like a spinach pie, or where it will receive a good soaking in a syrupy liquid such as when making baklava.
Choux Choux has very specific uses such as for making eclairs, croquembouche and choux buns. When baked, it transforms into light-as-air puffs with hollow pockets perfect for filling with cream or chocolate.

Source: ninemsn and BBC

Friday, 22 October 2010

Empanadas Dough, now the original one

a while ago I published here Empanadas recipe. this recipe is more about how to cook the meat and assemble the empanadas.
Today I made some other empanadas. Bechamel, Ricotta and Corn, and Bechamel, Ricotta and Spinach and I made a dough that really reminds me to the ones from South America.
So here is the recipe:

To make around 30 to 33 3' inches size empanadas "tapas" (Tapa is the dough, already cut in a circle shape)

Ingredients:
3 cups of all purpose flour, plus a little bit extra to roll the dough
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 egg white (keep the egg yolk to brush the empanadas)
1 tsp wine vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:
In a large bowl, add 3 cups of flour and salt.Add the oil and with a whisker or a knife mix it until it gets very mixed.
in a small bowl, add water, egg, egg white, vinegar and whisk it.
Make a wheel in the middle of the flour bowl, and add the liquid ingredients in the middle. Whisk all the wet ingredients with a fork until it gets so hard you cant keep whisking it / mixing it.

Add the mixture to a floured surface and knead it until all the flour is incorporate it and the dough feels soft.  Wrap it with cling wrap plastic and put in the fridge from 1 to 12 hours. If you will use it after 12 hours (longer than 12 hours) freeze it.

Roll out the dough and cut your circles.
Put your favorite filling and egg brush it.
bake it at 180º d (160 fan forced) for around 20 minutes.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Laugh is the best medicine

Laugh is the best medicine, for every thing.
And look what I found out there:



a very cute pillow / cushion, that will give  a funky touch to any ambient.
They cost $29.95 US dollars each and can be bought here (they deliver to Aus)






I love modern ambients. But first I need to buy a new couch!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I don't have this ingredient in my pantry.....

Ok,
several times we decide to cook a recipe, and don't quite check properly if we have all the ingredients (Well, I DONT, as you might imagine).
So what to do?

SUBSTITUTIONS. A lot of the times, the ingredients can be substituted. So here is a basic substitution table.

Arrowroot - substitute with cornstarch, potato starch or rice starch OR even all purpose flour, altought you will need to double the amount 1 measure of arrowroot - 2 measures of flour

Dry breadcrumbs  - substitute with crushed cracker crumbs, matzo meal, crushed cornflakes


Cream of Tartar - substitute with white vinegar or lemon juice 


Sour cream - substitute with plain yogurth, 


Bread Flour - for every 160g of bread flour, use 140g of all purpose flour




I will come back with more substitutions...soon!
Love,



Vic

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A light Calorie Hummus recipe without Tahini

I don't know if I mentioned that before, but I've been researching a lot about Low Fat, Low calories, Low GI Recipes...translation: I need to let some kilos go (OUCH!!!)


I found this cute BLOG with a lot of recipes including the nutritional value and they are all very low numbers, if you know what I mean.


Other fact is that my husband loves Hummus. So here we go:


Hummus recipe that doesn't require Tahini - 77 calories per portion.

You will need (for 12 portions)
420g can chick peas beans
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice



Method:
 - Drain the chick peas beans and reserve the liquid.
 - Place the reserved bean liquid, garlic and sesame seeds in the food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until mixed.
 - Add the chick peas, salt and lemon juice. Cover and process on high speed until smooth.
 - add some paprika and olive oil if you wish (If you add olive oil, you will have more calories)
 - Serve as a spread with crackers, wedges of pita bread or raw vegetables.

and here is the PLUS: Nutritional value per 1 serve

Calories: 77
Total fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 203 mg
Total carbs: 9.7 g
Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 2.8 g

Monday, 18 October 2010

Pumpking and Spinhach Sandwich

Here is an amazing and simple idea, that can be adapted in so many ways. Change one or other ingredient....change the bread...
anyways, here is the recipe, for 2 people. Maybe you already have the pumpkin ready or something like that...so would be even easier.
Image from taste.com.au

Ingredients:
400g Pumpkin, peeled and without the seeds, cut in small squares.
40g baby spinach
Olive Oil spray
1 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted.
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices of bread


Method:
Pre-heat the oven 200º.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and place pumpkin. Spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until gold and tender. set aside to cool.

Combine pumpkin, (washed and drained) spinach, and sunflower seeds in a bowl. Whisk the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper together and pour in the bowl. Mix it well.

Put the mixture between the breads, and...BON APETIT...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Bondi Cafe - Nice salad Idea

I went to Cafe Bondi, in rose bay,  for dinner with my husband the other night  and we had amazing salads.
I thought the salad ingredients were amazing combinations, although I would change the ingredients a little bit (Isn't that obvious?)

I had
Beach Root Salad:

Roasted Beetroot, Fetta, Green Apple, Walnuts, Rocket, Cos lettuce, lentils & Café Bondi® Seeded Mustard dressing.
I would take out the Lentils, and I would put maybe honey...or cranberries, or macadamias.
You tell me how you tweak it.














and Ben had

CHICKEN SALAD
Grilled Chicken Tenderloins, Cos lettuce, Potato Chips (they are cut very very thin), Fresh Tomato, Avocado, Grilled Eggplant, Aioli & Café Bondi® Vinaigrette dressing

and for Desert, Ben & Jerrys icecream take away.








Saturday, 16 October 2010

Apple Pie Bread in the Bread Machine

Apple Pie?


Apple cake?
Pie or Bread?

You choose, you can always put a little bit more sugar, and make it more cake"ish" (sweeter).



Anyway, here is the recipe:


you will need
Apple BREAD! 
1 1/8 cups non fat milk 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey 
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
3 cups bread flour (Substitute for 2 and 1/2 of all purpose flower) 
1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast 
1 large apple -- peeled, diced 





Place the ingredients in the bread pan in the order recommended by your
machine's manufacturer. Choose appropriate cycle (preferable fruit / sweet cycle)

Add apples at beginning of second knead cycle. Apples add moisture to the
dough, so a little flour may have to be added to adjust the consistency. 






Friday, 15 October 2010

Happy Hour time - Limoncello

Limoncelo is an Italian Classic and Lemon is always a classic for a hot day!




You will need:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1.5 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 cup of vodka
  • Club Soda



  • Step 1

    In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup. Let cool, then pour into a pitcher.

  • Step 2

    Step 2
    Stir in lemon juice and vodka.

  • Step 3

    Serve over and ice and top with club soda.

  • Thursday, 14 October 2010

    Think Pink

    I would looooove a pink kitchen!
    :)

    and given that I love vintage...look at the scale, so cool.

    Well, just a dream...

    (source: Pink wallpapper blog)

    Vermicelli Noddles, Tofu and Vegetables Stir Fry - Invention Recipe

    I had Tofu and wanted to give it a try since I became Fishetarian a couple of months ago...I read about some recipes and adapted a little bit of this and a little bit of that and the result: Brilliant.

    you can use any vegetables, but I had those in my fridge.

    Ingredients (for 2 with left overs)
    half a pack Vermicelli Noodles (Or any other actually)
    Asparagus - 1 bunch
    1 carrot
    8 Button mushrooms
    a bunch of Green beans
    1 package (250g) hard tofu
    1 tsp of sugar
    1 clove Garlic
    1 small piece of Ginger
    50ml Soy Sauce
    1 tsp Sesame seeds
    4 tsp Vegetable oil
    Vegetable stock (250ml)
    Some chilli powder if you wish
    Lemon Juice

    Method:
    First, drain the tofu in paper towel
    Cut in small squares
    Slice the Ginger and chop the garlic, and place it in a bowl with soy sauce and lemon juice and 1 tea spoon of sugar.
    you need enough liquid to coat the tofu...leave to marinate.

    Chop the vegetables

    Prepare the noodles as per package instructions. In my case, put it in cold water for 10 minutes.

    Heat up some oil in a wok, add sesame seeds, and stir fry the tofu (Reserve the marinate). In my case I did it in 2 batches. Stir fry for 1 minute and dry it in a plate with paper tower. (Try to keep the oil in the wok).

    With the remaining oil in the Wok, add the Marinated (Soy sauce and lemon) and the hard vegetables ( I kept mushroom for later)...stir fry for 1 minute or 2, and add vegetable stock.
    Add mushrooms.

    Stir fry for another 5 minutes and add noodles.
    The noodles will absorb a lot of the liquid. Keep stirring for another 3 to 5 minutes and add tofu again to heat it up to 1 minute.

    Serve!

    Wednesday, 13 October 2010

    Caprese Tart

    Caprese salad is a everyones favourite so what about a caprese tart?


    Ingredients (4 to 6 portions)
    1 1/2 cup plain flour (Around 230g)
    150g butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
    30ml cold water
    200g ricotta cheese (Fresh ricotta is better)
    1tbs balsamic vinegar
    3 tomatos, thinly sliced, or you can use cherry tomatoes
    2 boccocini or muzarella cheese, thinly sliced
    fresh basil leaves



    METHOD:



    1. Process flour and  the butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and process until the mixture comes together in small clumps. Turn onto a clean work surface and bring the dough together.Wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. 

    2. Preheat oven to 200°C (180 fan forced).  Roll out 1 portion of pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Line a 35 x 11cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with the pastry and trim excess. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. Use a fork to prick the base all over. Line with non-stick baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool. Remove from tin. 

    3. Place the ricotta in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir until smooth. Combine the oil and vinegar in a small bowl.

    4. Spread the ricotta evenly over the pastry case. Arrange the tomato and bocconcini, slightly overlapping, on top.

    5. Season the tart with salt and pepper. Top with the basil and drizzle over the dressing.


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