Adaptable Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast Edition

It’s hard to believe that August is here. The summertime seems to be flying by much to the dismay of schoolchildren as it will be back to school time soon. There are a number of channels that are devoted to cooking. I recently discovered Recipe TV, and Irish chef, Catherine Fulvio.

Filmed in County Wicklow Ireland, Catherine’s Ballyknocken Cookery School and Bed and Breakfast looks like a slice of heaven straight out of a Hallmark Movie. The surrounding land is lush, green, and full of life and color.  A Taste of Ireland and Catherine’s Farmhouse Kitchen serves up recipes with warmth, charm, and care.  Catherine is a joy to watch, and it’s extra special when she includes her lovely daughter, Charlotte, as well as the many wonderful residents in town.

There’s a recipe that would make for a lovely morning treat for moms and dads alike, whether you’re a coffee or tea lover. The resulting tea cake is perfect to add a little zen to your day. I have yet to perfect making her family recipe for Barm Brack, but I plan to have a tasty time trying, I hope you do too.

I have included the following recipe adaptations in parenthesis for the following dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Low-Sugar
  • Vegan and Vegetarian

If you don’t get Recipe TV in your area, we’ve including the links to Catherine’s Blog and website.

 

Barm Brack recipe by Catherine Fulvio

1 square cake

350ml / 12fl oz cold Irish breakfast tea (1 ½ cups)
540g / 19 ounces/ about 2 cups raisins (golden raisins)
275g / 9 1/2 ounces 1 ¼ cups sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener, coconut, turbinado, or raw can sugar, pulsed fine)
275g / 9½ oz unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) (vegan butter)
400g / 14 oz about 1 1/2 cups* self-rising flour (gluten-free recipe self-rising flour follows)
1 tsp mixed spice (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom)

3 to 4 beaten eggs (1/2 cup Aquafaba, ¾ cup silken tofu pureed with ½ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or egg replacer)
Chopped nuts and glacé cherries (optional)

Preheat the oven to 320°F /160°C/gas 4. Line a 9-inch square cake tin with greased parchment paper. Wrap trinkets such as coins and rings in parchment paper (as tightly and neatly as possible).
Place the tea, fruit, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Sieve the flour and mixed spice into a large bowl.
When the boiled mixture has cooled, pour into the flour, and mix well. Add the beaten eggs and mix well again. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Push the wrapped trinkets into the cake mixture (i.e. below the surface, so there is no trace of them when the cake is cooked).
Bake for approximately 1½ hours.
Insert a skewer into the cake to check that it is cooked – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Leave in the cake tin to cool for 20 minutes before removing it onto a cooling rack.

Notes

  • The measurements for the recipe are metric, if possible, weigh your ingredients. It’s the best way to ensure a good bake.
  • Also, adjust the baking time according to your oven.

This recipe is by the G-Free Foodie

Yield: 1 cup of gluten-free self-rising flour

https://gfreefoodie.com/

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, or 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tsp xanthan gum, only if your blend does not contain it

Instructions

Mix ingredients in a food processor or mixer for at least ten minutes.

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Or proceed with your recipe

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For more about the lovely Catherine Fulvio, visit the following links

 

https://catherinefulvio.com/blog/

 

 

https://ballyknocken.ie/

Chamein Canton Novel Excerpt, Fiction, North of 40 and 50 plus Authors

Barefoot In The City- Quick Look

Excerpt from Barefoot in the City

It was a dark, cold, grey, January day in Manhattan. The city’s holiday shine had long faded away. Gone from the modern contemporary office lobbies across New York County were the trees, lights, and holiday decorations that made them sparkle.  Now, they were more like a rich man’s trophy wife or girlfriend, beautiful to behold, but soulless and cold.  At least that’s what went through fifty-three-year-old Clarissa Berman’s mind as she walked through the lobby of her office building on Lexington Avenue.

At 5’8, Clarissa wasn’t considered petite, but tall enough to be above average. A very curvy African American woman, she had big boobs, a generous butt, a smallish waist with a little more tummy than she’d like. Her long, curly, thick hair was a custom mix of Clairol light reddish and cedar red-brown, which played nicely off of the red undertones of her light brown complexion. To say Clarissa was a convert to the natural hair movement, was a bit of a stretch. She’d done so at the suggestion of Mary Ann, otherwise known as her mothership. A woman used to having her will be done, she now suggested things to her adult daughters who’d long discovered that her suggestions were the equivalent of mutton dressed as lamb, but it was still mutton.

From the moment Clarissa and younger sister Elena were able to understand their roles in the family, her mothership Mary Anne Stevenson made it clear that even when they became queens of their own domains, they’d always be the ladies in waiting to her.  Growing up, the ‘I am the mother argument’ was the overriding element for almost everything. Everyone from her husband, family, and friends, were in the mothership realm, and therefore subject to her opinions, will, and advice.

 

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Musical Inspiration, Musings of A Writer

The Beatles, Still Inspiring Me After All These Years

The Long And Winding Road That Always Leads Me Back To The Beatles

The long and winding road of writing always leads me back to the Beatles.

I am not much for writing fan letters, but as someone who loves music, and loves the Beatles even more, I wrote a letter to Rick Rubin about the documentary McCartney 321. It made my HULU subscription worth it. I found it to be an innovative approach to discussing the genius of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, as members of The Beatles and as solo artists. More importantly, it showcased the love they had for one another and the respect they had for other artists and genres of music. I  found the aspect of delving into tracks from a producer’s point of view to be fascinating. The way he pulled apart different aspects of tracks from the songwriting and instrumental perspective, made me appreciate the layering of sounds and the genius of the producer Sir George Martin.
For me, one of the things that make the Beatles as influential as they’ve been was their youthful sense of adventure and fun. They weren’t afraid to learn and try new things. There’s a sense of fun and brotherhood on every track. Whether it’s a ballad or soaring rock, it feels like we are there in the studio with them.  As artists, they understood the contribution producers made to each song. It was far more than just sitting behind glass. A producer serves as another member of the band, and they are just as important to the collaboration.  I’m a Gen-Xer and I will admit that I don’t understand how the music industry works now in a streaming Pandora and Spotify world, but I understand how much a good producer means to an artist or group.
I can’t remember when I fell in love with The Beatles. I’ve adored them for as long as I can remember. I had a super crush on Paul, who was and still is, the cute Beatle. He’s also the same age as my dad, who I believe is the coolest man in the world. Sir Paul is in my top five.  There may be some people who don’t know who Rick Rubin is, but he has produced everyone including Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, LL Cool J, Adele, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, and the Heartbreakers, Rage Against The Machine, Johnny Cash, Mick Jagger, Dixie Chicks. Shakira, Linkin Park, Kanye West, Eminem, and the Wu-Tang Clan, just to name a few. I believed his eclectic taste and love for music, made him the right person to sit down with Sir Paul to discuss the Beatles and his solo work.
Ostensibly, writing and songwriting are different and the same. A songwriter is concerned with the way lyrics flow as its set to music. The words and the beat illicit different things to different people while everyone enjoys it.  Writing articles or books is another aspect of art in which words are used to transport readers into the pages, or inform their minds about different subjects.  I’ve always found that music helps me set a mood when I’m writing and I play everything from the Beatles catalog as a group and solo artists. One of my favorite ways to enjoy their music is in the car listening to the Beatles station on Sirius-XM.  it’s essentially all of The Beatles’ music, but they play the artists and records that inspired John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
There are plenty of arguments about songwriters and who is considered the best. While taste is subjective, for my money, The Beatles will always be at the top. They helped pave the way for the innovation that so many take for granted these days. Listening to their genius fuels my literary journey. I am sure other writers have artists that inspire paragraphs and pages. I hope you continue to enjoy whoever puts a smile on your face while you put pen to paper.
As a fan, this documentary was enough to keep me going until Peter Jackson’s Get Back hits the theaters or streaming services. I am looking forward to it.  If you’re a fan or someone who appreciates music, McCartney 321, is a documentary you should check out.
Happy Writing Everyone.
Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Summer Cooking Delights

Bonus Makeover Monday Recipe- Corn Chowder

One of the very best things about summer is the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. With fruits like blueberries, cherries, and blackberries in season, berries are wonderful on their own, on top of yogurt with a little granola, or baked up in a pie.

The same applies to the bounty of fresh vegetables. You can find zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, green beans, herbs, and tomatoes (which are technically not a vegetable) in many backyard gardens, farm stands, farmer’s markets, and your favorite market or grocery store’s produce section.

Summer corn is found everywhere. It’s so delicious this time of year and there are so many ways to enjoy it besides boiling or grilling it to indulge in its sweetness. When  I came across this recipe by Simply Recipes, which was touted as their very favorite, I was intrigued enough to put aside a few other recipes I’d been eyeing to give this one a whirl.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Simply Recipes has this along with many other recipes that feature corn as the star of the show. Check out their website for more ideas to enjoy it to the maximum.

The recipe includes bacon and milk, which won’t work for vegans or vegetarians. I have adapted it so you can still enjoy this lovely bowl of soup.

Sweet Corn Chowder by Simply Recipes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter ( For the vegetarian or vegan chowder: 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, plus 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin or virgin olive oil)

1 strip bacon, or 1 teaspoon bacon fat (omit for vegetarian and vegan soup)

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup small-diced carrot

1/2 cup small-diced celery

4 to 5 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved

1 bay leaf

4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat (soy or rice milk)

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

For vegetarian and vegan chowder, go straight to sauteing the vegetables in the vegan butter/olive oil)

Cook the bacon:

Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon renders its fat, 3-4 minutes.

Cook the vegetables (except the corn and potatoes):

Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables soften about 5 minutes.

Add corn cobs and bring to a simmer:

Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the “warm” setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

Add potatoes:

After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

Finish the soup:

Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.

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Check out more recipes from Simply Recipes

http://simplyrecipes.com

Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal-Veggie Edition

An Easy and tasty way to get more veggies in your family’s diet

 

July is nearly over, but as the calendar changes to August with the heat still on in much of the country, you want to keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum.  This recipe comes courtesy of my sister, who spotted it in her Google feed just before Independence Day.

The recipe for this Cowboy Caviar is from the Dinner At The Zoo Blog. It works great as an appetizer, with a salad, or your favorite tortilla chips. The recipe requires a little knife work, but you can find a number of the ingredients pre-chopped at most grocery stores.  Low-sodium versions of the canned beans are widely available too. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley instead. If you like it hot, add more jalapenos. If you don’t like heat, leave it out. Play with the recipe until you get it to suit your palate.

 

It’s one healthy bite that I am sure you and your family will enjoy.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 minute

Total Time 21 minutes

Servings 8

Cowboy Caviar by Dinner at the Zoo

Ingredients

1 can of black beans rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 cup tomatoes seeded and finely diced (plum, cherry, grape tomatoes are great to use)

1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced

1 cup corn can be fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen

1 avocado chopped

3/4 cup red and/or orange bell pepper seeded and finely diced

1/2 cup red onion finely diced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Place the beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn, avocado, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin and salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve as a salad or with chips.

Notes

Make-ahead instructions: Assemble according to instructions, except omit the avocado. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Add the avocado right before serving.

 

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Beauty, Beauty, Hair Care

How’s Your Hair Doing? Pandemic Hair and Beyond

For men and women alike, the pandemic brought our regular barbershop and salon appointments to a halt. For the majority of 2020, we had to figure out how to handle caring for our tresses at home, which was cool if you were a barber or hair care professional. However, for the rest of us, it was a lot of trial and error. With a whole lot of errors seen online with posts of self-cutting hair attempts gone very wrong. At least it happened across the board for everyone. Even celebrities were committing hair infractions left and right too.

However, according to L’Officiel How Hair Care Became The New Skin Care (01.13.2021 by Hannah Amini). Skincare and other wellness routines have become a source of therapy and experimentation.

When the access to hairstylists was limited, many took and are taking otherwise daunting treatment regimes into their own hands.  With many people purchasing the products and equipment needed to maintain their hair. Everything from rinses to permanent and semi-permanent hair color, hair treatments, and more are taking place at home.

There is more interest in maintaining healthy hair through natural products they purchase or raid their pantry for, such as mayonaisse or avocado to make deep conditioning hair masks for healthy and shiny hair. There’s been a boon of tips to be found on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, with some influencers gaining followers and sponsors who pay them to try their products. Moreover, there is a wave of hair-based entrepreneurs with  homemade products for every hair type from natural to color-treated, with every type in between, available for consumers to purchase.

For women who had chemical processes like relaxers, perms, Brazilian keratin treatments, and Japanese straightening. Then there was the matter of hair weaves, extensions and heat treatments too.

According to Go natural, try a new style or panic? How black women in the coronavirus era deal with their hair (Los Angeles Times, Arit John April 11,2020)  Many black women found themselves trying to figure out what to do with their hair during the pandemic. Salons, beauty supply stores and stylists that cater to black women adapted by revamping their digital presence with instructional videos and the sale of products online. Felicia Leatherwood, a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with Issa Rae of “Insecure” and director Ava DuVernay, said some black women are experienced “anxiety on top of anxiety” during the pandemic.

“They have anxiety about what’s happening, and then they have anxiety about discovering their hair and working with it and realizing that they actually have not liked their hair, never really liked their texture,” said Ms. Leatherwood.

As a black woman who decided to go natural several years back, I can attest to the nervousness I felt when the pandemic shut everything down. However, I grew up with a mother that loved hair and had no problem trying out products and keeping a supply of haircare at home. I went through trial and error to find out what worked best for me after having my hair relaxed for the majority of my life. I never had an issue with my hair’s texture, but when I was growing up, there wasn’t any product for my curly hair. Nowadays, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

Now, 18 months later as some states have allowed salons to re-open, and with many of them still following Covid protocols, we can safely go back to our hair salons and barbers. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain your hair in between appointments and not let the lessons learned during lockdown go to waste.

 

Here are some tips for all hair types. Shampoo 101: Choosing the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type (byrdie.com

Experts for the article

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Sharleen St. Surin-Lord is a board-certified dermatologist based in Maryland.
  • Shab Reslan is a trichologist and hair health advisor at HairClub. Trichology is
    the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp.

A good at-home haircare system should include

  • Shampoo based on your scalp.
  • Oily Scalp- If you have very oily hair, avoid hydrating shampoos that will weigh your hair down. You need something to help clarify your hair and to build volume.
  • Dry Scalp- Avoid shampoos with sulfates that dry hair out. Look for shampoos that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls.

For Hair Care based on hair types

  • Fine Hair: Look for volumizing shampoos that can boost your strands without weighing hair down.
  • Thick Hair: Hydrating or moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to thick hair that lacks moisture.
  • Straight Hair: Smoothing or straight hair shampoos are typically rich in extra moisturizers and smoothing agents that help seal the cuticle and provide a great start for straight and smooth styles.
  • Wavy Hair: Balancing shampoos are typically a nice middle-of-the-road option. They’re not too moisturizing but won’t dry your hair out.
  • Curly Hair: Look for very moisturizing shampoos that contain ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.
  • Damaged/Colored/Brittle Hair: Strengthening or fortifying shampoos are good for damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair, as they usually contain extra protein to improve hair’s condition.

Shop Around for the right haircare.

There are a lot of products on the market, look to the internet to research and get  reviews from other people. Whether you’re back at your salon or not, it’s good to ask your stylist for tips and recommendations. a good stylist wants to help you feel and look your best. When you take care of your hair too, it makes them look good as well.

Look to beauty influencers online to see what products they are touting. Naturally, keep your perspective. Many are paid to hawk the products, but if they are using them with good results, delve into a little. Many new companies offer samples to get you started. This way you don’t waste money investing in something that may not work and just wind up taking up space in your bathroom.

Finally, make sure you keep it fun too. Haircare is serious health business, but it’s all about your crowning glory. Find what makes you feel like your most authentic and beautiful self.

 

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For more information check out the following sites for a more in-depth look at haircare.

 

https://www.byrdie.com/shampoo-101-choosing-the-right-shampoo-3517815

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-04-11/coronavirus-black-hair-care-natural-braiding

https://www.lofficielusa.com/beauty/at-home-hair-care-covid-trend

Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Summer Salad Edition

It’s hard to believe that we are already more than halfway through the month of July. With summertime temperatures rising across the country, light, refreshing, and easy-to-prepare recipes are the order of the day.

In our search to find the best of light, healthy, and tasty, this recipe from Simply Recipes for Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing fits the bill. Moreover, we were able to adapt it to add protein to fit with vegetarian and vegan diets too.

This recipe fits the dietary requirements for:

  • Gluten-free diets
  • Low Sugar or No Sugar diets
  • Low-Carb
  • Keto-Friendly (don’t add corn or tortilla chips)

Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad by Simply Recipes adapted by Chamein Canton

PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME10 mins
TOTAL TIME35 mins
SERVINGS4 servings

Ingredients

  • For the salad
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped and packed
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup English or Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) or frozen and thawed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained or 1 package seitan)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (low-sodium taco seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning in the packet or homemade)
  • 12 corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (Feta cheese or Cheddar cheese can be substituted)  (For Vegans mozzarella or cheddar shreds are a good choice)
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Combine salad ingredients:

    Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.

  2. Char the corn:

    Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn.

    Season corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened in spots and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Season the chicken:

    Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over the surface of the chicken, rubbing it in and coating it so the chicken is fully seasoned.

  4. Cook the chicken:

    In the same skillet used to cook the corn add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until deeply brown along the bottom and the flesh turns opaque about halfway up the side, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Flip the chicken and continue cooking, until brown on the second side and fully cooked through another 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Cut the chicken:

    Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

  6. Make the salad dressing:

    Place the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water, if needed, to get the blender going.

    Alternatively, make this dressing by hand. Finely chop the cilantro and place it in a medium bowl. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  7. Finish and serve the salad:

    Add the corn and chicken into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top.

    Add about two-thirds of the dressing and toss to lightly coat. Add more dressing and toss again, if needed. Divide salad into 4 bowls, top with crumbled Cotija cheese, and serve.

Notes for Vegan and Vegetarians

  • To replace the chicken, you can use extra-firm tofu or seitan instead. Prepare it as you would the chicken, being mindful not to crowd the pan when sauteing in the pan. To keep it from steaming, cook the tofu or seitan in batches.

For those who don’t like Cilantro

  • You can use parsley to make the dressing in the same proportions.

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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast Edition

 

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. So, instead of grabbing a fast-food breakfast sandwich, why not have a lightly sweet scone to enjoy with your tea or coffee instead.

These recipes come together fairly quickly and you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to two days. These recipes have been adapted for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low sugar diets. The substitutions are in the parenthesis next to each ingredient.

A Taste of Ireland recipe for Irish scones adapted by Chamein Canton

Makes 7 large scones  and 10 small scones

(225gr / 2 cups) plain all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

2 heaped teaspoons (2 ¾ US tsp) baking powder

Large pinch salt

1 US level tablespoon) castor sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed fine)

2oz (50gr / ½ a stick of butter) chilled unsalted butter (vegan butter)

(280ml / 2 fl. oz / ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons US cups) milk approximately” (dairy: whole, 2$) (non-dairy almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)

Beaten egg & sugar to glaze (2 tablespoons Aquafaba or 1 tablespoon soy lecithin)

Preheat the oven to Gas 8 / 450F / 230C

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center and add most of the milk. Mix to a soft dough adding all of the milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about 1 inch (2 ½ cm) thickness. Dip the cutter into flour and cut the dough into rounds of 1 ½ inch (4cm).
Place scones on a floured baking tray, glaze with the beaten egg, and put immediately into the hot oven. In 15 minutes approximately, the scones should have risen and had a golden top. Enjoy with Irish butter and homemade jam!

  • The amount of milk added is determined by where you live and your house. If you’re in a drier area, you may need to add more milk so the dough begins to come together. Be sure not to overwork the dough. If you live in a humid climate, it may take less milk. Use your judgment.

Mini Chocolate Chip scones by Sugar Spun Run adapted by Chamein

2 cups all-purpose flour (465g) gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (100g) (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)
2 teaspoon baking powder (18g)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter frozen is better (226g) (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 cup heavy cream (237ml) (full-fat coconut milk or 3 tablespoons almond milk with 2 tablespoons melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add )
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Glaze
1/2 -1 ½ cups powdered sugar (110g+) (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute, organic or vegan confectioner’s sugar)
1 Tablespoon milk (30ml) (dairy: whole, 2%, fat-free) (non-dairy: almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F (190C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Thoroughly cut in butter (I prefer to freeze the butter, grate it using a box grater, and then cut it in that way. This method yields the flakiest scones, but is not mandatory — you can use cold butter cut in with a pastry cutter).

Measure out the heavy cream in a measuring cup and add vanilla extract. Stir gently.

Carefully stir heavy cream/vanilla mixture into flour mixture. You do not want to over-mix, but due to the number of dry ingredients, it may be tricky to well incorporate the liquid and the dry mixes. You may briefly use a KitchenAid or electric mixer on a low setting to help coax the dough to cling together.

Once the dough is beginning to cling together, add chocolate chips, stir briefly, and then transfer to a very lightly floured surface

lightly knead the dough and chocolate chips together until you are able to form a ball.

Break the dough into 4 even pieces and round each one out into a disk about 5″ wide.

Cut each into 8 wedges and transfer to cookie sheet.

Bake at 375F (190C) for 14-16 minutes.

While the scones cool, prepare your glaze by whisking together milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Start with 1 cup powdered sugar, and if it still seems too runny you may increase the sugar amount.

Once scones are cooled, dip, drizzle, or spoon the glaze lightly over the top of each scone. Allow it to sit and harden before serving.

 

To learn more about Irish Cooking check out A Taste of Ireland on Recipe TV

https://recipe.tv/

Fashion, Foundation Wear and Lingerie

Foundation Wear Bras you can breathe in

 

Going from an undershirt to a training bra is a rite of passage most girls look forward to. Back then, that’s what made girls different from boys.  The training bra itself was just one aspect. The more important part was it marked the transition into womanhood.

Women have fashioned material into a bra. Roman women used bands to cover their breasts to play sports. Then there was the corset, which was light silk fabric paired with whalebone or reeds. The corsets were laced in the back so tightly, there was a need to have fainting couches. As time progressed into more modern times, feminists began to rail against the constraints of the corset. Life magazine cites Hermine Cadolle of France as the earliest inventor of the bra. She designed it as a two-piece undergarment called the corselet gorge, and later le bien-être. The lower part was for the waist and the upper part supported the breasts with shoulder straps.

In 1893, Marie Tucek patented a device that consisted of separate pockets for each breast above a metal supporting plate and shoulder straps fastened by hook-and-eye, which most closely resembles the modern underwire bra. However, it was in the 20th century when New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacob purchased a sheer evening gown for a debutante ball. At that time, the only acceptable undergarment was a corset with whalebone. Ms. Phelps was large breasted and the whalebone protruded from the neckline. As a matter of practicality, she and her maid fashioned two silk handkerchiefs together with some pink ribbon and cord. The innovation drew people’s attention. Ms. Crosby nee Phelps started a business. In 1914, a patent was issued for the “Backless Bra.” Crosby’s patent was for a device that was lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, and naturally separated the breasts, unlike the corset. Her husband discouraged the business venture and she sold the patent to the Warners Brothers Corset Company.

There have been a few modifications to the bra over the years. For the Flappers of the Roaring Twenties, the bandeau-style that flattened the chest was more in line with the waif-like dresses that were in fashion. By the thirties, the focus wasn’t to minimize but to accentuate the breasts. In the forties, Jane Russell’s look in The Outlaw caused a stir and women wanted to accentuate and support the breasts. In the seventies, there was a wave of bra-burning to represent a release from the patriarchy and announced the liberation of women from their constraints. From the eighties through the 2000s, there’s been a rise in bralettes, push-up, padded, and underwire bras. Designers and companies have modernized the shelf-bra that was built into sports or strapless garments. In spite of all the innovation, the basic shape has stayed the same.  Although the use of whalebone in women’s undergarments has gone the way of the Whig, when you ask most women what they take off first when they get home, the answer is their bras more often than not.

As someone who has worn nearly every type of bra to handle a large bosom, I am always on the lookout for a happy medium of support and comfort. I believe it was Carol Burnett who said, the world would be a different place if men had to get into stirrups.  I agree with her assessment wholeheartedly. No man would design an undergarment with steel bands near the family jewels, but women had to live with the worry of the bra-bite at the most inopportune times. If you’re a woman who has ever been at work, church, or in a meeting, you know the meaning of when underwire attacks.

In the pantheon of bra designers and companies, Soma is relatively new to the scene. At one point, bras fittings were exclusive to high-end lingerie boutiques and shops. However, their boutiques and price point offer women value with excellent service.  It’s worth finding a boutique in your area and checking out their selection. They have sales associates who can help by getting some proper measurements to help you find a bra that’s both pretty and comfortable.  No appointment is necessary.

 

Check out the Soma’s selection here, and find a location near you.

https://www.soma.com/store/

For more history on the evolution of the bra

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_bras#The_Corset

Beauty, Skin Care

Body Skin Care – Buttah by Dorion Renaud

Skin is the largest of our organs. However, unlike the other major organs, it’s exposed to both internal and external elements.  At its most basic, skin covers the entire body. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection. The skin also: Regulates body temperature, and is comprised of three layers:

Skin Basics

  1. Epidermis: The epidermis is the thin outer layer.
  2. Dermis: The dermis is the middle layer.
  3. Subcutaneous fat layer: The  deepest layer of skin. It consists of a network of collagen and fat cells. 

All ethnicities have the same skin, and every single person has melanin. According to information available from Avail Dermatology, there are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The former is what makes skin darker, while the latter does the opposite by creating red or pink shades. The more eumelanin a person has, the darker their skin is. The more pheomelanin they have, the lighter they are.

Skin issues

Acne, eczema, scarring, and sun damage can cause hyperpigmentation and result in dark spots. Women over forty and fifty-plus may see dark patches on spots appear as a result of melasma, which may occur with hormonal changes, particularly during perimenopause and menopause. This type of hyperpigmentation is something found in all women but can be pronounced in black and brown women.

There are many products available to help fade these blotchy patches. Most contain hydroquinone, or retinoids like Tretinoin and are available in higher percentages when prescribed by a doctor.  These creams work but can take up to six months in order to see any improvement. To that end, we decided to look into different skincare lines that all claim to help achieve an even skin tone.

Product Line Review- Buttah by Dorion Renaud

My sister told me about this skincare line after its founder, Dorian Renaud appeared on HSN. A model, actor, recording artist, and CEO of Buttah Skin, Dorion Renaud isn’t new to being in the spotlight. He’s been featured in Vogue and graced the catwalk and the television screen as a host for NBC’s EXTRA, E’s Keeping up with the Kardashians, and starred on the Bounce sitcom, “In the Cut”.

Buttah is the result of his personal search to find products to work for his skin. When he found the right combination of ingredients, Buttah was born. Dorion created a product that works on the wondrous spectrum of complexions found in Black, Latino, and brown people.  The goal of these products is to target everyday issues such as dryness, discoloration, oiliness, and blemishes.

The products come in two categories; Buttah Skin and Buttah Body. The goal of both is to improve the appearance of skin brightness and skin tone evenness in melanin-rich skin.

 My sister and brother-in-law were the first to order and I followed suit. Here’s a little bit about the products we used.

 

Buttah Body and Skin

To be sure the products are workable for you, Buttah offers a customizable sample kit of three products for $15.00. You have your choice of three moisturizers CocoShea Revitalizing Cream, Facial Shea butter, oil-free gel cream

The CocoShea Revitalizing Cream is a blend of African rich-butters, Hyaluronic Acid (for moisture), and Vitamin E.

Verdict: The cream was light and despite containing shea butter, wasn’t greasy and proved to be non-comedogenic (didn’t clog pores) my sister saw an improvement in her skin tone in a little over three weeks.

The Oil-Free Hyaluronic Gel Cream moisturizer with grapeseed extract.

The verdict: The lightness of the cream belies its level of hydration. My skin absorbed the moisture and remained perfectly hydrated. I began to see an evening of my tone within about two weeks. I committed to buying the full-size version pretty quickly.  

The third option for the sample kit is the facial shea butter. My brother-in-law thinks it’s great for conditioning skin after shaving and it helps even skin tone without clogging pores.

The Buttah body line is comprised of luxurious body washes, soaps, creams, and body butter. They are all terrific and leave your body smooth and feeling nourished.

Overall, we found Buttah products to be priced right and a good investment to make in terms of the mind, body, and soul connection. When your skin both looks and feels good, it adds to your confidence. Feeling good about yourself comes from the inside. However, products that help better the health and look of your skin, helps to strengthen our body-image armor as we become more ageless.  

Buttah products are organic, cruelty-free, FDA-registered, and clinically validated.

For more information about Buttah visit https://www.buttahskin.com/

Check them out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

https://www.instagram.com/buttahskin/

https://www.facebook.com/buttahskin/

Follow Buttah on Twitter

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