Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eat Your Veggies: Zucchini Tots

The heavens opened up and the angels sang when I discovered this recipe.  I am going to be perfectly honest with you all.  I am not a natural vegetable lover.  Sure, I love a good salad and veggies like carrots, corn, squash...the usual suspects.  Unfortunately, I have had an aversion to green beans, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli since childhood.  I know green vegetables are important in my diet and I am always on the lookout for recipes that will help me to enjoy them.  I hit the veggie jackpot when I found the original recipe for these tots from Gina's Skinnytaste website. Click the link in blue if you would like to see her recipe.

I made a few changes and these have become a hands down favorite recipe in my family.  My husband could easily eat these everyday if left to his own devices. The recipe as written makes a dozen mini muffin sized tots that will feed 4 people.  You can double this recipe and feed these little beauties as fun and healthy finger food for a party.

Zucchini Tots
3 or 4 servings

1 large zucchini
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 egg substitute
1/4 plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a mini sized muffin tray with cooking spray.  Using a box grater, grate the zucchini until you have just over one cup.  Using a clean kitchen towel, squeeze all of the moisture out of the shredded zucchini.
Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl and add all of the other ingredients.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.  Spoon mixture into the muffin tin being sure to pack it down into the muffin cups.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  Cool before removing from the muffin tin with a small spatula or knife.  Enjoy!
Tasty Tidbits:
Chemo has been kicking my butt but I am trying to get into the swing of blogging more.
I am looking forward to updating my fall wardrobe and I have already purchased a few pieces.
The weather is cooling down a bit and I am ready to start baking.
I haven't scrapbooked in a few years but I purchased one of Becky Higgin's Project Life kits and I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chemo Beauty: Put Your Best Face Forward

As a chemo patient, do you know what I see when I look in the mirror?  I see an egg with eyes.  No, don't laugh at me.  I see an egg shaped bald head with no eyebrows and very few eyelashes so my eyes stand out even more.  Even though my big browns stand out, they are rimmed with dark circles that just make me look ill.  I don't want to look like an egg with eyes.  During this often difficult and stressful time, I want to look like myself again.  I have developed an easy makeup routine that uses affordable drug store products.  This simple but effective makeup helps me remember me...the me before chemo took away my hair, eyebrows, lashes and glowing skin.
When applying makeup always start with a freshly washed and moisturized face.  For my easy everyday look, I prefer to use a BB cream rather than a heavy foundation.  One of my favorites is the L'Oreal Magic BB Cream.  The formula is lightweight and non greasy but still gives a nice amount of coverage.  My next step is to deal with the heavy dark circles that chemo has given me.  I love the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer.  This product is made for the delicate under eye area and it does not settle into fine lines and wrinkles but gives great coverage for dark circles.  After these two steps, I like to set everything with a pressed powder to help control shine and give my look all day staying power. One of my current favorites is L'Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Powder.  This powder creates a nice finish that never looks dry or chalky.  To get the glow back that chemo takes away, I love using bronzer and blush.  The e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder contains a matte bronzer that warms the skin and can be also used as a contour.  It is paired with a beautiful blush that adds life back into the cheeks. 
For my everyday look, I prefer a neutral eye in a matte finish.  I am LOVING the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Eye Shadow Palette.  These shadows have very nice pigmentation and last all day when I use them with my e.l.f. Primer and Liner Sealer.  Eyebrows are very important in my makeup routine because I don't have any!  I create a perfectly natural looking brow by using two products from e.l.f.  I use the double ended e.l.f. Eyebrow Lifter & Filler pencil and the brow powder from the e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit.  I line my eyes with the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner.  These Rimmel liners glide on smoothly and set for a smudge proof finish that lasts all day.  Luckily, I still have a few good eyelashes left on my upper lids.  My bottom lashes are basically gone, so I don't bother even trying to use mascara on the remaining few.  I find that I need two types of mascara to get those lashes looking good and up to their full potential.  I start with a lengthening mascara like L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara Clean Definition.  This mascara helps define and lengthen my chemo screwy lashes.  My lashes are short on the top and they seem to grow in strange directions now.  Using a lengthening mascara helps sets them back in the right direction.  After a coat of the first mascara, I then use L'Oreal Paris Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara.  This formula adds volume and thickness without clumps.  
Because of chemo, I tend to suffer from dry lips.  Due to dry lips, I no longer enjoy wearing thicker, matte lipsticks.  I have become a huge fan of the balm stain and lip butter formulas for my lip looks.  For a quick sweep of color that really feels moist on the lips, I use the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.  If I want something with more staying power, the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain gives long lasting color with a minty scent that it is easy to apply and no mirror is needed. 

There you have it.  The products I use on a daily basis to get a natural but put together makeup look.  If you want to "step up" this look for a special occasion, I recommend the following products.
To achieve a more perfect and matte look foundation finish, I really enjoy Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation. This foundation gives almost full coverage in a formula that includes a built in primer and SPF protection.  Your skin will look matte but not dry and the coverage lasts all day.  I rarely wear foundation but this is my go to product when I want that flawless face look.  Contouring and highlighting can add dimension to the face.  You can slim up your cheekbones and contour your entire face with the Milani Bronzer XL in Bronze Glow.  The bronzer in this duo has a matte finish which makes it perfect for using as a contour as well as a bronzer.  To get a subtle glow and highlight, try the Hard Candy Moon Glow Shimmering Luminizing Translucent Powder.  You can sweep this powder on the top of your cheekbones, center of the forehead, cupid's bow and tip of the nose to light up your face.  For a more dramatic cheek look, try the Nyx Powder Blush in Pinched.  This is a beautiful blush in a really flattering pink color that looks great on most skin tones. 

Now you know!  Products to achieve a perfect and easy daytime look and a few items to punch that look up to the next level.  Next up:  A step by step tutorial of how I apply and use these products.  Stay tuned!

Daily Bits:
*Pumpkin EVERYTHING is showing up in the stores and I am loving it!
*I am making Chicken Parmigiana for dinner tonight
*I want to start baking pumpkin bread even though it has been in the high 90's here
*Just received my Ipsy Glam Bag the other day so stayed tuned for my monthly review post