Sensational Seaweed and Beauty Recipes

Seaweed is one of the healthiest things out there and it can do wonders for your hair, skin, nails and body. You can often find seaweed in the exotic food section of your grocery store or seaweed products (ie. Kelp, dulse, nori, sea lettuce) at a health food store/online. The following are great DIY beauty recipes that you can prepare and use in the comfort of your own home.

seaweed

Seaweed Detox Wrap

This recipe cleanses your body of all unnecessary that build up by simply walking around. It also relieves stress, slims and is a lovely treat after a long day at work. Here’s what you need:

8 ounces powdered seaweed (kelp is easiest to find)
1 cup hot warm water
2 plastic sheets (saran wrap works well).

Before you begin, prepare your bathroom for the wrap treatment. I like to lay a blanket down in the bathtub, light a few candles and let hot water run for a while to get that steamy effect (if you run water in the bathtub, lay the blankets down afterward obviously). I’ve also heard of people putting space heaters in the bathroom to keep it warm.

Next, set your plastic sheets out (or sarah wrap) so that it’s ready to go. To prepare the seaweed past, simply pore the powdered seaweed of choice into a medium sized bowl. Next, add a little bit of a water at a time and stir. Do this until you have reached a consistency that is not too thick but still applicable and will stick to your skin.

Apply the mixture to different areas of your body, such as your stomach, arms, legs, feet. Wrap with the plastic sheet or saran wrap and sit in the bathtub under a second blanket. Listen to soothing music or sip on tea for 20 minutes. Next, remove the plastic wrap and soak in the bathtub for 10 minutes or so and rinse all the residue away. Apply lotion as desired and relax for a little while longer.

Lavender and Seaweed Bath Tea

I love this recipe because you can make it in bulk and it serves as the perfect gift. Here’s what you need:

Tea bags (or tea filters)
1/2 cup dried seaweed (kelp, seaweed flakes, nori)
1 cup dried lavender

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, mix the seaweed and lavender until you have an even mixture. Next, divide the mixture up into the tea bags and tie (you may need to purchase string depending on the types of tea bags you purchase). Draw yourself a warm bath, light some candles and drop 2 tea bags into the water. After letting it steep for 5 minutes, hop in and enjoy!

Note: If you can’t find teabags in the tea section or your local craft store, try using pantyhose.

Citrus Spa Recipes for Your Skin

Citrus has wonderful affects when applied topically. That’s why fruits like lemons, grapefruits, limes, oranges, etc. are often seen in DIY beauty recipes. Citrus has naturally detoxifying effects when applied to the skin and it also serves as an astringent/toner and antiseptic. The following are three original and delicious DIY Beauty recipes that incorporate citrus*y fruits into the ingredients!

citrus

Grapefruit Toning Facial Mask

This recipe is especially great for those with oily/combination skin. The citrus juices from the grapefruit exfoliates and eliminates extra oil that may accrue over the days time. Oh, and it smells great, too! Here’s what you need to gather:

1 tsp. Grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons honey
6 ounces plain yogurt
8-10 almonds
1 tablespoon rice

Once you’ve got everything together, combine the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. If you notice that there are large chunks of almonds left then blend again. It may help to crush the almonds pre-blending!

Wash your face with your normal cleanser and pat dry. Apply a generous amount of the mixture to your face and spread it evenly. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until it has hardened. Rinse with warm water. Make sure you remove everything – you don’t want yogurt residue on your face! Splash your face with cold water to tighten pores and then gently pat dry.

Cream Cheese / Orange Facial Spread

I love this recipe because if you have any left over it makes a perfect spread for a toasted bagel! It’s a refreshing, creamy blend of goodness that does wonders to your face. Here’s what you need:

1 small-medium sized orange
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
2 ounces cream cheese (soft)

In a small to medium sized bowl, combine your cream cheese and honey. Blend thoroughly so that the honey is evening dispersed throughout the cream cheese.

Next, cut your lemon in have and squeeze out ½ teaspoon of juice. Be careful of the seeds! Peel your orange so that you are left with a skinless fruit! Take 2 slices of the orange (you can peel them apart easily) and take off the thin layer of “skin.” Add the lemon juice and peeled orange slices to your cream cheese and mix/mash until you have a smooth and consistent texture.

Your spread is now ready to spread! Apply a thin layer of the concoction to your face and let it set for 15 minutes until it is hardened. Rinse with warm water. Follow up with a few cold splashes (to tighten pores) and gently pat dry!

Pineapple Papaya Acne Treatment

Again, this one is good enough to devour! Papaya is a powerhouse of nutrients and enzymes that work to heal the skin. It does wonders for acne-prone skin. The citrus*y pineapple is a gentle exfoliator and the honey/yogurt work together to moisturize. Round up these ingredients before you begin:

1 cup fresh pineapple (avoid cans)
¼ cup fresh papaya
2 grapes
½ tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon yogurt

After you’ve prepared your pineapple and papaya, take 2 grapes and peel the skin off. In a small to medium sized bowl, mix all of your fruits together, mashing them well so that you have an evenly combined mixture of delicious looking fruit. Try to not to eat any!

Next add to your bowl the honey and yogurt. Mix well and let it set for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. This gives the papaya and pineapple juices time to seep into the mixture.

While you’re waiting, cleanse your face with your normal face wash and pat dry. Next, apply the mixture to your face focusing on those areas where acne is most troublesome (T-zone, chin, etc). Let the mixture set on your face for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and gently pat dry. This also works well on other acne-prone parts of your body.

Recipes for Berry Beauty Regimens

Berries are a practical natural source for all sorts of things. For example, most are wonderful treats for your taste buds, many are used to create colors for natural fabric dying and they are also great to apply topically to your body and face!

And who could dismiss the fact that berries make things taste and smell oh-so-sweet! With that said, here are a few recipes that incorporate berries into the ingredient list. These are some of my favorite recipes to date!

berry lovely

Blueberry Honey Lipgloss

Mmm! What a delicious treat for your lips! I don’t know about you, but I’m up for some all-natural blueberry and honey flavored gloss any day! This recipe is great because the deep purple of the blueberries add a light pink tint to your lips and the honey adds softness. What you need:

8-12 fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey (try organic!)
1 capsule of Vitamin E (optional).

Once you’ve gathered your items, wash your blueberries and choose 8-12 average sized berries that look the healthiest! Next, combine the honey and oil in your microwave safe bowl. Make sure that it is mixed well. Extra virgin olive oil is very refined oil and great for your lips, but if you find the scent too strong you can trade it out for a vegetable oil of your taste.

After the honey and oil are mixed thoroughly, add your blueberries and heat in the microwave. Keep a close eye on the contents while they are heating. About ever 20-30 seconds, take the bowl out and stir. Continue to do this until the mixture begins to boil.

With a spoon, crush the berries.. The liquid portion of the mixture should turn to a pinkish color. Continue to mix until the berries are fully crushed. Remove what is left of your berries either by straining or by picking them out. Stir until everything is smooth and consistent.

You can store this fabulous gloss in an already-used lip gloss container or purchase a container at a craft store. Cool, huh?

Strawberry Cream Rouge

I’m totally obsessed with this recipe! Not only are DIY blush recipes hard to come by, but this one looks fabulous, moisturizes your face and is super easy to make. You’ll be shocked into happiness with this baby! Before you begin, gather these items:

2-4 strawberries (you’ll want 1/2 cup chopped)
1/4 cup of beet powder
1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

First, select 2-4 strawberries that look the healthiest! Wash them and cut off any blemishes. Gently dry them off and chop into small pieces. You should have 1/2cups worth. Next, combine the strawberries with the beet powder and olive oil in a blender. Blend on medium until everything is smooth and consistent.

You can store this creamy blush in an already-used container or you may purchase one from a craft store. To apply, dab a small amount on the apples of your cheek and blend in. You’ll be a glowing, strawberry-lovin’ diva!

So Berry Bright Mask

The scents from this face mask will leave your mouth watering. Feel free to drink a glass of champagne with this recipe! Here’s the ingredient list:

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 medium sized cucumber
3 strawberries
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. plain yogurt

Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend on medium setting for 2-3 minutes. Depending on your blender you may need to blend a bit longer. Make sure that the mixture relatively smooth and consistent (the almonds will make it a bit rough, though).

Cleanse your face with your normal face wash and pat dry. Apply this mixture to your face and let it set for 10-15 minutes (or until it is dry). Once you’re ready to rinse, do so with warm water. Splash cool water on your face to tighten pores and then gently pat dry. Take a look in the mirror – that’s one berry fabulous chic!

Rainbow Gelatin Cake Recipe

Creamy, delicious color topped with color upon color, reach the moon if you must! This cake is absolute fantasy land in a kitchen. If you take the rainbow challenge, please show us how it goes! The only thing better than eating rainbows is gazing upon them~

Rainbow Jello Cake

Feel free to print this for your recipe book/box and keep it close by for celebrations of the colorful sort.

The Mushroom Forest Tales and Recipes

Mushroomaholic? Yes please. I’m an absolute mushroom lover from both a visual and a taste stance. I still enjoy walks in the woods looking for tasty morels. (it wasn’t long before I cooked and ate the one you see above) I come from a family/culture that appreciates the earth and that mushrooms are possibly the tastiest gift of all. If you happen to spot some mushrooms along your trails, please post your own mushroom photos and collections for the MUSHROOM GALLERY (coming soon!).

Enjoy these vintage Moonlight Mushroom scans about a mushroom garden in Pennsylvania for some smiles and recipes. What a cute thrift store score!

100% moonlight

moonlight mushrooms

hors d'oeuvre


Remember never to eat a mushroom you have found in the wild unless you are experienced in mushroom identification!

How to Make and Enjoy Bubble (Boba) Tea

Bubble tea/boba tea, is usually a milk tea drink with tapioca pearls sitting on the bottom, waiting to be slurped up a large, colorful straw. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, pearl milk tea is the direct translation from Chinese. Thanks to Taiwan, bubble tea is now available all over the world.

Know of a great bubble tea spot? Post it! There are three I know of in the Indy-area. Strange Brew, a cafe in Greenwood, serves bubble tea as well as a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Indy and a fast-food Chinese stand in the Washington Square Mall. If you know of any spots in your neighborhood you should list them, bubble tea is a fun, tasty drink that should be shared with friends.

bubble tea feature

Bubbles

The ratio should be about 7:1 (water to tapioca pearls).
Boil water in a large saucepan.
Add tapioca pearls to boiling water.
The pearls should float.
Continue boiling for about 25 minutes (depending on the tapioca pearl type) covered.
Turn off the heat and let the pearls cool.
Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in warm water and drain out the water.
Cover with syrup and add some to your favorite drink.

Syrup

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water

Mix sugar and water in a large pot.
Cook at medium to high heat.
Once the mixture boils remove from stove immediately.
Let cool; to be used for bubble tea and similarly sweetened drinks.

Rainbowlicious Bubble Tea

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup syrup
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Place all ingredients minus the tapioca pearls into a blender and blend well.
Blend it to desired consistency.
In the a glass, pour some cooled bubbles.
Pour your blended smoothie on top.
Cover the top of the smoothie with strawberry slices and pineapple chunks.

* I had this piled high like and covered in strawberries and pineapples at the E-Zone cafe in Toronto with my best friend. Too bad the cafe has since closed and I have never found anywhere even comparable!

Iced Bubble Coffee

1/4 cup non-dairy powder creamer
1/4 cup bubble tea sugar syrup
3/4 cup desired strength coffee (cool)
1 cup ice
2 cups of cooked tapioca pearls

Put coffee, creamer, and bubble tea sugar syrup in a shaker and mix well.
Add ice, cover shaker and shake until blended and frothy.
Add tapioca pearls into your desired glass, pour the coffee on top and enjoy!

➡ No bubbles? Try coconut meat or a thick-set flavored gelatin for substitutes!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes to Warm Your Winter

Isn’t it nice how a fabulous cocktail sets the entire mood of a party? After all, when you have a good-looking and great-tasting drink in your hand, your mood is generally soarin’ high!

Listed below are seven simple (and inexpensive) holiday cocktails that you can make without breaking the bank.

holiday cocktails

Cranberry Christmas

This delicious and fruity cocktail is the perfect shade of crimson. Here’s what you need:

1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1 teaspoon lime juice (squeeze it fresh for the best taste)
1 oz vodka

Combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Serve in a frosted martini glass (just place it in the freezer for a few hours). To garnish, add a few cranberries – they’ll float!

Peppermint Delight

The holiday’s are always nicer with a hint of mint. Try this lovely and refreshing mix at your next holiday bash:

1.5 ounces creme de cacao
1 ounce half/half (try lowfat milk if you’re on a diet)
1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Place in a cocktail shaker with ice and mix well. Strain and place into a beautiful glass of your choice. To garnish, add a short peppermint stick!

Let it Snow

This intoxicating mixture is an interesting wake up call for your taste buds.

2 ounces pear Shnapps
1 ounce half/half (or milk)
a dash of cinnamon

Place the Schnapps and cream into a cocktail shaker with ice. Mix thoroughly and strain into a fabulous glass. You can also try this drink blended. Simply combine the Schnapps and cream with ice and blend until smooth. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top!

Scotch Reindeer Sour

This drink is especially fab for the gentlemen on hand. Serve this in an old fashioned, short glass and hand it over with a coy eye!

1 1/2 ounces whisky (try the Canadian kind!)
1 1/2 ounces orange juice
1 teaspoon of grenadine
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Combine all the ingredients into a shaker or blender. Pour into your glass and add a lemon slice to garnish!

White Christmas

This silky drink is better than any dream you could conjure! Not to mention, it’s as easy as 1-2-3!

1 ounce amaretto
1 ounce half/half
1 ounce vodka

Mix this lovely trio in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry or nutmeg.

Mr. Grinch

Maybe this drink won’t steal all your presents, but it sure knows how to steal hearts!

2 ounces Midori
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp sugar syrup (try Karo)

Mix all three ingredients into a shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass. This green drink looks fabulous with a cherry garnish!

Hot Mint Chocolate

This is my all-time favorite, so of course I’ve saved the best for last! This drink is great for low-key parties or snuggling up with your loved one(s).

5 to 6 ounces of hot chocolate (hot!)
1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Pour the schnapps into a mug or glass that is heat-safe. Add your hot chocolate and stir well. To garnish, add crushed candy cane around the rim of your glass or simply add a candy cane stick.

Make a Colorful Malaysian Layer Cake

These lovely cakes are created with intricate layers of alternate color, flavor and texture. The name, which is Malaysian, translates to layer cakes. These cakes are not always sweet and many times have very creative flavor combinations.

The bases of these cakes are usually made from rice flour, glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour and green bean flour. These flours give the cakes a firm pudding-like texture.

If you do take the Kueh Lapis feat and bake a layer cake, please submit a photo and it will be added here~

Kueh Lapis

Instructions

1. Boil 225ml coconut milk with sugar & pandan leave until sugar dissolves
2. Separate mixture into two portions
3. Add red coloring to one portion
4. Pour a thin layer of batter into aluminium tray and steam till set
5. Pour into a bamboo steamer
6. Alternate the colors and steam until batter almost finished
7. When last layer is to be poured in, add a little more coloring into batter to give it a deep red color, pour this over as the last layer and steam

Cake

160g rice flour
20g green bean flour (lek tau hoon)
150ml water

Syrup

190g powdered sugar
300ml water
2-3 pandan leaves (if none, green food coloring)
250ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
A few drops red coloring

Method

Combine sugar, water and pandan leaves (food coloring) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Strain and set aside to cool.

Put rice flour and green bean flour into a large mixing bowl. Pour in water gradually and leave aside to soak for 40–45 minutes.

Add coconut milk and salt to the rice flour and mix well. Stir in syrup. Strain the batter to ensure it is free from lumps.

Divide batter into two. Leave half a portion white and add coloring to the other half.

Place a greased 20cm tray in the steamer and heat up for 4–5 minutes. Pour half cup of the white batter on the heated tray.

Cover and steam over medium heat for 5–6 minutes or until set.

Pour half cup of the pink batter over the white layer and steam covered for 5 minutes.

Repeat the procedure, alternating white and pink batter until all the batter is used up.

To the very last layer add a little more color to make it a deeper shade of pink.

After the final layer is set, steam the kuih for a further 12–15 minutes. Halfway through open the lid to release the steam, then cover again until the end of the steaming process.

Serve

Make sure the kuih lapis cools completely before attempting to cut (will break apart if cut when warm); cut into diamond shapes.

Teacakes to Bake in the Microwave

Have only a few minutes or a tiny-kitchen but want to make a yummy cake for yourself or friends? Make sure after you’ve finished the cake to pop a few coffee mugs with water for 1.5 mins and add your favorite tea to each cup!

Applesauce Cakes

Ingredients
microwavable coffee mugs or similar
non-stick spray or butter
mixing bowl
flour: 1 1/2 cup
baking soda: 1/2 tsp
salt: 1/2 tsp
cinnamon: 1 tsp
cloves: 1/2 tsp
nutmeg: 1/2 tsp
allspice: 1/2 tsp
shortening: 1/2 cup
packed brown sugar: 1 cup
egg
unsweetened applesauce: 1 1/4 cup

Instructions
Line a 1 1/2 quart glass baking dish with wax paper. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together into bowl. Cream shortening and brown sugar into mixture. add egg and beat thoroughly. Mix well after each addition. Fill greased mugs half-way with batter. Bake in microwave for 10 minutes.

Cheesecakes

Ingredients
microwavable coffee mugs or similar
non-stick spray or butter
mixing bowl
package of cream cheese: 8 oz
sugar: 1/4 cup
egg
vanilla wafers or cookies
vanilla flavoring: 1/2 tsp

Instructions
Soften cream cheese. Mix in other ingredients and beat well until smooth. Place vanilla wafer or cookie in microwavable coffee mug or tea cup. Spoon cheese filling on top and microwave on high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until filling is set. This will make 6 cakes. when cool, top with pie filling or piece of fruit.