cooking, diet, dieting, Fashion, food, health

In which we make eggplant pizza rounds #diet #paleo

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Once I decided to do this no carbs/no sugar thing I realize that there are a lot of foods that I love with bread or pasta involve. I grew up eating rice with every meal, too. There’s a whole world of other ingredients to fall back on, but it takes a few seconds to realize it. This week I was jonesing for pizza and decided to adapt an established recipe to fulfill my cravings. Eggplant parmigiana? Welcome to pizzaville.

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The first step is to make your sauce. Put together a 9 x 13 inch pan of tomatoes, garlic and herbs like basil and oregano. I did 2 pints of plum tomatoes, a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and a teaspoonful each of oregano and basil. I sprinkled a little salt and some crushed red pepper flakes on top, drizzled the whole thing with a quarter cup of olive oil and slid it into the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Take it out once at the 20 minute mark to stir everything up. Also, line the pan with some foil or parchment paper….easier cleanup.

Once this is done, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and over medium heat stir in a can of tomato paste. use a 1/3 cup of chicken or vegetable stock to loosen things up. When it’s starting to bubble, ad your roasted tomatoes. Stir together and lower the heat. Let it simmer while you tend to the eggplants (make sure to stir so it won’t burn). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Slice an eggplant into 1/2 inch  rounds and lay them out flat for 20 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on them, then rinse them and at down with paper towel. This takes out the bitterness. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a stainless steel pan and start frying the eggplant discs. You want them browned on both sides. Place the fried eggplants back on your lined baking sheet. Turn off the heat under your sauce, which you were also keeping an eye on. Now you’re ready to build your pizzas.

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Spread a tablespoon of your rich, thick flavorful sauce n each eggplant round. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle chopped peperoni slices on top of the cheese. if you want to get crazy, go for one more layer of cheese. Who’s going to stop you? Slide the eggplant pizza rounds into the oven for 15 minutes, and then cook them under the broiler for another 2 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes, then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Slice up and devour.

*Alternate method: leave eggplant in the frying pan and layer rounds with sauce and cheese and pepperoni, laying a whole pepperoni slice on top. Let the cheese melt and then serve.

I can tell you for myself, they are delicious. For me, pizza is the cheese and toppins, so this worked perfectly.

 

xoxo, Faith/SEB

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diy, Fashion

in which we make plantain chip nachos and love it #food #diet #paleo

So my friend is big into the paleo diet, and because of that I started working on giving up pasta, bread and anything with unhealthy carbs including the rice that I grew up eating along with pretty much every meal. I’m not a diet person, so at first it was odd, but now i think I have the hang of it. It just gets weird when I want something like pizza or nachos.

I was looking at food on instagram and drooling over mac & cheese videos, pizza posts and various baked treats. Then I saw a photo of a nacho plate, oozing with beans and cheese and spiky with corn chips. I had to have that nacho plate. But when I asked my friend about corn chips, I learned that because corn is a cereal that corn chips are kind of not on my yes list anymore. But I still wanted the nachos! I thought that plantain chips would make a good substitute since they can be fried to a crisp and the taste woud mesh well with beans and cheese. And so it became a mini-project to create a gooey comfort food based on the paleo diet. Behold…

Plantain Nacho Plate Recipe:

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Step 1: Get two yellow (sweet) plantains and peel them. On a cutting board, slice them into thin rounds. Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil in a skillet and arrange the plantain rounds in a single layer in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fry the rounds on medium heat until browned on both sides. This is the most intense part, as you need to work in batches and make sure that you don’t forget about your chips and burn them. Line a 9×12 baking pan with foil an create two layers of chips on the bottom. This is the base for your nacho plate. Save a few chips to garnish the dish when done.

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Step 2: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer ingredients of your choice over the plantain chips. I did a layer of sauteed chopped leeks, canned tomatoes, black beans, and then a mixture of cooked ground pork and hot sausage. I sprinkled cheese on these layers, then started over again in the same order and then sprinkled more cheese on top. Sprinkle herbs and spices on top of the cheese, like paprika thyme, cumin, oregano and basil.

I used pepper jack, but you could use mozzarella, cheddar, or all three. It’s your choice. You can also use chicken or tofu instead of the meat that I used. I used leeks instead of regular onions because I’m just into leeks right now, so feel free to use onions if you prefer. Once you’ve got your layers done, slide the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

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Step 3: Once the timer goes off, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil on hi for 2 minutes to get a crust on the top layer of cheese. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the dish rest for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to put a portion or two on a plate with the crust side up. If any plantain chips escape  just spoon them onto the plate, too. Place a dollop of sour cream on top and decorate with chopped plum tomatoes, slivers of avocado,  and the remaining plantain chips. Sprinkle with chopped scallion pieces and serve.

The hardest part is frying the plantains, and after that it gets much easier. As soon as I finished photographing this plate, I ate the whole thing and was satisfied, but not overly full. I still was able to put two more bowls of the plantain chip nachos away in the freezer, so you end up with a decent amount of food and it wasn’t expensive to make.

Try it, I’m pretty sure you won’t be sorry. Bon apetit!

 

xoxo, Faith/SEB

beauty, beauty products, blogging, cooking, diet, dieting, diy, Fashion, fashion photo, food, hair, hair products, hair removal, haircare, health, lifestyle, personal style, photo, photo industry, photo shoot, Photography, shopping, skin care, skincare, Style

in which we take stock of where we are and look forward to 2017 #bye2016

I am not one of those people that likes to party on NYE. I think the last time I went out was 12/31/2009, and luckily it turned out to be a party run by a high school friend. What are the odds? So tonight, like most years, I’ll be chilling at home thinking about everything I accomplished and thinking about all the stuff I want to do in the coming year. No resolutions this year, since I noticed that I forget them as soon as I make them and really, who cares? Life takes so many twists and turns that resolutions made in December look really silly come March or April. I’m just going to chip away at things that keep me from being, doing or going towards where I want to be.

I’m really proud to report that much progress has been made in 2016:

Work:

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I made progress as a blogging freelancer by working for Energems, HSI Professional, and Private Rx. In fact, I’ve been writing blog posts for the Private Rx blog for the last 6 months. I’m really proud of that. I got a Fashion Week job that ended up generating cash for me from September to November and it inspired me to update my Behance photography portfolio and start uploading stock images again. I also made money from my Society 6 store! And from depop and other online selling platforms. Not monumental groundbreaking sums, but enough to feel confident and competent.

Diet and health:

This year I started messing with a waist trainer, but it wasn’t until November that I made the necessary changes in my diet to lose weight and keep it off. My friend is big into the paleo thing, and while I was never a calorie counter and have willfully embraced carbs all my life, I thought it might be worth it to give up pasta and bread and start paying attention to my diet.

I made banana walnut bread a week before I decided, so now I have backslide slices ready in the freezer. Unfortunately the last time I ate one my whole metabolism seemed to slow to a crawl and it took a week of saying no to carbs to feel good again. I guess I’ll eat a slice for my birthday or something. I’m still a butter and bacon type of girl, as evidenced by my artichokes with lemon butter plate, and below that I was making German potato soup (it was so good), but I am starting to ease up and just use a dab of olive oil for sauteing and a dribble sesame oil for flavor.  I’m leaning on steaming veggies so that they retain more of their nutritional value as well. Not sure I’ll ever be a raw food person, I love hot soup way too much.

Beauty:

The paleo thing is on track with my other big life changing project: making my own beauty products. It’s been fun getting free samples and testing them out. I love having so much knowledge abut what’s good for my skin and hair. But at the end of the day, I’m not spending thousands of dollars on products. I can’t and won’t afford it. However, I still need lotion, and my skin needs exfoliating so I’ll just make everything at home. I’ve been reading up on different recipes, how herbs work, and aromatherapy and trying different things.

For the last two months I’ve been using my salt and coffee skin scrubs, whipping up body butter and slathering avocado on my hair. I use a green tea and yogurt mask that helps deflate the bags under my eyes, and I wax with a homemade sugar concoction. Today I made a hair pomade out of wax and oils. I have soooo many ideas for 2017! I’ll prob be making a business out of it as well, since baking cookies and stuff proved a little too fattening (I might try again with low carb treats, though).  I’ve already turned my baking cupboard into the beauty pantry.

Style and fashion:

I have made a slow return to shopping. After three years of getting free clothes, shoes, underwear, jewelry, perfume, hair and skincare, light bulbs, bedding, towels, and even toothpaste and flossing picks, I decided it’s time to start living life like a normal person. I’m still cheap, though- don’t get it twisted. And since I already have stuff that I like from brands like LL Bean, Desigual, and Cat Footwear, I’m really just re-calibrating my style and moving back towards things that I like because I like them, not because people are giving away free stuff. I am really into Century 21, especially since there’s a store in Downtown Brooklyn if I want to return or exchange anything. I got this coat and knee high Steve Madden boots, a fab Calvin Klein cocktail dress for work, and this awesome patchwork totebag (I snagged it on final sale at $20, and it’s reversible and comes with a little zippered pouch! Free is cool and I’m grateful for all the stuff I got (not as much as some, but more than enough), but there is nothing like catching a good old fashioned bargain.

Self:

After all is said and done, the best thing that I can do is to keep being myself. I can’t worry about what people think or want too much. It’s funny how, when I started blogging I looked like a little girl and now I’m fairly grown up. I’ve changed a lot,mostly for the better, but I’m aware that I’m kind of an asshole. I’ll never be a nice person, and I’m good with that. It’s just how it is. I don’t live in a nice world, so it wasn’t really something that I could afford to aspire to be. I have learned to live in the right now of things and right now I’m a woman that wants to be rich and self-sufficient. I’m a woman who wants to be presentable and comfortably dressed. I’m a woman who likes pretty things, but won’t go crazy chasing them. I’m a woman, plain and simple.

That should be good enough for people, and too bad if it isn’t.

Happy New Year!

xoxo, Faith/SEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

dating, dating diary, Fashion, online dating, relationships

in which i find the friend i was looking for and can stop looking #dating

20161119_135614So here we are in December, after a harum scarum year chock full of strangeness and scandal. I have been working at this dating thing since January, starting online and finally ending up hanging out with someone I met at a beach meetup 6 months ago. The biggest hurdle to this process wasn’t not finding men, but not finding someone who could meet the basic criteria of being a friend, which is what I needed most. We had uber giddy romantic Flower Guy and then there was geek nerd guy who wasn’t as fun as I thought he’d be, and then finally I tried the person that liked me for me and won.

20161119_122325And I will admit that at first I was like ‘who is this crazy man?’, and there was other stuff going on so I couldn’t quite concentrate on him, but when I did I was rewarded with the thing I was looking for but couldn’t find: someone who would leave me alone and accept me as I am, with my weird jokes and puerile behavior and a propensity to wear ripped up sweat pants. I got the relaxing, no stress thing that I have always wanted. Love is this thing that I don’t get, because the meaning seems to shift constantly with no real way of knowing exactly what someone means when they say that word or act like they adore you. People can be super loving and attentive, then disappear, so how can you count on that?

20161119_141002There’s something amazing about just being left alone. Something incredible about someone who literally likes you as you are as a human being. Likes your spirit and personality. The body and face can be changed, you can alter your appearance with surgery or makeup or designer clothing, but you can’t change who you are. Every time I hang out with someone I feel a war inside myself, trying to be real but seeing that they can’t handle me in my entirety and don’t want to. Being around this person gives me peace and freedom, which is better than flowers (although I like those, too).  So that’s the end, I’m done. Terms and boundaries have been discussed, preferences have been noted, and an agreement has been struck. I don’t need him, don’t have to depend on him, can live without him…but don’t have to.

I met someone in real life who saw me as I was and chose me. Finally. I can finally settle in and work on being a happy woman.

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

 

 

Fashion, hair, hair products, hair styling tips, hair stylist, hair tools, haircare

Fall/Winter haircare with Agadir, Kiss and Pura D’or

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I have natural, nappy/kinky hair and when it gets cold I feel as if I have to take extra care with it. I got these Agadir products and love the pampering they’re giving my fluffy locks. The sustainably sourced Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner leave hair clean and soft, and I adore the scent of the Argan Oil Hair Treatment. I pour some in my palm, rub my hands together and then massage it into my hair and scalp for a soft lustrous head of curls.

I actually shed hair, so I love anything that strengthens my hair and keeps it from breaking off. I’ve been using the Pura D’or Hair Loss Prevention Therapy collection to alleviate my paranoia about losing hair. There’s the  shampoo and conditioner, then an Energizing Scalp Serum which both soothes your scalp and revitalizes hair follicles. You spray it on your scalp and massage it in. Don’t rinse it out! There’s also the Intense Moisturizing Masque, which comes with a little shower cap to keep all the good stuff in as you condition your hair.

I’m still using other things in rotation, but I’ve good results from Pura D’or products so far, so we’ll see how my hair survives winter hats and weather in the spring. I’ve been using the Agadir cushion base Detangle Wet brush and this Tigi Bedhead vent brush for blow drying my hair. I know heat styling is sort of bad, but it’s so much easier for me to work with my hair after it’s blown out a bit. For big hair volume, You might want to try the Joico Hair Shake, which is a liquid to powder texturizer spray that you can use while heat styling to bump up curl volume and hold.

Kiss sent over this amazing InstaWave, which has a curl dial at the base of the curling wand to catch long hair and keep it detangled for smooth curling. It catches the hair up and automatically twirls around the diamond-ceramic ionic barrel, which heats up 420 degrees. It’s safe for  hair extensions, so you can bump the curl in your lace front or weave with no problems.

 

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Fashion

16 Sumptuous Wool Coats #winteriscoming

16 Sumptuous Wool Coats #winteriscoming

Balmain coat
farfetch.com

Dolce Gabbana cat coat
$3,040 – tessabit.com

Proenza Schouler coat
$955 – theoutnet.com

Loewe coat
$2,260 – brownsfashion.com

Marni coat
svmoscow.com

MaxMara wool coat
matchesfashion.com

Tory Burch pea coat
toryburch.com

IRO waist belt
$795 – jades24.com

Phase Eight red coat
$325 – phase-eight.com

Uniqlo pea coat
$85 – uniqlo.com

Miss Selfridge coat
$72 – debenhams.com

Wool coat
zaful.com

Wool coat
zaful.com