All The Shiny.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Nail polish! Mica powder! ALL THE SHINY!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you might have seen a couple phone-photos I posted a while back showing off just how excited I was about combining mica powder with nail polish, and the shiny, shiny results. Now it’s time to tell you how I did it here on the blog, for my DIY Friday post.

Couple of warnings, should you wish to attempt this yourself: mica powder is tiny and easily “poofed”, so take precautions to make sure you don’t breath any; this project is SUPER MESSY.

It also has super fun results, so I definitely recommend trying it! Just make sure you try it somewhere where staining isn’t an issue…

First off, gather your ingredients:

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Nail polish, clear or colored.

Any powdered eyeshadow or mica powder.

A plastic bag.

Scissors.

A piece of paper you don’t care about.

Optional: gloves.

If you use clear polish, the color will be only from the powder. If you use colored polish, the powder will give it a new tint and add a LOT of sparkle-goodness. I’ve done both now, and LOVED both results.

For this batch, I used clear polish with a green loose powdered eyeshadow that I never use on my eyes (because the color always came out too dark and muddy when I wore it). I figured a shiny green nail polish would get worn a lot more, and contrast nicely with whatever red/copper/pink shade I used with my eye make-up on any given day.

Step One: Empty the powder into the bag.

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(If I’d thought of it at the time, I’d be wearing latex gloves at this point.)

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Try and dump it as much in one corner as you can. That will help later on.

Step Two: Cut a small hole in the powder-filled corner of the bag with the scissors.

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(By the way, that chipped purple nail polish was made by adding reddish mica powder to a dark purple polish. It’s GORGEOUS!…when it’s not a week old, anyway.)

Step Three: This part is gonna take practice. It’s also gonna get messy. Using the hole in the bag as the small end of a funnel, try and get the powder into the bottle.

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You will want to stick the end of the bag slightly INTO the neck of the bottle — this was just out for the photo.

Gentle tapping on the bag helps to get the powder down. You may need the tap the bottom of the bottle against the work-surface to settle the powder, as well, since it won’t mix into the polish yet. Or you could remove some the polish first to make more room — either way seems to work.

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Step Four: Once the powder is in the bottle, close it up and shake. Then shake it more. And keep shaking. Admire the pretty swirls of color and glitter. Shake some more. Etc. You want to make sure everything is THOROUGHLY blended.

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So pretty! Now keep shaking….

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There’s gonna be wasted powder, at least when you’re first getting used to this project. If that bothers you, find another project to use it on afterwards! DIY is fun, and there’s always more ideas to try. Just keep your work-space clean so you can safely gather and reuse the excess from each attempt.

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Mixed at last!

I tested it over the old nail polish (feeling lazy, and in a hurry).

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Shiny!

When I properly did my nails with it, I discovered that (surprise surprise) adding powder makes the polish dry quicker. Yet it’s also a little runnier while wet. Odd.

And after working three or four days straight at my housekeeping job — not being particularly careful of my nails, and not wearing gloves for most of the tasks — I was quite happy to discover that the powder also seems to help with longevity. Even with no top-coat or base, check out how little chipping there is!

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Alright, that’s all this post. Check back tomorrow for an all-homemade make-up look!

Love,

GeGi.

Nachos!

Dear Cyber-Friends,

The other night, I made my parents nachos for dinner. My dad was so impressed that he requested we have them once a week from now on.

Luckily, I took pictures of the whole process, which means that not only can I recreate that tasty goodness, I can also share them with you. It was super easy, fast, delicious, and filling! That’s a great combo for a perfect dinner, or even a big lunch.

Here’s my ingredients:

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  • Tortilla Chips
  • Cheese
  • Homemade, Homegrown Sausage
  • Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Diced Green Chili Peppers
  • Salsa Verde
  • Garlic Powder (not pictured)
  • Cumin Powder (not pictured)

I had re-fried beans out, but decided not to use them. That turned out to be a good call, because we barely finished what I did make. However, if for some reason you decide not to use meat, then the beans will help make it a full meal.

Now, break out a big pizza pan and preheat the oven for 350 (Fahrenheit).

Grate the cheese, chop the veggies, and get a skillet going to cook the sausage and onions. While you wait for the meat to cook, spread the first layer of chips on the pan.

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Once the onions and sausage are cooked, season them with the garlic and cumin, and add the diced green peppers. Mix it all together, and then add the bell peppers and the green onions just long enough to them to get heated through.

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The key here is to have all the indigents that aren’t chips, cheese, or green sauce already hot, BEFORE melting the cheese in the oven. This helps your nachos to be evenly hot all the way through, with the bonus of the cheese melting faster.

Now start layering: meat-and-veg over the chips, then cheese and green sauce, then more chips, etc.

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I did two layers of each. Try and keep the layers even to the edges of the pan. It’ll heat unevenly if there’s a mound in the middle, plus it’s just nice to have a little bit of the goodies on every chip!

Now put the whole thing in the oven. I didn’t time it, just kept an eye on the meltiness of the cheese. I’d say at least 10-15 minutes, maybe longer.

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When all the cheese looks melted and is starting to get crispy where it dripped on the pan, it’s time to take it out!

Remember, since all the meat and veg was cooked already, you don’t have to worry about checking the temperature or making sure the middle is hot.

Yay for short-cuts in cooking!

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So tasty! And messy! And filling! And delicious! And easy!

(I get excited about yummy food, but with good reason — food is awesome.)

I used two spatulas (one on bottom, one on top) to transfer a third of this to each dinner plate. It worked quite well, actually, which surprised me.

Definitely a successful dinner!

Love,

GeGi.

P.S. Leave a comment and tell me: what are some of your favorite combinations for nacho toppings?

Bacon!!!

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Dear Cyber-Friends,

Bacon is delicious.

Home-cured, home-made, smoked bacon from home-grown, GMO-free, organic pigs is just…the best thing ever. Seriously.

So it’s obvious I had to use it in a recipe.

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This has become my go-to recipe book for ideas of the quick and easy. I’ve already shared one of my standard recipes in this post, so now it’s time for another one: Drop Biscuits.

There’s a couple variations, but all use the same proportions of ingredients as a base, so it’s easy to mix-and-match what you want. The biscuits are a yummy snack if you’re in the mood for something more savory than a muffin, and they are a great accompaniment for soups and salads. I’ve even used them to make the most awesome mini tuna melt sliders!

I made the Bacon Biscuits this time, but since the variations are so similar and easy, I’ll give you them all at once and you can experiment as you like!

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4 Eggs

1/4 cup Bacon Drippings (Non-Bacon version: same amount of Butter or Coconut Oil.)

(Non-Bacon version: 1/4 cup Honey or Raw Sugar. This is left out for the Bacon and the Cheese versions, but I added about 1 tablespoon anyway, just because I like them with a hint of sweetness. For plain biscuits, I still add a little less than the 1/4 cup, because I don’t want them overly sweet.)

1/4 teaspoon Salt

(Non-Bacon version: for Cheese Biscuits add 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder. I would also recommend for ANY version adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder, and maybe a dash or two of parley flakes, and whatever else you felt like.)

1/3 cup Coconut Flour

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

and of course, 6-8 strips Crisp Bacon, Crumbled. (Non-Bacon version: leave out, or replace with 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded, for Cheese Biscuits.)

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To begin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit because this is going to go fast.

Combine the eggs, bacon drippings, salt, garlic powder, and raw sugar, and beat it with a whisk until smooth.

Pro Tip: I’ve found that hand-whisking the eggs in coconut flour recipes really helps end result be more fluffy, since there’s no gluten to do that job and the baking powder doesn’t seem to have quite the same effect alone.

Then add the coconut flour and baking powder, and beat it more with the whisk until blended. Add the bacon crumbles and fold together with a spoon.

Drop fluffy spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet (I used coconut oil).

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They should look something like this. The yellowness comes from yolks of our farm eggs, because our chickens get to feast on grasses and weeds.

Bake for 14-15 minutes. I did 15, but probably would have been fine with less time. Sometimes I need more. It just depends, so go low and check them before you take them out. You can always add more time if you need to.

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Yum!

They’re delicious fresh and hot from the oven, or cooled down. They’re even great when they’re cold from the fridge; and if you have leftovers, that’s where you’ll want to keep them. The high egg content means they spoil quickly on the counter, but they keep just fine for several days when refrigerated. I haven’t tried freezing them yet — since I tend to eat them all before they’d get there — but if you do try please let me know how it works out!

Happy eating, and enjoy your food!

Love,

Gegi.

Coconut and Almond Flour Peanut Butter Muffins.

Dear Cyber-Friends,

Time for another recipe! I’m going to show you how I make something that quickly became a staple of our household: Coconut Flour Muffins.

You can find the original recipe, and many others, in the very informative Cooking with Coconut Flour: A Delicious Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Alternative to Wheat, by Bruce Fife, N.D.

My version, a double batch with a few additions, calls for the following ingredients:

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2 tablespoons Coconut Oil

1/3-1/2 cup Raw Sugar (depending how sweet you want them)

6 Eggs

1/2 cup Peanut Butter

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

A generous dash or two of Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

about 1/2 teaspoon EACH of Almond Extract and Orange Extract (I just splash it in,so it might be a little more.)

1/3 cup EACH of Coconut Flour and Almond Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

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Depending on the room temperature of where you live, the coconut oil made be solid, liquid, or somewhere in-between. Since it’s been a little cool in Hawaii, the coconut oil is semi-solid right now. If it’s totally solid, you’ll want to warm it up before you start.

Here’s what mine looked like in the bowl, after I chopped it up a bit in the bowl with the whisk:

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I mixed it with the raw sugar before adding anything else, to help it from getting too lumpy:

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Then I mixed in the eggs and peanut butter, and whisked until smooth:

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Then I started preheating the oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit), and added the salt, spices, and extracts. This might help give you an idea of how much I used, since I never bother with measuring them:

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After everything else is added and blended smooth, then you add the flours and baking powder last. The original recipe calls for all coconut flour, which is a perfectly yummy option. Just remember that coconut flour is REALLY good at absorption, so the longer it get mixed and sits, the thicker it will get.

Mix them all well, and you’ll get about this consistence:

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Perfect for dropping into muffin tins!

I always use papers in the tins, by the way, and by the time you finish filling them all, the oven should be hot.

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This makes 12 full-sized muffins. Bake for about 15 or so minutes — check if they need a minute or two longer.

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Let them cool on a rack. They peel way better if you wait!

If you aren’t going to finish them in a day or two, store them in the freezer to keep them from going bad. They last for a long time that way, and are super easy to heat up (or eat cold!), and they make a very nutritious and easy breakfast-on-the-go.

Happy eating!

Love,

Gegi.