Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BIG Announcement

Hello lovelies,
hope you all doing well, it's been a long time since my last post ( well long time for my case). the reason for that is ...
I moved my blog to a new better place and I've been working on that for the past few days. it is still in progress but now I can go back to my regular posting.
Here is the address :
you could still follow me with Google read or blogger subscription. I also opened a Facebook page if you like to add me to your friends :)
Hope to see you all there

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hello lovelies,
Hope you all had a great weekend, mine was good. Saturday we had some shopping to do;we also went to a new place that opened in Montreal and it's called "Kono Pizza" which is basically a cone filled with pizza toppings; it was good but one cone is not often enough ( at least for me ).weather here is starting to cool off which I absolutely hate, so trying to enjoy the last few days of summer as much as possible.
here are some random pictures from my weekend.
Kono pizza

aren't these just pretty ( at home decor store)

I love this, hopefully you could read it ..

and this :)

I have an obsession with full length mirrors, but this one was kinda ugly looking..and yes that is me in it ;)
Now back to Monday subject and here is this week's menu:

Monday :  Foil-packet Fish
Tuesday Beef Ravioli 
Wednesday Parisian Tuna Sandwich
Thursday  Chicken Stroganoff
I am currently looking for some new recipes to try so this week nothing new yet.  I  also participate in Laura's Menu Plan Monday post. as the week progresses I will update this post with the pictures and if you like to know more details about any of the recipes please let me know ;)

Have a great week everyone :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perfume: Bronze Goddness Soleil

Hello lovelies,
hope you all had a great week, mine was long but good, so no complains. today's post will be a new perfume that was added to my collection just very recently (this morning). This one was on my list since this spring while I was at Estée Lauder.They had 2 new limited edition perfumes for summer 2011. I tested both and I preferred this one. 

Here is the package little squinchy, it was in hubby's luggage 
As described by Estée Lauder,it was inspired by the warmth of the Mediterranean, a citrus floral blend with notes of Bergamot and Orange Blossom. 
It is a citrus floral fragrance. with Sicilian Citron, Calabrese Bergamot, Blood Orange, Sweet Tangerine, Provencal Lavender Flowers and Lemon Tree Leaves (Petitgrain) as "Top Notes'; Pittosporum, Neroli from Tunisia ORPUR™, Moroccan Orange Blossom ORPUR™, Indian Sambac, Grapefruit Tree Blossoms and Pink Lily Nectar as "Middle Notes'; Blond Woods, Iris Accord, Ambrette Seeds and Crystalline Musks as "BaseNotes". 
It has a warm base due to notes of blonde woods, iris, ambrette seed and crystalline musk.At first spray I notice the citrus, floral and musk scents, but after a while musk wears off and citrus becomes little sweeter which is much better.
The bottle is so simple and pretty, kind of  reflecting the transition from sand to sun in shades, with a cap of matte gold rings. It reminds me of beach and those summer smoothies. It is sunny, energetic, warm, fruity and delicious so what not to love. It is Eau Fraiche so the scent won't last much beyond 2-3 hours but I think it is reasonably priced (100 ml). However I would like the scents of vanilla and coconut in there too because they remind me of summer ( like summer tanning lotions and oils and body butters). It is a very nice perfume specially for summer but not one of those got-to-have-it ones.    
So what is your favorite summer perfume girls:)
Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Estée Lauder gift with purchase at The Bay summer 2011

Hello lovelies,
hope you all had great week so far, I just wanted to inform you that is another gift with purchase times at the Bay from Estée Lauder‏. I probably will go there to check what they have for their fall 2011 collection.
You will receive a gift with a purchase of 36 $ and more which includes:
So if you have something on your shopping list it would be good time to check a Estée Lauder‏ counter at the Bay.
Happy Shopping :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hello lovelies,
hope you all had a great weekend. mine almost had everything I wanted: fun, relaxing, great food and great company. 
This week I am not planning to cook anything, but I still eat ;) just there won't be any specific plans. I am planning to bake something that I absolutely love but never tried and it is "Blubbery and almond tart". hopefully it will turn out to be good. I think this is one of the most rambling post I ever posted ;) but thought it would be good to just catch up with you. my hubby is out of town this week so I will be all by myself and trying to catch up on some of my chick-flick tv shows or programs :) I will "try" to rearrange and clean my closet which has been screaming my name for a  couple of weeks now but I tried to ignore it as much as possible. 
So that is for me this week, hope you all have great week :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Perfume of memories: J'adore by Dior

Hello lovelies,
Hope you all had a great day and Happy Friday :) today post will perfume related, I wanted to do this post for long time, since I always enjoy reading or talking about perfume with others and discover new ones.
Perfume has always been a very dear subject for me and most of them (or actually all of them) carries a part of my life, memories ( good or bad) and special persons. I personally don't go buy perfume because I need to (cause frankly I don't really need another one), I get them on special occasions since they will carry memories for me, I don't know if that make scene to anyone but other than me.
Yesterday when I was looking through my perfume stuff, I noticed that each one of them comes with their own story and thinking about them made me smile :)

I keep the ones that I use usually on my dresser in a gold tray that I got years ago,the rest are in the drawer ( mostly the seasonal ones). I don't use the same perfume everyday because I personally get used to it so I don't notice it at all on myself and that may be dangerous in case of over spraying ;)
So I will stop rambling now and talk about my absolute favorite:
This is probably my most worn and also my signature scent. I had gone through 5-6 bottle of these and currently have 3 (for some reason!!!) and 2 unopened ones; it's J'adore by Dior.

It was launched by the design house of Christian Dior in 2000 and I got my first one in 2004 from my guy ( currently my hubby but back then was not yet). I think he knew me pretty well back then,because I fall in love with it as soon as I got the package ( yes it was that gorgeous). it came in a big gold box containing one Eau de Perfume, one small gold perfume for purse and one body lotion.

well I am not very good at describing scent so be prepared, I am going to butcher it: it is a fresh flowery fragrance. to be exact, it's a blend of floral orchids, violets, rose and blackberry musk ( as said on Dior website). it is a rather strong scent so one spray is often enough for me. it is very feminine, not too sweet not too musky, just perfect. it is like one of those classic things that everyone should own once in their life like trench coat. I get so many complements when I wear it so it must goes perfectly with my skin.
I have another one in Eau de Toilette which is much lighter compared to original one and has more freshness to it rather than floral scent, much better for summer time.
Well that is all for today's perfume talk :)  So what is your signature scent girls, love to hear about your favorite ones.
Have a great weekend 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Maple Syrup Walnut Cake

Hello lovelies,
I think it's been a long time since my last cake post, but seriously since my sugar free challenge I don't eat cake that much, I baked 2 cake so far one was the pistachio cake and this week was a maple syrup cake and both are still in my fridge. so please someone eat them for me, I can't do it alone and I just can't stop baking.
Maple syrup is a big part of any Canadian but I have to say I have it once in a while with my breakfast pancakes and that's all. they come in a huge variety from very cheap ones that taste like sugar and water mix to a very fabulous ones which tastes like heaven :)
So if you want to have a good tasting cake ( not something that hurts your throat) search for a rather medium to high quality syrups. oh and something else, I modified the original recipe for 2 main reasons: first, the cake is too dry so I added 1/4 cup milk to it, I highly recommend doing that since it does not hurt the texture of the cake and  slightly increase its moisture.  second was I used much less sugar for the glaze which was still plenty of sweetness so I encourage you to do the same ;)
Now enough of me rambling and let's get down to baking, shall we:
Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup of pure maple syrup
1 cup of sour cream
60 gr unsalted butter melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt 
First thing first heat the oven to 350 F. then mix the butter, maple syrup and sour cream in a bowl, till they combine. 

Add the egg and milk, and mix them till they become thick and creamy. 

Add the rest of ingredients and mix them well together with a spatula. pour the batter into a square pan.

 And bake for about 35-40 minutes or till the stick comes out clean. now take it out of the oven and let it cool down. 

Now the cake is ready, time to make the glaze.
Ingredients for maple glaze:
3/4 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
6 tablespoon milk

Mix everything together and when the cake is still warm, using the wood stick or fork pock some holes in it so the glaze absorbs into the cake. after having enough holes, pour the glaze over the cake and let it cool down. 

As I said this cake has different kinda sweetness to it because it is mostly form maple, highly recommended for maple lovers or people with sweet tooth :)

Hope you try and enjoy it as well,
Have a great Wednesday everyone :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hello lovelies, 
I hope you are all well, and had a splendid weekend. here was super hot ( I am not complaining though), water park kinda weather but did we go to the water park, NO. I insisted that we should go blueberry picking,went there even though it was hot I still insisted we should definitely go and pick the blueberries instead of just buying the already picked ones. 

It was super hot that I felt my face was melting, right after the activity of blueberry picking we went to the beach did some BBQ and cooled off there. here is the picture of the beach, it was just so beautiful. might go there again next week. 
This is me, checking the map and repeating "are we there yet" every 30 sec.

and here is the view of the lake, isn't it beautiful :)

Now it is Monday again so let's talk about this week's menu:
Monday :  Roasted sausage and tomato with herbs and garlic
Tuesday Beef Ravioli Lasagna
Wednesday : Foil-packet Fish 
Thursday :  Chicken Stroganoff
Friday: Tuna spaghetti
This week I am cooking the roasted sausage again, this time with different sausage ( mushroom and cheddar) which we picked up from market Sunday. I  also participate in Laura's Menu Plan Monday post. as the week progresses I will update this post with the pictures and if you like to know more details about any of the recipes please let me know ;)

Have a great week everyone :)


Friday, August 5, 2011

L'Oreal Color Infallible Eyeshadow

Hello lovelies,
hope you all enjoying your beautiful summer days. today's post will be on one of my recent purchases which is "La Couleur Infallible" eyeshadow by L'Oreal. 
I 've been noticing the new eye-shadow stand at L'Oreal section for a few months now, each time I pass them I try some of the colors on the back of my hand ( well by time I left my hand looked like it was hit by a glitter bomb) but still did not really see the need to buy these. because 1st of all I am not a big fan of glittery eyeshadows that much (specially at this intense level) and 2nd I honestly don't need any more makeup stuff  in my life at this moment. 
But finally I gave up and got one color which could be one of the most boring ones but I liked it and I think this is the one I could wear the most and it's called Hourglass Beige.

The shadow itself looks like a packed glitter, but the glitters are soft and not chunky at all.  this one is a very light gold-white color (very nice color description by me)  I used my fingers to apply it all over my lid, then in the outer V I used a brown color from a palette by Lancome called La Vie en Rouge (the color is called guess list which is a slight shimmery brown). 

Now let's look at them in action, I used only one layer though since it was a day look but as I said you could build it up as much as you like :)
this is just one layer of Beige eyeshadow and please try to ignore that annoying fallen eyelash ;) 
this is the complete look 

Let's start with the good: it is very smooth, the glitters won't fall off like some powder shadows, very pigmented. I also liked the packaging, it is small and efficient. 
Now to the bad: although it supposed to be long lasting, it is not. I noticed it creasing after about 3hr. as I told you I had another shadow on the outer V, but that color stayed put, the L'Oreal one was creasing from under ( which was looking pretty funny ). I didnot use an eye primer, I rarely use though.Another thing is that I liked to see more colors in that range or maybe some less glittery ones, I don't know maybe that's just me. 
There are some pretty colors there like the green, or navy ones which both looks gorgeous with brown eyes. maybe I get those too, not sure yet, will see.
So this is all for today :) have a great Friday everyone and don't forget to enjoy your weekend;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kabab Koobide

Hello lovelies,
Hope you all having a great day, today's post is kakab koobide recipe which is a Persian dish and my absolute favorite kinda kabab. 
To be honest here, for me it took a while to figure out how to get it right and if you try it you'll see what I mean. so don't worry if you tried and was not satisfied for your first time don't give up,you'll improve it next time. there are 2 main points to keep in mind:
1st: using the right proportion of meat (with the right level of fat) and onions and make them mix all well together so kabab does not fall from the metal skewer on the BBQ. 
2nd: to have a right level of cooking, and avoid getting it too dry.
So now enough with the intro and let's get to the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 4 skewers):
500 gr of ground beef ( I get medium lean, lower level of fat than medium results in dry kabab)
2 medium sized onions grated ( after grating, it is important to separate the water from onions if they become too watery)
1 teaspoon of turmeric 
Salt and pepper
Tomatoes ( as many as you want, I usually consider 1 tomatoes for each person)

Mix everything well together for about 5-8 minutes. so the mixture gets slightly sticky. if you can't mix with your hand just take the half of the mixture and put it in the food processor and just use the pulse bottom 2 times ( that's it you don't need that much). then take it out from there, return it to the bowl and mix with the rest. cover the bowl and pop it into the fridge for at least 2 hours. I usually make it ahead and keep it refrigerated overnight.
Then when the time comes take it out of the fridge, take your wide steel skewers. take a handful of the meat and press it to the skewer uniformly. if the meat does not stay on the skewer now then you will have problem on the BBQ for sure. 

A trick that you could use here ( to make sure they won't fall on the BBQ): use a thin string and wrap the meat with it loosely ( the turns should not be very close together) and when it is cooked separate the strings from the meat by just unrolling it. 
I always manage the length of the kabab by the BBQ length, so keep that in mind. when all the meat is done, you could pop the skewers into the fridge again and hit up your BBQ.don't forget to divide your tomatoes in half then put the them also on skewers as well. 

I prefer charcoal ones but gas-BBQ also will do. the BBQ job is out of my territory, that's my guy's responsibility. but he told me that BBQ should be very hot and even in temperature. when you transfer the skewers ( meat and tomatoes) to the BBQ, start turning them frequently and cook each side for about 5-7 minutes. when it is done take a thin bread ( like pita bread) put it on the plate and leave the kakab between the bread; this helps them to stay warm and juicy.

when all is done, serve them hot with rice and saffron combo or bread. 

A quick note on how to make saffron: add about 1/2 teaspoon saffron to a cup ( in powder, I buy them in strings, in original form, then powder them myself),add small amount of boiling water and mix it well,so the water becomes a very intense orange color. to get even more intense, you could put the small cup inside your rice pan while you cooking your rice and steam it. then you can mix it with your rice.

Final comments: 
If you don't have the proper skewers, you could shape your meat into long, thin proportions and grill them at high temperatures in the oven.the oven should be preheated and the kabab should be placed as high as possible to the top source heat.   
Hope you try this and enjoy as well. 
Have a great Wednesday everyone,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Increase your Body's SPF


Hello Lovelies, 
Hope you all having a great day and week so far. today I wanted to share something with you that I came across recently and found it interesting. and that is Lycopene. 
So what is this Lycopene thing : it is a red pigment that is found in red fruits and vegetables such as red carrots, tomatoes, watermelon and papayas, pink grapefruit. 
But the interesting point is: Consuming lycopene-rich stuff may protect against sunburn and sun-induced skin ageing, British researchers ( University of Manchester) have reported. they reported that The tomato-fed group had 33% more protection against sunburn when compared to the control group.
Unlike other fruits and vegetables, where  some nutritional content such as vitamin C is decreased upon cooking, processing of tomatoes increases the concentration of bioavailable lycopene. actually Lycopene in tomato paste is four times more bioavailable than in fresh tomatoes! For this reason, tomato sauce is a preferable source as opposed to raw tomatoes.
Also it is good to know that Lycopene is insoluble in water, so having tomatoes with oil-rich dishes is highly recommended since it helps and enhances Lycopene absorption. 
Other than Lycopene, there are others like beta-carotene. beta-carotene could be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupes.
So you could increase your sun protection from within but don't forget Lycopene and beta-carotene are no substitute for a proper sunscreen sine they could only provide very low protection. so please don't forget to dive into that sunscreen of yours ;)
That is all for today :) have a great Tuesday everyone

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hello lovelies,
Hope you all had a great weekend. here was sunny and warm. Saturday we went to a big BBQ with office people which was super fun then Sunday we enjoyed the sun at the beach. It was a good and relaxing weekend. but I am very sad that July is over, everything is moving too fast, it's crazy !

But now back to Mondays' subject and that is what to eat this week.  so let's get down to that:
Monday :  Zucchini pizza
Tuesday : Kabab koobide (Persian dish)
Wednesday : Roasted sausage and tomato with herbs and garlic
Thursday : Calzon
Friday:  Grilled herb crusted salmon
This week I am trying 2 new dishes ( Wed. and Fri. ones) which was both suggested to me by a friend. finger crossed I cook them well ;) I  also participate in Laura's Menu Plan Monday post. as the week progresses I will update this post with the pictures and if you like to know more details about any of the recipes please let me know ;)

Have a great week everyone :)

P.S. for the rest of the days I forgot to take a picture and as soon as we finished I remembered ( very typical of me ). and Friday dinner is cancelled since we made plans to go out, but maybe I'll cook it on Sunday night.