Pistachio Cake with 7 Minute Vanilla Almond Frosting

IMG_0835At this point in my life, I have made a lot of cakes and cupcakes. I’ve made almost every one of the “typical” flavors that you can think of (chocolate, cherry, vanilla, espresso, etc.) but have never attempted any kind of a nut cake. Not for any particular reason, but just because it’s never occurred to me. I recently took a poll on my Facebook page and one of the suggested flavors was Pistachio. I was kind of intrigued by that and decided to put together a Pistachio cake. It was a perfect excuse to try out a recipe I’d found on http://www.shewearsmanyhats.com for 7 Minute Vanilla Frosting and my husband wanted to try it, too. If you’ve ever made meringue, the frosting is a take on that and is extremely similar. Just like with meringue,  there is a fine line between spreading consistency and glue/rubbery texture, so be careful not to over mix.

We had just returned home from our anniversary celebration (one night in a casino hotel and some of my favorite food in the entire world, in Greektown, Detroit) and I wanted to whip up a quick anniversary cake. Hubby took care of feeding the baby while I decided on a cake recipe from http://www.crisco.com and got to work flouring/greasing 2 9 inch cake pans. I also (because I always have to do it) modified the recipe a bit to be more moist and flavorful.

PISTACHIO CAKE WITH 7 MINUTE VANILLA ALMOND FROSTING

INGREDIENTS (CAKE):

non-stick cooking spray or flour/butter to grease pans

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened to room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup milk

1 (3.75 oz) pkg pistachio instant pudding mix

1 cup + 2 tbsp. cake flour

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tsps. baking powder

INGREDIENTS (FROSTING):

1/3 cup hot water

2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

2 large egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsps. vanilla extract

1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease/flour 2 9″ pans, and add the butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs to the mixer. Beat the mixture 1 min on low, then about 3 more min on medium, until it is light and fluffy. Add the water and pudding mix and beat until incorporated fully. Add the flour and baking powder and beat on low speed, scraping the sides often. Beat at medium speed for about 2 min. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 28-32 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. My oven runs slightly hot so 28 min was enough. Cool 5 min, then flip the cake layers on to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

While the cake layers are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine the hot water and confectioner’s sugar. Whisk briskly, bring mixture to a boil for 1minute, whisk briskly again, and then turn burner off and set sugar syrup aside.

In a mixing bowl, add egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Use an electric hand mixer on high speed and slowly stream in vanilla extract/hot sugar syrup. Continue beating at high speed until desired spreading consistency is reached.

Once  the cake layers are cool, frost in between, top, and sides of cake. IMG_0841 IMG_0837The frosting is designed to mimic a “sloppy” look so feel free to swirl it without worrying about getting it even or perfect looking 😉

It’s moist, holds a good crumb, tastes wonderfully of both almonds and pistachios, and the frosting cuts the sweetness down.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Coconut-Pineapple Breakfast Cake

I’ve been seriously craving a pina colada or fruity umbrella drink the last few days (probably because it’s about 15 degrees and bitterly windy here in Michigan) and decided instead to do what I always do- bake a cake. I couldn’t find a recipe that entailed exactly what I was looking for, other than on http://www.cooks.com there were a few varieties. There were also a few Martha Stewart recipes on http://www.marthastewart.com. I decided to take their recipe for Coconut-Pineapple Cake and use it as a jumping off point for one of my own. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I’m actually (believe it or not) getting burnt out on baking my traditional 9″ round layered cakes with whipped frosting and I wanted something the boys could grab quickly in the mornings, and a loaf cake is always great for that. This particular cake is dense but soft and sweet but not at all overly sweet.

This cake tastes AMAZING in the morning with dark, strong coffee, hence the title of “Breakfast Cake”. I quite like the ring of that, don’t you? Try it- I know you’ll love it!

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COCONUT-PINEAPPLE BREAKFAST CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (make sure it’s been measured and leveled to get an exact amount)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, drained of liquid

non-stick cooking spray or butter/flour to grease pan

DIRECTIONS:

Turn the oven to 350 degrees; put all of the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven to preference (about 5 min) Grease a 9″ loaf pan and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on high speed about 4 min. Add in eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl in between each egg.

Reduce speed to low and alternate adding in the coconut milk and flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (so four-milk-flour-milk-flour). Make sure to mix just enough to combine ingredients; do not over mix.

Scrape sides again and use a rubber spatula to fold in crushed pineapple and 1 cup coconut into the bowl

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Pour batter into pan and smooth the top out; sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup toasted coconut on top of batter.

Bake in oven for about 65 minutes, pulling cake out after 30 min and tenting foil on top. Test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean and let the cake cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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Some Notes:
-Using full fat coconut milk is important (the Lite doesn’t have enough fat in it as a binding agent).
-I overly toast my coconut because I like the flavor of it when it’s almost burnt (hence the darker color). Plenty of people don’t, so if you just want golden or yellow/lightly toasted coconut, check on it after 3 minutes until it’s the color your prefer.
-You DO have to use the foil or it will burn horribly.
-This is NOT a very sweet cake. It’s meant to have a mild taste with a hint of sweetness and the nuttiness of the toasted coconut.
-Save the rest of the can of coconut milk and the pineapple juice from draining the crushed pineapple. It’s great to use for cupcakes, frosting, or if you cook Thai food, it makes a great addition to the “typical” Thai recipes out there.

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Brand Spotlight: Colour Pop Cosmetics

If  you spend any time on Instagram or even Youtube, you’ve probably seen a lot of buzz around a brand from Southern California, Colour Pop. They’re known for their eyeshadows (called Super Shock Shadows) and their lipsticks (called Lippie Stix). Everything they sell is $5 each, which sounds like a good deal, and it is, but they don’t provide as much product as other companies so the price is relative. For reference, a MAC lipstick is $16 but gives 3 g of product; a Colour Pop Lippie is $5 and gives you 1 g of product. Still proportionately a slightly better price, but just something to keep in mind.

I decided to give in to the buzz and try some out for myself, on http://www.colourpop.com. I mostly ordered lip products, but did get two eyeshadows, one in an ultra metallic finish, Get Lucky, and one in their “regular” metallic finish, So Quiche.

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First up, the Lippie pencils and Lippie Stix (sorry guys, I’m calling em lipsticks from here out. I’m too old to say lippie and get away with it). I ordered lipsticks in 3 out of their 4 available finishes- Glossy, Satin, and Matte (they also offer a pearlized finish but in general those don’t tend to look great on me so I passed on that). The colors I ordered (and their descriptions off the site) are:

Bound-glossy finish, a “light nude pink”

Lumiere-matte finish, a “dusty mauve pink”

Flawless-satin finish, a “deep red violet”

Chi Chi-matte finish, a “bright true orange”

Chi Chi pencil- I also picked up the pencil in Chi Chi because orange is a color that can bleed (at least, it does on me) and I don’t have any lip pencils that are orange.

 

Top to bottom: Chi Chi pencil and lipstick, Flawless, Bound, and Lumiere

Top to bottom: Chi Chi pencil and lipstick, Flawless, Bound, and Lumiere

I also tried to get a range of colors- a pink nude, a darker “Kylie Jenner”-esque nude lip that is all over Instagram, a bright color, and a darker color. I also already have lip liners from OCC that I think I can match with Flawless and Bound.

I used a coupon code and had free shipping, so my total ended up being exactly $30 for 7 items, so it breaks down to $4.28 each. Each lipstick comes housed in white packaging with holographic letters and is a swivel stick that has a neat slim shape. It works really well to get in the cupid bow of your lips. The liners are advertised as matching the lipstick and I did find that by layering the Chi Chi pencil underneath Chi Chi lipstick, it prolonged the wear time and overall looked better.

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Overall, I actually liked the Satin finish best. The glossy finish (which is usually my favorite finish in a lipstick) seems almost to “slide” around my lips and the wear time was only around 1.5 hours before I had to re-apply. Layering it over a lip pencil (in this case, Nude by NYX) prolonged the wear time to about 2.25 hrs before I felt like I needed to reapply. The Matte finish lipsticks (in Chi Chi and Lumiere), although not very drying as far as mattes go, did seem to feel a bit “heavy” on my lips and I felt like I was wearing lipstick, if that makes sense. The wear time was about 4-5 hours depending on shade before I needed to reapply.

I thought I’d like Lumiere the most, but I honestly don’t. It IS a good purplish-neutral but it just doesn’t “grab” me. Chi Chi confused me- I ordered it because based on swatches online and Youtube reviews, it was supposed to be a coral-orange. Um nope, the description on the Colour Pop site was 100% accurate. It’s insanely bright true orange. Luckily, I like orange lipstick and it looks pretty good on me. It’ll look better in the summer, but I’m glad I got it.

The Satin finish lipstick (Flawless) was a good compromise. It felt comfortable and lasted about 4 hours before I needed to reapply, but I layered it over Hoochie and Black Dahlia lip liners from OCC and was able to get about 6 hours of wear. It stained my lips, but that’s ok- the color it left behind was a pretty raspberry color. I’m obsessed with Flawless. It’s a gorgeous raspberry-red-purple that brightens up my face and actually made me look pulled together even though the only thing I had on (in the full face picture) is foundation and mascara. I can already tell I will wear this constantly.

So on to the pictures:

Bound by itself

Bound

 

 

 

 

 

Chi Chi pencil and lipstick together

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Lumiere lipstick (I’m making a face in the pic bc it wasn’t nearly as pretty on my lips as I thought it would be)

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Flawless

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Full face look with my favorite

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I actually feel like for the price, the lipsticks are worth getting, with a few caveats. They’re good. They’re not great, but for the price, I can live with it. I don’t even mind the smaller amount of product, because I rarely finish up lipsticks anyway. It’s a must to exfoliate and use chapstick before the mattes. I actually am considering placing another order for more Satin finishes and I need to get a back up of Flawless because it is INSANELY gorgeous. Some of the colors are also dupes for more expensive brands. The Bound lip pencil is supposed to be a dupe for MAC’s Whirl lip pencil and Lumiere is a dupe for the NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna (and it is; the colors are almost dead on).

Now on to the shadows…

They have an interesting texture- it’s like a mousse or a cream that dries to a powder. Once you’re done using them, you have to close the lid tightly so they don’t dry out. If you’ve ever used any of the MAC Electric Cool eyeshadows, the texture is the same, but for 1/4 of the price. They’re pretty pigmented and they’re meant to be applied with your finger or a small detailed eye brush for the best color payoff. Below is So Quiche (left) and Get Lucky (right).  The two colors I picked are pretty neutral, a light shimmery olive green with pink and gold sparkle (So Quiche) and a shiny true liquid gold (Get Lucky).

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The eyeshadows wore well for the 10 hours I had them on before I removed them. I used my trusty NARS eye primer underneath the eye shadows. They definitely need primer, but I have hooded lids so I expected that.

 

 

 

I actually find the eye shadows to be a better value than the lipsticks. These shadows are AMAZING. I’m itching to pick up a few more and play around with some more colorful looks. They’re not going to replace my beloved Makeup Geek shadows (which are still my favorite shadows ever), but they’re a good alternative (and slightly cheaper to boot). I would recommend picking up some of the shadows and trying them for yourself. I think you’ll be pretty pleased!

 

Cupcakes and more cupcakes!

The last few days I’ve been working on cupcakes and perfecting my frosting piping skills, so I thought I’d throw in some cupcake pics. I made Buttery Vanilla cupcakes with Maraschino Cherry  Creamfrosting (OMG these were good!) and Dark Chocolate cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream frosting.

I’m throwing around ideas of other cakes/cupcakes I can make that I haven’t baked before- I’m constantly trying to challenge myself to create new flavors. I was thinking something with chocolate and mint? Maybe a Chocolate Mint cupcake with Ganache frosting? Or White cupcakes with Cinnamon Almond Buttercream frosting?

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I’ll also be baking some samples next week to pass out locally along with my business cards, so I am trying to add some more recipes to me repertoire :) I have a good white cake, red velvet cake, vanilla, chocolate, cherry, and german chocolate cakes, along with various frostings, but I am looking for something unique. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

Our little man is getting so big!

Our youngest son, Leo James, was born 9/5/14 and he’s now 4.5 months. It’s flown by, but he is such an amazing little man. He laughs and smiles all the time, wants to be held constantly, and is already scooting along (although not rolling over!) He’s on some cereal in addition to formula and is up to 12.5 lbs. He’s 25th percentile for weight and height but 75th percentile for his head and his eyes have already turned green so brown is coming soon :) He looks almost exactly like his daddy at that age and we are so lucky, because he sleeps solidly through the night already.

He’s so different from his older brother as a baby- our oldest was very independent almost from birth, never really liked being held, and had a temper (still does). He was very quiet and serious as a baby, content just to sit back and watch everything. Leo is the opposite- he has to be in the middle of everything. Leo is such a cuddler and I LOVE it. I’ve learned to perfect the art of doing a lot of things one handed, because we don’t have a moment’s peace unless he’s being held. He “talks” almost non-stop and even laughs in his sleep! He’s silly and giggly :)

I can’t believe how big he is now and how fast time has gone already!

Talking

Talking

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Stealing Mom's spot in bed

Stealing Mom’s spot in bed

Hi guys!

Hi guys!

Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette Eye Looks

Here are some eye looks I did today to demonstrate how versatile the palette is and how well the shadows blend together. I am seriously impressed with the quality for the price. No, they don’t perform as well as my MUG shadows (which practically blend themselves) but they’re pretty darn close and they’re $1.24 in the palette (or $2 each) vs. MUG’s $6 each. I actually can see using this quite a bit.

The first two pictures are my orange and purple daytime look and looks #2 and #3 are more for the evening. No falsies on, sorry guys. My contacts are bothering me and my eyes are sensitive today so I just couldn’t do it. Just pretend I’m wearing them 😉 And I know I look like I have a bad case of Bitch Face in all the pictures but it’s because I have hooded eyelids and you can’t see the shadows easily unless I raise my eyebrows and look slightly down.

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Jaclyn Hill Favorites palette from Morphe- swatches and first impressions review

Morphe is a small company based out of Southern California that has a physical storefront in Burbank and a large internet presence. They expanded from their original line of makeup brushes and now make eyeshadows, blushes, concealers, etc. Recently they teamed up with Jaclyn Hill (a Makeup Artist from Florida who has a legion of followers on Youtube/Instagram) and created a palette of 28 shadows that are endorsed by Jaclyn Hill herself as her favorites available from Morphe. The palette went up for sale at 3 am EST on January 1, 2015, and sold out within a few days. The palette should be restocked in February but I was lucky enough to snag one when it went on sale. The price was $27.99 + shipping, so I ended up paying $34.80 after using a coupon code (shipping was like $9!), so each shadow breaks down to $1.24. The palette itself is made of thin black plastic and snaps shut. It came in a paper sleeve with Jaclyn’s picture on the back and a message from her.

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I was surprised by how big the palette itself is. The shadows are a pretty decent size, especially for the price. It leans warm, with a lot of orange, brown, pink, and shimmery highlight shadows in the top row. There are also some purples and a random green shadow. For the most part, the shadows are really pigmented. All the swatches below were on bare skin, no primer or base, and just one swipe.  The 4th row in particular is full of crazy pigment. They blend pretty well, and because the palette was geared toward warmer colors, they all go nicely together. There’s a good mix of matte and shimmer shades, highlight shades, transition colors, and shadows for a “pop” of color. I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth with this palette and while most of the colors aren’t groundbreaking or anything new, they’re good “workhorse” neutrals. I would say about 17 out of the 28 shades are highly pigmented and the shadows feel soft, almost too much so (you can see in some of the swatches that they’re crumbly). If you’re curious about the brand, I would recommend trying to get the palette when it’s back in stock, or even better, just buy some of the single shadows at $2 each and put them in a z palette.

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Row 1-The first 4 shades are pretty similar on me and I’m pale (NC20 in MAC and I know my forearm is even more pale than that) but they’re good highlighting shades, shade 6 is a gorgeous dark orange, and 7 is a shimmery rusty orange (it looks tan but it’s not).

Row 2- All shades except for #3 are pigmented, #1 is powdery but a gorgeous color.

Row 3- This was the “dud row” for me, #1 was powdery and a bit too frosty, but #7 was a decent amount of color. Shades #2-#6 required some build up and didn’t impress me at all, to be honest.

Row 4- The shadows in the 4th row are awesome and more than worth the $2 each. Shades 1, 5-7 in the 4th row are “must haves”, imo, perfect for lining, crease, deepening the outer V, etc. The green is gorgeous!

3rd row

3rd row

4th row

4th row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st row

1st row

2nd row

2nd row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I’m satisfied for the price. They don’t come close to replacing my beloved Makeup Geek shadows, but they are a good addition to my collection, and I’m glad I purchased the palette. I’ll be working on application tomorrow, so that may change my impressions. I have quite a few eye looks coming so stay tuned!

 

Ooey Gooey Green Slime Bars

These bars are fun. Fun to make and even more fun to eat. They’re messy but kids love them (at least my 3 year old does) and I bet they’d be fun for a birthday party. I originally wanted to make a mint ganache brownie, but when I was playing around with some recipes I found online, I couldn’t get the consistency to harden the way I wanted, so I decided to go with it and turn the bars into “slime bars”. They’re basically a mint chocolate bar with a cookie bottom crust, mint filling and a hardened chocolate ganache-like shell. The best part about these bars is they don’t require cooking or baking (just using the microwave and refrigeration). Hope you guys like it!

Ooey Gooey Green Slime Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies

3 tbsp. milk

1 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract, divided

1 tsp. vanilla extract

green food coloring, to preference

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Grease 9 inch square pan and set aside.

Microwave 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup butter in a microwave safe bowl. Check every 30 seconds and when melted, add in the crushed chocolate wafers. Stir the mixture and press it into the bottom of the greased pan. Refrigerate for about 15 mins or until firm.

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While it’s refrigerating, beat together 1/3 cup butter, the milk, 3/4 tsp. peppermint extract and all of the vanilla in a stand mixer. Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until creamy, then add in your food coloring. I use Wilton gel coloring, and I just used the tip of a steak knife’s worth, but use enough to turn the mixture slime green. Pour it over the cookie crust.

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After pouring the “slime” mint filling, make the chocolate covering layer. Microwave 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips, 1/3 cup butter and the remaining peppermint extract (3/4 tsp.) and stir every 30 seconds. Once smooth and melted, let stand for 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the mint filling mixture and swirl the two together so that it looks like this:

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The chocolate is thicker and harder to swirl but that’s ok. Stick the bar mixture into the refrigerator and let it chill for about 3 hours. When you take it out to cut the bars, the chocolate will be firm and the mint filling will still be only  semi-set. That’s fine.  For easier cutting, let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. Cut it the best you can into bars or small blocks (it will be rich so I wouldn’t make the bars too big). Assemble on a plate and that’s it!

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Brand Spotlight: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

I’ve been thinking for a couple months of doing brand spotlights where I occasionally focus on a specific company or makeup brand that you may not use or even have seen before. I tend to use a lot of brands that are either online only (i.e. without a physical storefront or very limited stores) or may not be familiar to a casual cosmetics user. I have a soft spot for more independent or smaller companies and have found some of my Holy Grail products just from wandering around Sephora, Instagram, or Youtube.

So for my first company spotlight I present to you Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. You can actually buy some of their products in Sephora (I think their lip tars, pencils, and maybe some loose colour concentrates), Lord and Taylor/Nordstrom (lip tar sets) but for their full product offering, you’ll have to go to their website, http://www.occmakeup.com. They are a company that specializes in Vegan and cruelty free products, so no animal testing. Their prices are pretty midrange, from about $14 for their loose colour concentrates to $29.50 for their OCC Skin Tint (Tinted Moisturizer/foundation). I’ve heard great things about their nail polish and concealer but haven’t tried them. I have tried their Colour pencils and Lip tars and I’m very impressed.

Their Colour pencils retail for $16 each and unless specified otherwise can be used on body, eyes, lips, face, etc. In general, I find them to be fairly creamy for a pencil, apply evenly and the wear time on the pencils is incredible. I have never been able to get eyeliner to stay on my waterline (even when blotting with a q tip before application) and their Colour pencils last at least 6 hours on me. That’s nothing short of a miracle! Here I have Tarred (the black) and Pool Boy (the blue) on my waterlines.

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I bought a set of 6 full sized pencils from Sephora for $22 total (sorry guys; it’s no longer on their site!) which was an awesome deal. I got it just to try and see what the hype was about. The 6 colors were Pool Boy (blue), Tarred (black), Feathered (white), Black Dahlia (blackened purple-burgundy), Hoochie (Magenta purple), and NSFW (true blue-based red).
These are the colors in direct sunlight:

Ignore the goosebumps...

Ignore the goosebumps…

As you can probably tell from the swatches, Hoochie and Black Dahlia can be a bit patchy when applied, but the other 4 apply like butter. They are SO pigmented in a single swipe and they last. With getting the set, they ended up running me $3.67 each. They are WELL worth it. They’re wood pencils, so you have to sharpen them in a very sharp sharpener, like the Urban Decay Grindhouse sharpener.
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You can also use the liners as lipstick if you put a gloss over the pencil, but the only one I wouldn’t do that with is Black Dahlia. It’s too patchy. It looked better when I applied Copenhagen matte lip cream by NYX over top of it.

Still patchy but better...

Still patchy but better…

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I also adore their Lip Tars (basically their liquid lipsticks) with a few caveats. One, there is a steep learning curve with application. You HAVE to watch a Youtube demo before doing it. Even a tiny bit too much and it’s gloppy and smears everywhere. They’re heavily pigmented like paint. Two, you can mix colors together and create your own custom shades but the lip tars only look good on for about 2 hours before you have to wipe off and reapply. Some custom colors I’ve made:

Anita lip tar

Anita lip tar

 

 

Rollergirl and Narcissus lip tars mixed

Rollergirl and Narcissus lip tars mixed

Anita, Sebastian, and Lydia lip tars mixed

Anita, Sebastian, and Lydia lip tars mixed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a fan of Vegan/cruelty free makeup or just looking for a smaller company with a wide range of bold colors, check out OCC Makeup. I’m a fan of just about everything I’ve tried from them so far and I’m sure you’ll be able to find something you love!

Kentucky Bourbon Cake

I really like to make booze cakes (as we affectionately refer to them around my house). The alcohol keeps cakes moist and lends flavor, but you’re not going to get drunk off of a slice. I’m not a huge drinker, but I am a big fan of rum/bourbon in cakes and cupcakes. I have had a lot of luck with mixing alcohol into baked goods so to celebrate hubby coming home from a week long work conference, I made him a Chocolate Espresso Bourbon Cake. It was amazing (I’ll probably post the recipe on here shortly) and got me itching to try another cake. This morning I decided to try my hand at making a “typical” brown sugar Bundt cake, but with the addition of Bourbon. After I made it, it looked awesome, but I thought it could use a glaze so I concocted my version of a caramel sauce.

OMG you guys. It’s ridiculously good. It probably has about 1,000 calories a bite (just kidding. Kinda) but it is SO worth it. I’ve only made this recipe once, so I haven’t tested it as much as the others I post on here, but it’s good enough that I need to share it. It’s pretty easy to make, too, if you’re familiar with Bundt cakes. With Bundt cakes, they’re firmer in texture (to hold their shape) and I wanted to “soften” the cake up, so I made it into a poke cake. A few things to note: I bake like an old Southern grandmother- I use butter and buttermilk in a lot of my recipes. I find that it adds moisture and richness that are really hard to duplicate. I’ve been able to get close to the flavors in my dairy-free/soy-free recipes but it’s still not totally the same thing.

Kentucky Bourbon Cake with Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

3 cups cake flour (yes, it has to be specifically cake flour; I use Swan’s Down)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup buttermilk (or make your own with 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp. white vinegar), room temperature

I cup unsalted butter

1.5 cups sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firmly

3 XL eggs or 3 L eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup Bourbon

Caramel sauce:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

You start with a 10″ Bundt pan and grease/flour the insides. If you want to be a bit lazy like me, use the Pam for Baking spray. It always works well for me. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure the rack is in the center of the oven.

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Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Combine the Bourbon and buttermilk in another bowl and set that aside as well.

Add the butter/both sugars to a stand mixer and beat it on Medium speed  for about 5 minutes, just until the mixture looks light and fluffy.

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Next add an egg at a time, beating after each egg and scraping the sides of the bowl in between with a rubber spatula. Add in the flour and liquid mixtures, alternating so you begin with flour and end with flour (so flour-milk-flour-milk-flour). Scrape down the sides with the rubber spatula and pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Place in the oven; bake until the cake is golden, roughly about 35 minutes.

Let it sit on the stovetop while you make the caramel sauce. Make the sauce by adding in the sugars and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted. Add in the milk and turn the heat up to medium and let it start to bubble. Whisk it occasionally and let it thicken. It should cook for about 7-8 minutes. Turn the burner off and let the sauce sit while you take a wooden skewer and poke holes in the Bundt cake

IMG_0594Pour the caramel sauce very, very slowly into the holes. Let it soak in and then pour it back into the holes. It’ll take a few minutes, but pour about 2/3 of the sauce over the cake. After pouring, let it sit for 30 minutes.

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Flip the cake over on to a plate/platter and take the remaining sauce and pour it over the top of the cake. If it’s too thick to pour, put it back on the stove and let it heat up til it thins out, then pour it over top.

Let the cake sit a few minutes more to cool, and then cut and enjoy!

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