Thursday, May 29, 2014

Raita // Yogurt Dipping Sauce

I like sauce. 

Really, really like it. 

So if there's a sauce that you can add to kabobs and makhini and curry, it's pretty much a guaranteed Ruth family staple. I introduce you to raita (yogurt dipping sauce):
Here's what you need:
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp cucumber
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice 
  • 1-3 tsp water 
  • salt to taste 
Measure out your yogurt (I like Greek) and set aside in a bowl. Use a grater to finely shred the cucumber. You'll want to grate directly over the bowl to get cucumber juice, too. Add dill and lemon.  The amount of water is really dependent on the texture you like. Luke is on the thin/ watery side so I tend to add a bit more water. Next add salt to taste. 

Now make these samosas and dunk them in the raita. Yumm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Samosas


These samosas are one of my favorite go- to meals. They work as a main dish for the two of us or as an appetizer when we have people over for dinner. I learned this round, thanks to my sister, that they can easily be made smaller if you're cooking for a bigger group. 
Here's everything that you need (plus milk and garlic and butter... oops!)
First, make mashed potatoes.







Melt butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute. Add all the spices your heart desires. Once the onions are soft, add peas and carrots. Keep over medium heat until the carrots are no longer crunchy.

 Now add the potatoes. Mix everything together and let it sit over heat for 2-4 minutes. 

Put the potato mix in the fridge for at least a half hour and up to three days. It's easier to scoop when cold and this way it doesn't melt the dough under it. 

Lay out your dough. (I buy crescent rolls but if you want to get fancy you can make them). Use your finger to flatten the middle of the triangle. 
Plop the potatoes onto the dough. Bring the three corners up to the top and fold along the edges. Warning: this gets messy. If you want the samosas to look pretty you will likely need to trim the dough. 

 To make smaller samosas cut the rolls in half and do the same thing. They cook for the same time either way so don't worry about uniformity in size. This is a great alternative if you're cooking for a big crowd.


Bake until your house smells amazing and the rolls are golden brown. 
Enjoy with mango chutney and raita

You will need... 

  • Bag of potatoes (6ish)
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 cup of milk (or cream or half and half)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 3 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • Crescent rolls or biscuits



Directions:
  1. Peel and cube potatoes. Boil until they slide off a fork.
  2. Mash the potatoes. Add butter, milk and salt to taste.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add all the spices and keep over heat for another 2 minutes. Once the onions are slightly soft, add peas and carrots. Heat for another 5 minutes or until carrots are no longer crunchy.
  4. Add mashed potatoes and combine. Heat for 2 minutes or until potatoes are warm. 
  5. Refrigerate potato mixture for at least a half hour.
  6. Set out dough and press the middle of the triangle down so that it's nice and thin.
  7. Add 1/2 - 1 cup of potato mixture to each roll. Pull up the longest end of the triangle to the top of the potatoes. Bring up the other two ends and press the dough together at the top.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  
  9. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

7 Makeup Hacks

Welcome to part two of my-friends-came-over-and-I-forced-them-to-model-for-me. 

I love doing makeup (mostly on other people) and trying out different techniques.  I always prefer makeup that looks clean and natural and it can be a challenge to do that without shelling out for the best products.  Read on for 7 simple makeup tricks that you can use to save time and look better!


1. Mix a little bit of moisturizer into your liquid foundation. This will thin the foundation so that it sits lighter and more naturally on your skin. It also helps avoid makeup lines around your face. 


2. Always start foundation on your cheeks. This is the easiest-- and biggest-- "canvas" on your face. Rub foundation in a circular motion over each of your cheeks and work out to the top, bottom and sides of your face. This will make it easier to blend the foundation with your skin and you'll know right away if any particular makeup has weird consistency or is irritating to your skin. 
3. Line your eyebrows with concealer to make them pop. Use a little concealer along both the top and bottom of your eyebrow. Spread along the length of your eyebrow and blend as needed. This will draw attention to a defined eyebrow shape (and away from any stray hairs)!
 4. Blush is not just for your cheeks. Once you've spread blush on your cheeks (moving outward and upward), dab it lightly on your eye as a first layer of eyeshadow and on your chin. This will balance out the color of the blush and will draw attention to the shape of your face. It really makes a difference!
5. Eyeliner comes first. The toughest part about eyeliner is getting a nice, straight line. When you apply eyeliner after eye shadow you have no buffer; no chance to cover up any mistakes. So apply your eyeliner first... if it's too thick you can tone it down with eye shadow. If the line isn't straight enough (for all you perfectionists out there) you can easily remove it without taking off any other makeup. 
6. Coconut oil is your friend. One of the many fine uses of coconut oil is as makeup remover. It works especially well if you use whipped coconut oil. To make this I buy a jar of oil, like the one below, empty it into a bowl and whip with the hand mixer for a couple minutes. (This makes great lotion, too)!
7. Use your boldest eye shadow sparingly. Start with one layer of a neutral shadow over your entire eyelid and up to your brow. Then use your darkest color to highlight the middle of the eye, right where it creases. Paint a circle (see below) around that area. Use your finger to blend and cover lightly with another layer of a more neutral color. You don't need to cake the eye shadow on for a bold look!

Meet my team (and check out their before and afters)--

Connor: my main model,

 Sara: a first- time lipstick wearer (rocked it),
Melodie: the photographer behind these shots and all of this.
Here are some of my favorite products (sans sponsors):
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant daily moisturizer. Good for your skin and has sunscreen. Win, win!
  • L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder. I barely mix any moisturizer with this foundation because it's so light and smooth.
  • Maybelline The Colossal Volum'Express. Love the curved brush.
  • L'Oreal Infallible Lacquer Liner. Fits somewhere between liquid eyeliner and pencils. 
  • Covergirl Eye Enhancers. I have at least three sets... the more the merrier!

{Check out part one here}

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY dry shampoo

I'm really excited to share this post as the first of two featuring my (former) college roomies!  They were the most gracious models; I messed with their hair and makeup and they happily obliged to both... and to being photographed throughout the whole process by the amazing Melodie. Thanks, girls!

First off is this simple and wonderful diy dry shampoo. Stay tuned for makeup hacks later in the week.
I am not a person who can get away with anything less than one shampoo a day. Plain and simple, my hair just gets gross. I know that it's not good for your hair to get washed every single day. But I also know how my hair looks when I forgo the shampoo and it's just not good.  So I started looking into alternative options.

Let me introduce you to a beautiful, wonderful thing called dry shampoo. Actually it’s more that I’ve introduced myself to it for the first time. And I love it. There are a lot of different options for dry shampoo and honestly, this is the only one I’ve ever tried. But it works well so I’m sticking with it (at least until this batch is used up). I consulted a few different recipes and ended up combining a lot of the common ingredients I saw used. Needless to say I'm very happy with how this one turned out!
All you need is cocoa powder, baking soda, cornstarch and lavender oil. Find ingredients and directions at the end of the post. Oh, and meet Hannah, one of my best and oldest friends. As it turns out she's also a willing guinea pig and a great model!
Dab an old makeup brush in the dry shampoo. Rub the brush across a flat surface to get rid of excess shampoo (the brush will pick up quite a lot). Apply dry shampoo along the part so that it extends an inch or two past the part on either side. You can be pretty liberal with this coat; there will be time to incorporate it into your hair. 
 If you have multiple parts or don't have a defined part you'll want to cover all your bases. Use shampoo along your hairline. I like to pull sections of my hair up, towards my part, so that I can cover all the potentially greasy spots underneath. This is especially important if you plan to wear your hair in a ponytail.

Once the shampoo has been applied, use your fingers to rub it into your scalp. You can also use a comb or brush. Afterwards I always wash the skin along my hairline to ensure that I don't leave a weird tan line :)
Doesn't Hannah's hair look great here? No photoshop, no tricky lighting. The great part about using dry shampoo is that it doesn't just hide grease; it absorbs it. So not only will your hair look better, it will also feel lighter. I'm really obsessed.
DIY dry shampoo:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 drops of lavender oil

Combine the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to break up and then sift 2-3 times or until soft and blended. Add the lavender oil and stir to combine. Store dry shampoo in an airtight container. Use as frequently as you wish :)

*This recipe works best for people with light- medium brown hair. For lighter hair, use 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup baking soda and 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. 
*Your hair might smell like chocolate when you wash it out. Not a terrible side effect if you ask me!

Friday, May 2, 2014

One Year

On May 4th Luke and I celebrate our one year anniversary! 

Honestly, it feels like we've been married much longer than one year. It's been a busy year (as I mentioned here) but mostly, and most recently, it's been a hard one. But we've grown together and been there for each other and I'm so grateful to have these sweet memories of our special day spent with loved ones. 

So without further ado, here's what our big day looked like...



           



   


{all photos courtesy of Ben Powell Photography}

And now it's time to enjoy some year-old cake!