Thursday, 5 April 2018

One of my favourite things to do for my loved ones is cook for them; especially those days that I have a couple of hours and have the luxury of "slow cooking," as I like to call it. Yesterday was one of those days that I actually had time to prep and really enjoy each step of a recipe without having to rush through each part. In our household, both my husband and I cook and I absolutely love the way this has worked out because it keeps our menus fresh as we are always alternating dishes and styles of cooking.

I grew up in a Argentine home and so our dishes were very much influenced in its European roots. Stuffed peppers was a dish we ate many times growing up and it's still a cherished one in my home, years later. I love that my son can now help in the prep work and help stuff the peppers himself, although I think he helps me so he can sneak a bit of the shredded cheese!

I usually make my peppers with rice but last night I tried orzo stuffed peppers from Giada De Laurentiis. I ended up tweaking it and taking my favourite things from each recipe as I still wanted beef in my version. You can find the original recipe here if you would like.

Here's my version:

1 1/2 cans of Italian tomatoes
1 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 gloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of chopped onion
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups of orzo
8 oz. lean ground beef
6 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow)
3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and break apart using your finger tips. Add the zucchini, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes (the orzo should be only partially cooked). While the orzo cooks, use a large nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Sauté onion until tender. Add beef and oregano. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when beef has browned. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo, beef and vegetable mix to combine. 
Wash peppers in cool water. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. If your peppers don't stand on their own, you can cut a thin slice from the base to help the peppers balance and stand on their own. 
Place the peppers in the baking dish. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Make sure to handle the peppers gently when plating them so they don't fall apart when serving. Sprinkle with flat parsley. 
Enjoy or as we say in Argentina, "buen provecho!"

    Saturday, 24 March 2018

    I recently got my first eyelash extension and with this trend getting bigger and bigger and having gotten many questions about it, I wanted to share about my own experience. If you have been following me for a while, you know I'm quite low maintenance so getting extensions was a completely new ballgame. I have to admit though, I can see how people get addicted to them! I absolutely love how they look and feel. My everyday make up routine consists of mascara and a BB cream so when I got my extensions, they were a game changer in the mornings. I loved how polished I looked without having to even reach for my makeup bag. I haven't worn any eye make up since.

    For those of you wondering about the process or considering getting extensions, I've answered some questions that I think are important to know going into this experience.

    Here's what you should know before you try them.

    What are lash extensions?

    Semi-permanent lashes are applied on by one, by hand by technicians. They glue the extensions on top of your actual lashes. They can last anywhere between 4-6 weeks with proper care and will remain on your natural lashes until your lashes naturally fall out in their cycle.

    How long does the process take?

    The process took about an hour and a half for me but can take up to two hours, depending on how many lashes you are getting. After they have been applied, you should allow the glue to fully set. That means, not getting them wet for the next 12 hours.

    How do you know which lashes are the best fit for you?

    Your technician will help you figure out what the best fit for you and which ones will complement your eye shape. For example, when I went to Danielle from Lashful, she asked me a few questions and I let her know that I wanted a more natural look. She recommended the 11mm ones for me and I absolutely adore them. They are long enough that I don't have to wear any eye make up but natural enough that I'm comfortable wearing them to the office each day. I was also surprised at how light they felt once the process was done!

    Will I have to change my skincare routine?

    You'll have to take some precautions in order to keep your lashes in great shape. Stick to non-oily makeup removers, like micellar water. I also found that makeup wipes work much better than cotton balls so you aren't stuck trying to remove pieces of cotton from your lashes. Chances are, you won't be wearing much eye makeup once you have your extensions but you'll still want to make sure you are cleaning the lashes carefully and gently to remove any build up on the roots. Don't scrub!

    You will also need to brush your lashes with a soft (clean) mascara brush after showering. Danielle gave me a brush with care instructions. You'll want to look down and gently twirl the brush on the top side of your lashes. You don't want to brush them the way you put on mascara as they will only tug on them.

    How do I pick the right technician?

    With this growing trend, you can easily find technicians in your area but don't settle for just any. Make sure you do your homework, ask questions. Make sure your technician is a certified, ask how much experience they have, etc. Danielle noted that the kind of glue that a establishment uses is very important and that she uses Sugarlash. Some places may use cheaper glues that may cause redness, stinging or allergic reactions. Look for trustworthy reviews online or ask your friends for personal recommendations.

    A big thank you to Danielle for my first extensions! Click here to see this talented boss babe, her work is amazing!