Saturday, July 31, 2021

Recipe: Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey + Harissa Dip

 So I don't what things are like at your house, but planning meals can be chaos at mine. Between two working adults, dietary restrictions, and trying to decorate a new home, busy is an understatement. I can't imagine how my friends with children pull it off.

My sister's a big meal prepper so I have been trying to channel her energy and plan ahead on weekends to make sure I have some leftovers for weeknight dinners and lunches so the boyfriend and I aren't staring inside an empty fridge during the day with a rumbly stomach. It's been happening more often than I'd like the last month and usually results in late night Taco Bell or Popeye's runs (which I'm sure is great for their bottom line, but not so much for our waistlines and health). 

I made these stuffed peppers with ground turkey for a quick, healthy meal that provides enough leftovers for a couple to avoid all of the nonsense I've described above. I also made a mini veggie charcuterie board with a harissa dip to tide our bellies over until I made dinner. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! :)

Stuffed Peppers with Ground Turkey

Serves 4

1/2 lb ground turkey

4 oz baby spinach

5 bell peppers

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Trader Joe's 21 season salute seasoning

1/2 tsp Columbia restaurant seasoning

1. Prep the bell peppers. Dice 1 bell pepper completely and place in a large bowl. Cut the tops off the remaining 4, clean the insides, and set aside. Place ground turkey in the bowl and add all the seasonings. Also feel free to season this dish LIBERALLY. I've provided suggested amounts, but I re-seasoned after my initial go through. I made sure that every inch was evenly coated with spices before I mixed everything together.

1. Heat a skillet over low heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Turkey is very lean so cooking it with a bit more oil helps keep the flavor in. 

2. Place the ground turkey mix in the pan. Let the turkey cook until it is no longer pink about 5-10 minutes. It is important to not let it over cook. Also to add a bit more fat and flavor to the meat, I drizzled more olive oil over the top of the meat in the skillet.

3. As the turkey is towards the end of cooking, add in the spinach and mix until it has just wilted. Then turn off the stove and move the pan to a unused burner.

4. Stuff each of the peppers with an equal amount of the spiced turkey mixture while the oven is heating up to 425 degrees. Then bake the peppers for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the beppers are just browned and wilting.

Alternative ideas: You can mix breadcrumbs or rice into the seasoned turkey mix before stuffing the peppers for a more filling variation of this recipe. Baking times might vary if this is done.

Harissa Dip

1 bottle of Trader Joe's Traditional Tunisian Harissa

1 tub of sour cream

Note: This dip is always a hit when I make it, but keep in mind that it is spicy and will need to be modified for the crowd eating it. I'm South Asian so I like my food with a bit of a kick so my recipe might need to be toned down for a milder taste.

1. Mix the harissa and the sour cream in a 1:2 ratio (aka 1 tbsp of harissa to 2 tbsp sour cream). For a milder dip, mix in more sour cream.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Recipe: Slow Cooker Ranch Pork “Chops”

Hope y'all are doing well. As we all know, things don't work 100% of the time in life. I was really excited to develop this recipe for you guys and while it tastes absolutely DELICIOUS, I forgot to photograph the results when they were properly plated and was instead midway through my meal when I realized my mistake. Oops. 😒 These pork chops fall off the bone since they are so tender which is why I've said they are pork "chops" instead of pork chops. Enough rambling. Let me know what you think!

Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

Serves 4

1 bag of mini red potatoes

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp of minced garlic

1 can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup

4 bone in pork chops

1 packet of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning dip (brand can vary, this is just what I enjoyed)

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Columbia restaurant seasoning

1 cup of water/enough water to cover all the meat when in slow cooker

1. Mix the Columbia restaurant seasoning with the ranch seasoning and coat each of the chops evenly on both sides.

2. Place the chops in the slow cooker and add potatoes, onion, garlic, and soup on the top.

3. Cook everything on low for 5-6 hours. The longer the chops cook, the less chop-like they will be and the more they will break apart. Mix everything in the slow cooker if possible around the 3 hour mark to evenly coat everything with seasoning

Additional notes: This is a complete meal in itself minus a veggie side but you can serve the chops with rice as well.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Review: Patrick Ta Beauty Major Dimension Eyeshadow Palette

 The celeb MUA Patrick Ta of social media fame recently added his first eyeshadow palette to his collection. It's quite pricey at $68 USD, but I was intrigued since Patrick's celeb clients always look so naturally flawless and beautiful. It's also a nude-toned palette and I've been eyeing a few of Kim Kardashian's neutral palettes, so this seemed like a nice splurge for me. Keep reading for my thoughts. :)

The packaging is stunning and matches the rest of Ta's collection. It's quite sturdy, but does collect fingerprints over time.

The palette has great longevity. I wore it with my Mac Cosmetics Painterly paint pot to prime my eyelids (mine are a bit oily). The looks I created lasted at least 9.5 hours on the eyes. For the 3 darkest mattes, the pigmentation holds up which is a must for melanated skintones. In my opinion, the blending could be more fluid/easy to work with, but this could have been the result of my eyeshadow brush since I was simultaneously testing out a new eyeshadow brush as well. I still think it falls beneath Natasha Denona shadows and Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows when it comes to seamless blending and effortlessness, but we are talking shades of degrees here.

The top center shade looks like a matte in the pan, but don't be fooled. It's actually a matte with a hint of sparker and comes off more matte on the lid with just the tiniest shift when it catches the light. This palette is great for natural or natural glam looks. The top row of glitters are chunky and apply roughly over the lids over primer so I suggest using your fingers when applying these shades. They are more of the "topper" style shadows than standard glitter shadows.

The cream shadow applies nicely over primer (I didn't try it alone). However, it does crease a bit after 5 hours on my lids.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Carter Beauty: Sweet Apricot Palette


So I'm very excited that the Irish beauty brand Carter Beauty is now available in the States. It's a favorite of makeup queen Khloe Kardashian so you know it's probably legit. I picked up 3 of the eyeshadow palettes that are now available at Walmart to test out since I'm a self-proclaimed eyeshadow junkie. The brand is fairly affordable since it is marketed in Walmart and the eyeshadow palettes each cost $13. Today I wanted to review the Sweet Apricot palette which is a great spring/neutral shadow palette.

For my first look, I tried the shades Marmalade, Milkshake, and Bon Bon. The shades are very pigmented and blend quite easily. However, some colors aren't really flattering on darker skin tones and can come out to be a bit ashy (looking at you, Bon Bon 😞). Reese was the only shade that gave me a bit of fall out if that is something that bothers you in makeup palettes. The palette includes mattes and shimmers so it's really versatile for a whole eye look.  For me personally, I would want to also reach for another eyeshadow palette since I need a darker shade than Reese to deepen my outer crease. Each look I've created with this palette has had a wear time from 6 to 7 hours before I've taken it off so longevity isn't something one has to worry about with this eyeshadow brand. 

These palettes aren't really travel-friendly in my opinion since the packaging is cardboard and in my experience, this type of packaging has not survived being in my travel makeup bag.

Have you tried these palettes? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, March 4, 2021

My Fenty Favorites

Fenty Beauty always puts out some fantastic beauty products. I wanted to share my 4 top brand favorites today for you all and hopefully you all will share your favorites with me in the comments below.

First up is the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370. Shade 360 is really close to my skintone as well. I like the coverage this foundation provides as well as the 40+ shade range. I know I'm always going to be able to find my shade in this range. If you can't wear matte foundations because you have drier skin, I suggest trying their dewy foundation range which provides a more wet finish and comes with just as many shades as the original foundation. I have been told by some friends that this foundation has made them breakout (not an issue for me) so I suggest seeing if you can get a small sample to test out the foundation before purchase.

I am absolutely in love with Fenty's six shadow palettes. They are miniature in size and fit comfortable in the palm of your hand. They are small and durable enough to toss into your travel makeup back without worrying that you will have shattered your eyeshadow palette upon arrival at your destination. Since I'm a melanated girl, my favorite palette is the Peach shade since the shades provide a soft natural look on my skintone. Each palette contains a variety of matte and shimmer shades which are easy to apply on the lid and blend with both the fingers and a set of brushes.

My next favorite product from Fenty Beauty is their Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow pencil ($20). I have naturally black hair as a South Asian woman, but I use the shade Dark Brown for my brows for a more natural and soft look.

My final product favorite is the Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer ($26) in shade 370. The concealer shades directly match their foundation counterparts so there is no guesswork here. Once you've found your foundation shade, you've also got your concealer shade (unless you like your concealer to be a few shades lighter or darker). The concealer is matte as well so it works perfectly for me with the foundation. On days when I want a less full coverage look or just more breathability when wearing makeup, I will just spot conceal with this concealer and blend everything out with my makeup sponge.