BoxyCharm | October

by Lisa on Friday: Oct 21, 2016

Another month, another BoxyCharm review! The theme of this month’s BoxyCharm is “Boxy Bazaar”, and this month’s box contained a wide variety of products. Was it as good as last month’s rave?

October BoxyCharm

As always, this post is not sponsored or affiliated with BoxyCharm in any way.

October BoxyCharm - Info Card

Here’s what we got this month:

October BoxyCharm - Luxie Brushes

Luxie Beauty Eye Blender Brush Pack
I’m always excited to get new brushes in a subscription box, and I had actually been needing a new blending brush that was on the smaller side (the only one I had in my collection was too big). These brushes are all blending brushes, and they come in three varying sizes, all rather small. However I would have preferred to get a blending brush plus two other kinds of brushes instead of 3 of the same type.

October BoxyCharm - Temptu

Temptu Shimmer Bronzer
I was pretty hesitant when I saw this in the box. I have extremely pale skin, and I’ve never tried a liquid bronzer before. I was certain it would make me look crazy, and I had heard a lot of people grumbling that they were unhappy that this was included in their boxes this month. I gave it a try mostly for the sake of being able to give my opinion in this blog post, and I actually was pleasantly surprised. This bronzer blends incredibly well and it can be as light as you want it to be. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

October BoxyCharm - Lip Color and Briogeo

Briogeo Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant
I haven’t given this a try just yet, but this heat protectant comes in a cream form and has a great smell to it. I don’t regularly use heat protectants on my hair, but every now and then I throw one into my routine so I will be saving it for that.

Starlooks Ultra Matte Lip Paint
This is a very nice fall color and I really wish the formula had been better. It was extremely dry and patchy and this was not helped by the extremely stiff wand it came with. I had a hard time applying it, and though I liked the color, I didn’t like the way it looked at all.

October BoxyCharm - IBY Palette

IBY Beauty Threes Company Trio Eye Shadow
I think if BoxyCharm hadn’t sent the Studio Makeup palette last month that this trio would have gone over a lot better. It includes shadows of pretty good quality and nice, wearable colors.

October BoxyCharm - IBY Palette Inside

However the colors are remarkably similar to the ones in last month’s palette, and if I had to choose I would pick the Studio Makeup over this one any day. Still, not a bad product if you didn’t get the one from last month.

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Overall, this month’s BoxyCharm wasn’t one of my favorites, but in my eyes, BoxyCharm is like a pizza – even an average one is still delicious.

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What did you think of this month’s BoxyCharm?

Do you prefer your bronzers to be powder, liquid or cream-based?

Tempeh Stuffed Peppers

by Lisa on Wednesday: Jul 24, 2013

The other night I had a craving for stuffed peppers, something I’ve rarely had and never made. But knowing that peppers are one of my favorite vegetables, I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen and the results were delicious!

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium/large green peppers
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • half of a large onion
  • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 of a 15oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

Optional Spices:

  • Dried basil
  • Paprika

Directions:

1. Cut the tops off of each of the green peppers and scoop out all seeds. Trim off a little bit of the bottom of the peppers so they’ll stand up without falling over.

Hollowed Out Peppers

2. Prepare the tempeh, either by chopping it up finely or running it through a cheese grater, depending on how large you want the pieces to be. I went the chopping route for simplicity.
3. Dice the onion and throw it into a skillet along with the tempeh, along with 1-2 teaspoons each of paprika and basil, if using, and some salt and pepper.
4. Mince the garlic and add to the saute pan
5. Let the mixture cook until the tempeh just slightly starts to brown and the onions get a little soft: 6-8 minutes

Sauteing the tempeh and onions

6. Transfer the tempeh mixture into a large bowl. Add the crushed tomatoes and breadcrumbs and combine. If it’s looking a little too dry, add some more of the crushed tomatoes.
7. Scoop the tempeh mixture into each of the 4 peppers and place on a foil-lined square pan. Top with as much parmesan cheese as you like

Tempeh Stuffed Peppers

8. Cook at 375 degrees for around 50 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

After being cooked

9. Serve and enjoy! Top with additional leftover crushed tomatoes and parmesan, if desired.

My dinner

Soy chorizo tacos

by Lisa on Sunday: Jul 07, 2013

It’s been a long, tough week – so much so that this was the post I wanted to publish on Friday, but I just didn’t have the time to finish writing. Even so, I did join up with some Friday blog hops this week and they’re listed at the end. Sorry it’s 2 days late!

The reason things have been so hectic and crazy can all be traced back to one thing: work. Work has been insane, and I even had to sign on yesterday and work for 5 hours on a Saturday! As a result, I’ve only gotten in 2 workouts this week, but I’m trying to psych myself up for a third right after I post this post.

Recently, I’ve discovered a new (to me) food at Trader Joe’s, and I’ve had some fun experimenting with it…


Picture courtesy of whatsgoodattraderjoes.com

It’s soy chorizo!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I saw it in the store, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I love big flavors, and I love spice, so I picked it up and threw it in the freezer for a few weeks, trying to figure out what I could do with it. Having never even tasted “real” chorizo, I didn’t know what kind of flavors I was in for.

One night a few weeks ago, while D was out (he sometimes gets a little freaked out by some of my food experiments, so I tend to break out the new and crazy ingredients when I’m alone), I decided to go for it. I opened up the package and started heating it up in a skillet, the same way you would with a ground meat. I didn’t add any oil – just a little salt and pepper – and as it started to heat up, I thought it smelled remarkably like taco meat. After a small taste, it was confirmed: I would make tacos!

It was incredibly easy and quick to make these (just the kind of recipe I like). Once the soy chorizo was cooked, I spooned it into two taco shells, topped with some diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and ate it with a little bit of sour cream.


Sorry for the rough phone pic! I have since gotten a better camera.

The soy chorizo was very spicy and very tasty. Also, I wasn’t quite prepared for how filling it would be. I almost couldn’t finish two small tacos and the leftover chorizo that I had heated up lasted me through at least 3 or 4 additional meals.

This is one dinner that I’ve added to my regular rotation in the kitchen.


young and restless

His and Hers Homemade Burrito Bowls

by Lisa on Friday: Jan 18, 2013

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a huge fan of Chipotle and their legendary burrito bowls. I always get mine loaded up with rice, beans, fajita veggies, corn, sour cream, cheese, two kinds of salsa and a big scoop of guacamole. The only unfortunate thing is that it’s not super easy to get to Chipotle from where we live. It’s not exactly far, just in an inconvenient location with lots of crazy merges and crazy drivers. Thus, over the past few months, I’ve started making my own burrito bowls at home. It’s super easy and very flexible because you can throw in anything you have on hand that sounds delicious at the time.

Last night was the first time I’ve ever convinced D to join me in having a burrito bowl for dinner. Here’s what we did:

My base recipe for a vegetarian:
1. Saute some soy chorizo (or any other meat substitute of choice – but soy chorizo is very delicious!) until warmed through and slightly browned. I don’t usually add anything to it because it’s already so well spiced.
2. Add one serving of the cooked soy chorizo to a bowl while you assemble your other ingredients.
3. Sprinkle a generous helping of shredded cheese on top. I popped mine in the microwave for a few seconds here to help encourage some cheese melting action.
4. Top with some homemade guacamole (For 2 people, my guacamole includes 1 avocado, 1 clove of garlic, half of a tomato and some lime juice, salt and pepepper).
5. Add salsa
6. And a dollop of sour cream

Other great topping ideas: corn, black beans, lettuce, peppers, onions

For the non-vegetarian:
The only step that changes is #1. Instead of soy chorizo, D went with ground beef, sauteed with a little salt and pepper to taste. No oil added for the saute portion of the recipe, just a little cooking spray. D also opted to have a few tortilla chips crumbled on top for some crunch.

This meal is the perfect example of how a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian can have a dinner together without much extra effort. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals – both were filling and satisfying.

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Friday blog hopping!

Ohsoamelia

young and restless

Pasta Primavera ala Lisa

by Lisa on Saturday: Aug 18, 2012

I came up with this concoction about two weeks ago when on a Saturday night, I had absolutely no idea what to eat and I didn’t want to give in to the take-out monster. I had this Laughing Cow cheese in the fridge for a while and had been thinking about doing some sort of creamy pasta dish. Here’s what I came up with!

Pasta Primavera ala Lisa

Ingredients:

1 tomato
1 medium or 1/2 large green pepper
1 onion
4 cloves garlic (use 2-3 if you’re not a hardcore garlic lover like me!)
1/2 box of spaghetti
3 triangles of Laughing Cow cream cheese spread
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup skim or fat free milk

Pasta Primavera - vegetables

Instructions:

1. Chop the pepper, onion and tomato into thin, long, “matchstick” slices.
2. Spray the bottom of a saute pan with non-stick cooking spray and begin sauteing the pepper and onion until they begin to soften.

Pasta Primavera - cooking

3. At the same time, begin cooking the spaghetti, following the instructions on the box.

Spaghetti container

4. When the peppers and onions have softened enough, add the tomato and garlic, stirring occasionally to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta primavera - cooking 2

5. Add the 3 triangles of Laughing Cow cream cheese to the vegetable mixture and stir until they’re incorporated. Add the milk to thin out the sauce.

Pasta primavera - the cheese

6. When the spaghetti is done, set aside a cup-full of starchy pasta water and then drain and combine with the vegetable mixture

7. Stir until combined and then add the Parmesan cheese. If the sauce is still too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water until the consistency is to your liking.

8. Serve it up! Feel free to add even more Parmesan on top.

Pasta Primavera - finished product

The dish was creamy without being overly loaded with fat, and I loved the different textures and flavors of the veggies. Let me know what you think!