Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pink pleasures.

This post is too late for Valentine's Day, but oh well! Every day is a good day for pink things. I feel ridiculous in pink, but that doesn't mean the color doesn't give me a bit of a thrill. Ever since I was a kid playing with that bright fuchsia Play-Doh, I've wanted to smear pink stuff all over my face or eat it. Or both!

I bought this rose and chamomile facial scrub from Marble & Milkweed a few days ago and it is glorious. The smell is herbal and floral in a subtle, natural way. It makes me feel like a medieval lady at my toilette (especially since lately I've been listening to troubadour music by Giraut de Bornelh and reading a biography of Isabella of France). Anything that makes me feel like a medieval lady is a plus! And I can't stop touching my face because it feels so soft. It exfoliated but in a gentle and moisturizing way.

I have a confession: I'm a tiny bit obsessed with exfoliation. In high school, I used to put tape all over my face and do it that way. Don't try it! It's terrible for your skin. I also used that apricot scrub with really rough grains in it almost daily. Again, terrible! I'm surprised my face is not falling apart from all the abuse.  

Now for the part about eating pink stuff. Rob and I made beet and orange ice cream!

So delightful. The color makes me happy just looking at it! And the flavor doesn't disappoint. It's sweet in an earthy way with a slightly citrus peel tang aftertaste. I can't think of a more suitable ice cream for right now, when winter is in its last stages and root vegetables are the main staple but spring is just around the corner waiting to burst into color. 

We adapted this recipe because we didn't have some of the ingredients. Our version turned out wonderfully!

2 cups milk
4 tsp. tapioca starch
1 1/4 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
zest from 2 oranges
2 beets, sliced in thick rounds and roasted

Mix 1/4 cup of milk and tapioca starch together in a bowl and set aside. Mix together the rest of the milk, cream, sugar and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Add orange zest and milk/tapioca mixture. Cook until slightly thickened (about 5-7 minutes). 

Puree the beets in a blender. We had to add a bit of the milk/cream mixture to the beets to get it smoothly pureed. Once the beets are smooth, add the rest of the milk/cream mixture and blend until combined and bright pink!

Pour everything into a large mixing bowl and chill. You can stick it in the fridge. We made an ice bath in the sink and submerged the bowl in the cold water for about an hour.

Churn with an ice cream maker until the consistency is thick and creamy like this:

Freeze for a couple hours and it'll be ready to eat!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Violet, blue, green.

One of my favorite things is going to this international grocery store called HT Oaktree Market and picking up all the Chinese snacks I used to eat growing up. White Rabbit brand milk candy, salted plums, cold sweet bean soup in tin cans that have a foldable plastic spoon in the lid, rice crackers and sultana biscuits. But since HT Market also carries a variety of delicious snacks from other countries, I've been experimenting with some new treats. One of the best I've tried is this delicious Filipino candy (labeled as Toasted Wheat Cake on the package):


Aren't they pretty? The green one is screwpine and coconut flavored and the purple is yam. They have a buttery, powdery texture, similar to halvah and shortbread. Tastes so good with green tea! There are also mango and melon flavored ones that I haven't sampled yet.

Rob and I got some flowers the other day on a whim - blue thistle and some pretty little yellow blossoms. Most flowers lose their freshness so quickly but these are staying quite perky even after several days.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I am a fool for pyrite.

I've been greatly enjoying my nails lately- dark gray polish layered with glittery gold makes for a delightful shade of pyrite! This mineral is also known as fool's gold (I don't care if I'm a fool, but I just love how it looks.) I must work it into my jewelry designs soon! 

 They often form into these perfectly cube shaped chunks. Nature's own minimalist sculpture! I've been obsessing a little bit with this website that sells the most gorgeous pieces of pyrite from Spain. Here are a few of my favorites: