perfect biscuits

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I didn’t grow up eating biscuits. Once in a while we got the frozen kind that came in a tube, and I thought they were ok. I didn’t realize just how delicously flaky and buttery a biscuit could be until I started making them myself. It’s ridiculously easy to make these, so much so that I’m not sure why these don’t have a home on our kitchen counter at all times. I could have one of these warmed up with a pat of butter and maybe some jelly, for breakfast, in the middle of the day with coffee as the perfect pick me up, or as a late night snack. There is just no reason to not have a freshly baked biscuit!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons (10 to 20 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons (125 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup (175 ml) milk combined with 2 tbsp greek yogurt or 3/4 cup buttermilk

Method:

Heat oven to 400 °F and cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add buttermilk and stir until large, craggy clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together.

To form biscuit rounds: Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (err on the thin side if uncertain, as the tall ones will literally rise and then tip over, like mine did the day I photographed these). Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits, 3 inches for the monstrous ones shown above), press straight down — twisting produces less layered sides — and transfer rounds to prepared sheet, spacing two inches apart.

Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. optional: brush with melted butter (so so good). Cool slightly, then serve warm with butter and/or jam and/or as a sandwich with fried egg and a slice of cheese!

The best tip I can give is to not overwork the biscuit dough and to use your fingers to combine the chilled butter and flour rather than a pastry cutter or food processor. You will end up with a flakier biscuit if you use your hands.

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I never knew how easy it was to make these myself and I hope you will give them a try too! You will love them, trust me:) IMG_0115

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peanut butter,spinach and carrot dog treats

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Since Chutney has been feeling a bit more anxious than usual lately, I decided to make him something special. His favorite thing to eat is peanut butter so I wanted to make him treats with peanut butter as the star flavor.

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The verdict? He gobbled them down in seconds, without needing me to break them down into pieces for him (which he usually likes). These were a HIT!!

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I love to watch him crunch down on these little treats when I come home from work. It’s also a great way to practice some basic commands like “sit”, “leave it” and “stay”.

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I was able to find this tiny cookie cutter from amazon which made the perfect size for our little guy. We give him 2 at a time (in the middle of the day between meals). It’s nice to know exactly what is in the food he’s eating. They are super easy to make too!

 

 

 

Let me know if you guys want the recipe!!

chanel poudre universelle libre natural finish loose powder

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I was in search of a loose powder to set my makeup and found myself at the Chanel counter, otherwise known as “the danger zone.” Luckily my better half was browsing on a different level of the store and I was able to “just look” at some Chanel beauties. All it took was one swipe of this magical powder on my face, and I looked at my reflection thinking “wow!!”. It instantly looked like a makeup artist had just finished working on me. My skin looked even toned and refreshed. I even looked bright eyed and more awake! Yes it’s expensive and yes it only comes in 3 shades, but WOW it’s the best loose powder I have ever come across.

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The powder itself is so finely milled that it feels like cake flour. This is the softest powder I’ve felt on my skin, so you can imagine it applies like a dream- either with the puff applicator it comes with or with a big fluffy brush. No wonder this product gets such amazing reviews worldwide. It truly is worth the hype. It sets my makeup superbly, cuts down on shine throughout the day, and gives my skin that “Je ne sais quoi” if you know what I mean. It actually contains photo-reflective pigments that help disguise imperfections without emphasizing lines. I agree with this claim and I love how this evens out my skin tone. It gives my face that “soft focus” effect, which I am not complaining about- at all.

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The best part is that a tiny bit goes a very long way- you need not apply much of this product to get the desired effect. Would I repurchase this when it runs out (in a few years time haha)? YES!

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peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

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I was craving peanut butter cookies…and was about to make them when I remembered that I can’t just make peanut butter cookies. How could I forget that I am married to someone who has chocolate running through his veins- yes a chocaholic?! So I made chocolate chip peanut butter cookies- and for good measure I through in a few mini peanut butter cups. I figured a few mini peanut butter cups never hurt anyone…and honestly.. chocolate does make the world a better place.

 

Make these tonight- and make enough so you can freeze away some dough for when you are having your very own peanut butter cookie emergency. Trust me, it will happen. Oh and don’t forget to have a tall glass of cold milk nearby!

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The hardest part about this recipe is making Chutney wait until the end to lick the peanut butter. He waits for it with patience and grace because he’s such a good boy.

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recipe courtesy the smitten kitchen:

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup mini peanut cutter cups chopped (optional)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

top 5 things beauty blogging has taught me about beauty

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Becoming a blogger has changed the way I look at things. For starters, it has expanded my views on beauty.  I learn something new every day but so far here is what beauty blogging has taught me about beauty:

1. To follow a strict skincare routine: Before I started blogging or taking my skincare seriously, I didn’t really have much of a routine when it came to skincare. I didn’t pay attention to what I was putting on my face and definitely didn’t have a reason for using one product versus another. That all changed when I began to take a closer look at what the specific needs of my skin are. I turned to fellow beauty bloggers, skincare experts and watched and read tons of online reviews and tutorials. Following a skincare routine has been the most helpful thing in improving my skin overall. My skin is still not perfect by any means, and I do have my occasional breakouts. Now I know not to get angry at my skin and to be patient.

2. To invest in beauty: It’s so easy to skip steps in your skincare and makeup routines. I used to go to sleep without properly removing my makeup thinking that a makeup removing wipe was sufficient. Now, no matter how tired I am I need to do a double cleanse! Honestly, it takes an extra minute. I need my toners, my serum and my moisturizers now- every day and every night. I need my friday night facials- they help me relax. Plus I feel so much better going to bed knowing that I am taking all the necessary steps to nourish my skin and give it the love it deserves:)

3. To use sunscreen every single day: Even though I knew sunscreen is important, I now have a new appreciation for different sunscreen products which work best for my skin. They don’t break me out, are not greasy and have an SPF of more than just 15, which is what I had been using for a long time. There is a sunscreen out there for everyone- you just have go through some trial & error. That goes for all skincare products. Just be patient with your skin:)

4. Beauty is within us: No matter how much you take care of you skin or much makeup you apply, at the end of the day, beauty comes from within. Taking care of my body, feeding my mind and soul are just as important as my skincare and makeup routines. Also, I have been so humbled by the love and support of others out there. Whether on Instagram or via this blog, you are all so generous, positive and encouraging. This makes me feel beautiful:) So thank YOU!

5. To learn about what ingredients work for my skin: When I started looking into different skincare products, I wanted to use exactly what so and so was using because they had such amazing skin and I wanted it! It wasn’t long before I discovered that I wasn’t getting results because even though certain ingredients can work wonders for someone, it wasn’t doing anything for me. In fact, I was breaking out from many things. Over time, I discovered that salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, rosewater and witch hazel are my best friends:)

What has beauty blogging taught you about beauty? What has blogging taught you in general?

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick

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When it came time for me to purchase my first high end lipstick, I decided to go with YSL. I have always loved how beautiful these lipsticks look in this classic gold casing, that strip of “YSL” all along the middle of the tube and that pop of color which corresponds with the creamy formula inside. I couldn’t wait to get it on my lips! You can imagine my excitement as I walked into Sephora and began to swatch the plethora of shades to find my perfect lipstick.

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I wanted to get a shade that was a wearable everyday color, nothing too bold or deep, and something that would work for both day and evening makeup looks. So I decided to go with #8-Pink in Confidence, which is described as a “dusty pale pink”. For me, this shade looks like my lips but better. It’s ultra lightweight and feels like a moisturizing lip balm, while providing the perfect amount of color and a hint of shimmer- perfection!

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You guys now how the scent of a product is important to me. As with the YSL gloss volupte I have, this smells like mango as well, which I happen to love. I HIGHLY recommend this line of lipsticks and lip glosses if you are looking for a little splurge, as well as something pretty to look at on your dresser.

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Too faced semi- sweet chocolate bar

Too faced semi-sweet chocolate bar

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I am so in love with this palette! A special thanks to https://theworldofcos.wordpress.com/ who shared with us on her blog when there was a deal being offered on HSN for this beauty. I had never considered purchasing the chocolate palettes, but now that I have this one, I might need to get the other chocolate palette as well!

The shade range is gorgeous and has been working well for my skin tone I think this very complimentary for Indian skin tones.

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My favorite shades are butter pecan, which I like to use all over the lid, chocolate chilli for the outer crease, blueberry swirl for a brilliant pop of color, and pink sugar for a fresh spring/summer look all over the lids. The palette contains both matte and shimmer shades, which work well together. In addition to the shade range, I am in love with the chocolate bar packaging (so cute!!), and the chocolate smell of this palette. They actually put cocoa powder in these shadows! It’s a real treat for your senses and makes getting ready even more fun:)

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Too faced is definitely my go to for eye shadows. I also enjoy their everything nice holiday palette which is amazing (no longer available but I did find it on Amazon for a higher price than what it was being sold at), as well as their original natural eyes palette and the natural matte eye palette.unnamed (4)

What is your all time favorite eye shadow palette?? I might need to get it:)

my “miracle” serum

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

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In case you’re wondering, the reason why I am calling ANR my “miracle” serum and not my miracle serum is because in my opinion, there is no such thing as a miracle in a bottle. Personally, I need to take excellent care of my skin every morning and every night. I had to do tons of research to find the most effective products for my skin. That means I needed to find skincare that would not only help in the anti aging process, but make my skin look and feel healthy and most importantly not break me out. This was not an easy process for me, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard for you. Some people are able to have good luck with just about anything they put on their face! That is so not the case with me.

That leads me to share with you my favorite serum at the moment and one which I’ve been using now for around 6 months. I wanted to use it for at least this long before making any claims about it.

What I like about ANR:

– the consistency is thin enough that it absorbs well and allows for my moisturizer to do a better job overnight of keeping my skin hydrated.

– It is oil free and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for sensitive and acne- prone skin (like mine)

– it has a nice mild scent ( the way a product smells is really important to me for some reason)

– when I wake up after having used this, it gives the appearance that I’ve had a good night’s sleep- it’s like sleep in a bottle

ANR serum contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to repair your skin while you sleep, by visibly reducing the signs of aging, appearance of lines and wrinkles and helps even out skin tone. Oh and it’s the #1 repair serum in the world.

I keep coming back to ANR when I am traveling, have had a long day, when I am on the verge of a breakout or just because. I love the way my skin feels not only the morning after using this, but even throughout the following day and weeks. My skin is by no means perfect, but is better than ever, thanks to Estee Lauder and specifically this serum. I hope it works wonders for your skin too:)

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