devonly randomonium

Sugar-coated effery and shenanigans.

Nom, Nom, Nom: I’ll Crumble For Ya

Sadly, our season four True Blood Supper Club ended on September 11. Finally, us fangers, howlers, witches and potential mediums got a solid season finale. I now have a slight case of separation anxiety because I don’t get to meet up with my girls on Sunday nights. But woo, woo, woo. Don’tcryformeArgentinapointblankperiod.com.

We wanted to go all out for the season finale. We talked about doing a Cajun menu weeks before. But when the night finally rolled around, we decided to go with a considerably lighter menu. That meant chicken Caesar salad and wine of course! At first, I wanted to get all fancy and make a bananas foster creme brulee or chocolate-strawberry crepes. But once the menu changed, I went with a simple fall dessert. I was too lazy to go to the store, so I decided to make an apple crumble. I already had everything I needed to make it. So done and done!

If you’re not a baker, crumbles are right up your alley. They usually require you to plug-in a mixer, chop some fruit and cut in some butter. If you can’t do this, I don’t know what to tell you. (Actually, I’ll just say a prayer, and ask Baby Jesus to give you common sense!) But this recipe I found on About.com is super easy to make, and it will serve about six people.

I decided to tweak this recipe a little, and make mini crumbles in ramekins.  I added about a 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats to the crumble mixture along with some ginger and nutmeg. I didn’t add water to the apples. Instead, I cut up my apples, seasoned them with cinnamon, nutmeg and dark rum, and added lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. I let my apples chill out in this mixture in the fridge while I made the crumble. Before I assembled the mini crumbles, I added about a tablespoon of potato starch to the apples so the rum and juices would thicken up as the crumbles baked.

I recommend baking the crumble for the full 45 minutes. The crust came out perfect. I also recommend that you have vanilla ice cream and extra mini crumbles on hand. Our hostess for the evening (Dana) really enjoyed the dessert and said, “Damn Devo, you really have a future in this!”

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter

Preparation:

Place apples in a lightly buttered baking pan or dish, about 10 x 6 or 9-inch square. Add water. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the apples. Bake apple crunch at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes, or until apples are tender. Serve apple crumble warm with ice cream, if desired.

Apple crumble serves 6.

 

So happy chopping, baking and crumble making!

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Drugstore Dimepiece

I use to think that higher-priced cosmetics meant better performing cosmetics. So instead of going for the $7 mascara at the drugstore, I went for the $23 mascara at the beauty counters of _(insert name of department store here)_.  Hundreds of dollars and a truckload of regrets later, I’ve kind of turned my back on department store makeup. To me, it seems like you’re mostly paying for the slick packaging and the name. Now there are some department store products that I absolutely love. In fact, I’ve mentioned some in previous blog posts.  But recently, I decided not to be so quick to give the department store brands my hard-earned cash.

If you are a department store cosmetics stan, it’s time for an intervention. If you have the money to spend on luxury products, more power to you. But if  you’re trying to look great for less, keep reading. My fellow divas, you can find great products for a fraction of the price at Tarjay or your local drugstore. And even though I’m not crazy about the staff at my local Ulta, I’ve found some products there that I absolutely love.

So here are some of my favorite drugstore products:

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Burt's Bees Tinted Balm

Source: Burt’s Bees

I picked up the tinted lip balm in Rose a few months ago and I really like it. The shade is pretty close to Clinique’s Chunky Cherry Chubby Stick. The Chubby Stick’s color payoff is a little better, but Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm is still a great alternative. It’s half the price of a Chubby Stick, and it smells (and tastes) great. To me, this balm is perfect for daily use. It also won’t make you look like you just finished drinking a glass of Kool-Aid.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm will set you back a whopping $7 at Ulta.

L’Oreal HiP  Eyeshadow Duos


L'Oreal HIP Shadow

Source: Target.com

You can pay $15 for a MAC eyeshadow, or you can pay $7 for a HiP shadow duo. Why should you get HiP? These shadow duos offer two richly pigmented colors for a reasonable price. The shadows come in five different finishes: bright, concentrated, crystal, matte and metallic. These shadows last a long time, and give you the MAC look for less. I’ve even visited the MAC counter with HiP shadows on, and the artists have mistaken them for MAC.  One even told me, “They’re just trying to copy us!” Well that’s fine by me because I can get four shades for price of one MAC shadow. But watch the drugstores and Ulta for specials. Sometimes they offer HiP products BOGO free or BOGO half off.

HiP shadow duos cost between $6.79-$7.99.

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

Source: Drugstore.com

I never liked the original Voluminous. It clumped and because of this, it was hard to build layers. But a few years ago, I decided to try Voluminous Carbon Black. It’s now one of my favorite mascaras. I like it because it has a big teddy bear brush. It’s goes on easy and clump free, and I have no problem adding coats throughout the day. If you decide to go with the waterproof formula, make sure you have a good eye makeup remover because it doesn’t come off easily. But if you’re going to be par-tay-ing like a rock star all night, that’s probably a good thing.

Voluminous Carbon Black costs between $5-$8.

neaclear Liquid Oxygen Anti Acne Facial Moisturizer

Description from neaclear:

This anti acne facial moisturizer caters to the delicate needs of acne-prone skin. specifically made with a non-oil base, you can rest assured it will not trigger acne breakouts. this product will absorb quickly and gently moisturize your skin.

Infused with Oxygenated Purified Water to introduce a powerful boost of oxygen into your skin’s cells as you use, this product will leave your skin feeling clean and energized.

I bought this product on a whim from Ulta. I was looking for a good moisturizer that wouldn’t clog my pores, or irritate my skin. So I made the mistake of asking the sales associate who kept following me around the store to make sure I wasn’t stealing. No joke. That’s how they get down at Ulta. Anyway, as I expected, she didn’t know squat. So I ignored her suggestion for a face wash. (What the eff broad? I asked you for a face lotion. Why don’t you go steal some skills and product knowledge!) I spotted the neaclear facial moisturizer in the acne aisle, and it was only $5.99. I was kind of worried at first since I wasn’t familiar with the line. But then I figured spending $5.99 to try it wouldn’t kill me. So I bought it and I don’t regret it. It’s a thick cream, but it feels really light when you put it on. It is also very moisturizing. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have sunscreen. But if your foundation has one and you’re not going to be outside for long periods of time, you should be golden.

neaclear Liquid Oxygen Anti Acne Facial Moisturizer costs $5.99 at Ulta.

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