Hot Sssauce is Top Boss, Baby!

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They say some like it hot. Although I don’t take my love of spicy food to the atomic level, I do like a nice kick to certain things from time to time. For example… I love a Gyro or Philly Cheesesteak with Tabasco. I also love me some Frank’s Red Hot on a chicken sandwich or of course, buffalo chicken wings! And then there’s Sriracha to drizzle over some noodles or add the perfect amount of spice when I make my own peanut sauce. And Sambal, and Chipotle, and Cholula, and Green Chili and… Ok. You get my drift, right? There’s a whole world of yummy hot sauce’s out there and they all bring both flavor and heat to the table.
Now my boyfriend Jay takes his love of spice to a whole other level. He’ll eat raw spicy chili’s like Jalapeรฑo’s, Serrano’s, Hot Italian Peppers, Red Chili’s and STILL add more hot sauce on top of that with pretty much every meal. As far as he’s concerned, the hotter the better! What is it about eating spicy food that’s so appealing? I mean, it’s almost punishing if the heat keeps building up as you go, yet it also gives you a sort of rush, doesn’t it?
Here’s a few tid bits I’ve learned along my spicy culinary journey…

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Peppers are members of the Nightshade family and are related to Eggplants and Tomatoes, and although we eat them as a vegetable, technically they’re a fruit. We do that with a lot of produce, don’t we? It’s all in the mind… ๐Ÿ˜‰
Capsaicin is the main bio active compound which provides their unique hot taste and other health benefits. Chili peppers are full of vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C, which helps support your immune system, and is an antioxidant, Vitamin B6 helps to boost your energy and metabolism, Vitamin K1 is important for healthy bones and kidneys, Vitamin A, which starts out as beta carotene in the chilis, Copper, another antioxidant important for strong bones and healthy neurons, and Potassium, which is a mineral that serves a variety of purposes to the body and may help in preventing heart disease.

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Capsaicin also helps to promote weight loss by giving your metabolism a boost. By the way… If you over indulge while eating something spicy, drinking water won’t cool your mouth down. Capsaicin is lipid soluble, so drinking milk, eating rice or even bread helps to break up the heat.
Capsaicin also has this crazy reputation for relieving certain kinds of pain and is even used in topical creams to rub on particular types of wounds and to alleviate Arthritis! How cool is that? Now I’m not saying to start scarfing down raw chilis or taking shot glasses full of hot sauce as a chaser ( although I’m sure we all know someone who would… ๐Ÿ˜) but incorporating some spice to your food life might not be such a bad idea.

Make a spicy pico de gallo, or add some sliced Jalapeรฑo’s to your next bowl of soup or chili. Add some to your eggs. Buy some hot sauces to try out and start sprinkling some on your pasta, rice, steak, fish, you name it. Why not? Just remember not to touch your face, eyes and um… other places without washing your hands thoroughly or you’ll be in for quite a spicy, burning surprise!

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It’s the oils from the chili peppers that sticks to our skin. Dish soap actually works really well at getting rid of hot pepper hands ๐Ÿ˜‰
Well meows… I hope this little blog inspires you to be adventurous and gets your mouth watering for something spicy and delicious. I’d love to hear about what some of your favorite hot sauces and spicy dishes are! Thanks for hanging with me ๐Ÿ’– Cheers, hugs & meows!

Nikki Meow

Disclaimer : Some photos courtesy of Google ๐Ÿ˜Š

Mystic Beauty

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Some of My Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes

Ok… I know this isn’t food related, but over the past few years I’ve really become somewhat hooked on the art of applying makeup. From time to time I’ll be writing about my obsession with beauty and skincare because it’s one of the things I absolutely love, aside from cooking.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my skin was super hyper sensitive to EVERYTHING. I mean, I couldn’t put so much as a lip balm on my lips without breaking out. If I put any makeup on at all, my skin would break out in rashes or acne. I chalked it up to my hormones going haywire cause I was knocked up! ๐Ÿ˜›
I was sooooo bummed out that I couldn’t wear makeup for not only the duration of my pregnancy, but for a few months after that as well. Took quite a while for my skin to get back to normal. Then low and behold I found out I was getting a free voxbox from Influenster. It’s a subscription service that sends you survey’s and qualifies you for FREE boxes of products to try out, as long as you agree to write reviews about it on all your social media platforms. But we’ll get into beauty and other subscription boxes down the road. ๐Ÿ˜‰
The box I received was a Mary Kay beauty box and this thing was chock full of makeup. Mascara, eyeshadow, lip cream, blush, brushes… Everything I needed to help kickstart my new and improved beauty regime. I think that everyone should make sure that they take time out in their daily life to do something that is what most folks call “me time” or “you time”… Whatever you want to call it, I think you know what I mean. Makeup was my way of making sure that I always did something that made me feel good about ME. When I apply my makeup it’s because I like doing it and it makes me happy.
Since then, I’ve grown quite the collection of makeup and skin care related items. So much so that I have put myself on a “no buy” for makeup because I literally have more makeup than I could realistically use! Unless it’s something unique and I don’t have something similar already in my collection, if I don’t need it, I’m not gonna buy it!
K. Enough rambling. Let’s get to the point already, which is talking about some of my favorite shadow palettes! Now keep in mind that these are just a few of the ones I really enjoy using, and I love all of my makeup, child! Here we go…

The Balm- In The Balm of Your Hand Vol.1

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I think this was sold exclusively at Kohl’s because I haven’t seen this puppy anyplace else. I absolutely enjoy this palette for many reasons. It’s a literal greatest hits from most of their product line. Hot Mama, Instain in Argyle, and Cabana Boy. All 3 are shadow/blushes. 1 Bahama Mama bronzer, 2 Shady Lady shadows in Insane Jane and Mischevious Marissa, 1 Nude’tude shadow in Sexy, 1 Balm Jovi shadow in Lead Zeppelin, 1 Mary Lou-Manizer highlight, How ‘Bout Them Apples Cheek & Lip Cream in Caramel and The Balm Girls lipstick in Mia Moore.

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I mean this is the perfect all in one pallete! And I love The Balm’s packaging. Rocking that 50’s early 60’s retro vibe. The quality of their products are great with high pigmentation, easy to blend, minimal fallout and long wearing. If you see this one, I highly recommend grabbing one. Also makes a great gift. I think I payed $39.00, which I felt was a great value considering everything you get in the pallete. I reeeeeaaaallly hope they come out with a Vol. 2. I will break my no buy rule if that one hits the market! Umkay… Moving on to…

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2

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At first glance I wasn’t that impressed with this one. However there was something about it that kept drawing me to it. I’m really glad I purchased it because it’s become one of my go to palettes. It has 6 matte shades, and 4 shimmer/satin shades.

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It’s plummy brown shade range I find to be really versatile and I can create multiple looks from this one palette, which makes it great for travel. It has nice buildable color payoff, minimal fallout, blends out well and I also like the duel ended application tool it comes with. It has a sponge tip on one side and a small synthetic blending brush on the other that works rather nicely. I think at the time I purchased this it was $9.99 although I think the price is slightly higher now. Still, I think it’s worth picking up if you’re looking for another all in one shadow pallete. Minus any lip products and blushes ๐Ÿ˜‰
And last but not least…

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

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It seems like everyone and their mother already owns this thing. I know I certainly was late to the party on this baby ๐Ÿ˜› But boy howdy do I LOVE this one! Aside from the fact that all of the shadows smell like chocolate, which is awesome and not too overwhelming if you have a thing against scented products, but it’s got so much to offer. It has 16 shadows that go from mattes to shimmers, pinks, plums, browns, and highlight shades.

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It’s a gorgeous palette and the formula is top notch. With colors to compliment any skin tone, if you don’t ever purchase another palette in your life, you will not be disappointed with this one. It’s also the priciest on this list retailing for $49.00, but again, it’s worth it. I’ve had mine for over a year and have yet to hit pan on anything… Yet!

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into some of my personal eyeshadow faves. I’d love to hear about what kinds of shadows that you favor to wear everyday! I’ll be writing more about my beauty collection in the near future. Thanks for hanging with me! Cheers, hugs & meows!

Nikki Meow

Honey, Hunny, Huhhneee!

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Honey, Hunny, Huhneee!

We absolutely LOVE honey in our house. We’re almost never without it in our cupboard and our daughter, Nia asks for it by saying “huhhhhneeee!” ๐Ÿ˜‹ Just like my little girl, my own fascination with honey began when I was a child learning how to read. One of my favorite books from my childhood was Winnie the Pooh. I enjoyed looking at the illustrations and got a kick out of some of the shenanigans he would get himself into for his favorite food… “Hunny” ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’ve tried all kinds of honey on my culinary travels and some are far better than others. I find myself purchasing organic honey or straight from the beekeeper at my local farmers market. Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Clover, Tupelo… They all have very distinct colors and flavors. It’s kind of difficult to back peddle into buying and consuming anything less than top shelf golden goodness. Organic raw honey just tastes far superior to most of the store brands that I grew up with.
Most brands of honey are mixed and contain corn syrup or other liquid sweeteners and lose a lot of their nutritional value in the heating process of factory bottling. imageย Although the price may be a bit higher, I’m willing to dish out the extra bucks for better taste and quality of organic or farmers market honey. Especially since, in my household, we use it for more than just sweetening our oatmeal or tea. Honey has a vast array of uses and has a buttload of health benefits.
The use of honey goes waaaaay back. Like 2,500 years and has been used by so many different cultures for its medicinal qualities as well as it being pretty damn tasty! Here’s a small list of some of it’s various uses and health benefits…

Weight Loss: When honey is consumed with warm water, it helps to digest the fat stored in your body.

Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains Calcium, Vitamin C, and Iron

Skin Care: There’s a reason that milk and honey are often served together. They both help in maintaining smooth, beautiful skin. Add enough honey to taste in either warm or cold milk. You can also sprinkle a few drops of vanilla extract or even better, half of a fresh vanilla bean for added flavor!

Sleep: Honey helps to trigger melatonin and regulate stress levels in the body, allowing us to just simply relax and achieve REM sleep.

There are like a gazillion other uses and benefits to consuming raw organic honey! It’s crazy how great this stuff is for our bodies and can be substituted for white sugar in almost every recipe. The general rule of thumb for doing this is to reduce the amount in 1/4 cup intervals. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, you can use 1/2 to 2/3rds cup of honey.
Honey also makes killer sauces and marinades. Try making your own honey mustard sauce, or a salad dressing with your favorite vinegar or fresh lemon juice and oil. Honey is so versatile and it’s culinary uses are up to you!
So the next time you’re out shopping or even better, at a farmers market, check out the honey booth and ask for some samples. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, at least you’ll have had your honey fix for the day. I hope this encourages you to get your honey on with your hunny, and be creative with how you use your huhhhhneeee! Cheers, hugs & meows!
Nikki Meow