on the menu: banana coconut waffles

On June 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

The waffle experimentation continues here chez sphinx. Going strong with my All-Clad Belgian waffle iron.

banana coconut waffles

This time I substituted all of the oil for coconut oil and about 1/4 of the flour for coconut flour, then say 1/2 c of moisture for mashed banana. Buttermilk over milk every time. I also added sparkling water, which, in conjunction with the baking soda/vinegar (from the buttermilk) mix, makes the batter bizarrely fluffy, and the waffles deliciously fluffy (want to try it with sparkling wine later…). I adapted the buttermilk waffles recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, which is often too elaborate for my taste but which is full of good techniques. I didn’t use buttermilk powder, for example, as the recipe suggests, I just used buttermilk.

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c coconut flour
1 T coconut sugar
3/4 t table salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c milk (to sit with 2 T cider vinegar for a few minutes*)
1/2 c mashed ripe banana
2 large eggs
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 c coconut oil
1 1/4 c unflavored seltzer water

*The standard buttermilk recipe is 1 c milk to 1 T lemon juice or vinegar but I love vinegar, so my ratio is more like 1 c of milk to 4 T vinegar…still doesn’t read as vinegar in the final product.

Whisk dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients excepting seltzer, gently add seltzer to wet ingredients, stir wet into dry being careful not to overmix (batter should be lumpy). Can add berries or chocolate chips at this point, or any other debris. Iron away.

banana coconut waffles

Jars Ceramics plate

It’s increasingly rare that waffles go wrong for me.

banana coconut waffles

Now if I could only work out pancakes, with which I find experimentation a risky proposition.

x

distraction: bold blush

On April 1, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I scroll through so many made-up faces in the course of my style and beauty browsing, online or in magazines, that I rarely give a look much attention. Perhaps I note liking a certain color that is used (probably the shade of lipstick), or thinking that there is something appealing about the peculiarity of the model’s face, but it’s extremely uncommon that I pause, am arrested. Am interested.

Stumbled across this image in a more or less unrelated marie-claire article about pro make-up tips, wherein this image was a sort of useless illustration of a category heading in the piece. [Because you can’t have an article without pictures!] I forgive it this superfluity, however. This is a stunning, strange look. The kind of look that makes me want to sit down and play around with make-up.

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The pale pastel eyes and lips seem like your usual spring stuff but then these great windburned cheeks pull the look well away from the shores of the ordinary. This is bold, beautiful blush. I love when a look conveys the idea of wearing too much blush on purpose. That is, not too much blush, exactly the amount desired. It seems to me this is the trick with anything outlandish or unconventional: to look as if you did it on purpose.

This is editorial, yes. I mean, this is a lot of blush. The look is so fierce, though. The icy blue of the eyes, such a cool color…probably terrible on me but it is so great here I want to secretly try it anyway. Did you see the Lisa Eldridge tutorial of Tippi Hendren’s make-up from Hitchcock’s The Birds? That was a look that stuck with me, that I also wanted to recreate faithfully, reminds me of this eye look. Pinned.

There’s something to be said for too much blush. It’s dangerous territory but with treasures to be unearthed for the adventurous, those who go beyond the rookie realm of gauche overapplication into that of decisive, savage color.

image via marie-claire.com

in defense of cheap sunglasses

On April 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Just as I’m convinced it is worthwhile to splash out for certain items, certain categories of items, other categories I am more than happy to skimp on and buy as cheaply as possible. Others I like to have representatives from several brackets, so I’ve got a few options re: quality. Lipstick is a great example of this, and I think all kinds of makeup and skincare. I like budget as well as luxe options in most categories. While it’s nice to invest in a great quality lipstick, there are too many beautiful colors to choose only one (so I say), and budget options are one way to have that variety. It’s just the same with sunglasses. Just the same.*

*You know when you’re entirely convinced how fitting an analogy is, and keep seeing parallels that reinforce its strength and integrity everywhere? This is one of those analogies right now.

I’ve invested in a few pairs of what I would call good sunglasses; quality lenses, sturdy construction, versatile styles I can wear any time, all the time. [I’m talking $100-$200 range sunglasses. Though sunglasses can get much more expensive than this, I doubt the quality improves much beyond this point.] I’ve mentioned them before.

(parenthetical photo recap:

IMG_6578Vuarnet, Vuarnet, Spektre, Ray-Ban)

This is all well and good, but…you know…what about the other kinds of sunglasses? There are so many appealing silhouettes, and it would be a shame not to play with them. [Wouldn’t it?]

Enter dirt cheap sunglasses. I mean $10 or less cheap, $5 or less . Mayyyybe $15ish. That would be an indulgent pair of cheap sunglasses, if you follow. I’m talking eBay, tourist stalls, Chinatown. Cheap (but with basic UV protection still). I had a specific list of styles I wanted to have at my disposal, but didn’t want to pay much to have them there. The sunglasses equivalents of costume jewelry. I found these gradually over many long winter months.

The list

1. Gold aviators with orange mirror lenses
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Basically a Ray-Ban clone. Like the pair I already have but with mirror lenses…

2. Circular lenses, retro look

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I found one I liked, then one I liked better… A weird or distinctive pair of sunglasses instantly adds interest, even to the most unremarkable ensemble.

3. Wayfarers and close cousins w/ patterned frames and/or mirror lenses

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Variations on the Spektre wayfarer-style pair I have and love, some fresh options. Wanted clear frames like this with mirror lenses. Oh, and I have that pair with white rubbery frames. Where did I put those?

4. Audrey shades with tortoiseshell or burgundy frames (or cream)

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Because this glam oversized look is not quite ME but I’ve wanted to experiment with it. I don’t always want to be exactly me, anyway. I like the fit and look of these better than I expected, a nice surprise. I couldn’t decide between these two…(if looking for this silhouette, use the keyword ‘Audrey’ evidently)

I think [I concede] this got a little out of hand, and I have too many pairs now. I do really like that concept of having only one or two signature pairs that go with everything. Like a signature lipstick (see!), or perfume. But I don’t have a signature lipstick or perfume, either, so I’m really very consistent in this story. Another addition to the volume of unnecessary/dumb stuff I spend my money on. And there’s that comforting knowledge that I’m free to sit on them or lose them without it constituting a notable loss. AND, if someone really likes them or needs to borrow them, I can spontaneously give them away. I like doing that, now and then.