Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hidden Treasure: I Haz It

=D  Very happy.  A little bit sad that I was not able to pick up Sea & Be Seen - I thought if I found a display with Hidden Treasure still in it, I'd have my choice of the others.  I did pick up several others, and hauled last weekend as well that I haven't posted yet - so I'll try to do a full haul post tomorrow or Saturday, but for now I just had to quick share my good fortune.  & yes it will be going on my currently naked nails =) May you all be so lucky as I was today!

Thanks for reading


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NOTD: Pink Drag Marble + Tutorial

I'm not feeling too well, I came home from work early & was asleep until about an hour ago.  So just a short post today as far as details, but lots of pics & I did get the tutorial edited.  For this marble I used China Glaze Heli-Yum & Sugar High, both from the Up & Away collection:

I had 2 shirts that matched the 2 colors pretty closely & I couldn't resist matching ... I ended up going with the darker pink:

I wore it matte-ified on the 2nd day (today):

This is a dragging-technique marble, not a water marble - here is the tutorial:

Thanks for reading.


Monday, April 26, 2010

NOTD: Zoya Envy

I was short on time, so this mani went without decoration.  I really like Zoya Envy, it is an extremely dark vampy green, and it did get mistaken for black on my nails today.  But I knew it was green =)

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

NOTD: Lava Lamp Water Marble + Tutorial

Ready for summer?  This mani will get you in the mood if you're not already LOL, these colors are really eye-popping.  I used China Glaze Solar Power & Orange Marmalade for this water marble.  I was lucky enough to come across some pansies that matched exactly so of course I took advantage & really like how those pics turned out:

Here is the tutorial:

The challenge is keeping the pattern straight in the water, and then getting it straight on your nail.  My favorites are my pinkies & ring fingers, and my left thumb.

Thanks for reading =)


Guest NOTD: Orly Plum Noir

I just wore this myself not that long ago, but I got such nice pics of it on Mom's nails that I thought I'd still put them up.  Orly Plum Noir:

Thanks for reading.


TOTD: Icing Jens Pick

I used this green when I did my Seaweed Water Marble & really liked it, so I decided to use it on its own as a pedicure.  It's a really dense spring green jelly, and it's also wearing really well, a couple of these pics I took just today & I've had it on almost a week.  For some reason I am tough on pedicures & would normally have a chip by this point LOL.  From Icing, this is Jens Pick:

Thanks for reading.


Fruit Tart Recipe

I bet you all thought I forgot I was supposed to post this =)  No, just another victim of my procrastination LOL.  Oddly enough, it is now allowing me to procrastinate on editing pics of other stuff, since this post only requires typing & cropping of one pic.  For those of you who may have missed the original post, here's a slice of what I'm talking about:

Mmmm-mmmm =P  I'm going to start out with the recipe exactly as written, then at the end there will be some notes & tips & tricks that I use when I make it.  I really don't know where this recipe originally came from, somewhere online I think.

Bavarian Fruit Torte
A rich shortbread crust with a cheesecake filling is topped with artfully arranged fresh fruit for a show-stopping dessert.

Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Preparation Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients for Shortbread Crust:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for Fruit Topping:
  • About 3 cups fresh fruit, such as berries, peaches or plums, sliced small if large
  • Apricot preserves or apple jelly
  • Freshly squeeze lemon juice
Directions for Shortbread Crust:
Heat oven  on Convection Bake mode to 325 degrees F.  Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla.  Add flour and mix until a dough forms.  Pat dough into a flat disc and press it evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  (Crust can be made up to two days ahead.  Wrap tightly in foil when cool and refrigerate.) 

Directions for Cream Cheese Filling:
Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla; then beat until fluffy.  Pour filling into baked crust.  Bake at 325 until just set, about 20 minutes.

Directions for Assembling Fruit:
Cool tart for a few minutes.  Arrange fruit in a decorative pattern on top of torte, anchoring each piece by pressing it slightly into the soft cheese filling.

If using apricot preserves, heat them slighly in a small saucepan.  Strain and discard the pieces.  Place strained preserves or apply jelly in saucepan along with a squeeze of lemon.  Bring to a boil over moderatly high heat.  Brush glaze over fruit.  Chill tart until cream cheese filling is firm, about 3 hours.

So, that's the official version - now on to my way =)

The first note I have is that we don't have a Convection Bake mode on out oven.  So for the crust, I usually set the regular oven between 325-350, and check the crust at around 20 minutes.   It should be just turning golden around the edges when you take it out. Same temp goes for the filling, and I'll check it at about 25 minutes.  Give it a little wiggle to see if the middle is set or still jiggly.

For the pan that you use, if you have a tart pan with high sides, you're probably OK using that.  I usually use a spring-form pan that's probably intended for cheesecake or something.  It does have a removable bottom, but the sides are tall enough to keep the fruit from falling off if you pile it high & then need to transport the dessert.  I also line the pan with a layer of parchment paper, so that the crust doesn't stick to the bottom.

As far as mixing the ingredients, I don't use an electric mixer.  It may be a little more work, but I just do it by hand instead of digging out the mixer.  As long as you've softened the butter & cream cheese, it's not that hard to do with like a wooden spoon or whatever utensil you'd like to use.

I cut up my fruit while the filling is cooking.  I really don't know if I use the full 3 cups recommended, but this all comes down to personal taste.  This time I used strawberries, mandarin oranges & blackberries.  When I've made this previously, I've also used blueberries, raspberryies, pineapple, mango, kiwi - whatever fruit you like, it will be delicious on top of this.

The apricot preserves or apple jelly really are optional.  It will give the tart a glossy look, but it's an extra step that really doesn't add anything so feel free to skip it.  If you do chose to do it - DO NOT microwave the preserves or jelly.  Made that mistake one time & it just was not pretty, it totally caramelized & hardened into this thick dark sludge.  Not cute.

When you're ready to serve, go around the outside of the pan with a knife, just to help release the crust & filling from the edge.  Release the spring-form & lift out the bottom.  With the parchment, it's also pretty easy to slide the whole tart off of the bottom of the pan as well, which makes it a little easier to cut (the one I have has a lip around the edge) - the crust is almost like a cookie-texture, so you need to make sure you cut all the way through.

Wow, that turned out longer than I thought!  I think I included everything important, but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.  I promise one day I'll be caught up & do my best to answer =)  If you don't have any questions - well, make up a special occasion to bake this for LOL!  It's been a hit every time I've made it.

Thanks for reading.


Earth Day NOTD: China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint + M72

I wanted to do something green for Earth Day, and chose Re-Fresh Mint from China Glaze's Up & Away collection.  I used Four Leaf Clover - from the same collection - and Konad image plate m72 to stamp the french tips.  This is much more subtle than the high contrast between the blue & dark plum the last time I used this design, but I like it =)

Much as I liked the final product, this was not what I planned on doing.  This is a glimpse of my test on a piece of scratch paper:

I could not duplicate the results on my nails.  In retrospect, I think the basecoat I was using (Nail Life Gripper) may be too sticky, preventing the polish from flowing back smoothly so instead of a kind of marble look, I was just digging furrows in the polish.  I might try again another time with a different base & see if I can duplicate this as a full mani.

I have a seriously kick-ass yellow & orange water marble to show you guys, but I took a ton of pics to go through & after editing the video I'm not up for it.  If you want a sneak peak at the tutorial though, you can click on the link to my YouTube channel in the right sidebar.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NOTD: Pure Ice Busted Funky French

Loved this mani!  When my mom bought me this polish, I didn't realize at first how sheer it was, but then when I saw it swatched I knew I wanted to save it for a layering color.  I did one layer of Pure Ice Busted, then did the chevron-shaped french tips with Color Club Black, then did another layer of Busted.  I thought the point needed just a little something so I added a little flat sequin - which actually was colored, but shows up mostly silvery in the pics:

For the 2nd day I wore this, I added a coat of China Glaze Matte Magic:

Thanks for reading =)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

400+ Followers! & Some Random Pic Spam

Great googly-moogly!  LOL I have to say I'm tickled pink as well as flattered.  Especially as sporadic as I've been posting lately, as behind as I am with comments, that I've managed to make & break the 400 mark.  Thank you, each and every one, for taking the time to stop by & listen to me ramble about polish & life in general.  =)

I'm not exactly behind posting, at least as far as nails are concerned, but there are a few things I've been wanting to put up, so I'm just going to add them here for some visual interest =)

I'm going to start with just a few pics from the flower show, I went with Mom, Grandma & Uncle the day after Easter.  When you first entered, there were all these cool butterflies hanging from the ceiling:

The theme was up & away or something like that, so they had a little hot air balloon:

Then of course lots of flowers ... I always have a little trouble because often shooting with the flash washes everything out, but no flash & everything is fuzzy.  So I was disappointed with a lot of my pics but here are some that turned out half-decent:

Next bit of randomness, Sam at work got a new tattoo, and I thought it was pretty cool.  She got the design from a stained glass window, I think it would be a great design to recreate on my nails:

Our garden at home is loving this early spring!  My strawberry patch has soooo many flowers, and there's lots of decorative stuff blooming too:

At Grandma's house, her plum trees are blossoming:

We've got ducks in our neighborhood too ... they seem to think our yard is a fine place to hang out:

And, last bit of randomness, is a pic of Dude I snapped yesterday.  He was rolling in the grass just prior to this, but I missed getting that =)

I hope all 400+ of my followers, and all my other loyal readers by other means, are having as nice of a spring as I am so far.  Thanks - always - for reading =)

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