Monday, August 13, 2012

No Cook Meals for the Dog Days of Summer

During these last...HOT...weeks of summer, it seems like I want to spend less and less time in the kitchen. I know- me of all people DOESN'T want to cook.
It's not like I don't still enjoy it, it's more that the thought of turning on the oven to invite 350 more degrees of scorching heat into my kitchen might cause someone to haul me off to the loony bin.

Since Texas summers tend to last about 6 months longer than those of the rest of the country, I've definitely come to rely on a few go-to  recipes that require ZERO cooking, some of which can be made the night before so all I have to do it open the fridge to recieve a lovely blast of cool air and have my dinner greet me like a chilly beacon of hope.

Okay, so this first one I stole from my grandmother, but in all fairness, she probably snagged it from someone else. It's a quick, easy, make-ahead dish using ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.

24 Hour Salad
  • Bac O's (meatless) OR 3/4 pound (raw weight) bacon, cooked then crumbled
  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced celery
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, or to taste (I prefer to go easy on this)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Place the lettuce out in a large serving dish or bowl. Trifle dishes work well since this is a really pretty salad!
Layer the onion, celery, water chestnuts and frozen peas (unthawed).
Spread the mayonnaise over the top like you would when frosting a cake. Sprinkle with grated cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle Bac O’s/crumbled bacon over the top, and garnish with tomato wedges, slices of hard-cooked egg, and parsley.
You can always mix this up by using left-over or pre-cooked/packaged shrimp, crab, salmon, chicken, etc. in place of or in addition to the bacon.

Another recipe that I've snagged over the years but it doesn't make it any less delicious. Enjoy with some chips and an ice cold cerveza!


  • 1 pound of your favorite seafood. (I prefer shrimp, scallops and halibut) 
  • juice of 8 large limes
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2-4 green onions chopped
  • half of a purple onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Rinse and dry seafood. Place in a large non-metallic bowl and cover in lime juice. The seafood should be completely submerged. Chill all day or overnight - the seafood should be completely opaque.
Pour off half of the juice and all the remaining ingredients, stirring to mix well.

That's it! You now have a low-fat, high protein, no cook meal that everyone will enjoy.

My son and I came up with this one night while trying to figure out a quick and easy dinner that would use up some extra produce we had sitting in the fridge.

Sprout Sandwich
  • Hummus (or mayo/mustard-whatever you’ve got)
  • Tomato
  • Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Buns (hamburger, hotdog, pita- it all works just fine!)

Spread a generous schmear of hummus on both sides of the bread, layer with hummus, pile on sprouts, tomato and avocado.
Dinner. Is. Done.
Serve with chips and enjoy the fact that dinner just took you all of 5 minutes to prepare.

Keep in mind that you can ALWAYS change up a recipe to suit your taste.
Be creative and whip up some go-to recipes of your own.
Have a no-cook recipe that you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments below or head on over to the Shine Supper Club and spread the word!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Feliz (Temprano) Día De Los Muertos! - An Impressive DIY Costume From Pinterest

It’s August, which means, in my world anyway, that it’s time to start working on Halloween ideas.
There are a couple of things swirling around my brain, but it’s going to be hard to outdo last year’s get-up.

I’m a BIG fan of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations, and find it to be a wonderful way to honor the loved ones who are no longer with us.

While browsing Pinterest sometime last summer, I came across this striking version of the sugar skull face paint and knew that my costume for Halloween ’11 would be based off the beautiful work. 

Red is more my pallet so I set out to find the supplies, made one practice run a few weeks prior to the festivities, and set aside two hours the day of to make sure everything was just right.

I used:
Regular ol’ Halloween make-up from Halloween Express in white and red
Make-up sponges
Clinique potted liquid eyeliner in black
Clear and red rhinestones
Eyelash adhesive
Red super fine glitter
Long false lashes
Silk flowers

First wash and exfoliate your face. The cleaner and fresher the skin, then better.
Next cover your face in white make-up. I preferred a lighter touch with the white, and made sure to avoid the eye area, as that would be red and I didn’t want it to end up being pink.
Fill in the entire eye socket area with red, making sure to keep the lines as clean as possible.
Now the fun part! Draw the design that you’d like using the potted liquid liner. You can use a small paint brush or a regular eyeliner brush, like I did.
Dab red and blend as needed to enhance your look. You’ll also want to blend a bit of black in with the color to create a more shadowed look.

This next part takes a lot of time and patience. You’re going to use the eyelash adhesive to glue the individual rhinestones into place. I chose to alternate red and clear, and use larger shaped stones on different parts of my face.  

Next, and you may want to brush on a little fresh red paint first, dab plenty of red glitter in the area of your eyes closest to your nose. You can’t tell by the picture, but it REALLY sparkled!

Finally, line your eyes with the liquid liner and adhere the lashes.

My hair was very short at this point in time (I was growing out “the Rihanna” look) so I picked up a really cheap wig. To create a more natural look, I pulled my longest pieces forward, attached the wig using plenty of bobby pins, then used my fingers to curl back my actual hair in big pieces, creating the old-fashioned look before pinning the flowers into place.

For the costume, I used a pirate dress that I already had and pinned it up in the middle and sides with a black petticoat underneath. This was topped off with a black corset, black fishnets and red pumps, again, things that I already had. Total cost for this costume?

Have you thought about how you might dress up this Halloween? Has anything on Pinterest caught your eye? What have you conquered on your boards?
Link-up and tell me about it!