12 Days of Christmas|Day 9- Cozy Winter Recipes |2018

Hi everyone and happy day 9! I can’t believe we’re only a week out from Christmas, it’s going by so fast. I hope you’re all enjoying (or looking forward to enjoying) the holiday season with all of your loved ones. Today’s post is going to be two of my favorite cozy recipes for a cold winter evening. First is going to be an updated version of my smoky-ranch meatballs, and second will be my fresh pappardelle pasta with meat sauce. Hope you enjoy these and see you for day 10!

Smokey-Ranch Meatballs:

Ingredients:

Minced beef and pork mix

1 or 2 (depending on amount of meat) packet of ranch seasoning

3 tablespoons liquid smoke

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Good squeeze of ketchup

1/4 cup of spring onions, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg

1 jar tomato sauce

Basil and other desired spices.

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form meat into balls, about 2 tablespoons per meatball, and set aside.
  2. In a pot, heat up the tomato sauce over medium heat and mix with spices.
  3. Get another pan and heat it up with olive oil on high heat. When hot, begin cooking meatballs. Cook until browned, then set aside.
  4. Put meatballs into the pot of tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Right before serving, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and cover to melt.
  6. Serve hot.

 

Fresh Beetroot Pappardelle with Meat Sauce:

Ingredients:

For the pasta-

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1 beetroot

For the sauce-

1 pack of minced beef

3/4 jar of tomato sauce

2 zucchinis, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

Basil, chopped

Chilli powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Pecorino cheese

 

Directions:

For the pasta-

  1. Chop the beetroot and put it in a small pan over high heat with a little bit of olive oil and water. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour out liquid into a small bowl and set aside. Use muslin cloth or an old dish towel to squeeze all the liquid (and coloring) out of the beets.
  3. While cooking the beets, put the flour in a large bowl and form a small well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the middle and begin to knead the dough while slowly adding the beed juice. Knead for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once well knead, flour well and pass through a pasta machine (roll it out as thin as it will go).
  5. It’s meant to be a rustic pappardelle, so hand-cut it as thick or thin as you want.
  6. When ready to cook, cook in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.

For the sauce-

  1. Start by sautéing the meat, onions, zucchini and garlic with a little bit of olive oil.
  2. Once cooked, add the tomato sauce and half of the basil (and any other desired herbs and spices) and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Once pasta is cooked slowly fold it into the sauce.
  4. Serve hot and topped with fresh basil and pecorino cheese.

Happy cooking! xx

12 Days of Christmas|Day 8- The Ultimate Christmas Cocktail|2018

Happy Saturday lovelies!! I’m sitting here writing this from Tokyo, back with my family to celebrate the holidays. Since I’m now back home, I tried making a new Christmassy cocktail last night that I’ve been dying to try for a while. So for day 8 I thought I’d share the recipe with you all. I’ll link the recipe I used for inspo down below as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup silver Jose Cuervo (or any other silver tequila)

2/3 cup Malibu (coconut rum)

1/3 cup Cointreau

1 cup lime juice

1 cup+ coconut water

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

Mint leaves

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients well in a large punch bowl or pitcher with lots of large ice cubes.

Add extra coconut water or lime juice if it’s too strong.

Right before serving, add some sprigs of mint leaves.

Serve chilled with adorable Christmas glasses (the one’s in the photo are from Target).

 

https://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/12/white-christmas-margarita-punch/

Cheers!!

Food Adventures #11- LA Finds

TOTM Eating Tips- *GIRLY CONTENT AHEAD*

*Girly content and lot’s of TMI ahead!*

After getting such great feedback from my TOTM skincare routine post, I thought I would do another one and this time on what to eat and what to avoid during that crazy time of the month. During your period your hormones go completely out of whack and cause the craziest and most intense of cravings, but it’s also the time when your body needs a nutritious and healthy diet the most. I’ve come up with my own list, partly from research and partly from my own experiences/opinions, of things to eat and things to avoid during your period. I hope you find this helpful and if you have anything else to add to the lists please comment them down below!

EAT MORE OF THIS-

  • Leafy greens- As awful as this sounds, leafy greens have TONS of iron which is exactly what you need during your period. Find some fun and different ways to make leafy greens a more interesting part of your diet and your body will thank you.
  • Bananas- Bananas contain so much potassium, vitamin B and vitamin C, all of which you need during the TOTM. They’are also supposed to help release serotonin so you cam boost your mood while you’re at it!
  • Dark chocolate- Getting a bit of dark chocolate with low sugar content in your body won’t only help curb some cravings, but it also is a great source of anti-oxidants and magnesium. It also contains the “happy hormone” serotonin so honestly why not have some.
  • Red meat- Just like the leafy greens, red meat is an easy way to up your iron intake. If you’re a vegetarian, try beans and lentils as an alternative source. But if you are a meat eater, use this as an excuse to have a piece of steak!
  • Cookies, chocolate, cake, whatever your heart desires- I’m not going to promote bingeing on junk food while you’re on your period, but also don’t deprive yourself completely. I’ve always preached balanced and that’s especially true during your TOTM. If your really feeling a piece of chocolate cake, GO FOR IT! Just be reasonable with your serving size and everything will be A-okay. The last thing you need is a full on break down session because you just want to indulge a bit (IT HAPPENS).

AVOID THIS-

  • Carbonated drinks and sodas- I’m not a soda drinker at all, but I do love my Kombucha’s and La Croixs. However when you’re on your period and already bloated and gassy (isn’t it lovely?!) carbonated drinks will only make that worse. Try sticking to water, teas and other non-sugary drinks.
  • Processed foods
  • Highly salted foods- Salt can cause unnecessary water retention which is the absolute last thing you want when on your period. Like I said above, your body is already retaining water because of the excess fluid in your uterus. Try and avoid salty foods especially if you’re feeling extra bloated.
  • Greasy/oily foods- An excess of oily foods in your system can cause inflammation, which is what you want to avoid at a time when your body is already inflamed. It’s also been known to increase pain which is, again, the last thing you want during the most miserable time of the month.
  • Caffeine- This is not something I do (I need my morning coffee), but I’ve done a lot of research around this and caffeine intake has been shown to increase estrogen levels which can lead to worse PMS symptoms.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Don’t forget to share your tips down below. See you soon! xx

Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Figs- Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites to make during the summer. It’s everything you want in a few bites. Salty, sweet, bitter, sour. All you need are some good figs, honey, prosciutto, balsamic vinegar and pepper. Read more down below to find out how to make this super easy yet delicious summer dish. Enjoy!

  1. Wash your figs lightly and then cut them in half, longways.
  2. Brush the inside of the halves with a little bit of honey, just enough to cover it all.
  3. Put the figs in a pan with a little bit of butter and cook on medium for about 8 minutes, or until the honey begins to caramelize.
  4. Once the figs are cooked, let them cool for about 10 minutes then wrap each half in one piece of prosciutto.
  5. Right before serving, drizzle a tad of balsamic and crack a bit of pepper over the top and your summer appetizer is all good to go.

Phuket Travel Diary

Living in Singapore, long weekends would typically consist of a quick trip to paradise, Phuket. Going about once a year for a while, it’s become one of our home away from homes. After our last trip, I decided it was finally time to sit down and share all the things I love about Phuket with all of you. I will leave all the links down below and hope you venture out to this little gem of an island in South East Asia!

Hotel:

After staying at a bunch of different hotels and resorts, we finally found our favorite and go-to place to stay: Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort. While it is about an hour drive from the airport, the resort sits only ten minutes away from the downtown area (Patong and Karon) making it super easy to get around. The resort is sprawled out over a huge piece of property with it’s own private beach, tennis courts, an amazing spa, two tropical pool, multiple eateries/bars and stunning, comfortable rooms. While the rooms may be a little older than others, they’ve been kept really well and feel modern with a vintage twist. The private beach is only a few steps away from the pool area and are lined with lounge chairs and bean bags, while crystal blue water and really clean sand. They offer a range of water activities from jet skiing to kayaking and surfing. In the middle of the day when you’re looking for a quick bite, you can just head over to Ton Son out by the pool to order anything from Thai to Italian and American. You can also head over there for before-dinner drinks where they offer classic cocktails as well as tropical/Thai cocktails. One of my favorite things at the hotel was the energizing shots they had at breakfast. Every morning they had a couple different kinds to really get your body working and wake you up. My favorite was the watermelon-chili shot which was just to die for. And what’s a trip to the beach without some relaxing time at the spa? Le Spa offers different treatments from massages to scrubs and facials, all beach and tropical themed. Our time at Le Meridien is always made even better by the super friendly and helpful staff. We absolutely LOVE staying at Le Meridien and cannot wait to spend more nights there.

Food:

Like I mentioned above, the food at the hotel is not like any others. It’s very different and authentic, but still really good. However, I love spending time around Patong and Karon exploring other places to have meals. One of our all time favorites is Eat. Bar & Grill in Karon. Priding themselves on incredible service and hearty, rustic food, the little bar/restaurant serves burgers, steaks and other unique dishes. After going there four times over our past two trips, I’ve had some of my favorite dishes there. Some that I would recommend are the burger and fries, the chateaubriand (steak), the beef tartare, the lobster cappuccino, and most importantly the mojito bucket (5 servings of a mojito in one big bucket, photo below). This year we also went to Baan Rim Pa, which is one of the only “fine dining” restaurants in Phuket serving authentic Thai food. We had the chicken and crab Thai dumplings, grilled eggplant salad, minced pork with noodle crackers, green curry with chicken and stir-fried morning glory, and a really good passion fruit mojito. The food was all really good and some of the best Thai food I’d ever had (and I’ve had a lot of Thai food). Other than those two places, we also love going to different seafood restaurants along the water front and trying different dishes. As most of you know, my family LOVES food and one reason we love going back to Phuket so often is because of the huge variety of amazing restaurants to chose from.

Getting Around:

While you can have your hotel arrange a car/transport for you, one way I love to get around is by taking a tuk-tuk. A tuk-tuk is motorcycle powered vehicle with seating for passengers attached to it. They’re commonly found around South East Asia and are open air. I love driving back to our hotel at night after dinner with the wind blowing through my hair and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore in the background. Depending on where you flag one down, a 10-15 minute drive can be anywhere from 10-12 SGD, which may seem a bit pricy but is normally much less than having your hotel arrange transport for you. If you are around Patong or Kata beach, it’s really easy to walk around. Whether you’re beach hopping or looking around the market, I always say that walking around is one of the best ways to explore a new destination. And the excitement of Phuket nightlife makes the evening a lot more fun and interesting.

What I Wore:

When I go to the beach, my absolute must-have is a ton of bikinis. I love mixing solids with solids and solids with prints from different brands. Some of my favorites for bikinis are Cotton On, Victoria’s Secret (now Pink), She In and Hollister (and Jolyn for suits that won’t budge). I don’t like wearing the same suit more than once a trip (I know, I’m a snob), so I love having variety in my suitcase. In addition to suits, I wear all different kinds of cover-ups and summery rompers and dresses that work at both the beach and a casual meal out. For sunglasses, I personally don’t love wearing nice/high-end glasses at the beach because I love spending time in the water and body surfing waves so I’m always paranoid that I’m going to lose a nice pair. I typically have a couple cheap pairs of Cotton On sunglasses that are perfect for the setting and look bomb in all those insta photos. For a more in-depth look, check out my summer beauty post (linked below)!

I always love a good beach getaway, and Phuket is the perfect destination for a stress-free and relaxing weekend away. Have you been to Phuket? If so, what’s your favorite thing to do there? If you haven’t what’s your favorite beach getaway destination? Comment down below!

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I will talk to you soon!

Hotel:

Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort

Restaurants:

Eat. Bar & Grill

Baan Rim Pa

Airline:

Scoot

Other:

My Summer Beauty Post

Food Adventure #9

Food Adventures #8

Union Pasadena

Union Restaurant is a small Italian place in the Old Pasadena area. Located in the backstreets, it’s tucked away amongst lots of other eateries. I had heard about this place and their food before, and knew immediately I had to go. While trying to make reservations, we found that Union is really popular and fills up fast. We ended up making our booking nearly two weeks in advance to get a table at a time we wanted. Pulling up to the restaurant, there were no big signs, but a small chalkboard next to the doors that read “Union”. The hostess was standing right by the door, and quickly walked us to our table, swerving through the tightly packed tables. Most of the tables were for parties of two, with a few tables for four. Dim light hung from the ceiling, suspended by steel rods. Next to the bar counter was a huge blackboard filled with information, all written in calligraphy looking font. On one side, they had their farmers market schedule, listing where they get their produce on each day of the week. The other side of the board was filled with Italian ingredients used in their dishes, along with an explanation of what they were.

After being seated, our waitress brought us the menus and explained what the special of the day was. The menu had four sections, “Start, Field, Pasta and Main”. At the bottom of the menu was a list of the kitchen staff. Reading through the menu, I was overwhelmed at the all the unique dishes. They had a salad made of broccoli sprouts, a homemade cheese dish with garlic and bread, and a cavatelli pasta with wild boar. After spending about 10 minutes racking our brains about what to order, we finally decided. I ordered the bread with house made cultured butter and sea salt to start and the squid ink Lumache with Maine lobster, fennel, lemon and truffle butter. My two friends each ordered the duck confit with charred treviso pickled currants and grapefruit, the smoked stracciatella ravioli with tomato orange fondue, whey and basil, and the special of the day which was a roast pork. They brought out the bread and duck confit after only 5 minutes. The bread was served on a thick board with a bowl of spiced pickles in the middle. The bread was fresh and warm, and the butter was amazingly soft and creamy. After devouring our starters, we waited for our mains which came out about 15 minutes after. I had heard about their squid ink Lumache for a long time and was so excited to try it. It came served in a deep white dish, and the little jewels of lobster popped out from the deep black color of the pasta. As soon as the plate touched the table, the fragrance of truffle and squid ink immediately hit my face. I was expecting the sauce to be a little thicker and creamier, but it was just a light coating of the truffle butter based sauce. The first bite I took was everything and more I had imagined it to be. Being a huge fan of squid ink, I had tried lot’s of foods with it before, pasta, break, risotto, and while I always love it, the taste of squid ink is not usually really strong. However in this pasta, the flavor of the squid ink was extremely strong. The little pieces of fennel were just cooked, adding a bit of crunch to the dish, and the lobster was perfectly poached and tossed in the butter. The Meyer lemon cut through the decadence of the dish and tied it all together. It was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had.

After finishing our mains, we sat there content and full, ready to pay and leave. But before we could, the waitress brought us the dessert menu, and I was swayed to order the olive oil cake to share with my friend. It was served with two candied orange slices on top and a dish of vanilla creme anglaise to pour over. The slice of cake was warm and toasted on the outside, but unbelievable moist on the inside. We polished off the dessert, paid and left the restaurant extremely full, but extremely happy and satisfied. Our experience at Union was amazing, and though it was a bit expensive, it was worth every penny. If you check out Union, let me me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Dallas Cafe & Bar

If you read my last post on ‘Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore’ (linked down below, make sure to check it out!), you know that one of my newest restaurant finds is Dallas Restaurant and Bar, located at the Marina Bay Sands along the waterfront. I stumbled upon this place one day while walking around MBS with my family, and ended up going that evening for a night out with my girlfriends. The bar right on the edge of MBS, so it’s half indoors and half outdoors. We sat at a high table outside, and it was beautiful to see the Central Business District all lit up and reflecting on the water. We also had front row seats to the nightly light/laser show. Their drink menu had a huge variety with 21 cocktails and lots of wines, beers and other spirits.

As far as drinks go, they were super reasonable ($14 per drink) and big sizes. On Tuesday’s from 6pm-9pm (MBS happy hour), their Yuzu Mojito, Mimosa and Dark ‘n’ Stormy are all 50% off ($7). I had the Singapore Sling and the Salted Caramel White Russian, and they were both super yummy. One of my friends ordered a standard Margarita and said it was one of the best she’d ever had. We didn’t have any food, but it looked really good (I will go back and try it and update this). They do have a brunch/lunch and dinner menu (looked so good!), but they also had a bar food section with fries, calamari and fish tacos, which seemed perfect for a light dinner.

If you’re looking for a place to go for drinks on a night out in Singapore, highly suggest checking out this place for inexpensive drinks with a priceless view!

Website: http://www.dallas.sg/

Address: 2 Bayfront Ave, #01-85, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

‘Mega Guide to Singapore’ post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/11/16/top-10-things-to-do-in-singapore/

‘Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore’ post: https://swimeatlove.com/2018/04/08/top-10-places-to-eat-in-singapore/