Month: August 2013

Recipe: cinnamon raisin bread

Today I’ve got a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread! When I was a kid my mom baked all of our bread from scratch. I was totally spoiled in the carb department. This is the recipe she passed down to me and not only is it super-easy to make, it only requires five ingredients to make the basic bread–no special bread flour, etc.–so it’s super-cheap, too. If you want to make plain bread for sandwiches or garlic toast, just go through the steps to make the bread without adding any cinnamon and raisins.

Here’s what you’ll need (makes two loaves):

  • 3 cups warm (not hot) water
  • 1 tbsp. (or one packet) yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 8 cups flour
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Raisins to taste (I use about three cups for two loaves! Don’t judge!)

Put the water, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and allow to “work” for 10-15 minutes. Make sure your water is only warm and not boiling hot, or it can kill the yeast. Add the oil and flour and mix well; dump out onto floured countertop, knead lightly, and return to mixing bowl to rise. Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm corner of the kitchen (away from any drafts) to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Flour the counter again and put a little shortening (vegan substitute) on your hands so you won’t stick to the dough, then punch down the risen dough and dump it out on the counter to knead lightly. Add the raisins and cinnamon and work into the dough as you are kneading. Cut the dough into two sections, form into loaves, and place in greased bread pans; cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes. Pop them out of the pans to cool on a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy; once they’ve cooled a bit, slice up and enjoy!

Once the loaves are completely cool, you can wrap up the second one for the freezer or give it to a friend…if it lasts that long (it never does in our house!). This bread makes great toast, too!

Random Thursday: I wish they were never canceled…

I’m not a big TV watcher, so my entry here is pretty lame. But I do have one show I really would have liked to stick around!

Who else remembers Jericho? I had to look it up on IMDB–it was way back in 2006! The plot centered around the residents of a small Kansas town who suddenly find themselves in the dark–literally and figuratively–after seeing a mushroom cloud bloom on the horizon. In the ensuing chaos they have to figure out how to survive while also searching for answers about the cloud and defending themselves from marauding armies now prowling the countryside. The writing was great and there were so many secrets and backstories slowly unspooling, it was hard not to get hooked.

I remember sitting through one intense season only to find out it had been canceled; apparently a second season happened without my knowledge because, you know, short attention span. I’ll probably end up buying this on DVD sooner or later since the full series is only around $35 on Amazon–and there are apparently graphic novels that continue the story where the TV show left off. I just can’t figure out how something that was smart and suspenseful could get canceled but shows like The Bachelor are still bulldozing on!

What TV series do you miss the most?

Product review: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner

I’ve kind of been slacking off on the makeup reviews, eh? And with so many new products to try from my birthday haul! Today I’ve got swatches and review of two liquid liners that I picked up. Liquid liner is kind of my bane (shaky hands) but you can’t deny that it looks pretty cool, so I was hoping these would be easy for a liquid liner newbie to use!

The product: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner; $7.49 at drugstores or through the Milani website

The claim: Long-lasting, waterproof formula. Can be applied in a thick or thin line. Dries to a sparkling finish.

The ingredients/ingredient notes: Milani does not test on animals and I do not see any ingredients in these two liners that should pose a problem for vegetarians/vegans. For shade 01 “Black Vinyl”: Water (Aqua), Iron Oxides (CI 77491,  CI 77492, CI 77499), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer,  Butylene Glycol,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone,  Sorbitol,  Benzyl Alcohol,  Laureth-2 Benzoate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Methylparaben,  Ammonium Hydroxide, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,  Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium Edta,  Coconut Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride. For shade 06 “Emerald Glisten”: Water (Aqua), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Laureth-2 Benzoate, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate,  PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Polyacrylate,  Tin Oxide, Ammonium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium Edta, Coconut Acid,  Hexylene Glycol,  Sodium Chloride,  Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate,  Methylparaben, Propylparaben. +/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Yellow  5 Lake (CI 19140).

I tried it: I purchased a glossy black (“Black Vinyl”) and a sparkly green (“Emerald Glisten”. These liners have a very long handle/brush which makes handling a little clumsy; I would have preferred a shorter handle/brush for better control. As you can see in the swatch above, it can be difficult to just flick on the liner; because the brush is meant to create both thick and thin lines, and the handle is so darn gawky, it takes some practice to be able to draw the line precisely how you want it. My first practice lines on my arm were pretty spotty, going from thick to thin and dark to light.     
Once you figure out how to angle the wand and how much pressure to apply, it does draw wonderful lines. It’s very fluid, so there’s no patchiness or drag. You can create thick or thin lines, so you can create a subtle line or a thick sixties wing.  Here’s what Black Vinyl looks like on the eye:

For this shot, I added a thin line of Emerald Glisten above Black Vinyl for a layered liner look:

It takes a few seconds to dry, so don’t blink! However, once it’s dry, it stays put like no other. You will definitely need a dedicated waterproof eye makeup remover to get this liner off at the end of the day! Emerald Glisten did leave a faint stain behind, but Black Vinyl did not.  

My final thoughts: This is an amazing formula for the money, and I would even probably pay more for it. I just wish the handle wasn’t so unwieldy, but I think with a little practice it will be fine.

Do you have a favorite liquid liner, or any liquid liner tips to share with me? Tell me in the comments!

Ten on Tuesday: September issues and spoof videos


1. I just LOVE getting the September issues of my favorite fashion magazines! They’re always the best issues of the whole year, I think because fall is my favorite season.

2. Speaking of fall fashion: I saw the most perfect-ever pair of burgundy stacked-heel over-the-knee suede boots in the September issue of Lucky and now I’m obsessed with finding a similar pair. I’d also be thrilled with camel if I can’t find burgundy. The only trick is going to be finding a vegan-friendly pair…so if you see something, shout at me!

3. I think I’ve eaten enough homemade cinnamon raisin bread for a small part of people this week. Do you guys want to see a recipe?

4. We’re finally going to see Man of Steel tonight. I hope it will be good. Considering it’s a collaboration between two of my favorite Hollywood directors, Zak Snyder and Christopher Nolan, I don’t see how it couldn’t be!

5. I think the body snatchers got ahold of my husband. This week he actually asked for a vegetarian meal for dinner because, quote, “I’ve had too much meat this week.” I know, I can’t believe it either! So if I suddenly stop posting, you’ll know they got me too :D

6. I’m so bummed that the new Butter London makeup collection is not vegan. I kind of forgot about it until my friend Katrin e-mailed me to tell me. No Pink Pistols eyeliner for me, then. :(

7. I love this song, and I think it’s pretty funny that Johnson and Andy Samberg made a video spoofing Samberg’s Saturday Night Live spoof of “The Mellow Man”.

8. I have a problem with forgetting to eat until I’m starving, and then I can barely wait for the food to cook and cool before digging in. Needless to say, I burn my mouth a lot.
9. I might be an adult but I still loathe visits to the dentist like a six-year-old.
10. I think I need to go to the library and get the Miss Marple mysteries to re-read. There’s just nothing to rival them!

Prize mail: Dollish Polish!

Hey everybody! I took this pic last week and completely zonked on posting it. I won a bottle of Dollish Polish in a giveaway from The Polish Hideout and it’s so lovely, I had to share a swatch! The shade is Expecto Patronum (yup, Harry Potter reference there) and it’s a lovely white jelly full of teal hex glitter.

This polish applies really smoothly, dries quickly, and was opaque in three coats. There’s tons of glitter in the polish, so it isn’t hard at all to get an even coating on the nails. It’s just such an interesting color! I really don’t think the photo does it justice.

Yun has much better swatches here if you want to see them :P and while you’re there I recommend following her blog–I think she has some of the best polish swatches in the blogosphere! Thanks again Yun for the prize, I love it!