Let's start with my most dismal failure in the kitchen. Don't blame the recipe, because I didn't follow it AT ALL. I sort of meant to follow it, but then one thing led to another and I'd left out steps and substituted too many things and what I was left with was NOT cheeseburger soup, skinny or otherwise, it was... beef... blah. The texture was all wrong, and the flavors were sort of meh, but like I said, it's all my fault. So, moving on.
I made this Stuffed Pepper Casserole, and Eleanor hated it. She suffered through two dinners of it, and thinks I'm horrible for making her eat rice. Never mind the fact that one of her favorite meals is FRIED RICE. Anyway. The recipe makes SO MUCH FOOD! This would be a great one to make & take to friends who are ill or recovering from... whatever. As long as they like tomatoes sauce & bell peppers, though I must say, the bell pepper taste was not at all what I would call... present, so I'd add more of that next time. And maybe find a way to halve the recipe, because whoa. So many left overs. Oh, and Eleanor was the only one who hated it. It went over very well with all the other people I shoved it at.
This month's big winner though is this Chicken Spinach Pasta Bake. It was delicious! I followed the recipe (mostly, I used skim milk instead of half-and-half, because when I went shopping, I bought the ingredients for a totally different recipe with spinach and pasta and so had to make things work anyway, which they did, with just that one substitution). It also made a WHOA amount of food, but this time, Eleanor liked it, and so there was much more eating of it. I used veggie pasta (elbows, because that's what E picked out) and grape tomatoes cut in half. Now, this is the kind of dish that usually annoys me, because I don't want to cook all the food, then assemble it, and warm it up so the cheese melts. But I did, and it was totally worth it. This would be a great way to use up leftover chicken, or a briefcase chicken. Anyway, I loved this dish. I would make this a lot. It had vegetables in it, and everyone ate it. Hooray!
I also made my life 1000 times easier by doing something so simple that I can't believe I haven't done it earlier. Actually I can, because I sort of hate chopping vegetables, which is why I conned a friend into doing it for me. HAHA! Anyway, my friend chopped up a metric ton (slight exaggeration) of onions, celery, carrots & bell peppers. Oh, and some zucchini. We stuffed 4 quart-sized bags full of diced veggies and I put them in the freezer. Now, I mixed them all up, because that's a combination that I use in lots of things. Ground beef & rice supreme, soup... other stuff... anyway, freezer vegetables. Exactly what I need, when I need it, in the right mix, in a bag in the freezer, so it's super convenient. No pictures of this one.
Then, there was a couple of things that I just did. Like buy Shiner's Birthday Beer, which this year is a chocolate stout. And then realized that I had cake mix. So I combined them to make Chocolate Stout Chocolate Cake, with chocolate frosting. I looked up an actual Betty Crocker "recipe" for stout cake, and it's like this: replace the water with stout. That's it. However, tragedy struck when I forgot to grease one of the cake pans, so there ws crumbly bits and cake-assembly with frosting. I then had to get "creative" with the leftover cupcake frosting from G's birthday, the kind in the sort of aerosol tube? And I only frosted the top. It's a good thing this cake didn't last long, so it didn't have much of a chance to dry out. Also, I need a cake stand/cover thingy for the 2 times a year I make round cakes. It was delicious, and moister than normal cake (maybe, I didn't have a side-by-side comparison, but now I want to do one. For science), and the stout taste was just the tiniest bit of a hint of stout in the chocolate.
And then there's my face. For Valentine's Day, I tried to follow this tutorial for using my Too Faced Chocolate palette, and I was pretty happy with it, until I tried to take a picture of my closed eyelids. My blending skills are lacking a lot of... patience, which led me to this blending tutorial, which maybe helped a little, but my eyelids are... wrinkly. And I took my pictures before I put my eyebrows on, which was silly.
fancy cat eye thing. It's always more difficult to do someone else's face because even though you can have both eyes open all the time, it's not your face! Different shapes, textures, everything. Blah. But her eyelids are infinitely smoother than mine, so that helped a lot.
And last, but not least, the most fun I've had with makeup in a really long time! A friend let me borrow her Urban Decay Electric palette. I've had my eye on the thing since it came out, but couldn't talk myself into pulling the trigger. It was just too bright, too wild, too much for every day use, and I was trying to get better about actually USING my makeup. Now, I'm going to be buying this palette. I've got a complicated reward system in mind to help me work up to it, because that's a thing that I need to do to save the money to get it. I didn't use a tutorial for this. I looked at some pictures of what other people had done with it, then I just started putting colors on my face. Maybe the most exciting part about all this for me, is that I did something that I hardly EVER do, which is put a lot of shadow UNDER my bottom lashes. I've never been comfortable doing that before, but I did, so I could use all the colors. And I did. I used every color in the palette. No primer though, since it was just a quick play before bedtime, so no blending either.