Quick and easy!

I am constantly looking for simple recipes for lunch. And by simple, I mean simple enough to make at 7 in the morning since J likes to take lunch from home a couple of times a week, rather than eating out every day.

While usually we make salads, today I wanted to do something different and whipped up a sandwich. It’s really easy to make and has basic ingredients that all of us will have at home.

Ingredients

Eight slices of wheat bread
Carrots (grated) – 1/2 cup
Lettuce (grated) – 1/4 cup
Roasted peanuts (crushed) – 2 tablespoons
Mayonnaise – 3 tablespoons
Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
Salt and black pepper to taste 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Use as a spread to make a sandwich.

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The spread tastes better if you refrigerate it for a couple of hours. You can also make it the night before and prepare the sandwiches in the morning.

I crush peanuts using a mortar & pestel because I like to have that crunch and texture in the spread. A blender will grind them too fine.

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You can also substitute the mayonnaise with hung curd to make a healthier sandwich.

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Try this recipe and let me know what you think.

Oscars Red-Carpet Predictions

It’s that time of the year again! Tonight when the Hollywood glitterati come out to strut their stuff for the big night, I’ll be more interested in seeing who wore what, than who won what. (P.S. I’m rooting for Zero Dark Thirty for best picture!)

Here are some of the looks from the recent fashion weeks that I feel deserve to shine on the red carpet tonight.

Christian Dior Spring 2013 Couture

Christian Dior Spring 2013 Couture

This couture gown will be perfect for someone in the new crop of pre-teen and teen starlets in Hollywood. It’s not grown up, yet has that bit of personality and edge.

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

Elie Saab Spring 2013 Couture

I loved the Elie Saab Spring Couture show and felt at least 10 of the gowns would be perfectly at home on the Oscars red carpet. They were plain gorgeous and showed everything from white to red, blue and black. These three gowns show a good range of what to expect. Beading, satin and lace are all on trends right now and will definitely be seen tonight.

Atelier Versace Spring 2013 Couture

Atelier Versace Spring 2013 Couture

As always, Atelier Versace would be the choice of a star or starlet who prefers edgy gowns and had the poise to carry it. Selena Gomez surprised with a look from this show a few days ago. The same impact could be created tonight.

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture

Chanel Spring 2013 Couture

Delicate, yet unconventional. I can see a Keira Knightley or Emma Stone in this gown.

Jenny Packham Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Jenny Packham Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Another show that had numerous red carpet-ready looks. This one stands apart because of it’s color and grace. Also a standard and safe choice for those who want to steer clear of the worst-dressed lists.

Marchesa Fall Ready-To-Wear

Marchesa Fall Ready-To-Wear

A red carpet favorite, Marchesa’s Fall 2013 show had fewer than usual pouffy gowns. That’s not to say they were any less beautiful. Many of the tinsel town ladies must be lusting after these looks. The trick, however, would be to arrive on the carpet without any creases after that limousine ride.

Giambattista Valli Spring 2013 Couture

Giambattista Valli Spring 2013 Couture

A classic Giambattista Valli look. This or its variations will make many a fashion critics snap in appreciation. Just what a lady star wants on the big night.

Naeem Khan Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Naeem Khan Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Naeem Khan Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Naeem Khan Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

One of my favorite designers, Naeem Khan’s recent show wowed me to no end. These two looks are quite different – the blue velvet with gold embroidery is royal and opulent, while the white sequined number is classic yet glamorous. Both will make excellent choices to make a strong impact.

Oscar de La Renta Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Oscar de La Renta Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

This youthful collection will be right at home on the red carpet on a fresh-faced, early-20s starlet.

Reem Acra Fall 2013

Reem Acra Fall 2013

A beautiful look for a tall lady star. Minimalist in black and white, yet attention-grabbing with in all the right ways.

Valentino Spring 2013 Couture

Valentino Spring 2013 Couture

Valentino and red carpets go hand in hand. This collection had some gorgeous red gowns. Those or this black number would make the perfect strong statement for Hollywood’s ravishing beauties.

Alexander McQueen Pre-fall 2013

Alexander McQueen Pre-fall 2013

The post will be incomplete without red carpet powerhouse Alexander McQueen. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, McQueen gowns are a permanent on the best-dressed list. Let’s see which queen walks away with the honor this year.

Which ones are your favorites?

Makeup Essentials: Seven wonders

I absolutely love makeup. From trying out new products to watching “how-to” videos on YouTube, I spend hours on it. After much research and experimentation, I have realized that there are seven products that are must-haves and when in a hurry, I can rely on these to complete my look for day and for night.

7-wonders

1. Mac Studio Moisture Cream – $32
2. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Mousse – $34
3. Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow Quad: Spicy – $27
4. Mac Pro Longwear Eyeliner – $19.50
5. Estée Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara – $22
6. Bobbi Brown Blush: Nude Pink – $25
7. Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Effects Lipstick – $20

For someone who has a lot of experience with makeup, these seven can make the perfect little makeup kit. And for someone just getting started with it, these are the essentials that you need to get your hands on.

Valentine’s Day Cake

I have been married for just about a month now. And my husband, J, and I both agree that Valentine’s Day is a little bit too cheesy for us. However, since it was our first V-Day together and was just a day before our one-month anniversary, I wanted to do something special. J isn’t too fond of chocolate, so the conventional chocolate cakes and desserts were out. This Tropical Coconut Cake recipe fit the bill perfectly.

Tropical Coconut Cake

I used Betty Crocker’s Vanilla Cake mix and turned it into a two-layer cake. I also roasted the coconut flakes to add a little bit of crunch and texture. I couldn’t find Coconut Cream at our local grocery stores, so made it from a can of coconut milk (here’s how). One can yielded just about two tablespoons of cream so my cake didn’t have a strong coconutty flavor.

The cake really does taste best when served cold. You can leave out step 4 if you don’t want it to be too sweet.

In all, it made the perfect romantic surprise for someone who doesn’t believe in traditional symbols of romance.