Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vanilla: Put it in my stocking

Thinking holidays? Think giving. Here’s a really wide array of ideas:

Rethink Vanilla
The cookbook "Vanilla a Table: The essence of exquisite cooking from the world's best chefs" is Natasha MacAller's opening of the universe of vanilla. I wish I would've thought of that comment, but it is written right on the cover. It's true that she has made me think of vanilla in a completely different way. Recipes for vanilla sugar, vanilla salt, vanilla syrup and vanilla vinegar are the bases for many a recipe.
But have you thought of Vanilla Candied a Bacon Bits? Vanilla in civiche? With cocoa nib crusted foie gras? Are you hearing this? It is revolutionary.
Try vanilla and orange juice to bring out the sweetness of lobster.
I have never before constructed a fennel flan. When I do I will be reaching for vanilla oil. There are pages of savory options before even getting to desserts. We know what vanilla will do for bread pudding, roasted pineapple and butterscotch pudding. This book has opened my eyes to the pod and what it can do for meats.
This book tells vanilla's story. Give the book to someone who loves to cook. Someone who loves to cook for you.

Okay, Brio healthy ice cream, now at Central Markets across Texas, is not for leaving under the tree, but you can surely enjoy some by your tree as you relax after shopping. It comes in the flavors you want and offers 6 grams of protein per serving, a rich dose of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D as well as 24 other vitamins and minerals, the inclusion of Omega 3-6-9 and prebiotic fiber, and a powerful boost of antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E as well as selenium. The individual servings range from 160 to 170 calories and have half the fat,  75 percent  less cholesterol and 10 percent less sugar than similar flavors of super premium ice cream. I’m sweet on the coffee flavor while my husband likes Spring Strawberry. They’re smooth and do the trick without the guilt trip. Other flavors are Tropical mango, vanilla caramel and mellow dark chocolate. You can currently order Brio online at http://www.icecreamsource.com/  (MSRP $1.99) 4 oz cup.

Skin care
For the girls: Girls just want to have clear skin. Moms know this. Texas-based dermatologist Carole Aponte, M.D. and CEO Kelly Barker, developed P.R.E.P. Cosmetics (www.prepyourskin.com), the first dermatologist-founded, tested and recommended skincare line created for girls.
I’m pretty sure that if these women experience Texas weather, their products are good for these girls. I’ve been playing with the Purifying Daily Cleanser myself and it’s working for me.
The founders are encouraging young girls to take ownership of their skin and educate them on the dangers of sun exposure. See, nobody cared about that when we were young. The line includes SPF 30 Face + Body Lotion and SPF 15 Lip Gloss
For the women: Remember that old Saturday Night Live commercial for the product that is both a dessert topping and a floor wax? It came to mind when I heard about a serious, actual development from Grohen Technologies Ltd. Their line includes a blue vial of Intensive Facial Revitalizer Complex, made with seven natural oils including Evening of Primrose, Cucumber and Tea Tree. It feels good going on and I can’t get enough of it.
This line also includes a Feminine Wash that foams to clean the face and feminine areas. There’s a loofah and a microfiber sponge that comes from each use. The paperwork explains how the line’s renewal complex works in detail. Look it up. This is a gifting idea for someone who would not buy it for herself.

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