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Blooming Gorgeous Skin!

Spring is here and brings with it some of mother nature’s finest ingredients! Read on to learn about a few products featuring botanical ingredients that should definitely be in your medicine cabinet!

Here’s a peek inside my medicine cabinet! Read on for my favorite products featuring botanical ingredients.

Here’s a peek inside my medicine cabinet! Read on for my favorite products featuring botanical ingredients.

Bliss Hydration Salvation™ Moisturizing Camellia Facial Oil


Bliss Hydration Salvation™ Moisturizing Camellia Facial Oil available from  Ulta Beauty

Bliss Hydration Salvation™ Moisturizing Camellia Facial Oil available from Ulta Beauty

This non-greasy facial oil goes on light and plumps your skin out with moisture. The lightly floral fragrance is great. Give yourself a gentle massage and inhale deeply for a bonus relaxation aromatherapy treatment! I apply this after cleansing and toning, and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen. It’s great for transition times of year, when your skin is all dried out from changing temperatures and air conditioners switching on and off. Available here.

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask, available from  Ulta Beauty

Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask, available from Ulta Beauty

This product has been in my skincare regimen for years. You don’t see it in my medicine cabinet photo, because I primarily keep it in the fridge. I use this in the evening for the most part, applying a thin layer that I wear overnight as my night cream. It’s also great to apply a thicker layer of cold gel in the morning when you wake up puffy. Apply to clean skin, leave for 20-30 minutes, then gently wipe off to wear under moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. This is a great soothing product if your skin is irritated by allergies, sun exposure, or just the rigors of a busy (boozy?) life! Available here.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, available from  Ulta Beauty

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater, available from Ulta Beauty

There are two things I love about this product: how tight it makes my pores, and how inexpensive it is. It is like a juice shot to the face that snatches those pancake pores and gives you the face of twelve-year-old. I really like spray-on toner, because you don’t use too much and there isn’t any need for a cotton pad or applicator. This is awesome for travel, to have in your gym bag so you can brunch after spin class, or just as a staple in your medicine cabinet. It also smells fantastic, so tent your fingers over your nose and mouth and do a few deep breaths after you spray it on to lower cortisol and fully enjoy the application process! Spray onto clean skin. Leave for 2-3 minutes so it fully absorbs, then apply serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. And voila, you’re Benjamin Button-ing! Available here.

What do you think? Do you use any of these products? Are there any amazing skincare products containing botanical ingredients that you think I should have included? Holler in the comments to let me know!

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Farro Risotto with Green Peas and Mushrooms

I decided to tackle the Everest of Easter Brunch dishes over the weekend! This dish is not necessarily quick, simple, and easy, which is what I usually go for with cooking. But it’s really good, it’s packed with good-for-you ingredients, and is great for a special occasion where you want to serve something that you’ve put real heart into. I tried this recipe and along the way found that a few modifications were needed, so I’m sharing my tweaks below.

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One key ingredient that I’ve added to this recipe is Kettle & Fire’s Mushroom Chicken bone broth. They are not sponsoring this post, but they did give me some product and after trying this broth, I’m hooked. I had been using it as a sipping broth the week leading up to Easter, and when I came across this dish I knew it would be the perfect recipe to allow this broth to shine.

If you’re not already aware of the tremendous benefits of bone broth, read up. It’s amazing!

Kettle & Fire’s products are a little pricier, so if you need to save money you can swap out their broth for equal parts mushroom broth and chicken broth of any brand. If you want to make this recipe fully vegetarian, just use all mushroom broth. It will give your dish so much more depth of flavor than just plain vegetable broth.

I made this dish as a “make ahead,” so I’ve also included instructions for that below. But if you’re cooking to serve immediately, you just ignore the part about refrigeration and do it all once, serving immediately. Simple!

Here’s the full scoop on how I made it:

Ingredients

½ oz dried Porcini mushrooms

½ lb Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and mushrooms thinly sliced

8 oz boling water

16 oz Kettle & Fire Mushroom Chicken bone broth

8 oz water, room temperature

1 medium onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

5 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup Farro, rinsed

1 cup frozen sweat peas

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup Parmesan Romano cheese blend

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. The first step is the most tedious. Stem and slice all of those Shiitakes! It’s a labor of love. While you’re stemming and slicing, multi-task by placing the dried Porcini mushrooms in one cup of boiling water and cover. Drain and reserve the mushroom water. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. If you time it right, these tasks work seamlessly!

  2. I recommend a strong mise en place game for this recipe, because once you turn on the heat it all moves pretty quickly. So for step two, dice your onions and garlic. Pour your farro into a collander, rinse, and set it to drain in the sink while you chop. Pour out the amounts of room temp water, broth, and white wine you need. Make sure your olive oil, salt, pepper, cheese, peas, and parsley (stemmed and chopped) are nearby and ready-to-go.

    NOTE: If you’re making this dish ahead, keep the cheese and the peas in the fridge and freezer, respectively. You don’t need those until you’re reheating it to be served. All other ingredients will be in play, however.

  3. Give your sauté pan a sheen with about two tbsp of olive oil. Bring to medium heat, and sauté the until translucent, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add your mushrooms (both types) and another few tbsp of oil so they’re all well coated. I recommend having about 1-2 tbsp (of your 5) on hand for this step, but use your senses and don’t add more than you need to give all the mushrooms a light sheen for cooking. Sauté for 7 minutes, until the mushrooms have reduced in volume and are all soft to the touch. Transfer this cooked mushrooms and aromatic mixture to a bowl and set aside. If making ahead, cover in plastic wrap and put this bowl in the fridge.

  5. To toast your farro, add it to the pan after giving a sheen with your remaining olive oil and cook for about 1 minute, until the grains start to smell nutty and toasty. Add the white wine and cook until the wine evaporates, which should take about 3 minutes. Begin gradually adding broth, about a half cup at a time and stir frequently. When you’ve used all the broth, add in room temperature water. The farro is not done when your liquid runs out—taste a few grains along the way and stop adding water once it reaches the ideal texture. You may need more water, depending on how dry your product was to begin with and the conditions in your kitchen. Use your senses! Once the farro is al dente, remove from heat.

    NOTE: If making ahead, cook the farro halfway before removing the pan from the heat, and then refrigerating immediately, up to 24 hours ahead of serving time. When you’re ready to finish the farro, pull the pan out to come to room temperature (takes about an hour). Then reheat and begin adding your remaining broth and room temperature water until its fully cooked.

  6. Remove from heat and then stir in the frozen peas, cooked mushroom and aromatics mixture, and cheese. Mix and then cover with a lid until ready to serve. Give it at least a few minutes, so the residual heat of the farro warms the peas fully.

  7. Sprinkle with parsley to serve!

So, give this a try and tell me how it turns out. Did I get the proportions and cook times right? Any ingredient swaps you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Voila!  

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