Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Spicy Non-Party Potato Salad

For the past several years, my husband & I have hosted a crawfish boil. It is great fun but, for some reason, I just wasn't feeling very festive this year so we decided to skip it. In lieu of a big party, my husband got a small sack of crawfish and, very last minute, invited 7-8 friends over to "help him eat it". I put that in quotations because this is actually how this all went down:

March- party plans begin, very large invite list sorted out, date selected

April- realization that there are quite a few parties around the same time with basically the same group of  people.

Late April-party officially cancelled, though e-vites had never been sent. husband mentions that he may get a small sack & invite over one other couple

May 9- I receive a text from a friend asking what she can bring on Saturday. My question, "what's Saturday?" Her response, "your crawfish boil." I called my husband who explained to me that he may have ordered a slightly larger bag and perhaps also invited more than one couple. He assured me that I wouldn't have to do a thing because "this wasn't a party". I also receive a snarky comment about how easy it is to organize a get-together and how he doesn't need my assistance to plan this non-party,  or fancy table clothes or a bunch of dips (insert rolling of eyes here). Verbatim, what he said was, "NO DIPS!" Um, who is in charge here? We may need a re-train, jk!

May 11- after going to the grocery store (twice) for things my dear husband forgot, including more crawfish boil packets and ice, a handful of couples arrived at my house for a very lovely non-party crawfish boil.

The food was delicious but we had tons of leftovers. The next day, I decided to make some potato salad with the leftover boiled potatoes. I could not believe how fabulous it turned out. If you want to make a potato salad that has a little kick you have to give this a try!

 Original photo from non-party crawfish boil

To make the recipe at home without all the party/non-party hassle of a crawfish boil, simply boil your potatoes on the stovetop with a fabulous crawfish boil seasoning.
(By the way, a packet this size would never be sold in the state of Louisiana as it is embarrassingly small)

For eight small potatoes, I used 1/3 of a cup, which is about 1/2 of a packet

Try using a potato masher to get your potato salad really smooth

I added mayo, yellow mustard, hard boiled eggs & diced pickles.
I need to credit Ree Drummond because I am using her suggested ingredients, plus or minus a few things. I really love how she uses pickles instead of relish and how she leaves the eggs large.

I forgot the scallions from her recipe, (which I love), so I just added them to the top.  It kind of has a sweet heat flavor that will knock your socks off. Trust me, you can't get flavor like this after the potatoes have cooked. It is delicious!! Thanks honey!

Even though summer is nearly over, you still have time to squeeze in one more perfect summer lunch: Oven-fried chicken, sliced watermelon, non-party potato salad and strawberry lemonade. Enjoy!

Oh, and I'll see you all next year at our very large, very festive crawfish boil where there will be tons of laughs, great food and so many dips the grocery store will have to re-order cream cheese! ;)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Club Decor Made Easy

I have to admit, I have a thing for miniatures. I can't explain it but they make me think of playing make-believe which is, of course, what we are doing when we read books, right? It was my turn to host book club so I decided to add a few special touches to the d├ęcor. I pulled out some of my favorite old books, (and some new). I decided to make them all blue or neutral in color. Since I studied English Literature in college, I have quite a selection to choose from. My favorite onces are Broadway plays from the 1950's so I started with that collection, then skipped all the way to more current publications. Every little area was accented with my favorite miniatures from childhood. I am not sure that they were noticed but, they definitely made me smile :)

I mostly used supplies that I already had on hand...ie: cost=$0

I did pick up some adorable mini plants to use as accents, ($2.99 each.), which I wrapped in a favorite wrapping paper & glued on a double-stack ribbon accent.

Since I am rather fond of my book collection, I picked up a few books at Goodwill to "play" with. ($3.99 each) I used an box cutter to make deep holes in each side of this book.

I then dropped in two miniature plants which I accented with ferns from my lawn.
I also wrapped some of my Goodwill books around a few candles.
I do love something unexpected yet low key in a centerpiece. Since I was on a kick with miniatures, I added mini roses from my garden & a mini swan.

From there I just used some of the stacked books to prop up my little mini plants. I thought a mini deer would be adorable sitting at the base of this plant.

This was my favorite....all plays from the 1950's under a simple cake plate, topped with mini roses....and a mini pig.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

When a woman changes her hair.....

When a woman changes her hair, it usually means that she is going through some sort of  big life change.  I have always thought chocolate brown would be fun to try for the fall but I swear I cannot get a stylist to color my hair as dark as I want it. I suppose since my hair is blonde, they are afraid I will hate such a drastic change.

From time to time I get to do fun little projects in television & film. Recently, while auditioning for a short film, I was asked if I would dye my hair red and immediately said "yes". I think I temporarily forgot that I actually like the current color of my hair. After I booked the role & realized that I actually had to go through with it, I started waking up in the middle of the night having panic attacks . I tried on loads of red wigs to try to figure out which color would look best on me. I got advice from my salon, the lady at the (very random) wig store, and Sally Beauty Supply. I had a conversation with the director about the possibility of wearing a wig and we both agreed that it needed to be my real hair.  Since I am a blogger, I decided to read a few blogs.  Fortunately, I came across a blog on Allure.com that specifically discussed the topic of temporarily dying your hair red.

This is how I discovered Roux Color Styling Mouse. The product claims that it will wash out very quickly but I also read some reviews that said to expect to have this color for at least a week since my hair was already so light. I was assured it would wash out though so, given all of my options, I went with it. Being a red head for a week would be fun….right?
I chose the color "Lucky Copper" & bought it at Sally Beauty Supply.

After washing & towel-drying my hair, I started the application process by pinning my hair in sections & applying the product one section at a time.
Just fyi, using a mousse is very fuss-free.
I worked a LOT of product through my damp strands. I am not sure if you can see in this picture but, I am showing the gray that I have around my temple, which it completely covered!
This is a photo of my hair taken outside a few weeks before the application.
For comparison sake this photo was also taken outside. Look at this rich, shiny color!!
On-set hair
The gel that was used to style my hair made my strands look wet/dark, thus the color less intense in this lighting.
Indoor lighting with the porcelain makeup, etc.
It was so fun to just look completely different for a day! 
Since a lot of product was used on my hair, on top of the Roux color mousse I used the night before, I washed my hair once I got home from the shoot, which meant that the color was on my strands for about 30 hours. I could see the red going down the drain but I honestly was expecting it to take several days to go back to normal. Much to my surprise, it ALL washed out with the very first shampoo, (I used a clarifying shampoo). They call this a "weekend color" and they are right. I probably would have preferred to enjoy my spicy red hair for a few more days but, since I am getting long overdue highlights in less than a week, it is probably for the best.
Today's Hair (after 3 washes)
So, while I am not going through a major life change, I cannot wait to try another color sometime. Maybe chocolate brown this fall?
 Oh, and you may have noticed that I forgot the number one tip that I generally suggest for every project; latex gloves. I was about half-way through applying the mousse when I realized my mistake. I quickly washed my hands & noticed that they were not stained at all, so I continued gloveless. While I normally wouldn't recommend skipping the gloves, I actually think it is ok with this product.
I hope you enjoyed my little experiment as much as I did. If you want to check out the Facebook page for the short film I am a part of, the link is below. I wouldn't hate you if you liked the page too :)

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