Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Skeleton Chocolate Cookies




 Spooky cookies for Halloween!

For about 15 big cookies you will need,

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
200g of butter, softened
2 tbsp of Nutella
1 cup of powdered sugar
½ cup of cocoa powder
1 egg + 1 pinch of salt + 1 tsp of vanilla essence
3 ½ cups of flour
For the icing:
1 cup of powdered sugar
5-6 tbsp of drinkable water, depending on the consistency when added to the powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence
¼ cup of chocolate chips

Cookware and Cutlery:
Electric mixer
Rolling pin
2 nylon sheets
Gingerbread man stencil
2 oven moulds

Preparation:
Cookie Dough Recipe
  1. Put the butter outside the fridge to soften 30 minutes before starting the recipe.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and put in the electric mixer. Mix until the butter becomes creamy and turns white.
  3.  Add the sugar, and then add the cocoa powder and the Nutella. Mix until it becomes homogeneous.
     
  4. In a separate bowl, break the egg; add the vanilla and the salt. Wisk with a fork and add to the electric mixer.

  5. Start adding the flour gradually, half a cup by half a cup—you can continue using the electric mixer.
  6. When you feel that the dough is getting stiffer, add the flour, mix and knead with your hands.
  7. Form 2 big balls of shiny chocolate cookie dough, set them on a plate and cover really well with a cling film and put it in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 20mins.




Making and Baking the Cookies







  1. Preheat the oven at 120ᴼC.
  2. When the cookie dough is ready, make sure your table is clean and prepare the nylon sheets, the rolling pin, and the moulds.
  3. When the dough is cold, it is more friable and crumbly so work the dough a bit with your hands to prepare it well for the stretching exercise.
  4. Form a small ball and put it in between the nylon sheets.
  5. Press on it a bit and start stretching the dough up and down left and right until it becomes equal at all levels. The cookies should be around half a centimeter thick, (or 5 mm).
  6. Cut the dough with the stencil and press gently on the back of the nylon sheet to remove the cookie. You should be very careful and delicate in your hand gestures for this step because the cookie dough can break easily.


    You can also make mini gingerbread man skeletons!

  7. Put the gingerbread-man-like cookies on a mould and bake in oven for around 5 minutes but not less.

    P.S. No need for a baking sheet or greasing the mould since the dough is already essentially made of flour and butter. No worries, they are very easily removable from the mould once baked. Moreover, the reason why I included two moulds in the cookware and cutlery section is for the time we let the first batch cool down in their mould while baking the second batch. it is more efficient that way, but you can still use one mould.
  8. Let cool in the mould for a few minutes before disposing them on a tray covered with greaseproof paper.

Icing Disguise:

  1. Mix the powdered sugar, with the water, and the vanilla essence. Add 5 tbsp of water, but depending on the consistency of your mixture, if you feel that the icing is too thick, add the 6th tbsp of water. Mix well in order to form a homogeneous paste.
  2. So, the steps for drawing the skeleton on the cookie are not easy but it’s not complicated either. You just need to focus really on what you’re doing. I advise to look at mine for help.
  3. First, make a circle on top of the cookie’s head and let it sit down slowly. Add a little circle below it as to for the chin.


  4. For the body parts, separate the body with a line and add 3 somehow perpendicular lines. But don’t be too square or perfect, it will show on your cookies! Have fun with it. Add the arms in the form of a fat dot and the legs in a longer dot form.


    P.S. The first cookie that I designed didn’t resemble a skeleton really. In fact, that was the case for the first three! But practice makes perfect and starting the fourth one I got it right for all the rest. In order not to waste your good cookies, I advise you to start trying on the unlucky burnt ones, (believe me that it is highly probable that you will forget one batch in the oven or bake them too long the first time!

  5. Don't forget to add the chocolate chip cookies for the hollowed eyes! You can squash them a bit with your fingers if you feel that they are too big.


  6. The icing will harden fast on the cookies but you still can’t stack the cookies on top of one another in a box. Eat the cookies right away or conserve them in a wide straight plate covered with a cling film.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween 2014

As the month of October approaches, we all look already forward to its end. It's not that it's such a bad month but, Halloween is on the 31st! There are several costume parties organized for the occasion, yet, I still don't know to which I'm going this week-end, I have friends in each party.

As for the costume, I was planning to be a vampire or a kitty depending on the theme. I had the idea of disguising into Marilyn Monroe's skeleton but then I figured that I would have to paint my legs and my face to draw the bones or find these impossible stockings in Lebanon. Besides, I'm not blonde.

Yet, what I already know, is that I'm probably going to arrive late to the party. Punctuality is not my thing and I have a reputation for that. Being late is almost inevitable unless I agreed and participitated in setting the appointment. And that's why I pictured that on the first box of the comic!

I will soon be posting an amazing cookies recipe for Halloween that you can honestly count on for the occasion and for your halloween night if you're hosting it at home!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

One Must-Have Dress for the Fall/Winter Season

   The dress you need to have in your wardrobe this Fall/Winter season is the long-sleeve patterned bodycon dress.

   You can wear it easily at any occasion, with high heels preferably, (unicolor)—the only thing that you’ve got to watch out is your little tummy. Just try not to eat too much during the day to keep your stomach flat or you can simply use SPANX, if you’re used to it. I wore mine on the occasion of Sandra Daccache's fashion show at Casino du Liban who showed her eveningwear collection for Spring/Summer 2015.

   This tight dress will wrap your body curves and the pattern will give you an instant glamorous update on your plain routine monochrome look—dare to wear patterns!
   And if this dress just happens to have a plunging neck cleavage, like in this case, or a backless cut, well it’s for the best of your petit chériii *wink wink*.








   Here, I am wearing a Noah dress and jacket, available at GS stores. I was wearing my Chloe paraty bag and Saint Laurent pointed black leather heels.





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Best Nachos with Cheddar Cheese Sauce




   I think this is the most awesome recipe I have here on the blog, because it is easy, tasty, super fast and everybody loves Nachos! You can make these Nachos when your friends come over for the night or even before dinner as appetizers or even just serve them with beers. What I love most about this recipe is how the cheddar cheese will not harden again—I used to do Nachos the wrong way. This sauce stays hot and wraps up every bit of chips. Don’t wait long to try this recipe; that’s exactly your first plan of the week-end!

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 ½ cup of milk
2 cups of orange cheddar cheese, shredded
½ tsp salt
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
½ green pepper bell, chopped in cubes
½ cup of pitted olives (dénoyautés)
1 cup of sour cream
1 huge bag of your favorite Nachos Chips (my choice was Ranch)




Preparation

Wash and chop your tomatoes and green peppers into small cubes if you haven’t prepared them already. Buy your pitted olives from the supermarket/ grocery store.

The Cheddar Cheese sauce
  1. Heat the milk until it simmers or starts boiling slightly. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to it. Mix them well. Add the milk to the butter and mix fast.
  2. Add the salt then add the cheddar cheese gradually. Keep mixing to make sure the cheese has melted completely. The cheddar cheese sauce becomes ready when the mixture becomes completely homogeneous. 
 
The Setting
  1. Put 2/3 of the nachos chips on a big plate. And pour over about the same proportion of cheddar sauce.
  2. Add the tomatoes and the green pepper on top followed by the olives.
  3. We add the 1/3 left of the nachos chips on top of the first layer and we pour over what’s left of the cheddar sauce.
  4. We then add the tomatoes, the green pepper, and the olives.
  5. We put the sour cream on the top, like how there’s snow on the peak of mountains, and we can decorate with a few olives.











Open Letter


My Dear Reader,


I want to thank you first for the attention you gave me throughout the years and the last two most particularly.
Without you, I would not be as enriched as a person as I am today. I wouldn't know so much about fashion, food, blogging, events, PR, writing, social etiquette and brand marketing, to name a small sample of everything you have taught me, including humility and pride when appropriate. I wouldn’t have been exposed to interesting (in all sort of ways) people and the exclusive communities in which I belong to today. Thanks to you, I have learned a lot about myself. You’ve watched me graduating from school, then, starting college… and now, soon finishing it. I wish we continue this trip together, and I wish you can still learn from me and I can learn from you.
I will leave you with a note that explains better the concept of Pretty Capricieuse and a few hints about what’s coming now and what’s coming next.



What’s “Pretty Capricieuse”?

   For  those of you who didn’t know, the “pretty” of Pretty Capricieuse actually stands for “very” or “pretty much”. So the focus of the blog goes down to Capricieuse. “Capricieuse” is a French word that means whimsical and spontaneous. By translation, Capricieuse actually means capricious, temperamental or fickle. That’s somehow true about me in general; however these words have a negative connotation that doesn’t embrace offbeat individuality—so I ditched these words.
    I didn’t mind using this French word because I do actually speak French very fluently besides the fact that it is my first living language. Also, in Lebanon, we don’t face an issue of mixing languages because that’s how we actually speak in our society. Our jargon is a mix of Arabic, French, and English—the majority of the Lebanese know how to speak all 3 languages or at least understand them really well. This summer, when I went to Turkey, the French people would catch a few French words while eavesdropping on our conversations but were actually pretty confused how some words were nothing like French.
    I named my blog when I was 16, almost 4 years ago now, but I am not sure if I would have called it the same way today. However, I choose to stick with it because it is part of my personality, something I really can’t hide. To me, Pretty Capricieuse is an independent, young, playful and fanciful woman who goes for what she wants with no hesitation and no regrets and knows how to take care of her own self. She is a bit crazy at times, good crazy nonetheless, she is fun to be around and random. That’s how you can spot me in my comfort zone. Oh and like every other girl, she has this keen addiction for shoes and clothes; she has a passion for cooking too.


What’s new today?


   Yes, I actually have an awesome announcement for you!
   I officially introduce to you today Pretty Capricieuse, the personage of my blog, coming in a witty comic strip every month! Miss Capricieuse will speak the spirit of the blog and will develop a character for herself throughout the monthly stories you can find on the top of the blog.
   Here, Miss Capricieuse is still tanned from her vacations in Kemer, (that post I didn’t finish up, but I will, I will...). She does not look like me a 100% but hopefully there’s something of it!
   Concerning my social media, you can follow me on twitter for very spontaneous thoughts or blog-related news. And naturally, Instagram for polished pictures—let’s keep those other “moment” pictures for Snapchat! (@ak_elsa for Twitter and Instagram)
   I encourage you to follow me on Snapchat as well, for up to date stories and live my pretty Capricieuse moments with me. Much goes on Snapchat, I post everything related to me, which will be related to my blog. I have been teasing my friends a lot with food and then, get super h-angry (hungry + angry) messages from them. There are fashion snaps too—shopping crushes or daily outfits. You can also possibly catch there a glimpse of my crazy moments… like unleashing my dance moves to the beats of a song or just like something very random. (Prettycap for Snapchat Username)
   I have actually thought a lot about what I want my blog to become and who is this person behind the blog. The good news is that I am not deceived and I wasn’t mistaken about my first hunch or presentiment 4 years ago, when I launched the blog. Progress is on its way slooowly (because of the other billion things I do—yes, if you didn’t already know, I have this trouble of engaging in a billions of stuff and activities and committing too—and AUB particularly). I hope that you like this first comic strip and look forward, as I am, for the next one to come out pretty soon actually!


Stay Tuned!

Much Love from your Pretty Capricieuse,

Elsa.