Thursday, February 25, 2016

Girl Power

Unlike many, I like to believe that it is a blessing to be a woman in a Man's world. And I see it in myriad ways. I've had this coming from men a couple of times, saying "you girls, it's so easy for you".

In my opinion, Women Empowerment is not a hard defying-gravity kind of challenge, sometimes it is also more of an opportunity... to do more, release women to ditch the gender role and pursue their dreams. Actually, it is a simple recipe; all it takes is collaboration and a leading mindset: a proactive stance, self-confidence, belief in one's own abilities, and a desire to fulfill one's dreams.

I have read enough books such as Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the '60s and Beyond, by Jane Maas and GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, and lived over two decades to know that.

In her book, Jane describes the steps of the first working woman in New York as she lived it, along with her female colleagues relationships with men, her family life with her husband, and her advancement in the business world as well as that of the women she encountered during her career.
And I can swear by Sophia's own words:  Don't ever grow up. Don't become a bore. Don't ever let the Man get to you.

Women, daughters of Eve, carry a tremendous charm. Why settle when you can be like a butterfly, pretty to see and hard to catch.

For this outfit, I was wearing Zara Culotte pants, Brandy Melville statement Tshirt, Sandro beige leather jacket, and Repetto Camilla black patent flats, and Proenza Schouler small leather bag.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine Pampering at Aqua Spa Beirut

Nothing beats a pampering break for Valentine at Aqua Spa in Verdun Tallet Al Khayat, Beirut.
I felt that I have come to life again after the best pedicure treatment I ever had for my ingrown nail big toe, followed by a top-notch relaxing Volcanic stone massage. I knew the expression to relax from head to toe, but I must say confirm and add that it really starts with your feet and toes. Meanwhile, I couldn’t get a grasp of the delicious sweet cupcakes beside me, my hands were taken as a hostage for a spa manicure treatment with O.P.I oil treatment and full-hand masks. It’s a shame that I don’t really live around Verdun to visit as often, but if you do, I recommend you only go there.
I am just on point for Valentine and the boys. Enjoy your night my dear :)

Check Aqua Spa Facebook page for more info, Here

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Mochi Adventure

When the boys of the house were out of town to ski in the Alps, it was Friday girls night. I invited both my mom and my sister at the restaurant . It's been a little while since I was craving green tea mochi, so I brought the girls to Mitsu-Ya, one of my favorite Sushi restaurants in Beirut. Besides the fact that the restaurant manager was super unpleasant(said politely, we really thought she needed a different job) and the poor pregnant cat who would sneak in the restaurant from the cold, I was looking forward to the green tea mochi for dessert. It turned out that Mitsu-ya had changed their menu 2 weeks ago and they had omitted the green tea delight to only keep an all-vanilla flavored Mochi. That meant no more green tea mochi in the country. Fine, I had vanilla. Still, the girls were in heaven. How possible is it to make homemade mochi? I had no idea that the ingredients were as obvious as rice flour, water, and ice-cream, almost. I went all obssessed over googling mochi recipes, the girls thought I was dreaming. We could not resist a second order of Mochi, and it's then that I showed the girls the irregular shape of the mochi they had! It was homemade! It was shaped in a muffin mould! It was not round-shaped commercial-like, sadly, I took no snapchat of the mochi to show you (too cliche). I just took a snap of the Banana black-sesame smoothie (that we did not like at all); Mitsu-Ya has to go back to their old menu for dessert.

I was really eager to go to the supermarket that night, but I had to wait until the next day in the afternoon. I made my shopping and got powdered juices in different flavors. I thought I could add a flavor using the macha-powder (green tea mochi) recipe technique.

I decided to follow this recipe, and ditch the steaming for microwave power.

Saturday: I made berry flavored mochi with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. I used too much berry powder, about 3 tbsp or more for 1 cup of rice flour. I guess next time it will be no more than 1 tbsp. I asked mom to join the fun, but she was hold captive in a sinking couch in front of the TV. When she finally came to the kitchen, she unconvincingly made me microwave the rice doough in the microwave again. She had not read the recipe ever, but you cannot argue the fact that "I am your mother" when you've got your passion for cooking from her. The dough may have been more manageable at the end, but it was too firm, and the mochi cover is supposed to feel light en bouche. I took advice from the recipe website to powder the cooked dough with cornstarch, but I thought it tasted and smelled awful. So I used powdered sugar, but it melt on the dough. I ended up working the rolling pin on the dough with more rice flour. Another bummer, the ice cream would melt really fast and it was a pain to assemble it with the rice dough when time passed. I tried the ravioli technique, it was cool but it wasted too much dough: one cut piece on top of the ice-cream and one at the bottom, instead of hugging  the ice-cream with one cut piece.

Sunday: No green tea matcha powder around, I decided to make green tea mochi by infusing the water with chinese green tea leaves I had at home.  The mochi cover taste was delicious and subtil, yet it can afford to hold a stronger taste. I am so buying green tea matcha powder from NYC in summer.
That time, I mistakenly used another recipe, with sugar twice the amount of rice flour. My recipe was a flop so I started all over again.
Finally, here's the ingredients proportion that works perfectly for the rice dough: (Same amount of rice flour and water) + (1/3 of the amount of water for sugar).  If you are using powdered flavors, you can reduce the amount of sugar as well.
This time, I cut out the round pieces of dough for the ice cream all ahead of time. Assembling was less complicated, but I am more convinced now to use the ravioli technique for a clean finish. Next time, I will look for an ice cream alternative that can hold more consistently without melting into water (more butter?). I will also think of wrapping the mochi with a plastic wrap before freezing.