Try This— Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

I’m heading out on another European adventure this Summer. First stop: Rome. This will be my first time visiting the Eternal City  and while I imagine the Sistine Chapel is really impressive, I’m mostly looking forward to dining out on really real Italian food. Everybody I know is telling me that I have to try cacio e pepe while I’m there. Cacio e pepe, literally translating to ‘cheese and pepper’, is standard Roman fare, and if the name is any indication, it sounds like it’s as close to perfection as food can get because, well, cheese and pepper.

Anyway, I scoured the internet for a recipe that I could prepare at home so that I when I try it in Rome, I can slowly lean back at the table, loosen my jeans button, and arrogantly say, “the cacio e pepe I make at home is waaaayyyyy better.” #petty. So, I found this amazing recipe from the fine folks at Food52, and I’m pretty confident that this dish will hold up against any cacio e pepe I order in Rome. For real, this recipe is real life weeknight dinner goals. You must try this!

Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle or 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 (16 oz) package spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 3/4 to 1 cup of cooking water

Directions

  • In a pot over low heat, heat the crushed peppercorn with the olive oil.
  • In a pot large enough to cook the spaghetti, bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off under the olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water from the pot into the pan, then set aside.
  • When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, stir, then add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti until 2 minutes under the lowest time recommended on the package. Using tongs (you don’t want to get the rid of the water), add the pasta to the pot with the pepper. Turn the heat onto very low and turn the pasta continuously until most of the water is absorbed. At this point, remove from the heat and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Still tossing, begin adding the two grated cheeses, a couple handfuls at a time. If it starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Keep turning and turning, adding cheese and pasta water, a little at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and you have a lovely creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Eat immediately.

 

Julianne Hough’s Hollywood Hills Home is Almost as Cute as She is

Julianne Hough and interior designer Jake Arnold have created a cozy and serene home that’s almost as pretty as the owner. A calm palette with unexpected pops of color are the backdrop of beautifully curated pieces. Natural linen, raw wood, soft hints of yellows, blues, and greens, rounded out by lovely garden views create a calm and inviting aesthetic. The design manages to be sophisticated without looking staged and sterile. And that bathroom!!! I’m totally design-stalking this place right now. Check it out and get inspired too!

De-stress With These Mini Self Massage Techniques + A DIY Warming Massage Oil Recipe

Giving yourself a massage might seems as futile as trying to tickle yourself, but believe me when I say that not only is it possible, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll be surprised at how effective these techniques are in reducing stress and promoting your overall sense of wellness. Add the oil blend below and you’re well on your way to a happy ending… I couldn’t resist.

Self Massage Techniques

Neck/Shoulders

Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Slowly tuck your chin in toward your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Place your fingertips on the back of your neck where your shoulders meet your neck. Apply pressure and hold for a few breaths. Release. Roll your shoulders slowly in a circular motion. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Lower Back

So this one requires a tennis ball. Yeah, I totally had to buy one too. I don’t know anyone who plays tennis and Serena wasn’t answering her phone so yeah. Anyway, place your brand new tennis ball on the floor, or in the space between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly so that the tennis ball massages any tension in your lower back. Avoid rolling the ball along your spine. in applying pressure, try to find a balance that’s right for you so that you don’t further aggravate soreness.

Lower Leg

Using the heels of your palm, knead along both sides of your calf in small circles. Work your way up your calf slowly from the ankle until you reach the knee, flexing and pointing your toes as you go. Again, starting at the ankle, drag the heels of your palms along either side of your calf until you reach the knee. Repeat these steps to alleviate lower leg pain caused by rocking high heels, or yesterday’s spin class.

Feet

You can stick to the tried and true tennis ball rolling treatment, or you can grab some oil and give yourself a proper foot rub. Sit with your ankle resting on the opposite knee. Grasp each toe, one at a time, and rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise, Bend each toe backward and forward, and finally give each toe a gentle pull. After giving each little piggy some attention, use both hands to firmly grasp your foot on either side.  Wiggle your foot back and forth with your hands paying attention to ball of your foot and your arch.

Warming Massage Oil

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil

Directions

  • Add all ingredients into an amber glass bottle.
  • Give it a little shake to blend the oils.
  • To use, add a few drops to the palm of your hand before practicing any of the massage techniques above.

Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine in 3 Steps

It’s that time of year again. As you’re packing away your heavy sweaters and snow boots in anticipation of the warmer days ahead, you should also start saying goodbye to your Winter skin care routine. Spring is all about rejuvenation. With that in mind, here are some tips to spring clean your beauty routine!

Purge, Purge, Purge!

Take a look at what you have. At the start of every season, you should check expiration dates and toss out the old stuff. In general, shadows and powders can be used safely for up to three years, but mascara should be tossed after only three months. While you’re tossing out those old products, go ahead and toss out the stuff you don’t use. Be honest with yourself. Beauty products really add up over time and can really clutter and confuse your beauty routine. Rule of thumb: be realistic and practical about what you actually like, what you actually use, and what’s in good condition …and rid your life of everything else.

Deep Clean and Reorganize

Now’s your chance to deep clean your make up brushes, your toothbrushes, and all the small stuff like tweezers and nail clippers, all of which can get really skunky over time. Not sure exactly how to clean your beauty tools? Here’s some step by step instructions from Makeup.com

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

1. Rinse: Rinse the bristles, always with water streaming down — you want to avoid running water directly into the base of the brush, which can weaken the glue and shorten the lifespan of your brush. This is why bristles begin to fall out.

2. Cleanse: Work a small amount of gentle shampoo (baby shampoo works wonderfully here too) or soap into the bristles. Lather, rinse, and repeat until the water runs clear. If you are having a hard time getting stubborn product out of your brush, massage some coconut oil into the bristles. This will loosen the build up and make cleaning easier.

3. Disinfect: Now that your brushes are clean, it’s time to disinfect. Mix a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar in a shallow bowl. Swoosh the brush around in the bowl for a minute or two (again, trying not to submerge it fully). Rinse with fresh water.

4. Dry: Press a dry towel into the bristles to sop up excess water. Reshape the bristles and lay clean brushes flat on a towel overnight to dry.

5. Repeat: Clean your brushes every other week to keep the germs away

How to: clean your toothbrush

  1. Cleanse: your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash.This is great for a quick daily cleaning.
  2. Sanitize: Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a small cup and stir the mixture with your toothbrush before rinsing it. Do this at least once a week.

How to: Clean Your Metal Tools

  1. Wash: For metal tools like tweezers, eyelash curlers, eyebrow trimmers, cuticle nippers, and nail clippers, wash them down using water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Sanitize: Thoroughly wipe down the tool with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Allow it to dry for a few moments. If the tool comes in contact with your face, rinse it with water (no need to rinse your nail tools). Pat dry with a clean towel.
  3. Repeat: Ideally, these types of beauty tools should at least be washed with soap and water after each use, if not sanitized as well. Aim to give them the full treatment every two weeks. Store your tools in a clean container to safeguard your hard work.

Pick the right products For the Season

All those Winter products like thick, foaming face washes and heavy creams can be super drying as the weather gets warmer. Your spring beauty routine should favor gentle milk face washes and lighter moisturizing serums. Here are 9 Must Have Clean Beauty Products that I’m seriously crushing on right now. From gentle cleansers to serums to several DIYs. Everything you need to jumpstart your Spring beauty routine!

Try This— The Easiest Homemade Vegetarian Ramen Recipe

I pretty much lived on ramen when I was in college. Back then my four basic food groups were salt, junk, cheap, and easy. Such is the gut fortitude of a nineteen year old. Times have certainly changed, and though my taste and my junk food cravings haven’t, at least now I’m old enough to try and make healthier choices. I want to keep my ramen classy, y’all. No more undergrad ramen for me! I mix up my own seasoning and keep it on the shelf, ready for those nights when I’m feeling just as sleepy as I did when I was in college. You can’t get much easier than a basic ramen bowl, and with some simple add-ins, you’ll be well on your way to total ramen sophistication. You must try this!!!

Homemade Ramen Seasoning

ingredients

  • 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

directions

  • crush bullion cubes into a powder
  • mix all ingredients, including bullion, together
  • store in an airtight container

Basic Ramen bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz vermicelli rice noodles (If you use this kind that’s about one quarter of the box)
  • 1 c of boiling water
  • 1 tbsp homemade ramen seasoning (you might want to start with less and add more to taste)

Directions

  • place rice noodles in a small bowl
  • sprinkle with homemade ramen seasoning
  • add boiling water and allow the rice noodles to sit for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to separate the noodles
  • Enjoy!

optional add-ins

  • chili oil or (homemade) sriracha, to taste
  • a splash of lemon or lime juice
  • a boiled egg or two
  • lightly fried tofu
  • kimchi
  • quick cooking vegetables: spinach, thinly slice cabbage, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, bean sprouts, or green onions are all good choices
  • frozen vegetables: corn and peas are my favorite! Just be sure to thaw them a bit in warm water before adding them to your ramen bowl

This recipe makes the perfect mason jar lunch. just like these healthy mason jar snack ideas, mason jar ramen is ready in minutes. The dry ingredients have a long shelf life, so you can assemble a few dry noodles/seasoning mason jars well ahead of time. When you’re ready to eat them, just lift one from the pantry and add boiling water. Lunch in 3-5 minutes with no effort! Think of it as a savory alternative to your favorite mason jar oatmeal recipe.

Recipe adapted from: Connoisseurusveg and Minimalist Baker