Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole

I realize it has been MONTHS since we've had a Product Placement Wednesday but I have got a few good ones ready to share! First up:

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole



During my last review of a "Reduced Guilt" item from Trader Joe's, I shared my wariness for these low calorie TJ's items. Not to worry dear readers - we have another winner! Trader Joe's has added delicious Greek yogurt to their guacamole to reduce the calories and fat while still retaining great flavor. However, to be truthful, if you are expecting this to taste like fresh made full calorie avocado laden guacamole, you might be disappointed. I think it is better to think of it as somewhere between traditional guac and guacamole dip. Regardless, it was delicious. I've enjoyed it with tortilla chips, carrots, and eggs so far but it would be great on anything you enjoy with guacamole.

When you try it, be sure to comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Bachelor Pad Dinner, Part 1

First off, I will admit that the title of this post is misleading. While the train wreck known as Bachelor Pad is currently airing, this recipe (and those to follow) are actually from LAST summer. Yes, I'm a recipe hoarder. The good news is that if the items were in season last summer, they certainly are in season THIS summer! I've got a few great meals that you're not going to want to miss! They make even the worst reality tv delish.

Smoked Sea Salt Salmon
1 large piece of salmon
Trader Joe's Smoked Sea Salt
black pepper, finely ground
3 slices of lemon
3 cloves of garlic

1. Top salmon with the rest of the ingredients.
2. Bake to desired temperature. (I wasn't the one doing the baking so hopefully the salmon chef will weigh in on oven temperature. Otherwise I would just use your favorite salmon recipe for guidance.

Mediterranean Green Beans
2 cups French style green beans
1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese, crumbled
4 basil leaves, chiffonade
olive oil
sea salt, finely ground
black pepper, finely ground

1. Cook green beans according to directions (this will vary depending on whether the green beans are fresh or frozen. Fresh is preferred).

2. Top with tomatoes, feta, and basil.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet & Spicy Summer Salad
4 cups butter lettuce
1/2 medium orange, cut into small pieces
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup wasabi almonds, finely chopped
lemon olive oil
sea salt, finely ground

1. Toss lettuce, orange, avocado and wasabi almonds with lemon olive oil. Salt to taste.


A super easy and light summer dinner is served!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America

Ok, so my little break was a little longer than I thought. Between travel and homeownership, I have not had a lot of time to blog. So I'm going to ease back into it. I wanted to share this article with you that a friend sent me awhile back. Yes, I realize it is nearly a year old but it is still really funny.

The 40 Worst Dressed Cities in America (From GQ)

This article makes me nostalgic for the days when I ran the Fashion Police at my high school. Some favorite quotes:

"If you're in Raleigh, your shit better have pleats. It's basically the town's mascot."

"Look, we get that several decades of economic ruin and sports frustration can make anyone loathe to change out of sweatpants. But does West 6th Street really have to be turned into a Jersey Shore penal colony?"

"Your shorts are past your ankles, which makes them, well, pants. Except they've got enough rhinestones on them to make them, well, a tiara. Except, you're not a 4-year-old girl playing princess, you're a 24-year-old a guy named Vito who just did seventy diamond-hand pushups in the bathroom of da club."

"The citizens of Pittsburgh—that hardened, blue-collar town on the banks of the Monongahela River, long ago described as "Hell with the lid taken off"— indulge a style that could be referred to as "Game Day Casual" (or "Meth Lab Formal," depending on your preference.)"

"Los Angeles' most enduring sartorial contribution to the planet is leggings. And their sequel, the still-confusing jegging."

Do you live in one of these cities? Agree or disagree? What is the worst fashion offense you have seen recently?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Theory on Beards

I saw an interesting article on MSN today that somewhat supported my long time theory that "beards are only for people with ugly faces." Why cover your fantastic looking face with a beard?

Woman are more likely to fall for the guy without the beard.

Of course if you want to rob a gas station the article suggests you might want to have a beard. My suggestion? Wear a ski mask. Having a beard just gives the clerk one more way to identify you.

Ladies - Thoughts on beards?

Men - Why do you like/why do you loathe them?

Also, the blog is going on hiatus for a month or so while I'm busy with a few things in my personal life. Soon I'll be back with lots of new content!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

As you know, I am a sucker for new products at Trader Joe's. Some are winners, some not so much. Especially when it comes to their "Reduced Guilt" products. Some taste "reduced flavor" others are amazing. This week's product falls into the amazing area!


Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip



First question you may ask yourself - With kale and Greek yogurt, in the title what is this going to taste like? Well, remove those words and you have your answer - Spinach Dip. A very delicious and full fat tasting spinach dip. I enjoyed my container with veggies, whole grain crackers, baked blue corn tortilla chips and even as a spread on a sandwich. Speaking of the sandwich, it was whole wheat lavosh, turkey, butter lettuce, and the dip as a spread. Fantastic!


Honestly I cannot say enough good things about this dip. It was so fantastic and at 30 calories for 2 tablespoons it really is "reduced guilt"! The only reason it wasn't guilt free is because I liked it so much I probably ate too much of it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Online Recipes Tested - Jalapeno Popper Dip


Now that I have discovered the crack that is Pinterest, I have found some fun new recipes that require trying. Of course I will ultimately pin about 1000% more recipes than I can ever hope to make but the ones that I do make will receive a write up here. Since the Super Bowl was last weekend, it only seems appropriate to start with my contribution to that gluttonous evening.


(Note: The above link goes to the site and original recipe. The recipe below includes my alterations.)

Dip
2 8oz packages cream cheese (reduced fat), room temperature
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup light Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 4oz can green chilies, diced
1 4oz can diced jalapenos or 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded & finely diced (I used four large fresh jalapenos and this had good heat but wasn't too hot. Add more it pump up the heat.)

Topping
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup light butter, melted

1. Mix the dip ingredients together and spread into a greased pie pan or 2 quart baking dish (I used cooking spray to grease the dish).

2. Mix topping ingredients until even consistency is reached.

3. Cover dip with topping being sure to cover evenly.

4. Bake dip in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes. Dip is done when top is brown and dip is bubbling. (Note: I was cooking this in an older oven with other items and it took much longer than 20 minutes to cook. I recommend checking it at 20 minutes and go with your instincts from there. Also, the center of my batch was not quite as bubbly as the exteriors so be sure to check that area before removing from the oven.)

5. Serve with crackers, baguette or chips. I used a baked blue corn chip from Trader Joe's and it was fantastic.


So my overall review of this dish was that it was fantastic! Can you tell that I couldn't wait to try it - didn't even get the photo off first! It was really easy to make though cutting up the jalapenos did stretch out the prep time. I would still use the fresh over the canned or jarred for that fresh popper flavor. This dip was a huge hit and I don't think that lightening the calories up took anything away from the flavor. I highly recommend this dip for any party but particularly anything sports related.

Have you tried this recipe? Please let me know what you think!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - L'Occitane Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub

Winter weather = dry skin. Right now we are in the heart of winter (not that you would know it in many parts of the US) and I am sure like many of you my skin has been taking a beating. Now I also live in a drier climate than many of you but even multiple daily applications of hand lotion is not doing the trick. I have used a variety of scrubs in the past including the ghetto version my college roomate whipped together with our cooking oil and refined white sugar. Not gonna lie - it did still work. Since I gather that most of you are past that stage in life (and probably do not want to use your imported olive oil and organic brown sugar as a beauty product), I bring you your new favorite hand scrub.


L'Occitane Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub






If you are not familiar with L'Occitane, they are a company out of France that uses natural ingredients and takes pride in their sustainability practices. Most importantly their products are amazing and smell like heaven. The Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub uses organic sugar to exfoliate your hands while shea and grapesee oils soften - all in one minute! Did I tell you that your hands will smell incredible?! They suggest following this treatment with their Shea Butter Hand Cream however any lotion will soak in beautifully once your hands are smooth like a baby's behind. And of course it is also good for feet!


Do you have a favorite winter hand treatment?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

They Say It's Your Birthday....

Ok, it's not quite my birthday yet. I have at about 6 more hours left in my time zone but since I am celebrating all week - why not celebrate here now?!?!


Not only is it my birthday, it is almost the 1 year anniversary of On The Tart Side! Yes, technically I started this blog in 2009 but four posts followed by over a year off does not a blog make. So in the tradition of sitcoms everywhere (as well as the graduation episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 - Thanks Ben & Whit for my gift of Seasons 1 &2!), today's post is a flashback episode to some of the biggest hits of the past year.


Top 5 Posts



#5 - Product Placement Wednesday - Surprise Surprise Bake Shop Cake Pops - If you live in the LA area and still have not tried these cake pops, what are you waiting for? Maybe I should pick up a few to celebrate with!



#4 - Happy Half-Birthday To Me! - FYI - if you are looking for a gift for me, all of these items are still available.



#3 - First Date Do's and Don'ts for Boys - This is just good advice. If you have yet to pass along to the guys in your life - do it.



#2 - Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Peach Pops - Tastes like summer. The Strawberry are also good but I still prefer the peach.



and the most popular post of the year BY A MILE....



#1 - Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Flower Pepper - This pepper must be REAL popular as I had three times as many hits on this post as on the next closest. It really is delish so jump on the bandwagon and check it out!




In the spirit of the birthday theme, here are a few other posts that tie in...



You Shouldn't Have! - A Guide to Gifting (and it's companion You Shouldn't Have! - The Wedding Edition) - Be the best gift giver EVER!



and on the flip side... Product Placement Wednesday - Amazon.com Wish List - Make it easy for people to know exactly which gifts to buy you (hence my new found BH9 DVDs).




People have also seemed to enjoy my wedding posts this year though the favorite for sure was Tacky Weddings!



This one about 10 Things That Make A Woman Undateable cracks me up.




There was also adventures in my neighborhood - pre arsonist.




Lots of great recipes - too many links to include here. I have so many more to share this year!




I could recap all night but I have got to keep the birthday train moving! Thank you so much for reading this year and I hope that you continue to enjoy the content in 2012!



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - Clarisonic Mia

So as a slightly late resolution for 2012, Product Placement Wednesday is now going to be bi-weekly. Unfortunately I have a lot on my plate as we kick off this year and I want to get back to delivering a larger variety of content so I will be cutting back on products. That being said, if you have personally tried a new product and think it is a good candidate for Product Placement Wednesday, please let me know!


Now on to this week's product! I got this little beauty for Christmas and I have a feeling that many of you did too!


Clarisonic Mia



The Clarisonic Mia is the smaller more travel friendly version of the classic Clarisonic. It is definitely the most fun as it comes in approximately 15 colors (colors vary due to special editions). While the other Clarisonic models offer more features, the Mia is all most consumers need. It features a universal charger, travel case, and up to 20 minutes of cleaning with one charge.

The cleaning features of all Clarisonics are basically the same. This is from the Mia page:



  • Cleans 6x better than your hands alone in 60 seconds


  • Works with your skin, not against it, to gently massage away impurities trapped within pores


  • Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers


  • Gentile enough to use 2x a day


Clarisonic Mia is available at Ulta, Sephora and Amazon.com in addition to the company website.


I have been using mine for a few weeks and am already happy with the changes in my skin. Did you also get a Mia for a holiday gift? If so, what color?


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - Aqua Clean Concentrate


Today I have one of my favorite laundry products to share with you. My parents are the ones that got me hooked and now I do not trust anything else.


Aqua Clean Concentrate is similar to Woolite as it is a cold water wash for delicates. It differs from Woolite in a few ways with the most obvious being that it is a concentrate. One bottle of Aqua Clean equals four bottles of Woolite. However the most exciting feature of this product and the one actually make me buy it is the stain removal aspect. Aqua Clean is excellent at getting non grease based stains (grass, blood, red wine) out of clothing. For example, I once was wearing a pair of borrowed jeans and spilled red wine all over them. I spread a bit of this product on the stains and mixed a bit more in with some cold water and left them to soak. Within an hour or so the stain had completely lifted. My parents had a guest that was wearing white and had an incident with red wine and had the same success. It is absolutely amazing.



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inbox Clean Up - Real Simple Articles

Unfortunately my inbox sometimes becomes the place were emails come to die. I save things so long the links are not even good anymore! Today I decided that it would be a great idea to share with you some of the articles from Real Simple that I have been saving only to find that not all were still working links. So I hope you enjoy those that are still active but check them out soon before they join the ranks of the other dead links!

20 Quick No-Cook Recipes

10 Delicious and Surprising Salad Recipes

Great Summer Hostess Gifts

Low Calorie Snacks for Every Craving

Four Weeks of Dinner Menus

50 Surprising New Uses for Beauty Products


I hope you find these articles as interesting as I did! Please let me know if you try any of the recipes, tips or buy any of the hostess gifts. As always, keep in mind that you don't have to be a registered member of the site to comment!

Happy New Year and I wish you all luck in your own inbox cleaning!