Thai Basil Chicken: WIN

Since coming back to America my adventuring has been put on hold and I have been focusing on reconnecting with family and friends I haven’t seen for the past 4 years of being abroad.

One big thing I have been doing is missing my Thai diet. Not only have I reinstated breads and dairy into my diet, my portion sizes have been on the rise. Welcome back to the fast food nation! Actually, pizza aside I haven’t been eating all that much fast food, but when Louis C.K.’s joke “the meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself” becomes a reality, I mean……

Anyway, since I miss the lighter feeling of Thai food on the stomach and  I made pizza a staple meal last week in California, I have decided to change things up a bit. I’ve taken to the kitchen to attempt playing Thai chef! The great thing about Thai food is that a recipe is literally just a suggestion of what to put in it and you can bend it however you want. On the other hand, ingredients are difficult if not impossible to find.

I found this recipe for Thai basil chicken (pad grapow gai ผัดกระเพราไก่) and decided to try it out. There are three ingredients you will probably have a problem finding; Thai chilies, holy basil, and dark soy sauce.

I still haven’t found dark soy sauce or Thai holy basil, but I did get lucky with the chilies! I found green chilies at Winco and a couple of days ago I found frozen red chilies in an Asian market! If you live in the Boise area you can find them at Orient Market on  Emerald St. For the Thai holy basil I just use regular Thai basil and you can find that in most supermarkets. I’m sure you can make dark soy sauce at home but I just leave it out. It’s still good!

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The picture doesn’t really do it justice, but making this Thai dish was a definite success!!

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To Epilate or Not to Epilate: The Experiment

Status: grown woman crying on her bedroom floor

Cause: use of epilator (see also: self-torture)

Important notes:
-expensive equipment
-patient has previous experience

Equipment: an epilator: a small plug-in device with rotating metal teeth that, once activated, rip your hair out from the roots with quick tweezer-like action.

(Self) Observations:
I seem to remember it not hurting this much. Then again that was almost 3 years ago so I guess it’s true when they say that time heals all wounds and ebbs the memory of pain.
I started with a spot near the bottom of my leg, but it soon became apparent that testing this out on a more discreet spot might be a bit wiser since I didn’t know how long the red dots angrily appearing on my skin would last. Relocated to my thigh, where I could more easily conceal my skin if something were to go wrong.
Sweet mother of beauty treatments….if anyone tells you this doesn’t really hurt they are straight up lying because you can feel each little hair being violently displaced from their sturdy homes deep beneath your skin. I didn’t apply too much pressure, and sometimes not enough pressure due to the fear of pain, but even when appropriate pressure is applied it is still necessary to repeat the action to get the desired results. Some of my hairs appear to mirror certain personality traits, primarily stubbornness. I pulled my skin taught as I was advised to do to minimize pain but to no avail.
I seem to have developed some sort of Stockholm Syndrome with this violent little appliance…I don’t mind the pain so much anymore, actually it doesn’t feel all that bad! It’s a bit like getting a tattoo…you just kind of get accustomed to the pain and it dulls.
Nevermind my skin’s angry red and blotchy protest, I feel no pain! I.am.invincible.
New leg, new pain. Oh my gosh I forgot how much this hurts.
Repeat process. Look like some diseased creature but feel like a boss. My legs will be smooth forever!
Experiment complete.

Results: terrifying looking but smooth upper legs. Hoping this rash will diminish. Painful but, upon reflection of my attempt at waxing my own legs in uni this was just fine. (Seriously though, my roommate Erica and I sat on our dorm room floor cursing like a couple of sailors loud enough to bring people in to see what was happening. I quit after one leg and had to shave the other one twice as much for ages after.)

So if this experiment was a success why, you may wonder, did I begin this post crying on my bedroom floor? That would be because, while riding high on the wave of invincibility, I made the fatal mistake of raising this evil little metal toothed monster to my armpits. Invincibility only lasts so long.

Quick Pimple Remover: FAIL

When browsing pinterest you will usually come up with a pin that has a long list of ‘life hacks’. I found one that states:

“You can shrink a pimple in minutes by putting a dab of Listerine on it. The alcohol will dry it up and cause it to fade.”

This is bullshit.

I happen to have some Listerine and decided to try it last night since some of those pesky pimples were forming on both my upper eyelid (just under my eyebrow) and near my lip. I grabbed the Listerine and optimistically dabbed it on. And then I watched and waited….and waited, and waited….and eventually fell asleep. Not only did neither the color nor the size reduce at any point last night, but they were both drastically worse this morning! My left eye is puffed up and the pimple is twice as big as the night before. I look ridiculous. I will admit that the pimples getting worse is probably just nature taking its course and not the Listerine, but the Listerine certainly didn’t help as advertised. Not once did I even see any visible reduction or change in my pimple immediately following the Listerine treatment. So, with sadness in my heart (because honestly, don’t we all want that quick and easy fix?) I proclaim this pin to be one big fail. Sigh. Who knows, maybe the folks from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” were right and Windex is the wonder drug/cure all? Stay tuned….

(Just kidding about that, I’m not spraying my face with Windex or letting it anywhere near my eyes)

Lemon Facial Scrub: WIN

I see all of these “nailed it” attempts and/or mockeries of pinterest posts and curiosity has led me to test a few of my own pins. Since I don’t exactly have a kitchen or my own home to freely create in, my options are somewhat limited, but I’ve started this project with a simple DIY facial scrub.

I found tha pin that links back to this site with the recipe, but I’ll just fill you in now to make it easy.
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp sugar

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I have lemon juice but I decided to squeeze a real lemon, not sure if that will make a difference or not, especially since I am using cheap honey. Girls on a budget, ya know?

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and you have your scrub. Rinse your face with warm water to open the pores and  apply the scrub evenly onto your face and neck, gently rubbing it in for about a minute. In theory the sugar acts as an exfoliate while the lemon brightens and clears, and the honey and oil smooth your skin. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a towel. Apply moisturizer and voila! You are finished.

I don’t have any moisturizer so hopefully my skin will not look like the Arizona desert tomorrow. However I do live in Thailand and I don’t think my face has ever once felt too dry. I don’t even remember what dry skin feels like, so possibly foregoing the moisturizer will be beneficial for my skin and make it feel less oily. At the moment it actually feels quite nice!

Since this is a work in progress and I will see how my face looks and feels tomorrow,  I am so far giving this pin a tentative win. To be completely honest I share my room with ants (the little monsters never seem to go away); I haven’t had any problems with them yet but with all that sugar and honey in this scrub I am absolutely terrified I will wake up with ants crawling all over my face. (Oh my gosh can you imagine?! I would totally lose it…*ugghhhh*)

So…final judgement TBD, but so far the first test went well!

Oh PS lemon juice can make your skin more sensitive to the sun so wear that sunscreen! (I’m telling all of you this in an attempt to remind myself). Also, this scrub is rumored to work wonders with acne, acne scars, uneven skin tone, and sun spots. Score!

UPDATE: I did not wake up with ants all over my face (thank the Lord) and my face does in fact feel nice. Neither oily nor dry; it’s perfect. Only time will reveal the long term benefits, but I’m going to give this scrub the all clear and call it a WIN! 🙂