Tuesday, June 21, 2011


As long as I can remember or at least since I was a teenager, I've always worn nail polish. I've prided myself in having nice nails and used to wear them much longer than I do now. The thing is now, it's much more difficult to keep them long! I suppose age, diet, and simple wear and tear have quite a bit to do with that. Granted, I am older and don't eat near the veggies I should and am involved in activities now such as house work and yard work which present the wear and tear I spoke of earlier!

In order to have nice nails, I have on two occasions (and, yes, I can only count two) resorted to getting acrylic nails applied which, in the end and while looking extremely nice, tend to intensify the claustrophobic part of me so much that I eventually wind up tearing them off. Which, as you probably know, only damages and weakens my own nails even further. So the vicious circle continues. I then tend to do everything I can to strengthen the nails I have and get them back into shape which is the cycle I'm in at the moment!!

While recently in my hometown of Panama City to attend my niece's wedding, my sister, myself, the bride to be and my other niece proceeded to a local nail salon the day before the wedding for manicures and pedicures.

Lo and behold, it is there where I learned of a new polish called Shellac. The picture you see is of the manicure I received on Friday, June 10th. It is 11 days later and it still looks pretty darn good if you consider I've done house work, yard work, and even weeded my vegetable garden (with gloves on, of course).

I am so incredibly impressed that I have purchased the UV light needed to "cure" the polish, as well as a base coat, top coat, and two different pink polishes so that I can do my Shellac manicures/pedicures at home. I do enjoy going to the salon and being pampered and will probably continue to do that on occasion, however, I am terribly excited about doing my own manicures/pedicures using the technique that I learned during my visit home. My salon does offer gel manicures which I believe is a harsher technique than the Shellac but that is only based on what I've read on the Internet. They may both be the same for all I know. I've never had any reactions to polishes (including Shellac polish), remover (acetone or non-acetone), acrylic nails, etc.

What I DO know is that from this point further, I shall always have perfectly manicured nails that last and have no chips!! Pin It

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rachel Ray's Super Hot 'n Crisp Drummers or Wings and Homemade Blue Ranch

I've always wanted to make homemade wings but just haven't come across a recipe I wanted to try. That is, until I caught an episode of Rachel Ray's show a few days ago. She made these awesome hot wings and they are crispy just like I like them! So, of course, I had to try them and tonight was the night.

They are certainly awesome! I'm taking the leftovers into work tomorrow to share with my cubemate. She and I tend to do this alot these days and it saves us both from having to worry about what we'll be having for lunch!

Serves 6

3-4 pounds chicken drummers or cut chicken wings
Frying oil, such as vegetable or canola oil
Carrot and celery sticks

For the chicken coating:

1 cup cayenne pepper sauce, such as Texas Pete or Frank’s Red Hot
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper

For the ranch dipper:

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar (a splash)
1 clove garlic, grated or pasted
Salt and pepper
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped, such as chives, dill and parsley

Place the chicken pieces in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, par-boil for 10 minutes, then drain and pat the chicken dry.

Cool the chicken and toss it in hot sauce to coat, then toss with flour seasoned with spices to coat. Toss the chicken once more in the hot sauce and the flour. Fry in batches over medium to medium-high heat in 3 inches of hot oil, 350°F, until very crisp, 5-6 minutes.

Combine the dressing ingredients and serve as a dipper for the vegetable spears (such as carrot and celery sticks) and chicken. Pin It