Sunday, April 28, 2019

Living Beauty VIntage (Frugally) or Was Grandma on to Something (Part 2 - The Daytime Products)

Hello Everyone!
In part one of this series I explained my reasoning for trying a vintage beauty routine (my middle age acne that won't go away), my inspiration for the products chosen (my great-grandmother used them or could have used them when she was young), listed the night time products I planned on using, and gave a history of the product showing that I verified that it was a vintage beauty product that is still around today.
In part two of the series, I am going to give the products that I have chosen for a morning routine, and give my reasons for why I thought that they would work for a vintage beauty routine.

This is a beauty goal, I want to look like this.... with red hair.

Skin Care Morning Time

Morning Products Selected
Water - Cold or Warm (Pick your poison) and a terry cloth washcloth or a large cotton crochet make-up pad
Rose Water or Thayer's Witch Hazel Rose Petal (Non-Alcohol)
Oil of Olay Beauty Lotion

Okay, okay, I know compared to the first post there are not a lot of products for the morning skin care routine.  I also know this may horrify some of you.  But the truth is, I just don't have the time, nor the inclination to have a multi-step morning routine for cleaning my skin.  I would much rather spend that time getting my last few minutes of sleep.  So sue me.

History of the Products


So, yeah.  Can't get much more basic than water, but this was one of the main steps in all of the vintage beauty routines that I researched.  It is also is one of the edicts that my great-grandmother lived by- you always washed your face with warm, not hot, water, first thing in the morning. No, she did not use soap.  But she would use a cloth that exfoliates.  A terrycloth washcloth or a cotton crocheted pad does quite nicely, and she would make certain to move the cloth/pad in upward circles being careful to never pull on the skin.
I have to admit, this is not something new that I am adding to my routine.  Washing my face with warm water and a cloth is something I do every morning already.  Sometimes, if it is hot outside I will use water that is so lukewarm it is practically cold, but that is the only change that I have made to great grandma's face morning face wash edict.

Rose Water or Thayer's Witch Hazel non-alcohol Rose Petal
Rose water may be the most frustrating product that I researched.  Why?  Its no secret that rose water existed back in the day, I mean its been around since the Greeks and Romans, but I have not been able to find any vintage brands that made rose water that still exist today.  I don't know why.  Maybe its because ladies of means distilled it themselves from roses in their green houses.  Or maybe its because it was a product that went out of favor for a while and is only now starting to become popular again.   If you try to purchase rose water today, or look it up on the internet, most rose water items are new brands, have claims that the product is from Morocco, and aren't just straight rose water but have other things added to them.  Gah!!!  This probably is fine if you are only using it for your face, but I also wanted a rose water that I could use in recipes.
So, I decided to make my own.

Rose Water Toner

This rose water recipe will also work in food recipes that call for rose water, as many Middle Eastern dishes do, and makes a very delicious warm tea.  It also smells amazing.

1-2 heaping tsp organic rose hip and rose petal "tea"*
2 cups water

*I get my rose hip and rose petal blend from a tea store. Just make certain, if you do this, there is no actual tea mixed in with the rose hip and rose petals.  I genuinely don't think that tea leaves will hurt anything, but it may change the flavor if you are using it in recipes.

1.  Pour two cups water into a kettle and place on high heat.
2.  Bring water to just before a boil.  I know that my water has almost reached the boiling point when my kettle starts to make a creaking sort of noise as the water starts to agitate.
3.  Pour the water over the rose hips and rose petals.
4.  Let the petals steep in the leaves for at least five minutes.  If I am not drinking the tea, I like to let the mixture seep until all of the pink color as been soaked out of the rose bud mixture.  It looks gross, but it makes a stronger scented toner.
5.  Strain the tea into an airtight, sun proof container.

I do not know how long this mixture keeps.  I make it in small batches only.  I also usually drink one cup of the two cups of the rose water with honey and then use the remaining cup of rose water as a toner and it lasts me for about one to two weeks.  So I can tell you that it can last for at least two weeks.

So, if you do not want to make your own rose water, but you still want to use rose water and go vintage with the brand - the best product, for your face only, is Thayer's Witch Hazel Rose Petal non-alcohol.  But, if you don't care that the brand is vintage but that the product is what was available when great grandma was young, go for a rose water product that only has the two ingredients - rose and water.  Although, in my research I did see that some vintage rose water also contained glycerin, so that could be a third ingredient and would still fall under the "product my great grandmother could have used."

Oil of Olay Beauty Lotion
I thought about using another type of moisturizer - because the modern lady in me says that I can't possible use the same moisturizer for both day and night time.  But that is what my great grandmother did.  Umm, okay.  But I'm here to tell you right now, I don't trust it.  But I guess it wouldn't be a true experiment if I was 100% certain that it would work.
If you want a little history about Oil of Olay Beauty Lotion, you will have to look at the first post in this series as I covered the history of Oil of Olay in Part One of this series.

Not Going Anywhere without my Face on.

I know some people are just naturally beautiful and can look gorgeous without a speck of make-up on.  I am not one of those people.
Yeah, I warned you it wasn't pretty.  And this isn't even 100% make-up free, I have done my brows for this picture because, otherwise, I look like I have no eyebrows at all.
In fact, when I my grandmother decided I was old enough to wear make-up, and took me to Merle Norman to get my first make-up products, I was ecstatic.  Finally, I could make my face look better!  Imagine my disappointment when she told me that I wasn't old enough for a brow pencil or red lipstick.  What?!?!?!  But red lipstick was what all the ladies in the classic movies I loved so much wore!  And everyone but me seemed to have eye brows.  How could I be denied these essential beauty items?!?! My fourteen year old heart was broken.  I haven't worn Merle Norman since, I really couldn't tell you why, but I do use items for my brows and am obsessed with red lipstick. In fact, I am a little embarrassed to admit that red lipstick is my addiction, I currently own about twenty four different shades of red lipstick. And, you can ask my sister, I will find any excuse/reason to buy a red lipstick when I am feeling down.

Fifty shades of red?  Not quite, but you can see I love a red lip.  I agree with Dita von Teese, I do not strive to have the natural look, I want to be glamorous.  In my mind, if I liked the natural look I would like my face more, and I don't.

I was aware that my make-up could be what was causing me to break out just as much as my skincare routine.  So I decided that, if I was going to do great-grandma's beauty routine, I was really going to do her whole routine.  This included using make-up she could have worn and applying it the way she would have back when she was young.

There was just one small problem.  I honestly don't remember a lot about the specific products that she wore, as a child I did not care whether she wore Revlon or Maybelline,  but I do remember the colors.  Armed with this knowledge, a cup of tea, and my laptop, I hit the internet and researched.  (Yeah, not going to lie, this whole endeavor was ALOT of time spent researching.  Probably more time than I should have spent.)  I looked at vintage make-up guides, videos, magazine articles, and ads trying to figure out what brands they were using and the colors that they were wearing.  The following list of items is what I finally decided to use for my great experiment.


L'Oreal Infallible Concealer
Coty Air Spun Loose Face Powder
Cream Blush
Brow Pencil
Cake Mascara (Used as eyeliner)
L'Oreal Voluminous mascara
Revlon Lipstick

L'Oreal Infallible Concealer
My great grandmother, as far as I know, did not wear concealer.  I am trying to cover up acne, which I am hoping this skin regime will clear up and solve, so, until that happens, I most certainly will wear concealer.  As far as I can tell from my research, concealer was around in the forties, it just wasn't a very well known product.
Concealer was first invented in 1928 by Lydia O'Leary who wanted something to help cover the wine colored birth mark on her face.

I don't know how much old school Photo Shop this picture had done to it, but if it even worked half as well, this advertising would have worked for me.

She called the concealer Covermark and it was the first foundation to have a patent.  She did advertise the product, but it seemed to be seen, even by her, as an item that could help people hide burns and birth marks rather than as a simple make-up product.  Although, in the advertisement below, it does say that it works for acne and dark eye circles, but it also advocates being used on the face, arms, and back.

Although make-up artists and Hollywood stars knew the wonder that was concealer, it did not seem to reach the main stream population until 1954 when Max Factor produced the first commercially available concealer Max Factors Erace.

Both of these companies exist today and both of their concealers are available for purchase.  But I chose not to use either of them as my concealer.
Why? Covermark is not readily available where I live and costs $54.00.  This was more than I wanted to spend for a concealer.  Max Factor's Erace is $6.94 and is very available, but it comes in stick form.  I do not care for stick concealer because it does not blend well on my face, I have to tug at my skin to get it to blend. Also, I was trying to use products that my great grandmother would have used in the forties, so it felt a little like cheating to use Max Factor's Erace.  I decided that I had to go another route.
Although Hollywood elite seemed to know about concealer, the advice given in beauty guides in the thirties and forties was for women to use a lighter foundation and a different colored face powder to correct facial blemishes. I decided that a concealer that had the consistency of a thicker foundation was the modern day answer to my problem and would be the equivalent of what my great grandmother would have had available in her youth.  I chose L'Oreal Infallible concealer for three reasons: 1.  It was the consistency I was looking for; 2. L'Oreal has been around for forever so it was a brand that my great grandmother could have used; and 3.  It is the drugstore concealer recommended by drag queens.  And if a drag queen tells you that a concealer works, you can take that advice to the bank.  (I will give more a of a history of L'Oreal further down in this blog.)

Coty Air Spun Loose Powder

This product, along with Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid and Ponds Cold Cream has been around for so long that it has become iconic.  In spite of this, I had never used it.  My great-grandmother, however, most certainly did.  I remember the cardboard container and powder puff sitting on her bathroom vanity.  Thus this product was a no brainer for the new beauty regime.
Coty Air Spun Powder was created in 1934 and, as far as I can tell from my research, has changed their recipe/formula very little since its creation.   (If you are interested in a more in depth history of facial powder and Coty Air Spun in paticuliar, I have included a link below for an article that contains all that information.)

In my opnion, Coty Air Spun Powder is the very epitome of a vintage beauty product that can be purchased today.

Coty Air Spun display from 1935.  Don't you love how beautiful and art deco it looks?

Cream Blush
Okay, so, I so totally cheated on the cream blush.  When doing my research it became very clear to me that though powder blush was available in the forties, the most popular type of blush, or rouge as it was know then was a cream rouge.

Cream rouge was available in a pot or in sticks and was applied with your fingers.  I usually use a powder blush, but this was my biggest breakout zone so I though that using a cream blush couldn't make it any worse.  (For those of you who were wondering, yes, I scrubbed my make-up brushes thinking that may have been part of the problem and I was still breaking out.)
The three rouge shades that were available in the forties were: red, coral, and vibrant pink. (With an emphasis on the vibrant.)
I already had a cream blush stick from Tarte that had been given to me as a gift, that was a coral color.    No, it does not fall under my category of frugal make-up items, as the cost is $30.  But I didn't purchase it, and you cannot beat free.  For the vibrant pink rouge I went with Revlon's Photo Ready Cream Blush in flushed for $7.00-$10.00.
Told you, that is a truly vibrant shade of pink - its almost scary.

The only red rouge blush that I have been able to locate so far is from NARS or Besame cosmetics, neither of which is inexpensive nor truly a vintage brand.  However, if you want to get vintage colored cream rouge and not have to do the research to see if it is a vintage color, you can't go wrong with Besame Cosmetics cream rouge.  Every product that they create has been diligently researched and is based off of a genuine color found from make-up in the past.
But enough about that, lets talk about rouge and Revlon.
Rouge has been around since the Ancient Egyptians and its popularity has peaked and wained throughout the centuries as, for a while, it was considered a product that was only worn by harlots and prostitutes.  The Egyptians could also to have been said to use the first, that we know of, cream blush as they would crush up red ocher and mix it fat to put on their cheeks and lips.  Despite its checkered past, by the 1920s makeup companies like Guerlain and L'Oreal made blush readily available to the masses.  And motion pictures, or more importantly its gorgeous, female stars, made wearing blush not only socially acceptable but desirable.

Bless you Hollywood.
I chose a Revlon blush because Revlon as been around since 1932.  The company started with making nail polishes and quickly branched out to other cosmetics.  During World War II Revlon was even creating make-up related products for the United States Army (a topic that I am further researching because I find it fascinating) and, by the end of the war, they were one of America's top five cosmetic companies.  So I was fairly certain that, at some point in her young life, my great grandmother wore Revlon cream blush.

Brow Pencil and Vaseline

This may be the product that was the most controversial when I researched it.  (Meaning the Vasoline not the eye brow pencil.)
I first looked into it as an option as a nighttime moisturizer because of the stories I remembered hearing of Marilyn Monroe using it as a moisturizer to help her achieve that dewy look that she was famous for.  According to stories from her make-up artist, Monroe used Vasoline under her foundation and on her cheek bones as a high lighter, she also used it on her lids and brows to add sheen.

I also remembered hearing that it was used on the lids of movie stars in the 30s and 40s before Marilyn.  Although I may try it on my lids - just to see what it is like- I am slightly terrified to use it as a moisturizer or highlighter, but I was deeply intrigued about using it on my brows. 
Vaseline, as we know it today, was patented in 1872.  Notice I don't say created or invented.  It seems to be a byproduct of oil rig pumps.  Vaseline is a purified version of this byproduct.  For this experiment, I am going to use Vaseline as a sort of brow pomade in combination with an eye brow pencil.
As for the brow pencil, yet again the ancient Egyptians were the first recorded people to use a cosmetic for their brows.  A more natural, yet contained brow, was all the rage in the forties, and with my invisible brows, doing nothing was not an option. 

These are my invisible brows.  No, I have not plucked them.  This is their natural shape and color, left to their own devices they are underwhelming and do nothing to frame my face.

I could not find when brow pencils began to become commercially available, but they were used in beauty tutorial films of the times, so I know they existed.  Thus, I added a brow pencil to the morning beauty routine.

Cake Mascara
Ummmm.  Yeah.  I don't have acne around my eyes and this is something that I already use, was vintage, and liked.  So it is not a new addition to my beauty routine.  But I don't use it as mascara very often.  I prefer to use it as an eyeliner, in place of liquid liner, to make my wings. 

The only make-up that I have on my eyes in this photo is cake mascara.  I used it as both the mascara and the liner.  Also, isn't the difference in the brows from this picture and the one before amazing?

Ironically, doing your eyes in this way is not, at least for the forties, a look they would have worn.  I I also don't ever remember my great- grandmother ever using eye liner.  However, I like how my eyes look with wings and I am not going to stop doing it.
Now that I have justified my reasoning for cake mascara, on with a bit of eyeliner history.
I will give you one guess for the first recorded people to apply eye liner.  Did you get it?

If you guessed the ancient Egyptians, than you are totally correct!
Using bone and ivory make-up applicators, which, I am not going to lie, sound terrifying as something that is going next to your eye, they applied eyeliner made out of kohl on a daily basis.  (In fact, eye liner was such an important part of the daily life of the ancient Egyptian, both male and female, it was used as part of the payment that pharoah made to his workers.  (Once, the pharoah Ramses III did not send his payment of eyeliner and grains and the Egyptian workers staged, possibly the first, workers strike in history.)
Cosmetic set of Kohl Tube and Applicator, Razor, Tweezers, Whetstone, and Mirror Dynasty 18, early ca. 1550–1458 B.C
Liner fell out of vogue until the Victorians. Victorian ladies most created their own eye liner out of things like ash, fat, and elderberries, but it wasn't until the invention/discovery of petroleum jelly in the 1870s, the main ingredient in vintage mascara that allowed cake mascara to be created.  The first commercially packaged mascara was produced by Eugene Rimmel in 1917.  It was a cake mascara that was made of petroleum jelly and coal dust.

1947 cake mascara by Rimmel.

Ironically, although Rimmel is still around and selling cosmetics, they no longer even produce cake mascara.  Cake mascara has become something of a novelty product and cannot, as far as I know, be found in drugstores.  The easiest, commercially available cake mascara, is created by Besame cosmetics.  I don't have any complaints about the product really, it does what I want it to do.
But you can pretty much only find it in black or brown. 

It is also more a little expensive, being $25 plus shipping.  Although, I will attest that cake liner lasts a lot longer than tube mascara and, fortunately, unlike other mascaras it is safe to use after six months.  Also, their packaging is soooooo pretty.
However, being a red head, I like to line my eyes with a sort of plum/burgundy liner.  A color that looks very close to Clinique's black honey color and looks less harsh with  my pale skin.  If you are not uncomfortable purchasing from an Etsy vendor, I highly recommend the shop KeepingItNatural, where I have been ordering my cake mascara for years and they make the plum/burgundy cake mascara that I have just described.

Unfortunately, their packaging is not as pretty, but they are vegan and cruelty free.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara
Didn't we just talk about mascara?  Ummmm.  Sort of.  We talked about cake mascara that I use as eye liner.  Although I do occasionally use it as mascara as well, I also use tube mascara, and I know that tube mascara is what my great-grandmother wore so I thought that I would include it as well.
If you haven't already guessed, ancient Egyptians were also the first recorded people to wear mascara.  Although, I am not certain that it is something that I would have wanted to wear.  Their mascara was made of kohl, honey, water, and (wait for it) crocodile dung.
As explained above, eye liner and mascara became popular again during the Victorian era and cake mascara was invented in 1917.  But one could, passably, argue that none of these items are mascara as we know it today.
Although Rimmel may have been the first cake mascara, Maybelline was, arguably, the cosmetic company that perfected it and made it popular in the United States. 
1934 Maybelline cake mascara ad.

They too introduced their cakes mascara in 1917, but theirs seemed to be a more reliable and consistent formula than Rimmel's.   Cake mascara was pretty much the only mascara that you could get until 1957 when Helena Rubenstein introduced her "automatic mascara". 

This was the first mascara that came in a tube with the applicator inserted in the cream mascara.  Basically the mascara application we know today. Other companies soon followed the trend.

I know what you are thinking.  If Maybelline was one of the first to make mascara, and they are still around, and they make Great Lash, which is arguably one of the best mascaras ever made, why did you not choose them for your mascara instead of L'Oreal?
Two reasons: 1. Great Lash causes me to have an allergic reaction where I have swelling and itching around the base of my eye lashes.  I do not know why this is so, but it is.  And 2.  L'Oreal Voluminous carries my burgundy color, which is very important to me since Clinique Chubby Lash stopped carrying their Black Honey color at Sephora.  Oh!  And it is also recommended by drag queens.

L'Oreal is another cosmetic company that has been around for, seemingly, forever.  L'Oreal was created in 1909 and started as a company that carried hair color and bleach.

This ad is so pretty I would use it as art in my home.

Very quickly however they branched out into other cosmetics.  For this reason, I felt that I could, justifiably, put it down as a "vintage product" to use for my great grandmother's beauty routine experiment.

Revlon Lipstick and Lip Liner
Last, but not least, we come to the my favorite cosmetic: lipstick!

I chose Revlon simply because I could easily find two of the colors that my great grandmother wore, although not necessarily in the forties.  However, I distinctly remember them in her make-up drawer so I felt they had to be included. 
Everyone knows that they had lipstick in the forties.  A red lip has become one of the iconic images of the decade, so I didn't really have to research this.  But I did!
Contrary to popular belief, Cleopatra did not invent lipstick.  Nor, surprisingly, did the ancient Egyptians. No, as far as we know, the first people to create and wear lipstick were the ancient Sumerians.
But probably not these Sumerians, these Sumerians don't look like inventing lipstick would have been important to them.  Although I could be wrong.
And using lipstick was a pretty popular thing until Queen Victoria. 

Queen Bess said yes to red lipstick.
And here is Marie Antoinette rockin' the red lip.
But not Queen Victoria.  How Rude!

She deemed red lipstick to be rude and unseemly.  Oh Victoria why?!?!?!
It wasn't until the 1920s that lipstick started to make a comeback, even though suffragettes were wearing it as early as 1912 as a statement of feminine independence. (Maybe because Victoria had been dead for a decade and her disapproval no longer mattered?)  Although the first commercial lipstick was invented, while the queen was still around, in 1884 by Guerlain.  But, they were French, so maybe what the queen thought didn't matter as much. 
Thankfully, due to movies and changes in attitude about what was glamorous and appropriate lipstick caught on.  And by the forties, red lips were all the rage!

So there was not a doubt in my mind that I was going to wear lipstick as part of my great grandmother's beauty routine. 


That was longer than I expected it to be.
In the next installment of the series, I am going to let you know how I applied the products and whether the experiment was successful or a total failure.  Wish me luck and I will be posting again soon!  (For those who don't give a hoot about vintage style and beauty products, I promise that I will try to have a Frugal Femme craft or recipe up soon.  Maybe, since it has been so pretty outside lately, I will include one of my favorite recipes that my husband does on the grill.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Dinner for Two - Grand Marnier Spicy Ham, Cheesy Potato "Souffles", Tropical French Island Carrots, and Pear Salad

Hello Everyone!
Happy Easter!
As I promised, just yesterday, if my ideas for Easter recipes turned out, I would post them on the blog.  So here they are!  I know they are too late for Easter, but they would be good as a Sunday dinner as well, and the side dishes could be good for a week-night meal, so I decided to go ahead and post the meal anyway.
Before I start the post, I just want to give you a quick update about my post from a week or so ago when I said that I was going to start my great grandmother's beauty regime, I am still working on the series and will have part two of the series up shortly.  I know that most of you prefer posts about the recipes and crafts, but I enjoy the vintage fashion/beauty posts, so I am going to keep making them but I, of course, will keep doing the recipes and frugal tips.  I mean, its what this site was created for in the first place.

Starting from the bottom left, there is the salad, carrots, and potato "souffle", and the ham is in the background there.
Also, before I start with the recipes has anyone ever heard of decorating Paskris Trees for Easter?  It is a tradition that has been around for a very long time and today was the first day that I heard of it.  Thank you Instagram.

How cute and precious is that?!?!?!  

This is a tradition that I need to begin doing at my house.  I love the idea of decorating a tree with eggs and feathers.  This is something that I will definitely be trying next year.

Want to know a little more?  Then just click on the link below.
This link gives a quick history of the tradition and shows some trees, with instructions that you can make for yourself.

Of course, I worry that, if I use real feathers my cats, and possibly my dogs, may loose their minds and kill the tree, so I really love the idea of doing a tree a little more like this:

The feathers are made out of paper!!!  I am going to have to ponder and see what I would like to do for next year and make an Easter tree craft project for a post next season.  If you would like to see how to make this tree, just click the link below.

But now, on with the recipes.

Cheesy Potato "Souffles"

1 large Idaho potato, peeled and cut into one inch cubes  (I used one that was slightly smaller than two of my combined fists.)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. black garlic powder (can use regular garlic powder)
1/8 tsp. Zatarain's Creole seasoning (Can put more if you like potatoes a little saltier)
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper (Can do more if you like things spicy)
1/2 tsp. dried dill
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Sour Cream (garnish)
(This list of ingredients is just what I did to go with a ham dinner.  So I kept it kind of simple.  But other items can be added.  For example, if you are serving steak it would be delicious if you added two or three slices of finely chopped, cooked bacon, and fresh chives to the other ingredients in this recipe.  Or if you are serving chicken, you could add about 1/4 cup of chopped ham and garnish with a bearnaise sauce instead of sour cream and have it be sort of like a play on Croque Monsieure with a potato dish. Or, with a roast chicken, add some rosemary.... You get the drift.)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
1.  In a medium sized sauce pan, put enough water to cover potato cubes and add salt.   Bring water to a boil.  Boil potatoes for twenty minutes.
2.  Strain potatoes and put them in a medium sized bowl.
3.  Add the two eggs to the potatoes and mash the potato and eggs until potatoes are a creamy consistency.
4.  Add the cheddar cheese, Gruyere cheese, black garlic powder, Zatarain's Creole season, Cayenne pepper, dry dill, and freshly ground pepper and mix with a fork to combine the mixture. (The cheese will melt, but if it does not, that is not an issue.
5.  Spray two ramekins or cocottes generously with non-stick cooking spray. (I like butter flavored, but you do you.
6.  Divide the potato mixture evenly between the two ramekins/cocottes.
7.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
8.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

If your ramekins are pretty, you can keep the potatoes in the ramekin.  But you can also let the souffle cool slightly and then remove from the ramekin before serving.  (Usually they just pop out, but you can gently run a knife along the rim to loosen the souffle from the ramekin if they don't come out on the first try.)

Tropical French Island Carrots

The idea behind these carrots was inspired by what I wanted to do with my ham, or, more precisely, what I didn't want to do with my ham.  I did not want the typical sweet ham with the pineapple rings and the cherries in the center.  (I like the recipe, and it is vintage, which we all know I love, but I wanted something different.)  So I wanted to do a sweet vegetable dish since I wasn't going to have a sweet ham, and came up with this carrot and pineapple dish.  I named it Tropical French Island Carrots because of the Herb de Provence combined with the pineapple.  I just thought if seemed like a dish a french person would come up with if they moved to a tropical island.

4-5 ounces baby carrots  (about one cup)
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained and juices reserved
Zest of half of one large orange (about one heaping teaspoon)
1 tsp. lemon juice (Do yourself a favor, buy a lemon and freshly squeeze this OR use lemon flavored balsamic vinegar.)
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. or 1/2 tsp. Herb de Provence

1.  Steam carrots 8-10 minutes until tender.  (If you don't have a steamer, then boil the carrots for 8 minutes.)
2.  In a small bowl or ramekin, mix the following ingredients:  orange zest, lemon juice, and honey.  Set aside.
3.  Put drained carrots in a sauce pan.  Add the pineapple chunks and the lemon juice mixture.  Simmer over a low heat stirring frequently until pineapple is heated.
4.  While carrots and pineapples are simmering, combine cornstarch with pineapple juice in a small bowl or ramekin.  Stir into carrots and pineapples.
5.  Add the Herb de Provence, stirring until thoroughly distributed.
6.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and all carrots and pineapples are covered in the glaze.

  7.  Remove from heat and place in small serving bowl.

Pear Salad

This is the easy part of the meal.  I did not make the dressing for the salad, but it is a delicious combination, so I thought I would tell you about it.  It is very easy to make this salad look fancy merely by spending a little extra moment on the presentation.

Raw Spinach
Red or Green Pear,  thinly sliced (for two people, I only needed to use half of the pear)
Feta Cheese
Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Candied pecans

1.  In a shallow bowl, put a handful of spinach.  (This will be a serving for one person, so if you are making dinner for two, grab another bowl and put a handful of spinach in that bowl.  The rest of the instructions are for one bowl only, so just copy and do for both bowls if you are making two salads.)
2.  Slice pear along the center making certain to avoid the core.  Thinly slice the pear.  (This amount of pear will be enough for two bowls.)
3.  Place the pear slices on the spinach in a star pattern.
4.  Sprinkle the pears and spinach with 1-2 tbsp. feta cheese.
5.  Dribble two teaspoons of vinaigrette over salad in a spiral pattern.
6.  Sprinkle with candied pecans.

See!  Very pretty, and can be made right before the meal is to be served.

Grand Marnier Spicy Ham

Okay, I'm not going to lie.  This recipe was created out of sheer desperation.  I had a ham recipe that I had found online that I wanted to try and, if I liked it, I was going to link the recipe for y'all and then write down the adjustments that you needed to do to make it a ham for two people......But I didn't pay attention to the recipe and missed a crucial step - and that step would be that, after covering the ham with the paste in the recipe, the next step was to cover the pan the ham is placed in tightly with foil and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.  Crap!  I was making dinner to eat in about 45 minutes when I read that.  I did not have one hour let alone 12 to 24 hours.  Time to come up with my own recipe for a glaze, based on things I had in the kitchen that I was using for the other dishes.  Thus this glaze, and ham recipe was born.

1 small ham (Mine was a half ham that I got at Costco for around $8.00 and I think it was about 2 lbs.)
Juice hand squeezed from a half of a lemon
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier  
(I know that Grand Marnier is expensive, here is my frugal tip.  Since I only use it for cooking, I always keep an eye out for Grand Marnier in mini bar sized bottles.  When I find them, I purchase one or two.  They usually run about $5.00 a bottle and it is far less expensive than getting whole bottle, gives me plenty for my recipes, and is small enough to keep in my spice cabinet.)
1 1/2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. Herb de Provence
1/2 tsp.- 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 tsp. - 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. black garlic powder  (Can substitute regular garlic powder but you will lose the smokey flavor.)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2.  In a large ramekin, combine all of the ingredients except for the ham and set aside.
3.  Place the ham, fat side down, in a medium large baking/roasting dish.
4.  Score the ham with cuts one inch apart and about 1/4 inch deep.  You want to do this in a grid pattern going in two directions. First going diagonally one way and then going the opposite way so that you create "squares" over the entire surface of the ham.  See the picture above if this description does not make sense.
5.  Brush half of the Grand Marnier glaze onto the surface of the ham.
6.  Place ham in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  Brush ham with half of remaining glaze mixture. rotate the pan in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.  Brush ham with the remainder of the glaze mixture, rotate the pan, and cook for another 10 minutes.
7.  You will know the ham is done when the exterior is dark and the ham is heated all the way through and a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees.
8.  Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and slice thinly to serve.

This glaze was so good, my husband wants me to come up with other meats to use this on.  So I am currently brainstorming ideas for how else I can use this glaze.

So here are some pictures of the final products.

You can see the ham sliced in the background behind the carrots.

These are my sized portion, so it doesn't look like a full plate.  I usually serve my portions on a salad plate.  Its my secret to being skinny.  I eat what I (mostly) want, but I eat small portions and I eat about every four hours.

Well, that is it for the recipes.  I hope you try them and enjoy them.
To end, here are some pictures of my Easter - which I spent cleaning and cooking. :-)

Me in my bunny slippers, apron, and fancy rubber gloves cleaning the kitchen before I started preparing Easter dinner.

These gloves only have a "ring" on the left hand.  I guess single ladies don't get bling on their cleaning gloves.

A close up of my bunny slippers.  I have another pair where the bunnies are grey with turquoise bottoms and the eyes have eyelashes.  Because, you know, I am an adult.

I cleaned and put away my Great Grandma Vucic's kitchen storage containers in my vintage, metal, pantry.  As large as the set currently is, I know that it is missing some pieces and it has now become my goal in life to try to complete the set.

As you can see, the lids are missing from two of these containers.  I put these and the spice containers on the kitchen counter.

These  spice containers are, obviously, not airtight.  But I love them, so the red you see is the top of the spice, still in the screw top container, placed inside the pretty container.  Problem solved.

I hope to bring y'all another post soon.  Bye!