Green Tea Tiramisu Recipe

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EDIT: 05/06/11
I really wanted more green tea flavor so I went ahead and revised the recipe to make the mascarpone mixture green.  All I did was add one cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of matcha powder to the mix in the recipe below.  It resulted in a creamier, slightly less sweet tiramisu with more green tea punch!


-- END EDIT --

My friend Keeka recently introduced me to a fantastic sushi bar in Vegas called Oyshi Sushi.  It is hands down THE best all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant I've ever been to.  For $26 (lunch is $21) you get unlimited sushi and rolls from the bar and unlimited appetizers off the dinner menu (soup, salad, tempura, baked mussels, potstickers, agedashi tofu, beef & chicken skewers, etc.)  But the absolute highlight of the meal is the dessert.  You get a choice of mochi ice cream, red bean or green tea ice cream, creme brule trio (vanilla, chocolate, and green tea), vanilla berry parfait, or green tea tiramisu.  Well because of my obsession with green tea and tiramisu you can guess what I went with.

And O-M-G was it the best choice ever.  Total creamy, dizzying, green tea goodness.  Here's a snapshot with my iphone which totally does not capture the delicate perfection of this little cake.


For days and weeks after I've been fantasizing about this tiramisu so I finally decided to make my own!  I know this is a beauty blog but I just couldn't resist posting this recipe -- I know many of my readers are green tea lovers as well.  And this recipe is so so simple -- just a 5 minute prep time -- the hardest part is finding the ingredients!

What you'll need:


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
  • 2 packs of lady fingers
  • 1 1/2 tbsp green tea powder
  • 3/4 cup water

Okay so the only problem with this recipe is the ingredients are really expensive and that's if you can even find them!  I paid $4 per container of mascarpone cheese, $3 per pack for the lady fingers, and $10 for a small bag of green tea powder.  Now if you want cheaper/easier to find alternatives you can replace the mascarpone with cream cheese, the lady fingers with pound cake, and for the green tea powder you can grind up the contents of a green tea bag.  BUT it will definitely not taste as good.  Also I made a triple layer tiramisu -- you can cut down the ingredients by 1/3 and make it a double layer.

On to the steps!

1) Boil the water in a saucepan and dissolve half the sugar.  Remove from heat and wisk into the bowl containing the green tea powder.

2) In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and the other half of the sugar.  Then fold in the mascarpone cheese.




3) Dip the lady fingers in the green tea mixture and arrange in a baking dish -- you can use round or square -- whichever you prefer.

4) Evenly spread the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.




5) Repeat step 3 and place another layer of green tea dipped lady fingers over the mascarpone mixture. 

6) And one more time for your triple layers!

7) Cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours.






8) Dust the top of the tiramisu with green tea powder.  Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: The Oyshi Sushi version used green tea flavored mascarpone mixture -- you can add matcha powder to the mascarpone to make it a green tea colored/flavored cream.

Current Skincare Routine

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So because I've been doing a lot of "discount hauls", I figured I deserved to do a bit little splurging. I wanted to focus on whitening and brightening my skin and you know how pricey those products can get.  Yup, compulsive Kelly went overboard and ended up on the complete opposite side of the price spectrum. But skin definitely deserves some luxury once in awhile, and I'm going to tell myself it's all in the name of blog research!

Here's the damage:

Price: $35
All the Shiesido cleansers have the same unique consistency -- its a very rich cream that builds up tons of lather from just the tiniest squirt.  You definitely feel it working as you massage it into your skin and the lather gets thicker and thicker.  It does burn the eyes a little when you're washing off your eye make-up but your face ends up squeaky clean.
Price: $48
For some reason Asian companies like to call their toners "softeners."  And instead of using it on a cotton ball to wipe the face, Koreans (and probably other Asian countries) put a few drops on their finger tips and pat it on the face -- almost as if it were a lotion.  I prefer the cotton ball method because it wipes away excess makeup and dirt but with this product I like to pat it on due to its thicker consistency -- I would even call it an "emulsion" over a toner because it leaves your skin dewy and hydrated.  It feels wasteful using a cotton ball because it just seems to soak up the liquid because if its thickness.  I'm using this softener for its brightening properties but if you prefer something that will give you an extra clean feeling I would go with a different toner.  As nice as this is, the price might stop me from repurchasing.


Price: $56

This fade gel contains hydroquinone which is well known for its lightening properties and is a key ingredient in popular skincare regimens like Obagi or the Korean version, IIHB Skincare. The yellow jelly-like serum leaves your skin feeling sticky but is great for layering moisturizer on top.  Definitely a must have for age spots, acne scars, melasma and hyperpigmentation -- although it does take time I've seen wonderful results with hydroquinone.  You can enhance the effects by using with tretinoin or a vitamin A cream.

Price: $150



If you've read any reviews for this product you'll know that they're all horrible.  Unfortunately, this stuff does in fact smell like straight up fish.  You mind as well break a fish oil capsule in half and smear it all over your face.  The consistency is tacky and meant to be used under moisturizer.  If you can get past the smell (and very few can), you'll discover a wonderful creamy serum that brings you absolutely supple and glowing skin.
Price: $49.50
I've heard mixed reviews about the advanced night repair serum -- some swear by it and others think it's a worthless rip off.  I decided to pick up the eye cream first to test the waters.  The texture is gooey yet creamy and feels oh-so-luxurious around my eyes.  There's a very slight tingling -- nothing too bothersome, but just enough to let me know it's working -- I definitely notice an improvement in firmness.  I don't have any dark circles but it's also known to work amazingly for just that.


Price: $105
This is my day cream.  It's another smelly product but not as bad as the cold plasma -- more of an Indian spices smell.  This cream contains turmeric which is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  I love the thick but non-greasy texture -- hydrates well without making my face the least bit oily -- works wonderfully under make-up.  And the SPF is a definite plus!


Price:  $75
(Note: The 1oz jar is $75 at Nordstrom but I just found out you can get a .5oz jar for $35 at Walgreens by clicking here)  My night cream.  This cream is not just a catchy name -- it contains Sodium HyaluronateCrosspolymer which holds 4,000 to 5,000 times its own weight in water to intensely hydrate as well as plump up skin.  Its lovely texture sinks right into the skin and you'll wake up with a pleasant glow.


Price: $38
If I had to choose only one product out of the bunch to keep I would pick this mask in an instant!  This stuff is friggin amazing!  In fact after my first use I called up my friend Emily and told her to immediately go out and buy it!  Apply a thin layer for 10 minutes, let dry, and wash off for gorgeously soft skin.  And it doesn't get too hard and unbearable like other masks.  After using twice a week you will definitely notice clearer skin.  Because it contains 10% sulfur it's also great as an overnight spot treatment.  I know, I know -- another stinky product -- but not to worry -- the sulfur smell is hardly noticeable!

Beauty Without Cruelty: Product Review & Giveaway

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==CLOSED==
See winners here.

I've been a vegetarian for about 16 years now.  I mean if you want to get all technical, I started off vegan for a year, found it too difficult, went vegetarian for 2 years, and then eventually started eating fish.  So I guess you can call me semi-vegetarian.  My dream job from second grade until junior high was to become a veterinarian (And then I watched Mission Impossible and decided I wanted to become a field agent for the CIA).  Plus I realized I didn't want to be the "evil doctor" that gives shots to dogs and puts them to sleep.  Don't think I can handle being dreaded by dogs lol.  Anyways point being -- I've always had a soft spot for animals.

So when I was contacted by Beauty Without Cruelty to try out their products, I was definitely intrigued and also felt a little ashamed for not looking into these kinds of products sooner.  Beauty Without Cruelty was the very first cosmetics brand to eliminate animal testing (since 1963).  As stated on their website their mission is to create "ethical, cruelty-free products that are made with natural, organic, and safe ingredients, are superior in performance, and are an exceptional value.  All BWC color cosmetics are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and are fragrance free. Nail colors are free of toluene, formaldehyde, and pthalates." 

I picked out the the "black" eye defining pencil and the Natural Infusion Moisturizing Lipstick in "Tansy Tease" to try.  The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous the packaging was.  I would say comparable to Benefit or Too Faced -- very modern/girly in design.




So I'm not much of a lipstick wearer -- mostly due to my chronic dry lips.  Every time I try and apply lipstick it clumps up and looks terrible.  So I was stunned at the smoothness of the application of my BWC lipstick -- not only did it glide on with the perfect amount of pigment, it left my lips soft and moisturized.  And I kid you not -- the color lasted for hours!


The eyeliner also went on surprisingly smoothly for a pencil liner.  The color was dark and pigmented, and the line precise and tough to budge.  If you prefer something a little softer/smudgier they also carry a soft kohl pencil.  I absolutely loved the clean line and the budge-proof formula -- it was even gentle enough to line my waterline.  I've become accustomed to liquid liners due to their pigment and staying power but the eye defining pencil has convinced me give pencil liners another go.


BWC also offers a full make-up line including foundations, mascaras, eyeshadows, and more as well as a comprehensive skin care line which I can't wait to try out.  And best of all everything is pretty darned affordable.  Check out the site here.

The Giveaway:

Now the cool part: Beauty Without Cruelty has generously offered to give away a lipstick and eyeliner to my readers.  The rules are as follows:

1) Must be a GFC follower of this blog
2) Must "like" Beauty Without Cruelty on Facebook by clicking here and leave a comment on their wall saying that I sent you over (makes it easier for me to verify that you "liked" them).
3) Leave a comment with your e-mail address.

And of course you can earn additional entries by re-posting this giveaway on your blog, sidebar, twitter, and facebook. (1 extra entry each).  Just make sure to leave links in your comments.

That's it!  I will choose two winners at random -- one for the lipstick and one for the eyeliner -- and you'll get to pick the colors of your choice from their website.  The giveaway will run for two weeks (ends May 5th).  Good luck!

Deal of the Day: 

Take 50% off the entire stock of already heavily discounted products at Beautyticket.com.  Use code "Birthday50" at checkout.  Ends Friday at midnight!

BB Cream finally makes its way to the US / Sephora!!!!

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I was browsing through Sephora.com and nearly jumped out of my pants in excitement.  After all that ranting Sephora is FINALLY carrying BB Cream!  To make things even better it will be through trusted KOREAN cosmetics brand Dr. Jart+.

They introduced two new products: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm for brightening and smoothing, and Water Fuse Beauty Balm for hydrating and refreshing.  I guess they decided to call it "Beauty Balm" instead of "Blemish Balm" to make it sound prettier haha.  The pricing is in line with the Korean Dr. Jart+ site where their bb creams range from $20-$70 -- although they don't carry the exact same products.  But even if it were a few bucks more Sephora offers an amazing return policy.  I do hope they branch out and start carrying more Dr. Jart+ products -- including their skincare line.

Again, if you still don't know what BB Cream is you can check out my BB Cream 101 post.  It's basically a "miracle" multi-tasking skincare product and make-up in one -- and an absolutely huge phenomenon throughout Asia.  Now that it's readily accessible there's no excuses left!  I just put in my order for both -- stay tuned for reviews.

Spa Review: Reliquary Spa at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas

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One of my favorite times of the year is Spa Week!  It's a biannual event where spas all over the country offer facials, massages, scrubs, and more for just $50!  I like to take the opportunity to check out the more pricey spas if possible.  Casino spas are especially good because they also let you use the facilities which include saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and awesome amenities.  If I'm on the east coast I usually go to a spa in Atlantic City and if I'm on the west coast of course I go to a Vegas spa.  (As a bonus perk -- if you're a gambler you can use your comp dollars!)

This year I was out west so the boyfriend and I booked massages at the Reliquary Spa at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas.  This was surprisingly my first massage ever!  (Not including the chiro sessions after my car accident.)  I'm kind of weird about people touching me and usually prefer facials, but all the traveling took a major toll on my body and I needed to get some major kinks out.

Some of the Yelp reviews mentioned the receptionists were rude and snobby so I was surprised to find them extremely friendly when I called to make an appointment (although I'm sure they were bombarded with "cheap" spa weekers).  And when we arrived late to our appointment they even offered to push it back so we could get the full 50 minutes.


So the spa was HUGE at 25,000 square feet.  The decor was very modern and yet had a definite Roman Bathhouse feel.  Upon walking in from the lobby the first thing I noticed was a giant swimming pool sized jacuzzi.  And the best part was it was co-ed!  Most spas only have separate men's and women's facilities but this was a huge plus when coming with the boyfriend.  They also had private whirl pools in the men's and women's areas along with steam rooms, saunas, and fully stocked showers with the most AMAZING smelling shampoos and body washes.  Not to mention plenty of bottled water, juices, and fruit throughout the locker areas and lounges.

So we separated and went to our respective locker rooms where the attendant assigned us lockers and we changed into fluffy robes and slippers.  I was then led to the lounge where my masseuse was waiting (I'm terrible but I totally forgot her name!).  She led me through a long hallway that seemed more like a maze -- there were so many rooms (21 total)!  The massage room was dark with mood music playing in the background.  She left for a few minutes so I could disrobe and get settled in.  The massage bed was pleasantly heated and I immediately relaxed.  The masseuse returned and asked which areas I wanted to concentrate on (definitely neck and shoulders) and went to work!

It was an extremely peaceful experience -- and not the least bit awkward despite the fact that I was lying completely naked in front of a stranger (okay there was a thin sheet over me). The masseuse didn't talk much which I appreciated and mostly just took deep soothing breaths throughout the massage.  It wasn't the least bit painful like I expected -- I would've liked more pressure to ease more of the tension but I chose the Swedish massage which I guess is the gentler massage.  The boyfriend got the deep tissue for his severe neck and back pain (he was recently in a car accident) and said his masseuse really worked out all the knots.  He gets massages at casinos all the time so his word is probably better than mine considering I'm a massage virgin!

After wards we were led to the lounge where we could relax and sip on juice.  We then went back to the locker rooms to shower and met up at the coed jacuzzi.  So awesome!  My only issue was that the water was room temperature -- it would've been nice heated.  We then went back to the lockers and took advantage of the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool.

The original price of the massage was $125 and they also add 18% gratuity so our total was just $50+$22.50 each.  Totally awesome considering most casino spas charge $20 just to use the facilities!  They also offer signature services like the "Fijian Body Scrub" and the "Royal Purple"
.  (You can check out a full list of services here.)  All in all I would totally recommend this spa if you're ever in Vegas -- and it's especially a great place for couples.  The Reliquary Spa has specials all the time on their website and sometimes on Travelzoo.com.  And if you can make it during Spa Week even better!


Deal of the Day:














This Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day.  Bring any of your existing skin care products, regardless of brand, to any Origins counter and trade it in for a full-sized Origins Product -- either a Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash or A Perfect World Antioxidant cleanser.

Also on Friday, make any $30 purchase on Origins.com and receive one of these cleansers free!

Excuses, Racism, & Giveaway Winner

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Wow talk about blog slacking!  I apologize for the month of missing in action but life's been incredibly hectic!  I've literally been around the country and back.  I started off with a trip to Kali to visit my good friend Emily aka Honeybee Housewife, came back to Vegas, immediately flew out to DC, then left with my boyfriend to Florida for a week, came back to Vegas, then drove cross-country back to DC.  It was more like a road nightmare than a road trip -- we experienced everything from blizzards and avalanches in the Rocky Mountains, numerous tornadoes in Kansas, and intense thunder storms in West Virgina -- I mean we practically almost died several times!

The thing that surprised me most about this experience though, was how much racism is still an issue in this country.  The ironic thing was most of it didn't even come from white (okay, Caucasian) people.  We got the occasional strange stares and cashiers ignoring us at the register (mostly in rural towns), but the actual comments seemed to come mainly from other minorities.

The worst comments were directed at my boyfriend -- for some reason he is a target every where he goes.  In Florida he went inside the post office to buy some stamps and got in line behind a lady.  The postal worker, a Jamaican woman, ask him, "Are you friends with her?"  He replied that he wasn't and was just waiting in line.  She then proceeded to declare loudly.  "You need to step away from that woman -- we've had so many incidents with purse snatchers and you're standing too close."

In Vegas an Indian man and his wife stopped him while he was walking through the casino.

Indian man: "Hey you!  Come over here."
Peter: "Are you talking to me?"
Indian man: "Yeah you're my driver right?  Go fetch me my limo."
Peter: "You've got the wrong guy."
Indian man: "No - no I remember you -- you were driving us earlier."
White man (bystander): "Is this guy for real?"
Peter: "I said you got the wrong person."
Indian man: "I'm pretty sure you're our driver."
Peter: "I don't know what's wrong with you you racist f*@&.  Do you see me making comments about your 7-11?"
White man: "You had that coming."

And the MOST ironic comment of all was when he stepped into the Bellagio bathroom, a Filipino guy had the nerve to look at Peter and say "Ching chong ching!"  Seriously????  An Asian guy made a China joke to another Asian???????

It just really amazes me that people can actually have the nerve to make blatantly rude and hurtful comments to another person -- even a person just WALKING BY -- who's done absolutely nothing to you -- because of their color or ethnicity.  Really so unbelievably ignorant.

Anyways sorry for the long excuse but that's pretty much why I've been mia.  Need to slowly ease back into blogging -- I actually came home to quite a few packages so I'll have many reviews to post.  And of course I will have a big shopping haul post with the purchases from my little adventure.

And finally -- the Head to Toe Giveaway winner.  I apologize PROFUSELY for the late announcement -- I received many e-mails regarding this but I just didn't have the time to do the spreadsheet.  I promise to be more on point in the future!

You know the drill.  Entrants were entered into a spreadsheet based on how many entries they qualified for (total of 1,476 entries).  I then entered the numbers into random.org to get the winner.

Congratulations to: #459 Courtney!  I've sent you an e-mail to the address you provided.  Please respond with your mailing address so I can get your prizes out to you as soon as possible.  And to everyone else, not to worry -- my next giveaway will be coming shortly so please stay tuned!

Deal of the Day:

 
Get 15% off at Sephora.com or in store with this coupon.  Ends April 21st.  Click on coupon for larger image.