Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Nutella Goodness

My fave admin assistant is leaving me for greener pastures :( I'm super happy for him, but I will surely miss him, his quick responses to my email and the fact that he never once complained about the amount of packages I receive in the office. LOL, I have a slight eBay addiction, but that's a story for another time.

I originally found out he loved Nutella when I brought a loaf of my Nutella Banana Bread to the office. I often bring my baked goods to the office because I love to bake, I always bake too much in quantity and I really shouldn't be consuming every last item I bake!

Since he loves Nutella, I decided to make my Nutella cookies. The recipe is ridiculously easy!

Nutella Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies


  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 heaping cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Himalayan Pink...because it's so pretty, haha!)


  1. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl (preferably one that will fit in your freezer) and stir with a heavy spoon until well combined
  2. Place dough in freezer for 10 minutes
  3. After 10 minutes, remove bowl from freezer. Using a spoon, scoop and shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. Place each ball 2 inches apart. Flatten with palm of hand or bottom of bowl and use your fingers to pinch the cracks that appear on the edges together. 
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, all the while drooling over the delicious Nutella smell emanating from your oven!
  7. Remove from oven, let cool and ENJOY! 
I'm really very terrible at following step #7, I'm the girl who burns her fingertips because she can't wait for the cookies to cool! I end up grabbing a spoon, scooping up and eating the scalding, still soft cookie. LOL

The cookies were a hit, yay!

Sweet Nutella Dreams,

Friday, July 5, 2013

This Past Week

It's been a warm few days here in San Francisco. When the weather goes above 70, we consider that a beach day! We took the the Puggles (of which we have 2 full time and 1 part time, more on that later) to Baker Beach on Sunday after church. They enjoyed the sand, the people, other doggies, but not the incoming waves. Mostly, Miley enjoyed being a pillow to her Auntie C and Cooper enjoyed howling at dogs and people watching.

 When we got home that night, they were so exhausted they didn't even want to play. I love it!

Cooper turned 7 years old on July 3rd. In the years past, we've bought him organic dog cakes. This year, instead of birthday cake, he got a birthday steak. I think he was a bit disappointed...

Yesterday, on the 4th of July, we threw together a last minute BBQ which turned out pretty delicious and fun! Last minute = 2 days prior. BF's mom, dad, sister and brother marinated 2 different types of chicken and ribs. BF marinated some bulgogi and whipped up his famous raspberry kiwi Pellegrino drink while I made lemonade from scratch. The two are great in their own rights; mixed together, it's a great refreshing drink, but mixed together with some vodka thrown in? It's practically a summer party in a glass. 

I wrapped up some hot dogs and Polish sausages for "Dirty Dogs" and grilled mushrooms and onions in a skillet on the grill for added flavor and texture. 

Not pictured are the delicious papaya salad, New York strip steaks, grilled corn on the cob, grilled fish, banh xeo and s'mores we also enjoyed!

I hope you all had a fabulous week and enjoyable 4th :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY Body Butter

Yesterday, BF complained about having dry skin after returning from his frat brother's bachelor weekend in Scottsdale. Basking in hot sun and chlorinated water in middle of desert for hours while imbibing in alcohol = supremely dry skin. 
He asked me if there was anything in my Chinese Hippie recipe collection I could make to relieve his dry skin. My response went something like this, ", YEAH! I have just the thing!!" I shouted this while running down the hallway to the kitchen. Before he even had a chance to reply, I had a saucepan filled with water on the stove. 

You see, body butter is one of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen. The recipe is quite simple and the nurturing ingredients are interchangeable. Just remember this - the solid oils to liquid oils ratio is always the same. 1.5 cups solid to 1 cup liquid. Easy peasy, right? 

This time, I decided to use coconut oil and shea butter as my solids and grapeseed oil and a bit of vitamin E as the liquids. These oils are exceptional for moisturizing and absorbing well into dry skin. The last thing I need is an oily BF complaining about feeling like a greased-up wrestler! With that in mind, I also decided to add a little cornstarch into the mix to prevent greasiness.

I prefer to keep things as natural as possible, so I utilize organic, pure, extra virgin, unrefined and cold-pressed oils whenever possible.

The following recipe makes roughly 2 cups. Please store in a cool, dry place. I recommend storing in the refrigerator if temps reach higher than 70 degrees indoors. 

VV's Body Butter
1 cup coconut oil 
½ cup shea butter 
½ cup grapeseed oil 
1 teaspoon cornstarch 
1 teaspoon vitamin E 
Optional - essential oils (EOs) of your choosing, please make sure you pick ones that are safe to use on skin and complimentary to one another. 

1.   Boil 2 inches of water in a stainless steel sauce pot, reduce to low heat and place measuring cup into hot water bath. We have 3 Pyrex measuring cups, so I’ve dedicated 1 to my crunchy beauty recipe needs. 

2.   Place coconut oil, shea butter and cornstarch into measuring cup and stir gently to promote melting.

3.   When solid oils have melted, add grapeseed oil and vitamin E 

4.   Add EOs and stir if you are choosing to add aromatherapy benefits to butter. I used 8 drops each of sweet orange and rose absolute. It smells delicious, if I do say so myself. I put some in a canister for BF's sister who remarked, "Smells like frosting!" 

5.   Place the measuring cup into the refrigerator for ~1 hour to partially solidify. If you are in a hurry, as I was last night, simply place the measuring cup into an ice bath and stir until the mix is slightly solidified. This process took only 6 minutes, with one ice bath change. 

6.   Whisk and whip away until fluffy and forms peaks. 


7.    Using a clean spoon, scoop butter into previously sterilized jars and use within 3 months. (To sterilize jars, simply place in boiling water for a few moments and remove with tongs. All traces of water must be removed from jars before introducing body butter into them or else they may get moldy!)

BF tried the body butter last night, read: I rubbed his back, shoulders and feet with the body butter, and he loved it. He was happily surprised when the luxurious butter sunk right into his skin and then asked for a jar full to keep on his nightstand. 
Waitaminute. Does that mean he expects a massage every night?!? 
...I suppose if it means he starts switching over to more natural products, fine. c'est la vie.

Wishing You Lots of Buttery Goodness,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chinese Hippie.

My BF calls me a Chinese hippie. Just because I blend vegetable oils, essential oils, hydrosols, herbal distallates, salts and waxes into my own lip balms, perfumes, creams, body scrubs, bath oils and household cleaners doesn't make me a hippie, does it?


I stopped using soy sauce in my cooking and switched it out for Bragg liquid aminos. Speaking of Bragg, I also stir a tablespoon full of their organic raw apple cider vinegar into my daily morning 8 oz glass of iced water.
My preferred yogurt brand Saint Benoit comes in a jar. When emptied, I bring the jar back to the farmer's market stand/local health food store for a brand new jar of yogurt. Are these things considered crunchy and hippie?

Quite probably.

How did this all begin? A few months ago, I suddenly had an epiphany and realized that I was slathering my entire body with things chock-full of chemicals bearing names that I could barely pronounce. Worse yet, I was breathing in and consuming said chemicals, too.
That day, I made a commitment to myself to try to stop abusing my body this way. This resulted in an overabundance of store bought bath, beauty and body products that are sitting in a crate in my bathroom, many unopened. :( I'm still not quite sure of what exactly I'm going to do with all that stuff, although BF did say he'll take all my lotions off my hands. Once those are done, any guesses about what he will be using instead? That's right, my homemade stuff. :)

Being imperfect, there are things that I don't think I can give up. I don't know that I will ever be able to give up L'Oreal Elnett hairspray. I haven't been able to find a natural or homemade equivalent, yet. My hair is not naturally full of body, so I depend on it to hold up my curls, teasing and donut buns! I also depend on dry shampoo. I currently use Pssst and Batiste, but I am planning to make my own blend with cornstarch and essential oils very soon.

Wishing You a Wealth of Health,

Monday, June 24, 2013

That new blog smell

The many queries and requests I've received via my FB and Instagram accounts to detail recipes and instructions has led me to create this blog. I'm not promising to post frequently, but I'm going to try.

I hesitate to call this a lifestyle blog, but I realize my blog doesn't fall merely into one category whether it be fashion, food or DIY. So, I'm calling it Vie de VV. It is my life after all.

c'est la vie de VV.