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Cooking with College Students: Spice Substitution Chart

November 9, 2010
Assertion #1: Unless they are the secret spawn of Martha Stewart, most college students are not proud owners of a full spice rack.

I think I have made my opinion of Maniac Martha fairly clear on this site...

Assertion #2: College students are lazy and poor.  Therefore, it stands to reason that when making dinner, a college student wants to know three things: Is it easy; will it taste good; and does it require a trip to the store (because ya, that’s a deal breaker)?  They also have an affinity for buying frozen meat and seafood in bulk, namely chicken…
Herbs and spices are the easiest and cheapest ways to add diversity to your dining experience.  Yet if my first assertion stands true, you are probably working with a limited amount of options.  Good thing it just so happens that half of the things in those smelly little jars are actually interchangeable (who knewwww).  Check out the chart below for some recipe-saving spice substitutions.  Happy baking! Try not to burn the place down…

Spice Substitutions

  1. Allspice: Cinnamon; cassia; dash of nutmeg or mace; or dash of cloves
  2. Aniseed: Fennel seed or a few drops anise extract
  3. Cardamom: Ginger
  4. Chili Powder: Dash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
  5. Cinnamon: Nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)
  6. Cloves: Allspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg
  7. Cumin: Chili powder
  8. Ginger: Allspice; cinnamon; mace; or nutmeg
  9. Mace: Allspice; cinnamon; ginger; or nutmeg
  10. Nutmeg: Cinnamon; ginger; or mace
  11. Saffron: Dash of turmeric (for color)

Herb Substitutions

  1. Basil: Oregano or thyme
  2. Chervil: Tarragon or parsley
  3. Chive: Green onion; onion; or leek
  4. Cilantro: Parsley
  5. Italian Seasoning: Blend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper
  6. Marjoram: Basil; thyme; or savory
  7. Mint: Basil; marjoram; or rosemary
  8. Oregano: Thyme or basil
  9. Parsley: Chervil or cilantro
  10. Red Pepper: Dash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper
  11. Rosemary: Thyme; tarragon; or savory
  12. Sage: “Poultry” seasoning; savory; marjoram; or rosemary
  13. Savory: Thyme; marjoram; or sage
  14. Tarragon: Chervil; dash fennel seed; or dash aniseed
  15. Thyme: Basil; marjoram; oregano; or savory

Don’t Mess with Missouri…

October 25, 2010

The crowd of ecstatic fans chanted as they carried the goalpost through the streets, ending at Harpo's sports bar where it was dismantled, per tradition.

It was homecoming time here at the University of Missouri-Columbia last weekend, and in case you didn’t hear, we won- and I’m not just talking about the football game .  Aside from unseating #1 ranked team Oklahoma on Saturday evening, Mizzou Tigers fans came out in droves to shatter the previously held ESPN GameDay record of 15,000, with an estimated 18,000 people attending the program’s first visit to the university.  Check out the video below of students storming the field after the final whistle blew…

Fun Fact: Homecoming was actually invented at Mizzou in 1911.  MU’s homecoming celebration has been named the best Homecoming in the nation and a model homecoming program by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The mostly Greek-run homecoming blood drive has held the Guinness Book of World Records title of nation’s largest since 1999.

Blowout Bombshell: Formaldehyde found in popular Brazilian straightening treatment…

October 2, 2010

Cancer-causing carcinogen say WHAT!?

According to an official report recently released by Oregon’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration, those of you indulging in the insanely popular (and equally expensive) Brazilian Blowout hair straightening treatment may be getting a little more than you bargained for.  And by that I mean you could end up walking out of the salon with smooth, silky hair…and a side of leukemia.

Now by "avoid skin contact," do you mean don't put it on my head?

The Oregon OSHA claims the treatment contains anywhere between 8% and 10% formaldehyde.  For those of you who don’t know, formaldehyde is a chemical commonly used in laboratories as an embalming agent.  That jar of fluid Mr. Frog was floating around in during Biology?  That was formaldehyde.  So basically- not good news.

Brazilian Blowout Inc. has since released a statement rebutting the administrations findings.  They argue that because the sample was taken from a randomly selected salon and not submitted directly by the company itself, it violates proper testing protocol.  The question is: Is the product test more or less reliable because of how the sample was acquired?

Until further studies are conducted, I recommend erring on the side of caution.  Some keratin straightening treatments also contain cousin chemicals of formaldehyde (in concentrations of .02 and above), so be selective in your brand choice.  Global Keratin is one company that offers a formaldehyde-free option.  Check with your salon and request to see the ingredient list on the back of the product.  If you see the suffix “-hyde” anywhere on that list, be aware of the possibly health-hazardous implications.  Because having pretty hair is fun; having cancer is less so…

Tip of the Day: Temporary Tattoo Removal

September 20, 2010

This is SUCH a great idea! It's like I'm cute, yet sporty...

So it’s Sunday morning after game day Saturday, and you roll out of bed looking slightly rougher than usual.  You are ready to go do work on some dollar burgers and Bloody Marys at the local morning-after establishment…but, wait a second…

Smells like team spirit

You have a tattoo.  On your face.  Ya, that’s a problem.  You don’t need that kind of attention being drawn to you right now.  So how do you get it off?

DO NOT SCRUB.  Even the biggest pair of Nicole Richie sunglasses won’t be able to cover up a giant rugburn on your cheek.  Do not use soap, a wash cloth, a sponge, your nails, or anything else that could royally muck up your money maker.  Do not use toner.  Do use…

1.) Scotch Tape: This is what the back of most temporary tattoo packages advise.  Chances are, you threw it away long before reading any type of “instructions.”

2.) Eye Make-Up Remover: An oily remover works best, but oil-free brands like Neutrogena and Clinque work well too.  Simply apply a generous amount to a cotton pad and hold it in place for a minute or two.  Then gently use the pad to wipe away residual tattoo gunk (for lack of a better word).

AmazingCosmetics works it out at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week…

September 16, 2010

Models strike a pose in the loft after Megan Walsh's Blank Silk show

Greetings from New York Fashion Week 2010!  And by that I mean, greetings from my living room couch!  I am not quite to the point in my career where top fashion houses are vying for my attendance as they launch their latest and greatest collections.

However, our friends over at AmazingCosmetics are in the middle of an action-packed week in the Big Apple!  Both designers Megan Walsh and Zang Toi chose AmazingCosmetics to be the sponsor for their shows!  Check out some highlights and backstage pics from Toi’s Spring 2011 collection (pictured above), as well as my AmazingExpert runway look tutorial (below)…

Note: Look for my total fail around the 1:29 mark…then watch me do it again at 1:36.  And no, I have absolutely no idea what I say after the “close up.”  The world may never know.

LBD: Little British Dictionary

August 21, 2010

Well ladies and gentlemen, today is a monumental day in history.  As of August 19, 2010, the LBD, or “Little Black Dress,” is officially included in the Oxford Dictionary of English.  You mean it wasn’t before?  Thank goodness that injustice has been righted.  Other words that made the cut:

-Tweetup (n): As in Twitter meet-up.

-Turducken (n): A turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken.  Tur-duck-en.

-Defriend (v): To remove a friend on Facebook.  Otherwise known as the virtual bitch slap.

-Bromance (n): A term used to describe a close but nonsexual friendship between men, usually involving Brody Jenner.

Top 10 Most Stylish Female Politicians

August 18, 2010

…According to an unofficial poll, conducted by my personal favorite website for  important political updates, The Huffington Post.  Rock on Nancy Pelosi.

1. Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House)

2. Kathleen Sebelius (Health and Human Services Secretary)

3. Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State)

4. Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA)

5. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm

6. Sen. Barbara Boxer  (D-CA)

7. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

8. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

9. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

10. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

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