One Package Corn Dip

It’s Wednesday, so I’m going to talk about food instead of thinking how long this week is. It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday, which means football! Also, it means the Puppy Bowl, drinking all day, and snack. Regardless of which team you support, everyone can support hella snacks and dips. Today, I have another so-simple-why-is-this-a-recipe recipe. I like to call this recipe one package corn dip because it requires exactly one package of every ingredient, so there’s virtually no weird residual ingredients. I, also, call this the Kerlin Corp Dip because I was introduced to this by my wonderful friends, the Kerlin twins. If you want some healthier options, check this and this out.

One Package Corn Dip | paper + flame

Ingredients
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup Cheddar, 1/2 divided use
  • 4oz canned green chiles
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Heat cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.
  3. Combine cream cheese, green chiles, frozen corn, 1/2 cup cheddar, and Slap Ya Mama to taste.
  4. Put into a oven safe dish and top with remaining cheddar.
  5. Regardless of oven temperature, put into oven for 15 minutes. Remove when bubbly.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Who are you supporting? What’s your favorite Super Bowl snack?

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Brussels Sprouts

Today, for What I Eat Wednesday, I have another easy healthy recipe. Brussels Sprouts have quickly become one of my favorite vegetables to eat because they are so easy to cook. This recipe is the easiest thing ever because you can prepare them and throw them in the oven with a timer. I honestly don’t even know if this can be considered a recipe. It’s the perfect snack or side and seems like you put in real effort.

Brussels Sprouts | paper + flame
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce (or alternative), to taste
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder, to taste
  • Slap Ya Mama (or other Cajun seasoning), to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the ends of the Brussels Sprouts chop in half.
  3. Throw everything into a mixing bowl until evenly coated.
  4. Put in an oven safe dish and leave until crispy, about 30 mins.
  5. To reheat, warm in pan or oven.
What’s your favorite side? Do you like Brussels Sprouts?
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December Ipsy

I think is the most excited I’ve been for an Ipsy in a loooong time. I’ve done a few of these previously, but I love my Ipsy. I’m a person who does a lot of research before buying anything, especially makeup and skincare. Ipsy allows me to try out new products without giving myself and ulcer trying to figure out the ~best~ things to buy.
December Ipsy | paper + flame
First of all, I love the bag this month. It’s simple and cute; I repurpose my Ipsy bags as storage in my bathroom, room, and purses. This month I got the NYX Faux Blacks in Obsidian, First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, Derma-E Radiant Glow Face Oil, MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara in Black, Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament.
  1. NYX Faux Blacks in Obsidian is my surprising favorite of the month. In high school, I definitely wore an aggressively amount of liner in my tight line and waterline, as proven by this Insta. Since then, I’ve switched to top liquid liner only. Since then, my stick and gel liner consumption has seriously dropped. The cool part of this faux blacks liner is that they go on really dark and smudgy (in a good way) but have a fun colorful edge. I’ve been wearing this daily on my lash line and tight line. I love how the deep navy hue make my dark brown eyes pop.
  2. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is an old favorite. Every Christmas for the past 5-ish years, I buy the First Aid Beauty set and fall in love again. I ran out of makeup remover, and this cleanser takes off my makeup without being too stripping.
  3. Derma-E Radiant Glow Face Oil was my biggest disappointment of this Ipsy. In the winter, I love being able to use a face oil. In Texas, for 9 months out of the year, my super oily skin can’t handle the oil. However, I hate the smell of this face oil. Obviously, if its on your face, it tends to linger. I have to alternate recommendations: Tarte Maracuja Oil and the Trader Joe’s Vitamin E OIl.
  4. MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara in Black was surprisingly good. If you watched Youtube videos in 2008/2009, everyone had all MAC everything but never the mascaras. This time around they have honestly killed it. I think the mascara, and the formula is great. I didn’t even have to wait for it to dry out before it started doing what I wanted it todo.
  5. Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament was my “indifferent” pick of the bag. I don’t love the lighter color particularly, and sometimes use it to highlight. The darker color is pretty, but I prefer matte crease colors.
 Do y’all subscribe to a subscription beauty box? What do y’all want to try?? 
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Intermittent Fasting

Stay tuned for the giveaway at the end!
What do Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Terry Crews, and I all have in common? Sadly, it’s not the fact that we are all in phenomenal shape. We all intermittently fast. Intermittent fasting is a fancy word for skipping a meal, either breakfast or dinner. I learned about intermittent fasting when Max Lowery, the author of The 2 Meal Day, was a guest on a podcast. There are many different people that implement this fasting in different ways, but I heard about it from Max Lowery and was immediately interested. I wanted to try it out initially because I was excited by the concept of having increased energy. I feel constantly exhausted, so I was hoping this would revolutionize my life. I bought his book for my mom for her birthday in early October and we poured through it together. His book comes with amazing and easy recipes that I’ve been trying to incorporate into my rotation.
The Big Picture
The general concept is that if you don’t eat breakfast or dinner you effectively fast for 14-16 hours. Coffee and tea in the morning is allowed as long as it’s without milk and sugar as they contain sugar. You eat a normal amount of lunch and dinner along with a snack in between if you’d like. Lastly, regarding the contents of the food themselves, obviously it works best if you eat super healthy, but Lowery likes to prioritize carbohydrates consumption as they are sugars. Lowery suggests eating low-carb meals unless you have worked out that day. Then, you can have one high-carb meal. Lowery, also, says that working out during your “fasting” period is totally fine and that you should stay hydrated.
My Schedule
When I started this diet, I would wake up around 7:30 and be out the door by 8:00. I would most likely eat a piece of toast with some jalapeño cream cheese on it. Realistically, I’m not a big fan of breakfast foods and would require way too much time to make a breakfast I actually enjoy. Next, I would eat lunch around 11:50 as I had a 12:30 class. I have found a few salads I enjoy and in the past few months have been having them for lunch because they require no reheating or refrigeration. Usually, after my first of three classes I would have a can of Coke. I finished classes around 5:00 and would come home and have a snack. Around 7:00, I would have dinner which would be whatever I was in the mood for combined with whatever was in my fridge.
My Application
One thing I definitely can’t stick too is the coffee without milk. I really don’t like coffee, but sometimes I just need an extra jump in my step. I make coffee with teaspoon of either Italian or Nescafe instant coffee in lactose-free milk. I still ate lunch at the same time and found myself eating the same amount of lunch. Because I spend most of my day studying, I really want to snack out of boredom. I replaced that snacking and my daily Coke with lots of water and a baby can of Coke Zero Sugar. The two days a week I had class I would come home ravenous and usually get home around 5:20 and start making dinner and eat around 6:00.
Honestly, the only difficultly I had with any of this is denying myself some drunk pizza after going out and inhaling tacos the morning after a night out. Because of my school schedule, I had to move my workouts to the afternoons because I’m not productive after I leave school. Also, I’m a chicken and vegetables gal, so cutting out carbs was only hard when I didn’t want to cook. At the same time, if I was craving a queso because I had a shitty day, I wouldn’t deny myself. I still went to breakfast and brunch with my friend. Brunch was easy because it wouldn’t start till 11:00 anyway, so I didn’t have to worry. I went to two 7:30 breakfasts with friends and I was very happy with just coffee. I focused on conversations and developing relationships instead of food.
Reflection
A few of my friends started intermittent fasting without my encouragement. In all honesty, very few people knew I was even doing it. My roommate didn’t even realize until I was talking about it last night. My mother, of course, knew because she’s constantly shoving food down my throat. Sometimes, I missed having eggs, but I would just have eggs for lunch that day. My friends who have started doing it have reported a lot higher energy. I do think it helped with energy levels, but for me, it was more with the post-lunch crash that you usually get. Despite the fact that I had two mind-numbingly boring classes in a row, I stayed relatively energetic.
Honestly, my favorite part about intermittent fasting is that it is a diet where I’m not constantly thinking about food or what I eat. I’ve seen my friends who are doing Whole30, and they spend a lot of time and energy focusing on what they can or cannot eat. I never want to have a negative relationship with food because it’s absolutely delicious and required for your body to function normally. Low-carb meals aren’t that hard in my opinion because I replace carbs I might have eaten with more filling. Instead of tacos, I make the insides of a taco and just eat extra of the yummy parts. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting since early October, and honestly, I forget it’s a thing I’m doing till someone asks me about breakfast. I love that it’s such a part of my life that I don’t even have to think about it.
Giveaway
In honor of the new year and possibly already forgotten resolutions, I’m giving away two copies of The 2 Meal Day, one here and one on Instagram. I’m really happy to find something that works for me and helps with my energy levels.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have any fitness goals for 2018? Are you trying out any diets? Would you try intermittent fasting?
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What I Eat Wednesday | Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad

New Year New Blog Series? So I’m starting a weekly series called What I Eat Wednesday. As a fake adult, I’ve taught myself a variety of food and desserts that even the pickiest of eaters (aka I) will eat. I’m definitely not the healthiest person in the world, but I like to describe food as a eat as healthy light. It’s definitely not unhealthy and could easily be made even more healthy. As a food lover, there’s only so much I can sacrifice in terms of taste for health. Growing up, my mom always fed us extremely healthy and delicious food. It’s definitely not an art that I have mastered, but I’ve slowly experimented to make something delicious.  Also, out of pure laziness, a lot of these meals will be vegetarian. This is only because cooking meat takes time, and I worry about refrigeration. This Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad can easily be dressed up with the meat of your choice.
Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad | paper + flame
This salad is definitely not a creation of my own. In October, I went to Chicago for a wedding with a big group of my friends. Our first night, we went out for a nice dinner to Siena Tavern, which I highly recommend. The head chef of the restaurant is Fabio from Top Chef, and all of the food was delicious. We ordered multiple appetizers for the table, but unfortunately, many of them were seafood, which I do not eat. I ordered myself a Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad because I am a lover for Caesar salads. I thought that it was a pretty safe choice, and I was interested to find out what makes a Caesar salad Tuscan. Little did I know, Tuscan kale was a kind of kale also called Lacinto or Dino Kale. It tastes less kale-y than baby kale, and you don’t have to massage it (whatever that means).  It was delicious, refreshing, and surprisingly filling. The recipe seems easy enough and would be great as an appetizer or a side of a meal. I take this for lunch on a daily basis when I got to campus.
It’s a salad, so it doesn’t really need instructions. I do have some notes on the ingredients. My local grocery store, HEB, a big Texas chain, carries Tuscan Kale and calls it Lacinto. I prefer the Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale because it comes pre-washed and pre-chopped. One package of kale from TJs lasts me a week! I prefer a yogurt-based dressing because it’s much lighter and healthier. I recommend a flavored Caesar dressing to add an extra punch. I love Poblano Caesar dressing. Also, I recommend buying the dressings that are in the area with fresh produce because they tend to have less preservatives since they are refrigerated. Lastly, load up on those croutons to ease your way into salads.  Also, I generally leave out the extra cheese.
Meal Prep Tips
I combine the dressing and lemon for the week, and put into individual containers for each day. I separate kale into containers for the week and croutons every morning. Croutons tend to get soggy if you leave them in the fridge. At lunch, I usually just shake up my salad container.
Ingredients

Serving Size 4

1 Package or bunch of Tuscan/Dino/Lacinto Kale
8 tablespoons dressing (2 per serving)
1 package croutons
1 Lemon
1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon with dressing depending on preference.
  2. Toss kale and dressing until evenly distributed.
  3. Serve with croutons.
What’s your easy go-to lunch? Are you going to try it out? If you make this, use #pfeats on Insta.
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Things I Want to Learn in 2018

Resolutions are hard, but I have some for the blog and some for myself in the future. If resolutions aren’t your thing, or you’ve already given up, challenge yourself to learn new things. If you don’t want to learn something new, try and improve on a skill you already have. The next six months are my last of avoiding adulthood. Admittedly, a year of graduate school isn’t delaying adulthood for long, but I’ll take everything I can get. I want to teach myself some basic (and not so basic) things in the next few months when I do have time on my hands. I start working in the beginning of busy season for my industry, so I want to learn somethings for fun and some to simplify my life  A lot of these things I can do while continuing to do the things I love, like listen to podcasts or watch TV.

Things I Want to Learn | paper + flame

Basics

Some of these things are pretty basic. I need to learn how to blow dry my hair, so it looks beautiful and voluminous. I have wavy/curly hair, so it’s frustrating leaving the house with wet hair because I have no idea how it’ll turn out. This really shouldn’t be this difficult, but I never learned how to do it. I, also, want to learn more about skincare products and create a routine that works for me. I have extremely oily skin. As it’s starting to warm up again here in Texas, I want to keep oiliness at bay. Lastly, I’ve had a DSLR for about two years now, so I really want to develop my photography skills further. I’ve done all the research and know what I need to know, but I just need to go out and shoot.

Cooking and Baking

I want to learn some specific technical skills for the new year. I really want to improve my cooking and baking skills technically. Within cooking, I want to be able to make a “fancy” food that is to be determined. I want to have a signature dish that everyone wants me to make all the time. Also, I want to try my hand at making more regional cuisines. I had a Lithuanian professor two consecutive semesters and started baking Lithuanian treats. I want to take countries and really break them down and make local foods. Baking-wise, I want to be able to make a swiss roll. I made and absolutely tragic Swiss roll with Karina about a month ago. I really want to try more technically difficult breads. I’ve perfected my focaccia and want to work on Challah next. The Challah plait is beautiful, and I want to make a few before Passover.

What do you want to learn in 2018?

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Reflections + Our Only Blog Goal

My one and only blog goal for this year is to build a community.

Reflections + 2018 Blog Goals | paper + flame

Reflection

If you’ve read this blog at any point in the past three years, you know we do not post regularly. However, still, the blog is just something that I can’t let go or leave behind. I’ve met some amazing people through this blogging in the past couple of years. In 2016, I met Gabby, Tiffani (and Thomas), and Kayla (and Ryan). It’s weird meeting people you only interact with on Twitter in real life. They are all not only amazing bloggers but also great people. This is one of my biggest reason’s to build a community.

In the past few months, I focused on two platforms a bit more. Through October and November, I focused on Instagram and truly found joy in curating a feed that I think is #aesthetic. I also found joy in posting whatever I want because I though it was beautiful. In December, I enjoyed being on Twitter and being unapologetically myself and connecting with people on a person to person basis. Nothing starts a friendship like the same sense of (dry and slightly self-deprecating) humor. Not only that, I’ve connected with people in Austin that I can’t wait to become IRL friends with once I return to Austin.

I re-found my love for blogging with #Blogmas. Admittedly, I only posted 9 out of 12 days of Blogmas, but I challenged myself to put something up. I created content that I loved about topics I cared about along with some content just to put stuff up. It varied in quality, but it was enough for me to prove to myself that I can be consistent. For Blogmas, I would take any small amount of time and put it into writing a post. I used study breaks and tv time with my friends mainly and was mainly just proud of myself. I hope to continue that consistency in the new year.

Goals

As I said before, my only blog goal is to build a community, but I want to do that in many different ways. I want to continue creating content that I love and care about that may not be “on brand” or “on theme.” I want to have a definite “paper + flame” image out there that reflects Kaylee and I as people. Obviously, I want to consistently create content on all platforms. I just want to do the things that make me love blogging even if that includes some of the admin stuff. To start off, in January, I want to post every three days. I’ve broken it down weekly to not overwhelm myself. I’m hoping to start bullet journaling to replace my collection of sticky notes I carry around that dictate my life.

I want to meet other bloggers in person. I want to specifically make and effort to reach out to people in Texas and meet up for coffee or a drink. In January, I’ve already lined up a few bloggers to meet with and I am excited. I’m not an introverted person by any means, but I still get nervous meeting new people. I’m focusing on people I have a good genuine connection with regardless of their popularity. The blogging community is mainly why I don’t want to stop blogging even if I’m not the best blogger. People here are just great people.

Lastly, I want support more bloggers. Whether that’s commenting on a post or retweeting a tweet, I want to be there for my fellow bloggers in the same way I am there for my friends. I want to support every business venture and personal venture they undertake to the best of my ability. I want to enter ever giveaway and support people. I really love one-on-one connections as I have mentioned, and I really want to create and develop new ones this way. This is a big part of the “building a community” goal.

This was a kind of weird post to write because, to someone who doesn’t know me, could sound like absolute and utter fluffy bullshit. I honestly am excited to give back and love the blogging community the way they have to me.

What are your blog goals? What’s your favorite part of the blogging community? 

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Champagne Funfetti Cupcakes with a Whipped Champagne Cream Cheese Frosting and Sprinkle Surprise

If you have any leftover bubbly, this is the recipe for you. I made these delicious and fluffy champagne funfetti cupcakes for two New Years Eve parties, and they were a hit. Not only are they festive, they have a sprinkle center and are topped with the most delicious champagne whipped cream cheese frosting. Truth be told, I royally messed up the frosting the first time. I highly recommend limiting the amount of champagne you put in both the cupcake and the frosting because it is so liquid-y. Upon researching, some recipes recommend that you boil down the champagne to a concentrated syrup, but I did not have the time nor the patience to do that.

Champagne Funfetti Cupcakes with a Whipped Champagne Cream Cheese Frosting and Sprinkle Surprise | paper + flame

Because this is a whipped cream frosting, it has a stabilizer in it to prevent the frosting from running
off the edges. Just a warning, obviously, this recipe is not vegan, but gelatin is not vegan. If you want to make this recipe kid-friendly, I recommend removing the champagne from the frosting. The alcohol of the champagne in the cupcake itself is cooked off during baking. If you’ve read my other cupcake post, I generally use that recipe for a base of cake. However, due to time pressures, I used a cake mix from the store and easily adapted the recipe. If you want to go the extra mile, look at that post for a cake recipe. Replace milk with champagne.
 Champagne Funfetti Cupcakes with a Whipped Champagne Cream Cheese Frosting and Sprinkle Surprise | paper + flame

Ingredients

Cake
1 box white cake mix
Sprinkles (any kind you want)
1 1/4 cup champagne or prosecco
3 egg whites
Frosting
1 package (8 oz)  cream cheese
3 tbsp champagne or prosecco
8 oz heavy whipping cream
1 tsp gelatin
4 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (or to taste)

Instructions

Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine white cake mix, bubbly, and egg whites.
  3. Fold in sprinkles.
  4. Bake for 12-17 minutes and cool for an hour.
  5. Core cupcakes and put in preferably large sprinkles.
Frosting
  1. Combine gelatin with water and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, using an electric mixer, mix champagne or prosecco and cream cheese until super smooth.
  3. After gelatin is set and solid, microwave for 10 seconds or until completely liquid. Whisk together and then put in a large mixing bowl with the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
  4. Whip heavy whipping cream with electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed.
  5. Fold heavy whipping cream mixture into cream cheese mixture. Don’t mix it the least amount possible.
  6. Pipe onto cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.
Happy New Years to everyone! What are your favorite kinds of cupcakes? How was your New Year’s? Here’s my last baking post
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