Michelle Phan: Recipe for a Comeback

Okay, who else has been following beauty guru Michelle Phan for almost ten years? Join the club! I was really surprised last week when a video popped up on YouTube by her called “Why I Left.” Honestly, I didn’t even realize she had left, but I always like to see what she’s up to since she’s super successful so I checked it out.

It turns out that Michelle Phan left YouTube for almost a year and made a big comeback to YouTube recently. Her story is really inspiring; I learned a lot about her that I didn’t realize:

  • Her family struggled throughout her childhood, so one of her main motivations to succeed on YouTube was to support her family. She actually helped her mom (formerly a salon beautician) retire early and boasts over 8.9 million subscribers on YouTube!
  • She left YouTube for the same reason that I did: depression.
  • She struggles with insecurities too, even about her looks. After her year off, she now has a new mantra: “Don’t just look beautiful. Feel beautiful.”

So, as a little tribute to her, I tried out some of her old school, DIY facial masks made out of food and made a video featuring a recipe using the leftover ingredients. I also talk more about her comeback story; Michelle Phan is a great example of this season’s theme — Get Your (Cooking) Rhythm Back.

click photo to watch video!:

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Speaking of getting back in touch with yourself, I actually featured this recipe on my blog a LONG time ago (a few years after transitioning from Xanga, haha). Did you know? Dining at Tiffany’s was formerly known as “Tidbits at Tiffany’s!”

You can find the recipe for the dish I made in the video here: Tomato Egg Sauté.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions! I’m always here to listen if you are going to something and need someone to talk to. I’m here for you!

 

With love,

Tiffany R.

5-Ingredient Granola Bars to Overcome Your Shortcomings

We all have our shortcomings; they can often make us feel pretty bad about ourselves. And it’s worse when I’m going through a depressive episode — it goes a little something like this:

Hey, shortcomings, you must be tired… ‘cuz you’ve been running through my mind all day 😉

Haha, but really, it happens that way. I will replay an embarrassing moment in my head over and over again.. sometimes even months or years later. So on top of the consequences of the mistake or shortcoming, I experience additional, self-inflicted suffering. It’s a terrible cycle. Do you ever do that?

Lately, I’ve been trying to break this cycle. I think of ways to prevent myself from repeating the same embarrassing mistake. Or I’ll actually work on breaking bad habits and making good ones. Today’s video is an example of how I’ve done that while simultaneously teaching you how to make super easy granola bars. Enjoy!

click photo to watch episode 3.2!

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5-Ingredient Banana Granola Bars
makes 10 granola bars

Ingredients:
– 3 mashed bananas that are about to go bad
– 1/2 cup nut butter of your choice
– 1.5 cups of quick oats
– 3/4 cup chopped nuts
– 1/4 cup cacao nibs (or chocolate/ PB chips)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. In a large bowl, mix the nut butter into the bananas until smooth.
3. Add the quick oats and stir until evenly distributed.
4. Mix in the nuts & cacao nibs.
5. Spread into a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking pan.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
7. Cool completely, then cut into 10 bars.
8. Wrap individually (optional) & store in the fridge or an air-tight container.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please take a photo and show me (@DiningAtTiffs #DiningAtTiffs). Also, if you need some guidance or ideas for overcoming your specific shortcoming, feel free to comment or message me privately. I’m always here to talk. 🙂
With love,

Tiffany R.

 

How to Cook Salmon When You’re Depressed

[salmon recipe below]

It’s been over 2 years since I last posted videos on YouTube and that’s for a few reasons. I got very sick with depression and it was difficult to pick myself back up and often times even to get out of bed. I hadn’t been cooking very much because my mental health was suffering, so I didn’t feel right teaching others to cook if I wasn’t cooking myself. Lastly, and maybe even most importantly, I was intimidated and didn’t feel good enough. In the last few years on social media, the “foodie” culture blew up. Everyone was posting all these beautiful pictures of food and I felt like my food didn’t measure up anymore. Who was I to make videos?

But as I started to get better and do some soul searching I realized and remembered that the main purpose of cooking isn’t about making something to photograph and filter. It’s about feeding yourself and others and making dishes that make you feel good. Not everything has to be Pinterest-worthy (or “Pinterest AF” as my friends would say, hehe).

I figured that others might be feeling the same way about cooking too, which is why Season 3 is called “Get Your (Cooking) Rhythm Back.” I want to show you that you can cook good food even if you’re not feeling your best. There’s always a way to get your rhythm back.

This is why my first recipe for Season 3 is Salmon En Papillote; it sounds fancy, but it’s incredibly easy to make! 

And, as a bonus, salmon happens to be really good for your brain health and mood because it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids – a good kind of fat! By eating salmon and other foods rich in omega-3s (walnuts, flax and chia seeds, seaweed, leafy greens, etc.), you can give your brain some TLC and can feel better mentally too! Enjoy:

click photo to watch!Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 9.50.41 PM.png

Easiest Salmon En Papillote Ever (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of salmon fillet, 4-6oz each
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 10-12 grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

Basically, you’ll wrap all these ingredients in parchment paper and bake it in the oven. Here’s a breakdown of how to do that:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175° C). If you’re using a toaster oven, you can skip this step.
  2. Take a sheet of parchment paper, about 12×12 inches. Fold it in half, crease it, then unfold it. Lay it down on a flat surface.
  3. Add 1/2 cup baby spinach just to the side of the crease to make a little bed for the salmon. Season the spinach with a little bit of salt & pepper.
  4. Next, lay the salmon atop the bed of spinach. Season the salmon with a little bit of salt & pepper as well.
  5. Then, add 5-6 cherry tomatoes on top of and beside the piece of salmon.
  6. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  7. Fold the parchment paper over the salmon & veggies. Starting on one side, fold and crease the paper toward the middle of the salmon, creating a tight seal. When you get to the end, tuck the remaining paper underneath (see video for tutorial).
  8. Repeat steps 2-7 with the second piece of salmon and remaining veggies.
  9. Put the salmon in the oven/ toaster oven for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Serve by placing on a plate and unwrapping or cutting open the parchment. This can be eaten alone or with a side of rice, pasta, or potatoes.

As I mention in the video, you can really do any combination of veggies when making Salmon En Papillote; personally, I’m a fan of asparagus and lemon. You can also add things like green beans, bell peppers, shallots, etc. Herbs like dill and thyme work really nicely as well. Get creative and put your favorite veggies in!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! I’m also always open to share resources for coping with depression and other mental struggles. I’m here for you. 🙂

With love,

Tiffany