5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef One of my favorite things about the holidays is how everything gets elevated to the next level, making even the most ordinary things feel special. One area that is especially fun to glam up is holiday beauty. Whether it’s for a Christmas party, the annual family photo, or a quick change from work to a festive get-together, here are a few effortless ways to elevate your holiday glow. Bonus: I’ve included a few links to beauty-themed gifts at the end of the post.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glam Hair} || Runway Chef Glam up your hair // If you don’t have time to throw you hair into a fancy up-do, simply add a bit of glam to your hair using a jeweled hair pin (lots of good options here), or, if you don’t have a hair pin, use a fancy vintage pin. Carefully secure it with a bobby pin and you’re good to go. 

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Glitter Nails} || Runway Chef Boost your mani // Add on a coat of glitter nail polish. Not only will it quickly make you look party ready, but the glitter will also help distract from any small chips in your base coat color. If you’re really short on time, just give one or two nails a coat for an accent nail.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips {Red Lips} || Runway Chef Power up your pout // If you don’t have time to do a complete face of makeup, make sure you pump up your pout. Red is a no-fail classic this time of year (see tips on how to find the perfect shade of red), but to make sure the color stays you’ll want to triple up on your products. First, line your lips with a nude pencil. Next, apply a thin coat of chapstick or vaseline. Follow that with a couple of applications of your favorite red lipstick (I’m loving this one right now), and finish the look with a red lipgloss.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Add a little holiday shimmer // Another way to quickly take your face from everyday makeup to party-ready makeup is to add on highlighter. Dab it on your cheekbones, in the corners of your eyes, under your nose, and under your lips. Just don’t go overboard or you’ll look shiny instead of sparkly.

5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef 5 Quick Holiday Beauty Tips || Runway Chef Putting on the spritz // No holiday outfit is complete without a spritz or two of your favorite fragrance. Or, use the holidays as a time to be bold and try a new scent. Current one that I’m loving: Elizabeth Arden Untold (which, by the way, also makes a great gift!).

Bonus tip: While you’re wrapping presents, make sure you save any scraps of tissue paper. They work perfectly as blotting paper.

Gifts for Beauty Babes

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef I wanted to write something totally profound and mind blowing to entice you into making these cookies, but the only thing that keeps coming to my mind is, wait for it, it’s totally epic…. “Roll Out”….as in the Ludacris song, not as in “rolling out the dough”. I think it came into my head as I was rolling out the dough for these pinwheel cookies, and it hasn’t left my head since. That was 2 days ago. Also, it should be noted that the only lyrics in my head are “Roll out! Roll out! Roll out!” because I don’t actually know any of the lyrics to the song, nor can I rap. So besides those two little words, the only thing that’s stuck in a blog post that has now been written and rewritten 4 times is that I love these cookies….like a lot….a lot, a lot, a lot. But I bet you already figured that out, because weird, I only put things I love on here (funny concept, I know). Like many of the recipes I share, these date pinwheel cookies are a recipe that my family has been making for years. And for all those years they’ve stayed firmly planted at the top of my list of favorite Christmas cookies, right between Russian Tea Cakes and Rum Balls. With a buttery dough that becomes crunchy while it bakes and a filling that is sticky sweet, it’s hard not to put these at the top of a favorites list. Go on. I dare you. 

Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef Date Pinwheel Cookies || Runway Chef

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Yields 36
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
FILLING
  1. 1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
DOUGH
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Start by making the filling. Combine the dates, water, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts, and set aside to cool (you can put the mixture in the fridge to speed up the cooling).
  2. To make the dough, cream the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and keep mixing on medium speed until everything is well-combined and the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, then allow the dough to refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a floured surface roll one half of the dough out into a rough rectangular shape that is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread half of the date mixture over the entire surface of the dough, then roll up, lengthwise, like a jelly roll. Set aside and repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Wrap both dough logs in plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  7. When you are ready to bake the cookies, turn the oven on to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat (I prefer the parchment paper for these as the filling can get a bit sticky).
  8. Remove the cookie logs from the fridge and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices about an inch apart on the cookie sheet, then bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cookie rack.
  9. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. I used Medjool dates to make these but I recommend using whatever is cheapest as you'll be chopping them up and cooking them down.
  2. These cookies taste best within the first two days of baking so I usually like to only slice of a few at a time and keep the rest of the dough tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. The uncooked dough will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and about 1 month in the freezer, as long as it is well wrapped in plastic wrap.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
 

Recipe Tools

Grab & Gift

Grab & Gift -Grab Bag & Secret Santa Gift Ideas || Runway Chef #giftideas Grab bag/Secret Santa/co-worker gifts can be some of the hardest to figure out. Here to solve your gifting woes are a variety of items from pretty to silly, girly to manly, and fun to functional all for $30 or under. Now grab and gift away….

Paper Products
Gemstone Desk Calendar ($16.99)
Funny Desk Calendar ($14.99)
Doughnotes Note Cards ($8.99)
Drink Calendar ($26.00)

Get Techy With It
Tech Gloves ($24.00)
On-the-Go Phone Charger ($19.99)
Iphone Speaker ($7.95)
Cork Flashdrive ($19.95)

Deck Your Desk
Mini Indoor Bonsai Tree Kit ($16.00)
Mini Tabletop Pool Table ($23.16)
Candy Rock Display Plate ($25.00)
Tape Dispenser ($9.99)

Drink Up
Flask in a Book ($13.99)
To-Go Insulated Tumbler ($18.00)
Carry-on Cocktail Kit ($24.00)
Flask Mittens ($24.00)

Fun(ctional)
Neck & Shoulder Heat Pack ($20.99)
Silly Mug + Coffee Shop Giftcard ($10.00)
Lunch Box ($9.99)
Business Card Holder ($20.00)

3 Easy Christmas Appetizers

3 Easy Christmas Appetizers || Runway Chef #appetizers After Thanksgiving, I usually try to see if I can survive the rest of the year on cookies and party appetizers (I can’t). They’re two of my favorite food groups, and since the season is overflowing with an abundance of both, it only made sense to try to survive on these delicious little treats alone. My waistline called an intervention and quickly put an end to the “all cookies and appetizers from Thanksgiving to New Years” party. Hey waistline, why you got to be so mean? Just because my all-day, every day app party has stopped, doesn’t mean it has on the blog. Here to help you with your winter layer, or holiday parties/get-togethers/celebrations, whichever you prefer, are 3 easy Christmas appetizers (similar to my 3 easy Thanksgiving appetizers from last year). All three can be made in less than an hour, which means you’ll be on your way to one app happy party in no time.

P.S. To make these all under an hour, here’s the game plan- Tarts first, prep the dates while the tarts are cooking, toast the bread rounds for the pizza immediately after the tarts come out of the oven, turn the oven down and bake the dates, assemble mini pizzas while dates are baking. Proceed to feast.

P.S.S. These all make really great breakfast treats, too, (holiday appetizer brunch bar anyone??), in case you have any leftovers, though that is highly unlikely!

3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef

Mini Orange Ricotta, Pistachio + Fig Tarts
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons of ricotta
  2. 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  3. 1 teaspoon honey (if you prefer a sweeter taste, feel free to add more)
  4. 3 large figs, quartered (see notes)
  5. 1 sheet of puff pastry
  6. Pistachio nuts, chopped
  7. Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whip together the ricotta orange juice, and honey.
  3. To assemble the tarts, cut a square of puff pastry about 3"x3". In the center dab a small amount of the ricotta mixture (about 1 teaspoon). Place a quarter of the fig on top. Fold the sides up and over to form an edge around the filling, leaving the center exposed. Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a few pistachio pieces. Continue on until you have used up all of the ingredients.
  4. Baked the tarts for about 18-20 minutes, or until the dough has turned golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  5. When you are ready to serve, place on a dish and dust them with powder sugar.
Notes
  1. For the figs, you can use fresh or frozen. I happened to use the frozen ones from Trader Joe's. Just make sure to fully defrost them and drain off the liquid first.
  2. These can be made 4-5 hour in advance.
  3. Store any remaining tarts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Orange Ricotta Fig Tarts} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Bacon Wrapped & Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates} || Runway Chef

Cream Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Yields 18
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 16-18 dates, pitted
  2. 4 pieces of bacon, cut into 3" strips
  3. 1/4 block of cream cheese (I use neufchâtel)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and set aside.
  2. Split the dates in half (but don't cut completely through). Stuff a small amount (about 1/2 a teaspoon) of cream cheese in the middle, then fold the date back together. Wrap tightly with a piece of bacon, then place the date on the baking sheet. Continue on until you have used up all of your ingredients.
  3. Bake the dates for 15 minutes, then flip them over using tongs, and baking another 2-5 minutes, or until they are crispy and the bacon has fully cooked on all sides.
  4. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Store any leftovers in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Bacon Wrapped & Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Bacon Wrapped & Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Bacon Wrapped & Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Mini Festive Fruit Pizzas} || Runway Chef

Bite-Sized Pomegranate Fruit Pizzas
Yields 16
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  2. 2 tablespoons cream cheese (I used neufchâtel)
  3. 1 teaspoon of an orange liquor
  4. 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  5. 3 teaspoons honey
  6. 8 small bread rounds, cut in half (see notes)
  7. Pomegranate seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the bread rounds on a baking sheet, cut side up, and toast them for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.
  2. While they bread is toasting, in a small bowl whip together the mascarpone, cream cheese, liquor, honey and orange juice until well combined.
  3. After the bread has finished toasting, allow the rounds to cool for about 2-5 minutes. Once cool, spread each half with a little of the mascarpone mixture (I used about 1 teaspoon per half). Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and place on a serving tray. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Feel free to adjust the honey and liquor deepening on your taste preferences.
  2. For the bread rounds, you can use any of the mini buns found in the bread aisle at your local grocery store. For these I used, Ozery Bakery's Cranberry Orange Snacking Rounds (I'll add a link below).
  3. You can make the mascarpone mixture a day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

Recipe Notes- I used the Ozery Bakery Cranberry Orange Snacking Rounds which you can buy online or at one of these stores (Mr. RC and I are obsessed with these and have been eating the various flavors for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; the flavors of the cranberry orange ones, however, are perfect for these little fruit pizzas), but feel free to use any mini buns or bread rounds.

3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Mini Festive Fruit Pizzas} || Runway Chef 3 Easy Christmas Appetizers {Mini Festive Fruit Pizzas} || Runway Chef

Rugged Retro Men’s Holiday Gift Guide

Rugged Retro Men's Holiday Gift Guide || Runway Chef #giftguide

Hi All!

It’s an honor to be asked to come back and write a post for you, and trust me I think this one will be worth your time ;-) . Seeing as it’s that time of year again, the Mrs. has summoned me to come up with a holiday gift guide full of items that no man will turn down.

As I am sure most of you see from the Mrs. and my Instagram accounts, we love any opportunity to be outdoors, especially this time of year. Mother-nature has much to offer during the winter months (i.e. brighter stars to gaze at at night and crisp cool mornings to enjoy that hot cup of fresh coffee and cozy sweater), so I am the elf dispatched to inform your guy on what to ask Santa for to outfit a rugged-retro look. 

I hope you all have a very happy holiday season, and we’d love to hear any gift-giving ideas you have for the man in your life in the comments below. Cheers! – Mr. RC

1. Stellarscope

2. Sweater

3. Sneakerboots

4. Polaroid Instant Camera **for keeping things less digital ;-)

5. Mitt Gloves

6. Timex Watch

7. Rucksack

8. Coffee Kit