As successful 21st-century women, gender stereotypes seriously rile us up. There’s nothing that makes us eye-roll quite so acrobatically as being put into a box where we're expected to stay. But let’s be honest: some of those assumptions exist because we’ve gone out there and shown the world exactly what we can do.
Take cooking, for instance. We’re not saying every woman is or has to be a domestic goddess, but a fair few of us actually enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Like most things we put our minds to, we know we’re capable of outperforming and impressing whenever the fancy takes us. Why shouldn’t we embrace that?
So, fancy whipping up something special and showing just how talented you are? Then here are three great recipes to help you.
Recipe #1: Barbecued oysters with garlic, paprika and Parmesan butter
Photo courtesy of bbcgoodfood.com
After a long day in the boardroom, one thing that always relaxes us is going home, prepping some seriously good food and chowing down on it. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as enjoying your own labors and, occasionally, you might even feel generous enough to treat that special someone too. Luckily, we have the perfect date night or dinner party dish for when you want something that’s both easy to cook and impressive in one: barbecued oysters with garlic, paprika and Parmesan butter. Beat, barbecue and butter for a meal that will leave you licking your lips for hours afterwards.
Photo courtesy of deliveroo.co.uk
Recipe #2: Chicken wings in OK sauce
According to Deliveroo.co.uk, OK sauce is currently taking the UK by storm and we can honestly say we’re A-OK with that. Tasty, versatile and very easy to make, it’s a great choice to impress your dinner guests, which is why we thought we’d share it here. It’s best served alongside chicken wings, so prepare these before mixing tomato ketchup, brown sauce, sugar, Chinese 5 spice and soy sauce with a cup of water. Place in a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves, then put to one side while you mix cornstarch with five tablespoons of water.
Join your two concoctions, stir until the sauce thickens and then drizzle over your chicken wings for an inarguably divine dish.
Recipe #3: Persian herb and leek frittata
Of course, not everyone is a meat-eater. To ensure all angles are covered, we’ve included a recipe for Persian herb and leek frittata too. Although your arms will get a real workout chopping it all up, preparing the remainder of the kuku sabzi couldn’t be easier and it takes next to no time to bake in the oven. Invest in dates and dry rose for a sweet take on this delicious dish or else follow this recipe to whip up something superbly savoury. Whichever way you choose to add your stamp, the outcome is guaranteed to be impressive.
With these three absolute stormers, you can seize the same level of control in the kitchen as you have in all other aspects of life. But tell us, which of these exquisitely easy recipes will you put to the test first?
Photo courtesy of bonappetit.com
In many ways I am a shining example of the American Dream. I was born in Hungary during the Communist era, and my family fled to Israel before coming to the U.S. in pursuit of freedom and safety. When we arrived, I was just a young, shy girl who couldn't speak English. After my childhood in Hungary, New York City was a marvel; I couldn't believe that such a lively, rich place existed. Even a simple thing like going to the market and seeing all the bright, colorful produce and having so many choices was new to me. I'll never take that for granted. I think it's where my love affair with color truly began.
One thing I had was a strong work ethic. I worked hard in school, to learn English, and at jobs including my first job at Dairy Queen -- which I loved! Ice cream is easily my favorite food. From there, I moved into the garment district where my brother-in-law's family had a business. During this time, I was able to see how a business was run and began to hone in on my eye for aesthetics and willingness to work hard at any task I was given.
Eventually, my brother-in-law bought a dental supply company in Los Angeles and asked me to join him. LA, a place with 365-days of sunshine. How could I say no? The company started as Odontorium Products Inc. During the acrylic movement of the 1980s, we realized that nail technicians were buying our product, and that the same components used for dentures were used for artificial nails. We saw a potential opening in the market, and we seized it. OPI began dropping off the "rubber band special" at every salon on Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles. A jar of powder, liquid and primer – rubber-banded together – became the OPI Traditional Acrylic System and was a huge hit, giving OPI its start in the professional nail industry. It was 1981 when OPI first opened its doors. I couldn't have predicted our success, but I knew that hard work and faith in myself would be key in transforming a new business into a company with global reach.
When we started OPI, what we were doing was something new. Before OPI came on the scene, the generic, utilitarian nail polish names already on the market – like Red No. 4, Pink No. 2 – were completely forgettable. We rebranded the category with catchy names that we knew women could relate to and would remember. The industry was stale and boring, so we made it more fun and sexy. We started creating color collections. I carefully developed 30 groundbreaking colors for the debut collection -- many of which are still beloved bestsellers today, including Malaga Wine, Alpine Snow and Kyoto Pearl.
There is no other nail color brand in the world that touches the totality of industries the way OPI does.
With deep roots in Tinseltown, we eventually started collaborating with Hollywood. Our decision to collaborate with the entertainment industry also propelled OPI forward in another way, ultimately leading us to finding a way to connect with women beyond the world of beauty, relating our products to the beverages they drink, the cars they drive, the movies they watch, the clothes they wear – even the shade they use to paint their living room walls! There is no other nail color brand in the world that touches the totality of industries the way OPI does. It also propelled my growth as a businessperson forward. I found myself sitting in meetings with executives from some of the top companies in the world. I didn't have a fancy presentation. I didn't have a Harvard business degree. I realized that what I had was passion. I had a passion for what we were doing, and I had my own unique story that no one else could replicate.
Discipline, hard work, and passion gave me the confidence to grow from that shy immigrant girl to become the person that I am today
Bit by bit, I grew up with the business. Discipline, hard work, and passion gave me the confidence to grow from that shy immigrant girl to become the person that I am today -- an author, public speaker, and co-founder of OPI, the world's #1 professional nail brand.
I learned quickly that one can be an expert at many things, but not everything. Running a business is very hard work. Luckily, I had someone I could collaborate with who brought something new to the table and complemented my talents, my brother-in-law George Schaeffer. My business "superpower," or the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently, kept me ahead of trends and competition.
Another key to my success in building this brand and in growing in business was being authentic. Authenticity is so important to brands and maybe even more so now in the time of social media when you can speak directly to your consumers. I realized even then that I could only be me. I was a woman who knew what I wanted. I looked at my mother and daughter and wanted to create products that would excite and empower them.
There's often an expectation placed on women in charge that they need to be cutthroat to be competitive, but that's not true. Rather than focusing on my gender or any implied limitations I might bring to the job as a female and a mother, I always focused instead on my vision. I deliberately fostered an environment at OPI filled with warmth. After all, at the end of the day, your organization is only as good as its people. I've always found that being nice, being humble, and listening to others has served me well. Instead of pushing others down to get to the top, inspire them and bring them along on the journey.
You can read more about my personal and professional journey in my new memoir out now, I'm Not Really a Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color at a Time.