Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Have you ever smelled a Star Anise?

If you haven't I strongly encourage you to do so. Star Anise was one of the ingredients used in the recipe I tried for chai and apparently comes from evergreen trees that grow in China and Japan. (We have an abundance of evergreen trees here in Newfoundland! I demand we have Star Anise seed pods in some of ours! :-B ) Star Anise most certainly has the scent that I get whenever I drink a cup of chai latte and it has a licorice scent to it as well. The look of Star Anise reminds me of the starburst beads that I used many moons ago. The chai recipe itself turned out okay but it's just not as 'spicy' as the prepackaged mixture that I've been buying at the grocery store. I've read some of the reviews and many of them suggest that ginger is missing from the mixture. I'm not quite sure what it is but I will have to experiment with the ingredients a bit if I want to get a taste similar to the Tazo mixture.
According to this website that sells the Tazo mixture, the ingredients include: water, black tea, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cane sugar, honey, ginger juice, vanilla extract and citric acid. I used two actual chai tea bags for my chai latte experiment and I doubled all the ingredients called for in this recipe. There's my chai latte in my Vitamix. The Vitamix spins the ingredients to the perfect easy-to-drink temperature and gives it lots of foamy goodness to top it all off.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter stores are dwindling...and so is our Snow!

I made apple butter last fall out of our very own apples. We had a great crop of apples last year and I tried a number of different recipes with the apples. The apple butter recipe I used was this one. (Yay! Another justification for my Vitamix purchase!) When I first tasted it I wasn't so sure that I liked apple butter, but it seems I have acquired a taste for it. I ended up with two 250ml jars and one 125ml as pictured above. Sadly though I am into the bottom half of the last of those jars and it's only January!! I've been having it on cinnamon raisin bagels with a bit of cream cheese and I love it. I would like to have tried it on ribs but I guess I won't get to do that with my first batch. I will be making this recipe again though.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chai Latte

I have discovered recently that I LOVE the chai lattes made with the Tassimo machines. The only problem with this of course is, I don't have a Tassimo, I don't want to buy one and the only people that I know that have one live 9 hours away from me. I did some research on the spices used in chai and visited a local grocery store and discovered a prepackaged chai mixture. Who knew?! I bought the $6 or $7 dollar quart mixture, threw one cup mixture and one cup milk into my Vitamix (secretly I'm on a mission to justify why I bought a $700 blender) and gave it a whirl. Voila!
It was just as good as the chai latte's made with the Tassimo, I was very pleased. Now there's another problem... I really don't like the price of that chai mixture and decided that I had to experiment with some recipes to see if I can come up with something that would taste just as good. Tonight I tried this recipe. I'm not sure what it tastes like yet but boy if the smell is any indication, it will be good. Unfortunately though I won't be trying this until tomorrow. Stay tuned for taste testing soon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Welcome! The temperature here is much milder today than the last time I posted; 8 degrees celcius and it's a rainy day. Great day for getting stuff done around the house and updating my blog. The bookcase project is coming along, very slowly, I have painted one coat of Antique White over the Provenge. It definitely needs another coat and I need to take a trip to the hardware store in preparation for the distressing stage. Not sure how this project is going to turn out because the Antique White didn't handle the freezing as well as the Provenge. It was quite lumpy and even with stirring it's still not a smooth texture. So...lesson learned...do not ship Annie Sloan Chalk paint in the winter months. Anyway, here's a picture of my unfinished bookcase with ?2 coats of Provenge. I'm hoping to be able to do the next coat in the next week or so and then the fun part of this hobby starts- working with the wax! Now I'm off to discover how to make a good soup stock and I'm thinking I'll start with this recipe. Hope it turns out well because I would really like to be able to make some good homemade soup like my mamma. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Welcome to my world, it's -9 with a windchill of -19 here today. I've been interested in Annie Sloan Chaulk paint for over a year now and finally made the decision to purchase some while on vacation. I thought it was a good idea at the time, until a friend of the family informed me that I wouldn't be able to take the paint on the flight home! I was very disappointed. I thought about leaving the package but decided not to do that because I knew that the long winter months at home would be the perfect time to experiment with this 'new-to-me' craze. I packaged it up ever so neatly and went to the post office and was quickly informed that it could not be shipped through the post office. Wow! Who knew that this new hobby of mine was going to be such a challenge just to get home! So off to UPS I went with parcel in hand. They were very friendly and helpful with getting my goods on their way. When my paints arrived at home they were completely frozen. I was seriously thinking that maybe I was not meant to try this new-to-me hobby. I waited for the paints to thaw and have finally started my first project with the paint. I chose a bookcase that was made especially for me by my grandfather when I was a teenager. It has been painted many times over and has most recently been sitting in my basement. I managed to get two coats of Provence on it. I will be putting a coat of antique white next. Wish me luck!