Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Love My Tea

Never thought I'd be a tea lover.  It's just never been... well... my cup of tea.  I keep reading over the past year how good it can be for you.  So, I've been trying to find something I like.  My daughter and I were at the mall and she wanted to duck into Teavana.  I'd just been to China and knew good tea is expensive, but really didn't think about it when I fell in love with Youthberry White tea at the Teavana store.  My daughter and I really liked it.  So, I thought let's get some.  The salesman was very good and he talked me into buying a pound of tea and a tin.  It was all on sale you know.  He rang it up and said, "That will be $92."  I didn't want to embarrass myself or my daughter by yelling out, "NINETY TWO DOLLARS!!"  I just got out my ATM card and paid.

After I left the store I expressed my concern over the expensive tea.  My daughter got out her calculator and figured out that the amount of tea I bought would come out to 62 cents a cup.  I calmed right down, because really that's quite reasonable.

I've had the tea for over a month and I have 2 cups a day.  I still LOVE it.  I even bought more.  Every time my daughter talks to me I've bought more tea.  MOM!  She says knowing it's not cheap.  I only got 2 more flavors.  I got Opus Rouge for making ice tea.  It was very strongly grape flavored almost raisiny and I don't care for raisins too much.  So, I bought another flavor called Wild Orange Wulong to combine with the Opus Rouge.  The combination is so good.  So, good I started combining it with the Youthberry too.

That's where this post come from is my love of the Wild Orange Wulong.  It had chunks of dried orange.  I make sure a piece of it is in every cup.  I realized even with breaking them up I'd never have enough for the whole bag of tea.  I decided to dry my own orange.  A new fun experiment.
Fresh and ready to dry.
My dehydrator is in the garage as not to heat up the house in the summer.  That's when I use it the most.  Now that I'm thinking about it it's winter and maybe I should bring it in the house?  I got 8 Cara Cara oranges.  They are my favorite oranges.  Love their pink color and their great flavor.  Crossing fingers they'll be great in tea.
After a few hours of drying.
Anyhow I keep expecting to go out into the garage and have it smell like wonderful orange.  Nope.  My dehydrating book said, "Do not dry citrus fruit."  Not very encouraging.  I'm thinking they are saying you wouldn't want to eat it.  I plan on making tea with it.  I want it dry and crispy.  I started it at 130 degrees F and after a few hours it said to turn down to 125 degrees F.  They are pretty juicy.  I checked it after about 4 hours and I feel confident to leave it drying all night.  Hoping garage will smell great in the morning.

February 28th the next morning.  Garage never did get a wonderful orange smell to my disappointment.  What it lacked in smell outside it smelled fantastic inside the dehydrator.  I opened it up to see my little beauties dried to perfection!
I sliced up 8 oranges that weighed about 5 pounds. 

They dried up to weigh 1 pound.  They were the perfect size.  I sliced the fresh orange in 1/2 inch slices.  Then I quartered them.  They dried to 1/4 inch thick pieces just like what came in my tea from Teavana.  As I was leaving for my knitting meeting a threw a couple slices into my tea to go.  The extra orange flavor was delightful.
 Make sure to bag them up tight.  No telling what kind of vermin will try and get at them. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twinkie Chan I think I love you

OK I sound a bit stalkerish, but she comes up with the cutest crochet patterns.  2 Christmas' ago DH bought me Twinkie Chan's book "20 Yummy Treats to Wear."  I started following Twinkie's blargh. This year she has 2 free patterns on the Michael's website for February.  I tend to like to make things that are cute and fun rather than just beautiful.  So, her aesthetic is right up my alley.  There I go using that word that is overused on Project Runway and makes me want to smack someone.  Not you Twinkie never want to smack you.

Here is my Chocolate Truffle Scarf.

I also made Twinkie's Sweetheart Sugar Cookie Brooches.  I made 3 for my daughter and her college roommates and 1 for me of course.  Sorry about the blurry photos, but sometimes I get so excited to give something away I forget to take pictures all together.  This time I hurriedly took some before I gave them away. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I decided this year to make a treat for my friends I was going to see that day.  I was going to my machine knitting meeting and then I was going to the gym and I wanted to treat my daughter and her college roommates.  I saw this project at a Stampin' Up get together the week before and just had to do it.  It was SO easy and so adorable.  I used 2 bags of Valentine M&Ms, 1 X 8 inch cellophane bags, and a Valentine stamp from Stampin' Up.  This made 28 of these Valentine Treats.
Only one person came to me privately and said, "Can I give these back to you?  We don't celebrate Valentine's Day."  I had given her 3, so she could give one each to her 2 young daughter's.  I've always thought it strange when my kids would bring home Christmas gifts they had made for their teachers saying some teachers refused to take them.  Numerous reasons... "I'm diabetic," "I don't celebrate Christmas," "I don't accept gifts from my students."  It's a frickin gingerbread cookie, not the Mona Lisa.  Really?  It's not about the cookie.  It's a person wanting to give you their glad tidings for the holiday.  You don't have to eat it, wear it, or hang it on your wall.  Just accept it with the spirit in which it was given.  What you do with it later is totally your own business.  The person talking to me is a young friend of mine and I told her just that.  She said she was embarrassed and didn't want my handy work to go to waste.  I said that's the beauty of it.  I'd never know.

I've gotten a thing or 2 over the years that I didn't want.  Like the time I was at a BBQ and the President of the soccer club didn't want the giant bottles of Costco mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard to go to waste (even though they had been out in the heat all afternoon).  Nobody would take them understandably so, but he was so concerned about them being wasted.  I said, "Yes, I'll take them."  They felt so good about them not going to waste.  Dear hubby got into the car with his eyes wide as saucers that I was going to give our whole family salmonella.  I said, "Are you kidding me!!  Those bottles of poison are not stepping one foot into our house, but the President doesn't need to know that."  Hubby winked at me, pulled on to the road home and said, "You did a good thing."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Balsamic Vinegar... contains lead?

Is this normal?  In reading my vinegar labels looking for sodium I saw this little box that I obviously didn't notice when I bought it.  My husband and I had used half the bottle.  Kind of scary!  Kind of scary that I didn't see it.  It's not like they were trying to slip it by me.  I just never would have thought in checking the nutrition of my food I needed to look for lead.

Why does my tongue feel like I've been eating paint chips?