Current Loves: Yogi Tea

Boys  might want to look away for a few minutes.  Girls might want to get ready to buy this.

2 things I have issues with:
Sleeping: My sleep schedule has always been fall asleep around 3/4AM.  Always, even when I was a kid.  Sometimes I want to go to bed early – at say midnight – but  my mind is active and travels.  Last night I was in bed trying to fall asleep and I remembered I forgot to clean a cat toy so I got up and cleaned it.  Then I remembered I didn’t put the brushes away from Halloween, so I did that.  Then I thought of a recipe so I grabbed for my iPhone.  I sleep with my iPhone next to us in bed.  Actually we both do.  It’s horrible. I check my email all the time and then I can’t fall back asleep.  Anyways, finally after giving up I remembered I had some Yogi Bedtime Tea saved up to try. So I made a cup and within 30 minutes I felt a little drowsy, I fell asleep pretty easily. 

That time of the month: Cramps – check.  Headaches – major check. I get headaches that knock me out and can cause tears of frustration.  It seems like nothing helps, not even some Tylenol or like brand.  I read about Yogi’s Moon Cycle though which combats all the usual pms symptoms.  I just made a cup and it’s quite delightful – a very heavy cinnamon smell and tasty.  The box says: To help balance hormones and support your reproductive system, drink 1 to 3 cups per day. During premenstrual days, drink 4 to 5 cups throughout the day.  I will be doing this for the next few days and let you know how it goes.

You can get Yogi Teas at some supermarkets, but most likely your organic/fancy gourmet grocer will have it.  Boxes are around $5-$6 and have 16 bags.  A bit pricey, but well worth it. If you buy from Amazon, see links above, you  need to buy in bulk but it comes down to less than $3 a box (free shipping with Amazon Prime which I love), a great deal.

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Caramel Apples

MMM, just the thought of caramel apples puts me in a good mood.  As a kid caramel apples were a favorite this time of the year.  Now as a non-kid (I guess) I still love these guys.

This year I made a few varieties: Crushed Pretzel, M&M’s and sea salt. OH MY.

Make sure to check after the cut for more pictures.

Recipe:

4 apples – I used multiple kids, I love Granny Smiths
16 oz Caramel candy pieces
1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
1 /2 teaspoon Vanilla
Dash Of Sea Salt
Toppings of your choice!
Sticks – you can use popsicle sticks or wooden corn skewers

Directions:
Put sticks into bottom of your apples.
Freeze your apples for about 30 minutes before hand.  This will make them take the caramel better.
Put your caramel, cream, vanilla and salt in a bowl.  Put in microwave for about 2-2:30 minutes.  When you take it out, give it a stir and get to work.
Have your topping ready to go, roll your apples around in toppings of choice.  You don’t have much time here, so work quick. :)
Put on wax paper when done and put in the refrigerator.  Once everything sets, you can wrap up or eat. :)

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From this

To this

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Clowning Around

This is the best time of the year. I love costumes.  Surprise, Surprise.   This year, I was a loveable clown by the name of Lollipop.  She believes in sharing and lots of love. 

Also the best part of dressing up is riding the subway.  It brings smiles to everyone!

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My clown shoes are in my bag because I’m a working clown girl.

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I put stickers on everyone.

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Sad clown, gif style.

These 2 pics below, credit to Mr. Spike McCue.

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The next blockbuster film.

Coriander

Coriander is the dried seed of the cilantro.  They are great to use in stews and soup.  They have a very strong flavor.   I usually let a cilantro plant “go bad” so it can turn into coriander.  Yesterday I got my coriander!

This was Round 2 of the coriander this year. Round 1 can be found here.

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After shaking it off the plant, then I wash and let dry.

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Cats love the smell.

Herbs

We have the best smelling home right now.  Seriously.  Drying herbs everywhere.  Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary.

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I put some on towels to dry after washing.  I have no space.

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I was on the ground for this picture.

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Then FiFi Bofinkles was on me while I was on the ground taking a picture.

Snow. It’s October.

See the title of this post.  Excuse my language, but wtf? If I  knew it was going to snow around Halloween I definitely would have dressed up as a pizza making snowman. 

So yeah, it’s snowing here.  It’s been snowing since I woke up.  I woke up and looked out the window and saw snow.   I immediately thought of the herbs I was going to pick this morning to protect from tonight’s possible frost.  Well it’s already snowing, better get to the roof ASAP.  I threw on my striped socks, a mismatched outfit and hurried to the roof.

Here’s what I saw on the roof.  It’s October.

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Flowers. It’s October.

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Potatoes.  It’s October.

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GAH.  The beans! The beans, the poor beans.  They just started growing their little beans.  SIGH SIGH SIGH.

So anyways, down to business.  We got cutting and cut as much as the herbs as we could.  The oregano is tricky as it’s grown all over, so I have to wait to finish it after the snow and hope for the best.

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Hey, did I mention it’s October?

Split Pea Soup

I’m waiting for the gas company to arrive  to turn our heat on, they do this every Fall/Winter.  I surprisingly called on Wednesday and got an appointment on Friday Morning.  They told me 8AM-1PM.  Ok, Ok.  So around 8:15AM I had this feeling that I might miss them so I got dressed to be prepared and was going to lay back in bed fully dressed.  Then suddenly the phone rang as I was pulling my shirt over my head.  Great timing!  So I answered and he said he would be right there.  Then 5  minutes later another person called back and said the technician had a “gas emergency” and it would be 1-2 hours.  But now I’m up… and still waiting.

Update:  He finally arrived.  He was very nice.  The heat is turned on.  Essy let him touch her probably because she realizes he’s the man who turns on the big metal box to blow out hot air so she can snuggle in front of it during the winter.  Also, somehow we got to talking about what we did for a living (because he asked).  Then suddenly I had his contact details outside of work and he was sitting on the floor next to me.  We were on his Youtube channel watching his portfolio of editing/camera work.  Then he invited me to a play he’s part of.  The guy can use Final Cut Pro and turn on our heat.  Magic Man.

Ok split pea soup time, this is 3/4 recipes that I planned on cooking this week.

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My dad hates peas.  Hates them.  When he sees them he turns away and runs for the hills, which is sorta funny because he’s a big strong man’s man.  But he’s scared of peas.  Hi Dad.
This soup would terrify him, he’d probably start to hyperventilate and cry on the floor.  I would rub my hands together while laughing evilly.  Hi Dad.

Ok, this soup is super basic and super good.  It’s definitely going to be made again.  Also I will have it for lunch today too!

I got this recipe from here with multiple tweaks below.

  • 16 oz bag of dried split peas
  • 3 garlic gloves minced
  • 8 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots – chop them up
  • 1 ham hock
  • salt/pepper to your liking

Wash peas and drain.  Saute together the garlic, carrots and olive oil.

Then add the peas, ham hock and your broth. Add salt/pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Once it boils, reduce the heat to about a 4 (slightly below  medium heat).  Don’t put on simmer or it will take forever. Then let it sit for 2 hours on 4 heat.  If the broth becomes too thick you might have to add water, but I didn’t have this problem.

For leftovers, it’s going to thicken up while sitting in the fridge.  Make sure to add a little extra chicken broth to it when heating it up to give  it a nice consistency. The “final” pictures here are actually of leftovers so you can see it holds up nicely.

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Recipe behind the cut.

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Bean Salad

So today’s recipe is fresh bean salad.  This is on the list of “prettiest recipes ever”.   It’s also on the list of “wow that’s alot of ingredients”.  It’s also on the list of “this is quick to make but it takes me 10 minutes to collect all the ingredients”.  It’s on alot of lists, ok?

I started with this recipe here but tweaked alot of the measurements and some ingredients.

Ingredients:
15 oz black beans
15 oz kidney beans
15 oz cannellini beans
1 green bell pepper – garden picked!
1 red bell pepper – not garden picked because i eat the green ones too quick
1 package corn kernels – i used a 16 oz bag
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 clove garlic – mince it
1/2 cup fresh cilantro – cut it up
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 little squirt of chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Easy Directions: Rinse and drain your beans.  Combine beans, peppers, frozen corn in one bowl.  In another bowl mix together all other ingredients.  Pour olive oil  mixture on top of bean mixture.  Put in the refrigerator if you want it chilly when eating, but I prefer it warm so I will keep it the refrigerator and then I will heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes before eating.

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More behind the cut.

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Burritos on the Go

On Monday night I whipped up 10 burritos pretty quickly.  The  longest part was waiting for the brown rice.  Then I wrapped each burrito in foil and froze them.  We will take burritos to class for lunch, Matthew will take them for  long days at school, I will eat one at 4:23PM on a Wednesday afternoon because I want a snack.  The best part is these are pretty healthy – beans, rice and vegetables (with a little cheese).

You can basically put on yours whatever you want.  I did: brown rice,  refried pinto beans, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, lots of fresh cilantro, monterey jack cheese on top.  Next time I might add some black beans too.  When you take out of the freezer, throw in the microwave (not in the foil!) for about 2 minutes (depends on your microwave, mine takes about 90 seconds).

Enjoy! Here’s mine.. on the go!

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Pasta Fagioli

I need to write this quick, Essy is hungry and  meowing up a storm.  I told her you wait one minute, Mama has got to write a quick entry about soup!
Last night I made pasta and beans – aka Pasta Fagioli.  Put this on the best list of recipes, one of those ones full of so much flavor your other half goes to you “Wow, this soup is fresh!”.  You bet it is, the carrots were picked minutes before and the basil was the freshly dried that I wrote about – you could still smell the basil, amazing.

The recipe is here, I followed it pretty perfectly except no onions and I used the food processor whenever possible (obsessed).

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Freshly picked carrots and basil!

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Herb Drying

I made a post here that I was obsessed with drying herbs.  Well I still am.
Today I cut down the basil plant for this year and with it, I have plenty of basil leaves to dry.
This is how I dry my herbs: Cut off plant (make sure to leave a little room down bottom to hang), Wash, Dry on paper towel for a few hours, Hang upside down for about 2 weeks, Pick stems off when dry, Put in food processer and turn on for 10 seconds – this will grind it, put in spice jar.  TA-DA.  This is so easy and you get so many fresh herbs to use year round now. :)   Every time you grab that bottle of ground up basil in January when it’s 20 degrees out you’ll smile because you’ll remember the summer growing it.

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This is a very small amount as this was my trial batch.  Worked perfectly so now my kitchen is full of drying herbs.  I’m drying basil right now but soon enough: oregano, rosemary and parsley.

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Basil that was just washed.

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The food processor continues to change my life.

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Some of the 8 batches I have hanging around.

Goodbye Tomatoes

Oh our lovely tomatoes how I will miss you for the next few months. I thought about making a horrible slideshow with sad music and zoom ins on the tomatoes as seedlings and then luscious red tomatoes, but then I thought, don’t be sad – the tomatoes did wonderful!  There was in late April where we thought the seedlings weren’t going to make it, then suddenly they exploded into multiple feet high plants in May, then there was the nonstop summer months where we were getting pounds of tomatoes every day.  Now October comes, and these babies are still producing, even through a summer of heat and super powerful wind (hello Irene). 

To the tomatoes, I love you very much, I will see you again soon! <3

The tomatoes left on the plants.  These green tomatoes will eventually turn red in about 1-2 weeks.  Isn’t it magical?

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Before:

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After:

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See more of the tomato cutting down ceremony after the cut.

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