Yarn Along 21

Written last week, however pictures weren’t taken. 😉

Joining Ginny today with reading and knitting.

I just started a new audiobook.  Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood.  It is the inspiration of the Miss Fisher series I love so much.  I even started rewatching them while I am knitting something a little bit complicated.  Even though the script for the TV show is rather different, I am still enjoying it.

Knitting wise I am mainly finishing stuff. I finished my Meg Shawl! And my socks. I finished a pair of Knitted Knockers in honor of a friend who recently was diagnosed (the picture below is them unstuffed). I enjoyed the pattern a lot. The website has TONs of information on how to knit the knocker. I went to the LYS and bought a skein of their recommended yarn, and I hope to make several pair from that skein. 
I honestly do not know what to start next. I have a few big projects in mind, mainly for the coming up fall season, but what to actually start???!!!! Any suggestions? 


What have you been knitting or reading lately?

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Tea Tasting

A fellow kindred spirit surprisingly gifted me with 6 new teas and a tea tin.  Just because she loves me.  🙂  Even though, I received this gift a few weeks ago, I have yet to have the time to sit down and taste these!  There are several new teas that I am excited to see what I think.


List of the teas included:

  • Spiced Mandarin Oolong Tea
  • Peach Momotaro Blooming Tea
  • Sakura Allure Green Tea
  • Rooibos Chai
  • Pumpkin Spice Brûlée Oolong Tea
  • Matavana Herbal Tea
  • and a tea tin and …
  • (my favorite) a box of Twinnings Earl Grey!

When I opened it, I felt a warmth, very close to a hug, which she gives wonderful hugs.  🙂

Here are my thoughts as I taste test each tea. 🙂 Enjoy

Spiced Mandarin Oolong: (I could not find this on Teavana’s website, but I did find it on their app.  Weird).

  • Here is their description: “Journey along the Asian spice trading routes and savor the rich exotic flavors of juicy tangerines, lemons, and ripe blood oranges perfectly blended with cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, and pepper.  With its wonderful mix of sweet circus fruits and traditional chai pieces, this delicious flavored Chinese oolong tea is destined to become an everyday favorite.” (Well, if you no longer sell it, what happens when you run out?)  Newho.
  • Thoughts: The citrus is very apparent but has a deeper flavor.  I can find the spice in the fragrance but not the taste so much.  I do really enjoy this tea.  I would pair it with my cranberry and orange scones and maybe some dark chocolate.  Yum!

Peach Momotaro Artisan Blooming Tea:

  • Their Description: “Hand-tied, this artisanal display tea is both beautiful to behold and tantalizing to taste. With a crown of regal marigold flowers, each peach-scented white tea ball unfurls with flavor and can be infused three to five times.”
  • Thoughts: I can definitely taste the Peach.  It is very light, but VERY COOL to watch it bloom.  🙂

Sakura Allure Green Tea

  • Their Description: “An enchanting green tea blend, this spiritual coupling of floral and fruit come alive as rose and hibiscus interwine with lively cherry, mango and candied pineapple.”
  • Thoughts:  I am not usually a fan of fruity teas, but this tea has floral notes that make it a lovely cup for spring and summer.  I almost wonder how it would be iced!?  It reminds me of the Longbourn Wedding Tea from Bingley Teas.  I think it is the roses. 🙂

Rooibos Chai

  • Their Description: “Spicy cinnamon, cardamom husks, piquant ginger and lightly citrusy lemongrass brew to a blissful honey-amber infusion. A caffeine-free chai perfect for watching the sunset over the Ganges River or just enjoying the evening sun in your own backyard.”
  • Thoughts: To me, this is a true chai tea.  Though it is not a black base, it is a intently calming and spicy.  I am excited for something to drink on cool nights when I want something a bit stronger.

Pumpkin Spice Brûlée Oolong Tea

  • Their Description: “A bountiful harvest of sweetness and spice, this warming oolong is an impeccable accompaniment to crisp autumn days. A balanced swirl of rich pumpkin and flavors of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and creamy vanilla, this rich and smooth cup is a sublime indulgence for the body and mind any time of day.”
  • Thoughts:  Ahh… We all know I love this tea.  It is a perfect fall tea.

MataVana Herbal Tea

  • Their Description: “It’s not coffee, is it tea? Taste this coffee-like maté and red rooibos blend. Sweetened with cocoa and chocolate chips, this mochaccino inspired blend infuses smooth, dark rich sips that are soft and robust.”
  • Thoughts: I do like this tea a lot.  It is very flavorful and “robust”.  I can taste the coffee notes.  Overall very yummy!

I hope get to try some of these out. Or at least some new teas to you!

 

 

 

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Kitchen Skills: Skinning Peaches

I adore cooking and baking! Some of my happiest moments are in the kitchen; however, there are certain skills I shy away from because they scare me.  Julia Child would be sad, and some skills are so simple. Usually, when I have a bout of fearlessness, I attempt these skills.  This new ongoing series is mainly about these skills, recipes, and other “basics” in the kitchen that I try out or have encouraged others to try.  

First up: (well… Since I had this idea to put it under a blog heading ;> ) 

Skill: Peeling peaches!


Courage source: I usually eat the skins, even in cobbler. No, this is not because of health benefits. Yes, it is because I was too lazy and nervous about peeling peaches the correct way. However, today I did it!  My grocery story had huge bags of peaches on sale, and I bought one. I used the peaches in cobbler and a few bowls of yogurt, but the rest of the peaches were sitting in the fridge waiting for me to can (or go bad because I never found the courage or time).  :/ Recently I have been reading (…um… stalking) The Fundamental Home, and the author deeply encourages nothing to go to waste. For a long time I have felt guilty about letting veggies and fruits go bad and meats go rancid simply because I forget they are there. Today, I remembered the bag of peaches and decided to freeze them. I have a few canning recipes I want to try, but that’s another skill for another day when I have time.  So… Instead of wasting even more of the fruit’s flesh, I googled how to peel peaches. 

Instructions: Here’s the website I followed. I used my stopwatch on my phone to count. 
Verdict: It was relatively easy! The hardest part was getting all the small pieces off the peach. The boiling water and ice bath were nothing. Towards the end, I play a game of trying to get the largest piece of skin off. Competing with myself.  I also think the small pieces were due to the age of the peaches and the learning process. So… I will definitely be doing this again although probably not every time I have peaches. But this is one step closer to canning the peaches (which the hubby would be thrilled for me to do). I encourage you to try it for yourself. 

I leave you with these quotes from Mrs. Child: 

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.

Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun.

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Five Things about June… 2016

I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July. We had a good time watching the fireworks from our patio and playing checkers of course I lost because I kept getting distracted. 😉

June was a bit daunting for me.  So because the month flew by, this What I am Into… will be a bit shorter.  Joining Leigh… Here’s five things about my June.

  • I had my first surgery in June.  It was at the beginning of June and was not a “major” surgery.  Everything went well, and my hubby and family (and friends) toke great care of me.  Here’s what I learned from the experience:
    1. Patients coming out of surgery need nibbles.  I was always needing something small so I would not be taking my meds on an empty stomach.  My mom, thankfully, brought a big box of yummy biscotti.  She’s a pretty smart woman!
    2. If you ever have to have surgery, give yourself time.  I was exhausted even beyond a few days afterwards.  Again… Thankfully my family and friends were very encouraging for me to rest and take my time.
  • I am still obsessing over the Popcast.  It is still my favorite podcast, and I start listening to it before finished some of my other pending podcasts.
  • I decided I will be painting my walls soon.  My house is all beige and makes me sad.  After watching tons of hours of HGTV and FixerUpper, I am determined to add some color to this house.   Also I am going to continue to redecorate my kitchen with the Pioneer Woman’s cookware but also add in my own person touches I like of farmhouse kitchens.  I have embraced the MidWest vibe and am adding lots to my Pinterest board.
  • I finished a pair of socks.  Yay.  I am in love with the Felici sock yarn.  It is released once a year (which happened this month), so I recommend stocking up!  I am ready to cast on another pair.
  • I started watching Death in Paradise, which has been tons of fun.  A friend recommended it to me, and I am enjoying the mixture of British and beach vibes.  😉

Our 4th of July celebration.

Time flew by during June, and these are what stand out in my mind.  Life has definitely been hectic!  I hope you guys have a wonderful July! Be safe and enjoy our Independence.

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What I am into… May 2016 (Better late than never)

I am starting early. (And posting late… Due to a recent surgery, I have not really been writing quite as much.  I plan to change this.) Since I struggle remembering exactly what I did each month at the end of the month, I plan to work on this throughout the month.

What Happened This Month

We got our porch screened-in!  My wonderful in-laws came to visit over Mother’s Day weekend, and they plus my husband put it up.  Now we can sit outside without the bugs really bothering us.  I supplied the food and drinks.  😉

When the men were doing more hard labor during the heat of the day, I talked my MIL into rearranging our office.  With her help and design eye, the room has opened up a lot and my desk does not feel quite so claustrophobic.  I LOVE IT!

I redug the flower beds in between the porch and pergola.  This is the look I am going for.  I hope to finish it before the end of the month.

Books I’ve Read

Romancing Mister BridgetonThis is another book in the Bridgeton series.  I read them out of order of course, but I enjoyed the characters being writers.  After I finished it, I wrote three letters.  A fluffy fun romance.

A Royal Pain. I wrote about it recently in my Yarn Along.  I really enjoy this series.

Foods I’ve Been Cooking

I started making meal plans.  And instead of making our lunches separately, I have been making three to four servings of each dinner then freezing the individual portions as our lunches.  So far so good.

Nepalese Chicken Tarkari with Jasmine Rice.  This recipe is a meal we received from Blue Apron.  I made the recipe again with my own ingredients.  Again, it was wonderful!

I made Chicken Pad Thai using this recipe as a base.  It was amazing and the hubby has requested I make it regularly! 😉

Drinks

I make Strawberry Lemonade during Mother’s Day weekend.  Everyone loved it!  I am not a fan of lemonade, but… I can see adding a few shots of vodka and it being amazing.  hehe.  But they loved it regular as well.  I have a feeling I will be making this a lot this summer.

Podcasts:

I have enjoyed the PopCast this month.  Although I do not understand half of the things they talk about, but they make me laugh and think outside my usual pop culture self. 😉

TV:

the Lizzie Bennett Diaries.  OMG!!!  I am obsessed.  These videos are on YouTube and are hilarious.  The hubby turned me on to them, and I have been watching them almost non-stop. LOVE THEM!  And I found out, they have more books!!!  I finished the Lizze Bennett Diaries in record time and giggled a lot!  For now, I am pausing my journey down the rabbit hole, but check them out!!

NCIS.  Yes. I started the series.  And though I have only begun season 2, I really like watching them.  I like the character interaction and the mysteries.

Sorry this post is really late in coming, and a little rough around the edges, but since I had it typed up, I decided to post it.

 

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Yarn Along 20

Hello!!  Long time… I know.  Two weeks ago, I had an outpatient surgery, and since then I have been recovering.  Nothing major, but dang… Anesthesia kicked my butt.  I am still often tired and sleeping a lot.  Tomorrow I go back to work, but the two weeks I toke off were enjoyable even though I had little energy.

I have been reading and knitting quite a bit though.  I just finished (like an hour ago) The Next Always by Nora Roberts (my sister’s favorite author).  I enjoyed the story, and even though it begins in the summer, it ends in the fall.  So I am beginning to look forward to the fall time.  😉 I also read Me Before You.  That was a wonderful book.  The movie that just came out has some of my favorite actors in it, and I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie.  The book made me think about issues and how I would respond in certain situations.


I also began (and seriously knit) a pair of my Countess socks with the Felcie yarn from Knit Picks (they have a new batch!!).  🙂 I am almost done and really excited about them!

What have you been knitting and reading? Joining Ginny.

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Grilled Chicken Wings

As I mentioned before one of our favorite things to grill is chicken wings. These are NOTHING like BBW or Hooters (according to the hubby). They are BETTER!  I’m telling you; we went to BBW for a meal just after having these wings and were sorely disappointed with the taste. This recipe doesn’t take much except a grill, a stove top grill or gas grill. 😉 The recipe is more of a formula to vary according to your tastes. We have experimented with several homemade BBQ sauces (Mexican Tequila and Asian Fusion) and even store bought BBQ sauce. We enjoy the new Heinz Regional sauces; Tonight we combined the Kansis City and Memphis (amen!) sauces. 😉

Grilled Chicken Wings

  • Chicken wings, thawed (at least 4-6 per person)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Barbeque Sauce (enough to coat twice)

Coat the thawed wings with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (optional) to taste. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Spray the grill with nonstick spray. Place the wings on the grill and cook at a medium heat (about 350 degrees) for 10-12 min. Then flip.  Meanwhile, prepare a bowl with desired BBQ sauce (1st coating’s amount).  Continue to cook the wings for another 5-10 minutes until 3/4 done. The add the wings to the bowl and toss to coat. Increase the heat the grill to high (400 degrees). Place the coated wings on the hot grill for 2 mins per side (slightly char is desired). Place back in the bowl and coat for a second time.  Serve with lots of napkins. 😉

I do apologize. We never leave enough time before taking pictures and eating them. Here is the only picture I could take this evening. 

Close up.


I  serve these with a salad, bacon wrapped asparagus, vegetable kabobs, or any other quick vegetable. Or they are fine on their own. 

I hope you try these. But I am warning you, they will spoil you for other wings. 😉 Enjoy! 


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