Tea Subscriptions

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Adagio Green Tea of the Month Club

I've got a backlog on my Adagio Green Tea of the Month subscription that started in May. I just wasn't feeling like hot tea in the middle of August. BUT now it's -2 degrees outside. So we're back to consuming 6 mugs a day (only a few Tbsp of loose leaf).

I really like the apricot and mandarin flavored teas. Genmaicha is always a [interesting] classic if you like popcorn, while the hojicha is more of a once-in-awhile kinda tea. For those times when you want something that is coffee-esque in nature. The jasmine chun hao is the best of all, but I'm a sucker for jasmine tea. It's on my list of absolute favorites along with cream earl grey, milk oolong, and rooibos masala chai.

Apricot Green Tea in an ingenuiTea Teapot

Success: Sweet Potato Pie

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sweet Potato Pie

Usually, for my cohort dinner parties I make a pumpkin pie but this year I tried something different and you should, too! Joy the Baker's Sweet Potato Pie is subtle and delicious. It tastes like a cousin of a pumpkin pie. Similar range of flavors, but obviously not the same. Maybe it's the coriander?

Will make again. Probably. Although, I think pumpkin pie might be slightly preferable.

Sweet Potato Pie

How To: Pet Paw Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How To: Pet Paw Stocking Tutorial
I was putting up our decorations when I realized we still had a spot open for a stocking for Dizzy. And so I gathered up some fabric I had in my stash, and loosely followed AdventuresInDIY's Pet Paw Stocking Tutorial. It turned out pretty awesome, but there were a few things I'd tweak.

Here are the steps I followed, with improvements!

Pet Paw Stocking Template & Instructions

I apparently took half these photos in manual focus mode without knowing it. I apologize in advance for the blurriness.

Step 0: Materials
Step 0: Materials
16X9” fabric for arm (2), 16X9“ fabric for lining (2), 4X5” felt in paw color, 7X5.5“ faux fur for cuff (2). Scissors, White Pencil. Needle, Pins, and Thread. 8” ribbon.

Step 1: Draw Stocking onto fabric
Step 1: Draw Stocking onto Fabric
Draw the shape of the stocking on the arm-fabric. Mine was 6” at the top of the arm, 5" at the wrist, and 8.5” at its widest (paw). Give 1.4“ seam allowance on all sides.

Step 2: Cut Arm Fabric (2) and Lining (2)
Step 2: Cut Arm Fabric (2) and Lining (2)
Cut the arm and lining fabric (4) according to your drawing.

Step 2: Cut Felt Paw Pieces
Step 2: Cut Felt Paw Pieces
Cut out the paw pieces (5) from the felt, using template. Hem one long edge of the faux fur, if desired.

Step 4: Pin & Sew Paw Pieces
Step 4: Pin & Sew Paw Pieces to Arm Fabric
Pin felt paw pieces in place on the arm fabric, and sew in place.

Step 5: Pin Lining to Arm Fabrics
Step 5: Pin Lining to Arm Fabrics
Pin wrong side of lining fabric to wrong side of arm pieces. You’ll do this twice.

Step 6: Pin Cuff to Lining
Step 6: Pin Cuff to Lining
Pin right side of faux fur cuff to to right side of lining, with the hem pointed toward the paw.

Step 7 & 8: Pin & Sew Stocking Edges
Step 7 & 8: Pin & Sew Stocking Edges
Pin right sides of the two pieces together, with the fur cuffs flipped upwards. The right side of the lining should be visible.

Sew around the stocking. Do not sew the cuffs, nor the opening at the top of the arm.

Step 9: Pin & Sew Ribbon to Top Edge
Step 9: Pin & Sew Ribbon to Top Edge
Fold ribbon in half and pin to top, near cuff. Place it so it will be at the left side of the front. Sew.

Step 10: Pin & Sew Cuff Sides
Step 10: Pin & Sew Cuff Sides
Flip right side out, pin sides of cuffs, and sew. Do not sew ribbon into cuff.

Step 11: Flip Cuff Over & You're Done
Step 11: Flip Cuff Over & You're Done
Flip cuff to show right sides.

Christmas Decor - Cat Stocking
Pretty fabulous, eh? I'm sure the cat appreciates it.

Success: Easy Baked Ziti

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

Awhile back, I made this baked ziti from AllRecipes, but since then I've discovered TheKitchn's Easy Weeknight Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti. Far less layering, just as much deliciousness! I served this at my cohort dinner party, having prepped it in the morning, refrigerated it, and baked it in the evening. It turned out great! I even made it vegetarian simply by dropping the meat, but commenters recommend adding some mushrooms to it. Maybe next time!

Lasagna Style Baked Ziti

Annual Cohort Holiday Dinner #7

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stuffed.
Stuffed.

Well. It's been seven years of hosting an annual dinner party for my graduate cohort, and our numbers are beginning to dwindle. We've lost half our class to graduation, which is sad, but it turns out to be easier to cook for 6 people, rather than 13. Next year, there may not be a dinner party, and quite certainly not one in Pittsburgh, because we should all be graduated and moved on by December 2015. So it is both a happy and a sad event. But here we are.

We stuffed our bellies anyways.

The menu included: a relish tray with raisin walnut bread from Allegro Hearth, preserved oven roasted peach butter and pickled zucchini with lime and cumin, dates, and clementines. Lasagna-style baked ziti and roasted brussels sprouts and green beans as entrees. Dessert included a lovely sweet potato pie and soft glazed gingerbread. To drink, there was eggnog, of course! I'll be doing separate posts on the ziti, gingerbread, and sweet potato pie later. They were all fantastic recipes.

Relish Tray - also with peach butter and zucchini pickles
Christmas Decor
Christmas Decor
Gingerbread Men with a kick
Sweet Potato Pie

Semi-Success: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens

TheKitchn's Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens was at best unremarkable. However, the white beans + kale are actually quite tasty on their own. It's just the sweet potato that overwhelms the flavor and makes this dish rather forgettable. So. In the future: white beans and kale, no sweet potato!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens

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