Month: February 2017

chai time!

My good friend Angel (the lady behind Todos Organics) and I ventured to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden this past weekend for a lesson in chai and spice. Class was held in the Garden’s Tropical House which was the perfect location for learning about masala chai; many of the plants used in masala chai recipes are grown here. Our instructor was Deepa Natarajan, ethnobotanist and lover of masala chai! She’s also got her own masala chai spice blend that is sold at the Oaktown Spice Shop. Basically, she is a masala chai celebrity. 😉 Deepa gave a us history lesson in tea, talked about each of the spices you might put in a masala chai, and showed us the different plants in the garden that produce masala chai ingredients. Masala means “mixture of spices” and chai simply means “tea.” What makes a masala chai? Clove, star anise, cinnamon… …cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, coriander… And ginger! I got to help grate the ginger on a ginger grater, which I’ve decided I need in my life. This thing is amazing! Here’s …

hey hotcakes. 

Mini pancake breakfast time! Last week I got to spend some QT with my sis, bro-in-law, niece, and nephews. And since it was the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we thought we would treat ourselves and have sweets for breakfast! We made a Martha pancake recipe, with blueberry and chocolate renditions. We tripled the recipe. We probably had enough pancakes to feed 8-10 for breakfast; we fed seven, and had plenty leftover for snacking on later in the day. Adult tip to keeping pancakes warm while cooking the rest of your batch: keep them in the oven at 200F. (I feel so grown up!) While we were cooking up pancakes, my nephew and niece personalized each place setting with a handwritten place card and custom chocolate chip or blueberry plate art. We laid out all the toppings: blueberries, bananas, strawberries, almonds, chocolate chips, granola (current fave: Love Crunch with dark chocolate and coconut slivers), syrup, and whipped cream. We had bevvies of choice: guava juice, apple juice, coffee, and tea. Dig in! My niece ‘won’ the pancake challenge …

URAQT.

Happy Valentine’s Day! This year, I decided to keep the tradition alive and host Hearts and Crafts 2017 at work. Thanks to Studio DIY for the inspiration, my co-workers got to craft in style. Conversation heart piñatas for all! These make the cutest Valentine’s decor; and they’re perfect for gifting! Materials and tools: paper mache heart boxes, crepe paper streamers, glue stick, scissors, alphabet stickers. Optional materials and tools: awl, darning needle, ribbon/string. Step one: Cut hella fringe Glue one side at a time from the bottom up. Start by glueing a piece of non-fringed crepe paper to the bottom of heart box lid. Overlap with fringe until you reach the top. Trim excess crepe paper. Repeat for the sides of the lid and the back of the base. For the sides of the base, wrap with non-fringed crepe paper. Add alphabet stickers with your phrase of choice. Optional: Poke a hole at the top of the heart with the awl. Use the needle to string the ribbon through the hole. Tie a knot. All the …

that cupid hit me. mmm mmm.

Love is in the air and Valentine’s crafting is in full swing. Here’s a simple DIY that you can use as a Valentine’s greeting or party decor. Materials & tools: Wooden dowel / pencil / stick Colorful paper Decorative tape Adhesive (glue tape recommended) Scissors Step 1: Cut out two hearts (or two triangles) for the arrowhead and two tail shapes. These can be any size, but note each heart pair and each tail pair should be the same size. Step 2: Glue the arrowhead and tail to the dowel. Attach the corresponding arrowhead and tail so that the dowel is sandwiched. Step 3: Cut the tail fringe. Step 4: Add decorative tape. Add as much or as little as you wish! Step 5: Spread the love. Cupid’s got nothin’ on these arrows!