Friday, July 26, 2013

Double Post Day!

Okay you lucky people! (All 4 of you followers...) You get 2 posts tonight!
My last one was more of a rant than anything (we can call it musings if you prefer.), so I figured I'd best leave you all with a bit of inspiration.

First, of the culinary sort.

I had a Summer Tea Tasting Party this week and was eager to showcase as much tea as possible - in as many ways as possible. This included cocktails (Mojitos made with mojito tea + white rum, and Earl Grey Martinis), virgin cocktails (fruit tea + club soda + lime syrup), typical iced tea (Coconut tea + vanilla syrup), Two-Bite Brownies with Matcha Mousse and a classic fruit tart with tea-infused pastry cream. Yum!
I've got a couple more summer tea parties yet this season, so we'll see how many more treats I can put tea in! (Tea pots de crème?)

Tonight for supper I pulled out some pork dumplings I'd frozen a while back, and was going to make coconut rice but opted instead for saffron. The Indian inspiration soon beat out the Chinese inspiration when I opted to make a tamarind sauce and garam masala peas and carrots. And after a full week of struggling every night to get my pre-schooler to eat his supper (no spaghetti, no shepherd's pie - not even grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch!) he inhaled his whole supper. The peas and carrots were the surprise hit! I sautéed the carrots first with a bit of oil, then added the peas and the garam masala near the end. It was so simple, and the boys loved it, so I think that's going to be a staple in our home now! And saffron rice is always delicious, and the extra step of toasting your rice and adding sautéed onions really goes a long way.

Next: craftiness.

I have been successfully crocheting for about 2 weeks now. In that time I've mastered the brimmed toque, learned how to read the stitches far better than I ever could with knitting, can now make the daintiest butterflies you ever saw, and am determined to make a Twi'lek hat for myself, and Ewok hoods for my boys. I've also started making a stacking ring toy which was actually one of my initial attractors to crocheting; at a baby shower the mom-to-be was presented with the most adorable crocheted stacking toy and we were all amazed to hear that the girl who had gifted it had also been the one who made it. I want to give wicked awesome gifts like that, too. And so now I crochet.

Last: Gardening.

This is my first year of having a real vegetable garden, and thus far it is surviving. You may think I'm being over-dramatic with my word choice, but if you'd seen the hail storm we got last weekend, you'd be grateful for anything of yours that survived! Fortunately the trees in my yard shielded the garden from the hail. ...UNFORTUNATELY, the branches that blew off the trees landed on my peas. So we'll see what happens with those.
I've had to come to terms with the fact that everything in my yard takes at least a month longer than the exact same plants 5 blocks away, at my parents' house. And really, at everyone else's house in town. The west-facing yard really takes a toll on my growing times. My delphiniums have not bloomed yet, my tiger lily just opened, my peony hasn't even produced a bud yet and my rose bush is growing well, but not looking like it will flower at all this season. My strawberries refuse to fruit too. But really, this is the best my yard has ever looked in the 4 summers we've been here, so I can't complain too much I suppose.
As far as good news, my carrots and beets are coming along nicely, my beans are starting to produce, and I even might have a tiny pumpkin by the end of the weekend!


Go be inspired now.

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

1 comment:

I would love to know what you think of my recipes, or even of my antics! Let me know!