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A few days ago I received some peppers from a relative’s garden. It was so lovely to get them, but there was a whole bag full of them and I just didn’t know what to do with all of those peppers! Then, a bright idea came to mind! I took out a needle and thread, and put the peppers on strings and hung them on my kitchen lighting fixture to dry. Not only do they look amazing and give our kitchen a cozy, country, natural look, but they’ll also be delicious as dry pepper flakes in a few weeks!

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Roasting Pumpkins!

Happy Halloween everyone!! Last night I made something delicious and so simple, its amazing. It’s perfect as a snack, a side dish, or with a little cinnamon and sugar, as a dessert. I took a pumpkin, one of those pretty green and orange ones:

pumpkin_lady-godiva-h-2007

 

and sliced them up. I put them in the oven, directly on the rack, and let them roast at 200 degrees Centigrade. The amount of time you let them sit in the oven depends on how roasted you like them. The important thing is that a fork slides easily into them, after that, you can make them as crispy as you like. Here is the finished product:

roasted pumpkin

 

With a cup of hot apple cider (see recipe below) and a comfortable couch, it’s a perfect evening in!

The Sound Of Trees

traubeck_years

While browsing the internet, I came across a page which kind of surprised me. Artist Bartholomaus Traubeck has created a vinyl record which plays what tree rings would sound like as music. Yes, you read correctly, tree rings as music. He made a music player which plays slices of trees. By using a turntable, a PlayStation Eye Camera, a a stepper motor to control the arm, and computer running Albeton Live, he was able to interpret the rings of a tree into what they would sound like as music on a vinyl record. He explains on his site, http://traubeck.com, how the rings are interpreted:

“A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.”

What ends up being the sound of a tree is a kind of spooky, ominous sounding tune. Not what you would expect from one of the wonders of nature. It’s actually very cool, who knew trees were so spooky deep down?  Here is a link to what one tree sounds like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYLaPVi_I2U

Recipes for Winter Tea

Sitting around, I just remembered two old recipes for some lovely wintertime tea. There’s nothing that warms you up better than a hot cup of tea, and it’s so easy to make it unique and new, just by adding a few ingredients, or even just mixing a few teas together! Here are some of my favorites:

~For the follwing 4 teas, you start out by brewing your favorite black tea, be it Assam, Ceylon, Earl Grey, or any other. Then, in a cheese cloth, tea strainer, or directly in the tea, let it seep with

1. ginger, cinnamon, and orange rind

2. orange oil,  whole cloves, and cinnamon

3. dried orange rind, black peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves

4. ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves

~Another great idea is to simply combine one bag of white tea and one bag of peppermint tea in the same cup. It gives it a great Christmas taste!

~ For a fruitier taste, mix one bag of Earl Grey with one of raspberry tea. What you get is a deliciously fruity black tea with hints of bergamot from the Earl Grey and tangy-ness from the raspberries.

~Try mixing Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Ginger, Rosehip, or any combination of simple herbal teas for a combination of flavors made just for your taste buds!

~For an amazing apple cider/hot apple tea, boil quartered apples (cored, with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches) together with cinnamon, allspice, and sugar (amounts depend on your personal preferences) for about 45 minutes uncovered and on high heat, covered and simmering for about 2 hours. Strain when it’s done, and enjoy!  It’s delicious! And you can throw the rest of the apple chunks into a blender for an amazing homemade applesauce!

These are great waya to spice up your tea and give it a whole new flavor. You can try other combinations of spices as well! Please comment if you have any other ideas for tea flavorings! Enjoy!

black tea recipes

As you may be able to tell from the header of this blog, tea is a pretty important thing to me. I drink it every day, with very, very few exceptions. It has TONS of benefits, besides warming you up in the winter. It’s healthy, first of all. It cleanses your system, is really good for your stomach, and is a great antioxidant. There is a very long-standing tradition with tea in many countries, such as India, England, China, and Turkey. Even if tea isn’t traditional where you live, you should make it a tradition of your own! No matter what kind of tea you like, there is a reason this aromatic beverage has been around for thousands of years: its the best! Here are some of my favorite tea flavors:

lavender tea

Lavender Tea. So aromatic and flowery, it’s one of the most fragrant teas I’ve ever had.

masala chai

Masala Chai. Or Indian Chai Tea. Or just plain Chai. It has so many rich aromas, this tea always reminds me of the holiday season. Chai tea has a black tea base with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, anise, peppercorn, and other “warm spices”, and is usually drank with milk. It’s like a massage for your taste buds.

earl grey

Earl Grey. The old-fashioned favorite. English tea with a hint of bergamot oil that gives it the luxurious flavor it has. This is fancy tea. I like it with sugar and a splash of milk.

green tea

Green Tea. Another classic. This tea is known for it’s antioxidant and cleansing purposes. Besides being incredibly healthy, it’s also delicious. It comes in many flavors, my favorites are Green Tea with Aloe, Prickly Pear, Mandarin, or Jasmine.

JasmineTea

Jasmine Tea. Another fragrant, floral tea that makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of a jasmine garden in the spring.

 

 

 

 

Flowers to this day remain one of the most beautiful home decorations you can have in your home. Not only do they give the atmosphere a warm and comfortable feeling, but they brighten up a room like almost nothing else can. With that said, here are some very beautiful flowers for you all to enjoy!

flowers150312_449474808431925_610752328_nflowersflowersflowers

flowersflowersflowers

With the winter coming, the cold already here, and the hours of daylight getting fewer and fewer, the hours spent indoors are getting longer and longer. As much as this pains many of us summer fanatics, there are things you can do indoors that can fill up your time so you don’t get the winter blues. These are three very simple and creative DIY projects that will not only keep you and your loved ones busy, but will also add personality and a sort of shabby-chic air to your home. I chose these three to begin with because they are all easy to make, and look fabulous.

grater earring holder

This has got to be one of the cutest and easiest DIY ideas ever! Just paint an old cheese grater whatever color matches your home decor, and hang earrings on it. Pretty and practical… what could be better?!?

toilet roll giftboxes

Want to package gifts in a unique way? Try folding in the ends of toilet paper rolls and wrapping them with a ribbon! Voi-la! Unique gist boxes perfect for giving jewelry, gift cards, and anything else that will fit inside!

paper roses

For beautiful, crafty paper roses, just draw a swirl on construction paper (color of your choice), cut on the line, and roll up. Secure the bottom with hot glue, and there you go! You can put them in a bowl for a potpourri-like effect or, for a more in-touch-with-nature look, hang them from a branch and put the branch in a vase.