Dec 28, 2015

My New Hobby

Hello hello!!  Sorry, it's been a while.I've got my hands full with this baby of mine. She is a delight, I tell you. Always on the go. Most of my new recipes are baby food recipes and I don't want to bore you with that. So let's talk about my new hobby - crocheting. A couple of months ago, I told my friend that I wanted to make some stuff for the baby. Her mom offered to teach me crocheting. She taught me to do a half double crochet and I did five stitches and let it sit for a month! I was so intimidated. Luckily, once I get an itch to do something, I research the hell out of it. I decided to approach crocheting the same way I approach my studies. So, I read all about it first, then I watched countless video tutorials. Youtube is a treasure trove!

I started practising with some spare yarn and tried out a bunch of stitches. Finally, I was ready to make my first piece. I first made a very very easy hat with a pompom. It looks cute but there was no technique involved. Just a bunch of DCs and a pompom. For my next piece, I wanted to make a little play mat for her to sit on. There are play mats that have dolls and textures built into them but I just wanted a simple one. Most baby blankets and mats are rectangular with the same stitch repeating all over. I found that a little boring, so I decided to challenge myself with a beautiful star pattern. I improvised the pattern from this video here.

I used the Bernat blanket yarn and 10 mm crochet hook, if you're interested.

The center looked a little plain, so I added a magic circle to the middle to liven things up a bit. I also added a single crochet border to the blanket. I absolutely love how the blanket turned out. It is the size of a tummy time mat with a little extra on the sides. The baby sits and plays with her toys on it quite comfortably. I've also covered her with this while she naps and I'm next to her. Keeps her warm without restricting airflow.

It gives me such joy to make these things for her. I feel like I've always avoided learning anything that doesn't help me in my career. I'm glad I stopped that thinking and learned something creative. I love that I get to be creative and make something useful with minimal expense. Bonus - it keeps me from buying even more baby clothes, haha.

I wanted to learn a new skill in 2015 (other than balancing a baby on my hip and a bowl in my hand, haha) and I'm glad I accomplished that at the very end :of the year) For my next project I've planned this beautiful granny square blanket with some gorgeous colors picked out. It will be a while before I finish it but I'll make sure to share here when I do. Feel free to follow me on instagram if things are too quite here. I post there more often because it's private and quick.

Wish you all a wonderful, amazing, prosperous new year and see you in 2016!!

Dec 5, 2015

Caramel Chai Latte

More simply, how to make flavored chai with tea bags. My friend from Canada gave me this awesome tea sampler which I've kept since last Christmas because I couldn't drink it while pregnant. I finally opened them up and yum, so many flavors! The only problem is that I find hot water + tea bag combination to be too weak for me. Maybe my palate will eventually get sophisticated but for a tea beginner like me, I need milk and sugar.

I googled a lot looking for a recipe but couldn't find any, so here is my recipe. It's not really a recipe but it might help you out if you love flavored tea but are looking for a thicker consistency.

Mug - buy here

Milk - 1 cup
Black tea leaves - 1 heaped teaspoon (I used Chakra Gold)
Flavored tea leaves - 1 heaped teaspoon or 1 tea bag ( I used Caramel Tea from World Market)
Sugar - 2-3 teaspoons (depending on taste)

Now if you don't have flavored tea leaves, you can add your own flavors. A few mint leaves, ginger, cardamom, vanilla, caramel, pumpkin spice - endless possibilities!

Method -

Boil the milk, add the tea leaves and simmer for 4-5 minutes. I used a saucepan and whisked briskly to get more flavor from the tea leaves.

Add sugar and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Strain and serve hot.

I know some people boil tea leaves in water and then add milk. I'm not a big fan of that because the tea tastes watery to me. I also add sugar to the saucepan because it melts better.

This is also a great way to drink fruity teas. Some of them are so sweet that the black tea nicely balances out the flavor.

Like I said, this is a super simple recipe and can be customized to your preference. Hope this recipe gives a little twist to your evening chai.