Monday, September 7

Happy Labor Day

May your holiday include something as awesome and special as Sneak Whipped Cream.

(Confession: my aunt used to let us have whippped cream straight from the can on Thanksgiving if my parents weren't watching. It was the Best Thing Ever. Whatever you pick to celebrate the end of summer, enjoy it!)

Friday, September 4

The Value of Afternoon Tea

We don't watch much tv, but we've long appreciated British television when we've had a chance to sit down and view something. We've particularly enjoyed Dr. Who (of course!), Are You Being Served, and Fawlty Towers.

You can't watch British television and fail to notice that they are as obsessed with tea as Americans are with coffee. But it's not an even trade-off: the behavior patterns, attitudes, and atmosphere surrounding tea are far different than those around coffee. Where coffee is a "go-go-go" and survival drink in many circles, tea suggests more refined pacing, calmness, and re-orientation. 

Is it any surprise, then, that there is a TED talk suggesting that Afternoon Tea Could Save the World

The video isn't very long, but absolutely worth watching. I, for one, was well persuaded that I just might need to start incorporating afternoon tea into my life this Fall/Winter!

If you find yourself thinking the same, here are my best tips on making great tea:

- Not all tea is created equal! Consider splurging just a tiny bit on good tea, and you'll notice a huge difference in the overall experience. 

- Loose leaf tea tends to be fresher than bagged, and gives you the opportunity to enjoy an awesome tea ball besides! (Seriously, you can get tea balls in every shape and size from a TARDIS to a rubber ducky and everything in between!) I love to order my tea from Whistling Kettle, but I've also heard great things about the selection at Mountain Rose Herbs. Of course, if you have a Wegmans, you're all set - check out their awesome gourmet loose leaf tea options in the organic section. 

- Brew time and temperature matter. Be sure to read the brewing instructions that come with your tea!

- Don't assume that you must have something sweet and highly caloric with your tea (despite the photos of beautiful cupcakes in the video). If you do decide to indulge, keep the portions small and try to reach for options that offer satisfaction rather than trigger cravings (think one or two butter-heavy shortbread, or even proper British "digestive biscuits".)

What do you think? Could tea have the power to change the world? Or at least change your world? 

Thursday, September 3

Kettle Corn Sweet Potatoes & Maple Bacon Beets

Beets have been on my list of things to learn how to cook for months, and I finally made the leap with Maple Bacon Glazed Beets from Primally Inspired. The result was unexpected but such a keeper! 

It went especially well with grilled chicken and the other new recipe I tried this week: Kettle Corn Grilled Sweet Potatoes. These looked, smelled, and tasted amazing, took only minutes to prep! Tip: they aren't sweet, as I'd expected from the name. The red pepper flakes give them a bit of a kick, but it's just the right amount to be flavorful without being overdone. I expect these would also adapt to the oven or stovetop extremely well. (Helpful when it's -12 degrees outside and the grill is buried in snow!)

It always makes me happy to find new recipes - especially healthy ones - that are easy and delicious. If you're in the market for some new ways to take advantage of summer produce, I highly recommend adding these to your list!

Tuesday, September 1

PSA: Free $$ Webinar

Happy September! 

As I sat in the waning sunshine on our deck last night enjoying the late summer beauty, I marveled that September and Fall are upon us already. 

This morning, it seems I am reminded at every turn that life is speeding up into the manic pace that so often characterizes this time of year for many people. 

No one needs one more thing to do, but I wanted to share an opportunity with you quick - you never know who it will help! 

The Money Couple is hosting a free, 1 hour webinar on Your Path to Relationship & Financial Prosperity on Thursday, Sep 3, 2015 at 1:00 PM EDT. They will cover: 
      - How money impacts relationships (specifically within a marriage/family)
      - How to navigate different money personalities and decision making to eliminate       arguments and learn how to communicate about money in a healthy, positive way 

You can register using this link.

Just to be clear, I am in no way being compensated for this post. 

I liked their book (it's like The 5 Love Languages, only for money), and I am a big believer in taking advantage of free resources - especially if they have a chance of helping your marriage! Hopefully passing this along will get it in the hands of someone who can benefit from it.

Can't make it? Check their book out of your library! It's a quick and easy read, and gave me a lot to think about.