Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chai Tea

This is the chai tea recipe I made today.  Not sure if this is gonna be my final recipe but it's at least a decent start.  I will probably cut back the tea since I'm pretty hopped up right now after having this after like 3 hours of sleep last night.  If I'm feeling motivated maybe I'll do a few more batches to get a better understanding of what each of the spices is bringing and then work it out with the scale.

What started this is I got green cardamom pods.  I got maybe a half a cup of them for $0.50! You know you're jealous.

Based off of this recipe

Chai Tea


12 oz water
1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick
 2 green cardamom pods, smashed
4 whole cloves
1/2 star anise
2 quarter-sized coins fresh ginger
1 heaping teaspoon black tea leaves
sweetened condensed milk, to taste


Boil the water.
Steep all the ingredients for 15 minutes.
Heat as needed to keep just below a boil.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Look I'm writing a post!

So I made eclairs.  In case you couldn't tell from the title.  Though if you couldn't tell from the title then you probably aren't reading this.


Pastry cream.  Chocolate glaze.  Some sort of shell.  What's not to like?

So here are my not so glamorous glamor shots:

I followed this recipe.  Well, for the most part.  Because I'm mentally incapable of following a recipe.

I didn't have any cream and the eclairs were in the oven when I realized it.  So I used some butter with the chocolate for the glaze.
Oh and I used home made vanilla extract rather than steeping the vanilla bean.  And probably some other little things that I can't think of.

It's good to bake again, like from scratch.  It's been a while.  Well, I've done some savory stuff but baking pastries is just mentally different.  I should make some cookies.  Or pie.  mmmm I should make pie for Pi day.

On another note, I've started my first batch of seeds.  Tomatoes, tomatilloes, peppers, a few other random ones, I forget which else.  Right now they are seeds on a damp paper towel sitting on my heater.  I'll transfer them to seed starting soil in a few days assuming I have some sprouts going by then.  Hopefully I'll do better this year with seeds than the last few years.  And hopefully the snow will melt sometime.  My raised beds are 10" tall but I can barely tell where they are because they are still covered in snow.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Purse Organizer

Ready for a complete non sequitur post?  Too bad. 

So I bought a sewing machine a few months ago.  Thus far, I've hemmed pants, made a lot of balls of thread and a couple other little things.  I forget what else.

My mother bought this bag.  Can you guess where?  A tough one, I know.

It's a nice big bag that can hold lots of stuff.  The base is 14 1/2" wide, to give you scale.  If I'd been thinking, I'd have taken the picture with something in it to help give scale but I didn't.  And I'm too lazy to get a ruler out and retake it.  I'm nothing if not a dedicated blogger.  hah.

The trouble with this bag, the reason why it hasn't been used in the 2 years since it was purchased,  well, one of the reasons anyway, is there are no pockets in it.  It's just one big bag.  And if you try to use it, everything just gets lost because it's just a black hole.  Because it's black.  And everything disappears into it.  Get it?  Aren't I hilarious?  Aren't you glad you are still reading this blog?

So like I was saying, I made an organizer for it.  Yay.

So here are some pics.  I just noticed the string hanging off of it.  I'll trim it but I am again too lazy to retake the picture.  And the price tag on the sketch book. And the random junk in the background.  At least I wiped down and took off most of the other junk on the counter.  Maybe I should start a new blog, the half ass blog. Seems appropriate.

It's made out of mostly bubble wrap.  Everything that looks white in the pictures is ironed down bubble wrap.  You can google it to get real instructions and an actually well written interesting blog if you actually want to do it.

I put a divider in it so you have a section for tall things like a thermos or water bottle and a section for papers, books, computer or whatever other random crap you want to carry.

To do it, there is an outer layer and an inner layer.  Each layer is made into the bag shape and then put together and the top is folded down and top stitched.  I think it's fairly standard process for making a bag.  Again, there is this wonderful thing called google that can give you real instructions and less snarkiness.

The pockets are polyurethane.  It's a really tough, stretchy, clear film.  The pockets along the top on the outside are about 4" deep and divided into a bunch of different size sections for all the random crap that can be shoved in them.  There are also big ones on the inside for more random crap things like power cords.  The side pockets are we'll call it pleated for larger thicker items; in my mother's case it will be for her glasses in a big thick case.  I have no clue where you would get polyurethane if you want it.  The wonders of working in plastics is you can take home scrap and turn your house into a horrible hoarder stash have supplies for all sorts of crafts.

I meant to sew the side pockets into the seams but I forgot about them when I was putting it together.  I ended up top stitching it because I wasn't going to rip the seams and redo them.

I did the stitching in black to make it easier to see where all the pockets are.  I'm not sure that is actually working because once it's in the bag, it's pretty dark and you can't see much but I tried.  Also, the black thread was already set up on my sewing machine.  But I found a good story to tell so we'll go with that.

This is actually the 2nd version I've done.  The first version was too tall.  And a bit too wide.  The stitching quality was close although I could argue this one is a little better.  And I added a bunch more pockets.
Yay I actually wrote a post.  Still no guarantees that I'll hit publish....