Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sick Day Tea

It seems like everyone I know is getting sick this week. Today I woke up with a terrible sore throat and an achy feeling all over. If this is what my husband had over the weekend, I can kiss my Russian exam goodbye. Let's hope it is just a cold.

Lately I have been drinking a cup of tea every afternoon (sorry, coffee) and have become quite the advocate. Tea is the second most frequently consumed beverage after water and has many health benefits. That is why when I'm sick, my go to recipe is Rachel Ray's Sick Day Tea. Not only is it delicious, but it also feels great on a sore throat and is full of Vitamin C and herbs.

Try it for yourself! I have modified the recipe slightly. Find the original here.

1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled (use a spoon)
several large strips of orange rind
6 cups of water
1/4 cup honey
juice of 1 orange
4 bags echinacea (or other) tea

Mix the ginger root, orange rind, water, and honey in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it comes to a boil, mix in orange juice and tea bags. Cover and let steep (for approximately 8 minutes depending on what type of tea you use). Ladle into mug and enjoy! Makes enough to share with your sick roomie or sweetheart!

Picture from TLC "How Tea Works"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Let the color schemes arrive!

Fall is finally here and I am falling in love with it all over again. I can't wait to carve pumpkins with my hubby and christen his electric pumpkin carver (a Christmas present from my mom). Unfortunately he has been sick lately so we had to cancel our plans of bike ride in the countryside with friends and a costume party. FYI, after a restful weekend he is feeling much better.

I found these beautiful carved pumpkins on Sarah Klassen's design blog.

I'm also going to make these pumpkin cupcakes (spotted on Cup of Jo) for my Russian class on Friday. It will be my last day. I'm going to miss those knuckleheads. (I'm pretty sure they don't read this blog).

Halloween Cat by Hot Boxer via Rocket Out. Pumpkins by James Baigrie via Sarah Klassen Haute Design. Cupcake picture and recipe by Patent and the Pantry via Cup of Jo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The way nature intended

How cool would it be to step out of a hot shower onto... a bed of moss!? This shower mat is made of a special type of foam that supports moss growth. I love indoor plants and try to keep as many as my little basement apartment will support. Plants can help purify your air, and I find them quite relaxing.

What do you think: Weird or amazing? And where can I get one?

Design by La Chanh Nguyen. Check out her other creative work!

Update: I found out more information on Apartment Therapy. The mat is not being mass produced yet and took 220 pounds for the artist to make. Boo! Someone give her financial backing quick!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh, you dishes...

It is amazing how many dirty dishes two people can create--especially when they both love to cook. I've had such a bad attitude about doing the dishes lately that this portable dishwasher is starting to look like a viable option! Or maybe I should just get my lazy bones scrubbing...

Any tips on how to find zen in tedious chores?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reusable Lunch Bags

As part of my attempt to live a more sustainable life, I am strongly considering these reusable cloth lunch bags. We all know that bringing a packed lunch to work is a great way to save money and eat healthy, but I feel terrible throwing away plastic bags or tin foil. The 3 green moms' website says "we think going green is not just about new technological or scientific innovations - it can be as easy as changing wasteful habits by using better products."
As seen on Swiss Miss.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How to wear high heels like a hockey player:

Inspired by Blog Goggles' request for advice on how to wear high heels, I decided to share some insight I learned this summer while trying to break in the new high heels I bought for A-100. These Cole Haan pumps look innocent enough, but... ouch! Until you break them in they are like little torture devices.
While I was soaking my feet in epsom salt and bemoaning the fact that I would have to wear dress shoes again in the morning, my husband taught me a trick that he uses to break in new ice hockey skates. First, head over to the drug store and buy epsom salt and moleskin. Trust me, you will not regret it. If you don't have blisters yet, adhere the moleskin right to your foot where the shoe rubs to prevent blisters. If you already have blisters, follow these step by step instructions to create a pain-free blister cushion.

1. Cut a rectangle of moleskin, fold in half, and cut a tiny circle the size of your blister out of the center. Save the circle. Meanwhile, adhere the moleskin to your foot making sure none of it covers your blister. If you need to make the hole bigger, do so.
2. Flip the tiny circle around so that the fuzzy part is towards your skin and the sticky part is facing out. Place this carefully on the blister.
3. Cover with another piece of moleskin (same size or larger than your original piece) to provide extra cushion and to keep the tiny circle in place.

Voila! By the way, this advice is intended for mild blisters and should not replace medical attention. If you have serious blisters on your feet, please take care of them to avoid scarring.

Do you have any tips for wearing high heels?

Top image 1917 women's ice hockey team, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Found on hockey Middle Image Cole Haan.

Friday, October 9, 2009

No, this is not my dog.

This is not my dog, but I want one so bad!

I got to play with my friends' puppy pug on a recent camping trip to Shenandoah National Park. Unfortunately, I think it would be cruel to get an animal right now because my husband and I would have to leave it alone in the apartment during the day. A cat would be awesome, but my husband is allergic. Moreover, if we got a pet, we would have to find a way to bring it to Israel with us--which might involve a lengthy quarantine process. This is a real bummer because I love animals: cats, dogs, birds... you name it!

My dream dog is a Vizsla, a Hungarian hunting dog that is both beautiful and hypoallergenic. I will have to wait a few years before I can get one. Do you have a dog? What is your favorite breed? Mutts also rock, in my opinion. My parents have two!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Healthy weeknight dinner

Lately I have become obsessed with Japanese Soba noodles. They are lighter than their Italian counterparts and taste great with almost anything I have in the fridge. They also take about 3 minutes to cook (as opposed to rice, which can take 45 minutes). I have been trying to eat less meat after reading about the environmental and health benefits of vegetarianism, which means I have been experimenting with tofu, edamame, and other sources of protein.

If you have the chance, try this amazing recipe for Otsu, found on the blog Dinner with Julie and spotted on Tastespotting. I have modified it only slightly. To be honest, I could probably eat this every night...

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
a swirl of sriracha sauce

1/3 package dried soba (buckwheat noodles), or more if desired
1 cucumber, halved and sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 package firm tofu, pressed
a handful of baby spinach
canola oil for cooking

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together. You may marinate the tofu in the sauce, but I didn't and it tasted great anyway. If you want to press the tofu (wrap it in paper towels and squeeze out the extra liquid) do this after it marinades.

Cook the noodles according to the package, then run them under cold water to cool them down. Add cucumber, onion, spinach and half of the sauce. Mix.

After you have pressed the excess liquid out of the tofu, cut it into 1'' squares. Heat and drizzle oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add tofu and brown on all sides. Add crispy tofu to the salad. Top with the rest of the dressing. Enjoy! (serves 2-4).

Image from the blog, Just Hungry. Visit her site to find more information about soba noodles.