Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dandelion Greens

My mom taught me to recognize a lot of what are called "weeds".  You might be surprised at what is growing in your backyard that is of medicinal use for you!  We have everything from wild blackberry, ribwort plantain, to my favorite, . . . dandelion.  Why pay $3.00 per bunch when you can go pick your own greens??  Ok, so that's not really true here, . . . I actually don't pick my dandelion greens from the yard unless I know the dog hasn't peed on it, which is not really ever the case in our house.  Still though, their appearance give me the inspiration to write about them, they are everywhere these days.

Dandelion greens are wonderful.  I never knew about their magic till I was pregnant with Serafin and dealing with some very uncomfortable constipation (darn babies get you all plugged up!).  These greens will get your bowels moving for sure!

In my opinion, the greens are too bitter to eat raw, sometimes I throw them in soups or stir-fries, but my favorite way to eat them is the greek way.  When I was a little girl my Dad used to make Horta (stewed greens).  You can make this with many different types of greens, in Greece they make Horta according to whatever greens were currently coming up that season.  Since you can find anything in the grocery store these days, my Dad seemed to always settle on dandelion greens.  

Honestly, I never liked Horta as a child, but as my palate changed, I have grown to love this yummy dish.  So y'all, . . . another greek dish from my childhood, to honor the greens of spring, . . . and it's simple to make, . . . enjoy!

Horta (stewed greens)

Steam greens till well wilted.
Drizzle with olive oil and juice of half lemon (or to taste)
Add salt. 
That's all! 
Now, chow down!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tasty Teas #5: Roobois

We don't do all loose leaf teas in this house. Choice Roobois tea is one of our favorite bagged teas. Roobois is a red tea, it's caffeine free and is packed with anti oxidants. They use it in South Africa to help in calming children. It's a very relaxing, deliciously tasting tea. Mmmmmmm. 

 I used to love to drink black tea during my "England Days", but I'm pretty much a no caffeine girl  now.  Roobois is a nice alternative and you can add milk and sugar just like you might to a cup of "English Breakfast" tea. You get a nice nutty flavor, mild, but just strong enough. We've tried many different types of Roobois and have found that the Choice bags are good for the price you pay. For my British hubby, I have to say, it is his tea of Choice (ha ha, pun definitely intended!).  We by them in bulk, six boxes at a time, that's how much we love it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Sewing Machine, . . .

Ladies and Gentleman!  I am happy to announce that I have gotten over my fear of the sewing machine!   I figured it was about time to get over my phobia of needles and presser foots and get down and dirty.  I want to be able to make curtains, clothes, bed sheets, halloween costumes, yada yada yada.

I've had my mom's machine for a very long time now.  It's a Singer Genie from the 60's, note the decorative flower pattern on the casing, . . groovy dude!  I've been shown how to thread it a number of times, but for some reason, I always left it and then forgot how to do it.  

I think I was kind of intimidated by the thought of sewing "properly".  I never took the time to learn about patterns and fabric and whenever I thought about it, there was always a way to get around it.  What was my breaking point?  I guess I just got sick of looking for ideas online that re-quire the words "no sew".  Plus, I HATE the smell of a glue gun.

So, a few weeks ago I began a basic sewing class.  We've learned about fabrics, how to pick and follow a pattern, how to pin, and use our sewing machine.  You know, the basics.  I'm working on a dress, no buttons or zippers, nothing too fancy, but nevertheless, it's a start!  Plus, I love that I'm learning on the same machine that my mom worked on.

Oh yeah, speaking of groovy things, . . . the other day I decided to put my knowledge to the test and ended up making these cute pants for Miss Serafin!  Love it!  Can't wait to learn more and explore my new (but not very new) toy!