We’ve been on a tea craze and decided to try making our own Chai. This recipe makes a big batch that you can share with friends or put in the fridge and just heat up in the morning. It’s surprisingly quick and so delicious! All these ingredients cost around $5, so it’s super cost-effective to make your own. Plus, it will make your house smell amazing!
We used this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it a little. Here’s what you’ll need:
2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into thin rounds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2-2 teaspoons black peppercorns (depending on how spicy you like it)
10 whole cloves
6 cardamom pods
2 star anise* (plus more to garnish)
6 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea
2 cups almond milk*
1/2 cup honey*
“Combine first 6* ingredients in medium saucepan. Using mallet or the back of large spoon, lightly crush or bruise the spices. Add 6 cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add milk and honey*. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking the honey in. Strain chai into teapot and serve hot.”
* These are the changes that we made to the recipe. We added the star anise, and we replaced whole milk and brown sugar with almond milk and honey.
The Chai was creamy and, to our surprise, had a nice kick. We loved this quick recipe and will definitely be making it again. What’s you favorite winter beverage?
In preparation for the shorter days and lazy winter evenings we made this playlist. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a warm blanket. We hope you like it!
Last weekend we both went with our roommates to check out Doe Creek Farm. Doe Creek Farm is a beautiful pick-your-own apple orchard and event venue in Pembroke, VA. They just celebrated their grand re-opening this season. We’re so excited to finally have a place like this nearby. They have dwarf apple trees, wine, and seriously stunning mountain views.
Katie, one of Tara’s roommates, with the first apple she picked.
Sarah and Katherine in the orchard.
Tara and her roommates, Katie and Nina.
After picking about 7 lbs of apples each, Tara and her roommate, Katie, decided to make an apple pie. They used Grandam Ople’s Apple Pie recipe. This apple pie recipe is especially awesome because it involves a much different process for assembling the pie. You can find the details in the recipe, but it basically involves assembling your crust and apples into the pie pan without any filling. Then, you cook all the filling ingredients on the stove top and pour them into the pie through the lattice crust. The filling caramelizes on top of the crust and is absolutely amazing! For the crust, we saved ourselves a little time by using store-bought crust. This is a pretty liberating choice and saves so much time.
So delicious! So far, we’ve made two pies, baked brie with apples, apple sauce, and muffins. Have you made any awesome apple recipes this season? We’d love to hear about it!
To continue our collection of handmade holiday cards, we made some cute, minimalist designs for Halloween. Tara designed the ghost card and printed with white ink on black paper. Katherine designed the Mexican Calavera card and did a two color print with one set in purple and blue and another set in yellow and black. Below are a few pictures of our process.
Interested in having a card for yourself? Send us your mailing address in an e-mail and we’ll be happy to send you one! Happy Halloween!
We’re so excited to finally share this DIY! We made these costumes for Halloween last year (before our blog was even born). After much deliberation on finding a costume that would be both creative and original, we came up with the idea to be exotic birds. Our group decided to be a swan, a blue macaw, a flamingo, and a phoenix (worn above by our friend Liz). For the costumes, we DIYed masks and wings and just wore clothes that matched the colors of our birds. We went to Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, and the Dollar Store to gather our supplies. If you use these sources, along with existing clothes, you can definitely make this costume on a budget.
We started by looking up pictures of our birds. After getting familiar with your bird, draw a simplified version of it’s face onto the mask with a pencil. Try focusing on the distinctive features, like stripes or colors. Then apply the Mod Podge with a paintbrush onto the masks where you want a single color of glitter. Pour the glitter on the Mod Podged area, tap the mask against the table to remove excess glitter, allow to dry fully, and repeat for each area of color. You can always touch up with a fine paintbrush and glitter or your fingers afterwards.
After the mask is covered in glitter and dry, it is time to add the feathers. We found our “feathers” at Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric (we bought them as they appear in the photos, these are not made out of loose feathers). Use a hot glue gun to attach them to the masks. The black swan feathers are attached to the inside of the mask while the blue macaw feathers are attached to the front. Finally, cut elastic to the size of your head and tie it to the small holes on the edge of the masks to make them wearable.
-hot glue gun
We picked up wings and boas from the Dollar Store. We highly recommend buying these things here – boas and wings can be super overpriced from your average party or costume store. Wrap a boa around each of the 4 sections of the wings. One person can hold the boa in place, while another person uses a glue gun to adhere it to the wings. After we had the majority of the boa attached we would selectively glue spots with extra feathers to cover what was bare.
These costumes were surprisingly easy to make and we were very happy with the outcome. Here are some pictures from our night!
We hope you all have a fun Halloween!
Happy fall, friends! Here in Virginia, we’re in that funny in-between stage where it’s 50 degrees some days and 75 degrees others. Despite the varying temperature, we’ve been admiring the colorful trees that have started to show off. We’re both making an effort to spend more time outside and take more pictures this fall. The second photo was even featured on Poppytalk’s Fall Colours Instagram challenge!