Homemade Chai Tea Latte

By November 14, 2014 Food

Overhead_Ingredients

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!

Anise

Looseleaf_Tea

We used this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it a little. Here’s what you’ll need:
 
Ingredients
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*

two_chais

Directions
“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.

Chai Tea Latte

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?
 

A Playlist for Cozy Days and Wool Socks

By November 7, 2014 Music

cozy_playlist

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!

 

Apple Picking and an Apple Pie

By October 30, 2014 Food, Photography

Red Barn

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.

Apple Sign

Katie Apple Zoomed Out

Katie, one of Tara’s roommates, with the first apple she picked.

Apple trees

KatherineSarah

Sarah and Katherine in the orchard.

White House

Roommates

Tara and her roommates, Katie and Nina.

Landscape

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.

Raw Pie

Cooked PIe

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!
 

Screen Printed Halloween Cards

By October 24, 2014 Design

Blog Halloween Cards

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.

measuring

katherine_printing

tara_printing

boo_progress

ink

Calaveras

Ghost

The Mountain Creative - Halloween Cards

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!
 

DIY Exotic Bird Halloween Costumes

By October 14, 2014 DIY, Photography

Pheonix_Details

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.

our_masks

Mask_Supplies2

Mask Supplies:
-mask
-elastic string
-glitter
-feathers
-Mod Podge
-pencil
-paint brushes
 
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.
Mask_Modgepodge1

Mask_Glitter_Pour

Mask_Modgepodge

Mask_Glitter

Mask_Detail2

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.

masks_row

wings

Wings Supplies:
-4 boas
-wings
-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!

Masks_Table2

Masks_Table

Group

Birds
We hope you all have a fun Halloween!
 

Hello October

By October 1, 2014 Photography

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!

Squash

Converse and leaves

Apples

Blacksburg Town Hall

Boots and leaves

Bikes

Fall sunset

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