Tuesday, June 14, 2011

just like White Lotus Foundation CHAI Tea

Anyone who has been to the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA comes back raving about the food. The cook, Beatrix, serves up amazing vegetarian (almost all vegan) meals three times a day. While I was there, a few times, she made this really beautiful chai tea. The smell of it filled the entire space up until we were all gathered near the kitchen waiting for it to be ready. 

Beatrix wouldn't give me her recipe, which she said would be too difficult to scale down. (She does have a cookbook though!) When we (my fellow students) were back home talking about it I was nominated for the task of trying to recreate the perfect chai, at least at good as Beatrix's. So I've been working.

Here's what I got so far after reading a bunch of recipes and trying out my own.

1) fill a pot with 3 cups of water. turn the heat up high.

2) cut off about an inch of fresh ginger, remove the skin, and then slice that inch into thin slices. drop the slices in the water.

3) drop 1 cinnamon stick into the pot.

 4) add 6 cardamom pods to the pot. if you really like cardamom you can give them a little smash before adding them. i boil the chai enough so that the pods open up and give off such a nice fragrance and flavor.

5) I like my chai with a little zing so I drop in 5 black peppercorns. try it out and then decide if you want to add in only 4 or even 3. 

6)  add 6 whole cloves 

***some people like to add one anise star. i don't. but try it out, see if it's for you.

7) with all of these ingredients in the pot bring the water to a boil. once it's boiling, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

8) after the 5 minutes of simmering, remove from the heat, still covered, and set it aside for 10 minutes as it steeps.

9) after those ten minutes, bring the pot back onto the heat and bring to a boil.

10) once it's boiling you can add your tea. choose a nice strong black tea- assam. i use tea in bags because it's super easy to just throw them in and then strain them out. add in 2 tea bags or one tablespoon of loose tea.

11) so your chai is up to a boil, you've added your tea. now take the pot off the heat and set it aside (covered) to steep for about 5 minutes.

12) now add one (how much i add) or two tablespoons of sweetener. i've been using brown sugar. you really don't need a lot at all so just add tiny amounts at a time.

13) strain out the ingredients, add whatever form of milk you'd like (cow, soy, nut) and ENJOY! The perfect chai. 

This should make you two big glasses full. Let me know what you think! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

photo challenge: day 9

day 9: a photo of something from far away

(posted on day 10)

these homes need some love
When you move here everyone will tell you that New Orleans changes dramatically with each street you go down. That seems weird and almost impossible for someone to understand who hasn't spent time here. But, it's true. Yes, some neighborhoods are pretty similar across the blocks. But, oftentimes, you can walk one street with million(s) dollar mansions and then the next street will have houses boarded up, with broken windows, and lots of times those houses are the ones with people gathered all around them spending time outside. It's really quite interesting and something you have to experience for yourself. When someone moving here says that they want to live in a safe neighborhood I tell them that the best way to do that is to be a good person, know your neighbors, and choose a place where you feel good walking around because New Orleans is not a place to live where you want to stay inside. And, don't worry so much about walking down a "scary" street- people are naturally friendly and talkative here and not always looking to snatch your purse (just be smart).

The top photo is the central business district, taken from the highway. Except I don't think people call it the highway here- maybe the thruway or freeway or something. The second one is a few blocks down from my place where there are always little children playing outside but the houses look abandoned- maybe the owners didn't have enough money to rebuild after the big K.

Anyway, hope you enjoy. Off to day 10!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

photo challenge: day 8

day 8: a photo of something close up

This morning, while taking a walk around Audubon Park I got a little camera crazy and took photos of everything with my iPhone.
So, here's my input for today- 3 photos of somethings close-up. No one said they had to be clear....mine are blurry. I like them anyway.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

photo challenge: day 7

Day 7: a photo of a silhouette

So, I didn't do so well today. I was busy until this afternoon, watched a movie about eating (Food Matters!!) and putzed around my house for a while instead of taking a photo of a silhouette. Tomorrow is another nice long day but i'm taking a photo of something close-up and posting it that day, gosh darn it.

Here's my "silhouette"

You can't really see it. But, when I opened my corn from the farmer's market there was a little surprise for me. A little green creepy crawly. Incase you are wondering, I didn't eat him. And I still love the farmer's market, even though I got a little buggy surprise.

photo challenge: day 6

day 6: a photo from a low angle

This is one of my most favorite things in my house. I bought it at Target in Boston for only a few dollars. It holds a tea candle. It's beautiful.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

photo challenge: day 5

Day 5: A photo of what ever you please

This is a photo of a portion of a page from my favorite book, Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. The entire thing, line after line, is beautiful.

I wonder if i'd like his other novels? Has anyone out there read Birds Without Wings, Red Dog, The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, or Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

photo challenge: day 4

Day 4: a photo from a high angle
This is my pet tortoise. His name is Monster. And i'm taking day 4's photo from my eyeballs height, which is a high angle, for him. I've had him, hmm six years now? I got him in the mail. He was shipped across the country from California, as a present, and he was only the size of a quarter. He's so funny.

And I had to throw this photo in because I snapped it (with my iPhone) right after the first one and I love how you can see the details of his shell and the scales on his legs. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

30 day..Photo Challenge

Ah, once again i've neglected my blog a bit.

But, i've been working hard on getting some yoga stuff done. I'm teaching 7 classes a week at Life Yoga. Yoga in the Park is going well even in 100F heat. Annd...the bidabooyoga facebook fan page is set up. The biggest news is that just as of today my bidaboo yoga email is all set and the first amazingly beautiful email newsletter has gone out. Didn't receive it? You can check it out here and sign yourself up: BIDABOO YOGA NEWSLETTER

Okay, so I finally got around to reading some old blogs today and came upon my cousin Lauryn's blog over at www.laureality.com. Her latest post is about a 30day photography challenge. Hers should be really good to follow, since she's a photographer and all. But I just decided to do it too.

Here's what it's all about:

Let's see if i can get the first few done since i'm starting late...
1) a photo of yourself: 

2) a photo of what i wore today: lululemon yoga top (amazingly comfy and stays in place!) and lucy shorty short shorts to deal with this heat. 

3) a photo of your favorite place to be: anywhere and everywhere with Ben <3

Stay tuned for the rest of the 30 day photography challenge!