March 24, 2009

a perfect cup of tea!

I got the pink of course ;)

I got this at Christmas and keep forgetting to share my neat little find. I have been drinking tea much more often now that I have this. I mostly drink loose leaf teas from Dr Tea's so steeping can sometimes get messy with a ball infuser. I love this Hues & Brews mug because the lid works perfect for keeping it hot when steeping but then it has a nice deep rim inside so you can flip it over and save the strainer aside for a second steeping. we just got a Keurig for Rob's morning coffee fix. I now have hot water on tap from his Keurig, but it also goes in the micro and heats nicely. the mug doesn't overheat compared to the water temp either like some mugs do. it's a nice generous 12oz sized cup of tea.

anyway, I love it so much I thought I'd share. if you can get one I can't imagine not being happy with it. it is perfectly designed IMO. if you already have a cup you love they do make a universal infuser as well.

it has a really nice thick metal basket, not mesh wire screening so you don't have to worry about it getting bent up, or the screens coming apart. they really thought of everything. there is a thumb lift for the strainer too so you don't scald yourself on hot tea or metal.

March 9, 2009

...and even MORE!!

This is ALL Rob's fault! he said we didn't NEED to buy a snow shovel.

March 8, 2009

For the love of all that is HOLY!!

WTH!! this is March!! I have clematis I just planted and spring flowers in cardboard trays waiting to go in pots!!

....OK and a few of Auggie dog! He just got his spring haircut! I'm sure he's wishing I had waited a few days longer LOL!

March 7, 2009

Soup!, It's what's for dinner!

I just made this the other night. I had some frozen (but still raw) meatballs up in the freezer from before we moved. I just pinched them in half and turned them into mini soup sized meatballs. I'm going to freeze more like this for meatball subs, spaghetti and meatballs and for meals for me when Rob's at sea. It worked great!

My Mom taught me most of what I needed to know to make good soup. start with a good stock! that said I am happy to make stock with leftover baked chicken carcasses or even the rotisserie ones we sometimes get. I DID however find a chicken stock that is so close to homemade that I'm not sure I could pick in a blind test. I found it through an issue of Cook's Country (an offshoot of Cook's Illustrated magazine). The brand is called Imagine.

the most important thing about this soup is the flavor you add to the meatballs though. you can skimp on the broth if needed but you MUST season, and then nicely brown them to develop the flavor in the soup.

Italian Wedding Soup (this "recipe" is just my guesstimation, it's really forgiving just make sure you have enough stock on hand to boil the noodles and you are fine ;) ) will serve 3 adults a full meal.

1/3 lb ground beef
1/4lb ground pork
a few tbsps Bread crumbs (I prefer Panko)
2 TBS chopped fresh garlic
1/2 a small onion minced
fresh chopped basil or parsley
generous amount of salt (it will seep out into the soup while they are cooking so make sure you season them well.)
1 egg whisked

mix all ingredients together. form into tiny meatballs (think melon baller sized) these can be frozen at this point.

1 32 oz carton Imagine chicken Broth
1/4-1/2c minced fresh or frozen spinach (you can really mince this fine for kids, it will turn the soup green sometimes if you use fresh, which is sorta fun! if you have really picky eaters puree it. the chicken stock and garlic will overpower the spinach flavor)
1c Orzo (rice shaped pasta) *any small pasta will do though.

saute meatballs until outsides are a nice golden brown (don't need to be cooked all the way through at this point) add chicken broth and deglaze the pan. add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to boil. add pasta and cook until al dente. add chopped spinach about 1 minute before you are ready to serve.

serve with parm cheese and dinner rolls
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