Earl Grey martini

Happy Friday! Let’s get this party started with a imagelittle discovery in the cocktail world…the Earl Grey martini! I was introduced to this gem at a local eatery while celebrating with my brother and his lovely wife/my dear friend. It was the drink special and I was intrigued. It did not disappoint, although I had to try two, just to be sure.

Now, this is not some random, throw it together type of drink. It’s a premeditated, planned and prepared kind of venture, but well worth it. After a bit of research and *ahem* field study, this is my reasonable replica.

In advance:

  • infuse some vodka or gin with earl grey tea. I poured about a cup of vodka into a canning jar and added one tea bag. I left this sealed in the fridge for 24 hours, removed the tea bag and it was good to go. Leftovers can stay in the fridge indefinitely.
  • prepare a batch of simple syrup by bringing one part water to 1 1/2 parts sugar to a boil (I used 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cup of raw sugar). Let it cool then pour it into a sealable glass container and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. I used a canning jar for this too…they’re kind of a thing with me.

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At happy hour, put these in a martini shaker:

  • 1 1/2 oz infused vodka or gin
  • 2 oz simple syrup
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg white (no I’m not tipsy, stay with me here)

Now shake it…really shake it. Pour into a glass and behold the tangy goodness of the earl grey martini and the frothy foam created by the egg white! Here’s a rare opportunity to have a cocktail and get some protein too. Win, win.

PS: are you loving the napkin as much as I am? It was designed, carved and hand printed by the lovely Jana…oh and she also does jewelry, teaches classes AND is really nice. Check her out at Janamade.

Homemade granola

imageA couple of Christmases ago, I was gifted homemade granola and it was the best I’d ever tasted. I got the recipe and after making my own I’ve never had store bought stuff again. It’s easy, healthy and you can customize it to suit your tastes. I’m sharing my basic recipe as a guideline but honestly, any combination of oats, nuts, seeds and fruit will turn out well. ¬†Guaranteed success.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons each chia and flax seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup liquid honey (or microwave honey until it softens)
  • 1 cup total dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, currants and apricots are my favorites and I choose 2 per batch)

Preheat your oven to 300F and put racks in the middle.IMG_0634

Combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and cinnamon in a large bowl. This became much easier after welcoming a Kitchen Aid stand mixer into my life but you can mix it by hand and get a little workout at the same time!

Add the honey and peanut butter and mix thoroughly. I often warm them in the microwave to make it more pourable and easier to stir in.

Spread evenly onto 2 large parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for a total of 30-50 minutes until it reaches a golden toasty brown color. Remove every 10 minutes, stir and then rotate your trays so each gets equal time on the top rack. Add the dried fruit for the last 10 minutes of baking or sprinkle it on after baking. Store in an airtight container.

imageThis makes a big batch, ideal for sharing or gift giving. Have fun mixing up the ingredients to come up with your own signature blend. I’ll leave you with my favourite way to enjoy it…sliced banana, scoop of greek yogurt and homemade granola. Healthy and yummy!

Thrift find – teak salad bowls

imageI grew up surrounded by teak…dining room suite, bookcases, coffee table, lamps, my parents had it all. And I wasn’t a fan. Now that I’m *older and wiser*, I’ve totally jumped on the mid century modern bandwagon and love the look. So I was giddy when I spotted this treasure at my favorite thrift shop…and for only $3. Score!

After a bit of web research I cleaned these babies up and restored them to glory. The supplies:

  • mild dish washing soap
  • mineral oil, I got mine at the drug store $5 for 500 ml and still have about 485 ml left!
  • a lint free cloth

    Left side is the 'before' and right side is 'after'
    Left side is the ‘before’ and right side is ‘after’

It was so easy…let me tell you how easy:

  • Wash the set in hot soapy water with mild detergent. Do not soak.
  • Towel dry right away, I also let them air dry a bit.
  • Wipe all surfaces with a thin coat of mineral oil using a lint free cloth. I used a dime size puddle in each small bowl and about twice as much in the large bowl and found this was enough to spread around the inside, sides and bottom. The oil really brings out the wood grain, conditions it and provides a protective seal. No worries about toxins as mineral oil is actually ingestible.

I’ll repeat this process from time to time to keep the set in good shape and prolong its life.image

That was it. For $8 and 15 minutes of effort I’m now enjoying these beauties and my salad has never looked or tasted so good. Can you imagine how great they’ll look on the teak dining set I hope to inherit one day?