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Showing posts from 2015

Friday's Earl Grey Cran-Apple Chutney

Over the course of my 12ish years as a professional chef, I've seriously developed and honed my skills in the arena of bullshitting recipes. Today's fun twist on a super easy favorite is for lazy tea nerds who love to entertain. Here ya go!
Earl Grey Cran-Apple Chutney Ingredients: 12 oz. Cranberries, fresh or frozen 4 Large Fuji apples, diced 3/4 cup Water 3 Star anise pods 1/4 tsp Ground cardamom 2 Cinnamon sticks 2 tsp. Earl Grey tea, tied in a T-Sac or other paper filter

1. Combine everything but the Earl Grey tea in a large saucepan. 2. Bring to a boil.
3. Turn heat down to medium-low, simmer your sauce, covered, for 10 minutes. 4. Add your bag of Earl Grey to the pot, simmer for *exactly* 2.5 minutes. 5. Remove the teabag and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

6. Whilst your sauce is simmering, mercilessly tease the small and amiable dog waiting hopefully for a morsel to fall in his eager mouth.

6. Fish out all large spices so you and your loved ones don't c…

Friday's guide to shopping small business (at the last minute)

So it's two weeks until Christmas. Less than two weeks until Solstice. Hannukah...sorry. Too late. You're the slacker who still has barely put any thought into gifts, but you still super want to find something unique and thoughtful for your family and assorted loved ones. Aaaaaat the very last second. Might I throw some recommendations your way?
First of all, always try to support small businesses rather than big-box stores and massive online corporations. By shopping small, you are supporting families and individuals who work their tails off to make a living doing what they love. Not only that, but you can find truly one-of-a-kind items, which frequently can be custom altered to your specific requests. Boom.
Friday's favorites for last-minute holiday shopping slackers? Here ya go.
Fashion and Accessories

Manic Leather
For those who love the look of clean, simple lines combined with the earthy, comforting texture of good leather. Meet Carl Cox, the artist behind Manic Leath…

And now, on a more personal note...

A few weeks ago, my fourth-grader came into the living room and announced,

"Mom. Erik. I'm not a girl. I'm a boy. I'd like everyone to call me Allyn and use male pronouns."

Erik and I paused in our tea work, looked at each other, and just said "Okay, cool."

This is not the first time my son has come out as transgender. In first grade he went by Benjamin for a couple weeks before deciding the bullying and confusion weren't worth asking to have his preferences respected. Since then, he's confided in me that he's always felt like a boy. Benji was not an experiment. Now, three years later, my child has finally built up the confidence to come out. It's been a bit of an adjustment for everyone, as we expected it to be. Many of our extended family members are reeling and having a very difficult time wrapping their brains around it. Frustrating for Allyn, but understandable so shortly after such a big announcement.

We're fortunate enough to…